a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1

SOUTH CAROLINA EDITION

6 Ways to

GET YOUR CLIENT TO TRUST YOU

JUICE UP YOUR

OPEN HOUSE STRATEGY

INCORPORATING CHARITABLE GIVING IN YOUR REAL ESTATE PRACTICE

FEATURED AGENT

JAMIE BROADHURST COVER STORY

JEFF COOK THOMAS “JEFF” COOK


SOUTH CAROLINA EDITION

9

19

JAMIE BROA

Jamie Broadhurst’s in tion to real estate bega his mom, who started w as a secretary for a rea office when he was young. She went on l JEFF COOK JAMIE BROADHURST open her own success estate business in 1974 grew up immersed in th of real estate, so it CONTENTS like a natural next step when, in 2010, he too the family business. Presently, Jamie is the Pr of Century 21 4Broadhurst, 15) TOP WAYS TOone of the most suc 4) 6 WAYS TO GET YOUR Century 21UP offices in the southeastern United JUICE YOUR OPEN CLIENT TO TRUST YOU They offer the expertise of over 65 agents a HOUSE STRATEGY convenient locations on the Grand Strand, 6) INCORPORATING Myrtle in Surfside Beach, to se 22)Beach HOWand TOone SEND CHARITABLE GIVING IN YOUR realSMARTER estate needsEMAILS of the community.

REAL ESTATE PRACTICE

2

“We are traditional in our values but always cutting edge with the latest technology, which b both our clients, as well as our associates. We do things well and we like to do them with high Phone 310-734-1440 | Fax 310-734-1440 of integrity and ethics. That’s what we were mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com We have always been noted within our commu No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior consent We of the offer publisher. Agent deal of traini a training office. aTop great Magazine is published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although precautions are taken to ensure the accuracy of published education oursupplied agents. This was my mom’s materials, Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed to or facts by its authors. To subscribe or change address, send inquiry to mag@topagentmagazine.com. priority, to have the most well trained agents Published in the U.S. industry and I know this puts us at a better com edge when we’re more knowledgeable and we better skill set about our industry, our professi Top Agent Magazine the local market.”


mailto:mag@topagentmagazine.com

Top Agent Magazine

3


6 Ways to Get Your Client to Trust You The word “REALTOR®” can leave a sour taste in some people’s mouths. Many of today’s home buyers and sellers grew up during the 2009 recession. They are wary of anything 4

or anyone who comes off as too salesy, and they want to work with individuals who they can trust. But how do you prove to someone you’ve likely never met that you can be trusted?

Top Agent Magazine ®

Top Agent Magazine


1

Put Testimonials or Case Studies on Your Website

When something goes wrong, own up to your mistakes. Don’t hide bad news from your clients. Be upfront and responsive.

Testimonials and case studies are social proof that you have both the experience and the skills to do the job your clients are hiring you for. People often leave testimonials when they are either incredibly disappointed or extremely happy with the service they were provided, so they’re a good indication to prospective clients of the treatment they’ll receive. Case studies, which you can post on your blog or website, have much of the same effect, but even more than testimonials, case studies demonstrate your real estate and finance expertise because they explain how you achieved a specific set of results.

2

Be Responsive and Accessible

Can your clients reach you easily? That doesn’t mean you need to be available 24/7, but you should respond to your clients within a few hours of receiving their message. When agents don’t respond to their clients’ calls or emails for days on end or fail to provide them with a direct line of contact, their clients’ experience can quickly become frustrating. Agents are busy but so are their clients. If you constantly show up late to or reschedule meetings, your clients won’t feel like their time is respected or their business is valued. Make sure you set a realistic schedule for yourself rather than spreading yourself too thin.

3

Be Honest and Transparent

Sometimes you don’t have the answer to a client’s question. Be honest about your strengths, weaknesses, and the limits of your knowledge. A good response might be, “I don’t know, but I can find out.” Be transparent with your clients, and they’ll respect you for it. You should always act in their best interest. Top Agent Magazine

4

Go the Extra Mile

If you do the bare minimum, that’s what your clients will remember. Their experience won’t be memorable, and they won’t gush about you in online testimonials or in real life to people they know who could use your services. It’s that simple.

5

Put Yourself in Your Client’s Shoes

Clients understand that you need to earn money, but that doesn’t mean they want to feel like they’re just a dollar sign to you. Be empathetic to your client’s concerns, even if you’ve heard it all before. Your clients should know that you are there for them.

6

Be Consistent

Being responsive, friendly, and knowledgeable shouldn’t be an act. If you “turn on” your personality for clients and then suddenly become a different person when they leave the room, it’s likely that the cracks in your mask will eventually become apparent. But “faking it till you make it” is so common it’s become a cliché. When we are starting out, we don’t always have the systems or resources in place to create a smooth client journey, from onboarding to closing, so instead we constantly try to reinvent the wheel. Give yourself time to pause, slow down, and reevaluate your workflow. Creating systems creates

consistency, and those systems can and should be constantly updated.

Developing trust between you and your clients will take time, but doing these things can give you a running start.

Top Agent Magazine ®

5


Incorporating Charitable Giving in Your Real Estate Practice

As real estate professionals, taking part in the community and serving others is central to a long-lasting practice. After all, agents are in the business of homeownership, building a financial future, and helping their clients begin new and fruitful chapters. With that in 6

mind, how might an agent deliver that spirit of service in a broader sphere? The truth is, charitable giving offers nothing but upsides. Contributing to a worthy cause is a noble and meaningful endeavor, but it

Top Agent Magazine ÂŽ

Top Agent Magazine


Contributing to a worthy cause is a noble and meaningful endeavor, but it also presents positive byproducts for the giver: tax write-offs, name recognition in the community, and the ability to expand your network.

also presents positive byproducts for the giver: tax write-offs, name recognition in the community, and the ability to expand your network. If charitable giving is an idea you’ve toyed with, or a practice you’ve engaged in only now and again, here are a few ways to make it a foundational element of your business and a win-win for all.

Find causes that speak to you. Donating funds or resources can feel anonymous if you’re divorced from the organization you’re working with. While national and international charitable organizations are certainly effective and worthwhile, you might consider partnering with local chapters of those organizations, or identifying hyper-local organizations that address need in your state, county, town, or even your own neighborhood. The first step to establishing a charitable relationship is to find a cause that you genuinely care about. For many, animal rescue is a tangible cause where resources and volunteership are always welcome. For others, children’s health and advocacy is a calling. Regardless Top Agent Magazine

of your personal passion, participation can be big or small. From sponsoring a local youth sports league to partnering with an area animal shelter for their annual spay-athon event—there are all sorts of ways to make a difference.

Unite your team for the common good. One way to make charitable giving a staple is to do it in arm and arm with others. Supporting a local cause is a great way to bring your team together in a unifying capacity. Hosting coat drives in winter, blanket drives for local animal shelters, or backpack drives for needy students at the start of the new school year— all are straightforward and highly useful, direct ways to give to your community as a team. It’s also important to set collective goals as a way of keeping people motivated and accountable over time. Offices are productive, but often hectic spaces. Injecting a collective goal with a positive, tangible result can create an ambiance of goodwill and generosity—both of which are worthwhile attributes to cultivate as

Top Agent Magazine ®

7


the leader of your team. Lastly, consider timely giving as a way of connecting your team to their community. Natural disasters, local fundraising drives, and improvement funds are all direct ways your team can contribute, while they themselves reap the benefit in the community.

Include clients in the process. You’ve likely heard of charitable donations made in the name of your client as an alternative to the classic closing gift, but there are a few ways you might update this method of giving. For starters, consider including your clients in the selection process. Do they have a special cause that’s close to their hearts? Likewise, you might

8

consider making regular, consistent giving a part of your routine post-closing. Instead of following up with your yearly poinsettia plant or pumpkin, you might find a cause in their neighborhood or township that you can support in their name. It’s wise to choose something apolitical, but a cause that’s hyperlocal to their area demonstrates unique thoughtfulness. There are plenty of ways in which society as a whole can benefit from charitable causes that build goodwill in the world, support those less fortunate, and bolster a positive future. Incorporating charitable giving in your business model is a generous way to make this mentality a central tenet of your team and a defining characteristic for your clients to remember.

Top Agent Magazine ®

Top Agent Magazine


JEFF COOK Top Agent Magazine

THOMAS “JEFF” COOK

9


Top Agent Jeff Cook’s team consists of 120 members— 90 agents and 30 support staff—who serve clients throughout the entire state of South Carolina. In 2003, Jeff Cook found himself laid off from his corporate job, and took it as a bit of a sign. “I decided to try to do something that could really make a difference in this world,” he says. “I wanted to open my own business that could employ other people and try to serve a lot of clients.” 10 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

That very year, he started in real estate, and has been doing it ever since. Today, his team consists of 120 members — 90 agents and 30 support staff — who serve clients throughout the entire state of South Carolina. The team has multiple offices in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, and Rockhill. Top Agent Magazine


The team sees about 25% repeat and referral business, and Jeff believes this is because of how his team treats their clients. “We offer a really high level of service to our clients, which creates the repeat and referral business,” Jeff says. “There are really only two things to it: first is the service to the client and second is that we have a pretty clever and witty marketing campaign that attracts a lot of relocation buyers, as well as people wanting to sell their properties. So it’s a combination of service and marketing.” Top Agent Magazine

And when it comes to marketing, Jeff is careful to cover the traditional avenues as well as the more modern ones like social media. “We have a heavy social media presence around the properties to find other buyers who are like-minded,” he says. This means reaching out to the friends, family, and community members of a client to find a perfect fit for a property. “Probably the number one way we [market] is to our relocation buyers,” he says. “We have a heat map of five states where most people relocate from to South Carolina. Every time we have a house 11 Copyright Top Agent Magazine


“The number one way we [market] is to our relocation buyers,” he says. “We have a heat map of five states where most people relocate from to South Carolina. for sale, we market that house to those states so people in the area can find them.” Jeff’s team stays in contact with past clients via newsletters, email campaigns, and private Facebook groups. “In addition to that, we have an Events page where we market to them via event planning and inviting them to come hang out with us.”

the Financial Advisory Board for his church. In addition, his company gives 1% of all revenue back to community organizations to benefit those in need, both locally and globally. Currently, they’re building a house for a homeless family in Nicaragua, and also supporting local families. Since the inception of this program only four years ago, Jeff says they’ve given back some $400,000.

That community spirit is also important to Jeff outside of real estate. He sits on the Board of Directors for his local college, Charleston Southern University, as well as on

“It’s the most interesting job in the world,” Jeff says of real estate. “There is a different experience every single day. We’ve been doing this 17 years and we get new challenges

Copyright Top Agent Magazine 12

Top Agent Magazine


855-HEY- JEFF YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD EXPERT

and opportunities every single day. So you never know what you’re going to get when you walk in the door. Real estate is a simple concept, of someone buying and someone selling a home, but it’s unique in that it’s always different.” Jeff launched Jeff Cook Offers in 2015, a sister company of Jeff Cook Real Estate. Jeff Top Agent Magazine

Cook Offers helps people in distressed situations who are not able to sell their homes through the traditional real estate method. In 2016, he launched Rent Holy City, a full-service property management company. Rent Holy City is tailored to maximize the return for landlords and investors. The creation of both of these companies helped Jeff to be able to service more clients than ever before. Copyright Top Agent Magazine 13


Jeff’s success has been noticed by real estate agents nationwide. With so many people wanting to know how Jeff has accomplished what he has in such a short time, Jeff has opened up a real estate coaching company called, Realty Partners. Jeff’s goal is to empower real estate agents across the nation to help turn their company visions into a reality. We are excited to see your business grow!

Jeff has a five-year plan for his business, with the goal of serving 4,000 families by 2025. “We’re wanting to basically double production over the next five years,” he says. He also has advice for those looking to give back: “Take something small that you’ve got and bless somebody else with it, and as a result, the blessings will continue to flow your way.”

To learn more about Jeff Cook, please call 843-225-2002, visit jeffcookrealestate.com, or email info@jeffcookrealestate.com www.

Copyright Top Agent Magazine 14

Top Agent Magazine


Top 4 Ways to Juice Up Your Open House Strategy by Rob Flitton

I go to open houses, but not just because of my profession or interest in architecture and interior design. I go to open houses to see how effective real estate agents are at selling. It has been rather eyeopening because there is very little selling going on—the average open house strategy needs work.

1.Build a Dynamic Open House Booklet After they leave, open house visitors will discard a one-page for-sale info sheet naming a home’s features. But they will keep, and possibly use, a 6 or 8 page booklet loaded with interesting items that directly solve problems for them.

Perhaps “selling” is considered an outdated skill, or that it feels socially awkward for agents to be regarded as a salesperson. But if you’re a real estate agent, you are a salesperson. At most of the open houses I go, I see money floating out the door every time a visitor leaves because of the agent’s inability or refusal to sell.

It will require some strategic thought to nail the content and design, but perhaps include: (i) descriptives about the benefits of buying the property you’re showing, and not just data, (ii) compelling reasons why they should consider working with you along with a web link to search for listings on your website, (iii) a web link telling them how to get a prompt, written estimate on the value of their home, or to find out what other homes in their neighborhood sold for, (iv) possible discounts on real estate related services—maybe a reduction in fees from your preferred lender, or a reduced home inspection price, (v) possible discounts on non real estate related items.

An open house is a lucrative opportunity to find buyer or seller clients –selling the listing itself may also be the goal, but an agent should not pass up this chance. There are 4 distinct strategies an agent can immediately employ to juice up their open houses and get awesome leads. Top Agent Magazine

15


If you combine this dynamic booklet with properly trained closing language, as touched upon below, it is something the average person will either keep and use or pass along to someone they know. A well designed booklet can bring you a lot of business.

data—and they are void of interesting or problem-solving information.

2.Work The Neighborhood A few days prior to your open house, find the names and addresses (from tax records—or elsewhere) of, say, 20 homes in each direction from the Pre-internet, both open houses for open house. resale listings, and model homes for new construction, relied on strategic For the cost of postage and some collateral materials (handouts). Vis- sweat-equity, mail a postcard to these itors were ostensibly looking at sev- 80 homeowners inviting them to the eral competitors at the same time, so open house and offering something collateral materials had to have the unique and compelling—perhaps a power to bring them back to your drawing or giveaway for those willing site—a great call to action, eye- to provide their opinion on the asking catching color, identification of the price of the home (and the entry card, of course, will net you their email benefits of buying your product. address and phone number). People Yet at open houses today, I primarily are generally nosy and like to be see bland information sheets dis- validated, so asking for their opinion cussing features—the listing price, on something happening in their own the square footage, and the standard neighborhood is very appealing. 16

Top Agent Magazine


And, it is best to mail them again right after the open house to talk about what happened. “From our Saturday open house, we discovered 3 qualified and eager buyers that are now looking for a home in this neighborhood—if you would like to know what your home is worth for these buyers to consider, please give me a call.”

dynamic booklet and say: “Please enjoy our open house, and am hoping you’ll do me a favor. This booklet is loaded with great information about, and if you become interested at some point in buying or selling, would you please call and give me the opportunity to earn your business? Or if you happen to know someone now who is looking now, would you kindly pass this booklet onto them?”

Also, adding on door-knocking or If they reply with a “don’t know” type flyer-hanging to your mailings boosts of answer this usually means they are your neighborhood equity even more. indeed looking but are just not ready yet to reveal this to you, so you will 3.Close and Qualify need to work to make a connection. Engage every single visitor in closing Good consultative sales connections dialogue, because every single visitor are made when you can make them feel you’re not pushy and are able to is there for a reason. directly resolve their problem. While smiling, with shoulders erect, and maintaining suitable distance, A “yes” type of response is great, but look them in the eye and offer your you should take the qualifying step of handshake while stating your full asking them if they’re working with another agent. If they are, the dyname and company—and then ask: namic booklet comes in handy again: “Are you out looking to buy a home “If for any reason your agent is today?” unavailable to show you homes, I can be reached at the phone number in There are 4 categories of answers, this booklet. Plus, it contains fantastic and any answer they provide is an resources for searching online and a opportunity to get to the marrow of discount on financing.” what they need. There are “nos”, “don’t knows,” “yeses,” and “other.” If you can’t get a sandwich, get a bite. If they are definitive about looking, If they reply with a “no” variety of and don’t have an agent, then they are answer, then you can hand them your available for you to work with and Top Agent Magazine

17


here again you need the right type of closing and qualifying dialogue. The goal here is to evoke from them their home-buying goals so that you can match and narrow down to a single opportunity. It’s a mistake to present multiple listings to a buyer at once. Ask broad questions and then narrowing questions followed up by “if-then” questions. Example: “What types of functions do you want in your new home, or activities near your neighborhood?” Followed by something like, “is the number or size of bedrooms important to you?” Followed by, “so if I can show you the kind of home we just described, are you ready to go see it and possibly make an offer?”

4.Have Interactive Tech Tools Onsite It is the worst feeling to engage someone as a potential client at an open house and then have no tools available to solve their problem— don’t assume they aren’t going to want to do business right away. If you’re engaging a potential buyer, you better be able to instantly gratify their desire to see viable homes online so internet access and an easily view-able screen are necessary. They may ask you to go see other homes in-person, so you need to have a coagent available to either show them those homes, or spell you off as host while you do. You may be asked to write up an offer for them so you will need the tools and ability to create and e-sign documents.

Naturally, any objections or “nos” you receive in this process are just fan- When a potential listing client is in tastic opportunities to learn about their front of you, you need to be able to needs and earn a connected trust. show them recent comparable sales and may even be asked to list their The “other” thing they might tell you home and will need the tools and is that they’re not a buyer at all, but a ability to create and e-sign documents potential seller. Potential sellers often for taking that listing. go to open houses to find out how their home stacks up, but are you It happens sometimes—but it never aware what the number one reason happens if you’re not ready. they attend open houses is? Potential sellers go to open houses to Rob Flitton is a Seattle Real Estate Mardirectly or indirectly interview you, a keting specialist helping independent agents to increase their income. Email Rob potential listing agent. And they hire robflitton@gmail.com at any time or call/ confident, prepared professionals. text him at 206-612-2314. 18

Top Agent Magazine


JAMIE BROADHURST Jamie Broadhurst’s introduction to real estate began with his mom, who started working as a secretary for a real estate office when he was very young. She went on later to open her own successful real estate business in 1974. Jamie grew up immersed in the world of real estate, so it seemed like a natural next step when, in 2010, he took over the family business. Presently, Jamie is the President of Century 21 Broadhurst, one of the most successful Century 21 offices in the southeastern United States. They offer the expertise of over 65 agents and two convenient locations on the Grand Strand, one in Myrtle Beach and one in Surfside Beach, to serve the real estate needs of the community. “We are traditional in our values but always on the cutting edge with the latest technology, which benefits both our clients, as well as our associates. We like to do things well and we like to do them with high levels of integrity and ethics. That’s what we were taught. We have always been noted within our community as a training office. We offer a great deal of training and education to our agents. This was my mom’s highest priority, to have the most well trained agents in the industry and I know this puts us at a better competitive edge when we’re more knowledgeable and we have a better skill set about our industry, our profession and the local market.” With a repeat and referral rate of 65%, it seems like Jamie’s community truly appreciates the hard work he puts into the business. “I was born and raised in Myrtle Beach, this is my hometown. Our community has always been phenomenal to us. It’s given us a lot, so we enjoy giving back.” One way in which our company gives back is a campaign called “Relentless Spotlight” where a local relentless volunteer is highlighted in the town’s newspaper each month, advertised Top Agent Magazine

on billboards throughout the community and $500 is donated on their behalf to a charity of their choice. Another way in which Jamie ensures that he has satisfied customers is by hiring a diverse group of agents, which he believes contributes to a better client experience. They have agents from 9 different countries and offer 11 different languages. Jamie knows the Grand Strand is seeing a more diverse population and wants to ensure the entire community is served well. Even though running a successful company can be pretty time consuming, Jamie still dedicates himself to adding a personalized touch on his communication with current and past clients. “I’m a big believer in handwritten notes. I send out a personalized letter to all our clients to ensure they understand our appreciation for their trust they place in us. And for our homebuyers, we always gift them a symbolic pack of seeds, so that they can plant their first roots when they purchase a property here. We’re always trying to do something special for our clients and make them feel welcome in their new community,” he says. Going forward, Jamie is focused on the consistent growth of his agents, their business and creating an unmatched consumer experience for all our clients!

To learn more about Jamie Broadhurst email jamie@century21broadhurst.com, visit jamiebroadhurst.c21.com, or call 843-424-0340 www.

Copyright Top Agent Magazine 19


Laughs!

20

Top Agent Magazine


mailto:mag@topagentmagazine.com http://www.topagentmagazine.com

Top Agent Magazine

21


How To Send

SMARTER EMAILS

Email is a great tool for agents to use when trying to stay in touch with their past clients, as well as for reaching out to prospective clients. However, used incorrectly it can make your attempts to reach out seem like spam. The secret to using email effectively is making sure that everything you send out does one thing: ensure that you remain relevant to your contacts. To do this you have to get personal. Personalization will go far to ensure that your contacts are actually clicking on your emails. This means that if you do reply on an automated drip email campaign to build business, you need to customize your content so that it delivers something meaningful to each individual recipient. Here are some steps that will help you do exactly that:

1. SEND A WELCOME EMAIL TO

NEW CLIENTS AND PROSPECTS Rather than simply add new contacts to your automated email drip campaign, make sure to send each new contact receives a warm welcome as well. Sending a welcome email along with adding new contacts to your drip campaign is proven to be 86 percent more effective at catching your contact’s attention. Let them know they are welcome and that you appreciate their interest. 22

2. NURTURE YOUR RELATIONSHIP

THROUGH YOUR EMAIL To let your potential client know that you are thinking about them by sending them useful content that relates to the process of buying or selling a house. Some great topics include credit score information, ways to save money, regular market updates, what buying in your market is like, information about the neighborhood, tips on how they can prepare their home for sale, and other relevant information. A great way to

Top Agent Magazine

Top Agent Magazine


add to these emails’ punch is to time them so that they coincide with what that individual is going through and dealing with at that time on their path through the buying or selling process.

3. CELEBRATE IMPORTANT DATES

Everyone loves to be noticed and appreciated. Schedule emails to go to each client that celebrate their purchase anniversary or birthday. Make sure you include a personal note and your own wishes that the year ahead goes well for them. If you’ve been a bit out of touch with your contacts, you might want to send them a friendly hello.

4.

MOBILE-FRIENDLY EMAILS With our phones being akin to mini computers, most people read their emails on their phone these days. So, it is particularly important to make sure that your emails are rendering well on the smaller screens. If you want to make any kind of impact, you have to run a mobile-friendly email campaign in today’s world. You are going to lose a lot of your audience if they can’t read your email on their phones.

5.

TRACK THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR EMAILS AND ALTER ACCORDINGLY The best way to make sure your emails are being read and making the kind of impact you desire is to consistently monitor the analytics,

and see what your readers are actually clicking on and what elements are most popular with your contacts. Going forward you can alter different elements of your email campaign such as content, images, graphics, and even smaller elements like your subject line to draw in more clicks from your readers, and cater to what grabs their attention. You also want to follow a targeted email strategy. The best way to do this is segment your email list based on the data from your CRM and the demographics of your contacts. Different clients are going to be interested in different content. Long-time clients looking to buy a second home or possibly downsize are going to be interested in completely different content than your first-time buyers. A good way to filter your contacts is by looking at which ones are looking to buy or sell, how far along in the process they are, as well as other important information about them.

6.

DON’T SPAM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES You probably already know that flooding your clients’ emails is big no-no. However, different people have different ideas about what is too much contact. One great way to approach this problem is to ask your clients whether they would prefer weekly, monthly, or occasional emails from you. This way you can cater to each client’s preference.

The emails you send your clients can often be a double-edged sword when it comes to how well they work to bring in business. Following these simple rules will help your emails be as successful as they can possibly be, and will make your contacts much happier with you. So, don’t just send out emails without doing your homework about how to do it right. Your email campaigns can be a powerful tool if you know how to create and utilize them in the right manner. Top Agent Magazine

Top Agent Magazine

23


mailto:mag@topagentmagazine.com

24

Top Agent Magazine

Profile for TOP AGENT MAGAZINE

SOUTH CAROLINA 3-30-20  

TOPAGENTMAGAZINE.COM SOUTH CAROLINA EDITION

SOUTH CAROLINA 3-30-20  

TOPAGENTMAGAZINE.COM SOUTH CAROLINA EDITION