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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDITION

Tips on Being a GOOD TEAM LEADER

GOOGLE ADWORDS:

How to Make Google Do the Work for You

Are You A VALUE-ADDED AGENT? COVER STORY

SHERI DETTMAN


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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDITION

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SHERI DETTMAN

CONTENTS

4) TIPS ON BEING A GOOD TEAM LEADER

17) 4 QUALITIES OF EXCEPTIONAL EMPLOYEES

6) GOOGLE ADWORDS: HOW TO MAKE GOOGLE DO THE WORK FOR YOU

21) ARE YOU A VALUE-ADDED AGENT?

Phone 310-734-1440 | Fax 310-734-1440

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Tips on Being a Good Team Leader Your business is booming, so much in fact, that you’ve finally made the decision to start a team. You’ve made sure it’s financially feasible, and you’ve found the right people, but there is still one other component of a successful team. And that’s an effective leader. It’s your job to not only generate business, but to motivate your team, which in turn increase productivity. Here are a few simple tips on being a good team leader. 1. Evaluate each team member, making sure to utilize their strengths Hiring the right people is one of the first steps in creating a successful team, but once you have those people it’s really 4

important to figure out where they best fit into the operation. Having every team member be an ‘expert’ in their part of the process leads to seamless transactions and a business that runs like a well-oiled machine. Top Agent Magazine


Of course it’s also important to create a supportive atmosphere that allows team members to stretch beyond their comfort zones, under your guidance. It’s to the whole team’s advantage when people take initiatives to up their game by taking additional training or mastering a new and innovative technology that can improve productivity. The key is to constantly evaluate not only your systems but the people running them. It’s your job as a leader to encourage that personal growth while making sure to always protect against any major misfires. Which leads us to… 2. Always reevaluate what is and isn’t working It’s a good idea to have a weekly meeting where the whole team can convene and go over any snags they may have hit in the systems that you developed when starting your team. Your team is in the trenches with you and since everyone probably focuses on a different aspect of the transaction, it’s important to make sure things are working on every level. Make sure copious notes are taken during these meetings so you have a track record of what was suggested, as well as a history of things that may have been tried and the results. Another good thing to focus on in these meetings is goal setting. Set weekly and monthly goals, and use the meetings to discuss what’s being done or needs to be done to meet them. When goals are met, it’s a great bonding experience for everyone. When they aren’t, it’s a moment to learn how you can do better in the future. Top Agent Magazine

Don’t forget to always take in what you can do to be a better team leader as well. 3. Stay connected and in communication These are your team members! There’s more to that than just a label. Be connected to them on a daily basis. Clear, open and honest communication is important on a busy team and that’s much easier if you actually like and trust your co-workers. Sure you want to succeed for yourself, but knowing that other people you respect are counting on you, is an additional motivating factor, that is certain to lead to everyone going above and beyond creating a wildly successful business. 4. Be inspiring and supportive If you’re enthusiastic about what you’re doing, it really will be infectious. Encourage innovation and creativity. Yes, systems and consistency are great but don’t let your team get in a rut either. Support their individual careers, always encourage them to go for more, let them rely on you for mentorship. If they sense that you want each member to succeed as much as you have, you won’t find more loyal employees. And perhaps most importantly focus on what’s being done right. Don’t be the boss that just points out things they don’t like. Let them know when they’ve done an amazing job and be specific about what it is. Make them feel valued and they will become a valuable asset to you and your business. 5


Google AdWords:

How To Make Google Do the Work for You There is no denying that the internet is the first place a buyer begins looking for a new home in this digital age. Knowing how to put the powerful tools available on the internet to work for you can give you a decided advantage when it comes to attracting prospective buyers to your listings, as well as you as an agent. Google is easily one of the major superpowers of the internet, and they have one of the most powerful advertising tools available. Knowing how to utilize Google AdWords in the correct manner can make your internet advertising immensely powerful and possibly your best way to reach prospective buyers. Google AdWords is also extremely cost-effective. This multifaceted tool gives you much more control over your advertising campaign than other more traditional methods. You can target specific audiences, choose the specific search terms, also known as keywords, that will bring up your ad in someone’s search results, and you can set a budget for each campaign that will dictate it’s reach and how long the campaign will run. Here are some tips for how to put Google AdWords to work for you. 6

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ent websites. You want to set yourself apart from every other real estate website users are viewing in their search for a house.

MAKE SURE YOUR ADS ARE GOING TO SEND USERS TO A SITE THAT WILL CAPTURE THEIR ATTENTION

You can spend an infinite amount of money on Google advertising campaigns, but if those ads don’t send users to a site that will capture and hold their interest, then you’ve just wasted all that money. Don’t put your cart before the horse. Make sure you are considering exactly where these ads are going to send users. To set up your website for success, at the very least you want to make sure users are greeted by clear call-to-action, such as a message that will encourage them to sign up for your newsletter or subscribe to your blog. You want to set up your website to maximize and capture the leads the ad campaign sends your way.

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BUILD CUSTOMIZED OR CUSTOM-MADE WEBSITES RATHER THAN TEMPLATE WEBSITES It is easy and tempting to use template websites, or to offer your agents template websites if you are a real estate manager or broker. While this offers a cost-effective solution to providing every agent with a website, it does little to set you or your agents apart and capture the attention of users that are used to seeing a wealth of differ-

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MAKE SURE YOU ARE OFFERING VALUE ON YOUR WEBSITE

Don’t simply use your website as a kind of brag sheet. Let users know what makes your particular services valuable to them. Highlight your expertise in a certain location through tools such as blog posts, providing market updates, or giving pertinent information on a unique type of property. This will ensure that your online advertising campaigns are much more successful.

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LOCATION IS EVERYTHING!

Location is everything in real estate, and the same holds true for Google AdWords. You can target specific locations in your ad campaign. While one approach is to focus on the area around your location, a more advanced approach would be to link AdWords campaigns to your Google My Business account. This is a Google service that includes your address in the ad, allowing people to then click on it and see exactly where you are located on a map.

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USE GOOGLE ADWORDS IN YOUR CAMPAIGN TO EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS IN GENERAL

Focus an AdWords campaign on expanding your business by incorporating specific zip codes and neighborhoods that will help you establish a presence in an area where you would like to increase your real estate business. Making sure that your ad appears in search results that are related to the real estate in a specific area will help shape the image and brand of your business as well as bring in new leads.

HARNESS THE POWER OF DATA

When you run a Google AdWords campaign Google Analytics captures a wealth of information about your target client demographic. You can gain real insight into your online visitors, such as when they visit, what they do and look at on your site once they get there, and what search terms they use. You can use all of this information to grow your business. Use Google Analytics to determine which users (location, gender, age) are utilizing specific aspects of your site, such as looking at multiple listings, reading your blog, etc. You can then use this information to target these specific demographics in your AdWord campaigns, Gmail ads, the Google Display Network, and other advertising.

Using the internet to help advertise your business and your listings is one of the smartest moves you can make as an agent in this modern age. However, you don’t want to simply go into the process blind or you’re wasting a lot of potential resources and data that could make all the difference. To reap the benefits of Google AdWords, you must apply an intelligent strategy to using these campaigns. 8

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SHERI DETTMAN Top Agent Magazine

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SHERI DETTMAN “When something arises I find a solution, and the goal is to make the whole process as easy, painless and professional as possible.” Sheri Dettman comes from a position of no drama. “I shield my clients from problems,” she says. “When something arises I find a solution, and the goal is to make the whole process as easy, painless and professional as possible. Everybody has enough stress in 10Copyright Top Agent Magazine

their lives, and buying and selling real estate is one of the most stressful things you can do. I remove as much of that stress as possible.” That’s what has made Sheri such an enormous success in the Coachella Valley real Top Agent Magazine


estate market. Boasting a staggering 95% return and referral rate, Sheri has built a reputation based on trust and honesty, and she built it from scratch. In 2007 Sheri and her husband Bill saw the opportunity that desert real estate offered and decided it would be a good fit given their backgrounds - Sheri in the front of the house and Bill in the background handling the marketing. The thought was “Go big, or go home�. By June of 2016 they Top Agent Magazine

were the number one team in the Valley, selling $85 million. But just as they were having their best year, tragedy struck and Bill passed away after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Copyright Top Agent Magazine11


Sheri carried on, knowing that the best way to honor Bill was to continue growing what he had helped build, and today Sheri Dettman Associates is going strong, thanks to Sheri’s impeccable customer service skills. “I don’t care if it’s $150,000 condo or a $5 million home, everybody deserves the same amount of professionalism and 12Copyright Top Agent Magazine

care,” says Sheri. “If it’s a busboy or if it’s a CFO, we treat everyone with respect.” Part of that respect is honesty. “All you have in this industry is your integrity, your professionalism and your reputation,” Sheri explains. “I don’t blow smoke - I tell people honestly what they can expect for Top Agent Magazine


“I don’t care if it’s $150,000 condo or a $5 million home, everybody deserves the same amount of professionalism and care.” their house - it doesn’t serve anybody to give them pie in the sky numbers.”

pride myself on communicating well with my clients.”

That honesty comes hand-in-hand with good communication. “My clients know that if they email me they’ll hear back in less than a minute,” she says. “I think if you’ve had a less-than-stellar experience in real estate or any other business - it’s because of a lack of communication. I

All of that adds up to a job Sheri loves. “Finding the right property for the client, getting the client the best price in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of hassle - it’s just fulfilling. It’s nice running into someone a year later and being told how grateful they are that I helped them

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come out here to the desert, that I helped them find a place that would never have been on their radar.” Sheri has built so much, but she’s still looking to grow. “We’re always one of the top teams

in the Valley with an extremely small team,” she says. “I’m looking to hire more agents so that we can better serve more clients while not sacrificing my dedication to quality over quantity. If we’ve accomplished this much with a team of two, imagine what we can do when we grow.”

To find out more about Sheri Dettman call (760) 668-2838, email sheri@yourresorthome.com or visit her website at yourresorthome.com www.

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Sheri Dettman

on being featured for the State of California in Top Agent Magazine! 760.601.3065 | judy@escrowplusinc.com escrowplusinc.com

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72980 Fred Waring Drive, Suite B, Palm Desert, CA 92260

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Dean Rathbun is a proud lending partner of

SHERI DETTMAN AND ASSOCIATES and we congratulate her great accomplishment of being featured for the State of California in Top Agent Magazine!

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4 Qualities of Exceptional Employees Hiring a new employee is one of the more stressful parts of being a business owner. After all, you’re taking someone on and trusting that they’ll not only be a valuable addition to the team, but won’t do anything to hurt your business’s hard earned reputation. Sometimes a person comes in and you click right away, and other times you might be blown away by an impressive resume. But there are things you should look for that might not be as obvious at first. Employees that have the following qualities are ones you should seek out, because they will definitely be well worth the time and energy you invest in them. Top Agent Magazine

1. They have the confidence to be innovative There’s a reason people are drawn to those who think outside the box. Not only do innovations often lead to an extremely profitable business, even when that thinking doesn’t pan out, creative thinking is something that will energize your business and will motivate more employees to start taking chances. Innovative thinkers also usually have great leadership skills. Ironically, you want an employee who isn’t afraid to speak up to authority and is someone who knows how to bend the rules without breaking them. They know that

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the success of the team and business is what’s most important, as long as it’s done ethically and with respect for everyone involved.

2. They are constantly reviewing their past performance A good employee looks forward, but they also look back. They are always evaluating what worked and what didn’t work in past performances and then adjusting their plans going forward accordingly. If they are coming off a big win, they know how to capitalize on that by using the momentum and cementing in everyone’s minds the value that they add to the team. If things didn’t go as planned, they assess what they can do better next time, and they don’t get bogged down in insecurity. They take responsibility and they have confidence that they won’t repeat past mistakes. They know that failure is a temporary state, and are able to learn lessons from their mistakes, that will make them a better employee going forward. While no one wants to fail, having the confidence to try something and fail will one day let you strike gold. Someone who lets failure shut them down, leads to a dead end and will soon make them a dead weight on your team.

3. They value teamwork Even though an exceptional employee might be a rising star, they realize that success is 18

not an individual endeavor, it relies strongly on who you’re working with. Exceptional employees make sure that everyone is contributing and valued for their input. They put the interests of the company above their own, and thrive in an environment where ideas and information are shared freely. Shared success is the ultimate goal for every project. Exceptional employees have the confidence to know that even when they’re not singled out for praise, they’re an irreplaceable component of a larger machine.

4. They are self-motivated learners A key thing to remember is that while experience is a valuable commodity, intelligence and intellectual curiosity is usually something that can’t be taught. Yes, you might request employees get additional training or attend seminars, but exceptional employees will be seeking out educational opportunities constantly. Even if they don’t have a lot of money for weekend retreats, they will be getting books from the library, downloading audiobooks, and most importantly, taking advantage of one their greatest resources, YOU. Exceptional employees know that the way to stay ahead is to always be at the forefront of new technology and systems. They don’t see educating themselves as a burden, they actually enjoy it. They realize that everything they take in, will one day make them not only an exceptional employee, but an exceptional boss as well.

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Are You a Value-Added Agent?

I’ll bet if I asked ten real estate agents, all ten would answer ‘yes’ to that question. Yet, when I ask agents how they are value-added, they say things like: • I communicate regularly with my clients. • I have a written listing presentation. • I am honest. • I am trustworthy. Are these ‘value-added’ attributes? Or, does the client expect these attributes and services? Top Agent Magazine

Are these exceptional services or average services? I’m writing this article at the beginning of a New Year. It’s a perfect time to re-assess your professionalism and master being that ‘value-added’ agent.

Client Expectations are Higher than Ever Unfortunately, too many real estate agents assume they are ‘value-added’ because they are providing the services they want to provide— 21


the services they think the client values. However, there’s a real client out there, and the client has different expectations. How do I know that? Because so few agents regularly survey their clients. In fact, when I’m speaking to an audience, I survey them, and find that less than 25 percent gather after-sale surveys! So, the majority of agents don’t know if the services they are providing are average or exceptional.

Why Bother Being Exceptional? • Because you want to set yourself apart. • You want to create client loyalty. • You want to create at least 50 percent of your business from client referrals (the latest National Association of Realtors survey Profile of Members found that the average Realtor got only 18 percent of their business from referrals. That’s a hard and expensive way to run a real estate business! • Because you want to run a more pleasant, profitable business.

Four Actions Value-Added Agents Take How can you identify value-added agents? By their actions. Here are four actions I believe show agents that are above just ‘average’. The principle here is:

Watch the actions, not the words. If I were a manager, or a seller or a buyer, and I wanted to find a value-added agent, here’s what I would look for:

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1. Has a database and populates it This agent is committed long-term to his clients and to his business. He uses a contact management program (CRM) to manage ‘leads’, so none are lost — and clients do not feel neglected. After all, it takes much longer today to convert a ‘lead’ to a sale than it used to take. Actively using and maintaining a CRM means the agent is committed to forming long-term professional relationships over time. Other demonstrable actions concerning the agent’s CRM are: • Has a rapid-response method to deal with Internet inquiries and other inquiries via email. (The average client expects a response within eight hours—but a recent survey showed the average agent responded in 50 hours!). • Has a method to follow up on all leads until they ‘buy or die’. As a client, that means I won’t get lost. As a seller, it means my agent will follow up with all leads and give it 100 percent to sell my home. 2. Invests in the technology and follow-up pros have This agent makes every decision based on their vision of their career at least three to five years in the future. For example, instead of selling someone a house anywhere just to get a sale, my value-added agent sells only in an area they define as their ‘target area’. That way, they’ll get known, and can build on their reputation. The value-added agent has the ‘guts’ to turn down business! Because they care more about the well-being of the client than getting one grimy commission check, they learn to Top Agent Magazine


‘tell the truth attractively’, and work harder to retain the client than to make one commission.

Adding those Client Benefits to your Dialogue

3. Works for referrals, not just sales I said the agent learns to ‘tell the truth attractively’, even if the buyer or seller may not want to hear it. For example, if it’s in the best interests of the seller to list their home at a lower price, the value-added agent has the strategies and the statistics to prove that the seller won’t be well served by pricing higher.

Of course, it’s not enough to actually take these actions. You need to explain to the client why these actions are in their best interests, and how you stand apart from most agents by employing them. Why? Because your client won’t know you run your business so professionally. And, the client probably doesn’t know most agents don’t run their businesses this way!

And, this value-added agent has the intestinal fortitude to walk away if they know the home will not sell at the client’s desired price (but doesn’t have to too many times because they create a stellar reputation amongst their clientele).

TIP: Always show your clients, don’t just tell them. You do have a Professional Portfolio and evidence on your website, don’t you?

4. Keeps the buyers and sellers’ best interests in mind Our value-added agent makes every decision to grow trust, not just to make a fast buck. For example, the agent sits down with a prospective couple and finds out they can’t purchase right away and creates a plan with them to save for their down payment. Then, the agent keeps in touch over a period of months, offering helpful information and market updates.

Put Yourself to the Test

How many of these actions P. S. Managers and team leaders—two tips do you exhibit? What do you want to work on to become a true 1. Call each of your agents’‘value-added’ phone mails. What’s the impre agent? Are they professional? Do they state the company n TIP: represent your culture and image? Managers, give your agents a 2. Create a quick class in phone messaging using the ‘test’ on these four points. In other words, this agent practices seller or buyHow many pass? this blog. er agency representation, not ‘agent agency’!

Copyright ©, 2016 Carla Cros

Carla Cross,CRB, CRB, MA, is theoffounder andSeminars, president Carla Cross & Carla Cross, MA, President Carla Cross Inc.,ofand Carla real management and sales. Herspecializing internationally s Crossestate Coaching, is an international speaker in realbest-selling estate management and Running business planning for all professionals. agents, Up and in 30 Days, is real nowestate going into its 5thHer edition sevenexperience internationallyas published books, including Up and Running in 30 Days , vast a top-selling agent and award-winning manage and 20 agent and management programs have helped thousands of real sales podium, blending her musical background with her proven estate professionals to the greater productivity and teaches profitability.someone Reach Carla strategies (she uses piano AND even to at play—f 425-392-6914 or www.carlacross.com. and practical). Find out more at www.carlacross.com. Top Agent Magazine

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