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CONNECT BEYOND REAL ESTATE to Attract Future Clients 5 Reasons Why YOU NEED A MENTOR Are You Doing Business As You on FACEBOOK?

7 Simple Tips That are Proven to Help You STAY AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION














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to Attract Future Clients What kind of content are you sharing on your blog, website, and social media? Does most of it have something to do with buying or selling a home? While sharing the latest market information or tips on how to qualify for a mortgage, or when someone should buy or sell is important and demonstrates your value as a REALTOR®, it shouldn’t be the only subject you cover. If you only focus on real estate, you’ll be missing the chance to connect with future clients that might not be ready to move just yet. By sharing a lot

of industry-heavy content, you are only going to appeal to those who are currently in the market rather than a broad base of potential clients. To pull in those other future clients you want to provide fresh, interesting content that will appeal to those possible future clients that aren’t quite ready to move yet. However, you also want to still tie this content back into your business goals. So, how do you share content that will speak to a wider audience, but also still be relevant to your business?


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Talk About Your Philanthropic Activities

The philanthropic work you do to support your community says a great deal about who you are as a person. Many people will be attracted to working with you because of the charitable works you are involved with. While you may be hesitant to share these efforts because you feel it may come across as bragging, you also need to remember that sharing information about the charitable organizations you support will actually help those organizations. Many of them have small marketing budgets, so any free exposure you can give them helps to promote their cause. In fact, they want and need you to promote them. And you can promote them without coming across as a braggart. Focus your content entirely on the organization. Talk about why you support them, how they help the community, and how others can also get involved. This turns what could have been bragging into something that benefits everyone. n

Your Local Community

We humans are connected to each other through our community – our local sports teams, parks, churches, schools, and much more. What better way is there to connect with people in your community than to talk about your community? Demonstrate that you are an expert on your community, and bring that community to your followers. Share information about a local event; perhaps even share the actual event through live-stream video. Interview city officials to get the low-down on the latest development project. Share information with your followers about things they didn’t know about their community. Consult with local historians or the historical society to share interesting information about your community that your followers will want to read. You could even turn it into a series of podcasts or videos. n

Use Your Creativity to Connect

Find creative ways to engage your followers on the topic of real estate. Try engaging your followers in an interactive project such as posting photos of interesting front doors. Doors are the entry point into our homes as well as our private lives. The way we adorn our front door can give someone a sense of our style and personality. Ask followers to submit photos and choose one to post each Friday. Make sure to watermark each photo with your logo at the bottom and include an inspirational quote that ties back to the importance of home. You could also ask your followers to provide a little story or caption to go along with the photo that tells something about them and their home. These kinds of projects are interesting and unique, and clearly connect back to your business. n

Share Your Hobbies

Are you an adrenalin junkie who has bungee jumped from some of the tallest bridges in the world? Are you a foodie that grows your own organic vegetables and fruit? Do you have a Top Agent Magazine

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secret passion for photography? Everyone has hobbies that they enjoy outside of work. When you look past the surface people become quite interesting. People also happen to find interesting people interesting, and tend to remember people based on their distinctive traits. We humans love discovering a person’s behind the scenes story, the mind behind the face. While you don’t want to talk too much about yourself, sharing pieces of your personal life and things that interest you can be a great way to connect with followers. By sharing interesting facts about your life, you will find that many followers will feel a strong, personal connection to you based on your hobbies and personal interests. n

Divulge Interesting Experiences

This is somewhat similar to the idea of sharing your hobbies. Sharing some of your more interesting personal experiences such as a fateful conversation with a stranger or an exciting adventure you had while in another country can be a great way to connect with followers as long as it also relates to some kind of life or business lesson. Talk about experiences you’ve had with clients or purchasing your own home. Experiences that relate to your business are great ways to connect with future clients in a manner that goes beyond the world of business. n

What and Who Inspires You

No matter what you’ve chosen to spend your life doing, you didn’t get there alone. You may have had a mentor that made a special impact on your life or someone already in the business that you looked up to and who perhaps inspired you to get into real estate. You may have found inspiration through a love of architecture or design. People want to know why others do the things they do. Sharing who or what influences you in your personal and business life is a great way to connect with followers. Recognizing that you didn’t get to where you are now by yourself shows humility, and talking about those people that had an influence on you shows others that you stay connected to the world and people around you. Connecting with potential clients is something that is essential to any REALTOR’S® business. If you’re doing the work to create interesting blog posts and make those connections, you want to make sure that you’re sharing the right kind of content to draw in those future clients. It takes a lot more than simply providing the latest market news. To get the most out of what you share, you need to provide a wide array of interesting content

that will draw in a broad range of followers. Providing the right kind of content can make all the difference when it comes to connecting with future clients and building the right kind of relationship with them right from the start. Connecting through your website or social media and sharing more than just real estate advice will help you build confidence and trust with future clients before you even meet them.


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VICTORIA PRINTZ If anyone knows real estate in Midland, Texas, it’s Victoria Printz. “I knew I would get into real estate at some point, but I wanted to do other things first,” says Victoria, who grew up in Midland, “being late for cheerleading practice because there was always one more house for my mom to show.” After all those years being shuttled from property to property, at age 18 she left Midland thinking she’d never return. But home called her back.

pany. “I’d had some exciting adventures, but I was ready to settle down,” Victoria says of her 1995 return to Midland. Today she is at the helm of an all-women, 16-member team covering real estate sales and property management in and around Midland. “We’re a boutique real estate company as opposed to a large franchise.” Their focus on Midland reflects their values. “We believe in doing one thing and doing it right.”

She earned her college degree and spent 16 years doing everything from serving as president of a title company in Austin to traveling the globe while working for a cruise ship com-

Each member of The Victoria Printz Team brings special expertise. The group includes buyers’ specialists, four property management experts, and a robust, in-house marketing

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department. “Out of approximately 511 agents currently in Midland, to my knowledge only a handful have someone doing their marketing, but we have a team of three – a media marketing director, a marketing director who manages all the photos from the houses, and a special events marketing coordinator,” says Victoria. Her sellers, therefore, benefit from wide but targeted exposure across various outlets.

agents still represented both buyers and sellers in a given transaction. But Victoria sought clearer lines. “I knew I might spend an hour in the house and be able to bring them an offer the next day representing a buyer, but I didn’t ever want the confusion over who was representing whom.” This ideology led to starting her own firm, where she focuses on listings and her agents primarily represent buyers.

Among the team’s agents, Victoria takes the lead with listings while others support the high need for resourceful buyers’ agents in this fast-moving seller’s market. When Victoria first returned to Midland in 1995, many

“The key to my success is that sellers want three things from me – feedback, feedback, feedback,” says Victoria. “And buyers want three things from buyer’s agents – time, time and time.” Clients get the full package with

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The Victoria Printz Team. Victoria spends much of her time updating sellers on market conditions, reactions from showings, the success of marketing campaigns and metrics around pricing and competition. Her marketing department puts listings on more than 200 sites with high-quality photography and virtual tours, plus special open house events that not only to spread the word about listings but bring hundreds of Mindlanders together in a lively, social setting. “I also have a staging company we work with on occasion,” she adds, noting that the current low inventory in Midland lends itself to fast sales at list price when her team tailors marketing to the perfect buyers. Top Agent Magazine

As she appears to quickstep through her fast moving real estate business, Victoria still gives back to the community, earning awards from organizations like the Girl Scouts, who recently honored her as a Woman of Distinction for her leadership, community involvement and service. Meanwhile, she actually does do the quickstep, the tango and more. “Last year, I was nominated for a local Dancing with the Stars fundraising competition and, after two months of ballroom dance lessons, I won!” She soon opened a ballroom dance studio across the parking lot from her office, which she occasionally lends out to support local community events. Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11

Looking ahead, Victoria plans to expand her strong presence with the relocation market. “So many large oil companies are located in Midland and we work hard on behalf of the international relocation companies,” she says.

Local market expertise, savvy negotiation skills, plus a love of working with people – not to mention ballroom dancing – helps Victoria make Midland real estate appear to be a smooth waltz.

To learn more about Victoria Printz, visit, email or call 432.683.1000 www.

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5 Reasons Why You Need a Mentor As great as it might feel to start your own business, and be solely responsible for its success, at some point, every entrepreneur reaches the limit of their potential, and needs a boost that only experience can provide. But how do you get a lifetime of experience when you’re just starting out? Sure you can read countless books, but no book can replace the real life experience and advice of a mentor. Mentors not only provides valuable insights, but they also have access to valuable connections as well. In fact a majority of the Top Agent Magazine

most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs in the country have said that having a mentor early on was instrumental in their success. Here are some of the reasons why.

1. They’re able to see where you need improvement, when you can’t When you’re working non-stop to get your business off the ground, you might feel sensitive to any criticism from people who aren’t going through what you are. A good

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mentor knows exactly what you’re going though, and has probably made every mistake. When you’re in the thick of it, you might not be able to see where the problems are. A knowledgeable outsider, who knows exactly where you’re at and has only your best interests at heart is just what you need. When you have a trusting relationship with someone like that, you will be more willing to listen to that brutal honesty, even if that constructive criticism stings.

energy into it. They can see things in a completely logical way and guide you based on the facts rather than emotion. A good mentor helps you work smarter, not harder. They help you focus on your goals and how to get there, as well as setting boundaries for you so you don’t overextend yourself. They teach you how to say no and help you let go when you need to move on from a setback.

2. They will encourage you to think outside of the box

In addition to expertise, building a strong network is something that can only come with time. A mentor will most likely have that already, giving you access to people and resources that would take others years to gain. These connections will lead to opportunities that might never have happened otherwise. It’s also a great confidence boost knowing that your mentor trusts and believes in you enough to invite you into their inner circle.

Years of experience can give someone a great idea of what works and what doesn’t. They’ve seen things first hand, not just in theory. At the same time, mentors recognize the importance of taking chances, calculating risks, as well as cutting losses and moving on. A good mentor isn’t trying to encourage you to be a carbon copy of them, they are trying to create the best ‘you’ possible. That includes encouraging you to take chances, and then being there pushing you to keep going forward if it doesn’t work out. A good mentor knows that even failures can be opportunities.

3. They take the emotion out of decisions and help set boundaries Unlike you, a mentor has no emotional investment in certain business approaches that you might have decided to try. There’s nothing harder than admitting something isn’t working when you’ve put a lot of time and 14

4. Networking

5. Encouragement At the heart or it all, a mentor offers you encouragement and motivation along the way, in good times and in bad. After a failure, it can be hard to get back on track and keep forging ahead. It helps to have someone who has spent year getting back up after being known down and coming out stronger than ever. It’s during those moments, when you feel alone and isolated, that having someone around offering you advice and positive feedback will be a much needed salve. They’re your cheerleader, they want you to succeed, and hopefully, you’ll pay it forward one day when you become as successful as them.

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JULIA WANG Not only does Julia build strong relationships with her clients, she maintains them long after the active transaction. She holds creative client appreciation events throughout the year and stays in their lives via social media, where she has an active presence.

Julia Wang grew up around the real estate industry. Her dad was a Broker, and she was always intrigued by the business. After she and her husband had bought and sold several properties, Julia decided to get her license, just for personal use, but she quickly fell in love. “It catapulted me into the career that is now my passion. That was in 2015, and it’s been a great ride ever since.”

Another way Julia stands out in her marketplace is that she always stays ahead of curve when it comes to utilizing the latest technologies, which gives her clients a distinct advantage. “Before I was in real estate, I was a marketing consultant for large corporations. So I really understand how to use social media, how to brand myself on those platforms and utilize them to their maximum advantage. Every aspect of my business is automated, so transactions are effective and efficient. I’m also constantly looking for the latest in industry innovations and always fine-tuning my systems and processes. My marketing has been very effective and I have the results to prove it.”

Julia quickly become a rising star in the industry, and was recognized by the Houston Association of Realtors® as one of the ‘20 Under 40’ Rising Stars in Real Estate for 2017. She is a top-producing Realtor® at Nan & Company Properties. Julia serves all of the Greater Houston area, and has recently begun specializing in luxury properties. Key to her her rapid success is her hands on approach to sales, and her determination to provides a level of customer service that is truly unparalleled.

Julia is active in her community, in particular with the schools that her two young children attend. Through her brokerage, she participates in several charitable events throughout the year, including an annual toy drive for underprivileged children. When she isnt working, Julia and her family love to travel and see the world.

Even though she has been in the business just three years, Julia has already earned an impressive rate of referral business. This year, every one of her transactions was referral business. “I take great pride in that. There’s no better way to know you’ve done a good job for people than when they feel confident enough to recommend you to their friends and family. Because of my hand on approach, I become close to my clients. I want to work with people that I can build trust with. I’ve turned down deals that would have earned me a lot of money because i don’t’ feel right about it. It’s really not about money for me. It’s about helping people achieve their real estate goals.”

Julia couldn’t be more thrilled with where she is in her career and is considering growing her team in the future. “I definitely want to bring someone on, so I’m looking for a professional who shares my philosophy on how this business should be done and my strong work ethic. I put my all into every deal, no matter the price. This career really fulfills the humanitarian side I have, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

To learn more about Julia Wang, call 713.714.6454, email or visit www.


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Are You Doing Business As YOU On Facebook? Are you ‘Doing Business As YOU’ on your personal Facebook page? In other words, are you posting your business content from your personal page? Yesterday a REALTOR® asked us, “Why should I bother with a company Facebook page? Can’t I just post everything from my profile page?” The answer lies in what we call division of content. As you may be aware, social media began as just that… social. It was never truly intended for business use. Over time, as businesses began to see the potential in reaching the masses in a new way, they began to intrude on this communication. Today, it is widely accepted that business will be conducted on all social platforms, but the manner in which we do so (and in which we are received) is still a touchy subject at times. We believe it’s important to be transparent on social media. Draw the line between communicating as the Person and the Professional. Not only does this help you keep your content separate and appropriate, it also gives the control to your network of family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and customers. They get to decide whether to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your company page. They get to decide whether they want to see your business related posts. User control is the #1 reason you need a business page if you’re conducting business on Facebook. Wouldn’t you rather have a willing and engaged audience over a forced, potentially reluctant one? We have personally eliminated many of the ‘DBA’ offenders from our news feeds and you have likely done the same.

As in all controversial social media topics, there is some gray area. And that gray area is often subjective, so consider this post food for thought and decide for yourself. We try our best to keep professional content on our business pages, with a couple of exceptions: 1. Philanthropic Promotion: We’re in favor of posting anything that will help an organization in need on both your personal and business pages. Nonprofits often have little to no marketing budget and rely on all of us to promote their good works, so we believe that’s a good line to cross (as long as it’s about the organization, and not you). 2. Recognition Tagging: Facebook does not allow you to tag an individual on your business page. Yes, there are some tricky work-arounds, but they are inconsistent at best. So when it’s truly important for us to recognize and tag an individual, especially someone who has done something nice for us (inviting us as guests on their radio show or podcast, for instance), we will generally post that on the business page first, then share it from our personal pages, along with a comment recognizing and tagging the individual(s) or business who helped us. Either way (personal or business), remember to be true to the social aspect. Our participation on social media should be about giving, helping, recognizing and connecting…especially when it comes to your business.

Tonya Eberhart is the Branding Agent to Business Stars and founder of BrandFace®, LLC. Michael Carr is America’s Top Selling Real Estate Auctioneer & BrandFace® partner. Together, they focus on personal branding and marketing designed to help real estate professionals become the face of their business & a star in their market. BrandFace® for Real Estate Professionals is a book, professional speaking series and an exclusive workshop for agents, and is currently active in 18 U.S. states, Canada and New Zealand. For more information, visit Top Agent Magazine

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Business Growth Hack: Absorb Your Clients’ Stress! Your business coach or a CRM software sales rep has probably described a number of products or services to help you grow your business. But sometimes the easiest way to increase the deals you’re closing is to simply be present for your clients. In doing so, you’ll find have the power to decrease the stress they feel. And when you decrease their stress, you increase your value to them, leading to new referrals and organic growth. Top Agent Magazine

You may be thinking, “I have enough stress; how can I find the emotional bandwidth for other people’s stress?” But consider this: As their day-to-day point of contact in this life decision, you are already a strong presence in your client’s lives. Why not allow yourself to be the only seemingly calm part of this process? By asking them what’s on their mind, by truly listening, by showing that you truly understand and even by rolling up

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your sleeves to relieve some of their grunt work, you’ll prove yourself invaluable. Think of yourself as the equivalent of an anti-anxiety pill to your clients. All you have to do is form a few easy habits.

Laura and Raj, their agent and their loan officer soon came to learn that Laura’s 80-year-old mother may eventually move in with the family. This news not only helped the agent best meet Laura’s and Raj’s needs for a new home; it gave both the agent and the loan officer opportunities to go above and beyond for their clients. Their REALTOR® connected Laura with a senior services nonprofit near Laura’s mom’s current home that may be able to assist the family. And their loan officer outlined various, detailed options to Laura and Raj make smart, long-term financial decisions. Meanwhile, the agent and loan officer earned the trust of Laura and Raj, who felt less worried about the future.

Listen – really listen – with patience Behind every home purchase or sale is a person or a family with a uniquely complex set of needs, motivations, objectives and priorities. Asking the right questions and truly listening to the answers are the easiest ways to learn how to make clients’ lives easier. In doing so, you not only show that you’re interested in them as people, but you help yourself discover ways to surprise your clients with service. Take “Laura and Raj,” for instance – a couple in their 30s who wanted a larger home because their family of five outgrew their first home. By patiently getting to know 20

Empathize Don’t be afraid to describe your own personal experiences as a homebuyer or seller, explaining how you felt at the time; let your client know you “get” it. The agent who is willing to open up and let buyers and

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sellers know that they personally understand their needs and concerns will connect with clients quickly, break down barriers and help the process move smoothly. Chayan Alavi, Broker/Owner of Alavi Agency in Long Beach, California, challenges himself and his team to ensure that every action of every day serves others. “If we can put ourselves in other people’s shoes with empathy, then we become stellar professionals and great human beings, too,” he says. “I like knowing that we remove the sales pitch from real estate and make it all about the customer.” Chayan and his team focus on customer advocacy and building trust. But they don’t take trust for granted. Instead, they know trust must be earned and nurtured over time.

Roll up your sleeves “You can’t be afraid to do anything!” says Matthew Todd of d’aprile properties in the Chicago area. “People know there’s nothing I won’t do to get the job done.” He has Top Agent Magazine

mowed clients’ lawns, walked dogs and personally cleaned someone’s 8,000-squarefoot, $2 million home for a showing one day after his seller left the house. Two days before another closing, Matthew’s client was unable to move large amounts of unneeded furniture out of the house he sold. No problem! Matthew joined or created five online garage sales; sold or gave away most of the client’s belongings and had the remainder hauled away before cleaning in time for the closing. “The first time I sit with a seller on listing presentation or the first day I take someone on a buyer’s tour, they know I’m ‘all-in.’” Meanwhile, in the Cincinnati area, Aaron Denton of Summit Funding considers himself and his team members to be concierges for their borrowers. “We’re like personal assistants,” says Aaron. “People are happier when you remove the stress.” Included in their standard services are researching moving quotes; arranging and organizing movein day; scheduling utility transfers; assisting with children’s school registration paperwork; and even connecting buyers with local resources like daycares. If “rolling up your sleeves” isn’t your strongest skill, then an easy alternative is to get to know professionals in your area who can do these tasks for you. In the end, remember that by listening with patience, empathizing, and being willing to go the extra mile, you have the power to remove the stress your clients would experience without your help. When clients feel cared for, they remember the agents and partners who helped them.

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7 Simple Tips that are Proven to Help You Stay Ahead of the Competition So you’ve created a successful business, congratulations! You probably did it by providing an unsurpassed level of customer service that not only meets customer expectations but exceeds them in a way that has made you stand out from the rest. As anyone can tell you, starting a successful business is not easy. Now comes the even harder part. Not only sustaining that high level of performance, but continuing to grow and outpace the competition. There is no resting on your laurels in a competitive business market. Companies that stay successful for the longterm, make an active effort to keep on top. Here are just a few ways you can do the same. 22

1. Know the competition It’s not enough to know what you excel at or what makes you unique, you need to know what your competitors are offering that makes them stand out. This serves two purposes: it will allow you to more clearly define your differences, or it may help you identify an area that you hadn’t considered before, opening up a potentially new way in which you can excel above the rest.

2. Know your customers You might know your clientele very well, but as economic conditions change, so does your

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customer’s needs. What might have been a priority a year ago, won’t be if we are in the midst of an economic downturn, for example. As a business owner you should always be evaluating your strategies in every area constantly, knowing what your customer wants and needs from you is key. In fact you should be using your expertise to analyze potential market changes and anticipate those needs to stay ahead of the curve.

3. Have a strong understanding on what makes you unique Once you accomplish the first two, you should have a clear idea of what unique advantage you offer people. This needs to be clear to everyone, so you can then take that idea and run with it. Find your niche and then market yourself with a focus on that idea. If you have a clear thing you’re selling, it is well worth the investment to market yourself to the hilt with that in mind.

5. Think like your competitors One way your competitors looks to gain customers is by potentially taking yours. It goes without saying, you don’t want to let that happen. You’ve probably built great relationships, so really maintain those relationships by not only providing great service, but service that truly goes above and beyond. Find ways to give more to your customers. You might even want to start offering surveys, where your clients can tell you exactly what they’d like to see.This makes your clients not only feel heard, but blown away when you implement any changes they suggest.

6. Look for untapped markets Don’t settle for maintaining what you have, there could be untapped markets out there. If you don’t get to them, your competitors will. So even if they come eventually, hopefully you’ll already be the dominate force in that market.

4. Keep up to date

7. Be a great boss

This goes for everything from technology to systems, marketing, and even your own personal image. If you have a brick and mortar location, you want to also keep things looking fresh and modern there, as well. First impressions are important for a reason. Everything about your business should tie into your marketing and branding. What are you selling and does everything line up to support that, from your business cards to your social media pages. Remember the key to branding and marketing is a consistent message.

One of the best things you can do to keep ahead of the rest, is by being a company where top talent and motivated newcomers want to be. Be the company that offers more than a competitive paycheck. Be a place that fosters talent, and offers scheduling and compensations packages that appeal more to people who think outside of the box. This will attract more innovative thinkers who value flexibility. Not only will you benefit from their talents, more importantly, your competition won’t.

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