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The HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Teaches Agents How to Revamp Their Business

October 16 2012

agent makeover groupIt's been a rough few years for real estate, particularly for agents. In 2011, NAR reported REALTORĀ® membership declined over 20% in the wake of the economic crash, indicating that many professionals have been forced to leave the industry for other fields.

With this in mind, HomeFinder.com created the HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Sweepstakes. Almost 10,000 real estate agents entered for a chance to win a business and style makeover. "The volume of entries no doubt highlights a hunger on the part of real estate professionals to grow and learn as we prepare for the next wave in real estate," said Doug Breaker, CEO, HomeFinder.com.

Last month, five lucky winners flew to Chicago for a chance to remake both their online and offline business image. They were treated to four educational sessions designed to help them improve their real estate business, as well as a wardrobe and style makeover.

"We succeeded at providing a unique educational experience for five agents," said Breaker. "We want the chance to offer all of the real estate agents in our space insight into the best practices and expert knowledge."

HomeFinder.com has made a video series of these educational sessionsvideo series of these educational sessions available to all real estate agents. Now you, too, can learn how to makeover your business.

Looking Ahead to 2013

The five winning agents began their journey with business coach, Michael Lindstrom. Lindstrom stressed the importance of overcoming limiting beliefs--largely brought on by the housing crisis--by educating real estate consumers.

He also offered the agents three initiatives to embrace in 2013 for success:

  • Commit to learning the next thing. Embrace technology. Make a promise to yourself to learn something new about technology every week, and integrate it into your business.
  • Be a giver. Give back to your clients, your marketplace, and your community. Contribution and abundance are powerful places to come from.
  • Identify people within your marketplace you can model. Lower your pride and reach out to successful individuals you want to learn from. Start off simply by asking how they run their business. Each year, aim to model 1-3 people you admire.

Click here to view the video.Click here to view the video.

The Importance of SEO and Single Property Websites

agent makeover learningDay one of the makeover process included two educational sessions; the first with Mark Tepper, SVP of Sales and Marketing, HomeFinder.com. Tepper explained the many benefits of Single Property Websites--from impressing sellers and winning listings to dramatically improving your website's SEO.

For a more in-depth look into how Single Property Websites can be an asset to both you and your seller, see our coverage of HomeFinder.com's video. To view the original video, click hereclick here.

The second session was with Doug Breaker, CEO, HomeFinder.com. Breaker explained the importance of search engine optimization and offered the agents three steps to improving their websites' SEO:

  1. Find out what people are searching for
  2. Tell Google that you want to rank for those terms
  3. Have others tell Google that you want to rank for those terms

To learn more, read our article, 3 Simple Steps to Better SEO. To view the original video, click hereclick here.


Be the agent everyone wants to work with

After lunch, the five agents took a limo to Nordstrom for a wardrobe makeover. "If you want to be successful, dress successful and show your best self," said winner Kalen Raynor owner of Ponquogue Point Properties, Inc. (Hampton Bays, NY). "I now see the value in dressing the part, as well as being knowledgeable about the real estate market."

agent makeover amandaArmed with new outfits, the next stop for the agents was a networking dinner with Amanda McMillan, CEO, Chicago Home Partner. McMillan emphasized the importance of finding a balance between using technology and implementing a personal touch.

Facebook, for example, can be a great client relationship manager. It helps you know what's happening in your client's lives --birthdays, marriages, births--and gives you the tools to reach out.

However, the more advanced our communication technology becomes, the greater the need for personal contact. Instead of tweeting, emailing, or messaging your clients, use what you've learned on social media to connect via phone or in person. When you communicate only on a tech level, you lose the inflection, compassion, and ability to be understood.

When it comes to technology, focus on what works best for you. Set out to master just a few tech tools and use them brilliantly, rather than implementing several solutions mediocrely.

View the video for more advice from Amanda McMillanAmanda McMillan.

agent makeover style

Look successful to be successful

The agents began their final day with a hair and makeup overhaul that let their unique personalities shine. See what they learned from Michael Anthony, owner of Michael Anthony Salon Spa in the video, When Your Personal Style Becomes a Professional DistractionWhen Your Personal Style Becomes a Professional Distraction.


The winners' experience concluded with a photo shoot, courtesy of We Are the Barkers. Kristen Barker, owner of We Are the Barkers, highlighted the importance of taking professional headshots, which is a potential client's first introduction to you. To learn more about the crucial role photography plays in real estate, view the video, How agents can use photography to establish their brandHow agents can use photography to establish their brand.

Having successfully completed their business and style makeover, the agents reflected on what they learned. "The HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Sweepstakes experience was completely awesome! Not only did I leave with valuable tools, advice and resources to further enhance my practice, but I also left now knowing four other wonderful real estate colleagues," said winner Jaclyn Erwin, owner of Jackson Erwin Realty.

See the agents' transformation for yourself with the before and after pictures below.

Before:

agent makeover before

After:

agent makeover after

Next Steps

Other articles of interest: Top Producer IDX | Consumer 2.0: The Empowered User