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Go Full Monty in Real Estate and Sell More Homes

October 23 2012

"Time and money spent in helping men to do more for themselves is far better than mere giving." –Tim Sanders

homefinder amanda mcIn 2004, I had the privilege of seeing Tim Sanders give the keynote speech at the Prudential Real Estate conference and it changed my outlook on business forever. Just a couple of years into the real estate business, I ran out and bought his latest book, Love the Killer App, which spoke of bettering ourselves by giving more to others – not just in a charitable sense, but also in a personal and professional sense. If we can lead those surrounding us to paths of success, then success will find us as well.

So, when HomeFinder.com asked me to share my real estate industry successesindustry successes with the five winners of the HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Sweepstakes, the answer was absolutely, without a doubt, yes.

If I could get just one message across to this fortunate group, it was to see the market through different eyes. So many agents in this day and age are just plain discouraged. In their minds, the number of sales are down, prices are down, buyers are difficult, sellers are unrealistic and deals are falling apart – if they ever come together at all. Sound familiar?

As the real estate world was crumbling around us, I made a decision to look at it through a different set of eyes. The landscape HAD gotten tougher, and I believed that subsequently the consumers needed the best possible version of me. I needed to become smarter, more strategic, a better communicator, more compassionate... just simply better. When I worked to achieve this, the results were amazing. When done successfully during adverse conditions, people believe in what you are doing. And belief breeds success.

So perhaps it's time to put on the "slightly" rose-colored lenses and realize your clients need you to listen, educate and inform them. They are looking for a leader during times of uncertainty and the door is wide open.

Here are three relatively simple things that you can do to be more effective in your market.

1. Get Smart and Show It – Now more than ever, consumers are confused. The media says the sky is falling one day and prices are climbing the next. Consumers need their agent not only to be educated on what's happening out there, but also to be able to help articulate it in a manner they can understand. There are a ton of great avenues to pull data to use with your clients. Some of my favorites are Keeping Current Matters, Altos Research, Realist Tax and Agent Metrics. These tools will help you communicate with your clients to help them understand what's actually happening out there, and also to put them at ease that their agent is aware.

2. Be Social – When used properly, there are some very positive effects of using social media within the real estate businesses. That being said, they can also prove to be a major TIME SUCK. Just like any other type of marketing, make it a priority to have a plan and be effective. That plan should include the sites that work best for you, as well as your goal. My social media plan is to use it as my client relationship manager. I have a hard focus on Facebook (both a personal page and a business page) with a softer concentration on Twitter and LinkedIn. I have it broken down to how much time I commit to it each day. And, of course, I monitor the results.

3. Online Reviews – Definitely a sensitive subject for the real estate industry, but I am a huge fan of going Full Monty! I like all of my clients to know they have the ability to add to or take away from my professional reputation online – just with a few clicks of a button. That's a power to them and accountability to me. There are two different types of online reviews: controlled and free form.

  • I always suggest people starting in a more controlled environment like LinkedIn.com. On LinkedIn, you can request reviews from those that you are connected with, but can review it prior posting it on your profile. It's an easy and "safe" way to experiment with online reviews.
  • A site like Yelp.com would be considered a bigger risk when it comes to online reviews, and definitely falls into the "uncontrolled" arena. Anyone can post a review about you; whether a disgruntled client, the angry seller of a home where you represented a buyer on or an agent that felt mistreated in a transaction. The reality is that in order to really implement this type of reviews into your business, you need to be willing to walk the walk. Ask yourself, are you ready to be that good of an agent that there is not much left to be said in a poor fashion? If not, best to then to stick with a more controlled review.

So, equipped with my rose-colored glasses, online reviews, data junkie graphs and social media plan in hand, I am ready to take on 2013. Who's in?

To view the original article, visit the HomeFinder.com blogHomeFinder.com blog.