Building Trust with your Clients


With trust, Realtors® become confidants, motivators, helpers, and friends. Implementing effective trust techniques takes practice. Try some of the following trust-building tips to strengthen your relationship with your prospects and clients:

Look for barriers. Things like stress, body language, and focus can all be hindrances with trust building.

  • Never multitask during a conversation. Focus on and directly engage with clients to show your undivided attention.
  • Body language shouldn’t be closed off or contradict what you’re saying. This confuses, rather than confirms trust. Keep arms and legs uncrossed, maintain eye contact, and don’t clench your fists.

Engage. An engaged listener is an engaged Realtor®. Being fully in tune with clients reinforces a personal connection.

  • Focus on what clients are saying and how they’re saying it. Also pay attention to cues in their body language.
  • Never interrupt or redirect a conversation. Let the speaker continue until finished and then pose questions or offer suggestions.

Avoid conflict. Don’t make clients feel threatened or stressed.

  • Compromising is fundamental to building trust. Have backup plans ready for clients.
  • Use humor to defuse tense situations.

Think Positive. Positive affirmation can help the client work through insecurities, uncertainties and frustrations.

  • Show positive feedback to encourage clients to be more engaged with you. Smile, nod your head in agreement and watch your tone of voice.
  • Focus conversation around things your clients like rather than what they dislike.

Be Assertive. Assertiveness, not combativeness, means knowing yourself and your clients.

  • Explain thoroughly and concisely, and stick to your point while retaining a sense of empathy.
  • According to Harvard Health, showing empathetic assertion demonstrates sensitivity. Recognizing clients’ wants, but still being politely assertive demonstrates an ability to hold the clients’ best interests at heart while showing viable options or alternatives.

Follow these points to leave a lasting, positive impression with your clients that will lead to long-term relationships.

Social Media Buzz: Instagram for Realtors®


Social media passed 600 million users last year and is still on the rise. For relationship-based Realtors, this makes Instagram another platform you can use to connect with your audience.

Instagram users look for aesthetically pleasing images that are personalized in a way that connects them to larger groups of people. Keeping your account fun, informative and interactive encourages clients and prospects to stay connected. Use these tips to get started.

Profile. Introduce yourself to your audience with a short description of yourself. This is the only place on Instagram you’ll be able to link back to your website.

Hashtags. Hashtags are a collective organizing system on social media using the pound sign (#) before a word or phrase. People can search hashtags to find posts relevant to the content they are looking for. Make sure your hashtags are relevant, and only use a few in the description. To make your post show up in more places, comment on your own post with a list of hashtags to keep from cluttering the caption. Some popular Instagram real estate hashtags to put in the description box include #realtor, #realestate, #realestateagent, #realtorlife, and #realestatelife.


Videos. Record and post videos of property walk-throughs from your phone (up to 60 seconds long). Point out features of particular interest focusing on things that may be hard to see in typical online photos. Use Instagram’s Live Video function to make important announcements or provide insider information that would otherwise be inaccessible. Caution: live videos are not stored and will be removed the moment the broadcast ends.



Instagram Stories. Your story allows for a collection of photos or videos to be stored in sequential order for easier viewing. Use your story to string together pictures and video clips of properties that would otherwise clog up news feeds. These disappear in 24 hours. Think of story clips as information that would be of special interest to your clients who are on the lookout for your updates already.

Comments. Interact directly with your audience in the comments. To respond back to a client, use @username to tag that user. Keep up with your notifications, so you don’t miss opportunities to connect with people who are using Instagram to communicate with you.


Chat. Send text or photos over chat in private messages to clients you are already connected with. This allows for a certain amount of privacy between Realtor® and client.

Tags. Using @username in a photo or video description will automatically alert an organization, company or client that they have been referenced in your post. Use tags to give a “shout out” to various industry players including designers, landscapers, manufacturers, or contractors. Tags will put your post in front of a wider, relevant audience and help build relationships with more people in the housing industry.

9 Reasons Print Newsletters Work


Print media is not dead! Especially print that is personal, colorful and delivered right to a mailbox. In fact, 67 percent of people report that physical mail is more personal than electronic, and 55 percent say they look forward to getting their mail every day, according to a 2015 Compu-Mail report.

So why choose print newsletters as a form of marketing? It's easy:

  • Print materials are saved much longer than emails. They have better retention rates in households and increased chances of being read by others in the home.
  • Print newsletters are not restricted to electronic file size like enewsletters. More images can be added allowing more freedom and creativity to be shown.
  • Print materials can be more appealing to the eye immediately. When a well-designed, colorful piece of mail shows up in a mailbox, it’s hard not to look. When it shows up as a black-and-white subject line in an email inbox, it’s easy to ignore.
  • Physical mail gets delivered whereas enewsletters might be deleted instantly, put in spam folders or get blocked by the email provider.
  • Print newsletters are more personal. People like seeing their name on a piece of mail. Note: Be careful to double-check the spelling of your clients’ names. Nothing will turn them off faster than getting their name wrong.
  • Print materials are generally considered to be more legitimate or trustworthy. This is found to be true for all age groups.
  • Think people over 65 are the only ones reading physical mail? Not true! In 2016, a study from InfoTrends reported that millennials are the most likely to read physical mail. Further, 92 percent of millennials indicated that they are influenced in purchasing decisions based on direct marketing rather than email.
  • Print materials send a message that companies care about their clients. When surveyed, people responded saying that personalized print materials are more strongly received than email because they acknowledge that companies spend their own time and money to design and send out physical mailings.
  • Print media does not mean electronic media is out. Add URLs or social media logos to advertise an online presence. QR codes are also an option and can be used to link to websites, social media sites, or other online information.

Personal marketing through print media is anything but dead! It’s thriving and well-established. When considering how to best market to prospects and clients, print newsletters truly are a proven success.

REALTOR® Resources: Webinars, Seminars, Podcasts


The real estate industry is constantly evolving and changing. The best agents will evolve with it. That means staying educated on the market, keeping up with marketing trends and finding new ways to connect with your clients.

In an age of information-overload, the hard part of keeping current is not finding resources, it’s finding good resources.

Here are a few resources for webinars, seminars and podcasts with reputations of delivering reliable information to help you stay in the know and grow your business.

Webinars

  • The National Association of REALTORS'® REALTOR® Mag has an archive of popular webinars offered by real estate and finance experts.
  • Inman.com posts occasional educational webinars for agents on topics such as using Facebook to build business, landing referrals, and getting the most value from advertisements.
  • REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR) has webinars listed all the way out until December 2017 on topics such as perfecting pricing, buyers’ demands and long-term real estate investments.

Seminars

  • The National Association of REALTORS® sponsors the Professional Standards Education Seminar that “delivers a variety of participatory exercises and role-plays to give hands-on experience to attendees.”
  • The REALTORS® Conference & Expo “offer[s] focused, practical and timely information, presented by knowledgeable, professional individuals.”
  • The 2017 NAR Leadership Summit “brings the chief staff executives of state and local associations, together with their Presidents-Elect, to an event that translates into multiple opportunities to make lasting connections in the REALTOR® association community.”

Podcasts

  • Wright Brothers INC. host the Modern American Realtor® podcast which “is aimed at uncovering the marketing, technology, and business strategies needed to compete in the current real estate landscape.”
  • Bigger Pockets Podcast features Joshua Dorkin and Brandon Turner in a weekly podcast aimed at both “novice and experienced real estate investors” that focuses on “top notch educational content and interviews.”
  • Real Estate Radio LIVE is hosted by a team of real estate and finance professionals who aim to bring the most up-to-date knowledge and information to their audience. So far, they have completed nearly 700 expert guest interviews and are still going strong.

These are just a handful of a multitude of resources available for agents, many of them are free. Before signing up for a paid webinar, seminar or other resource, always check reviews on a third-party website to avoid falling victim of a scam.

Healthy Habits for the Highly Stressed


Realtors wear many hats. They are administrators, socialites, motivators, sellers, guides, and educators to name a few. Finding the time to focus on taking care of yourself is hard to do. Fortunately, treating yourself does not have to be extremely time consuming or expensive.

Start here:

Meditation. According to the American Heart Association, meditation has the power to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease through reducing stress, heart rate and blood pressure. Other studies report that meditation in and out of the work place enhances confidence, immune systems and overall happiness. The best part? Even 5-10 minutes of meditation in your office or over your lunch break can be effective.

Nesting. “Nesting at home is the new going out,” according to WellAndGood.com. Organize and declutter your living space and make it a place you can relax. Set aside time to do things you enjoy within the walls of your own home.

Office gardening. Working in an office or at a cubicle can be strenuous, especially for long hours. Bringing a little nature indoors can help. Terrariums, tiny gardens encased in glass or clear plastic containers, are back in style and easy to maintain. According to researchers at Texas A&M University, “keeping ornamental plants in the home and in the workplace increases memory retention and concentration.”

Minimalism. Cut down on unnecessary “things” crowding your life. Decluttering the corners of your office and recesses of your home can be a big stress relief. If your schedule is out of control, cut back on your social commitments and extra-curricular activities to give yourself time to breathe.

Take some time to improve yourself and your quality of life, and the positive results just might show up in your work.

Ditch “Transactions,” Be Relationship-Based


Realtors® fall into one of two categories: relationship-based, or transaction-based. The difference is, clients *want* to work with one type, and run from the other. According to our own data, only about 11 percent of clients will use the same Realtor® to sell their house as they used to buy it.

That’s sad.

When Realtors® send regular newsletters to their clients after they close a deal, that same number increases to about 17 percent. Think what could happen if you fostered that relationship even more.

It’s time to stop being a transaction-based Realtor®. Instead, invest in building relationships and watch the referrals and recurring clients roll in.

Habits of a transaction-based agent (a.k.a. what not to do):

  • Drops all communication once the home-buying process is complete.
  • Is closed off, rarely available, hard to reach.
  • Holds strict and narrow contact hours and refuses to communicate through creative channels like social media.
  • Asks pointed and leading questions that steer clients into looking at homes that are over budget or do not match up with their wish list.
  • Knows only generic and basic information about clients, their families, their lives, and their dreams.
  • Gives up on pickier clients or indecisive clients, or tries to talk clients into houses they are not excited about.
  • Hinges conversations around numbers.

Habits of a relationship-based agent:

  • Contacts and follows up with clients throughout the entire process, including after a purchase is made.
  • Gets to know clients on a personal level.
  • Communicates through channels and at times that is convenient for the client.
  • Listens more than he or she speaks.
  • Builds trust.
  • Allows clients to steer the conversation and responds with appropriate ideas and suggestions.
  • Interprets clients' desires by asking thoughtful questions.
  • Takes note of clients’ personal style as it pertains to a home, and guides with that in mind.
  • Keeps a positive attitude.
  • Never rushes through the process of home buying, even with picky or challenging clients.

Social Media Buzz: Pinterest for Realtors


Pinterest is not just a digital catalog for the super crafty, or for the aspiring cooks among us. With more than 100 million active users, Pinterest has risen as an optimal marketing platform for people and brands to reach and grow their audience. Real estate is no exception.

Buyers look to Pinterest for home styles, trends and décor. Keeping an active Pinterest account will keep your customers and prospects dreaming bigger, and staying connected to you as they start to think about what their future home could look like.

There are several ways to use Pinterest to reach the real estate market:

  • Create a personal account and start organizing information through specialized boards.
  • Build out your boards using very high quality visuals. Add your own original images, and download the Pinterest browser button so you can quickly pin items you come across on the web. Continually add and update so that your content stays fresh.
  • When you pin, always change the description so that you’re writing to your audience in your own voice. Use broad hashtags to make sure your pins are showing up in searches, but add your own unique hashtags that your audience will learn to associate with you.
  • Add buyers as followers so they can chat with you. This way your clients can send pins directly to you, simultaneously building a visual archive of their personal tastes and a healthy client/Realtor relationship.
  • Embed links into your pins that direct followers back to your personal website or to an actual house listing.
  • Build a portfolio of property listings by creating boards for specific locations or subdivisions, types of houses, etc.
  • Remember: Pinterest users look for stylish, manicured and trendy ideas. Marketing directly to them is essential in presenting real estate.

Pinterest is great to have because it keeps a Realtor’s portfolio organized in an interactive way. Linking Pinterest on personal websites or having a Pinterest URL on a business card can allow buyers to instantly see what you bring to the table.

Communication is Key


Great real estate professionals are great communicators. It’s as simple as that. No matter how busy you get, what time of year it is, or how responsive your client may be – there is no excuse for failure to communicate.

How do you foster great communication?

  1. Communicate in the way that is easiest for each client. Be willing to chat via email, text message or phone call based on their preferred method.
  2. Send updates. Silence can make clients feel ignored. Do not let too much time pass before you offer new information, even if that update seems insignificant or repetitive.
  3. Listen. More than half of communicating is listening. Make sure you are doing more listening than speaking in conversations with your clients. Never talk over them or participate in a conversation without asking thoughtful questions.
  4. Be respectful of your client’s time. Learn the best time to reach your clients so you are not interrupting them at work or during meals. Reserve phone calls that risk interruption for only the most critical conversations. We know that clients do not always have the same respect for their real estate agent’s time, but a little patience will go a long way.