Get creative with your “thank you”

People are weird. We can sing the alphabet, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and probably even spout off several quotes from our favorite movies. But, we find it incredibly difficult to say two little words: thank you. It's not that we don't want to say thanks, we often have a hard time figuring out how to say it. How can we show the depth of our gratitude with two simple little words? If someone gives us a referral that leads to the sale of a home, how can a quick “thank you” suffice?

We know that finding the best way to say thanks can be hard. So, we've thought of a few ways to creatively and genuinely communicate your gratitude.

  • Make a phone call. Taking a few minutes of your time to make a phone call with no ulterior sales motive will encourage people to answer the phone when they see your number.
  • Write a personalized “thank you” letter and mail it to their home address.
  • Invite them to lunch or coffee and enjoy just catching up. No business talk allowed.
  • Offer to take care of a chore they may need help with, such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves or hanging up holiday lights.
  • Share inspirational books, music or podcasts with your friends that will brighten their day.
  • Prepare a meal and deliver to their door during a busy and/or stressful time. Make sure it's packaged to be frozen if they need to save it for a later date.
  • Build or craft something that they wouldn't expect, such as a personalized frame or wall hanging that you know fits their décor.
  • Book a massage to help them unwind.
  • Give a relaxing gift, such as a warm blanket, cozy socks or soft throw pillow. Don't forget the chamomile tea and eucalyptus candle.
  • Refer their business, products or services to your family and friends. Networking is a powerful way to express gratitude.

If you're still not sure, just tell your friends or loved ones how their actions made you feel. Whatever you do, be sure to acknowledge your thankfulness because as author G.B. Stern once said, “Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.”

3 Tech tools REALTORS® should consider

Technology is here to stay whether we know how to use it or not. Your past, present and future clients use social media platforms, smartphones and various other forms of technology to make their lives easier and more efficient.

So, don't get left in the dust! Check out these three tech tools that will put you ahead of the game by showcasing your skills and services to clients and by streamlining the way you do business.

  1. Matterport Pro2 3D Camera
    This camera makes virtual tours a breeze! With the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera, you can easily walk through a home and capture the 3D images to create a virtual tour for your clients. You can post the tour as an advertisement or use it as a tool to connect with buyers who are relocating and need a sneak peek. It's a great way for followers to check out your listings without leaving their screen.
  2. Evernote
    Forget lugging around a notebook, planner, portfolio, and pens. Evernote is a free note-taking tool that allows you to stay organized digitally, saving both time and money. Just download the app to your laptop and keep notes and information. You can take notes digitally, or easily convert your handwritten memos with a click of your camera. You'll love this space-saver! Plus, you won't have to deal with outdated Word documents anymore.
  3. CamScanner
    For the Realtor on-the-go, CamScanner is a great way to scan documents and email them quickly. This app allows you to take a picture of a document and turn it into a PDF that can be sent via email from your phone. You can easily send documents to clients who may be out-of-town, and you'll save time making trips back and forth between buyers and sellers.

5 Pro tips for farming your database

You've sold houses, built up your database, and have a large circle of connections. With a list of valid leads just sitting in a spreadsheet, it's time to start farming your database.

Usually when we talk about farming, we talk about consistently blitzing a neighborhood with marketing materials, so that homeowners come to know you as the real estate expert in that area. Farming your database is a little bit different. Instead of trying to turn up new leads from a potentially unreceptive neighborhood, you're nurturing relationships you've already built.

Here are a few tips and suggestions toward successfully farming your own database:

  1. Personalize your client's experience - As clichéd as it may seem, the phrase “it's the thought that counts” rings true here. Send newsletters in the mail or share articles over email and social media that appeal to your clients' personal tastes and interests. If a client loves to chat about the environment, email them the Living Green newsletter. If they love to entertain, forward them articles on how to throw the best backyard party, or drop them a recipe postcard.
  2. Follow Up - Go one step farther after you enroll clients in a newsletter program, and recontact them personally about the content they receive. Text or call them, and ask if they saw that particular article that you thought might be of interest. Just a personal note  can go a long way toward making your clients feel special, such as, “This feature about the best dog treats for your new puppy made me think of you! Hope you find it interesting!”
  3. Remember important dates - Keep track of important dates and anniversaries in your database. The date clients buy their home, family birthdays, marriage anniversaries, and holidays are all great opportunities to recontact your clients. Reach out to clients with a personal message on these special dates to let them know you care.
  4. Stay in touch regularly - Your clients had a great experience, but if you don't keep in touch, eventually they're going to forget your name and contact information. They may even wonder if you're still in business. Engaging with your client database will help you stay relevant and up-to-date on the latest happenings in their lives. Knowing how the people in your database are doing will give you an edge when they are ready for a change of address.
  5. Be a friend - Don't be the annoying, pushy salesperson. Check in at times when it makes sense in order to show you care about building a relationship. Pushing your new listings and badgering your clients could send them running. Know when to step back, but don't be afraid to engage in conversations that aren't centered around business. People want to feel you are genuine and trustworthy, so they can confidently recommend you to friends and loved ones.

When it's OK to say "No"

Do you ever look at your calendar to find you've double-booked yourself? Is it hard to tell someone “no” because you hate disappointing people? Are you finding it difficult to find time to complete necessary tasks like laundry and sleeping because you're so busy? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, keep reading. We're going to help you learn to say “no” without guilt.

First, you have to stop associating the word “no” with the feeling of failure or letting someone down. Over-committing yourself means that you won't be able to give your best effort. You can schedule five client meetings and do them all half-heartedly, or you can commit to two and do them both well. We all have limited energy, and if you're spread too thin, you'll waste that precious energy just trying to get from point A to point B.

American poet Maya Angelou once said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is true about saying “no.” It's all about how you say it. Explaining why you can't help someone lets him or her know that you care enough to want to help, but you just aren't available. Most people are understanding and will appreciate that you took the time to explain. Keep in mind, people may follow up your explanation with other pleas aimed at changing your “no” to a “yes.”Be polite but firm with your answer.

Schedule time for yourself. You know what you have to do to be successful. Eating, sleeping, exercising, completing personal tasks/errands, and spending time with loved ones are all necessary. Write these on your calendar like you would a showing or an open house. Know that you cannot double-book these time slots because you are already busy. Providing yourself with the time you need to get things done helps avoid stress and gives you time to breathe.

Remember that you are just one person, and you won't ever be able to do it all. Do what you can with the time you have available, and don't worry about the rest of the tasks you can't tackle. Take solace in the fact that doing your best is enough.