Monday, July 25, 2011

Connect with People as One of Your Priorities

Your business ultimately comes from people that know you. Though we are always juggling all our priorities, the most important aspect of our business is our clients and prospects. We have to find time to connect with them and build relationships.

The economy has taken a toll on just about everyone. We start our day wondering where our next prospect might be hiding and if our transactions on the books will ever close. And then add all the social media and technology that bombards us.

First of all, know that the search engine will not just find you another client. We all know that the agents in the business for the long haul grow their business from their sphere. Trying to find a prospect from the world wide web that will buy a house this month is like trying to win the lottery.

The challenge is how to connect with your sphere? That is where all the tools, referred to as social media, will help. Choose the ones that work for you and help you connect. Social media is here to stay in one form or another.

If you get a notice for a committee meeting, you might first think, "Can you just email me the information?" If a friend actually invites you to dinner, your first thought might be, "How can I get there in time with rush hour traffic?" If you are busy with the kids and the phone rings, you might think, "I hope they leave a message on the voice mail." We just don't get out and actually connect and talk to people as much as we used to. Technology has given us ways to make that connection and build relationships.

Choose three ways to connect with people. Don't worry about the search engines or an expensive website. Look at all your family, the clients you have had in the past, your friends, the neighbors, and club members. You need to create a better relationship with them. They need to know where you are and how to find you and whether you are still in the business! Use the free tools out there and create a conversation. Try to create a relationship and conversation that is not just based on real estate... it may not be their favorite topic right now!

Get yourself on facebook, build your connections and chat daily.
Start a couple blogs. Use free and easy templates like this one at blogspot, or Tumblr. Just think of a name and get going. Then post links to your blog on facebook and at the bottom of every email.
Think of a third way... sending notes, calling, having events, sending a newsletter, tweet on twitter, have a video blog on youtube, etc.

The time it takes to start something that simple is negligible. It is probably comparable to writing an ad for a homes magazine and a classified ad.

Don't worry about what all the techies out there promote. Don't try to buy your way into social media. Don't moan and groan about the time it takes.

Even though I pride myself in knowing about most of the latest tools, I have several blogs, I am at this computer constantly, I still don't get it all done. I don't take time to learn the new tools (like Google+), I forget to write in my blogs, and I just don't talk to enough of my prospects on a regular basis. I just wish business would come to me this Monday morning. But, I have to keep on my top three ways to market my business.

Just create conversation with your sphere. People will work with you as an agent if they know you, like you, and trust you. Find ways to get yourself connected online in simple and free ways.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Box of Good fortunes

Everyone can use some good fortune! So why limit yourself to one cookie at a Chinese restaurant? So I googled "Chinese Fortunes" and found hundreds on the internet. I changed many of them. I included only positive fortunes. After cutting and pasting in Word, I made them the same font and size. For those at work, I left the logo but for others I cut it off. Then I curl them like ribbon over the edge of a pen or a butter knife. They get stuffed in a chinese take out box available at Michaels or Paperzone.
What a great gift for a housewarming, birthday, celebration, just for fun or if someone needs good fortune to come their way.
Here is a link to the dropbox public folder with the info and the fortunes!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Oh NO! I waited til the last minute... just like you!

I waited until the very last minute! I couldn't sleep. Nothing else consumed my thoughts. I knew I shouldn't have waited so long. My heart was beating so hard! I was such a fool! Why did it put it off?

On May 5th last year I finished the US Coast Guard Masters Training course. It cost over $1200 and took months. I am a boater and I took the training to learn as much as possible. Maybe my boat will be a wedding chapel.. or I'll charge for trips. Who knows? The final exam was painful because it was so difficult. To get my Captains license I had to turn it in with an application and 10 other verifications and forms. Most of them complete from First Aid Training to a copy of my passport. A current drug test and fingerprints were also required. I had one full year to get the paperwork to the US Coast Guard to get my license. When did I get it in?... You guessed it. The day it was due... the deadline date! UGH!

All I could think about is that I am just like the real estate agents that contact me daily! Because I can relate to the desperate agents, I try to respond to them right away. I am fortunate my assistant, Sarah Jean is so great at following up with your emails!

I don't know why we procrastinate. We know we have to get something done by a certain date. It seems so basic that we can finish it within the time frame. But, it does seem to be human nature.

I had a couple speed bumps. I had to find the first aid card from the class I took. The lab sent my drug test results to someone else. My fingerprints were just impossible to document! Then I let those get in the way of finishing my paperwork.

But, this is no different than agents that lose their certificates or have to have fingerprints redone. (Evidently, about 30% of the real estate agents who get fingerprints have to have them retaken.)

So, I will continue to understand when you contact me needing your certificates right away because your license has to be renewed ASAP!

Share what you are up to! Do you blog? Volunteer? Keep in touch!

I hope your summer is full of sun!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Real Estate BarCamp Seattle March 3rd

It's hard to keep up with all that is happening in social media, the latest tech tools, the largest real estate issues and where to focus our time. This one day FREE... note FREE... conference is a fantastic opportunity to meet with other agents in round table type discussions on the most current topics. The break out sessions are created by "YOU" the participant! You tell us at the beginning what sessions you would like and the conference is created by those requests! You might even end up leading a discussion on a topic you are passionate about.
Register today.. join the over 300 real estate agents already registered... a month before it starts.

See a video I made about the conference at my website!!!!
I am among the few volunteers that make it happen and I am a sponsor!