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January 24, 2012

The Yearly Real Estate Check-In

by mark mclean

For the last month or so I have been conducting interviews with the agents in my office to discuss their goals for the new year. It’s an interesting process because the interview/discussion/talk/get together is an opportunity to cover a lot of different bases. First, it is a chance for agents to talk about what they did right (or wrong) and second, to help them get on track for the coming year if they need the help. Every agent approaches our meeting a little differently. Some have a bunch of notes jotted down on a piece of paper while others have prepared power point presentations on their iPads . The important thing is that they have spent time thinking about their business and in my book, any effort is appreciated. The reality is that I am looking for three things; I want to know how agents are going to be conspicuous, connected and convenient. Here is what I mean;

Being Conspicuous is really about being “out there”. As we know, good Realtors are social creatures who are always keen to network and connect with people. NAR reports that in fact 73% of real estate transactions are a result of some sort of social activity. But there is more to going to dinner parties. To to truly conspicuous you must have a plan that will help you expand your customer base and attract attention. That plan could include door knocking, warm and cold calling, flyers, billboards, open houses, newsletters. The key, of course, is not only being in the conversation, it is about starting one. Remember, 41 real estate conversations equals 1 transaction. For me, the conspicuous part of the equation puts both your name and your face into the hands of the public.

 Being connected is about using social media and technology.  I am interested in what you are doing today that will increase your online persona tomorrow. Active Rain recently conducted a survey of 1758 real estate agents to find out what separated the top agents in the US ( those making more than $100k a year) from the rest. Not surprisingly, high performing agents spent 6 times more money on technology than their poorer counterparts. A whopping 87% used some type of client relationship software to manage and connect with new and past clients. This systematic management of their database allows successful agents to build a high volume business.  Also interesting is that they were 35% more likely to blog, 54% more likely to use an email newsletter, 78% more likely to utilize video for their listings, and 175% more likely to use some type of Internet marketing. There are a number of social media platforms out there and while I won’t suggest using all of them, I  think it is prudent to stick with one or two and use them well. Let’s face it, social media allows us the ability to send messages to a lot of people. So, are you broadcasting?

Finally, being convenient. Today, real estate happens second by second. Consumers are thirsty for knowledge and have the one tool to get that information fast…..their smart phones. Today, 1 out of every 6 searches happen on the phone. realtor.com recently reported that iPhone users to their site has increased by 68% in the past year while iPad users have increased 32%. Smart phones not only give the public the ability to search the internet all day long, it allows them to connect with agents quickly. But the surprise of the mobile study was that agents had terrible response times. Only 14% of agents responded within 30 minutes, 18% within an hour, and 35% actually never responded. (the other 40% were somewhere between a day and a week). So, if immediacy is the new norm, I want to know that you are available and knowledgeable because, in real estate, one without the other just doesn’t work.

Our conversations aren’t about money, they are about finding success using the myriad of tools available to us today. So, if you need a boost, drop by my office.  have a great day.

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