Before I dove headfirst into the world of graphic design and real estate marketing I answered phones at three well-respected real estate offices, was the administrative assistant to a top producing realtor and handled the marketing and front desk at a boutique real estate office. It’s safe to say I’ve been immersed in the world of real estate for quite a while and during that time I’ve enjoyed having the unique ability to observe what set the top producers apart from the realtors that seemed to struggle daily. I’ve seen the most innovative marketing strategies put into action and watched the collapse of agents who just couldn’t seem to gain traction. So what secret sauce do these top producers possess? Read on to take a peek behind the curtain …
THEY ARE CRUSHING THE TESTIMONIAL GAME
Don’t underestimate the power of a good testimonial. I always laugh when we ask a realtor for access to their testimonials and the response is “Does anyone even read testimonials anymore?” I like to tell them that it’s like searching google for a restaurant you want to try out, you type in the name and right away you can see how many people have reviewed it, what the average rating is, and what people thought of the experience. Even if the majority aren’t reading each and every review, an arsenal of five-star testimonials sets the scene for a positive experience. Reviews matter and the top players in the real estate game know this to be true. Pro Tip: Guide your clients through a short testimonial video and then have it transcribed so you have both a written and video testimonial.
THEY HAVE A TOOLBOX OF PROFESSIONALS
The top producing realtors I’ve worked closely with have a list of professionals that range from contractors to stagers to mortgage brokers and handymen and who they know, trust and like. If you want to provide your clients with the full-service experience you need more than the ability to google “Top Painters in Toronto,” you need to have a team of professionals who you have worked with before who you feel 100% confident in referring. If you’re just starting or don’t have a solid list, ask your colleagues who they use and then do some serious research (don’t forget to look over their testimonials!). Remember anyone you refer will reflect directly on you, so make sure you do some research first.
THEY HAVE AN EMAIL LIST THAT THEY ACTUALLY NURTURE
An email list that has been organized, categorized, sub-categorized and most importantly nurtured will always win. If you have a list, great! If you have a list that has been organized into groups like “Agents”, “Condo Buyer Leads,” “Sellers,” “Downsizing,” even better. The more focussed and relevant your email marketing is, the higher the chances are of your emails being read. Imagine sending an email advertising a weekend open house at a 10 bedroom compound to a lead that expressed interest in downsizing, by sending content that isn’t relevant you run the risk of them clicking that dreaded “unsubscribe” button. Pro Tip: Throw some non-real estate related content into the mix by adding fun facts, things to do around the city, helpful home tips and causes you are involved. These “real-life” touchpoints will act to humanize you and create a connection with your audience.
THEY ARE INVOLVED IN THEIR COMMUNITY
This is a BIGGIE. Out of all the Top Producing Realtors I’ve worked with, I can confidently say that everyone was an active participant, sponsor and/or supporter in a community event, sport, or cause. Community involvement is the perfect way to get out there, network, support other humans, do those things that inspire us, have fun, meet new people … the list goes on and on. It is no coincidence that top producers understand this more than others and that creating those real connections to the community contributes to their success. Without fail, focusing on how you can serve will win out every… single …. time.
THEY HAVE FINE-TUNED PROCEDURES AND PROCESSES
If you gave me a dollar for every time we had to design last-minute marketing material I would be writing this from my private island sipping a virgin Margharita, waving at my neighbour Richard Branson right now. The most successful Top Producers, the ones who are seriously winning the real estate game, have systems and procedures in place to avoid that frenzied rush-to-market we see all too often.
It’s not just the marketing, documenting your procedures, and having a calendar of events that outlines what each step of the buying and selling process entails will make your life that much easier and will make you less disappointed when you are trying to get your Feature Sheet to the printer at 3:55 pm on a Friday when the printer closes at 4 pm.
You should have workflows and procedures documented for every single client type you may encounter. What happens beginning to end when you work with buyers? What is the process you have with sellers? What changes when that seller is also a buyer? Having your procedures clearly outlined also provides you with an excellent tool to show to your clients. It keeps them informed and clear of what every step will be which will help to avoid those dreaded “why isn’t my home listed yet” calls or emails realtors love receiving.
There you have it, the behind the scenes secrets of the top producing agents. Shhhh, don’t tell them I told you.