Whether you’re a grizzled veteran of real estate, or just starting out, we want you to walk away with actionable tips and advice. We give the spotlight to agents based on one simple factor: how honest and helpful their answers are.
Why do you feel that other agents can benefit from your advice?
Though I’ve only been licensed 5 years (my first year I was an assistant), I’ve made Master’s Club (top 10% in County) 3 years straight. That’s not why I think other agents can benefit, though. It’s because I’m in my 50’s and have had a lot of life experience. I think that’s the reason my business does well. I’ve got common sense, my friends call me the “salt of the earth”.
What was your professional background before real estate?
I raised my kids, but was never a stay-at-home kind of mom. My job was to support those who were in my village – the teachers, coaches, girl scout leaders, etc. Thus I was always the room mom, art docent, PTA, team mom, computer lab teacher. Because people who I’ve met saw me in a position that required dedication and hard work. They trust me to work as hard for them.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I love to work and will answer the phone whenever my clients call me. I take time off when I have free time. I’ll run to the movies and watch a show or go to the theatre to see a play on a weeknight. If I have a client that requires too much of my time and is calling constantly, I’ll follow-up their call with an email so show them that though I’m not available to talk, I do care about their situation.
What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned, or the mistake you’ve vowed to never make again?
I’ve learned not to give too much of my own opinion about a property. Also showing homes to buyers that have not been prequalified can be a waste of time.
If you could write a note to yourself in only 5 words or less, to be delivered on the day you started in real estate, what would it say?
No sale is worth your integrity.
What’s your #1 “go-to” method for lead generation?
Giving excellent service resulting in referrals.
What’s been the biggest waste of your advertising dollars?
Smartzip was very costly in my first year and resulted in zero leads. Paying for online leads through Trulia resulted in chasing buyers who were not serious.
What lead-generating advice would you give to another agent who’s on a tight budget?
Give information to your family, friends, and sphere of influence. You can’t make a withdrawal (ask for business) until you make a deposit (give them something of value – and information is cheap).
How do you follow up with past clients? How often?
After the sale, I call frequently to see if they need any help or referrals for services. All those who made a purchase with me in the year will get their HUD1 for taxes in late January with a jar of home-made salsa and a bag of chips for the Super Bowl. I find information or an items throughout the year that I think they’d like and take it to them.
Which software programs, sites or apps do you consider “must haves”?
Give your best tips and insights for using social media to generate leads and brand yourself.
I use Facebook to keep my “friends” informed about job openings, traffic issues, activities happening in the area, funny real estate jokes, my open houses, Real Estate Trends. They really appreciate the information and tend to share my posts.
What is the one thing you would change about the real estate business if you could?
I would want all agents to be required to attend legal updates throughout the year. My company requires all of our agents to attend a half-day workshop with our attorney to learn about new policies, lawsuits, policies. We are always educating the agent we’re dealing with.
Ask and answer your own question
Do you network with other real estate professionals?
I never used to think it was beneficial to socialize/network with other agents. I even have an attorney friend who says he never socializes with other lawyers because he has to battle with them in the courtroom. I’ve only realized recently that it’s beneficial to know agents and for them to know you. It could make a difference when you’re in a multiple offer situation. Also, I personally don’t look at it as “battling” when I’m in negotiations.