Get out of the office and make personal connections that generate leads.
Starbucks and other places like it are great locations to generate leads.
Be consistent and focus on creating relationships that build credibility and lead to sales down the line.
Always bring marketing materials and discreetly advertise yourself with branded accessories, such as a laptop cover.
Starbucks isn’t only the place to pick up your daily triple nonfat latte with a drizzle of caramel and extra foam on the side — it’s also a great place to find leads.
In Lab Coat Agents, James Michaelin recounts how he got two leads in one morning at Starbucks thanks to good listening and quick action.
“I overheard a business meeting that someone was starting a business and they brought up needing to find a Realtor for a location,” he wrote. “Well, [the] keyword Realtor was said so of course I introduced myself, gave my card to both of them and they [wanted] to get together soon.”
Twenty minutes later, James got another lead from a man who overheard his conversation with the two businessmen.
As it turns out, Michaelin isn’t the only agent who uses Starbucks as a lead-generating tool. There’s been a lot of chatter online over the past two months about the power of Starbucks and other places like it, such as Panera Bread or even Dunkin’ Donuts.
Here’s some of the advice agents gave on how to make Starbucks work for you:
Agents aren’t the only people who use Starbucks as a second office. Most of the people are there are to get work done and rarely look up from their phone, tablet or laptop.
So how do you let people know a Realtor is in the room? JT Takacs suggests telling the cashier to write “Realtor (insert name)” on your cup, so when the barista calls your name, everyone will know your profession.
3. Discreetly advertise yourself with branded accessories
Order a customized laptop cover that has your name, logo, website URL and a great call-to-action. Amanda Miller Hudson says: “I have the Realtor ‘R’ logo in sticker form over the apple on my MacBook Pro. It works! I picked up a seller lead last November at Panera.”
4. Focus on making personal connections before generating leads
What agents love about Starbucks is the chance to get from behind the tech wall and make real-time, face-to-face connections. Don’t stop in with the expectation that you’ll walk out with a handful of deals each day, because as many will attest, there will be days and weeks when you won’t.
But you will build the relationships and familiarity crucial to establishing your brand and long-term success.
5. Offer on-the-spot advice
When Zillow evangelist Jay Thompson goes to Starbucks, he brings a sign that says: “Have a real estate question? Fire away!” And he buys a cup of coffee for those who are brave enough to take the offer.
6. Bring marketing materials
This seems like a given, but some may feel apprehensive about bringing their regular marketing materials with them into Starbucks. David Fresquez suggests having a set of “ready-made buyer or seller folders that includes information about you, your latest accomplishments along with some social proof.”
Keep these folders in your briefcase, backpack or bag and give them to your potential lead once your conversation is done.
7. Small sacrifices can hook a big fish
At Luxury Connect in October, Josh Altman shared a story about how he was able to snare a sale at Starbucks. He frequents one Los Angeles store in particular and had purchased his coffee when he saw a well-known celebrity join the line.
So Altman threw out his just-procured drink and stepped in line behind the celeb, struck up a conversation and discovered he was looking for a home. He offered the star $1,000 to come with him to a place he thought would fit the bill — certain it was perfect. And it was. Being willing to throw out the coffee and offer money to show sincerity generated a happy ending to the story, a $12 million sale.
Do you have any extra advice for getting leads at Starbucks? What are some other places you like to hang out? Share them in the comments below.
It’s a forum for advice and mentorship where brokers in the real estate industry can share best practices.
Inman has launched a new Facebook group for for brokers, franchise executives and real estate company leadership. Inman’s Broker War Room is a forum for advice and mentorship where brokers in the real estate industry can share best practices, help each other solve gnarly problems and become better owners.
Members are limited to broker-owners, executives and franchise team members.
It’s a closed group, but brokers and their employees, as well as franchise members, can join here.
“We created this group for brokers, by brokers and with brokers,” said Inman publisher Brad Inman. “The best advice and counsel can come from one another, not consultants, gurus or, god forbid, journalists.”
Real estate broker Raj Qsar and Stacy Stateham, vice president of marketing at Bloom Tree Realty, are serving as volunteer administrators for the group
“With so many Facebook groups geared toward agents, there is a void for real estate company leadership,” said Stateham. “Until now! As much as every real estate brokerage and company is unique in how we go to market, we have a lot of similarities in the common challenges that we all face, and my hope is that the Broker War Room gives us a place to collaborate and share.”
Power is an elusive concept. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the ability or right to control people or things.” Of course that raises the question of what is meant by “control.” Control is defined as directing the behavior of, or to cause a person to do something. Power can also exist even though it may not be exercised, simply because having power can discourage others from challenging it.
Not easy, nor straightforward. So you can just imagine the healthy debate we had as to what criteria should be used in creating such a list. But we all agree what this is not. It is not a popularity contest. It is a not casual quick selection of people you know. It is not based solely on head count, office count or revenue, and it is not pay-to-play.
In the end, the SP200 is based on a great deal of research. We scoured the Web, read hundreds of bios, read hundreds of LinkedIn pages, sent hundreds of requests for additional information, made endless telephone calls to verify or confirm statistics, and cross-referenced data with surveys and reviewed company financials, and annual reports, and announcements. In short, we did more homework than anyone else does.
So after some 400 hours of evaluation, eight members of the SP200 Editorial Committee got together for a face-off to deliberate the nominees (see VIDEO here). Some people have entrepreneurial power, and some have financial strength, some hold high office, some have personal power, some have positional power while others have political clout. Some are innovators, some executives, some doers, some dealmakers. It doesn’t matter. We have tried to analyze them all and listed leaders in nine different categories – check the tabs at the top of the page.
Congrats to our very own CEO & Founder Raj Qsar for being named to the SP200 for 2016. Honoring The Most Powerful 200 People in Residential Real Estate for the category of Social Media Influencers.
Asking $200 million, Playboy Enterprises plans to reinvest the proceeds of the sale; a buyer would have to remodel the ‘dated’ interiors and let tenant Hugh Hefner remain.
CANDACE TAYLOR for The Wall Street Journal
The Playboy Mansion—the sprawling Los Angeles house that over four decades came to embody Hollywood’s sybaritic party culture—is going on the market for $200 million.
Longtime resident Hugh Hefner has no plans to leave: Seller Playboy Enterprises is stipulating Mr. Hefner, 89, be allowed to remain at the home for the rest of his life.
Founded by Mr. Hefner in 1953, Playboy helped usher in the sexual revolution, but more recently has shed staff and reorganized its business. Scott Flanders, Playboy Enterprises’ chief executive, said in a statement that the sale of the mansion “enables us to continue to reinvest in the transformation of our business.” “The Playboy Mansion has been a creative center for Hef as his residence and workplace for the past 40 years, as it will continue to be if the property is sold,” he added.
On roughly 5 acres, the property is one of the largest in Holmby Hills and borders the Los Angeles Country Club. According to listing agentsMauricio Umansky of the Agency and Gary Gold andDrew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland, the mansion is roughly 20,000 square feet. The property includes an elaborate swimming pool and grotto, zoo and game house.
The estate is in need of renovation. “The house will require remodeling, for sure,” Mr. Umansky said, though he added that the value of the land alone is close to $100 million. The home’s interiors are “dated and will need to be remodeled and redesigned,” he said. Moreover, a buyer may want to increase the size of the house.
Acquired by Playboy Enterprises in 1971 for $1.05 million, the mansion is the longtime home of Mr. Hefner, who rents the mansion from the company for a “small, nominal amount each year,” according to a Playboy spokesperson. While Mr. Hefner’s remaining at the property is “nonnegotiable,” Mr. Umansky said, the exact terms of the arrangement will be determined during purchase negotiations.
The Mansion has six bedrooms, six full baths and two half baths, the agents said. The first floor has a great hall with 22-foot-high ceilings and custom hand-carved oak panels. Two staircases lead up to the second floor, where the master suite and other bedrooms are located, along with four offices. The living room is also used as a movie screening room, where there is a pipe organ that has been restored over the past decade. An office, with hand-carved wooden walls, has a secret door to the wine cellar. The party-ready kitchen has a butler pantry and a walk-in refrigerator and freezer.
Outside sit the heated swimming pool and a grotto, which were built in the 1970s after Mr. Hefner purchased the mansion. The cavelike grotto contains four separate hot tubs. The pool area also includes a koi pond, and an outdoor bar and kitchen. A stone bathhouse has four changing rooms, a sauna, gym and a tanning area.
The property also has a zoo with exotic birds and monkeys, and is one of only a few, if not the only, home in Los Angeles to have a zoo license, Mr. Umansky said. He added that the zoo license would transfer to the new owner along with the property.
The separate game house has poker and pool tables, pinball machines, a piano and an old-fashioned Wurlitzer jukebox with jazz recordings. The property also contains a four-bedroom guesthouse with two bathrooms, a sitting room and a solarium.
GivebackHomes is a trusted network of real estate professionals dedicated to creating social change through the act of buying or selling a home. By simply choosing to work with a Giveback Homes real estate agent, you will help build a home for a family in need. People want to work with people who are doing good, and Giveback Homes is making it easy to find them. Founders, Blake Andrews and Caroline Pinal were recently named to the prestigious Inman 101 List highlighting the Most Influential 101 people in real estate for 2015.
The Boutique Real Estate Group, a worldwide luxury real estate brokerage, with national & international recognition and known for its brilliant design, beautiful marketing, luxury services and world-class technology has made a commitment to partner with Giveback Homes for their Orange County build day. “Our goal of raising $5,000 to help build a home for a family in need is our goal,” says, Founder/Owner Raj Qsar. “Our brokerage is motivated and so encouraged by the work that Giveback Homes has been doing in the real estate industry,” says agent Christina Boladian with The Boutique.
Joining The Boutique in the cause are other celebrity and well known Real Estate Companies and personalities including; Mauricio Umansky with The Agency, Madison Hildebrand with Pacific Union, Joyce Rey with Coldwell Banker Previews International, David Parnes & James Harris with Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles and Roh Habibi from Million Dollar Listing San Francisco.
The next international build project for Giveback Homes is in Nigaragua and they only have 4 spots left. To register see below.
👉 The business greeting in many cultures is often the initial impression an individual can give to their clients. Since our team assists clients in buying & selling residential real estate in Southern California we have many different cultures we come across and each culture seems to have their own unique customs in regards to business. Over the last 8 years, we have seen a massive influx of individual from 🇨🇳 China who are buying & selling homes here in Orange County. A few things we have learned over the years in regards to business greetings & etiquette include:
Some helpful tips:
1. You must have a business card. Not having a business card is like not having a name and the equivalent to not shaking someones hand in western culture.
2. Your title on your card is also very important. Most Chinese people want to feel they are speaking to someone very important or someone at their level. So if you are meeting a CEO of a Chinese company they will want to speak to the CEO of your company.
3. Receiving or giving your card:
a. You MUST be standing up (this shows respect)
b. You MUST have your cards in a case (this shows you are organized). The case should have a spot for your cards and for the card you are receiving.
c. You MUST hand your card over with both hands (as the photo above represents). This is the highest form of respect. Never give a card out with your left hand. It is considered a total insult.
d. When you hand your card over please make sure the writing is face up towards your client (this shows courtesy).
e. Then you MUST accept your clients cards with both hands as well (as shown above).
f. When you receive the clients card, pause, read it and make a comment about their company, their title or simply repeat their name. If you are unsure how to pronounce their name now is the perfect time to ask and clarify.
g. Now place your clients card back in your case and put the case back in your jacket pocket over your heart (left side coat pocket). This shows honor as you are placing their card over your heart. If you are not wearing a jacket keep the card in your right hand for the entire meeting. If you are seated, then place the card in front of you (not face down).
Things to NEVER do:
1. Never hand out a ripped, torn or dirty business card.
2. Never write on someone’s card. It is the equivalent of writing on someone’s face.
3. Do not accept or give your card with one hand. And never with your left hand (as mentioned above).
4. Never place a business card in your pant pocket and then sit on the card. It would be like sitting on that persons face.
5. Do not stack your cards on a table and have your client simple take one.
6. Never ask a client for another card and say you lost it. It is like you have lost their face.
Christmas is almost here. This year I’m really thankful to have lived another happy, healthy year. I have enough stuff so I’m spreading my Christmas Cheer to families that do not have a home – something I cannot even imagine. Together, we can change their story.
I’m asking friends and family to support my campaign (that is you)! Every penny of the money raised will directly build a new home. Even better, New Story Charity will show us, with video, exactly which family we funded once the home is complete. Use link above to spread the love.
This will be my 7th Real Estate Connect hosted byInman News and it is the one event I look forward to year in & year out. I remember my first Connect like it was yesterday and it really helped me connect with people & solidify connections I had made online over the years. So for all you first time or repeat attendees here is a simple Top 7 list before you head to #icny for the 20th Anniversary of Real Estate Connect:
1. Make a list of the people you want to meet “in real life (IRL).” Connect is an amazing time to solidify some of those online relationships and connect with people who you admire and respect and make that true emotional connection. Some of the connections I have made at Connect have become life long friends on mine! Remember this quote from GaryV, “People are not addicted to social media. People are addicted to people.” Some of my friends I met at #icsf: @katielance @sethstuff @laurahbrady @vboakland @sarasutachan @nobuhata @chris_smth @avhellman @lauramonroe @mattbeall @lisaarcher @lauriewdavis @jefflobb @jackmiller @valeriegarcia1 @zachshadbot @matthewshadbolt @seancarp @clicknfinance @thejayt @joeschutt
2. Attend the sessions that are a must attend for you! Look for the sessions that pull you out of your comfort zone and will challenge you on a personal & professional level. See the full schedule here and meet the speakers here. This year Seth Godin will be kicking off the festivities so be sure not to miss him on main stage on Wednesday morning at 9:15am.
3. Have you joined the Inman Coast to Coast Facebook Group? If not join here for all the latest updates & play by plays.
4. The Party after the Party! Do I need to say anymore? We all know the real fun starts after 10pm! So just ask around, jump in an Uber Cab (download app here) and find out where the action is!! Check your email for last minute invites to all the happening VIP parties and events. If you still can not find the party make sure to tweet @clicknfinance or @seancarp (they will steer you in the right direction or lead you to the correct karaoke party).
5. Lobbycon! Yes. Its official! Probably the one place where you meet the CEO’s, Founders, Presidents, movers & shakers all just “hanging out.” Bring your business cards and make sure to say hi. BTW, when is the next time you will be in the same hotel as Dolly Lentz, F. Ron Smith, Mauricio Umansky, Spencer Rascoff and Brad Inman?
7. Connect with some of the local “NYC” agents for a tour of their hip office space or one of their $7m listings! Some of my favorite local NYC agents include: @NikkiBeauchamp @patricklilly @truegotham
If you made it this far and are headed to ICNY please find me in one of the sessions, lobbycon or at one of the after parties. Would be amazing to connect with you!
Successful real estate branding can’t be accomplished with just a fancy logo or a catchy motto. The real secret behind strong real estate brands is a combination of creative elements and on-point messaging into a coherent identity. And if you want to become a real estate branding champion, it takes valuable content, a strong media presence, and regular interaction with your audience to convey that identity.
Each of the agents and brokers listed below (in no particular order) has mastered the art of branding in some aspect, so check out what makes their brands unique and memorable, and learn how you can emulate their methods to bolster your own real estate agent branding.
Qsar’s brokerage has been a leader in the video marketing sphere for some time now — so much so he could be designated the King of Real Estate Video (should such a designation exist). From hiring excellent video marketing vendors to help him capture some amazing listings, likeHale Ali’i, to shooting his own recordings featuring his agents and the properties they represent, Qsar has shown a knack for crafting wonderfully attractive and charming videos that make you want to watch over and over again … even if you don’t happen to be in the market for homes for sale in SoCal. The videos have now become a trademark of his agency, and it’s thanks to some nifty real estate branding savvy from Qsar.
It’s hip to be square. The Geeky Girls Archer and Davis have taken this mantra to heart with their real estate branding approach — one that’s made them well-known in the world of real estate. The social proof is in the pudding: Just take a look at the duo’s Placester website homepage and you’ll see a multitude of industry members sporting Geeky Girls gear. A bold color scheme to accompany their creative logo and a sense of pride in their unique business persona have earned the pair quite a following. Want to emulate success? Don’t feel obligated to label yourself as “The [Insert Adjective Here] Agents.” Instead, focus on what separates you from other agents in your market and blend that information seamlessly into your real estate marketing. For instance, if you mostly sell great beachside properties, use language in your marketing messaging to denote your status as one of the premier beachfront property sellers in the region. A catchy moniker, like The Geeky Girls, is simply gravy.
Matt Beall is a prime example of real estate branding done right for several reasons. He built his agency, Hawaii Life, rapidly — more than 200 agents and brokers have joined the firm’s 11 offices in just four years. He’s hosted a brokerage-sponsored real estate conference called Worthshop that has featured numerous big industry names. He positions his firm online as the preeminent brokerage in the state. And, on top of all that, he’s even managed to get his agency some airtime on HGTV, thanks to the aptly named series “Hawaii Life.” In other words, Beall has put in the work needed to build a powerhouse real estate firm and is now focusing on maximizing its potential by getting its name out through various channels.
Not all real estate marketing strategies need to focus entirely on getting in front of consumers. Directing your marketing tactics at your peers can position you as a thought leader in the agent community. Take Thorne and Fauquier, for example: Their RE/MAX-sponsored “Mobile Agent TV” webisode series entails them interviewing the best and brightest in the real estate sector. These shows (like the episode above featuring Placester’s Seth Price) inform agents and brokers all over on how to better their bottom lines with the latest and greatest sales and marketing efforts, emerging technologies, and general business tips. Additionally, though, the series has transformed them into knowledgeable agents in the eyes of their local market. Each and every episode of “Mobile Agent TV” enhances Thorne and Fauquier’s status as a go-to resource.
It pays to work in one of the hottest (literally and figuratively) housing markets in the nation, but even that is no guarantee for success. Miami-area agents Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber, who have capitalized on their first-name branding opportunity, understand that it takes some special marketing to stand out from the crowded field of real estate professionals operating in sunny Miami-Dade County. Thus, the dynamic duo has worked hard over the last several years to cement themselves as the premier agents not only in South Florida, but across the U.S. and world. Nearly every usage of their simple-yet-elegant logo is accompanied by copy denoting their status as “the #1 agent team worldwide.” When you’ve got the numbers to back up your claims, it’s an easy decision to take advantage of such a title. The Jills don’t rest on this logo and tagline, however — they also make sure to optimize their joint real estate website, produce detailed real estate videos, and take advantage of speaking engagements and other promotional endeavors.
Branding for real estate businesses is primarily accomplished online these days, thanks to a bevy of inbound marketing tactics agents and brokers can implement. But offline marketing methods can also make an impact. For instance, Realtor and Placester customer Travis Greene has added his real estate agent branding to his truck, meaning he can promote his business simply by getting behind the wheel. Offline marketing techniques like this can go wrong (very wrong, in some cases), but Greene manages to incorporate his online branding into the real world effortlessly and attractively. Having a strong internet presence is vital to real estate marketing success, but spending some ad money on things like this can still offer reputational benefits.
As we’ve discussed on the Academy before, agents have a wide array ofreal estate conferences available to them. Some of these conferences cover broad topics, like technology’s role in real estate and how to better organize your team. Others take a different approach — like Hear It Direct, a series of consumer-meets-agent events started in part by Sue Adler. What better way to market yourself than to speak with buyers and sellers in your area and answer their questions? As with the RE BarCamps that have become popular among agents nationwide, Adler’s Hear It Direct conferences have helped close the divide between agents and consumers, and make it simpler for both sides to understand one another. Adler can take a lot of credit for how successful Hear It Direct has become and deserves recognition for her selfless real estate branding. It’s a novel approach to a fundamental idea: Speaking and networking directly with those you want to work with.
You have to go to great lengths sometimes to develop effective real estate agent branding — literally and figuratively. Sacramento-based Realtor Jon Hesse, for instance, flew a great distance to meet up with a branding firm he hired to get his photos taken for promotional images. The results? Well, just look at the “about me” infographic above, which features one of the images taken by the agency. It’s simple, yet shows Hesse is serious about his business because he’s willing to take the time to get professional shots taken. The same branding is used atop his real estate website and on all of his major social media accounts, meaning he’s taking full advantage of the branding services he secured. It can cost a pretty penny to get photos taken by seasoned pros, but if the fruits of that labor end up making you look reputable in the eyes of your audience, it’s more than worth the expense.
When you think “skydiving,” you may think “risky,” but perhaps that’s exactly what Giguere wants you to think: that she’s willing to take risks to help her clients close deals and provide excellent customer service. Look closer at her real estate branding, though, and you realize she’s much more than a gimmick. Giguere has charm and personality to spare, and clearly shows she cares about her clients. Email is a core element of her real estate marketing plans, as shown in this Academy post, while she also spends a great deal of time on her blog to inform the local community about interesting events, venues, restaurants, and other goings-on. Simply put, Giguere goes all out to make herself as personable and relatable as possible — and she passes that test with flying colors.
To become a local, trusted brand name, real estate agents must implement some creative real estate marketing. A high-quality, appealing logo can be a great starting point for establishing your brand, but the real secret to broadening awareness and generating interest in your business is to use your brand marks in as many places as humanly possible. That means doing what Realtor Julian Pilarski has done, creating a beautiful real estate logo (like his below) to use on every page of your site, in your email marketing, atop your social media accounts, on flyers, in ebooks, and any other marketing collateral you create.
Pilarski specifically does an excellent job of using his logo in his real estate videos, as evidenced above. The branding is prominent at the beginning and end of his videos, and is even used in the corner of the screen mid-video. Seemingly small touches like these used hundreds of times over will add up over time and resonate more and more with local real estate customers.
Some agents forget to have a print real estate branding strategy in addition to online tactics. Look to Judith Weiniger’s marketing, for inspiration: She has mastered the art of the real estate mailer. Weiniger sends out print collateral like market reports and a home seller’s guide that are perfectly branded. They feature her agency’s logo, have a unified color scheme, and, most importantly, feature lots of valuable content that educates her audience.
Who do you think will be atop the list when recipients decide to buy or sell? Once again, consistency is key. Weiniger noted in a Placester Academy post that sending out mailers a dozen times annually is ideal. Doing so has helped get her and her company top-of-mind with qualified leads in her market.
Need some real estate branding ideas? Check out our Academy post 75 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Promote Themselves Online. What are some real estate brand examples you’ve seen that you loved? Share some notable instances in the comments section below!