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.
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!
There was a guy, and he had a DREAM! Meet Raj Qsar; Founder, Visionary and ‘Chief Dreamer’ at The Boutique Real Estate Group in Orange County AND NOW also in their brand new swanky office in Corona Del Mar, LITERALLY 1 block from the gorgeous beach!
Raj is a differentiator. He stands out and that was the plan. The Boutique Real Estate Group tell AMAZING visual stories with high end, stunningly gorgeous videos and by asking (and answering) the all important question ‘Who wants to live in this home?’
(Raj referenced a particular story where the home revolved around a baby grand piano and the song “The Summer Wind”. Check it out HERE)
Raj Can’t do it alone. He made it clear on the journey to achieving all of his dreams, he needed to establish a great team where each member has their strength and support each other. He’s heavily invested in marketing because as he believes, his clients deserve it!
“Our business is client driven. We are doing what we do here not because we want to be a video production company, and not because we want to be an ad agency or marketing company. We’re doing it because it gives our clients the best chance for success. Done.” ~ Raj Qsar
We also talk briefly about friend Mark Fitzpatrick and his super high end marketing agency RUHM for those VERY SPECIAL unique properties that require even more. (A-MAZING mini movies, websites, print, social, analytics & PR so you’ll want to check out FOR SURE!)
There’s a reason for every choice. Every detail… every touch point…every consideration has been made when you experience The Boutique Real Estate Group and that extends from the moment you engage whether online or off, in their swanky new diggs, and throughout the real estate process, and everyone works hard to set the bar high and ensure the client has an extraordinary experience!
The market has spoken, and we say ‘Boutiquify us!’ #tbreg