As your business takes off in real estate, it’s important to maintain the relationships already established with not only your former clients but also in the communities you serve.
One of the best ways for agents to gain exposure and build new relationships with potential clients is through the gift of giving. Recently, Raj Qsar of The Boutique RE, a residential real estate brokerage in Orange County, California took this idea for a spin.
They teamed up with Giveback Homes and Soul Cycle for a unique way to give back to the community. By reaching out to their network, they organized a #RidetoBuild spin class to help raise the funds needed to build a home for a deserving family.
Raj and his realtor friends managed to raise the money and feel the burn while helping to better the life of a family in need with the guided help of Giveback Homes.
Fueled by the passion of real estate pros like Sindeo Advisory Board Member, Raj Qsar, and hundreds of other leaders in real estate, Giveback Homes has made the opportunity to give back easier than ever.
Giveback Homes provides their members with marketing and design services, tutorials on how to incorporate giving into their business, local Build Days, international Build Trips, and tangible results of the impact they’re making throughout the world.
Recently, Sindeo helped fund a home for Marie in Haiti and Arcadio in El Salvador, and has plans to join Giveback Homes for their first Build Day in San Francisco this Spring.
Want to help too? Click here to donate to the San Francisco project or any of their Build Projects throughout the world.
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!
But beyond the photo filters, Instagram can also be a new way to generate business. Real estate professionals like Anne Jones, Joyce Rey and Dusty Baker all make Instagram a core part of their branding and marketing efforts. Companies like Windermere and Houlihan Lawrence have turned the service into a powerful new way to promote their listings. And accounts like Haute Residence have built large audiences around their tempting listing photos.
If you’re looking to spruce up your Instagram feed, learn what’s working when it comes to real estate, or simply figure out if the service is right for you, we’ve put together a list of 18 inspirational Instagram accounts worth following.
Have an account we missed? Share it in the comments and we’ll add it to the list.
Erica dishes on the economy and maintaining agent value in 2015
Are you optimistic about 2015?
An approaching year always carries a certain sense of hope and excitement, and I’m especially looking forward to seeing how work and new relationships from this year progress and grow in 2015.
Yes; the economy has slowly, but progressively, gotten better, and the U.S. is working toward once again being a balanced and stable contributor to the global economy. Watching the unemployment rate get lower, seeing mortgage interest rates hover below 4 percent and knowing that the Federal Reserve is cautious about raising rates, which have effectively been around zero since 2008, leaves me feeling confident that slow and steady will win the race. Things are not as secure as we really need them to be, but we appear to be on the right path toward stabilization, which does leave me feeling optimistic about 2015. Also, with a presidential election on the horizon, it’s safe to say that things will continue to progress slowly and the Fed will proceed with caution.
The housing market?
The housing market has been fairly volatile in the recent past, but in late 2013 and into 2014 it feels as though things are getting back on track. Even with a little lull from the fall extending into winter the market is better now than it was a few years ago and appears to continue to get better.
I’m very excited for a successful year … working with The Boutique Real Estate Group allows me the amazing opportunity to work with, and learn from, industry leaders. Whether it’s the introduction of the latest technological advancements, Raj Qsar stretching our company’s reach globally and teaching us about out-of-the-box market preparation for our client’s homes, or our in-house staff reminding us to build and nurture relationships, they all lend to our “boutique” culture of approaching real estate differently and effectively — and, as a result, thriving.
What are you worried about?
My worries tend to be more personal; will I connect with the right people?
How much do you fret about global events?
The global economy is such a force to be reckoned with and has so many constantly changing facets that it can be overwhelming … I don’t know that I worry about global events as much as I try to maintain a working knowledge of what’s occurring. Am I worried that the European and Japanese markets are set to tank? Yes. But I’m hopeful that the right people, who are much smarter than I am, are already addressing the potential problems. So, I tend to concentrate more on what I can do to affect positive change — I can make sure my clients are realistic and setting the listing price of their homes in a way that makes sense in their local market while still achieving their personal goals, and in the instance of buyers, I can work diligently to find them a home that is responsibly set within their budget while still allowing for future growth in their real estate portfolio.
Will mortgage rates go up or down next year?
It seems that “stability” is the name of the game … rates will move, they will respond to the climate set on Wall Street, but will there be drastic changes in either direction? Probably not. It seems that the Fed is set to keep rates low going into 2015 while we concentrate on maintaining the strength our economy has gained up to this point. 2016 going into 2017? Now, that’s a different ball game.
Will home prices appreciate next year?
As long as we stay the course, homes will most likely see a gain in 2015 … some homeowners have seen gains already this year.
Will agents be more productive next year? Why or why not?
Agent productivity is such a subjective thing — agents who are producing now will continue to do well; agents who are learning and implementing strong strategies now will do well next year. Personally, I plan on being massively productive, and my goal is to triple my numbers from this year.
Will the portals play a bigger role next year?
It will be interesting to see how Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia will play out in February; the industry impact could be dulled as the company experiences growing pains, and it’s possible that newer strategies will be implemented later in the year leaving the largest changes to occur in 2016. However, the portals will always play a large role — potential buyers and sellers are interested in the ease of use of these products that seem to offer tons of information freely at your fingertips.
What will be the biggest source of real estate leads next year?
This is still a word-of-mouth market; the biggest source of leads will always be current clients.
Are you making plans to expand, contract or maintain your business next year?
Our company is growing at an amazing pace, and it’s quite a ride! It is my intention to grow with The Boutique and triple last year’s business.
What is the biggest challenge for the industry in the coming year?
Maintaining agent value is a main concern for me. It is easy for consumers to get caught up in the portals, to jump online and do some quick research and feel like they have good working knowledge of the local area. But it falls to our shoulders to show our clients that, actually, quick and easy is not the order of the day; websites like Zillow, Trulia, realtor.com, etc., cannot give an all-encompassing value estimate. There is no algorithm for nuance; there is no way to measure the subjective nature of home selling or the emotion involved on the consumer level. It is up to us to ensure that clients are aware of our value by sharing our comprehensive market knowledge, anticipating their needs and exceeding their expectations in every transaction — and by offering them the personal touch that these websites cannot give.
Laguna Beach is like no other place in Orange County. Take a moment and soak this in. The landscape, culture, people and the colors (ohhh the colors), makes it even hard to compare even to it’s neighboring cities. Even the scent of the ocean is different. The people of Laguna Beach know what I’m talking about, so this may be a odd concept to picture if you’ve never been here before.
But for those of you that live here and had to narrow down the best thing that this city has to offer, what would it be? Would it be the effect that the cool crisp air has across your skin as you open up the door for the first time in the morning? Or what about the grains of sand in between you toes as you walk along the beach? Maybe it’s the sound of the splashing waves as they hit the shore?
For me Laguna Beach is like a botanical garden. So alive, surrounded by diversity as every element changes so subtly. A collection of organic specimens that thrive and flow freely like a poem in harmony. Nothing ever stays the same but nothing really ever changes either.
So have I done it? Have I lost you in translation? Good, because this is the essence that makes Laguna Beach so unique and abstract. Everything that this city has to offer culminates to understanding this concept. But to understand this, you have to come and experience it for yourself. Your path might be different but you will all end up in the same place. You will understand that magnificence is a word that falls short in describing this city and all that it has to offer.
For a private home tour of Laguna Beach please contact Chris Kwon at Chris.Kwon@TheBoutiqueRE.com
“Whatever you do, DO IT WELL. Do it SO WELL that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and SHOW THEM HOW WELL you do what you do.”
As highly sought after National speakers, Raj Qsar (The Boutique’s Owner) and Jeremy Lehman (The Boutique’s Chief Technology Officer) have traveled the country educating & training Real Estate Professionals on the value of Technology & Social Media in today’s Real Estate market. As recent speakers at some of the most prestigious Real Estate conferences across the country Raj & Jeremy continue to make their mark in todays ever changing market.
Most recently both Raj & Jeremy were named TOP 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL REAL ESTATE LEADERS in the country. This annual list recognizes those who embody leadership, ingenuity, strength, conviction, power, persistence, perseverance and progress — their voices and actions can move the industry toward change. Also, The Boutique Real Estate Group was named 2014 Next Generation Brokerage by Better Homes & Garden Real Estate and 1000 Watt Consulting for their tech forward approach to real estate and their massive investment in marketing & design.
Weather you are looking to buy or sell real estate in Orange County or if you are a real estate professional looking for a change give us a call today or visit us at www.TheBoutiqueRE.com
Real Estate + Technology. Not really two words that go hand in hand. Two words that usually do not embrace each other. Two words that scare off the most seasoned real estate professional.
Our story goes a little something like this: We love tech. We love real estate. So why not marry the two? Why not have a “forever relationship” with these two words? Why not incorporate technology into every aspect of the real estate experience? Our clients do not need to be tech savvy to use these products, but our agents need to understand how this technology is a benefit.
We have embraced every aspect of technology at The Boutique Real Estate Group here in Orange County, California, and we feel we have successfully digitized the real estate experience for our clientele. Most of our clients are finding us online. Most of our clients are seeing our listings online. So, it only makes sense that we need technology for real estate to survive. If our clients have instant access to data on their mobile devices, so should our agents. Everyone is head down and focused on their phones and tablets. Everyone is in the moment, and we are now able to step into that moment and grab his or her attention.
You won’t find our clients running to a fax machine to fax something to us. We don’t ask our clients to print, fill out, scan, and then save and email anything to us. It’s not how we roll. We sign digitally with DocuSign. Got mobile? No problem. Got a tablet? No problem. DocuSign allows our clients to sign on the go with ease from any device they carry.
Furthermore, our in-transaction platform of choice is Cartavi, which seamlessly has integrated the DocuSign platform for electronic signatures. Our agents have their own personal Transaction Concierge (TC) who is trained on DocuSign and Cartavi. It only makes sense to be able to store our clients’ documents digitally, have access to them on our mobile devices, and then share the documents with all parties involved in the transaction. Our agents and TCs not only communicate digitally via DocuSign and Caravi, but we are able to manage the most complicated of transactions with these two platforms. No more emailing huge files between escrow, lenders, title, buyers, sellers, and agents. We share our files through Cartavi.
Several members of our team are heading to Inman Real Estate Connect NYC this week. This gathering is tech real estate heaven! If you’re looking for the best and the brightest in our industry, then Connect is where you should be.