How to turn Starbucks into a lead goldmine

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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:

1. Mark it on your weekly schedule

Raj Qsar goes to Starbucks three times a week to do local real estate research and work on handwritten thank-you notes. Because of his consistency, customers expect Qsar to be there and look forward to asking him questions.

2. Make your presence known

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.

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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.

Via Marian McPherson and Inman News

#SindeoSitDown Recap: Reeling in Buyers With Video

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In our latest #SindeoSitDown, Owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group and video guru, Raj Qsar, sat down with us to talk about how and why realtors everywhere should be leveraging video to grow their business.

So…what did we learn? For starters, if you’re not already using video to market your listings you should be! Listings that use video receive 4x as many leads as those without. Video has become the #1 ROI for money spent and returned for Raj and his team, as is the case for most realtors doing video successfully.

What kinds of things can you add to video to make them exciting and “sticky”?

  • Add a human element – Create videos that are about more than just the property. Feature pets, give the house a story, include actors that “live” in the home, find ways to make it feel real so viewers can relate.
  • Include the community – B-roll footage is key. Buyers aren’t just moving into a house, they’re moving into a community. So, show it to them! Shots of local businesses, parks, beaches, and amenities go a long way. Plus, this content is evergreen, meaning you can use it again and again.
  • Make it cool – There are so many hi-tech additions you can incorporate to put your video above the rest. Use hyperlapse, add filters, film aerial shots with a drone!

Create beautiful and effective listing videos that capture a buyer’s attention and keep clients coming back.

Don’t know where to start? Get inspired by some of Boutique Real Estate Group’s amazing videos. Check them out!

Missed the webinar? No problem! You can catch the entire thing by

CLICKING HERE.

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4 ways to grow your real estate marketing content — and business.

via Inman

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Here are a few innovative tips to garner engaging local content.

You can’t open a trade publication these days without seeing an article urging real estate professionals to generate content in order to build their brand and get more business. It makes sense — who buys and sells houses? People. What do people like? To be enlightened, informed and entertained. That’s what great content does.

Coldwell Banker is one of the leaders in this area, and it recently teamed up with MLB.com to take fans inside the homes of their favorite players.

Why content?

Many real estate professionals ask whether content creation has any real tangible benefits in getting homes sold. Top producers tend to look at the bigger picture. Tim Smith of Smith Group Real Estate says, “High-quality marketing increases the perceived value of the property.” In other words, when you make a video about a house, you’re saying to the world, “This place is worth it.”

“When we show up at a property with a truck and equipment and actors and a tent, it causes curiosity within the neighborhood,” said Raj Qsar, principal and owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group. “It gives us a way to connect with the neighborhood on a hyperlocal level. Then they tell their friends and family about the house, and word gets out. It’s a long-tail plan.” Let’s face it: Nothing makes a seller happier than to see their home being given the star treatment.

“There’s a misconception across the industry as to why people do content marketing,” Qsar said. “Video is not just for the one listing — we make our video evergreen so it can live forever.”

And it sure doesn’t hurt to have an amazing video to show in your next listing presentation, either.

But for many Realtors, the thought of creating content tends to generate more guilt than inspiration. What kind of content should you be making? And how in the world are you expected to write a script or learn to edit video when there aren’t even enough hours in the day to generate leads and get deals done?

Good news: You don’t have to do it yourself. Here are four options to get great content.

1. Beef up your team.

Most brokerages that are serious about content creation begin by hiring in-house creative talent. “Content marketing needs to start with the leadership and culture of the brokerage,” Qsar said. “If the brokerage takes control and hires an in-house team, it only makes the agents and the brokerage more successful.”

Smith Group Real Estate has created a core in-house marketing team. They started out using outside production studios to generate their marketing materials but decided to bring production in-house in order to have more control over the creative product. “Outsiders don’t have direct communication with the sellers like we do,” Jade Schuck, public relations and marketing coordinator, said. “When the production is done in-house, we know the home, and we can do a lot more with the money.”

Pacific Union built an entire in-house journalism department to bring their clients the latest news via their blog. “We decided we had to become a journalism company,” CEO Mark McLaughlin said. And it worked. Back in January 2012 their blog had “zero traffic.” Now they have 5,800 unique users on their blog every month. McLaughlin puts this in context. “We sold about 5,700 homes last year. So, that means we have about as many people at our blog every single month as bought homes in a year … so we feel it’s a really relevant tool for our real estate professionals.”

2. Supplements are good for you.

Even with a strong in-house team, most brokerages bring in freelancers or even full production companies to round out their marketing team for larger listings.

“The content is all us, 100 percent,” said Qsar, who employs an in-house team that includes a social media manager, director of creative design, cinematographer and editors. They do bring in specialists as needed, such as drone operators and hyperlapse photographers, but they’re careful to set and maintain the creative tone and direction themselves.

The real estate team knows the home best, so it’s crucial that whenever you outsource, you communicate with the production company to convey the key selling points of the home and any details about the target demographics.

Schuck said when The Smith Group gets a listing, their process begins with a brainstorming session where they distill the essence of the home’s personality. Then they create different packages of marketing materials based on the sales price. They bring in freelancers with special skills as needed.

Schuck offers some advice for smaller real estate offices whose budgets might not allow an in-house production team: “Use your network to find good people to help.”

3. Be a patron of the arts.

If hiring a marketing team doesn’t work for you, there are other options. Any given neighborhood is packed with creators who just love to make content. They eat, sleep and breathe journalism, storytelling and photography. They’re constantly churning out videos and articles, blog posts and photographs. All you have to do is find them, and then work out a deal that works for both of you.

Try these sources:

Local bloggers: They know your neighborhood and what makes it significant. See if you can sponsor their work by making a small contribution. Being quoted in an article about the five best kid-friendly restaurants in town makes you an instant local expert.

School newspapers and videos: School newspapers can always use a few extra bucks to give their kids’ reporting a boost. Help them out and your name might be the one that shows up when prospective buyers search for their dream schools.

Filmmakers and videographers: In these days of YouTube, everyone from your babysitter to your mortgage broker has a script for a Web series somewhere on their hard drive. What they often lack is funding to get it made. Provide that and voila, you have yourself a grateful content creator who will mention your name, and maybe even give you a cameo role.

4. Ask your audience.

Another way to get great content is perhaps the most obvious: Just ask for it. User-generated content (UGC) is the buzzword, but what it means is getting your network to share their own photos, videos, articles and lists.

Consider holding a contest for the best photos of your local dog park, or give a shoutout to local bands to write a song in honor of your hometown. Then all you have to do is curate the best and put it online. People will come to your site to check out the latest and greatest — and they’re sure to notice your listings along the way.

At the time of this writing, Trails West Real Estate had just announced a competition asking students to create the best video about living in northwest Montana. They’re offering $12,000 to the winning school’s video and technology departments. This is a great way to get lots of content for your money, while becoming known as a local expert and supporter of the community. It’s likely we’ll see more and more content competition like this in which everyone comes out a winner.

Bottom line

The industry agrees that offering great content is the ideal way to engage your audience more deeply and for longer periods of time. That translates to leads, listings, sales and clients for life. Now you have some ways to get your hands on amazing content while keeping your focus on what you do best: selling real estate.

33 People Who Are Changing the Real Estate Industry

via Inman Select

No points for tweeting, schmoozing or defending the status quo

In 1982, the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) was introduced which in effect, launched the Internet. Nothing has done more to transform culture, the economy and real estate in the last three decades. In honor of the 33rd anniversary, we are recognizing 33 people who are changing or will change the real estate industry in 2015 and beyond. No points for tweeting, schmoozing or maintaining the status quo; this list includes only those who are poised to change the industry and are taking actions to do so.

Known as a marketing and sales team firm that happens to sell real estate, the Boutique Real Estate Group emphasizes design and digital marketing. Qsar’s team includes a creative director, interior designer and cinematographer. With a big social footprint, he is an example of what is possible in video, technology and design. @RajQsar

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Read Article Here: http://bit.ly/Inman33
Twitter List Here: http://bit.ly/Inman33twitter
Download PDF Here: http://bit.ly/Inman33pdf

Conversations That Matter with Teri Conrad at The Boutique Real Estate Group In Corona del Mar

Getting ‘Boutiquified’ in Corona Del Mar California ~ On Location at The Boutique Real Estate Group!

A “live” episode of Conversations That Matter hosted by Teri Conrad of Agent Quest.

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

Link back to original article.

 

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The Boutique Real Estate Group to Open New Luxury Real Estate Office in Corona Del Mar

Brilliant design, luxury services & cutting edge technology are headed to the coast of Orange County, Ca with the launch of The Boutique Real Estate Groups second office in the beach city of Corona Del Mar in Newport Beach.

The Boutique Real Estate Group is a boutique real estate brokerage in Orange County, CA, that focuses on great design, beautiful marketing & luxury services and is set to open their 2nd office in the beach city of Corona Del Mar in Newport Beach. Raj Qsar, Principal & Owner has created a culture that spurs collaboration, technology and social media with a unique marketing approach.

Their story goes a little something like this… Beautiful design evokes emotion. Emotion stirs the soul and creates a connection between client, agent and the home buying process. The Boutique Real Estate Group has invested heavily in bringing all aspects of the real estate experience completely in-house. From design, staging, photography, cinematography and social media to technology, internet optimization & cloud based transaction management. This not only provides them complete control of the design, marketing & technology of luxury real estate but also gives them the look & feel of a true boutique marketing agency. This design & tech-forward approach has earned The Boutique Real Estate Group accolades & awards worldwide.

Most recently The Boutique Real Estate Group has been recognized as the 2014 Next Generation Real Estate Brokerage by Better Homes & Garden Real Estate and 1000 Watt Consulting. Raj Qsar & Jeremy Lehman, The Boutique’s CTO have both been recognized as Inman News Top 100 Most influential Real Estate Leaders for their work & dedication to raising the bar in the Real Estate industry. And their #GoodbyeHello video was named Top 20 Real Estate Videos in the USA in 2013.

Look for their new office in the beach city of Corona Del Mar in Newport Beach as they launch into the Coastal Orange County Real Estate Market in 2014.

The Boutique Real Estate Group