By Julie Escobar
I love success stories don’t you? Especially when they spotlight someone who was brave enough to take calculated risks, savvy enough to look to new strategies, and generous enough to share what is working in a challenging market. One of our clients Maggie Dokic is just that kind of agent and I appreciated the opportunity to have her share her story with us!
If you’re an agent who has struggled (or still struggles) to find your footing in today’s market –you’ll appreciate this insightful interview.
Q: Maggie – when we first connected you were just really getting started and realizing what a tough road it can sometimes be in this business and now you’re gaining traction! How exciting. Can you tell me a little bit about that and what you think you’re doing differently that others can learn from?
A: I’m not out of the woods yet Julie. I’m not ashamed to say I had a couple of really tough years. But it’s exciting to know that I can see the light and am headed in the right direction. I never gave up and there’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from that. As for what I’m doing differently, I started reigning in my enthusiasm for chasing everything that glitters and got back to basics. I have a hard time with that. Every email that gets past my spam blockers seems to garner ‘ooohs and aaahs’ from me as THE answer to all my real estate woes. Instead, I put my focus back on where it belongs. Basics like knowing our market, time blocking, tracking our numbers, reaching out to our sphere and growing it (love this one!), having systems in place, generating business so we can count on regular closings. This isn’t rocket science and we oftentimes get in our own way. I am still a technology fan girl and do allow myself the time to research new things when I hear a buzz. But I have to limit myself to only certain times and they’re on my schedule. Otherwise I’d be on Facebook too long to get any work done. They don’t call it social media for nothing.
Q: I love that you’re thinking outside the box and that you’ve just tried Every Door Direct Mail™ for the first time – what made you make that decision?
A: Well as they say Julie, “Mama didn’t raise no fool!” The cost of EDDM made me realize I’d BE a fool for not trying it. Knowing that I could reach about three times the number of people for the same cost was a no brainer. We mailed to 1,002 homes last month and are preparing our 2nd mailing right now. The very next day after the mailers were delivered I received my first call from a homeowner considering selling. We took that as an omen that EDDM will work for us. We are mailing high quality pieces that stand out and set us apart from the rest. We’re also targeting a specific market and making sure our market knowledge is reflected in our mailings. We’re committed to mailing for a year so those home owners get to know us and our brand. Also in our plans is to grow our reach so we’re in 6,000 mailboxes by the 12th mailing.
Q: That’s awesome! And one of the calls you got was for a TOP DOLLAR Listing too you said! Congratulations! You’ve recently formed a team – how has that made an impact on your business?
A: I always knew I wanted a team. Keller Williams supports that so it was a natural for me to pursue it when I came to KW a year ago. I have to explain that my “team” is still in its infancy. It’s me, an assistant, a virtual assistant, plus buyer agents who are not on my team but I refer business to. It’s working for me right now as it helps me to leverage my time. I want to focus on listings. If I’m doing everything I can’t focus on anything. The goal is to hire a buyer agent as soon as the numbers allow. It all starts with the vision. I created my logo and started branding my team before it even existed. And anyone who has a broker, an office receptionist, and office staff can do the same. They are your team. Start thinking of it that way and the next step is a natural one.
Q: Great advice Maggie – and you’re absolutely right to have the mindset to look at your business AS a business and treat it as such! As a ProspectsPLUS! software user, we’ve often talked about how you like the wide spectrum of marketing tools it offers. As we begin to move our newer pieces online for more functionality and flexibility – do you think that’s something that will make it even easier for your team to use?
A: Heck yes! We love our ProspectsPLUS! software! Every time I open up one of your pieces, I am awed again by what a marketing genius you are! There are a gazillion systems in Prospects Plus and that actually makes it difficult the first time you use it because you want to use all of it but of course have to start with just one. OK, so I exaggerated about the gazillion, but it sure seems like it. So once you get past the fact that you have to limit your attention to one piece and how you’re going to use it, the rest is easy. Seriously, your marketing pieces are so well written that just making a list of the ones you want to use and then chipping away at that list is a great strategy for any real estate professional. And having them available online eventually will simply be icing on the cake.
Q: It’s great to see your spark when you talk about building your business and celebrating your client base. What advice would you give to other agents who are either just starting out or even RE-starting in this business?
A: First, focus on one thing at a time. People multi-tasking and being efficient is a myth. It’s been proven that we get a lot more done and do it better, when we’re not tasked with doing more than one thing at once. Second, don’t be a secret agent. This is Real Estate 101. Reach out to those who know you and like you, and let them know you’re in the business (or remind them you’re still in the business). People want to use someone knowledgeable when they hire anyone, yes. But all things being equal, they prefer to work with someone they know, like and trust and that’s where you gain the upper hand. Make sure your contacts know you are there for them. And be genuine in your approach. In my day to day routine, I enjoy nothing more than the hand written note cards with genuine sentiments and the phone calls made without having to beat them over the head for a referral. The monthly mailings remind them I’m in real estate. My phone calls, texts, Facebook posts and note cards are short, sweet, not about real estate and appreciated. When it’s time for their neighbor to put their home on the market I know they will remember I’m the real estate professional for them. And last, use Evernote. It really is all that and a side of fries. I can go on and on about this wonder app so I will just stop now.
Maggie – thank you so much for sharing your experience and top tips with us. You are an inspiration to agents just like you across North America. I still remember when you first got your software walking you through strategies and solutions and I’m thrilled that things are turning out in your favor and I wish you tremendous success in the future!
If you’d like to get a copy of our ProspectsPLUS! software to kick start your OWN production – click here! Because we have begun to migrate our product online, we’ve just recently dropped the cost on this powerful tool that includes more than 600+ marketing pieces including postcards, brochures, free reports, flyers, feature property marketing tools, lead generators, presentation tools and so much more to an unbelievably low price of $195.
If you’d like to, like Maggie, also learn more about the power of Every Door Direct Mail marketing – click here to see just how easy and affordable it can be.