Monday, June 24, 2019

In Step with Awesome Agent Ariana Gillette

By Julie Escobar

How do top producers stay at the top and continue to grow their businesses? We got the answers to that and more when we caught up with top producing agent Ariana Gillette who shared her thoughts on what it takes to make it – and KEEP making it in this competitive business.

Here’s what she shared…

Q:  Thanks for sharing your ideas with us! Can you first tell our readers a little about yourself?

A:  Hi Readers! I am a Northern Virginia native. My Husband, two kids, two German Shepherds & I currently live in Loudoun County. Real Estate is my passion and I have handled a Gazillion issues as a Realtor in this fast-paced, yet rewarding business. I have been licensed since 2003 and do $10 million in production per year, yet I am always looking for fun and creative ways to expand my business. I have a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and am a Licensed Real Estate Broker.  I bring a depth of knowledge into every transaction as well as a solid sense of humor. My goal is to educate & empower my clients to make the best decisions they can while buying and selling. I want them to have the best experience possible.

Q:  You entered the Master Marketing Schedule contest – can you share what you like about using this agent tool and what your favorite strategy was?    

A:  Let’s be honest … the everyday practice of Real Estate is tedious. Yet, that is exactly what makes us successful running our businesses. If we don’t prioritize meaningful engagement with our clients it’s just NOT going to happen. The Master Marketing Schedule makes it easy to time block your calendar to do mailings, pop-by gifts, and farming pieces.

Q:  Are you working a geographic farm as well as your sphere – and can you tell our readers any tips you might have for staying top of mind?

A: My sphere is the life of my business. I door knock with door hangers, I do print for my Coming Soon, Just Listed, Just Sold marketing, and of course everyone’s favorite the Neighborhood Update. I mail the update one time per quarter, which reminds me, I’m due for Q3 mailing to my Farm! My advice? Get involved with your community and give back. That is how to make your Farm thrive with referrals.

Q: What are some of your favorite ways to stay in touch with the VIPs in your sphere of influence?

A: Coffee, lunch, pop-by gifts, invites to events and free stuff when I get tickets or passes, etc. Facebook shout-outs to customers on the anniversary of their home purchases.

Q: A lot of agents struggle with follow-up – do you have any words of wisdom for them?  

A: Order Thank You cards that are blank inside and start shooting them out, and have stationary made from ProspectsPLUS! to write handwritten notes. ANYONE who gives you their email, add to your database right away — not a month from now.  I am bad about this, but it does make a huge difference.

Q:  One of the reasons we created the Master Marketing Schedule was to put some fun into marketing for agents, and give them outside the box ideas for connecting with clients. Do you have any fun things you do to stay motivated and on track?

A: Accountability groups, a life coach, webinars, and conferences. I’m a busy mom – but I make time for all of these when I can.

Q:  If you had one piece of advice for a brand-new agent in today’s market, what would it be?

A: Use systems. Run your Real Estate business like any other business. Show up. Follow systems that every office provides or connect with one of the bigger named coaches. Create and maintain meaningful relationships with every client you work with. Go above and beyond to provide value. AND don’t TEXT all the time. Make phone calls, and meet with clients in person to develop those relationships that will be your referral business for years to come.

Q:  If agents have a referral for you, how can they reach you?

A:  Sure. I am available via email at Ariana@Dwellus.com, on Zillow at www.zillow.com/profile/Ariana-Gillette or Facebook — search Ariana Gillette Real Estate.

Awesome information — thank you SO much, Ariana!

Be like Ariana! Jump into the contest!  

CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN WIN $10,000.

Need help with your marketing? Visit www.prospectsplus.com or call our marketing team at 866.405.3638 today! 

Insights from Helene Nunez

by Julie Escobar

We seriously have the best customers. They are always so generous in their willingness to share ideas, experience, and strategies with our readers. I loved the spirit of one of our customers who recently jumped into the $10K Realtor Contest with a fun entry, who turned one Master Marketing Schedule idea into an exciting and fun opportunity to reach out to some of her current clients. Meet Helene Nunez and see what SHE’S doing to shake things up in her market!

Q:  Thanks for sharing your ideas with us! Can you first tell our readers a little about yourself?

A: Sure, I am a mother of three daughters and two stepdaughters, and I am so blessed to have 12 healthy grandchildren. I am a native of Tampa, Florida, where Irma just paid a visit! I am so thankful my family is all safe. I am a family of seven. I have two older brothers, then me, then two more brothers, then two sisters. (We are all a family of workaholics!) My Mom, Abby, and stepdad, Bob, came here to Louisiana to avoid Irma. My mom is/was a licensed broker in Tampa, and if truth be known, she could sell ice to an Eskimo!  My sister Paula is also a Realtor in Tampa. And she is super amazing and is a true workaholic, like me! I moved to Louisiana in 1995.  I started real estate in 2003 with Keller Williams, then three years later opened Helene Team Realty. I was very nervous taking the broker exam, and I told my two clients that wanted me to list their home that failure is not an option. I had to pass this broker exam, and God was with me, and I passed!  I always wondered what I wanted to do when I grew up, and in my very first week of being a Realtor, I KNEW I’d found my calling. I was terrified, but absolutely love what I do.

Q:  I loved that you took on one of the fun Master Marketing Schedule tips and chose the Trail Mix Day! How fun is that?  What made you choose that and what kind of reaction did you get from clients?

A: Well, when I saw that it was National Trail Mix Day, I thought, I can do that! So, I went out and purchased several bags of Trail Mix, and took it to the clients I was currently working with, and man, oh man, they were so excited! And, their excitement, made me realize even more that I found the right company to work with. I love your ideas!

Q:  What do you like most about the Schedule and what, if anything, surprised you about it?

A: I was totally surprised by most of the ideas. Man, they are fantastic. I love the schedule because it gives me ideas that I could not possibly think of myself. What great inspiration.

Q:  What’s most important to you in terms of staying top of mind with your sphere of influence and farm area prospects?

A: Staying top of mind with your sphere is everything. It is so important. If you don’t stay in touch, your past client can and will buy from another agent. Real estate is about building long-standing relationships. You see, you want to sell to your client, and when done the right way, then, they refer their family, friends, and even their children to you when they come of age!

Q:  So many agents struggle to market because they never put a database together. What advice would you have for them?

A:  No database??? You have to have a database to build your business. That is the most basic need. And, be sure to feed it daily. And, one day when you retire, you will actually have a business to sell.  Your book of business IS your database.

Q:  How often do you personally connect with your sphere?

A: I try to contact my sphere four times a year. Some have moved and have different addresses, and some have changed their cell phone numbers, but I drive by their house and drop off a little gift. Maybe some fresh baked cookies, or a treat of some kind. But it is so important to stay top of mind with your sphere.

Q:  What expert advice would you have for agents just beginning to brand and market themselves in an area?

A: In order to grow your business be consistent. Start with a database. That IS your business. Educate yourself. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more you can protect your clients’ interest. Yes, it takes time and money. But, if you stay disciplined, the money will follow and you can build a great business.  I’d also like to share one of my favorite quotes by Albert Einstein: “Strive not to be a success but rather be of value.”  If being of value is your focus, success will follow.

Q:  If agents have a referral for you, how can they reach you?

A: The best way to reach me is by my cell phone 504-427-6183. My office number is 985-639-3991. Email helene@heleneteam.com and my office is in Olde Towne Slidell, 2010 First Street, Slidell, LA 70458.

Thank you so much, Helene! You’re awesome! If you are a customer and would like to share ideas of your own, please contact me today to set up an interview! I can be reached at julie.escobar@prospectsplus.com.

Be like Helene! Jump into the contest!  

CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN WIN $10,000.

 

Real Estate Agent Contest 2017

New Magazine Filled With Tools for YOU

by Julie Escobar

We’re thrilled this week to introduce you to the 6th edition of the Master Marketing Magazine which started hitting mailboxes all across the nation last week.  The reviews and comments are coming in fast and the word on the street is that it is already being recommended as a tool agents can count on as they put their marketing in place to hit the second half of this year strong.

Our sixth installment of this magazine has 87 pages that are filled to the brim with strategic content, creative ideas, and market-savvy tools you can use starting right now with a focus on matching your marketing with your market segment using incredible new data sources and options!

Here are a few of the featured articles: 

  • Embracing the Element of Surprise
  • Three Steps to Drive More Inventory
  • Five Action Steps to Grow Your Business
  • Pricing Makes Perfect
  • The One Thing You Can Do to Earn Three Times the National Average
  • Three Ways to Put Some Fun in Your Marketing
  • Three Ways to Get Out In Front of YourCompetition
  • PLUS… Powerful Interviews With Top Real Estate Pros
  • PLUS…a 6-MONTH Pull-Out Master Marketing Schedule
  • PLUS… a Chance to Win $10,000

And so much more…

Ready to look inside the pages of our digital version today? Check it out at blog.prospectsplus.com/magazine.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the new magazine!  

Find us on Facebook and share your experience, your favorites, and your ideas for the NEXT publication!  

Being a resource YOU can turn to – is our passion.  Enjoy! 

Six Answers You Need to Know

By Julie Escobar

With markets and competition heating up this summer, geographic farming is more relevant, and results-producing than ever. It’s what is differentiating top agents from lower producers, and what is setting some apart as leaders in both their marketplace – and in market share.

To learn more, we asked Todd Robertson about what he is seeing trend across North America right now. Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q:  Todd – there was a time when agents got away from geographic farming but now it’s back stronger than ever – can you shed some light on that?

A:  Here’s what we’ve found:  With all the ‘noise’ out there now, social media, Zillow, Trulia, email, spam filters, online ads – a lot of home buyers and sellers aren’t responding to the noise. Yet, a LOT of agents are still hiding behind their computers. We know that 95% of people check their mail every day – and direct mail is standing out from the ‘online’ noise.  It used to be that farming was expensive. Mailings were expensive. Now with technology and new USPS tools, it’s much less so, and with most agents still not in that space – those who do jump in – WIN.

Q:  We’ve all seen agents who get frustrated because they want instant results – and farming just isn’t that kind of marketing.  What do you say to agents who want instant gratification?

A:  The truth is we are in an instant gratification mode. We’re looking to the lottery for a quick million, fast food for an instant meal, and whatever ‘golden ticket’ it might take to unlock the key to right-now success.  But what I like to share with agents is the hunter vs. farmer mindsets.  The hunter is great at getting on the phone, shaking the trees, finding those expireds, FSBOs, SOI leads, anything that will generate business today or this week.  Where the farmer isn’t crazy about all that possible rejection, so they slowly and surely cultivate an area with direct mail and email marketing.  After 25 years in this business we do know two things though:  Patience and persistence will always win and combining the two skills of hunting and farming are your best means of generating long term success at a whole other level. You do have to be “all-in” – but it is so worth it.

Q:  In your talks and webinars you speak about putting ALL the pieces in place – can you share more about what you mean by that?

A:  Well this kind of goes back to my last answer.  You really CAN dominate a market area and out-pace any competition if you are willing to streamline your practices – and do it all.  Not one thing. Not the easy things. But all of it.  Direct mail. Just Listed. Just Sold. Door knocking. Aggressive open houses. All of it – and not just once but really adhere to that 3-7-27 rule of marketing I’ve shared in the past where you’re continuously making impressions and staying top of mind because the competition, for the most part, is not going to be as committed to doing it all. If you are? You win.

Q:  Follow up is a critical part of marketing, but so many agents are reluctant to walk their farm or pick up the phone.  What’s your best advice to get over that hurdle?  

A:  Well, the tough advice is that if your mindset is ‘I’m afraid or unwilling to prospect’ then perhaps this is not the profession for you.  If we look at the old 80/20 rule which says that 20% of the agents do 80% of the business, we know that those numbers are now outdated. In today’s world it’s 93/7.  7% of the agents are doing 93% of the business.  The reason lies right here – prospecting. Following up.  I like to tell my audiences, “If the game is scheduled, and you’ve chosen to play – you might as well win.”  So if you are in this business to help people – then remember, you are paid in direct proportion to how many people you help, and how good you are at that help. So don’t just put your toe in the pool – jump in.  Don’t be that agent who tried something once, or twice, or three times and throws up their hands and says, ‘this doesn’t work’.  Stick with it. The year is half over.  Don’t fall into that – it is what it is mindset where it is all right to be average, or less than your goals.  You get paid in proportion to how many you help. Get out there and play hard.  If you get a no, pick up the phone again, and again.  It’s a numbers game, but more than that, it’s a people game. Find the next person to help.

Q:  This is a busy time for agents – and many are so busy working IN the business, they don’t stop to work ON their business.  What can you share with our readers regarding blocking time so that nothing falls through the cracks?

A:  It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae, I know. The feel-good work. The paper shuffling. The non-confrontational. Top agents though know that the highest and best use of their time is doing three things: prospecting, presenting, and closing.  The rest they find solutions for. Automated marketing. Virtual Assistants. Database management systems. Marketing systems.  They are effective time managers – that’s the level you need to strive for.

Q:  The Market Dominator is hard to ignore when homeowners get it in their mailbox – can you tell us a little about the science of its size, content, and calls to action?

A:  Well it’s the largest piece allowed legally through the USPS system.  It’s got 100% impression rate. It’s coated on one side, full color and on great paper.  Most importantly, it’s filled with the kind of content people want to read.  Not salesy – hyped commercial stuff. But real world content. And real world calls to action.  It’s relevant and fun and ‘share-able’ for people.  And it gets the job done.  I just heard from one of our customers who has done 16 transactions this year so far, three directly as a result of the Dominator.  Take a look and let me know if you have questions. It’s a powerful tool for agents who are really interested in dominating their own geographic farm.

Thanks so much for your time Todd.  For those interested in learning more about the Market Dominator, you can watch Todd’s informative video here.  For questions, give Todd a call at 866-405-3638.  Now, go out there and dominate in YOUR favorite geographic farm!  

In Step with VIP Broker Cindee Cullingford

We often interview agents with success stories, but this week we had the awesome opportunity to share an interview with one of our power brokers who uses smart marketing tools to help her agents succeed at a high level and brand her business throughout her market.

Here’s what we learned…

Q:  Thank you for agreeing to our interview. Can you first tell our readers a little about yourself?

A:  I am a small-town girl with a big appetite to succeed!  I am the youngest and only girl with three older brothers, and I adore each one for different reasons.  I lost my middle brother in Vietnam when I was 14, so I believe that shaped a part of me for the rest of my life.  I flew off to one of the biggest cities when I was 18 years old.  I moved to Los Angeles, California with the blessings of my family.  I never looked back. Real Estate is actually my third career.  I was excited to join the Real Estate industry back in 2004, and continue to learn every day.

Q:  As a Broker/Owner, you’ve probably waded through many different marketing options, can you tell us what attracted you to ProspectsPLUS!?

A: Boy, have I!  I actually used ProspectsPLUS! many years ago, but stopped mailing postcards as so many agents tend to do.  When I opened my Brokerage, Coral C’s Realty & Property Management, LLC. just 4 years ago, I started receiving emails from your team?  The Just Sold postcard was completed for me and all I had to do was approve it and click “OK”.  So, it was Ramona and the ease of use of the postcards.

Q:  I know you offer Just Listed and Just Sold postcards to all your associates, which is awesome. What has that meant for you in terms of company branding, agent retention and recruiting?

A: It is in my best interest to make sure each of my Sales Associates mail out those important Just Listed and Just Sold postcards to keep my branding (and their business) alive.  So, I made the decision to include 100 postcards, complete and mailed out for each Sales Associate every time a home is sold or listed.  This is a great incentive to offer new Sales Associate for a small amount of money.  Even the seasoned agents find it a great tool and stay loyal because of it.

Q:  What advice do you have for agents eager to compete in this busy market?

A: Take every advantage offered to you in the way of marketing, but STAY consistent when you start farming.  ProspectsPLUS! offers a variety of inexpensive ways to keep your name in front of everyone that needs real estate assistance.

Q:  Can you share what’s working for your associates in terms of staying top of mind with their sphere and farm?

A: I can honestly say that all of my Sales Associates at one time or another have said “Thank you” for including the postcards in our Sales Package.  But more importantly, they have each had responses back from owners wanting us to list their home because they received our postcards.  The other awesome way to stay in touch with clients is to pick up the phone and prospect at least 5-10 people a day, five times a week.

Q:  Any fun ideas you’d like to add for agents or brokers for staying ahead of their competition?

A: Keep your sales associates happy because they are your bread and butter.  We spend considerable time inside and outside of the office together.  We love getting the agents and their spouses together for comedy night.  I know we have all heard of the “team environment”, but we actually have one.  If an agent can’t show for any reason, another agent will step in and assist.

Q: How can our readers connect with you if they have referrals they’d like to send your way?

A: We are always available for referrals! Coral C’s Realty office number is 321-613-5605.  We are on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thank you so much Cindee! Your advice has been awesome. If you’d like to learn more about sending postcards for your team as a broker, or how to stay consistent and out front of your competition as an agent visit www.prospectsplus.com today or call our team at 866.405.3638.