Blog : education

Finish 2017 Strong!

Finish 2017 Strong!

While our strong summer market continues to keep agents busy across the country, fall is just around the corner…. And you have only five months to close out 2017 with a bang!

Below are five foolproof ways you can assess your business goals, tweak your projections and ramp up your business so 2017 is your best year yet.

1. Start with the goals you might not meet

Dust off the goals you set last winter and painstakingly analyze where you stand in terms of buyers, sellers, marketing plans, GCI, operations and more.

If you’re behind, be realistic about what is possible by the end of the year — and don’t be afraid to reset your goals so they are attainable instead of a pipe dream. While it may seem like a step back, the truth is that if your goals are so far out of your reach, you’ll be unlikely to hold yourself accountable.

2. Ahead of goals? Dig into the why

If, however, you are ahead of schedule on some goals, spend some time reviewing how that happened — and consider nixing some of your “unattainable” goals in favor of the business categories where you are succeeding.

If, for example, you started with a goal to list 6 houses and help 15 buyers, and you’ve listed 2 houses and helped 22 buyers, consider how that has affected your GCI. Are you actually ahead of your goals in some ways, because you’ve had 2 more total transactions (already!) than planned?

To close out the year strong, do you want to focus on landing four more listings and ditching potential buyer clients — which could set you up for more seller clients in 2018? Or do you want to stay comfortable, where the guaranteed income has been all year long?

There’s no right or wrong answer, but the tail end of the year can be a good time to take a risk if you’re already ahead of your commission goals.

3. Create a log of top lead and client sources

If you tend to buy (and convert) leads that get automatically loaded into your CRM, this step may be a breeze. If you work primarily from word-of-mouth referrals, in-person workshops, direct mail ads or other traditional client sources, you may need to spend some time cleaning up your records.

But this step is mission-critical if you want to close out the year strong. By analyzing where your clients come from, you can move on to step #4: Measuring the ROI of each of your client-getting efforts.

If possible, create a few main categories so you can measure general categories quickly:

  • New, paid leads
  • Word-of-mouth and referrals
  • Brand marketing
  • Past clients // repeat customers

4. Look at your spending, budget and ROI

After creating your main client sources in step three, consider the individual costs and return on investment for different tools, campaigns, lead sources and other tactics that “live” in each main business category.

As you go through this exercise, be sure to keep your newly tweaked goals in mind. If your Facebook listing ads are performing incredibly well, and your end-of-year focus is on listings, then you may want to double that budget and slow down your spending on buyer leads.

Conversely, if 41% of your business comes from paid buyer leads, but ¾ of those converted leads are coming from the least expensive source — you can easily phase out the more expensive buyer leads for the rest of the year.

5. Reward the people helping you

While it’s easy to shift your spend from one technology source to another, you also might find in steps #3 and #4 that you have a few incredible referral sources who have been the biggest impact on your business this year.

Whether they are fellow agents from other markets, past clients who loved your services and have recommended you to their friends and family, or one investor client who bought up several properties in fast fashion this spring, be sure that you are properly rewarding them appropriately!

Go beyond and above to send them quarterly gifts — movie tickets, restaurant gift cards, back-to-school survival kits, whatever you can think of. That way, they will not only feel appreciated for their past contributions, but will be more likely to go out of their way to send you new business as you close out the year.

Ready to hit the ground running?

Keep in mind that checking in on your business isn’t a time to feel ashamed or stressed. Think of it as a progress report — if you were back in elementary school, you’d still have plenty of time to turn a low grade into a respectable B+ by the end of the year.

So as you dive into the tail end of 2017, stay motivated and positive. And let us know what you find as you do a deep dive into your business! We’d love to hear how your mid-year evaluation sets you up for future success.

For more helpful tips, visit the SmartZip blog.

Texting Tips for Lead Response (and First Dates!)

Texting Tips for Lead Response (and First Dates!)

Texting Tips for First Dates

First dates and dating are ripe as a metaphor or comparison to lead conversion. Making initial contact. Building trust and rapport. Setting an appointment. Establishing connection. Following up. And that’s what we have here.

The “Captain’s Log” episode of This American Life looks at unemotional facts in logs and records (here: a string of text messages) and unpacks the emotional and complicated aspects behind them.

Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at NYU, teamed up with actor and comedian Aziz Ansari, on a deep dive into the text messages of people just starting a relationship – right when they first start dating (or not!).

With the text messages as raw data, they were able to examine real-time records of what actually transpired – not just what people remembered and reported back.

Additionally, the research project included conversations with hundreds of people, typically in focus groups of 10-20, across 8 different cities.

Occasionally, they conducted these focus groups live on stage with an audience. This podcast included audio from one of these events at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater – with women on one side of the room and men on the other.

Ansari found 4 male volunteers to share their opening text exchanges with prospective dates. Then, the audience commented on each guy’s text messages and voted for their favorites.

The clear winner started like this:

“How’d your Thanksgiving feast turn out? Here’s a shot of the spread I put together. I’d say it came out alright (smiley face)”

Why the women liked this one best:

  • “It gets the conversation going.”
  • “You asked a question.”
  • “It made you want to comment on it.”
  • “It was personal.”
  • “He remembered what you talked about.”

What did they disliked about some of the others:

  • “It sounded (too transactional*).”
  • “He should’ve asked a question.”

*like he was more into the “transaction” than the relationship – he came on too strong and too shallow

The 3 texting tips from the entire research project:

1. Make a plan.
Invite the person to something specific at a specific time.

2. Ask a question.
Say something that refers back to an earlier conversation to show you were listening. Phrase it as a question to encourage a response.

3. Be funny.
Say something funny.

Another key observation:
The bar for success is quite low. So many people do this so poorly. A little effort goes a LONG way.

Klinenberg and Ansari published these findings and many more in Modern Romance.


Texting Tips for Lead Response

The Empathy – Value – Call To Action structure is here.

Asking a question and showing you were listening or paying attention shows empathy. If you’ve not yet met, what do you know about them and how they connected with you?

Being funny here plays as entertainment or value. For you, it’s important to be personal and relatable, but you don’t necessarily have to be funny, per se. Provide value based on what you know about him or her.

Providing a good, clear call to action is fundamental to success and translates directly here. Don’t be vague or leave it open-ended. Be specific. Provide one or two very specific times for a reply, a call, or an appointment. Be clear about what should happen next – and when it can or should happen.

You’ll dramatically increase your likelihood of success in connecting and getting that initial phone call or appointment.

Of course, doing it with a video makes it all more personal, human, and differentiating.

Doing it from your iPhone or Android assures that they’ll have your proper number and that replies come back to your number.

For more helpful tips, visit the BombBomb Blog

The NextHome franchise opens fourth office in Pennsylvania

The NextHome franchise opens fourth office in Pennsylvania

Dana and Thomas Price
Dana and Thomas Price

Pleasanton, CA— September 7, 2017  NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Price Point Realty. The brokerage is the fourth NextHome franchised location in the state of Pennsylvania. The company will be owned by the husband and wife team of Thomas and Dana Price.

Based in State College, NextHome Price Point Realty will provide real estate services such as single family residential sales, investment properties, and commercial sales to the areas of State College, Bellefonte, Boalsburg and the remainder of Centre County.

The borough of State College is located in the middle of Pennsylvania with equal distance between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. State College is best known for being the home to Penn State University.

Thomas started his real estate career in June of 2013 after years of working in the municipal transit industry. While working for the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA), Thomas found his inspiration in an audio CD.

“I spent a lot of time listening to Robert Kiyosaki and finding out more about investing and setting up for retirement,” said Thomas. “After learning as much as I could about setting our family up for the future, a friend suggested I look into real estate. I did and I haven’t looked back.”

After a short stint with a small local brokerage, Thomas moved to KBB Realtors – a regional brokerage located in State College. It was at that company where Thomas really began to hit his stride as a buyer’s agent for a top team at the brokerage.

In his first full year of real estate, Thomas closed 12 transactions. The following year, he left the team to become an independent agent and closed 15 homes on his own.

In 2016, Thomas focused on enhancing the real estate experience for his clients and had his best year – doubling his sales volume from the previous year. Needing additional help in servicing those client needs, Dana joined him.

The Price’s found NextHome after meeting a broker of another real estate franchise who really liked what the company had to offer.

“He shared with me that if he wasn’t already a franchisee of his current company, he would have made the move to NextHome,” recalls Thomas. “I started researching the company and really liked what I saw.”

NextHome Price Point Realty will focus on providing a personalized client experience. By providing technology-based real estate service, the agents of the brokerage can deliver more exposure for seller’s listings.

When not selling real estate, the couple donates time and resources to various local charities and organizations that include cancer research and the local Rotary Club.

Both Thomas and Dana enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, and are avid hockey fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Please join us in congratulating Thomas, Dana and the rest of the team at NextHome Price Point Realty on the opening of their brand new NextHome office!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome opens new office in Stillwater, Oklahoma

NextHome opens new office in Stillwater, Oklahoma

Rhonda Plake
Rhonda Plake

Pleasanton, CA— August 24, 2017  NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Heartland Realty. The brokerage is the second NextHome franchised location in the state of Oklahoma. The company will be owned and operated by the real estate broker, Rhonda Plake.

Based in Stillwater, NextHome Heartland Realty will provide real estate services such as single family residential sales, commercial, land sales, multi-family, and property management to the cities of Stillwater, Perkins, Perry, Jennings, Cushing, Glencoe, Pawnee, Ripley, and the remainder of Payne County.

Located one hour northwest of Oklahoma City, Stillwater has a population of approximately 80,000 residents. Stillwater is also the home of Oklahoma State University.

Before real estate, Plake spent nearly three decades in the military. The veteran first served in the Air Force in 1980. In 2011, she retired as Commander of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service.

After her successful military service career, Plake got her real estate license in 2014. In addition to having a strong interest in real estate, one of the main reasons she wanted to get into the industry was to help veterans find housing once they returned from service.

“After spending my entire adult life serving alongside brave men and women of the military, I wanted to do my part in helping veterans find their perfect home,” said Plake.

She started as a REALTOR® with a local independent brokerage in Stillwater. The broker encouraged education and Plake took it to heart.

In her full first year of real estate, she attained her Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation and sold 19 homes in 2015.

In 2016, she sold 32 homes and through mid-August 2017, Plake has sold an incredible 37 homes.

With her sales career growing year-over-year, Plake found 2017 to be the year to go out on her own and open a brokerage.

She found the NextHome franchise through a simple Google search and instantly saw everything the company had to offer her soon-to-be-opened brokerage.

“When I saw NextHome and the level of support that I would not only receive from the franchise, but from fellow NextHome REALTORS® around the country, I knew this was the right brand to affiliate with,” said Plake. “The leadership team at NextHome sees what is lacking in our industry and with their consumer-centric focus, I feel confident that NextHome Heartland Realty will be the next successful brokerage in the area.”

When not selling real estate, Plake devotes time to both the community and spending time with her family.

She is a volunteer member of The Boot Campaign – a non-profit organization helping disabled Veterans. Plake wants to increase awareness of the needs of women Veterans returning from service.

Plake has been married for 20 years to her husband, Ray, and has two children –Lindsey (age 27) and Raymond Jr. (age 17).

Please join us in congratulating Rhonda and the rest of the team at NextHome Heartland Realty on the opening of their brand new NextHome office!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome Consultants opens new office in Philadelphia, PA

NextHome Consultants opens new office in Philadelphia, PA

(from left to right) NextHome's Franchise Development Director Mackenzie Baishiki, NextHome Consultants agent Maleeka Carroll, Desiraee Davis, NextHome's CEO James Dwiggins, NextHome's VP of Sales Charis Moreno
(from left to right) NextHome’s Franchise Development Director Mackenzie Baishiki, NextHome Consultants agent Maleeka Carroll, Desiraee Davis, NextHome’s CEO James Dwiggins, NextHome’s VP of Sales Charis Moreno

Pleasanton, CA— August 24, 2017  NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Consultants. The brokerage is the third NextHome franchised location in the state of Pennsylvania. The company will be owned and operated by the real estate broker, Desiraee Davis.

Based in Philadelphia, NextHome Consultants will provide real estate services such as single family residential sales, mixed use sales, and property management to the cities of Philadelphia, Abington, Cheltenham, Glenside, Jenkintown and the remainder of the greater Philadelphia Metro Area.

With over 1.5 million residents in the city, Philadelphia is the sixth largest city by population in the United States. When including the entire Philadelphia metropolitan area, the population exceeds 6 million residents.

Davis will handle all day-to-day activities as the owner of NextHome Consultants and will have Karen Walker serve as the broker of record for the office.

In 2005, Davis started her real estate career with S.E. Armstead, an independent real estate brokerage after her friend and REALTOR®, Debbie Bennett suggested she look into becoming an agent.

“Debbie is a good friend and someone I trusted in real estate,” recalls Davis. “She said, ‘You should get into real estate. Do you know how much you would have made if you were able to close the referrals you gave me?’”

“Once she showed me how much business I sent her, I saw a great opportunity to get into real estate,” she added.

Davis started her first year of real estate part time, but when she was able to close $2.5 million in volume in one month, she knew it was time to focus solely on real estate. In 2007, she moved brokerages to accommodate her booming business.

After a two-year stint with the local RE/MAX brokerage, Davis moved to EXIT Realty in 2008 – bringing an incredible book of business built on several years of hard work and referrals.

In 2012, Davis took the initiative to open her own brokerage – Five Stone Realty. As the owner of her own business, her great reputation and track record in real estate attracted several talented agents to join her. With the brokerage at six productive agents, Davis knew she had to offer more for both her agents and clients.

“I was looking for a company that focused on real estate technology as much as I do,” said Davis. “Not only did NextHome have the technology I wanted for our brokerage, but they had the similar vision of where the industry is going.”

Besides being a community real estate resource, Davis gives back to her community in a big way.

Since 2014, Davis has sat on the Board of the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance as Secretary. The organization helps Philadelphia area children who have been sexually abused.

“I want to be a strong voice for children who are too scared to speak up for themselves,” said Davis. “I’m passionate in helping these abused children.”

“After spending time with Desiraee when she came out to California for franchisee training, I couldn’t be prouder to be in business with her,” said NextHome’s Vice President of Business Development, Imran Poladi. “To have someone of Desiraee’s caliber join an already strong network of NextHome brokers, says a lot about the quality of our company.”

Please join us in congratulating Desiraee and the rest of the team at NextHome Consultants on the opening of their brand new NextHome office!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

Use Hyper-Targeted Marketing to Create Connections

Use Hyper-Targeted Marketing to Create Connections

Hyper-targeted marketing has emerged as a definite trend in the real estate market. The ability to reach prospective clients according to closely targeted locations via ZIP code and neighborhood data can be an effective way to establish and grow connections. Find out some tips to put hyper-targeted marketing to use in your agency.

In today’s increasingly competitive real estate market, it’s not just about delivering the right message, it’s also about reaching the right audience. While your prospective clients may be fielding a sea of information from both competitors and businesses outside of your industry, you can still cut through the clutter to let them know about your agency and what you have to offer.

How? Through hyper-targeted marketing.

What is hyper-targeted marketing?

What exactly is this buzz phrase that’s capturing the attention of real estate professionals nationwide? It’s a series of techniques that involve narrowing your focus and marketing efforts versus more traditional approaches like casting a wide net. When combined with the technology available for agencies, homebuyers and sellers, hyper-targeted marketing can be an effective way to create and establish important connections.

How to use it?

Go local, hyper-local.

When advertising a new listing, open house, sale or other important update, focus your efforts on targeting very specific regions. If you have the available info, try reaching people based in relevant ZIP codes, subdivisions or neighborhoods, rather than just an entire city or suburb.

Know your target audience.

Are you looking to reach current homeowners? First-time buyers? Millennials? Empty nesters? Zeroing in on your desired audience can help make your communications more effective by making sure the right message is relevant to the right people.

Marketing by home type.

Hyper-targeting can also apply to the type of home you’re trying to help your clients buy or sell, from condos and townhouses to estates and duplexes. For example, lofts located downtown may be a great fit for working professionals, while lakefront properties may be sought after by empty nesters looking for just the right vacation property.

Targeting by move time.

In addition to location, timing is another important factor in the marketplace. Considering the timing of your communications is also important. Would you like to reach people looking to move now, next year, or in a few months? Or do you know which prospects are likely to respond during traditionally busy versus quiet moving seasons?

No matter if your marketing efforts are targeting homebuyers and sellers by the time of year, home type or audience, American Home Shield® is always available with trusted home warranty coverage to meet your clients’ needs.

To connect to American Home Shield® on social media, visit us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog

NextHome opens new office in Sahuarita, Arizona

NextHome opens new office in Sahuarita, Arizona

Jim Snodgrass and Maria Serino
Jim Snodgrass and Maria Serino

Pleasanton, CA— August 18, 2017  NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Complete Realty. The brokerage is the fourth NextHome franchised location in the state of Arizona. The company will be owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Jim Snodgrass and Maria Serino.

Based in Sahuarita, NextHome Complete Realty will provide real estate services such as single family residential sales, commercial, and property management to the cities of Sahuarita, Tucson, Nogales, Rio Rico, Green Valley, Vail, Oro Valley, and Marana.

Located ten miles south of Tucson, Sahurita is home to approximately 25,000 residents.

Snodgrass’ first connection to real estate came when he found himself as a lead generator for a friend.

“My friend was a REALTOR® and I was sending them a lot of referrals from people I knew who were interested in buying and selling a home,” recalls Snodgrass. “With as many leads I was providing, I thought it made sense to get my real estate license and work in real estate myself.”

Starting his real estate career in 2005, Snodgrass saw immediate success as a REALTOR®. His background of business development in the medical field proved valuable and he quickly built his business. It was going so well that Serino joined him just a year later to become a two-person team to handle clients.

With 12 years at Tierra Antigua Real Estate, the couple was consistently at the top of the local sales rankings. They would often close more than 100 transactions annually.

After more than a decade of working for another broker, Snodgrass and Serino felt it was the right time to open their own brokerage. With a degree in marketing and brand management, Snodgrass wanted to start a real estate company that had a focus on consistent, clean branding and had the flexibility to adapt to a changing market.

“Maria and I were able to keep our business steady through the downturn of the economy by being proactive with our model and adapting to the shift,” said Snodgrass. “By moving to short sale listings, we were able to not only stay consistent with our business, but become a resource for those in our community who needed it during a difficult time.”

After finding out about NextHome, the couple called several NextHome franchisees to see how they felt about being involved with a relatively newer franchise brand.

“Just speaking to the several NextHome brokers over the phone, I could tell they felt connected to the company,” said Snodgrass. “That comfortability to tell us what they honestly felt about NextHome and how happy they were, let us know that this was the company for us.”

When not selling real estate, the couple of 16 years enjoy traveling and spending time with their two children, Antonio (age 14) and Angelina (age 12).

Please join us in congratulating Jim, Maria, and the rest of the team at NextHome Complete Realty on opening their brand new NextHome office!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome Boutique Realty opens in Pembroke Pines, Florida

NextHome Boutique Realty opens in Pembroke Pines, Florida

Pleasanton, CA— August 16, 2017  NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Boutique Realty. The brokerage is the 32nd NextHome franchised location in the state of Florida. The company will be owned and operated by real estate veteran, Paul Herman.

Based in Pembroke Pines, NextHome Boutique Realty will provide real estate services such as single family residential sales, commercial, multi-units, luxury, move-up, and new home development.

The brokerage will help buyers and sellers in all areas of Broward County – including Pembroke Pines, Davie, Cooper City, and Weston.

With nearly 20 years of experience in real estate, Herman is excited about the opportunity to open and run his own brokerage.

A graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Construction Management in 1999, Herman started in real estate immediately following college. He worked for several high-end real estate developers as the construction and purchasing manager for various projects.

“I was put in charge of analyzing and evaluating different materials and finishes used for new homes,” said Herman. “As the buyer for these items, I learned a lot about construction costs and quality of materials, as well as how to create the best value for properties.”

After several years in this role, Herman returned to the University of Florida, where he earned his Master’s Degree in Real Estate.

Herman worked as a Purchasing Manager for many of the region’s top home builders, such as Toll Brothers and DR Horton, after completing his Master’s Degree. In charge of acquisitions, he was responsible for finding and analyzing land deals for purchase and development.

Once a piece of land was acquired, Herman would be responsible for purchasing materials for building, negotiating trade contracts, and hiring sub-contractors to complete construction.

“While it was a lot of responsibilities, I feel that by being involved in all aspects of home building I was able to really understand what went into a home and what features buyers were looking for,” said Herman.

In 2013, Herman took over as the Operations & Development Manager for The Preserve at Emerald Hills – a 117 unit high-end community located in Hollywood, FL. Responsible for all aspects of the community, such as the development, construction, and sales, Herman felt it was the perfect time to fulfill his dream of owning a brokerage.

“I’ve had a great opportunity to learn and build my expertise over my career, but I have always done the work for other companies,” said Herman. “I want to pursue my dream of owning my own brokerage and 2017 was the perfect opportunity to do so.”

As a small business owner, Herman liked the flexibility the NextHome franchise provided for his new company.

“Our affiliation with NextHome allows us to operate as a boutique brokerage, yet have an established and growing real estate brand backing us up,” said Herman.

When not selling real estate, Herman spends time with family. He and his wife of ten years, Alison, have two daughters – Bondi (age 7) and Bryce (2).

Please join us in congratulating Paul and the rest of the team at NextHome Boutique Realty on opening their brand new NextHome office!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

8 Common Mistakes That Cost Real Estate Agents Repeat and Referral Business

8 Common Mistakes That Cost Real Estate Agents Repeat and Referral Business

1) Not asking for referrals (simple, right?!)

It may seem like a no-brainer, but – again – too many agents simply think that repeat and referral business will just happen on its own.  While this is true in very select and sporadic circumstances, this is a considerably weak strategy to bet on.

When it comes down to it, you don’t know unless you ask. And if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.


2) Only thinking about referrals when you need referrals

For many agents, generating referrals becomes an afterthought to driving new business. They just happen organically, right?


You can’t wait until your pipeline is dry to begin trying to drum up repeat and referral business. Instead, plant the seed for referrals starting with your very first interaction by giving them an incredible client experience.

And assume the close. Make referrals a normalized expectation in the ways you communicate with current and past clients.


3) Providing a forgettable, cookie-cutter experience

In this hyper-connected, online-reviewed, and digital age, people are loyal to brands they connect with in a meaningful way through unforgettable experiences. How your brand communicates is a big part of that.

You, as your own brand and company, have the opportunity to craft a memorable experience through sincere, personal touches that can reach buyers and sellers on any device no matter where they are. Tools like BombBomb make this easier than ever.

Here are some examples:

  • Sending a text message showing reminders to prospective buyers
  • Sharing listings with clients via social media
  • Sending monthly market update emails with client-focused meaning
  • Triggering autoresponders from website inquiries
  • Creating and sending personalized video walkthroughs
  • Reaching out on holidays and special occasions


4) Disappearing after the sale

Obviously, it’s important that your relationships with buyers and sellers don’t end once the transaction is closed.

Now that commission is no longer on the line, your clients don’t necessarily expect you to keep in touch with them.  Incomplete and lackluster customer experiences have trained them to think this way.

This is a great opportunity for you to “WOW” them on occasions like birthdays, purchase/move anniversaries, and holidays. Easy and simple messages like these contribute to an unforgettable and extended experience with you.

Here at BombBomb, we advocate getting in front of your webcam or smartphone camera and sending at least one video a month to your database to stay top of mind for repeat and referral purposes. However, this doesn’t mean you should ask for referrals on a monthly basis.

Simply get your face, voice, and personality back in front of your sphere of influence every 30 days or so with a simple video. Share a tip, idea, or update that relates to the special place on Earth that you live and work.

80% of people recall a video they’ve watched in the past 30 days. So, by sending a video of yourself once per month, you ensure that you’re always top of mind. [Insivia]


5) Sending non-segmented messages

Although staying top of mind is vital, you want to stay top of mind in the right way.

You don’t want to be that agent who just constantly blasts their database with irrelevant nonsense. You don’t want to send an email just for sending’s sake. You want to truly connect with someone and generate a conversation.

By segmenting your database into specific categories (new buyer leads, new seller leads, past buyers, past sellers, zip code, price range, A/B/C clients, agents, lenders, etc.), you’re able to send targeted messages that are more relevant to each recipients. This drives higher engagement over a longer period of time.

The days of mass-blasting are over.


6) Not GIVING referrals

There’s a “scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mentality that tends to get overlooked during the grind of converting leads and serving clients.

By networking with and providing referrals to agents, lenders, and other professionals, you’re building an extremely fruitful referral network that you can legitimately build your business on.


7) Being unreferrable

Maybe you knocked your client’s socks off, but – for whatever reason – you feel uncomfortable asking him or her for referrals.

If this sounds like you, then you NEED to create an easy way for your clients to refer you to a friend, family member, or co-worker on their own. And if you do ask for referrals, you should still do this, too.

Create a referral form on your website, or put a “Refer a Friend” link in your signature that redirects to the form. If you want to go the extra mile, create an autoresponder email from that referral form, or redirect them to a custom “Thank You” page upon submission.


8) Not scaling yourself

At the end of the day, you are your very best sales asset.  As the face of your own brand in a human-to-human industry, YOU — your personality, actions, and expertise — drive your business forward.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible for you to be hands-on and in-person with everyone, everywhere, all the time. Therefore, it’s vital that you diligently craft your digital communications as a reflection and extension of yourself and the value that you provide.

Hint: video’s a GREAT way to do this. It lets you be there in person when you can’t be there in person.

For more helpful tips, visit the BombBomb Blog

Leads are People Too: Four Ways to Persist Without Turning People Off

Leads are People Too: Four Ways to Persist Without Turning People Off

Industry visionary Brian Boero, of 1000 Watt Consulting, recently wrote about how many top real estate companies are working their leads in highly aggressive ways — in short, he says, real estate agents are starting to “digitally waterboard” their leads with between 21 and 43 touches designed to convert at any cost.

What agents aren’t considering, Boero, says, is how these potential clients want to be treated after they come in as a lead. And while you can certainly work to repair a relationship that commenced with light stalking, wouldn’t it be better to start off on the right foot?

Below are four tips for keeping it real and finding the human connection when you are working to engage and convert new leads.

1. Do some research before you reach out
Yes, the five-minute response is important. You may consider automating an initial response to a lead saying that you’re busy at the moment but will be in touch soon. But in the time between that automated text (or email) and your initial call, be sure to spend a few minutes thinking about how to engage the lead on a personal level.

If they’re a clear buyer lead, Google their name or look them up on Facebook. If they seem to be recently married or have an expanding family, work that into the call by asking if they had any major life changes recently or if they’re just looking for a new home. By giving them an opportunity to talk about their personal circumstances — and not just the deal you’re after — you’re stoking a real human connection that sets the right tone for them to work with you.

If they’ve requested a CMA or price analysis on their current home, do some digging on the home’s exact location. In your call, discuss its proximity to a local park, pool, restaurant or emerging commercial district. Show them that you know about more than just their home’s value and local housing trends; you also know about all their community and what makes it special.
2. Create your own script
Have you ever worked with a coach or service that offers scripts… but you end up tongue-tied or embarrassed as you work to get your point across?

Scripts cartoon

Scripts can be great, but they also don’t take into account your personality, your attitude and how you prefer to engage with potential clients. If you’re an inherently amiable person who’s using an aggressive script, you’ll sound as natural as a vegan working the cashier at a butchershop.

And it’s not just awkward for you — when you fumble a script, your leads will notice something is off and they may even choose to hire an agent who seems a little more comfortable with their pitch.

Review the scripts you use and think critically about the parts you like, the calls to action that seem to work and most importantly, the sections or pitches that trip you up or make you squirm with discomfort. Revise them and ask your broker or a fellow agent to sit in on a 30-minute session where you review each revamped script until they’re fully memorized.
3. Talk about why you’re different
Plenty of buyers and sellers start their search on the web long before they officially sign on with an agent. If your potential leads have been on real estate sites for more than 5 or 10 minutes, there’s a high chance they are already being… ahem… “digitally waterboarded” by other agents.

This doesn’t have to be a roadblock; it can be an opportunity. In that initial call or email (if you don’t have their number), explain that your approach is different and you want to offer them real insights and valuable information that can help them.*

Reinforce that you have a no-pressure, no-obligation approach and see if this change in tone helps you engage with more buyer and seller leads on a deeper level starting on day one. If it does, you’ll know that treating your leads like people — and not a stray herd of cattle that needs prodding — is a unique, effective approach that will pay off in the short- and long-term.

*Of course, you’ll want to be sure they haven’t signed an official contract with any of the other agents who consider them an active lead.
4. Vary your approach (and keep track of it)
There’s nothing wrong with having multiple approaches to engage a client. In fact, we’d say giving them an opportunity to see different sides of your business and personality is a good thing. In fact, that’s why SmartZip’s SmartTargeting system comes with an intelligent, flexible outreach app called CheckIn.

CheckIn App

CheckIn reminds you to get in touch with your leads and prospects, giving you the option to email, call, door knock or door drop, or to invite them to a local community event you are hosting. CheckIn also tracks any automated marketing touches you send their way, so you can be sure you aren’t overloading them with too much information.

If you’d like to learn more about SmartTargeting’s all in one lead generation solution and see how predictive analytics, automated marketing, mobile CRM and lead followup can work for you in your farm or sphere set up a quick personal demo here. You may also view other territories to find areas with high turnover and better commission potential.

For more helpful tips, visit the SmartZip blog.