At the end of April, 50 of real estate’s top female leaders met in Scottsdale, Ariz., for the annual Awesome Females in Real Estate Conference (AFIRE). Here are some of the highlights from that event.
1. Quit complaining
Fafie Moore of Realty Executives of Nevada believes that "good competitors make us all better." If you’re losing business to the competition, it’s not your competitor’s fault. Instead, you need to step up your game.
In terms of how to cope with today’s tough market, "Either learn to like it and quit complaining, or if you don’t like it, do something about it. In either event, your friends are tired of hearing about it."
2. Knowledge is priceless
Pam O’Connor, the president and CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, notes that within her company, success is tied to three factors: character, competence and communication.
O’Connor also drew the distinction between information and knowledge. Information is free and can reside online. Knowledge, which is the application of information and experience to solve problems, cannot be obtained online. As Jenny Pruitt says: "Information is free. Knowledge is priceless."
3. Turnkey service and privacy are critical in the luxury real estate market
Jacky Teplitzky, managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman, shared some of her secrets for working with high-end global clients. Many global clients have multiple houses and will live in a property only a few weeks per year. Jacky attributes her success with these types of clients to providing them turnkey service. This means providing them with property management services as well as being a resource for just about anything they need to buy, sell or manage their property.
It also means being very discreet. Under no circumstances do you discuss your buyer’s ability to buy with anyone other than the client’s attorney, business manager or personal banker. This is especially true when it comes to the man’s wife! In many cultures, it is completely taboo to discuss one’s finances, especially with family. Remember, confidentiality is the name of the game.
4. Five key trends
Marilyn Wilson of the WAV Group identified the following five trends as being most critical to real estate professionals:
- Push marketing is out. Success today is related to "pull" or "attraction" marketing. In this model you attract clients by offering service rather by advertising or broadcasting how great you are.
- Performance transparency — what you do and the service you provide will be discussed openly on the Web.
- Today’s customers expect you to be there all the time. Mobile applications make this possible.
- More companies will go virtual decreasing the need for big brick-and-mortar operations.
- Transaction processing will continue to grow more efficient with transaction management platforms and tablet computers.
5. Create opportunity by the attitude you wear
Karel Murray, author of "Get a Grip: Finding Your Balance without Losing It" as well as "Hitting Our Stride: Women, Work, and What Matters," suggested that, "You create opportunity by the attitude that you wear." In other words, when you are happy and act in a professional way, that’s who you will attract. If you are stressed out or if your life is in chaos, you will attract people who create stress and chaos.
Karel also offered this advice in term of coping with difficult situations. To avoid becoming too stressed out, ask yourself, "Will I remember this event 10 years from now?" Even if you will remember it, will this event make any real difference in your life two years from now? The next time you face chaos, asking these two questions is a great way to put everything into perspective.
6. Learn more by laughing
Ginny Hillenbrand, the president of 1-866-Improve.com, shared some research that shows that when you are laughing, you learn five times more quickly than when you’re not laughing. The reason is that when you laugh, your resistance is down. You’re not throwing up mental roadblocks that can keep you from learning. Also, it’s impossible to laugh and be focused on negativity at the same time.
Hillenbrand also had a great suggestion regarding how to hand out your business cards. Most real estate agents hand their cards out at every possible opportunity. In contrast, Hillenbrand said a better approach is to engage the person in a conversation. Let the other person ask you for your card rather than offering it to them. The reason is simple: When that person asks for your card, he or she will remember you.
7. Establish fans before posting a Facebook fan page
Kelly White, part of the Good Life Team based in Austin, shared an important strategy if you are starting a Facebook fan page. White suggested that you get at least 25 people who will agree to "like" your fan page before you post it.
Have these 25 people listed before inviting anyone else to "like" your fan page. White also suggested that to be effective, make your fan page consumer-centric. You must also target it to a specific market niche.
Would you like more tips from real estate’s leading women? If so, don’t miss Thursday’s column.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of "Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success" and other books. You can reach her at Bernice@RealEstateCoach.com and find her on Twitter: @bross.
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