In surfing, there are many times you won’t have your board. Realtors spend so much time obsessing over their tools they often forget that they still need to know how to “swim” (do the deal) independently of their tools.

Real Estate Connect is always packed with great information, leading-edge technology, plus a wealth of innovative strategies to grow your business. Simply making a few minor changes in what you do can often lead to great results.

1. Insider tips from Redfin
Glenn Kelman, the CEO of Redfin, shared some ideas and tools that have worked well for his company. First, if you want to attract listing consultation appointments, include your address on your photos, videos and other communications. If you want to improve your audience engagement by 25 percent from your agent reviews, ask a question.

2. Increase your lead conversion by 16 percent

Does your headshot really make a difference to your business? Kelman displayed a series of Redfin’s professionally photographed agent headshots. When Redfin hired a stylist to upgrade the agents’ looks, lead conversion increased by 16 percent. He also said to hire the best photographer you can afford — you can’t spend too much.

3. The best time to send an email

Redfin’s research shows that the best email open rates occur when the email is sent late Saturday night or at 7 a.m. on Sunday. Be sure to include a number in the subject line because that increases open rates as well.

4. The “honeymoon chart” is alive and well

The “honeymoon chart” in real estate has been around for decades. The “honeymoon period” refers to the fact that the bulk of the showings on a new listing take place during the first three weeks the property is on the market. The reason is that all the buyers who have been unable to locate a new property usually see the new listings as they come on the market. After that, the showings drop dramatically. Kelman reported that the Web searches on Redfin continue to follow the same pattern.

5. An easy way to reconnect with a past buyer

If you haven’t spoken with one of your past buyers for a while, send a quick one-line email or text message that says, “I saw a house you might like.”

6. Buying a house is like choosing a dog
Kevin O’Connor, CEO of, believes that whether people are buying a dog or a house, they will spend a tremendous amount of time researching the decision. They want exhaustive information, but lack context about what the lifestyle, the neighborhood, and the idiosyncrasies that make a particular location unique. “People don’t choose houses, they choose locations.” To best assist potential clients, O’Connor recommends that you ask questions, are transparent, and take the time to educate the consumer. When clients have access to these factors, they transact faster.

7. Homesnap Pro — free to all MLS members
Whether it’s ordering a ride, food on demand in 10-20 minutes or for real estate (getting listing information instantaneously through Homesnap Pro), Uberification was a main theme at this year’s Real Estate Connect. To use Homesnap Pro, simply snap a picture of the property and all the MLS information is available instantaneously. Best of all Homesnap Pro is free for every MLS in the United States for the next 12 months.

8. The wave is the deal
Matt Beall, principal broker of Hawaii Life, shared a powerful analogy comparing surfing to closing a real estate deal. Here are the 10 strategies that he recommends to grow your business.

  1. Learn to swim in deep water
    In surfing, there are many times you won’t have your board. Realtors spend so much time obsessing over their tools they often forget that they still need to know how to “swim” (do the deal) independently of their tools.
  2. Paddling matters
    Like surfers, agents must build up to doing the deal. There is a rhythm as well as constant positioning in the marketplace just as there is placement to ride the wave. Both require constant paddling to hold their positions. “Paddling” is synonymous with prospecting.
  3. When in doubt, don’t go out
    If you are not qualified to ride the wave or do the deal, don’t tackle it. In real estate, if you sell residential properties, don’t attempt to do a commercial deal where you lack the experience to provide the consumer with exceptional service.
  4. Don’t leave waves to find waves
    Realtors, like surfers, are always searching for one thing that is a little bit better. A better approach is to focus on where you are and ride what you have now.
  5. Waves come in sets and lulls
    Real estate has its ups and downs just as waves arrive in sets and then there are lulls. In either case, use the lulls to prepare, paddle and get ready.
  6. Don’t fear technology
    Just as surfboard technology changes, so does real estate technology. Don’t fear it. Instead, embrace the change and decide what will give you an even better ride.
  7. Don’t get caught inside
    If you get too close to the beach, the waves break on your head. Timing matters. Trying to close someone who is not ready to close or manipulating your clients without respect to what matters to them will bring the waves “crashing down on your head.”
  8. Don’t drop in
    In surfing, the rider who is closest to the wave has the right of way. This is a safety issue, but it also applies to real estate. Get your own clients, your own content and your own systems rather than going after what rightfully belongs to another agent.
  9. When the water is murky, don’t go out
    If the water is not clear, you can become the victim of a shark attack. If something feels off in transaction or other situation, don’t do business with that person.
  10. You are not Laird
    Laird Hamilton is a legendary daredevil when it comes to big-wave surfing. Recognize that each of us has our own unique talents. There is no need to be something you’re not. Develop your strengths and don’t envy those who have different abilities or strengths from your own.

Bernice Ross, CEO of, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Discover why leading Realtor associations and companies have chosen Bernice’s new and experienced real estate sales training for their agents at and

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