• Some top producers personally take care of all the details from start to finish, while others have processes and systems.
  • There is no substitution for being in front of your audience, but apps are becoming the widely used alternative.
  • A common denominator all top producers seem to share is that they are all lifestyle agents.

Debbi DiMaggio (right) onstage at Inman Connect San Francisco 2015.

SAN FRANCISCO — All prepped and ready to go, I took the stage with my fellow panelists — Brian Bair of Bair Group in Phoenix, Arizona, and Nancy Braun, Showcase Realty of Charlotte, North Carolina — on the first day of ‪‎Inman Connect San Francisco 2015.

Our topic was “Taking customer service to a higher level.” I found it fascinating to learn the similarities and differences between the three of us as we answered questions on the fly during our panel, as well as what other panelists had to share throughout the week at the conference.

Here are a few common practices of top-producing agents in the country:

Brian and I provide the client with a concierge service of sorts; after signing a listing we manage the entire process.

This process includes obtaining bids, and meeting contractors, painters, landscapers and other service providers, followed by home stagers and photographers, and, finally, bringing the home to market.

Others, like Nancy, have excellent systems in place and are comfortable delegating, but in my case — as I voiced so passionately — I am like a Sicilian mother and a control freak. I’m much more comfortable taking care of my clients personally, and I dislike not being with them every step of the way.

For me, delegation is not an option. With that, I could learn about putting systems in place and might be open to learning more about delegating from Nancy.

No doubt the greatest common denominator is that all top-producing agents are tremendously passionate and love what they do. It’s not work; it’s simply a way of life.

Other agents are reliant on online real estate sites such as Zillow and Trulia for obtaining leads, even spending upwards of $20,000 a year.

Personally, I am a connector, resource and people person. I prefer to meet new clients personally, whether at an open house, through a referral, or through my work as an active volunteer in our community and with various charity organizations.

Regardless, we all have our personal style, and not every strategy, practice or way of obtaining business works for everyone; one size does not fit all.

Agents are unique, just like you and your next-door neighbor. Agents come in all shapes and styles, from all backgrounds and personal circumstance.

I wholeheartedly believe there is no substitution for being in front of your audience, but another common theme throughout the conference was using a variety of apps — which brings me to my next point: apps — but more specifically, Instagram.

In the past year, I started playing on Instagram. I love photography and beautiful images, so naturally Instagram intrigued me. Only recently did I start incorporating real estate into my postings.


Debbi DiMaggio with Roh Habibi.

Kenny Truong (#FastAgent) shared one of his favorite apps, IFTTT — If This, Then That.  I am still trying to figure it out, but Kenny was nice enough to set up an account for me on my iPhone.

Another common denominator we all seem to share is that we are all lifestyle real estate agents, which is often reflected in our Instagram posts.

What does that mean? Simply stated, share who you are. Don’t post real estate, real estate, real estate, home after home after home — include postings about your everyday life.

People want to know you. Clients connect with people, someone they like or could see themselves working with to buy or sell their home. Mix it up and express yourself. Be yourself.

Utilizing a plethora of apps can be helpful, but don’t forget your clients are living, breathing individuals who want your personal attention. So don’t hide behind technology — embrace it — but don’t forget to get out there and connect, just like I did this week.

It was exhausting but indeed a pleasure to meet so many energetic and friendly Realtors, including Roh Habibi from “Million Dollar Listing San Francisco.”

In the end, the most similar common denominator Realtors share is the fact that we are all totally passionate about what we do and work very hard.

A word of wisdom for newer agents or those who might be considering a career in real estate: Ask around before you think about diving into a career.

Real estate is not all glitz and glam, home design, long lunches and multimillion-dollar homes. It can be fun, but there is just no substitute for hard work.

Debbi DiMaggio is a real estate leader, mom, philanthropist ambassador and co-author of “The Art of Real Estate” (2015) with her husband/partner, Adam Betta. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram

Email Debbi DiMaggio.

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