This Spring, Inman is obsessing over helping you to tune-up your business, with actionable insights, the best advice from top agents, and hundreds of helpful stories from all over the world. Interested in sharing your advice and insights with us? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget that we’ll also be focusing on how agents and brokerages can all move Faster, Better, Together this July at Inman Connect San Francisco. Not got your ticket yet? Buy them here, and remember that Select members get a $100 discount. Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy those tickets together too. Just contact us to find out more.
“For me, real estate is a way to empower people to work in their communities, improve their financial lives, and increase their happiness. When I can use my 20 years of everyday real estate experience in the East Bay, my creativity and intellect to help people achieve their real estate goals, it makes me happy too.” – Andrea Gordon
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Red Oak Realty’s Andrea Gordon, and pick her brains on how she works to grow her business, win listings, and discuss pricing with sellers.
What are the 3 most effective things you do every day to grow your business?
- Call 5 people from your sphere. I actually do it. It is so surprising how many people are so grateful to hear from you, and then refer business to you, or have a need to sell something, or by something, or need to buy a condo for their kid to live in while at school. You never know where the business is going to come from, but the simple act of connecting with your sphere and past clients is the prime engine for success.
- Give out 5 business cards a week. I have done this for years. I have given them to my dry cleaners, to the parking lot attendants, to the trainers at my gym. Guess what, I sold the dry cleaners sister a house, I sold the parking lot guy’s Mom’s house, and I sold a house to the swim coach and she referred me to three people.
- Be accountable: I track my business. I can tell you to the exact dollar figure how much I have sold, made, spent and expect to make and spend for the year. I used to coach with the Tom Ferry organization, and they are superb at getting you to be accountable for what you make and how much effort and money it takes to make the money you make.
What tactics do you use for driving referrals and winning listings presentations?
I have a farm that I mail out to pretty religiously. I send just listed and sold cards and I also send out market statistics. I make a point of meeting the neighbors and getting to know them at my open houses. This is making me be perceived as an area specialist. So, when someone wants to sell in this area, I am always one of the lucky people who gets the call. Then I go and meet with them very prepared with statistics and data they can assimilate and use. It helps me to be as specific as possible with potential clients, and then they relax knowing we are talking about something that is calculable.
How do you handle working with sellers on pricing?
I run comparative sales in the neighborhood. I also do something called absorption rate pricing so the seller can see the damage that will be done by overpricing their house. I have a tendency to be a little overly enthusiastic about what prices houses will fetch, so I mentally adjust 3-5% down from what my initial inclination is when talking to sellers about price.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever heard?
Remember it is their money, it is their biggest asset, and it does not belong to you. You are there to help them make choices about their financial lives and take it seriously.
Too often I see agents who talk about “My house” or “My listing” never forget whose money it is, and that you have a sacred trust to get it right for the people you work for. It’s always about them, not you. Conversely, if you want whatever it is more than the seller, then you are not looking at the situation successfully.
If an agent should stop doing one thing today, what would it be?
There are so many: Stop complaining, stop gossiping, and stop being unkind to people. Just like your mother probably told you, the golden rule is where it is at. Kindness will be paid back with good karma. Enjoying and celebrating your colleagues success will bring success back to you tenfold. At Red Oak, the culture is helpful and kind and good, and we have a totally righteous working atmosphere filled with goodwill and love. It totally buoys you up.
I have been at other brokerages where it was pretty cutthroat, and it was very unpleasant and non-productive. Stay in your lane, be good to people and reap great benefits!
You can also contact Andrea at her office address:
1891 Solano Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94707