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Steve and Heather Ostrom are Coldwell Banker agents who live and work in and around the Roseville markets of Northern California. We recently got the chance to sit down with them both and ask them where their success has come from, how they work most effectively with buyers and sellers, and what advice they’d give to other agents looking to make changes and optimizations to their business in 2018.
What are the 3 most effective things you do every day to grow your business?
- Steve: Answer my phone
- Steve: Take care of present clients, They are best way to get future business.
- Steve: Dress professionally (Coat and Tie) and smile
- Heather: I have my spreadsheet open to my google doc list of current clients to ensure I’m giving them regular touches and following in their process.
- Heather: I’m a good person, and use my gift of “humor” and “light” … I believe in being a positive magnet and things come to you. Nothing forced, rarely works out well. I also am not afraid to elevate other agents in our office, in our city because nobody is your competition. We’re all unique. All the good energy ALWAYS comes back to us. We have had numerous in-town agents refer listings to us and agents sell their homes.
- Heather: I’m the online fisherwoman – I interact with folks regularly on social media and not in a corny “give me business” way. Which nauseates me. You don’t have to beg for business, when you live your business. Steve Ostrom kicks butt on the ground and interacting with local agents, he was a C.A.R. state director for many years and most folks know him offline, and they know me online. It’s been a fabulous tackle of the online and offline world that pairs up well for us.
Do you need a real estate “listing agent” in Roseville or Rocklin, CA?
What tactics do you use for driving referrals and winning listings presentations?
- Steve: Online reviews drive a good portion of referrals still on google and yelp.
- Steve: I think the key to winning listing presentations is to have a good presentation that you know inside and out. That leads to confidence.
- Heather: If Steve O and I both go to the appointment, we’re going to win it. We both represent different items. We’re constantly adding and changing items to our listing presentation so folks can see all the items of value we bring to the table.
- Heather: I think me being a graphic designer and marketing in house. Steve O and I stay in our lanes of expertise and we are a 2-for-1 deal. We also have learned to defend our value because we see what’s out there and we hear what clients think of us, compared to previous experiences – I know we offer a professional experience with the perfect amount of smiles and a high level of service.
- Heather: We offer our sellers a prep sheet to prepare for success, and I promise that if I don’t get it done – I won’t give up and I’ll keep trying to do all I can to get the deal done. Never give up.
- Heather: We discuss our approach too, to contingent offers – because that’s still a big portion of our sales. I think not all agents know how to handle them or are fearful of them.
The Ostroms begin their Smart Home journey
How do you handle working with sellers on pricing?
- Steve: We always tell the seller the price we think it should be listed at, but we support the pricing they want to go at … if we’re far apart, and seller is in town, we drive the sellers to the comparable properties to see what the competition is …
- Steve: Agent tour before going on market. Let’s us get more then just our opinion – we get feedback on pricing and presentation.
- Heather: We use “ShowingSuite” for showing feedback, so sellers can see unedited agent feedback and seeing it in writing direct from agents, has had a positive effect on getting presentation issues remedied and also approaching the needs for “price improvements”
- Heather: We warn the seller overpricing is dangerous, and it could be a chase to the bottom – but if that doesn’t work – we work via visual and education and warn of the outcomes before they happen. Communication, communication, communication. When talking pricing, always ensure every phone call gets followed up with an email to ensure your conversations aren’t misconstrued. Pricing is a serious topic and selling is emotional.
- Heather: Steve O also meets the seller in person if things seem strained on pricing. Sometimes too much digital can be the death of a file. Don’t be afraid to eat that frog and tackle the tough topics if you have the need for a “price improvement.” Don’t call it a reduction – always phrase things positively when you can!
What’s the best piece of advice you ever heard?
- Steve: Success is a matter of choice, not chance.
- Heather: Be the Light.
Want to Move, but have a Home to Sell First?
If an agent should stop doing one thing today, what would it be?
- Steve: Letting calls go to voicemail.
- Heather: I agree. My answer might be: “Do NOT hide behind your phone – call, meet them, don’t be shy … how does this project how you will defend and represent a client if you can’t even face them or a hard phone call?” Good stuff is often hard stuff. Never do things you will regret, it’s never worth the paycheck of making the wrong decision. Be nice to everyone because your city is much smaller than you think – that includes agents. Work for the long-haul!
You can also contact Steve and Heather at their office address:
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
2200-B Douglas Blvd, Suite 200, Roseville, 95661