If you’re in a self-made business like real estate, you have to set yourself up for success. And a big part of that is making sure you build your business on the fundamentals.

Joe Rand, managing partner and general counsel for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, and Katie Kossev, managing broker with Intero Real Estate, gave their top 10 list for agents onstage at Inman Connect Las Vegas on Tuesday morning. These brokers argue that the following list is non-negotiable for any agent.

Watch video of the presentation here.

1. Take professional headshots

Be sure your headshot looks like you now, not when you first started your career. Clients expect to see what you look like in your headshot online in person. Make sure the expectations match up.

2. Create one professionally shot promotional video

Every agent should have one good promo video that sits at the top of their website, YouTube, social media, etc.

Don’t do a selfie video. Pay someone to handle the details like good lighting and high-quality production. This video will set the tone with prospective clients, so make sure it’s done right.

3. Facebook ad manager — know what it is

Learn how to really use Facebook ad manager, or pay someone to do it for you. Marketing today is about targeting. Sellers love that you’ll be targeting to find the right buyers for their home.

4. Set up profiles on all major portals

It should go without saying, but you should be represented on any site where clients search for or list homes for sale. Also, make sure you have at least 10 reviews on each one. No one buys without checking out reviews in today’s marketplace, so make sure you can compete.

5. Master your CRM

Which customer relationship management (CRM) platform is best, you ask? It doesn’t matter.

What does matter is using it to actively market to your sphere of influence. Choose the one that has the capabilities you need — and that you’ll actually use!

6. Hire a pro photographer

For the love of God, hire a pro photographer, Kossev’s slide said.

You certainly don’t want to be one of those agents who ends up on a top 10 list for terrible listing photos. You want to be recognized for your great service. So don’t skimp on photos or other imagery.

7. Have at least 3 sources that generate leads into your pipeline

Whether it’s your sphere of influence, bought leads or whatever, make sure you have at least three streams flowing into your pipeline every day. Don’t neglect any.

8. Use Instagram Stories

You have to have an established social media that you leverage across all platforms for your personal marketing, and Instagram Stories is the way to go. Kossev pointed to Airbnb’s Instastories as a shining example

9. Craft a defined brand

Be sure you understand what a defined brand looks like and include a logo.

Many people hear brand and think slogan. Not necessarily true. What’s Amazon’s slogan? What’s Google’s slogan? What’s Facebook’s slogan? Rand asked the audience. Slogans aren’t all their cracked up to be, so focus on the imagery rather than catchy slogan.

Kossev pointed to Red Oak Realty’s branding efforts.

10. Know how to use your phone, for Pete’s sake

This was Rand’s final, impassioned point. “You’re phone has unbelievable computing power,” Rand said.

Smartphones have been around for more than a decade. If you’re not completely sure of how to download an app or use any other function, take a class, look it up — figure it out.

As for Kossev’s final plea: please remove your text signature. No one needs to see a text signature every time you communicate. Scrap it!

Email Dani Vanderboegh

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