In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
As a real estate agent with deep roots in markets throughout the D.C.-metro area — she moved there at the age of three — Kaye Placeres considers herself a “personal transition consultant.”
She offers her area expertise, insight and service-oriented approach to buyers and sellers throughout this high-powered metro market. Find out how Placeres learned to put her name and her reputation front and center to get more clients and make long-lasting connections.
How long have you been in the business?
This is my ninth year in real estate as a full-time agent. I started working on the weekends part-time for a real estate staffing company in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia metro area) before becoming a full-time agent.
Most of the projects were for prominent developers and new construction, including condos, townhouses and single-family homes. This gave me a strong knowledge of the industry, working with clients, negotiating and an introduction to many communities in the area.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hard question. I will still be working as a buyer and seller agent, but working primarily in Virginia versus all over the DMV. I hope to transition a large part of my business (40 percent) to listings.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
While I have built the majority of my business on referrals, I’ve learned it is necessary to brand and market myself to grow my base and sales.
Having a good CRM, developing a website that you update with useful consumer information, tying all your social media together with consistent messaging — all of these are important.
How did you learn it?
I attended a training two years ago that was given by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors. The course was called “Don’t Be A Secret Agent.” The instructor talked about how important it was for Realtors to be visible online. During that class he had every agent create a profile on realtor.com.
I never really thought I’d get very much mileage out of a profile on realtor.com and didn’t think buyers used it to search for a Realtor.
Over the past year, I’ve received several leads and sold over $2 million in real estate from my realtor.com profile, without having spent any money. This number was in addition to my other sales with people searching on realtor.com for an agent and contacting me directly.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Make cultivating and building relationships your No. 1 priority. It’s important to work on your interpersonal skills when coming in contact with potential leads, referrals and even repeat clients. Among the ways I build relationships are handwritten notes, lunches, dinners, attending client housewarming parties, emails, phone calls from the car and gifts.
I believe at the end of the day even with marketing, technology and automation, the relationship you build with your clients will continue to help grow your business year over year.
Do you want to be featured on an upcoming “Lesson Learned” column? Reach out to us here!
Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagr