What trends, best practices and advice are real estate’s top women leaders sharing with their agents about how to thrive in today’s market?
If you want to become more successful in your business, check out these top takeaways from some of the top women in the industry, gathered at the Awesome Females in Real Estate Leadership Conference.
Two important trends to watch
1. An upcoming surge in distressed properties
Over the next few months, many forbearance programs will end, possibly triggering a tsunami of distressed properties. Here’s how you can help:
- Inquire if having a roommate would help homeowners meet their cash flow crunch. Search “rent a room in my house” to locate companies that specialize in this type of tenancy.
- A different option many homeowners used during the Great Recession was to rent out their home and live in an apartment until they were back on their feet financially.
- If neither of these options work, locate a good bankruptcy attorney as well as a credit repair specialist to help distressed homeowners work through their financial difficulties.
2. Mortgage and title affiliate income dries up
Taunee English, broker-owner at Lions Realty Group, warned that affiliate income from mortgage and title will decrease as these sectors become more automated. She recommended searching for other streams of income now.
For example, English is also licensed to sell life insurance. When a transaction closes, she sells her clients a policy to cover the cost of their mortgage if something were to happen to them. It’s a simple sale, and the residuals come in year after year.
English also outlined three levels of income and encouraged both agents and brokers alike to create as many “purple” revenue streams as possible:
- Green (the lowest level): You trade your time for money as most agents do.
- Gold: Use other people’s time (as brokers do with their agents) or passive income.
- Purple (highest level): Recurring residuals (as with life insurance) and royalties.
Uncertainty + chaos = opportunity (for contrarians)
Sherry Chris, CEO of Realogy Expansion Brands, has always been a contrarian, someone who does the exact opposite of what other people are doing.
For example, Chris launched the Better Homes and Gardens brand in 2008 at the height of the recession, and just recently, she closed Realogy’s first franchise sale of a virtual company entirely online.
Tami Bonnell, CEO of EXIT Realty, is also a contrarian. While other companies have been laying off their employees, EXIT kept its staff working and actively involved them in the process of keeping the company profitable during the pandemic.
In terms of your business, look at what other agents do, and then do something different. For example, most agents only bring a CMA to their listing appointments. Stand out from the competition by putting together a digital marketing package prior to your appointment that includes a brochure, a Facebook business page that uses the property address, and reports from NARRPR.com and HomeDislosure.com.
‘Great service’ isn’t good enough
Fafie Moore, executive vice president at ERA Brokers Consolidated, noted that most Realtors say their prime differentiator from other agents is their great customer service. What exactly does that mean? Moore said that what’s required today is a shift from “great” service to a “compelling customer experience.”
To create a compelling customer experience, you must first be clear about the niche you actually serve, not the niche you want to serve. Second, dig deep to uncover any misgivings or challenges your clients may have.
Third, when problems do occur, be aggressive about solving them — this is what creates a compelling customer experience that results in raving fans.
How to thrive in the ‘new better’
As the pandemic rages on, mindset matters more than ever. Rather than lamenting the loss of what was, Dena Jones, director of strategic partnerships and assistant vice president at Fidelity National Title, recommended focusing on how to thrive in the “new better.” Here’s what to do.
1. Open up to new opportunities
Annette Anthony, vice president of technology engagement at EXIT Realty, suggested replacing the word “impossible” with “I’m possible.” This approach opens your mind to spotting new opportunities you might otherwise miss.
2. Reestablish routines
To cope, Bergmark advised reestablishing regular routines in both your business and personal life. This means getting up at the same time each day, getting dressed for work, and setting specific hours where you schedule time with friends and family either in person or virtually.
3. Step away from your phone
Courtney Poulos, broker-owner of Acme Real Estate, recommended having a “tech free” day. Although this might be challenging, it has allowed her to forge a much closer relationship with her teenage son as they played “cornhole” and board games and enjoyed other activities together. She also never answers her phone after 8 p.m.
4. Beware of ‘Zoom’ fatigue
Debra Trappen, a speaker and empowerment consultant, explained how she has been coping with “Zoom fatigue” (i.e., the sore butt from sitting too long, that totally drained feeling from interacting with people online for hours at a time, as well as having to be dressed appropriately to be on camera).
Trappen reduces Zoom fatigue by limiting Zoom meetings to three days per week. She’s available to talk by phone on the other days, but not on Zoom.
5. Reduce exposure to media
Barbara Betts, broker and CEO of The Betts Realty Group, has greatly reduced her exposure to social media by unfollowing those individuals who post mean, angry and hateful things.
She also limits her news exposure to three sources she reads regularly. This has allowed her to stay focused on what she calls her “4 As,” which stand for adapting, adjusting, attitude and activity.
6. Connect with like-minded people
Cheryl Knowlton, CEO of Dynamite Productions, said to not drag yourself down about things you can’t control and to not depend on someone else for your well-being.
Surround yourself with like-minded people who support you to be positive in today’s environment, and minimize contact with anyone or anything that’s negative.
7. Switch up your tactics
Sarah Kosasky, vice president and manager at Malibu Cross Creek and Compass’ Beverly Hills offices said that instead of changing your goals, change your tactics.
According to Sun Tzu, the competition can see your tactics, but they can’t see the strategy behind your tactics. Coupling strategies and goals with your “big why” is what creates a competitive advantage.
Apps you will love
1. Deposit Link (depositlink.com)
Deposit Link allows you to safely request deposits and commissions from anywhere and then transfer them securely to more than 12,000 banks nationwide. You can divide commissions, track multiple payments and issue refunds electronically in seconds.
Would you like to take the videos you have produced in the past and stream them live on up to 40 different streaming sites? OneStream Live allows you to schedule your streaming events up to 60 days in advance. You can also use the camera in your device to record or capture your screen to livestream later.
Take any recording (video or audio only), and load it into Otter.ai. In about 30 minutes, you will have the written transcript. You can use this to create blog and social media posts, write articles, or capture exactly what was said during a meeting.
Merely click the record button on your desktop, laptop or mobile device to record live meetings as well. The first 10 hours per month are free.
If you’re ready to thrive in the “new better,” use today’s strategies, tactics and apps to make your business better than ever.
Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateC