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No Brown Nosing Required. Your RAISE Is Ready When You Are.

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Brown Noser Be Gone

Good News!  Your Raise Is Effective As Soon As YOU Are.

No Brown-Nosing, glass ceilings, boot licking, politics, nepotism, seniority, annual performance reviews or begging for a raise.

In our real estate world, YOU are your own boss.  That’s good news for hard persistent faithful smart committed motivated workers, bad news for slackers.

Why?

Because the real estate business is pure pay-for-performance.  Want a raise?

“Your raise is effective as soon as you are.”  Marilyn Eiland

3 Questions You Have To Ask Yourself:

  1. When do you want it?
  2. What do you need to do differently? Doing nothing is not an option.
  3. When will you start?  Today?

Stuck In Stupid

Intellectually, it’s seems simple.  If we’ve created success in the past, in the present, if we do what we’ve always done, won’t we always get what we’ve always gotten?  Nope!

Why?

Because in my world, and maybe yours, everything that surrounds me is changing.  ReInvention, obsolesce, options, upgrades, choices, knowledge, value, creation, young-guns, expectations, cannibalism and Black Swans — boom, echo and ricochet — hourly.  If I stand still and things around me are vibrating with change, my comfortable position will wobble out of orbit and any success I’m currently enjoying will inevitably vanish.  It’s real estate entropy in action.

To create break away impact, the first thing I need to do is make sure I’m not “Stuck In Stupid”.  In reality, if I always do what I’ve always done, I’ll get less and less and eventually nothing.

What To Do Now

There’s a constellation of small and large changes you can make and actions you take.  The main thing is action.  We have to start…TODAY.

Behold, 15  Anti-Stuck-In Stupid, simple and mostly free or inexpensive things you can immediately do to create the raise you deserve.

  1. When someone asks you, “How’s the market?”, for the love of God, don’t go flaccid with your answer.  Consider this sort of approach.
  2. It sounds lame, it’s not, it’s profitable. Wear your name badge while you work. Don’t keep what you do a secret, a name badge is a visual reminder to your friends and attracts Q&A opportunities from strangers.  Do it.  Don’t have one, order now.
  3. Wear car-signs, not literally, but on your car. Many think this is seriously lame too.  Those that religiously do, report serendipitous listing and selling opportunities.  Ummmm….don’t speed.  Oh, don’t wear them on a listing appointment, it’s like sending a “here’s a listing opportunity Bat Signal” to the neighborhood.  When on listing appointments, go stealth mode.  Don’t have a set, no problem, order now.
  4. Take your friends to a super-cool movie. It’s less expensive than running a dumb print ad, it’s personal, it’s relevant, it’s generous and it’s a fun way to create on-purpose and in-person conversation and contact.  You wanna have fun don’t cha? Here’s how.
  5. Start wagging your tail. Log into your Facebook account between appointments, during the lull at Open House, between opportunity calls on floor duty (if you have this and it’s productive), before you go beddy-bye and at least once a working day.  See what your friends are doing, make comments, wisely status update, post photos and links.
  6. Add a dash of  ” WOW, how’d you do that?”, when sending emails.   Here’s how.
  7. Stop bashing your head against cement!   Join a club, a tribe, a team, a cause or a mob of people who are passionate about the things you are passionate about.  Psychographics is the future of your future. Get started.
  8. Clean house, Fix or Fire and kick ass.  Don’t take an over priced listing. Counsel with all your sellers this week, reduce or raise the listing price if needed, merchandise, stage, declutter and freshen as needed, double check your property marketing (broadcast, pictures, promotional copy, etc.) and fix what’s lame or fire .  This will free up your time, money and emotion and position your current inventory of the spring rush.  Do it.  If you can’t Fix It, Fire It.
  9. Stop asking your current clients for referrals after the transaction closes.  Start earning and asking for referral recommendations during the transaction. Use the Daisy Chain Reaction Technique.
  10. Stop avoiding personal contact.  Seriously, set a goal to engage in at least 5 in-person and on-purpose conversations a day (phone or live, not text, email, status update)  Think Pinball Principle.
  11. Stop shouting about YOU and start focusing on THEM. Nobody cares if you’re #1, they care that YOU treat THEM like they are #1. How to keep people from thinking your full of crap – a  few ideas.
  12. Always remember, There Are Only 3 Reasons you don’t have more listings and sales. Do something on this list today.
  13. Stop treating people the way YOU want to be treated. Start treating people they way THEY want to be treated. The Golden Rule is broken.
  14. Your old leads are your best leads. Call them all today.  Yes.  Call them all today.  Talking to people is what you do for a living.  Do it now.
  15. Fail faster, succeed sooner. Russell Shaw shares the secret to becoming a Top Listing Agent.

Will You Give Yourself A Raise?

Don’t count on others to give you a raise. You’re the boss, act like one….take action today.

Cheers and thanks for reading and if you think this article is worth a crap, forward to a friend;-)

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and BrandCandid.com. On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Greg Vincent

    February 1, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Great article Ken. Agents can over-complicate things & waste so much time procrastinating over what to say or what to do. And, many waste so much time working with overpriced-unmotivated sellers or don’t connect with the seller to find the real motivation before they lose the listing to an agent who does find the seller’s right motivation button.

    Tip #15 says it all. “Fail faster, succeed sooner”…. Have a go. It’s the best way to get that pay rise.

    • Ken Brand

      February 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks Greg. You’re right, “Fail Faster – Succeed Sooner” is what works. Doing nothing doesn’t. Cheers and thanks for the comment.

  2. Nanette Labastida

    February 1, 2010 at 8:54 am

    great great post Ken – today i was planning on getting out my work/goal journal and doing my February to do list, and look – you did it for me!!

    • Ken Brand

      February 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Nanette, love all serve all. Cheers.

  3. Lani Rosales

    February 1, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Ken, I love that you bridge the gap between old school and new school and I know your clients appreciate you for that. These are all actionable tips, maybe some of our readers will have a better 2010 than they did 2009? 🙂 Thanks!

  4. Ken Brand

    February 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I’m slow but steady. I’m not a smart man, but I know what works when I see it and when I see it, I try to share it. Words of encouragement are always appreciated. 2010 exciting times, eh? Cheers to you and Benn and all hardworking humands:-)

  5. Ken Brand

    February 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I’m slow but steady. I’m not a smart man, but I know what works when I see it and when I see it, I try to share it. Words of encouragement are always appreciated. 2010 exciting times, eh? Cheers to you and Benn and all hardworking humans:-)

  6. Corona Homes

    February 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Ken, you can’t make it any clearer then that, it’s all about ding the business every day whit out doing the business. Be yourself talk to people, let people know what you do.

    • Ken Brand

      February 1, 2010 at 8:51 pm

      “It’s all about doing business everyday, without doing the business…”, Corona Homes, you’ve summed it – Boom. Thanks.

  7. Benjamin Bach

    February 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    great stuff!

    • Ken Brand

      February 1, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks Benjamin. Cheers.

  8. Paula Henry

    February 2, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Ken –

    Always the voice of practical wisdom; putting into practice your years of experience and sharing with all. I know there are a few things here I can use to ramp up my 2010. Thanks!

    • Ken Brand

      February 2, 2010 at 7:09 am

      Thanks Paula, hope some of these ideas, which are not original, but as you’ve shard, “practical” and proven, help you have enjoy a fun and prosperous 2010. Cheers and thanks for your comments:-)

  9. Eric Hempler

    February 3, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    One thing I’ve been trying to study more is whether or not someone should have a Facebook Fan Page. From what I can tell it really isn’t necessary. Judging by this post and countless others it seems to make more sense to have everyone you know on your friend list and send them a Facebook message once in a while, much like you would email or call as well as comment on status, etc. One thing I have done. Instead of creating a Fan Page for my business I’ve created a few fan pages of local areas I like and have invited others to join and in turn that has gotten the attention of others on Facebook. This might be a good way for me to reach others that I may not otherwise meet. But I think I’ll have to be a little cautious of what I do since I don’t want alienate someone from a Fan Page I created since the page is really meant for that particular local place of interest.

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Business Marketing

Simple way to send text, email appointment reminders to clients

(MARKETING) This new app has tons of automatic tools that help small businesses continue to move into the digital age with ease of use.

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reminders

As the world becomes more heavily reliant on automated messaging and computer-mediated communication, we become more reluctant to actually speak to someone on the telephone. While I often find myself in this category, I also feel saddened by what Alexander Graham Bell must think. I digress.

We can certainly argue that a major reason we prefer to text or email rather than sit on the phone is for convenience. We can send a quick text while working, as it’s much more difficult to get away with a phone call on the down low.

That’s why it’s become so popular for places such as doctor’s offices and salons to begin using text and email alerts as appointment reminders. Now, Remindr is getting in on the action.

According to their site, “Remindr.co is a tool for small businesses to schedule automated email and text message appointment reminders. Reduce your meeting no-shows by alerting your clients beforehand. Easily confirm appointments with your customers via text message.”

They proclaim that they’re “great for any business that schedules customer appointments or client meetings,” citing their top use cases as restaurant reservations, nail salons, personal trainers, barbers, tattoo shops, spas, real estate agents, independent car mechanics, and tech sales scheduling customer calls.

This is a win-win as it’s convenient for the customer, but also saves time on the business’s side because it eliminates hours of reminder calls. Additionally, the method supports the reduction of no-shows, which is incredibly important to businesses – especially small ones.

Remindr features include: text message, email, confirmation, reusable templates, schedule alerts, and easy user interface. With text messaging, businesses can send personalized SMS messages to customers from your Remindr phone number.

With email, businesses can send personalized email reminders to their customers through Remindr email addresses. Then, customers can confirm their appointment via text messages or email, and businesses can review confirmations on their Remindr account.

Businesses can create their own personalized reminder templates to pre-fill the reminder form (for example: “Hi NAME! We’re looking forward to your appointment tomorrow (DATE) at TIME. Respond YES to confirm your appointment.”) Reminders can be automatically sent via email or text at a predetermined time.

Remindr provides an easy user interface where businesses can start scheduling reminders instantly, use full-keyboard form navigation, and it is mobile friendly.

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Business Marketing

10 easy steps to get into Instagram marketing

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want to up your social media marketing game? Start better with Instagram for your business using these easy tips to quickly get established.

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Instagram post open on a tablet

When Instagram first came on the scene, it was simply a place to share pictures of your cat or a pie that you just baked. While it still is a place for that kind of content, it has also grown into a platform where one can influence others and build an empire.

So, if you’re looking to step up your social media marketing game through use of Instagram, look no further than using these 10 steps from Neil Patel.

  1. Switch to a business profile: This is super easy and can be done in just a few clicks. Switching from a personal to a business profile gives a better look at your followers through Insights, allowing you to see analytics and impressions. It also adds a contact feature that takes a visitor right to an email draft to you – just like it would on your website. All this and it makes it possible to publish ads.
  2. Use free marketing tools: Because Facebook owns Instagram, they operate kind of similarly. As mentioned in #1, Insights allows for a deep dive into personalized analytics to see what kind of posts are clicking with your audience and which aren’t. That way, you know what kind of content to continue with and what to do away with.
  3. Post product teasers: There are a variety of ways to do this, including posting about flash sales or linking business platforms that sell your product to make it easier for your customer to shop. The trick here is to not be pushy, but instead be enticing and make the post convenient for your consumer.
  4. Create a sponsored ad: Like Facebook, you can post ads and include a specific budget of what you want to spend. You can showcase one ad or multiple with the carousel feature. You can also target the exact demographic you’re looking to hit.
  5. Instagram stories: These last 24 hours and don’t have to be as “fancy” as a regular post. Give followers a glimpse into your brand with behind-the-scenes shots, polls, fun questions, etc. Make them feel like they’re part of the experience and use this as a way to tell your brand’s story.
  6. Partner with influencers: Work out a deal with influencers who have a decent following. Send them one of your items in exchange for them posting a photo of the item and tagging your brand. This will reach their whole followership and build your credibility.
  7. Collect user-submitted photos: Share photos posted by customers loving on your brand or product. Either share them to your story, or use a regram app to repost customer photos to your feed. It’s basically free advertising for your product.
  8. Hashtags: Come up with an interactive hashtag solely for your brand. Think in terms of verbs (a la Nike’s “Just Do It”). It can be punny or practical, but something that people attribute to your brand and your brand only.
  9. Timing and over-posting: Look into the best times to post – this is when your users are most active. It will be helpful to use Insights to understand when your time to shine may be. According to SimplyMeasured, the worst days to post on Instagram are Wednesdays and Sundays, while Mondays and Thursdays are the best days to post. Also, don’t over post. It’s annoying and it’s always best to err on the side of quality over quantity.
  10. Track the right metrics: Insights do no good if you aren’t looking at the right data. You need to keep tabs on whether or not what you’re doing is increasing your follower growth as well as growth for your interaction. With research, use of Insights and a little trial and error, you’ll get yourself to where you need to be.

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Business Marketing

7 Low-budget marketing ideas for small businesses [sponsored]

(MARKETING) Marketing ideas are often expensive or ultra time consuming, but let’s talk about some proven tactics that won’t break the bank.

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low budget marketing ideas

The following marketing ideas are provided to you buy Threadsy:

No matter the size of your business, marketing matters! It’s important for small and big businesses alike to attract new customers, establish brand awareness, and to create buzz around products and services. But we know that not every business owner has tons of funds to devote to their marketing strategy. The good news? There are some highly effective marketing tactics that are also budget-friendly!

Here are seven low-budget marketing strategies for small business owners and side hustlers to grow their reach:

1. Sponsor Local Events

One of the best ways to get to know potential customers? Actually meet and talk to them! When you sponsor local events, you can be on-site to help people put a face with your business’s name. Sponsoring events is also a fantastic way to offer branded merchandise that can help you get your name and your logo out there.

Besides branded materials like signs, banners, or fliers, think about offering some fun items like wine bags to give away to attendees. Goody bags also make fantastic take-home options for local events. A branded canvas tote can be repurposed as an environmentally-friendly grocery bag, lunch bag for work, or a carry-all accessory for conventions and tradeshows. Print your logo on the outside and fill your goody bags with customized items like water bottles, notebooks, pens, and towels.

2. Let Your Colors Fly

Make some cool t-shirts featuring your logo! Wear them to the sponsored events mentioned above, out in the community, or anywhere you may encounter potential customers and can strike up a conversation. You can also offer t-shirts at a discount in-store or online, and turn your loyal customers into advertisers.

Quick tip: Purchase wholesale shirts to reduce manufacturing costs.

3. Social Media

If you’re not already leveraging social media to promote your business, it’s time to start! Think your customers aren’t using social networks? While certain demographics use various platforms more than others, according to fundera, 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide purchasing decisions. Plus, 96% of small businesses say they use social media in their marketing strategy.

So use your social media channels to level the playing field. To maximize your time and effort, determine where your audience members spend their time. Which platforms are they using? If you have a dedicated social media strategist on staff, they can perform audience research to tailor your approach to your existing and potential customers. If you’re running your own social strategy, spend some time digging into the demographics to determine which platforms make the most sense for your brand. From there, you’ll need to decide on the types of content you want to post, how to interact with your customers online, and create a social media calendar to plan your strategy.

4. Host a Giveaway

Once you’ve got your social media strategy up and running, why not host an online giveaway/sweepstakes to build some buzz, boost engagement, and attract followers? Pick a social media platform where you already engage with your customers. You’ll want to offer an item as the prize. This can be anything from a free product, a discount on an expensive product or service, or inexpensive swag like hats to help you promote your brand.

Once you’ve chosen the prize(s), decide on the terms for your giveaway. For example, an Instagram sweepstakes might look like this:

  • Create posts about the giveaway and explain the rules (multiple stories and 1 or 2 posts depending on the length of the contest)
  • These posts should specify the terms, for example:
    – In order to enter, potential winners must follow you
    – Encourage your followers to tag other people who may be interested. Each “tag” gets them another entry into the contest
    – You can also specify that contest applicants must share your post on their own profile
  • Once the contest has ended, pick a winner. Tag them in a post and story announcing what they’ve won and ask them to also share these posts to their own profile

Quick tip: You can also offer smaller or less-expensive items as consolation prizes. People love free swag and it’s an easy way to get your name out there!

5. Referral Discounts

Offering friends and family discounts on your products or services can help you establish loyalty and promote exclusivity. Offer discount codes or create a refer-a-friend program. You can also offer small incentives for customers who share about your brand on social media. Referral discounts are a great marketing strategy whether you use them in-store, online, or both.

6. Create or Update Your Blog

If you already have a website, you can put it to use to help build brand awareness and attract high-funnel customers. Blogging is a low-cost way to generate organic traffic (website visitors via Google or other search engines). If you don’t already have a blog, there are a number of free and inexpensive blog platforms you can use including Wix and WordPress.

You’ll want to write about topics that are related to your product or service and are of interest to your customers. For example, if you offer graphic design, you might want to create content about how to find an effective graphic designer online, or which projects you can do with an online platform like Canva vs. more complex projects where you should hire a professional designer.

Your website and blog are also great places to post “about us” content to offer website visitors an opportunity to learn more about you, your business, and your mission and values.

7. Update Your Google My Business Profile

Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows you to share important information about your business like your address, hours of operation, and contact information. When your listing is optimized with this information, it’s displayed in Google Search and will also appear in Google Maps, which can help you attract local customers.

To get started, you need to create a GMB profile and verify your business information. This is a relatively simple but important step to ensure customers are able to find your business or service online. Make sure to keep your listing updated if you change any information like your website URL, address, or hours.

The takeaway:

When creating your marketing strategy, remember to stay true to your brand. Not every tactic will be the most effective for every business. Choose the tactics that make sense for your brand or product offering. Another way to prioritize is to consider the perceived impact and effort of each marketing strategy. Use the strategies that require the lowest effort but will potentially drive the highest return.

Once you have those in place, decide which of the other strategies make sense for your customers and your business goals. Also, make sure to keep track of all of your marketing expenditures and the sales from these tactics so you can assess which ones were successful and which ones you may need to re-evaluate or alter.

Remember, when it comes to marketing, it’s an ever-evolving system. Trust the process and try to have some fun with your marketing strategy!

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