Posts Tagged ‘Business Card’

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

Ahhhh, music to a real estate agent’s ears… “Can I have one of your business cards?” Or even better, “Do you have time to work with me?”

Regular readers of my blog know that I vehemently advise against accosting people you meet with your elevator speech or pushing your business card at every poor sap who happens to say hello to you at a party.

I believe with all my heart that if YOU believe with all YOUR heart that you’re a great real estate agent and you love your job, that’s enough to drive business to your door. No, I don’t mean that you can sit on your sofa eating Twinkies and wait for deals to land in your lap; what I mean is that if you are confident in your abilities and enthusiastic about your career, that will be clear to the people you know and the people you meet… and they’ll want some o’that!

The trick to getting in the position to demonstrate your expertise and excitement is to subtly let people know you sell real estate for a living. If they’re interested, they’ll tell you. If they aren’t… no biggie. Just talk about something else (y’know, like a “real” person would who isn’t in prospecting mode).

Here’s an example from my world.

Yesterday, I’m getting my toenails polished at a cute little Korean shop here in town. The toenail-polisher-guy tells me how he has to re-take his cosmetology exam because he accidently let his license expire. I laugh sympathetically and say “Oh, I know what that’s like, my real estate license expired a few years ago and it was a real pain to get it re-activated!” (That’s not really true, but it seemed like a natural thing to say under the circumstances).

The woman sitting next to me immediately asks me if I sell real estate and I acknowledge that I do. We start talking about the real estate market, yada yada yada and the next thing I know she’s asking for my business card. bcard

Why did she ask? Because I sales-pitched her into it? Nope. I guess I just sounded as if I knew what I was talking about and I didn’t whine about the market. Maybe I even seemed like a pleasant person to do business with.

I can’t remember the last time I offered someone my business card, but I get asked for it all the time.  When you love what you do and you know you’re good at it… you’ll attract plenty of business your way… without ever asking for it. It’s a beautiful way to make a living!

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

Email

I just went through my mailing list of several thousand. Well, I didn’t go through all several thousand; just the names of the people who aren’t getting my emails because I’m being blocked by their email server.

Because I just kicked off my Prospecting with Soul Workshop, and it’s a paid program, I wanted to make sure that everyone who signed up is actually GETTING what they’re paying for, which includes daily emails from me.

Well. Guess what I found?

I discovered that one particular email server was blocking my emails far more than any other. Was it @aol? @hotmail? @yahoo?

Nope, although those were certainly well-represented.

By far, the most-blocked email server was… drum roll… @kw.com.

Hey, no disrespect to KW; I’m just passing on information. And it’s not news to me; when a subscriber tells me they aren’t getting my emails, it’s very often an @kw.com email address.

Now, whether or not you hear from me (outside of a program you paid for) may not be of utmost importance to you – I doubt my emails are the highlight of your day.

But I have to wonder who else is being blocked from contacting you? Aren’t you?

And while we’re at it, there’s another category of “undeliverable” emails in my mailing program – email addresses that are “non-existent.” Hundreds of them. And again, most of them are brokerage-specific email addresses (@kw.com, @remax.net, @abcrealty.com, etc.). Yes, I know you hope you’ll stay at your current brokerage firm forever and ever, but what if you don’t? Do you really want your sphere of influence NOT to be able to contact you with an invitation to their next party… or, egads, if they want to hire or refer you?

Please add it to your to-do list to get your very own email address. Like, today. It’s very easy to do, but even if it’s beyond your technical capabilities, it’s well-worth it to pay someone to do it for you. Seriously, you could be losing commission checks this very moment. Or at the very least, not hearing from me anymore! ;-]

If you thought you were on my mailing list, but haven’t heard much from me lately, just ask me if you’re being blocked. I’d be happy to look it up for you and correct that problem when you give me a NEW email address of your very own!

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

Well, thank you AR Gods for featuring my little teaser blog about 20 Ways to Make $100k This Year… OR NOT! As promised, here are those 20 ways you could make (or NOT make) $100k by simply attending (or NOT attending) to “minor” details.

1.       Do you have a photo on your business card? (“To Photo or Not to Photo?”)

 

2.       Do you follow up on referrals sent or received? (“Ten Tips for Being a Good Refer-ee”)

 

3.       Does the Contact Me link on your website work?

 

4.       Does the link to your website in your email signature work?

 

5.       Is your phone voice is off-putting? (“How’s Your Phone Voice?”)

 

6.       Do your eNewsletters go out from your company name instead of yours (so your SOI might delete them unopened and maybe even block you)?

 

7.       Are your incoming emails aggressively blocked by your ISP? (“Why You May Not Be Hearing From Me”)

 

8.       Is your business/cell phone ever answered by your child?

 

9.       Is your outgoing voicemail message friendly and/or professional?

 

10.   Do you return calls or emails on the weekend? “(Workin’ on the Holiday Weekend?”)

 

11.   Is your business card boring? (“The Dorky Business Card”)

 

12.   Is/are your About Me profile(s) boring? (“The Dorky Active Rain Profile”)

 

13.   Do you risk offending contacts by misspelling names in your database (and therefore your communications)?

 

14.   Do you risk offending open house visitors by asking them to sign in “for security purposes”? (“Open Houses – Turning Cheese into Soul”)

 

15.   Do you post on Facebook about a difficult, PITA client (or real estate clients in general)? (“Five Dollar Charge for Whining”)

 

16.   Do you blow off parties you RSVP’d for? (“Show Up When it’s the Right Thing to Do”)

 

17.   Do you change your email address every time you change brokers?

 

18.   Do you use an email address you “never check” in your marketing?

 

19.   Do you go on vacation without good backup?

 

20.   Is your email auto-responder obnoxious? (“Do You Use an Autoresponder? Please Be Careful with it!”)

Will attending to any one of these make or break your career? Nah. But at $5,000 a pop (or whatever your average commission is), they can add up to some real money pretty quickly!

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

Last September I posted a blog called “To Photo or Not to Photo” where I raised the age-old question of whether or not to put your (hopefully) smiling face on your business card. (I vote YES).

One of the comments on that blog was something along the lines of “Can anyone actually demonstrate that their picture on a card resulted in business for them?” Excellent Dollarsquestion! My response to the commenter was:

“There is no one magic bullet to success. Clients come in from dozens of sources – I got a listing once because my lawn guy saw my RE/MAX signs in the back yard. So, is your business card in itself an important part of your marketing strategy? Probably not – at least, I hope no one is relying on a business card to generate business for them. But if one open house visitor remembers me over the other agents he met that day because my photo was on my card, I’ll consider that a valid testimony. If one cross-country real estate agent I met at the NAR convention sends a referral my way because she was able to remember me out of the dozens of other agents she met, again, that’s certainly worth having my photo on a card.”

My point in revisiting this debate today is to reiterate that real estate clients find us in many different ways. And when they do, they each bring with them the potential of a significant paycheck – in some cases, even a year-changing paycheck. Depending on your market, your average commission check could be $3,000, $5,000 or even $10,000! Therefore, just one missed opportunity to capture one potential client could cost you $3,000, $5,000 or even $10,000! Not to mention all the business that potential future satisfied past client would send your way…

(Um, still not seeing your point, JA-H).

Okay, getting to it now.

If you miss opportunities to capture potential clients on a regular basis with silly little omissions, carelessness or even (gasp) laziness, you could easily cost yourself $100,000 in the next twelve months (assuming 20 missed opportunities at $5,000 per).

What might those 20 silly little omissions, carelessness’es or even (gasp) laziness’es look like?

Ahhhhhh… Watch This Space for further discussion.

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

photographer

It’s a never-ending debate as to whether or not to include a photo on a real estate agent’s business card. Some say yes; some say no (duh, that’s the definition of a debate!).

Although it’s interesting, when you ask the question in a public forum, I’ve noticed that most answer in the negative, explaining that “no one cares about your face” or that “doctors and lawyers don’t have their pictures on their cards,” or simply that “it’s unprofessional.”

And I get that. I do. Somehow it seems like unnecessary vanity to have your smiling face on a business card as if “anyone really cares about your face anyway,” right?

Well… here’s the thing.

Most people are really “bad with names.” Just ask ‘em, they’ll tell you straight out. Whenever I speak publicly, I always collect business cards from my audience and put them in a fish bowl because I like to keep my audience awake during the show by randomly giving away books and CD’s. After the show, I’ll go through the business cards one by one and spend several hours sending personal notes to the audience members I remember interacting with. Let me say that again – that “I remember interacting with.

99.9% of the time I only write to agents with photos on their cards. Because they’re the only ones I liked? Of course not. They’re the only ones I remember.

From a fishbowl full of hundreds of business cards, I can almost always remember every conversation I had with the people whose cards have a photo. The conversations I had with people without photos are completely forgotten. Sorry.

People remember faces. Ugly faces, pretty faces; doesn’t matter. They may not remember the name that belongs to the face, but they know if they’ve seen a face before.

And the fact is, real estate agents are a dime a dozen. You may be doing an awesome job handing out your business card, but rest assured that your competition is, too. And if the “other” card sitting on someone’s desk has a photo and yours doesn’t, which agent is more likely to be remembered by that person?

So, go get a kick-a$$ photo of yourself and don’t take the chance of being forgotten!

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of having coffee with one of my readers. We talked about this and that… and that and this… and then he casually mentioned that he had created a “mock” business card that he “wished he could use in real life.” When he showed it to me, I was floored – I think it’s GREAT and that he should definitely use it in “real life!” He has the personality to pull it off and it definitely stands out from the crowd…

He’s not convinced, so I said I’d ask my friends at Active Rain… What say y’all?

 charlie

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

What is so difficult about this concept? Why on earth would any real estate agent or mortgage broker EVER use their office email server (e.g. jennifer@coldwelbanker.com or john@wellfargo.com – misspellings intentional) to communicate with their clients, prospects and sphere of influence?

Last year I collected almost 1000 business cards from agents at the NAR convention and when I was emailinputting them into my system I was stunned at how many of them (like 90%) used the office server.

Do you REALLY think you’ll be at this office forever and ever? Or even more than a year or two? Chances are you won’t, but even if you think you will, WHY TAKE CHANCES?

The reason for this simplistic rant this morning is I’m trying to reach a mortgage broker friend of mine who recently changed companies. But, oops, the only email address in my address book for him is the old one, which is no longer valid. Did he notify me of his move? Yes. Did he send me his new email address? Probably. But guess what? It apparently wasn’t a priority that day to make a note of it in my address book and his announcement is long gone.

You know how many real estate agents or mortgage brokers are competing with you in your market? Like, a WHOLE BUNCH? Do you really want to risk losing the Perfect Buyer or Seller because you changed offices two years ago? Sending out a new business card or even an email announcement WILL NOT DO THE TRICK. Once your email address is recorded in someone’s address book, it’s there forever.

Take a look at your card. Is your email address YOURS or your company’s? If it’s not yours, relegate these cards to your car to use during showings and order yourself new cards TODAY!

Rant Over.

 

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

I'm having fun today. I'm entering the contact information I got off of all the business cards I collected at thebcard NAR convention. (Now, if YOU gave me a card, don't worry, I promise not to call you during dinner or otherwise pester you without your permission!)

Are you asking yourself why on earth I'd claim that data-entry is fun? Well, yeah, I agree, THAT part isn't as much fun as, say, taking a nap. But what I'm enjoying is checking out the hundreds of styles, designs and content of these business cards from all over the country. Some are fantastic, some are… not so. Of course, we all have our opinions on what makes a business card "good" but since this is my blog, I'll tell you what I think. Feel free to chime in with your differing opinions!

Okay, first, I must mention that what has jumped out at me is how many agents use their company's email ISP as their email address, for example JoannePeterson@APCRealty.com.  This is crazy (unless Ms. Peterson owns APCRealty). Never, ever use your company's phone or email systems when providing contact information to friends, strangers, clients, prospects or even other real estate agents! If you leave the company (and chances are you will), you're throwing away future business and referral dollars by the fistful. I still get calls and emails from people who have my Re/Max business card (which is at least five years old). I GET the calls because my contact information didn't change when I left Re/Max.

Second, I must say that the award for the most BORING business card design is shared by Coldwell Banker and Prudential.  You all know what I'm talking about. I must have dozens of CB and Pru cards and they all look exactly alike. Unless the person you gave the card to really, really likes you, there's no way they're going to find a special place for that card.

In my opinion, you should strive to create a business card that, if it were found lying in the bananas at the Piggly Wiggly, someone would pick it up and consider keeping it because it's so attractive, appealing, funny or otherwise eye-catching. Some will argue that by saying that we should strive for a professional (boring) business card because that's what doctors, lawyers and accountants do… but… NEWSFLASH! We aren't doctors or lawyers or accountants, much as we long to be. We're in a much more people-oriented business and yeah, we have to stand out!

Third, many of the cards have stuff on the back – tip charts, additional contact information, referral hearts & "Oh, by the ways…" even a few mission statements. Eh… it's up to you, but I think the real estate on the back of my business card is way too valuable to fill up with this stuff. THIS is perfect space to write on when you want to provide information to someone else – such as – your "personal" cell phone number, the name and number of your favorite painter or dog-sitter, an interesting website address, whatever! In the hundreds of business cards I collected, I've yet to see something printed on the back of one that was worth the loss of that valuable space.

And last, many of the cards include what seems like dozens of contact phone numbers and/or website addresses. C'mon, are these folks really so hard to find that they need 14 different phone numbers? Do they really WANT someone calling all those numbers (and leaving 14 messages) trying to track them down?

Of the hundreds of cards I went through, here are my three favorites. No real reason; they're just the ones that caught my eye. What do you think?

 maria

  

 

 

 remax

 

 

 

 joeann

Yes, our very own Joeann! Isn't she CUTE?