Holiday Party Networking Survival Guide

Whether or not your work has slowed down for the holiday season, we all know the party and networking opportunities are all closing in on you! The season provides some of the best chances to meet, greet, and generate leads that you’ll see all year.

To make the most of the celebrations, here are 10 Tips For Surviving Holiday Networking Events.

  1. Say Yes! When You Can
    With a busy holiday calendar, you may be inclined to turn down a few opportunities. While you want to maintain some balance, take advantage of the gatherings as a way to make friends and follow up with your existing connections.
  2. Host Your Own Event
    Create positive associations with your colleagues by hosting your own party. Others will see you as an influencer and point of contact in their own networking and business journey.
  3. Don’t Forget The Greeting Cards
    There are so many online services for creating your own greeting cards – there’s no excuse not to recognize your clients and colleagues with a quick note. Don’t miss out on your peripheral contacts. Go through your business card file and get those cards in the mail!
  4. Be Prepared
    Holiday parties seem more relaxed than other networking events, but it’s still important to bring along business cards and a schedule, if you use something other than your phone. You want to be ready to schedule follow up meetings in the new year!
  5. Know What To Talk About
    Obviously, politics is off the table! But have open-ended questions prepared to keep the conversation flowing. “Tell me about your holiday plans” and “What are your New Years’ Resolutions?” will carry you much farther than “Are you ready for Christmas?” And always remember that putting the focus on others is a great way to earn favor in the eyes of your colleagues.
  6. Send A Thank You Note and “Share” The Love
    Always, always, always follow up with a thank you to the host or hostess to let them know you had a wonderful time. If the event isn’t a private one, post pictures to social media and tag your host and colleagues. This is a great way to help grow their network and paint you in a positive light.
  7. Don’t Overdo It
    Relax and enjoy yourself, but know what your limits are when drinking is involved. Remember that these parties are still professional events.

 

The Resource: December 2016

We’re happy to share some great articles with you this month. Please feel free to pass these along to clients, friends and family.

Holidays

Around The House

Decor Inspiration

Buying And Selling

Employee Spotlight: Lindsey Zanovich

lindsey-zThis month, we’re excited to introduce you to Lindsey Zanovich. Lindsey joined Frontier as the Marketing Representative for the Memorial Office 2 years ago. Prior to that, she worked in Marketing, Advertising and Strategy for ConocoPhillips before becoming a stay at home mother to two children. We asked Lindsey a few questions about herself and her experience working at Frontier Title Company. 

 

What do you think sets Frontier Title Company apart?

Our customer service … because we care and go above and beyond to make sure everything goes smoothly.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Hands down – THE PEOPLE!  I love to help make the process easier for our clients.

What are some of your defining traits?  

Determined, Personable, Out-going, Proactive

What is your personal philosophy?

It’s the little things that make the difference and always do the right thing regardless

How do you define success?

When you have exceeded your clients expectations.

How do you spend your time outside of work?

Being a mommy, play tennis, cooking and appreciating great wine with friends and family.

 

To contact Lindsey Zanovich, email lzanovich@frontiertitletexas.com or call the Memorial Office at 713-893-0553.

Finding Your Niche

Even if you’ve been in business for a while, you might find yourself struggling to feel “at home” in your career. If this sounds like something you’ve experienced, it may be time to identify your niche. In real estate, there are so many to choose from. And, while you may want to keep yourself available to a large audience, tightening your focus could unlock much bigger success.

From first-time buyers to seniors to luxury buyers and sellers, there are benefits to finding and developing your particular market. But where do you start?

Entrepreneur.com advises to ask yourself the following 4 questions for starters. Now, this is no quick quiz. They suggest taking a full hour to process each question, 15 minutes for each one.

1. What do you do best?

Make a list. What are your best talents and skills? Determine both what you do best – and what you don’t. It takes maturity and confidence to take an honest look at yourself and your business.  If there is something you don’t do well but would like to, is it worth whatever time and money it may take to develop the skill? It may be more beneficial for you to focus solely on what you already have.

2. What about your job do you enjoy the most?

With this question, your goal is to make sure that your heart and head are in the same place. You may be great at something that you don’t particularly enjoy. You may really enjoy something you aren’t particularly suited for. Your aim is to find that “sweet spot” where you heart and brain agree. Take a look at your list from Question 1 and rank your skills in order of most to least enjoyable.

3. What do people need?

Back to your list of skills – now take another look at determine which skills are most needed in your industry. If you’ve got a great skill that isn’t needed, it won’t do you or your clients any favors. Think about the questions your clients ask and the needs you see in your current audience – which needs can you match with your skills?

4. Where can you find the most financial benefit?

Consider the different niches in which you can see yourself. First time buyers make up a whopping 37% of the market while luxury homeowners are in at just 8%. Seniors make up 50% of the home buyers and sellers market. You’ll need to match your skills with the market and financial set up that brings you the most benefit.

With these 4 questions answered honestly, your niche should become clear to you, giving you the information you need to market yourself properly and reach an audience that needs you the most.

Using Live Video To Boost Your Business

We’ve posted before about the benefits of using video to promote your business. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Snapchat, or many other platforms to broadcast your message to your followers. Keep in mind that your followers will get a notification that you are streaming live and that your video will still be available to view after your streaming has ended. Take advantage of the fact that most people today are glued to their phones and realize that you are guaranteed an audience! So, when should you be using a live video option?

Go Live When You’re Viewing A New Listing

Walk your followers through a property and show them features they might not notice in a photo gallery. Unique tile? Interesting lighting fixtures? Detailed ceilings? Show it off! And remember that your viewers can comment and react in real time, so pay attention to any questions they may ask.

Go Live At An Open House

Use the opportunity to, again, show the home, but also to introduce them to vendors, show any flurries of activity during the day, and remind people to come see the home – and you – in person.

Go Live When You’re Out And About

Part of selling you is selling your expertise about the city you live in. If you’re at an event, trying a new restaurant, or spending time in your neighborhood, let people in on what you know about your town. Live Video is a great way to show you are savvy about social media and technology, your business, and your city.

Go Live When You Have Advice To Give

Instead of posting an article, or even a pre-recorded video, be a little more candid and offer your advice live. Now more than ever, consumers appreciate transparency. Use live streams to show off your personality and your expertise.

 

Networking – What NOT To Do

Networking is one of the most powerful tools you have in building your business. Meeting and talking to the right people – potential clients, colleagues, friends, and more – earns you benefits like free advice, inspiration for your own business decisions, and referrals. When done correctly, it can also add to your credibility and expertise. Avoid simple networking mistakes below, and you’re well on your way to business growth.

Don’t Be Shy

There’s a temptation to stick with people you already know, especially for more introverted professionals. Speaking to friends and colleagues you’re familiar with won’t grow your network or help your business.

If you’re timid about meeting new people, introduce two of your connections to each other. You’ll be building value in their minds and chances are your introduction will encourage them to do the same. You can also look around for someone who may be feeling as intimidated as you are – they’ll be happy to have company and conversation and a new connection.

Don’t Speak To Only One Person

By limiting your interaction to just one person, you’re limited the experience for both of you. Keep conversations under 10 minutes before politely bowing out with something like, “I know there are other people here who would love to talk to you, but let’s reconnect later.”

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

No one wants to appear ignorant, but it’s scientifically proven that people who ask questions look more intelligent to their peers. By asking questions, you look like you are gathering information and growing your own expertise. You’ll also flatter the person on the answering end of your question.

Don’t Self-Promote Too Much

People are more likely to do business with friends and people they like. Blatant self-promotion is annoying to your colleagues. Use the opportunity to focus on creating social connections that can grow into a business benefit later. Even better, connect with people you may be able to hire as a vendor or refer to someone. You’ll be guaranteed a follow up with little work on your own.

Don’t Forget To Follow Up

Few of us have extra time on our hands. When work is busy, following up with someone you met at last week’s luncheon becomes a low priority. Take responsibility and do the following up on your own or it may never happen.

Warning! These Phrases Will Make You Sound Less Experienced Than You Are!

Anytime you meet a new client, or even a colleague, you want to make a great first impression. Here are a few commonly used words and phrases you probably want to avoid. These phrases make you sound like you have less experience than you do.

“I Don’t Know”

None of us have all of the answers all of the time. But by replying to a question with “I don’t know” make you look uninformed and less than capable. Instead, let your clients know what you do know. Try “I can tell you that…” or “Let me confirm some things before I answer that question.” Even “I want to have more information before I give you an answer on that” is a completely honest answer that lets your clients know you’re on their side.

“Is That OK?”

This question sounds like you’re not sure if you’ve given the right recommendation. Instead of looking for reassurance, try “Let me know what you think of that.” It puts the ball in their court without sacrificing your knowledge and confidence.

“Very ________”, “Extremely ________”, Etc.

Remove unnecessary words from your language. Remember the scene in Dead Poets’ Society where Robin Williams’ character says “So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted.” Remember this rule and find a better word for what you’re trying to say. OR eliminate the excess words altogether and simplify your statements.

“My schedule is wide open.” or “Let me know what time is convenient for you.”

Admitting that your schedule is empty is a sure sign that you might not have all the business you need or want. Instead, offer windows of time, like “I could meet you on Tuesday or Thursday morning” and see what they reply with. If the time doesn’t work, they’ll let you know and you can open up another time slot in your schedule to meet.

Make The Most Out Of Your LinkedIn Profile

When most people think of LinkedIn, they think of finding jobs or hiring employees. However, the social media platform offers so much more. It’s a great opportunity to make real connections and generate leads. When used correctly, creatively, and consistently, it can give your business a big boost.

Your Online Business Card

Treat your profile like a business card – you’d never attend a networking event without up-to-date and professional cards. Your profile should get the same attention. Make sure all of your information is current, including your profile picture. Take a good look at your online presence across social media, web sites, etc. Make sure that the pictures, logos, and other information are consistent across all platforms.

Your Summary

A well-written summary can represent you well. Use first person and conversational language. LinkedIn users will scan a resume, but will dig into a well-crafted paragraph. Take this opportunity to let people know who you really are. If you’re looking for leads on LinkedIn, avoid industry terms that prospective clients may not be familiar with and speak to them on their level.

Your Pictures Is Worth A Thousand Words

Because LinkedIn is a site meant for professionals, your profile picture should reflect your business persona. Snapshots, cropped photos, and family or vacation pics are not welcome here. Use your professional headshot. If you don’t have one, it’s time to invest in some good photography!

Finish What You Started

Everything on LinkedIn is searchable. The more complete your profile is, the easier it will be for prospective clients, business partners, and vendors to find you.

Optimization

As you fill out your profile, think of your target connection. Are you looking for potential team members? Prospective clients? What words will they use to search for you on LinkedIn? Pepper your summary and experience with these search terms to optimize your chances of making good connections.

Posts

You have the opportunity to get the word out about your business by posting links, articles, status updates, and blogs. Do not pass up your chance to let the professional world know what you do! Show off your expertise and business savvy by contributing to the global conversation!

Connect

Social Media is all about participation. It’s reciprocal – you get out what you put in. Comment on posts, congratulate your connections on their new positions, anniversaries, and promotions. You never know where your next lead will come from. A simple happy birthday message could lead to a big sale!

Improve Your Facebook Ads

Running ads on social media can be hit or miss, especially when formats and algorithms are constantly changing. If you’ve run an ad on Facebook before, you know that they are relatively easy to set up. But, easy to set up doesn’t mean they’re easy to optimize. Here are some tips to get the most out of your Facebook ads.

  1. Combine Multiple Objectives

    Smaller businesses, or businesses with a smaller customer base, should consider using their ads for multiple benefits. For example, use your ad space to advertise your service while linking it back to your website or blog. Make sure your website or blog is up-to-date with good information so that you can maintain the interest of your visitors after they click through. If they like what they see on your site, they are much more likely to “like” your Facebook page.

  2. Take Advantage of Targeting Features

    Facebook will send your ad across the United States by default if you don’t add targeting features. To create an ad that performs well, you need to narrow down your audience. You’ll avoid spending money sending ads to people who won’t be interested in your business or who are outside of your area. Through targeting features, you can set parameters for age, location, and even the interests and income of your audience.

  3. Do A Split Test

    If you are unsure about exactly who to target, or what approach to take with your ad, run a few similar ads for a limited time to get an idea of what is working and what isn’t. Facebook’s ad prices are flexible enough to run a test without breaking the bank. Try different zip codes, age ranges, and check back when the campaigns have run their course to see what you want to spend a larger amount of money on.

  4. Add Special Offers

    Obviously, our ears perk up when we hear about special offers. It’s a classic marketing technique and it works. Special offers boost your sales while giving your audience an incentive. Consider something you may be able to offer to your prospective clients. Maybe it’s a free sellers’ consultation, providing a complimentary service, or running a contest for your followers. Your ad should entice your audience!

     

4 Truly Unique Ideas To Sell A Home

Postcards, websites, knocking on doors…while these ideas are tried and true, marketing ideas are changing quickly. Below are some unique selling ideas that we’ve been seeing and hearing about – let us know what you think!

Text Message Marketing

By using a service like TextRock.com you can get a unique text code that sends home information to users’ phones – they opt in by texting your special number, found on the for sale sign in the yard. You can help prospective buyers learn about open houses, price changes, and more, while building your list of leads. A service like TextRock costs around $99/month.

Airbnb

Let people try before they buy by using Airbnb. This is truly unique and requires an open-minded seller, but it’s a plan that would definitely make a splash. The current homeowner would need to make their home available through Airbnb, but this isn’t difficult. Airbnb is such a trendy service – this kind of offer makes you appear to be a cutting edge agent and gives buyers confidence in their purchase.

Blog Partnerships

With blogging being big business these days, it’s a great idea to seek out partnerships with local home decor and design bloggers. If you’ve got a beautiful or unique home, ask one a blogger to view the property and post a review of the home. You’re instantly getting new, interested eyes on the property.

Neighborhood Tour

Part of selling a home is selling the neighborhood, right? Take your social media followers on a virtual tour of the neighborhood. Move beyond the features of the home and take some live videos of restaurants, stores, playgrounds, and other nearby features of the neighborhood. Live videos are all the rage on social media – viewers spend 3x the amount of time watching live videos than they do watching uploaded videos.