Is It Time To Rebrand?

Is it time to rebrand?

Rebranding is something that needs to happen every so often. It keeps your business – and your own mindset – fresh and open to change. And of course, it’s a great idea to do a regular internal audit of your business, your mission, and your brand to make sure that you’re still where you want to be and headed in the right direction. Now more than ever, businesses need to be able to adapt to a changing world.

However, rebranding is a big step to take. It’s not something you should do unless you absolutely have to. So how do you know when it’s time to rebrand?

When All You Have Is A Name

Many of us make the mistake of equating “brand” with “logo”. It’s true that branding often starts with a good logo, but the logo is merely a representation of the brand itself. Think about well-known brands like Apple, Target, Starbucks, etc. Apple’s logo is a simple, clean apple, but it represents innovation, passion, power through technology, and imagination. Anything your business stands for, anything people have come to expect from you – that’s your brand. When many small business owners begin their career, they have an idea and a name, but don’t often take the opportunity to think through how their name, their logo, their mission, and their ideas all fit together. If you haven’t taken this step – it’s time to REBRAND.

When Your Message or Strategy Has Changed

Have you been operating independently, but now you’re growing your team? Are you trying to reach a new demographic? Over time, markets change, industries change, and our own personalities change.  Branding is all about building a reputation around your message. And the reality is that your message is going to evolve as your business grows and evolves. If your message isn’t evolving, then chances are you’re not evolving and that’s not a good thing.

Your Current Brand Limits Your Growth

While it’s important to find a focus for your business, you also want to make sure that your brand gives you room to grow. How do you know if your focus is too narrow? Take a look at your customer base – do most of your customers come from similar backgrounds or demographics? If your brand is becoming known for serving only one kind of customer, you’ll have to do some work to let others know you’re willing to serve them as well.

 

Things Have Gone Stale

If you are feeling bored with your business, it’s definitely time to reexamine what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. If your customer base has dried up, it’s time to reflect on your brand. You should be the most passionate and most excited about what you offer. If you aren’t, set aside a day (or a weekend if you can!) to brainstorm, redefine, and rejuvenate your brand.

Remember: If you aren’t deliberate with your branding, others will define it for you. Take control!

 

Win A Client For Life

Loyalty is a hard thing to manufacture. And sometimes it isn’t enough to create and promote outstanding service. Clients are finicky and one false step can cost you a customer or a harsh review. There are no guarantees, but you can certainly increase your chances for loyal customers by building strong relationships.

Ask Questions First

Before you rattle of your resume and spill all about your business acumen, truly focus on getting to know your customer. Psychologically, we like people who like us and your interest in who the client is and what they are looking for will help build this bond. Business is becoming more personal every day. Clients want to work with people they like and can relate to. As you learn about your client, you’ll discover that your commonalities create an organic and natural relationship.

Reveal Something About Yourself

After you learn about your prospect and it’s your chance to have the floor, talk about yourself in a comfortable and relaxed way, as you would speak to a friend. Without revealing something too personal or embarrassing, share an anecdote that shows your human side. According to a study the Journal of Consumer Research, if a salesperson shares something persona, even something as simple as a birthday or a birthplace with a client, the client is more likely to not only do business, but to feel good about their decision to do business.

Be Clear, Be Predictable

Take a good look at your branding, your print materials, your website, and the statements you make about yourself online. Do they match your “real life” service? If they don’t, it’s time to adjust either your brand persona or your service! Customers like predictability and when you match their expectations, their loyalty will be secure.

Speak Their Language

The average customer doesn’t understand industry jargon. Make the process simple for them by using language they’ll understand and explaining what they don’t. Be careful not to patronize, but to focus instead on helping them have the best experience.

Take A Break From Texting

Unless your customer has specifically stated they’d like to be reached by text or email, make the effort to call them on the phone and speak to them directly. Things get lost in translation with the written word, and a phone call ensures that your meaning is clear, your explanations are sure, and you and your client are on the same page.

Be A Client

Notice what you love and what you don’t. Make mental notes about what bothers you and what experiences leave you smiling and change your own habits.

 

15 Minutes Can Change Your Social Media Habits

When asked why they don’t have a better or stronger social media presence, most entrepreneurs and small business owners blame time. After all, when you have contracts to worry about, clients to contact, and other day to day tasks to complete, adding just one more thing to the mix can seem like a huge burden.

However, social media doesn’t have to be as time consuming as you may think. In fact, with the right habits in place, you’ll find that with even a small time investment – just 15 minutes each day – your reputation and your client list will grow.

Here are some tips – from beginner to intermediate to social media expert – on how to maximize your presence without losing your whole workday.

In just 15 minutes, you can…

Set up your social media profile.
In fact, it takes much less time to set up a social media account. Even if you’re technologically impaired, each social media platform has a tutorial to walk you through setting up the page. See: FacebookTwitter, Instagram, etc. It should take about 5 minutes to set up your account! Look at that – 10 minutes to spare!

Find content.
One of the big keys to social media is consistency. By posting at least one time each day, you’re telling your followers – and potential clients – that you are actively invested in your industry. And by carefully choosing what you post, you’re telling your audience what they can expect from you. You can look all sorts of places for information. Start by looking for information from sites you frequently visit. You can also share information that other businesses are posting on social media; it’s a great way to build positive brand connections. Spend a few minutes each day finding content you can share!

Schedule content.
This one goes out to all the overachievers out there! When searching for articles to post, save what you like and schedule it out. You can use Facebook’s built-in scheduling, or you can take a look at a scheduling program like Hootsuite or Buffer. Your social media will be running itself all week. The best part of this is that you can make an investment of 15 minutes investment twice a week (once to find content and once to schedule it) and take care of all of your posts!

Educate yourself.
Social media doesn’t have to be a mystery. Run a quick search for something like “How does Twitter work?” or “Using Facebook to boost business” and see what you can find. Or get even more specific with a search like “Using Facebook for Real Estate” to get industry-related articles on how you can improve. For starters, check out this very quick read: Better Social Media in 15 Minutes.

Look around.
No one is expecting you to be a Facebook guru overnight. Each social media platform has its own language and culture. The best way to learn is by observing and interacting. Spend 15 minutes browsing through profiles and accounts to see how the platform works.

Check out the competition.
Once you have an account established, check up on businesses you admire, compete with, or hear about often. See what habits they use online and get inspired with your own accounts.

 

12 Things To Do During the September Slump

Every year as the school year begins homes sales invariably decline in September from August – kids are back to school, families are adjusting to the new routine, and buying or selling is the last thing most of your potential clients are thinking of. Instead of waiting for the phone to ring or complaining about the lack of business, now is the time to get to work and make your business the best it’s ever been! Here are a few places to start…

 

1. Send some handwritten notecards to clients.

You may start with the best of intentions, planning to send follow-ups and thank yous shortly after your clients are in a new home, but did you actually do it? Now is a great time to reconnect. Thank them, inspire them, and just say hello. But make sure you’re sincere in your approach or your time will be wasted!

2. Take a good look at your brand.

Branding is so much more than just your logo, but it certainly starts there. What message are you trying to send to your audience? Does your logo reflect that? And when you’ve made sure that it does, how does that message filter through your business cards, social media, print materials, and more? With time on your hands, you should be able to streamline your message, ensuring that your potential clients get the same first impression, no matter where they find you.

3. Take a small business class.

We’re not just talking about real estate courses here. Scroll through sites like Eventbrite.com and Eventful.com to find classes on marketing, branding, networking, etc. You’ll make new friends (and potential clients), learn new skills, and become more confident in your abilities.

4. Round up some testimonials.

Send out a sweet email asking for reviews, or search your business name to see what people have been saying about you. Did you know you can embed any tweet in your website? Simply click “More” on the Tweet you want to embed, then select “Embed Tweet,” then copy the code that pops up and place it on a Praise or Testimonial page of your website. Boom.

5. Revamp your website.

Old-fashioned or outdated website design can do more than turn off customers — it can tarnish your reputation and hurt your search rankings. It’s important to do a website redesign every so often to keep things fresh, update your look and keep the technology current on the back end as well.

6. Create a solid marketing plan.

Break down your promotions (New Year, Fourth of July, Back To School, etc.) and plan what you’ll need to do on a weekly and monthly basis.

7. Make a Social Media Calendar and schedule your posts.

Two of the key elements for social media are timing and consistency. In your downtime, plan what you’d like to post and use Facebook’s scheduling services (or a tool like Hootsuite, if you’re using more than one social network) to plan months in advance!

8. Write a few blogs.

Blogging is a great way to add content to your website, offer great information, boost your search results and MORE. What are you passionate about – can you relate that to your business? Are you a foodie who knows the best spots in town? Are you really into staging? Turn these into blog posts and schedule them regularly – with some real time set aside, you could schedule and write 12 blogs – enough to post once monthly for a year!

 

9. Make a financial plan to save up for that next big purchase.

What purchase would change your business? Have you been putting it off? Evaluate the cost of your existing business tools and services and see if that money might not be better spent toward the purchase of something more effective. Make a chart or a schedule if that helps and you’ll be well on your way to better business growth.

10. Do something that has NOTHING to do with your business.

Take a cooking class, write another chapter in your novel, paint or sew…give your brain a break from the stress of work and use your time to refresh and renew your soul

11. Organize your computer files.

Seriously – how many times have you complained to yourself about your computer’s lack of organization. It’s a simple change, but one that will really make your life easier and your work more productive.

12. Check out some free ebooks!

A quick Google search for ebooks on specific will produce some great results. Sites like BookBoon.com offer free ebook and textbook downloads (some with email sign up requirements) and you’ll be able to exercise your mind and learn new skills!

 

 

So there you have it – downtime doesn’t have to be a drag! Use your time wisely and your business will benefit!

The Resource: August 2016 (Houston)

 

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

 

August Events

Home Decor

 

DIY

 

Lawn and Garden

 

Great Ideas

 

Buying and Selling

 

Frontier Family Spotlight: Keri Thaler Burdette

Each month, we’ll be featuring a Frontier Title Company Family Member, one from the San Antonio area and one from the Houston area.
KERI

This month, we’re excited to introduce you to Keri Thaler Burdette, Vice President / Marketing Director for the Katy and Fulshear offices. Keri has been a part of the Frontier Title Family for eight years!

We asked Keri a few questions about herself and her experience working at Frontier Title Company.

 

 

 

What do you think sets Frontier Title Company apart? 

The people we work with. My co-workers take pride in their work and the clients.  People make or break your business, we have the best and that trickles down from our owner. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Meeting new people and finding solutions to peoples problems.

What are three of your defining traits?  

Hard Work, Giving, and a Genuine Personality

What is your personal philosophy?

“I have never dreamed about success, I have worked for it”

How do you define success?

If you never seen failure, you will never know what it is to be successful. (That’s how I have measured my success – I had that experience when I lost everything I had in 2008.)

How do you spend your time outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my 5 kids, traveling, Iron Tribe (a workout program like CrossFit) and Bikram Yoga, and serving my community through the Rotary.

 

Keri Thaler Burdette is Vice President and Marketing Director for the offices in Katy and Fulshear.
281-391-9181

3 Painless Ways to Ask For Testimonials (And A Few To Avoid!)

 

Testimonials play an important part in building your credibility among followers and prospective clients. Some clients may send an email or letter full of praise without being asked, and some need a little encouragement. Here are some tips on seeking out testimonials without the discomfort!

What To Do
  1. End your experience or transaction with a survey. You can make one on your own or use a third-party service like Google Forms or Survey Monkey to facilitate your request. This puts the emphasis on the whole experience rather than solely on your skills and personality, but still achieves your goal.
  2. Use what they’ve already said. You may find a line or two in your email correspondence or text messages that would be perfect to feature as a testimonial. But make sure you reach out and request your client’s permission to use their words.
  3. Ask with a compliment. When reaching out for a testimonial, let the client know what led you to them. Try “I wish all my clients were as great to work with as you have been – would you consider writing a testimonial on our experience together?” or “Your opinion means the world to me. Can I send you a form to fill out for my testimonials page?”

 

Of course, it’s important to respect your client’s time and schedule when you approach them with a request. At all costs, avoid:

What Not To Do
  1. Last minute requests. Asking for help at the last minute disregards their own needs and priorities.
  2. Making them commit on the spot. Ask casually or via email to avoid discomfort in case your perception of the transaction doesn’t match your client’s. Give them time and space to consider your request.
  3. Waiting until you need a testimonial. Ask at the end of a transaction, when your client’s experience is freshest in their mind.
  4. Writing a statement for your client. If they don’t have time to write a testimonial, they simply don’t have time. Don’t put words in their mouth or add the pressure of speaking on their behalf.

 

Most importantly, don’t miss out on the benefits provided by testimonials because you’re afraid it will be awkward or uncomfortable. Use the above methods and your experience should be pain free!


SOURCES:
https://www.freshbooks.com/blog/5-non-icky-ways-to-ask-for-testimonials/
 http://www.switchvideo.com/2015/03/23/5-things-not-to-do-when-asking-for-a-customer-testimonial/ https://placester.com/real-estate-marketing-academy/how-to-get-real-estate-testimonials/

Networking Secrets for Introverts

 

Being an introvert in a sales-driven industry can be intimidating, but armed with the right tools, even the most soft-spoken and reserved person can make an impact.

Businessmen Handshake Corporate Partnership Concept


Be Prepared

The good news is, as an introvert, you’re probably in the minority. It’s likely that you’ll be surrounded by others who enjoy talking, but don’t let yourself get lost in the crowd! Before attending an event, consider the types of people you’ll meet and come up with a stock of questions. If you know you’ll be meeting people in an industry you don’t understand well, ask a friend in that industry to share some key points with you, or do some research online so you’ll feel comfortable contributing to the conversation and asking questions.

 

Interview

Most people love nothing more than talking about themselves. By treating each encounter like an interview, you’ll get them talking. Be sure to avoid close-ended questions. Instead of, “What do you do for a living?” try “How do you spend most of your time?” This opens a door for passionate discussion of hobbies and interests.

 

Follow Cues

If you pay attention, you’ll notice that people usually give hints as to where they’d like the conversation to go. Use their clues as a guide. If they mention they spent time at the lake last weekend, ask which lake, how often they go, and what activities they like to do at the lake. If they speak about moving their family to an area with better schools, ask about their children and what they like to study or what exactly appeals to them about the schools they’d like to be closer to.

 

Shine the Spotlight on Others

When talking to two or more people, use the opportunity to highlight the talents of those around you. Tell Speaker A something you’ve just learned about Speaker B. Or ask one to share a story they’ve told you with the others. Better yet, find common ground between your two acquaintances and get them talking.

 

Rate the Likelihood of Connecting

Dorie Clark of Harvard Business Review writes, “Every networking event should be subjected to a cost-benefit analysis: if you weren’t here, what would you be doing, instead?” If the risk of making a connection seems low, is there something else you could be doing with your time to help grow your business in another way. Be careful and be honest with yourself – it’s easy to make excuses when networking events aren’t your forte!

 

Schedule Your Own Events

If you’re uncomfortable in large crowds and noisy events, but feel at ease at smaller gatherings, create an environment that works for you! Create a dinner party “interest group” or a monthly “marketing breakfast” with colleagues and make networking work for you.


SOURCES: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2015/07/21/how-introverts-can-network-powerfully-5-key-ways-to-rock-at-networking-when-you-hate-it/#3bbf519c3301
https://hbr.org/2014/08/networking-for-introverts
https://www.themuse.com/advice/an-introverts-guide-to-networking

10 Apps Every REALTOR® MUST Have (But Probably Doesn’t!)

Aren’t we always looking for that “next best thing”; the app, system, or technology that will change the way we do business? While the market and our needs are ever-changing, these 10 apps will help you stay on top of the game every time.  

Circleback

What does your phone’s contact list look like these days? It’s a mess isn’t it? Duplicate contacts, old information, and more can leave you looking and feeling out-of-the-loop. Circleback takes care of that for you, cleaning up your contact list and using social media and artificial intelligence to “discover when your contacts change jobs, titles, phones, or work emails so you can reach your prized connections at a moment’s notice.”

 

Expensify

Keeping track of your expenses can get tedious, but Expensify makes tracking your expenses, time, and distance easy.

 

Pocket

Imagine this: you’re browsing the web while waiting for your client to arrive and you come across a brilliant article. But by the time you’ve got time to read it, you’ve forgotten all about it. Pocket stores articles, videos, and more, and even allows you to access them without an internet connection, so you can read them, post them to social media, and more on your own schedule.

 

Magisto

You don’t have to hire a professional to put together a stellar walkthrough video of your latest listing. Magisto creates beautiful videos with ease, allowing you to save time, save money, and sell that house!

 

Felt

Keeping in touch with your clients has never been easier than it is with Felt. You can choose a card, upload a picture, and even add a handwritten note – then Felt sends it for you using the information in your phone’s contact list. You’ll never forget a birthday, home anniversary, or holiday again.

 

Periscope

In case you haven’t noticed, live videos are sweeping social media, and Periscope is another great way to use the live feature to reach prospective buyers and sellers. Periscope’s interface is easy, allows users from everywhere to view your live feed, and then posts seamlessly to Facebook once the live broadcast is over. Periscope is new enough that you’ll look “on trend”, yet established enough that you’ll reach a large audience.

 

SignEasy

Simplify and expedite the process for you and your clients. In their own words: “Import documents from email or the cloud. Sign and fill them in minutes. Email the completed documents or save them back to the cloud. Works with PDF, Word, Pages, Excel, JPEG – almost any file format you use at work.”

 

HomeKeepr

HomeKeepr’s system allows you to solidify relationships with your clients and stay valuable post-closing. With the ability to brand the program to your liking, you can send your past clients maintenance reminders for their home as well as a director of preferred vendors.

 

Streak

When did your client open up your last email? This app tells you right in Gmail. But that’s not all. It helps you prioritize your emails, collaborate with others, and manage to-do lists and deals – all right in your inbox.

 

Refresh
Refresh works by connecting everything from your social networks, contacts, calendar and more to bring in the big picture of who you are meeting with, by delivering you insights before each meeting. Or maybe you just want to know more about someone, search their name to locate background information, etc. It’s like searching through multiple social media profiles all from one simple app.

 


SOURCES:
https://www.easyagentpro.com/blog/8-amazing-apps-real-estate-agents/

http://rismedia.com/2016/01/07/top-must-have-apps-for-real-estate-pros-in-2016/

The Resource, July 2016 – Houston

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

July Events

Home Decor

DIY

Lawn and Garden

Great Ideas

Buying and Selling