Frontier Family Spotlight: Meet Maggie Weinberg

 

maggie

This month, we’re excited to introduce you Maggie Weinberg, Director of Business Development from the Galleria Office. Maggie has been with Frontier Title Company for five years! We asked her a few questions about herself and her experience working at Frontier Title Company. 

What do you think sets Frontier Title Company apart?

Everyone genuinely cares about our product and what we stand for. Starting from the first person who touches the contract to the last, we all work as a team to ensure our clients have the best service imaginable.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love taking care of others. Getting to know our clients and their needs to ensure they have the best closing experience possible.  Our clients & colleagues become like family to us and that makes my job just that more enjoyable!

What are some of your defining traits?  

Thoughtful, Kind, and Sincere 

What is your personal philosophy?

Treat others how you would like to be treated. Be kind and never take a day for granted.

How do you define success?

Work hard, take care of others, and stick to your word. At the end of the day the success will be there!

How do you spend your time outside of work?

I spend my time traveling with my husband, enjoying new restaurants around Houston with friends, and exploring our city with our 11 month old Golden Retriever, Honey.  

To contact Maggie Weinberg, email mweinberg@frontiertitletexas.com or call the Galleria Office at 713-840-0208.

Snapchat 101 for Real Estate

Are you using Snapchat for your real estate business? Before you dismiss it as a platform for tweens and celebrities, take a look at the statistics from MediaKix.com:

  • Over Half Of New Snapchat Users Are Over The Age Of 25.
  • Over Half Of All Snapchat Users Visit The App At Least Once Every Day.
  • Over 60% Of U.S. Smartphone Users Between The Ages Of 13 And 34 Are Snapchatters.
  • Over 60% Of Americans Between The Ages Of 13 And 38 Are On Snapchat.
  • 57 Million Americans Use Snapchat.

If you’re trying to reach the coveted Millennial demographic, here’s an even more important statistic for you: 7 out of 10 Snapchatters are Millennials!

So how can you make the most of it? Using a new social media platform can be daunting, but follow these steps and you’ll feel comfortable in no time. Read on for basic information, or head over to Snapchat for more thorough instructions.

The Basics

Snapchat works similarly to your text messages, with some beefed up options and an attitude change. You can send your Snaps to one user at a time or publish them to your Story so that anyone can view them. Snaps are meant to make conversation visual and fun! They are pictures or video messages taken and shared with friends on Snapchat in real-time. Snaps can be viewed for up to 10 seconds. After it disappears, you can replay it one time.

Creating a Snap

When you open Snapchat, it defaults to the camera, so it’s easy to capture what’s happening in real time. Tap the Capture button, just as you would with the regular camera feature, or press and hold to record a video. After you take a Snap, you’ll have more options on the screen that will allow you to decorate with stickers, captions, doodles and more.

But Why?

With Snapchat’s growth, especially among older audiences and businesses, it is the place to be. Your activity online, whether through your website or on social media, helps tell the story of who you are and what kind of business you do. In Real Estate, the possibilities are endless because the industry is such a visual one. Take Snaps of great property features, take your followers on a video tour of a new home, and let your audience see what makes you you.

Find a Sales Style that Complements Your Personality

Let’s face it – not everyone is a natural salesperson. For those uncomfortable with the stereotypical style of a hard sell, business goals may seem out of reach. Never fear! You can achieve sales success without compromising your personality by following some of the guidelines below!

George Dudley and Shannon Goodson have developed a six-factor model of selling that takes into account different personalities and comfort levels.

The six styles they outline are:

Competition-oriented selling. 

Competition-oriented sellers are persistent in persuasive efforts. They don’t take no for an answer and will do everything within his or her power to close the deal.

Image-oriented selling. 

Sellers who are Image-oriented rely on their reputation and credibility to help them stand out from the crowd. Their reputation has done most of the work ahead of time and customers usually seek out Image-oriented salespeople.

Need-oriented selling. 

Need-oriented sellers focus on, you guessed it, the needs of the customer. They are diplomatic, quick to respond, and start relationships by asking questions meant to discover the customer’s real needs. They are problem solvers and are skilled at calming fears of reluctant clients.

Product-oriented selling. 

Product-oriented sellers are extremely knowledgable about features and benefits of the product they are trying to sell. They are educators at heart and good at explaining complicated processes to their customers.

Rapport-oriented selling. 

If you walk away from transactions with new friends, chances are you are Rapport-oriented. These kinds of sellers build and develop relationships with their clients, gaining trust and almost becoming business partners with their customers. Communication is key for this personality.

Service Oriented selling.

Service-oriented sellers fall somewhere between Rapport- and Need-oriented  sellers. These sellers are able to explain and follow through on exceptional services, unique to their personality and brand.

 

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING:

http://www.confidentapproach.com/assessment/sspa/different-selling-styles

What You Need To Know About Facebook’s Business Page Changes

If you have a Facebook business page, you’ve probably noticed that your page is looking a lot more polished these days. With an updated layout, including a very clear side menu and distinctly different look from your personal page, business pages are taking on a “website” look.

Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing that has changed for businesses. When user feedback reported that people were dissatisfied with the ratio of business to personal posts on their newsfeeds, Facebook changed their algorithm to make it harder for business posts to get attention.

So what can you do about it?

LIVE VIDEOS

Starting in March 2016, Facebook’s algorithms started heavily favoring Live Videos. In real estate, this is an easy format to use. Show off a new listing! Introduce a vendor! Take your audience through a day in the life of an agent. Your followers will get a notification that you are “going live” and pull focus to your page.

ENCOURAGE INTERACTION

Facebook favors popular posts. When you post something new, ask family and friends who you are comfortable with to like or share the content. The more likes, shares, and comments a post has, the more likely it is to appear on a someone’s feed. Be careful with this one and use it sparingly – you don’t want something to seem inauthentic.

POST AT THE RIGHT TIME

For maximum interaction and visibility, post when other businesses and personal pages may not be active. Early in the morning and late at night are slower posting times and your post has a higher likelihood of reaching viewers’ feeds as soon as they wake up!

SPONSORED POSTS

In comparison with almost any other form of advertising, Facebook Ads are very affordable. You can set your budget starting around $5.00 a day and limit your total expense upfront. When targeted correctly, these ads are well worth their minimal cost!

 

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING

Facebook Business: Effective Posts for Your Business Page

Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm History

Better Branding: Using Color To Tell Your Story

Whether you are creating a logo, customizing your website, or creating flyers and business cards, your goal is to tell your potential clients what they can expect from you. Color plays a big part in this process as most of us associate certain colors with concrete feelings, attitudes, and tones. So what is your logo saying about you?

Branding and Color

RED

Red is powerful and dynamic, reflecting youth, boldness, and energy when used in a brand. Depending on the other visual elements of your brand, it can portray friendliness and strength or come across as aggressive. If you want to get attention quickly, red is your color.

ORANGE

Orange comes across as friendly, cheerful, and confident when used in branding. Borrowing power and strength from red and optimism from yellow, orange is a great option for conveying comfort and warmth.

YELLOW

People tend to associate yellow with optimism and happiness. It is the easiest color for the human eye to see and the first color that infants respond to.  However, if you use too much yellow, it can convey anxiety and caution (think warning signs when you’re on the road). You’ll notice that most successful brands that use yellow use it along with another color to neutralize it just a little bit.

GREEN

Green makes us think of peace, healthiness and positive growth (whether in plants or in wealth). It is a color of balance and harmony. If you want your customers to think of restfulness, peace, and a balance of logic and emotion, consider green in your logo. It has one of the most positive responses among the colors.

BLUE

Blue is the most popular color according to personal tastes of both men and women. It evokes feelings of trust and dependability. Blue is reliable and responsible – we associate it with sensibility. When used the wrong way, it can be perceived as cold or unfriendly, because it is one of the last colors our eyes recognize, as opposed to yellow, which is the first color most people notice. If your focus is on building relationships based on trust, blue may be your perfect color.

PURPLE

Purple gives us several different meanings, including creativity, wealth, and spirituality. Using red’s energy and blue’s dependability, purple conveys imagination and balance and mystery. Interestingly enough, purple is the color most likely to cause our minds to wander, so you may want to couple it with another color in your logo.

PINK

Pink, being a softer and less intense version of red, reflects compassion, care, and understanding. Obviously, it has romantic and feminine notes as well, which complement that nurturing feeling. Where red stimulates, pink soothes. Too much pink can come across as submissive and immature, but can be coupled well with others to convey your message.

BROWN

Brown is high on the list of least favorite colors among both men and women. While it’s not very visually stimulating, it does reflect stability, sensibility and structure. The “boringness” of brown lends our minds to dependability and protection. It’s a serious color, so if you’re looking to give a feeling of being down-to-earth without coming across as bland, adding another color is a great idea.

BLACK

Black is serious, disciplined and luxurious. It also reflects control and sophistication. It is a powerful color. If you want to be taken seriously, incorporate black into your branding.

What is SEO?

What is SEO? You’ve probably heard the term thrown around in meetings about websites and social media. And you may already know that it stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” But what does that mean?

SEO for Real Estate

In short, SEO is the process of getting traffic to your website from the free and organic search results on search engines.

How Search Engines Rank Sites

When someone searches for a term using Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., the search engine gets information from your page and every other page on the internet to determine what sites are the most relevant to the topic. You can pay, of course, for an ad that puts your information front and center for certain search terms. However, by using the right SEO strategy, you can earn a higher ranking without spending any of your advertising budget. Here’s what goes into search result ranking:

Clicks Help SEO

Each time someone searches for “New Homes in Texas”, the search engine will keep track of which results are clicked most often. The website with the most clicks will earn a higher ranking. This is a very difficult component to change. If a website has earned a top spot in a search result, it will continue to earn more clicks. If your page is appearing on the fourth, fifth, or later page in the results, it will be very difficult for you to get more organic clicks.

Content Helps SEO

This is one of the best and easiest ways to impact your position in the results. Sites like Google look at the words populating your site. If people are searching for “real estate agent”, search engines look for how many times those words appear on your pages. This is why blogging is a great idea! Instead of having five or six pages on your site that point Google in the right direction, a regularly updated blog can add an ever-increasing number of pages.

You may have seen places for “Meta Title”, “Meta Description” and “Meta Tags” at the bottom of a website editing program. These things are embedded in the page’s code, rendering them invisible to your viewer, but very visible to search engines. Again, these all help tell the search engines what your page is about.

Links Help SEO

It’s all about relevance. Adding links to other pages on your site is helpful, as long as the links are relevant to the services you’re offering. So, by linking to your brokerage website, to lenders, title companies, inspectors, and other vendors, you’re helping search engines recognize your value to the topic at hand. If other sites link back to you, it’s even better!

Updates Help SEO

A site that isn’t updated regularly won’t look relevant to search engines. To improve your SEO, make sure your site is regularly updated. Blogs, again, are a great way to update regularly, add content, and add links.


SOURCES AND FURTHER READING:
https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo
http://www.mtu.edu/umc/services/digital/seo/
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/SEO.html

 

3 Reasons To Start Blogging Today

In Real Estate, taking the time to start blogging might seem like an impossibility. There are so many things that demand your time and attention, and it can be frustrating to add another to the pile. However, adding a blog to your website will go a long way to growing your business.

Blogging for Real Estate

Here’s why you should consider adding a blog:

A blog drives traffic to your website.

Each day, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines send their feelers out to crawl through the internet and determine what’s important to each subject. Think of how many pages there are on your website right now. Your pages probably look similar to this list: Home, About, Buying, Selling, Resources, Contact. And other than an automated feed from MLS for your listings, you probably don’t ever need to update anything.

Search engines look for keywords, updates, and new information as they populate their search results. Think of each page on your website as acting like a sign post for a search engine. If you have 5 to 6 pages and the last time you changed anything on your site was last year, you have a few old and battered sign posts telling people where to go. Each time you add a blog, you’re updating and adding valuable information. If you blog once a week, your site will grow from 5 to 57 pages in a calendar year. Those 57 pages, are now 57 well-updated sign posts, helping to point your potential customers in the right direction.

Tie your new posts into social media and you start doubling your exposure! Remember, it takes most search engines 60-90 days to pick up on your new information, so you may not see your time investment pay off immediately – but it is worth it!

NOTE: It’s important to make sure your SEO is in order…more on this in our next blog!

 

Blogging turns a reader into a lead.

Think of this: you found a great article on RealSimple.com on updating your home with paint. You share it on Facebook, your potential client clicks on the link to read the article, then sees the other content Real Simple is offering. Suddenly, they’re in surfing mode (as many of us have been), clicking on links about healthy school lunches, cleaning tips, and family activities. You had them on your social media page, and you lost them.

Instead, take that same information, adapt it to your expertise, credit the article and maybe find another source or two to draw from, and post it as a blog. (Be very careful to avoid plagiarizing. Use your own words and attribute quotes from others when necessary.) This time, you’re posting the same useful content, but the link brings potential customers to your own page. Now, if they get distracted and start to surf, they’re surfing through your page, your blog posts, your listings. You had them, and you KEPT them.

Blogging declares your expertise.

You know your strengths and weaknesses. You know what sets you apart from your competition. Blogging allows you to establish yourself as an authority in the industry without screaming it out loud. Are you an expert in staging? Blog about it. Are you skilled at explaining the complicated process of buying a home to a first-time buyer? Perfect for a blog! Use those traits that make you the best at what you do to help others and build your expert reputation.

Blogs don’t always have to offer advice and information. You can post about the daily life of a real estate agent, a new listing, a home that just sold, or an award you received. All of these things help to create an image in your prospective clients’ mind.

Better Ways to Ask Basic Questions

We’ve all been there. You meet a new client or colleague and exchange basic pleasantries, but once the basic information has been covered, the awkward silence ensues and you’re struggling to fill it up with small talk. An uncomfortable room can be avoided altogether with a couple of small changes to the way you ask questions. The biggest mistake most people make is asking questions that require definitive “yes” and “no” answers or simple responses and not allowing conversation to flow beyond that.

How are you?

“How are you?” has become such a regular part of our greetings that it’s hardly a question anymore. Most of us respond with “fine” whether or not it’s the truth. Change this question slightly to show a genuine interest in your conversation partner. Ask, “Have you had a good week so far?” or “How was your weekend?” to show that your interest is genuine.

What do you do for a living?

The answer to this question requires a very brief answer and won’t drive the conversation ahead. Instead, try “How did you get into your line of work?” or “How do you spend most of your time?” Phrasing the questions this way does more than just give you an extended answer. It also places the focus of your question on the person rather than the occupation.

Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

Again, this question needs just a one word answer. Vary the question by asking, “Have you lived here long?” Though the corresponding answer may still be a short one, chances are you’ll get more information than the alternatives. When you’ve got your answer, continue with prompts like, “Tell me about your hometown,” or asking about their experiences growing up locally to keep your conversation partner talking.

Nice weather we’re having, isn’t it?

Weather questions are such a small talk cliche! However, you can still use the weather to generate good conversation. Once again, you’ll want to turn the focus toward your client or colleague instead of the subject at hand. Instead of putting the weather at the center of your question, ask “Do you enjoy this kind of weather?” or “What do you do when it’s pouring like this?”

The biggest changes to implement in these and other questions are to (a) makes sure that questions are open ended, requiring more than a yes/no response or short answer, and (b) put the focus on the person rather than the subject of the question.  Use the responses you get as inspiration for your follow up questions and the conversation will be flowing naturally!


Sources and Further Reading
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/08/better-small-talk-weather-boring_n_5656105.html
http://ideas.ted.com/how-to-turn-small-talk-into-smart-conversation/
http://conversation-skills-core.com/questions-boost-conversation

Frontier Family Spotlight: Becky Steinbrecher

 

becky

This month, we’re excited to introduce you to Becky Steinbrecher, Escrow Officer from the Katy Office. Becky joined Frontier Title Company in January 2012 after a career in real estate. We asked Becky a few questions about herself and her experience working at Frontier Title Company. 

What do you think sets Frontier Title Company apart?

We care.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The smiles on the buyers, sellers and agents when they leave our office.

What are three of your defining traits?  

Honest, Hardworking and Loyal

What is your personal philosophy?

Do what you can to make life easier for others.

How do you define success?

Success is living life to the fullest.

How do you spend your time outside of work?

With my family.  We love to watch movies or TV shows we’ve taped.  Sounds boring but a good way to relax.  I help with our sacrament program at church. Bible study. Work Bingo at church once a month.  

 

To contact Becky Steinbrecher, email bsteinbrecher@frontiertitletexas.com or call the Katy Office at 281.391.9181.

The Resource: October 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.

Halloween Tips

Around The House

Food

Buying And Selling

Great Ideas