Your 2018 Business Resolutions

This is a wonderful time of year to reflect on the last year in business and make some business resolutions to bring more success in the coming year. Did you accomplish everything you set out to do? Did your business grow and flourish in 2017? What’s left undone? What can you do to increase success in 2018? Here are some of our favorite ideas:

Create a Marketing Calendar – And Stick To It!

In a time when calendars and alerts are at our fingertips, there’s no excuse for missing another holiday, special event, or other marketing opportunity. Make a realistic plan for what you can accomplish to market your business this year. Schedule automated alerts to remind you when it’s time to design holiday cards, send birthday cards to former clients, or promote a Christmas toy drive.

First Thing’s First

Too often, entrepreneurs sacrifice their own promotions to take care of business as usual. While putting the client first is great, if you don’t make growing your business a priority, it will never happen. Make a resolution to start every Monday morning with an hour just for you. Schedule a week of social media, line up a meeting with a business coach, update your website. When your business is your priority, your clients will notice.

Delegate

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is crucial to successful business management. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you are the best person to do it, or that your time won’t be better spent elsewhere. You can find contractors and freelancers for a lot of small business tasks, like data entry, design, website maintenance, and social media.

Learn Something New

From being more adept at Microsoft Office Suite to taking a karate class, new skills will help you in business and beyond. Obviously, learning more about office skills or social media will enhance your business, but picking up a new “fun” skill will increase your confidence and your social circle as well.

Set Networking Goals

Networking is important, but can fall to the bottom of a list of business chores. Set a reasonable goal for 2017. Maybe you’ll make a point to attend at least 2 networking events each month. Or maybe this year will be the year that you join (or start!) a networking group. Networking can include social media as well…will 2017 be the year you start posting and interacting regularly on sites like LinkedIn?

Make Some New Friends

While networking will gain you some valuable business contacts, we all know that most people choose to business with real estate agents they already know. Make a list of the different groups you have the potential to reach: your neighborhood, the other parents at school, fellow gym members, congregants at your church, etc. How can you make more meaningful connections with these people? Remember that friendships only work if they’re sincere – so don’t try to meet people unless you’re willing to make an honest investment in a relationship.

Let Go Of What Isn’t Working

Sometimes we commit hard and fast to an idea or an expectation that doesn’t work that we fail to see the time, effort, and money we could be using elsewhere. Take a hard look at your business expenses (both time and money) and ask yourself what’s bringing you gain. If you’ve been after something for 3-6 months or more without progress, it’s time to reevaluate.

 

Here at Frontier Title, we are committed to helping your 2018 be your best year in business ever. We know that real estate isn’t usually an 8-5 job, and we are truly here to assist you along the way. Best wishes for a happy, successful, and joy-filled New Year. 

 

 

Win Clients Through Storytelling

Many real estate agents are good at their job, sincere with their customers, and hard-working individuals. If you’re an agent, there’s a good chance that you enjoy working with others – the difficult part is finding the clients in the first place.  Here are some strategies to help you attract more prospects by letting others in on the story of YOU.

Marketing is about storytelling – telling the story of you and your business to the people who want to hear it. Years ago, customers may have wanted to see a polished facade of the businesses they patronized, but that has changed. Especially if you are running your business as an individual, customers expect transparency. They want to know with whom they are spending their money.

To do this well, you probably shouldn’t lay everything out on the table. But there are certain elements of your story that will help you connect with customers.

How Others Experience Your Work

Obviously, testimonials tell the best story. Former customers have the opportunity to tell your future customers the real-life experience of working with you. If you haven’t done so already, reach out to your former clients and ask if they can share their story with you. And don’t just stop at Zillow or Facebook reviews – take those reviews and add them to your website, social media timelines, or e-blasts.

Photography

Posting a picture of a smiling couple at closing or a family in front of their new home speaks volumes. Again, this paints a real-life picture of your work. A testimonial can give glowing words, but can’t compare to glowing smiles on actual faces. Don’t forget to document these moments with your customers. This should be a regular part of your marketing campaign.

Your Unique Perspective

Every agent is different. Whether you hobbies include interior design, the great outdoors, or trying every restaurant in town, customers want something they can connect to. By being little bit more open about your life and your personal interests, you could very well win a client who shares your hobby.

Your story is your way of demonstrating your value, experience and expertise to a prospective client in a way that they can relate to and not be intimidated by. The better they know you ahead of time, the more comfortable they’ll be moving forward.

Do You Have a Niche?

Even if you’ve been in business for a while, from time to time you might find yourself struggling to feel “at home” in your career. We’ve all been there – going through the motions, making all the “right” choices, but you haven’t hit a comfort zone yet. 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.

4 Great Ideas for Winter Blogs

We know December is usually a busy time for people, whether or not they’re in the real estate industry. Still, it’s no time to be getting lazy about business. To keep you on track, here are 4 great blogs you can write during the winter months to keep in touch with your clientele.

Holiday Activities

Depending on where your own interests lie, a post telling people where to find the most holiday cheer is a great way to connect. You can post anything from the best places in town to visit Santa Claus, best lighting displays, church service times, or places for ringing in the new year. A blog post like this does a couple of things for your business. It keeps your current clientele in the know, but will also rank pretty well in search results.

Winterizing

Here in Texas, winterizing your home takes on a whole new meaning. While people might not need to snow-proof their homes, there are good home maintenance tips you can offer during our colder months. Aside from that, there are plenty of things your favorite homeowners can be doing around their gardens.

Home Safety for Vacationers

We all worry about safety when we leave for vacation, so this is a perfect time to share some tips on how to keep things secure at home. You can do a little online research to find some great advice to pass on. This kind of post shows that you are truly invested in the well-being of your followers, friends, and clients.

Holiday Recipes or Decorations

Got a list of favorite recipes for celebrating? Or advice on throwing a great party?  Pass those tips on to family and friends via your website blogs. The more unique and “closer to home” the better. Let this be a great blog for telling a personal story about your grandmother’s famous cookie recipe, or your own family holiday traditions.

 

The Resource: December Social Media Plan

We often hear our real estate friends say they’re short on time and can’t handle regular posting to social media. So, each month, we collect a full month’s worth of posts for you to pass along to clients, friends and family.

The Holiday Season

A Clean Home for the Holidays in 5 Days (Houzz)
19 DIY Evergeen Christmas Decorations to Try (Shelterness)
14 Christmas Tree Alternatives (The Spruce)
6 Unique Ways To Decorate Your Front Door for the Holidays (The Spruce)
11 Easy Decor Hacks for a Stress-Free Holiday (HouseLogic)
The Lazy Homeowner’s Guide to Holiday Decor (Realtor.com)

Texas Living

The Made In Texas Gift Guide (Texas Monthly)
For $250 Million, You Can Buy T. Boone Pickens’ Panhandle Ranch (Texas Monthly)
Meanwhile In Texas (Texas Monthly)
15 Songs That Embody the Texas Spirit (Wide Open Country)
Texas Meals You Have To See (and Taste) to Believe (Texas Hill Country)

Around The House

Bring More Life To Your Garden (Texas Home and Garden)
5 Subtle Ways to Add High Tech to Your Home (Texas Home and Garden)
Organize Your Bedroom Closet (Better Homes and Gardens)
13 Things That Are Grossing Out Your Guests (Realtor.com)
The Most Genius Home Tips of 2017 (House Beautiful)

Decor Inspiration

Green Velvet Shines in these Enviable Rooms  (Houzz)
15 Coolest Industrial Chandeliers for your Home (Shelterness)
Smart and Stylish Ways to Decorate Empty Corners (The Spruce)
Trend Alert: Floral Walls Are Out. Floral Chandeliers are IN. (Better Homes and Gardens)
Watch for these Decor Trends in 2018 (House Beautiful)

Buying And Selling

How Tax Reform Will Affect Mortgage Deductions (The Mortgage Reports)
Forecasts Predict Boosts in Housing Inventory in 2018 (The Mortgage Reports)
18 Staging Tips To Help Buyers Fall In Love (HouseLogic)
This Paint Color Can Increase The Value of Your Home by the Thousands (Elle Decor)

 

Business Planning In December

As business slows down for the holidays, you may be looking forward to a little rest and relaxation. Taking the time to rejuvenate is crucial to staying energized throughout the year. However, if you’re up for it, the downtime may be the perfect time to work on your business.

Plan It Out

Take a look at the past year. What has worked for you? What hasn’t? Have there been any missed opportunities? As you look ahead to the new year, think about what you can get down on paper now to ensure success. Make sure you have holiday mailings, promotions, and events scheduled out with notifications and reminders so that you don’t miss a single thing.

Resolve

Where would you like your business to be this time next year and what can you do to set things in motion? Make New Years Resolutions for your business. What would help you the most? Attending more networking events, hitting a milestone sales number, or growing your team are all good places to start.

Holiday Greetings

We all know the importance of sending holiday greetings through the mail, but a quick, in-person stop can make a big difference for a special client. Take the opportunity to let them know you see them as more than just a business connection.

Party Time

Host a neighborhood gathering to let your neighbors get to know you a little better. We all prefer doing business with people we know and like. If you’re always talking about your business, this could be a chance to meet others on a new and personal level.

Live Giveaway

Hold an online contest for your social media followers. Who wouldn’t want a little extra money at the holidays. Give away a prepaid gift card to one of your followers for a store or restaurant via live Facebook video. Even better, promise to make the contest a monthly feature of your business. Watch your audience grow with the chance to win!

Look Ahead

What can you do this month to prepare for January? Are you sending out New Year’s postcards? Celebrating other fun holidays like National Pie Day or Strawberry Ice Cream Day? Find some fun ways to include your clients and prospects in New Year fun.