Find Your Perfect Tagline

There are many companies that can be identified just by their tagline or slogan.

“I’m lovin’ it!”

“A diamond is forever.”

“Maybe she’s born with it…”

You don’t have to have a global platform to benefit from a good tagline. Local brands and small businesses can still make a memorable impression with a unique slogan. Don’t have a tagline yet? We’re here to help.

Find Inspiration In What You Already Have: Most potential customers will see your business name and logo before they hear your tagline. Let the look of your logo and the qualities of your business lead you into a strong slogan.

Don’t Overcomplicate It: You want your tagline to be something catchy and memorable. Don’t get too wordy or complicated. Most of the world’s best-known slogans only have between 4 and 6 words. Use words that are easy to understand and define, and make sure the wording of the tagline flows easily so that clients can remember it well.

Brainstorm a Word List: Aside from using obvious real estate terms, think about what makes your business stand out from the competition. What’s important to you? What do your clients say about your quality of service? After you’ve made a word list based on these things, focus on the words that seem to call out to you. Focusing on words that hold some personal meaning to you will get you closer to a strong line.

Use A Call To Action If It Works For Your Brand: Consumers respond well to action words and encouragement. Think about Nike’s “Just Do It” or McDonald’s 80s slogan, “You deserve a break today.” Don’t underestimate the power of suggestion.

Consult Friends and Family: Don’t rely solely on your own opinion. Seek out the opinion of those important to you. They may catch something in your new tagline that you didn’t hear or offer a word or two to inspire a great change. Keep in mind as you ask around that you’ll never please everyone. Don’t let one or two negative comments sidetrack you from finding something you love.

Let It Go: Not every strong business has a slogan. And no slogan is better than a bad slogan. If you can’t create a tagline you’re crazy about, don’t sweat it. A lot of businesses can get by without one at all.

What Potential Clients HATE About Sales People

 

It’s no surprise that consumers aren’t comfortable around salespeople. But could your sales tactics be hurting your chances of winning your next client? Here are just a few things that could be causing your leads to run the other way.

1. Not Really Listening

Professionals in any kind of sales industry have a reputation for pushing for a sale so hard that their customer’s needs are ignored. Time is precious to all of us and a customer that doesn’t feel important to you won’t waste their time. Whether your lead is telling you they aren’t ready yet to buy or sell, or your current client wants to take a break from house hunting, make sure you’re listening well and acting accordingly.

2. Not Following Through On Your Promises

It’s not enough to speak confidently – your actions need to be able to back up your pitch. Take a thorough assessment of how you’re marketing yourself online and in the materials you send out. Are you truly an expert in the areas you claim? Does your branding match the “real” you? Nothing will shake a potential client’s trust more than making an appointment with the “you” they found online and showing up to meet someone completely different. Furthermore, keep their trust by doing what you say you’ll do. When you say, “I’ll be in touch by the end of the day,” keep that promise!

3. Not Being Honest

Though you may be tempted to slip in a little white lie every once in a while to keep a client interested, this is the absolute worst thing you can do. Not only is it unethical, but it can only hurt your client retention and referral rates. Be honest and upfront about important details, especially as you get close the transaction itself and need to be dealing with deadlines, paperwork, and other parties.

 

Help! My Former Employee Has Become A Competitor!

It happens. Your business is growing, you add a newer agent to your team and show them the ropes, and share with them the inner workings of your business. And when they’ve earned their wings, they strike out on their own, to start their own successful team as a competitor. Now the secrets that made your business great are being used to help a competing agent.

Is There Anything You Can Do?

Not a lot. While non-compete agreements may discourage former employees from poaching your clients, the agreements are hard to enforce. In fact, the cost of doing so may outweigh any money you may lose when an employee jumps ship. The problem is also one that entrepreneurs in most industries face.

However, even if you can’t do much about it, there are some steps you can take.

Talk To Your Team

Let your other team members know what is going on (without being petty and gossipy of course – that won’t help build your team’s confidence in you). Talk to each agent one on one to keep the problem from spreading. In these meetings you have a chance to see how the rest of your team is feeling, helping to ensure that there aren’t deeper problems in the way you run your business or that others aren’t planning to strike out on their own as well.

Get In Touch With Your Clients

Before your new competitor has any chance to reach out to your client base, do so yourself. You don’t need to explain the situation – in fact it’s better not to do so. But this is a good time to check in, especially if you’ve developed relationships with any of your clients. It will serve as a friendly reminder that you’re still available when needed.

Make Better Hiring Choices

When you’re focused on growth, it’s easy to get blinded by quantity over quality. As you hire a replacement for your lost team member, be extra focused on finding someone who fits your goals and values. And if your employees feel like they can grow along with the company, they’re more likely to stay.

Protect Yourself

As stated above, non-compete agreements can be hard to enforce, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Staff members should sign a simple confidentiality and non-competitive agreement, limiting what team members can do for a reasonable and specific period of time. You may ask an employee to agree not to use a particular vendor for a year, or to agree not to contact clients earned through your team.

The best way to stop employees from leaving is to create an environment and working relationship that they don’t want to leave behind. At the same time, make smart decisions that protect you and your business and you’ll be happy you did.

Take It Offline: 5 Non-Internet Marketing Tactics That Still Work

We can all agree that the internet has completely changed the way we do business. Marketing, more than almost anything, has completely reinvented itself through social media platforms and blogging, among other things. The connectivity of the world wide web has made reaching millions of people more achievable than ever. However, you don’t have to be glued to Facebook or a blogging expert to reach your dream client. These tried and true marketing tactics are still valuable means of reaching out.

Direct Mail- Direct Mail isn’t as dead as some might say. Many customers still respond to advertisements they receive in the mail. The secret is reaching the right people, of course. If mailers are right up your alley, invest in a super targeted list to reach your key demographic and you’ll see better results.

Cold Calling- We don’t know many people who love cold calling. But the reality is that cold calling works. Just like mailings, don’t waste time calling the wrong people. Make sure your call list is highly targeted.

 

Networking- Are you making the most out of your time by attending networking events, parties, classes, and more? Don’t neglect this incredibly important part of growing your business. And don’t stop at attending either – be sure to exchange information and build the foundations of relationships at each opportunity.

Relationship Building- This won’t be changing anytime soon. People prefer to do business with people they know, trust, and like. And this is where the internet fails us most. It’s not easy to build solid relationships via social media and email. Building genuine relationships requires serious time and face to face interactions, but they’ll get you a lot farther in the long run.

 

How Much Is Your Time Worth?

If you work for yourself, like many do in the real estate industry, it’s important to know the true value of your time. Driving to and from appointments, working on contracts, attending CE classes, and networking, among other activities, can take a toll on your day. Before you spread yourself too thin, you’ll want to understand just what you’re giving up when you commit to one more thing.

Take a look at the Time Value Calculator or take this quiz at Clearer Thinking.

When you understand the value of each hour of your day, you’ll be in a better position to schedule your tasks and to decide what you want to outsource and what you can tackle on your own. For certain responsibilities, you may find it more financially viable to hire outside help for a lower rate than your own time is worth.

Say that your free time is worth around $20 per hour: If hiring an employee will cost you about $12 and save you an hour compared to doing the work yourself,  then it might be the right call. If it’s going to cost you closer to $20, you should probably reconsider. You can use your new knowledge to help you figure out:

  • Whether you should order in or cook
  • Whether you should hire someone to organize your office
  • Whether to hire someone to manage your social media accounts
  • Whether time spent on the phone with customer service to save $X is worth it
  • Whether or not it’s time to move on from a stalling client

The calculators linked above are meant to act as guides, not gospel truth. You will also want to factor in your personal budget, your own enjoyment of certain tasks, and more. Regardless, knowing your value is always a good thing.

Business Planning in January

Welcome to a New Year! There’s something wonderful about a fresh, new year and all the possibilities it brings. If you’re like most, you probably have goals you plan to reach this year, and a good idea of how to achieve them.  This is a perfect time to take advantage of the momentum you’ve built up in your time off and watch that positivity bring growth to your business!

Make Some Goals

If you haven’t done so already, write out your goals for the coming year. What would you like to accomplish? Were you happy with your business in 2017, or do you see lots of room for growth? It’s important to be ambitious, but realistic when you plan ahead. Making goals that are just out of reach may challenge you, or it may intimidate you, depending on your personality. Know what works for you and plan your year accordingly.

Stick With It

After you’ve set some goals, put pen to paper to create an action plan of how your work each month of the year will help you reach success. For many, carving out time to spend on your own business can be the most difficult task. Set aside time to work on your business, and stick to that plan as you would an appointment with a client. Your business deserves your attention, too!

Resolutions and Reminders

This is a great time to reach out to clients and remind them of important dates in the New Year. Home maintenance schedules, Texas Homestead Exemptions, and organizational tips are all great ways to stay connected and prove your value.

Looking Ahead

Get your Valentine’s ready! Whether you’re treating your contacts to a pop-by for Valentine’s Day, or celebrating some lesser known February holidays (National Send A Card To A Friend Day is February 7 and National Love Your Pet Day is February 20 – see more unique days at National Day Calendar), now is definitely the time to prepare.

Social Media Challenge

Try a Photo-A-Day Challenge for your January Social Media efforts. You can track your own New Year’s Resolution progress, give followers a glimpse into the life of a real estate agent, or show something a little more personal. The idea of the challenge is to give followers a chance to see the “real” you. Photos have a high rate of engagement across all social media platforms, so there’s even one more benefit!

The Resource: January 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.

Happy New Year!

Melinda Gates’ Inspiring New Year’s Tradition (Real Simple)
15 Healthy Sandwiches To Help You Keep Your Resolutions (The Spruce)
New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home (Family Handyman)
10 Home Hacks for the New Year (Realty Times)

Texas Living

Top Texas Wines – Fall 2017 (Texas Monthly)
Meanwhile In Texas (Texas Monthly)
10 New Texas Hotels Worth Checking In To (Texas Monthly)
Jumpstart 2018 with the Texas Coffee Festival (Texas Hill Country)
Texas Hill Country Named One of the Fastest Growing Vacation Spots (Texas Hill Country)

Around The House

5 Genius Paint Hacks (Real Simple)
Gain Control of that Cluttered Desk (Real Simple)
99 of the Coolest DIY Furniture Pieces of 2017 (Shelterness)
January Home Checklist (Houzz)
Tidy Up Your Closet (Better Homes and Gardens)
8 Ways to Make Your Home Smell Amazing (Better Homes and Gardens)
100 Must Have Items to Organize Your Life (House Beautiful)

Decor Inspiration

How To Find Your Personal Decor Style (Real Simple)
Interior Design Trends to Look for in 2018 (Houzz)
Graphic Tile Might Be What Your Fireplace Is Missing (Hunker)
12 Fantastically Fun Game Room Ideas (Hunker)
How To Style Open Shelves (The Spruce)
20 of the Best Neutral Paint Colors (House Beautiful)

Buying And Selling

5 Things To Know If You Want to Prepay Property Taxes (Realtor.com)
Does It Make Sense To Buy A New Home Before Selling Your Current Home? (Realty Times)
How To Buy A House With A Low Income in 2018 (The Mortgage Reports)