Turning Strangers Into Leads

Many of us regularly attend networking events, mingle with colleagues and potential clients, pass out business cards, follow up and hope to gain a little business from each event. But, if you stop to think about the daily encounters you have with strangers, from elevator rides to standing in line at the grocery store, your opportunities to network are exponential.

Finding leads among strangers isn’t easy, and it takes a certain boldness in personality, but with the tips below, you’ll be well on your way:

Start With A Common Topic

Open the door to a conversation by finding the common ground. Small talk cliches are great here – try weather, holidays and events, how you each know an event host. Your first impression should be a positive one. Save complaining for another time.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

If you ask a question that only requires a “yes” or “no” answer, you’ll probably get a very short response. Instead of, “Have you attended this event before?”, try something along the lines of, “What do you think of this event?” When your conversation partner answers with their thoughts, you can find something in their statement to grab onto to keep the conversation flowing.

Give A Sincere Compliment

Who doesn’t love receiving a compliment? The trick here is to compliment physical appearance or clothing only as a last resort. So wait until you’ve been involved in conversation for a few minutes and you can get an idea of your new friend’s personality or talent. Try “It sounds like you’re very successful,” or, “You’re very easy to talk to.”

Share Opportunities

As you learn more about someone, look for ways you can help them instead of looking for business opportunities for yourself. You’ll be building a more positive impression for yourself, which is much more likely to generate business than looking opportunistic.

 

Get More Leads By Improving Your SEO

It doesn’t matter if you’re the best real estate agent in the city, if you don’t have leads, you won’t make any money. Finding new clients can be frustrating, but we have a few ideas that may help when it comes to creating a website with a high SEO.

It requires a little patience, but in the long run, optimizing your site will generate more traffic and more leads. In brief, optimizing your site is a little like setting up guideposts for search engines like Google. When someone searches for something like “Real Estate Agent”, the search engine looks at a couple of different factors to determine what pages show up first in your results. These factors include age of site, number of pages, unique information, frequency of updates, and, of course, the words on the page, among others. This is why you’ll often see Zillow and Trulia at the top of results – they’ve easily got most agents beat on age of site and number of pages.

How can you optimize your site for a higher ranking?

Content

The actual words on your site are, of course, a big deal for search engines. Most important, you want to make sure that the words you’re using on your site are words that potential clients will be searching for. For example, your designations are important, but are buyers and sellers going to know and search for industry terms like ALHS, e-PRO, and GRI? Keep this information, but check your site for “search terms” like “homes for sale in Stone Oak” or “Cypress real estate agent.”

If you’re comfortable with the back-end of your site, you can also add helpful terms to your images, page title, and more. For example, when you post a picture of a home, the photo title may be a string of numbers or even “123-main-street.” By changing these titles to something like “home-for-sale-77494”, you’re giving search engines one more clue that your page is relevant to the search.

Frequent Updates

Next, you can make more frequent updates, through a blog, for example. By posting regularly (even once a month), you’re showing sites like Google that your webpage is active and current. If you set up your site a year ago and haven’t changed it since, search engines aren’t going to want to show your page to visitors. It’s also a good idea to check your site every couple of months and update outdated information.

Unique Information

Having unique information on your site is very important. For example, a certain real estate brokerage recently rolled out a brand new website service for all of their agents. Included on these sites are 5 sample pages and 4 sample blog posts. All of these pages have exactly the same content. When a search engine scours the web for relevant information, it will find thousands of pages that are identical (except for contact information and agent names). Search engines don’t know what to do with thousands of pages that look exactly the same and will feature them much lower in results than pages that have original content. If this sounds like your website, the best thing you can do is rewrite the pre-fabricated content you were given to reflect you personally and professionally. This will benefit your SEO, but you’ll also be creating information that your clients can use.

Be Patient

It takes about 60 to 90 days to see results from SEO improvements, and may take as much as 6 to 12 months for newer websites. Improving your SEO is a long-term project with big results, so keep making updates, posting original content and checking your site for search terms, even if you aren’t seeing immediate changes. In the long run, you’ll be building a site that search engines want to feature and, of course, that offers great information to prospective clients.

 

You Don’t Have To Suffer In 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!

Build Your Business This September

The kids are in school, vacation is a distant memory, and the holidays will be here before you know it. How are you marketing your business this month?

Upcoming Holidays

Looking ahead to October, Halloween is always an obvious choice. But there are plenty of other ways to reach out to potential and former clients.

  • National Homemade Cookie Day (October 1)
  • World Teacher’s Day (October 5)
  • Fire Prevention Day (October 9)
  • National Nut Day (October 22)
  • Make A Difference Day (October 28)
  • Get Organized Week (First Week in October)
  • Fire Prevention Week (Second Week in October)
  • Cookie Month
  • Popcorn Popping Month

See more at www.NationalDayCalendar.com

Helping Those In Need

There’s been so much tragedy in the news, starting with Hurricane Harvey in our home base of Houston. But there are earthquake victims in Mexico, Hurricane victims in Florida and Puerto Rico, and wildfire victims in Montana and the Northeast, among others. This is a great time to help serve those in need and foster community spirit. Give.org operates through the Better Business Bureau and gives information on charitable organizations. Do your research before you align yourself with a particular cause.

Fall-Themed Newsletters and Social Media

Fall is a great time to consider selling or buying a home. You can use your newsletters, social media, and emails to encourage prospects to take advantage of the extra activity in the market. Create a blog about the advantages of buying in the fall and post to social media or include it in an email blast. Don’t forget current clients – give them reminders on preparing their homes for fall, including cleaning gutters, roof maintenance, heater tips, etc.

What other ideas do you plan to employ this fall?

Congratulations, Sarah Wheat!

Sarah Wheat was recently promoted to Branch Manager / Escrow Officer in our Fulshear Office. One of the things that makes Frontier Title so special is the incredible and dedicated team we have, and Sarah is no exception.

Get to know Sarah Wheat!

What brought you to Frontier Title Company?
After staying home with my daughter for a bit, I was ready to return to the working world. Many of my friends and family members were working in real estate and referred me to contact Frontier Title. I began as a front end processor and have since been fortunate to grow within the company.

 

What did you do before working at Frontier Title Company?
After graduating from the University of Houston (Go Coogs!) I was employed with Family Based Safety Services for Child Protective Services. I covered three outlying counties where I had the opportunity to assist with keeping families together while working through hardships.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love reaching a deadline successfully! Working through challenging title issues and solving problems is so rewarding when you are at the closing table handing out checks and keys.

What do you think sets Frontier Title Company apart?
We care about our client’s experience and strive to go above and beyond to accommodate and exceed all parties expectations through the title process.

Tell us about three traits that are important to you – either personally or professionally.
Loyalty, Persistence, Mindfulness

What is your personal philosophy?
Many hands make light work. Essentially, “Team Work makes the Dream Work.”

How do you define success?
I base success on outcomes. If you give 100% then you will obtain success in anything you do.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
With family, friends, my dogs, and cows. I love anything outdoors on the water!