Creating a Niche Market for Your Brand

Even if you’ve been in business for a while, you might find yourself struggling to feel “at home” in your career. 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.

While you may be tempted to keep your business open to anyone and everyone, you could be hurting your own business with this philosophy. Niche market definition allows you to create a dedicated community for your business; you’ll become known for what you do BEST.

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%. However, because luxury buyers spend more money, you’ll need fewer clients. Almost 50% of Millennials own their homes, while 71% of Gen Xers and 78% of Baby Boomers are homeowners. 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.

5 Ways to Improve Your Work/Life Balance

Work/Life Balance. It’s such a trendy phrase, isn’t it? But now that so many people are working remotely, the line between work and home is starting to blur. Add in the demanding culture of real estate, and your personal life can really start to suffer.

Here are five things you can do today to start to define your two lives.

Make “NO” a part of your vocabulary.

There’s a temptation to be always available to the people with whom and for whom we work. After all, when a client texts at 9:00 on a Saturday morning wanting to see a home, there’s a need to meet their expectations. In this market, that’s a no-brainer. However, because real estate requires us to say “yes” as often as possible, it’s important to let “no” be a bigger part of our vocabulary when it can be. Prioritize your yeses and nos. Can you set a standard for yourself in which you only meet with new clients on a particular day of the week? Can you limit yourself to two marketing events per month?

A great way to help balance your priorities is the Eisenhower Matrix.

Take Breaks

Studies show that taking a 15-minute break every 75-90 minutes allows your brain the rest it needs to absorb and retain information, allowing you to literally work smarter. Set an alarm on your phone to go off at 90-minute intervals. When the alarm goes off, take a short stroll around the block, talk to a co-worker, or do a set of squats or lunges in your office. Your body and mind will thank you.

Take a Lunch

Be honest – when was the last time you took a real lunch break? Not a quick bite in the lounge, not a networking lunch, and not a sandwich in front of your computer. Take a real 30-60 minute break to eat and refocus your day.

Communicate Boundaries

Set clear boundaries and communicate your work hours to your colleagues and clients, including when you’ll be working and when you won’t be available to respond. Give yourself and your family the gift of a workday that ends at 5:00pm. If clients know what to expect from the beginning, they won’t be frustrated if your reply takes some time.

Ask for Help

People love to be thought of as experts and respected for their opinions. Look at the people around you to determine who seems the most relaxed and balanced. Ask what that person does to maintain work/life balance in their own day-to-day routine. Their ideas may spark an inspiration to change up your own routine.

May Real Estate Marketing Ideas

May is full of fantastic opportunities to grow your client base. With Mother’s Day, the end of the school year, and plenty of fun national holidays, you can market your real estate business, cross promote with local companies, and have fun at the same time.

Here are a few ways you can get things growing!

  • TEACHER APPRECIATION
    • The first week of May is Teacher Appreciation Week! Ask followers to nominate a special teacher for a spa treatment, basket of goodies, or gift cards. This gets your social media audience engaged – parents LOVE to brag on their kids’ favorite teachers – and allows you an opportunity to give back to someone deserving!
  • MOTHER’S DAY PHOTO OP
    • How much would your clients love a complimentary Mother’s Day photo shoot? Mini photo shoots are all the rage these days. Quick 15-minute sessions are a great way to entice your clients into attending an event. Work with a local photography and both of your businesses will benefit.
  • SUMMER KICK OFF
    • Celebrate the end of the school year by hiring an ice cream truck to visit your neighborhood on the last day of school! Your generosity and neighborhood connectedness will shine!
  • NATIONAL SCAVENGER HUNT DAY – MAY 24th
    • Organize a scavenger hunt, requiring signatures from local businesses and shops. Work with those local businesses to gather gift cards and baskets to distribute to the winners.
  • MEMORIAL DAY POP-BYS
    • Memorial Day offers a great opportunity for pop-bys! Go for the family fun feel by dropping by with an ice cream scoop or popsicle molds complete with recipe cards, or go patriotic with flags and sparklers.

Build Your Business in February

February is here already? The year isn’t going to slow down anytime soon, so let’s look at a few ideas to keep your marketing plans on schedule!

Start Looking at Spring Marketing Plans

We’ve got a couple of big things coming up in the spring – decide what works best for your business. You can remind your contacts about Daylight Savings Time on March 13, look ahead to Easter on April 17 or Earth Day on April 22. Use these key dates as a way to connect with customers new and old.

Revisit Your Annual Marketing Plan

You got this one taken care of in January, right? If you didn’t, it’s not too late to plan ahead for the rest of the year. If you did set up a marketing plan, now that you’re a month into the year, you should have a little bit better understanding of how it may work. Were you too ambitious? Too lax? Just right?

Social Media Focus: Spring Cleaning

With the holidays behind us and warm temperatures ahead (especially for our San Antonio and Houston audience!), many people are feeling the itch of clutter. Highlight tips for organization, cleaning, decluttering and more on your social media accounts. Help your contacts get that nice and fresh feeling!

Social Media Challenge: Who Are You?

In January, we challenged you to set aside some time to focus on social media. This month, we’re taking it a step further and we’re challenging you to post about YOU at least once a week. Tell your followers who you really are, whether it’s a selfie at a new listing, info on a new restaurant you tried, or info on your involvement in your community, church, school, etc. More people choose to do business with people they know – so let them see the real you!

The Resource: February 2022 Social Media Starters

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.

Valentine’s Fun

11 Cocktails to Make for Valentine’s Day (Liquor.com)
40 Best Valentine’s Day Recipes (Ahead of Thyme)
Valentines Day Crafts for Kids (Easy Peasy and Fun)
Valentine’s Day Fortune Cookies (Real Simple)
Here’s Why You Won’t See Sweetheart Conversation Hearts This Valentine’s Day (Better Homes and Gardens)
You Can Have the Northern Lights Named After Your Valentine (Travel + Leisure)
10 Romantic Valentine’s Weekend Getaways Outside Of Houston (Houstonia)

Texas Living

This Enormous Historic Texas Ranch is the Setting for the ‘Yellowstone’ Spinoff (Wide Open Country)
Booming Houston suburb named No. 1 retirement spot in Texas (CultureMap Houston)
Meanwhile, in Texas: A Plumber Finds Cash in a Church’s Bathroom Wall (Texas Monthly)
Texas wine industry: A story of perseverance & great growth (KXXV)
Everything You Need to Know Ahead of the Texas Primaries (Houstonia)
You Can Thank This Texas Company for Red Velvet Cake (Texas Highways)

Around The House

Do You Really Need to Drip Faucets When the Temperatures Dip Below Freezing? (Southern Living)
The 8 Interview Questions To Ask A Potential Contractor (House Beautiful)
Send This to Your Significant Other: How to Load a Dishwasher (Domino)
To-Dos: Your February Home Checklist (Houzz)
Understanding Your Home’s Breaker Box (The Spruce)

Decor Inspiration

Here’s Every 2022 Color of the Year So Far (Better Homes and Gardens)
13 Ways to Take Advantage of a Sunny Window (The Spruce)
Here’s How to Design a Stylish and Functional Home Gym (House Beautiful)
7 Tips for Maximizing Every Square Inch of Your Small Bathroom (Southern Living)
Designers on How Art Will Dominate the Industry in 2022—And Beyond (Veranda)
Wondrous Washrooms: Elevate Your Bathroom With These 5 Swanky Instagram Looks (Realtor.com)
Room Color and How it Affects Your Mood (MyMove.com)

Buying And Selling

Rent Prices Are Increasing Like Crazy, and Harvard Researchers Figured Out Why (Domino)
‘Full House’ Creator’s $85M Estate Is the Week’s Most Popular Home (Realtor.com)
Why Right Now Is a Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity for Sellers (Keeping Current Matters)
What is a good mortgage rate in today’s market? (The Mortgage Report)


Business Resolution Ideas for 2022

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 2021? What’s left undone? What can you do to increase success in 2022? 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 2020. 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 2020 be the year you start posting and interacting regularly on social media?

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 2022 be your best year in business ever. We know that real estate isn’t 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. 

Frontier Family Spotlight – Ricky Guerra

Ricky Guerra is an Escrow Officer in our San Antonio office. We are so grateful to have him on our team!

What brought you to Frontier Title Company?  Growth. I came to Frontier to grow in the industry. I had been an Escrow Officer prior to joining the Frontier family, but was limited on how much I could learn, and grow. A good 90% of my expertise on the escrow side of the business comes from being with Frontier Title.

What did you do before working at Frontier Title Company? I was an Escrow Assistant, then an Escrow Officer with another title company.

What do you enjoy most about your job? The closing room! All the work pays off when you get to interact with excited buyers and sellers in the closing room. I love to joke with everyone in the closing room and make them feel at ease when they’re nervous or stressed.

What do you think sets Frontier Title Company apart? Customer service. Title Insurance is a product that is sold by many, many other title companies. It’s the same product, at the same price. In order to stand out, you have to have great customer service. Frontier really does go above and beyond for their clients.

What three traits define you?  Calm (a must when things get a bit stressful at times), Focused, and Determined.

What is your personal philosophy?  Don’t take everything so seriously. If you make a mistake at work or even at home, learn from it and move on. Don’t dwell on it, don’t beat yourself up over it. Life is too short to worry about the little things.

How do you define success? In my younger days, I would have said by how much money you had or made. But today…..family and happiness. If my family is happy, and they have what they need and sometimes, what they want, then my hard work has paid off.

How do you spend your time outside of work? Mainly spending time with family, and anything we can do outdoors, I’m there!   

The Resource: Social Media Starters for Real Estate in December

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.

Holiday Fun

The Meaning of Christmas Symbols (The Spruce)
What Is an Appropriate Gift for Your Child’s Teacher? (The Spruce)
6 Steps to a Stress-Free Holiday Party (Real Simple)
25 Family Christmas Traditions to Start with Your Kids (Six Sisters Stuff)
16 Red and Green Christmas Cookies Everyone Will Love (Better Homes and Gardens)
11 New Year’s Eve Traditions Kids Will Love (Momtastic)
15 Alcoholic Hot Chocolate Recipes for a Cold Winter Night (Town and Country)
24 Simple Pleasures and Treats for Your Holiday Countdown (Houzz)
Ways To Decorate Your Home Simple Yet Insanely Elegant For Christmas (Decoholic)
25 Christmas Crafts for Toddlers That They Can Actually Do (Pure Wow)
The Most Popular Holiday Decorations in Every State (Realtor.com)
11 Tips for a Guest-Impressing Hanukkah Table Setting (HGTV)

Texas Living

The 22 Most Iconic Movies Filmed in Texas (Wide Open Country)
Meanwhile, in Texas: Deputies Wrangled a Kangaroo on the Lam (Texas Monthly)
The Texas Wine Industry Is at a Crossroads (Wine Mag)
Visit These 100-Year Old Texas Landmarks That Have Stood the Test of Time (Texas Highways)
5 Must-see Art Museums in Texas (Travel Texas)

Around The House

To-Dos: Your December Home Checklist (Houzz)
10 Resolutions For Your Home In the New Year (LifeHack)
How to Care for Houseplants in the Winter (The Spruce)
How to Make an Address Display Planter (Home Depot)
19 Ways to Cut Costs on Your House Remodel (This Old House)

Decor Inspiration

This Organization Solution Is on the Way Out (And It’s Not Open Shelving) (Domino)
Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing A Paint Color (Huffington Post)
The 5 Best Budget-Friendly Countertop Materials (Better Homes and Gardens)
How to Make a Galley Kitchen Feel Huge (House Beautiful)
Gorgeous Kitchen Backsplash Options and Ideas (HGTV)
7 Popular Exterior Paint Colors That Boost Curb Appeal (Better Homes and Gardens)
2022 Bathroom Trends That’ll Give Your Year a Fresh Start (Southern Living)

Buying And Selling

How To Think Strategically as a Buyer in Today’s Market (Keeping Current Matters)
3 Hidden Problems You’re Likely to Inherit When Buying a House (Domino)
Here’s How Inflation Is Affecting Home Prices: What Buyers and Sellers Need To Know Right Now (Realtor.com) Home Price Growth Slows for First Time in 18 Months (The Balance)
Mortgage rate predictions for 2022: How high will rates go? (The Mortgage Report)

Are these bad habits ruining your client relationships?

It’s no surprise that consumers aren’t comfortable around salespeople, whether they’re selling real estate or anything else. 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.        

4. Not Responding Quickly

You may be busier than ever in this crazy market, but contacts and clients are burning with questions, especially if they’re purchasing a home for the first time. Assure them by responding as quickly as possible, even if it’s a message saying you’ve seen the message and you’ll get back to them later.

5. Pressuring Clients to Make a Decision

Let’s be real: your clients know you’ll be receiving a commission on your work with them, and it’s income you depend on, of course. However, an aggressive, pressuring approach will leave clients wondering if you care more about their best interests or the commission itself. Clear communication and advice about the consequences of each decision (especially in a hot market) will help you put the focus back on their interests.

Are you in a rut? Time to pull yourself out!

It happens to all of us. Suddenly, nothing seems to be working with your business. You’ve lost passion and motivation is nowhere to be seen. You’re not alone. And the good news is, if you find yourself in a business rut, we’ve got a few ideas to get you through it and on the road to success again.

#1 – CALL IT WHAT IT IS

The first step to solving your problem is admitting you’ve got one. Say it out loud, acknowledge that this is happening. You may even consider telling a trusted friend or colleague who can encourage you through a lull. And ignoring the problem could just get you deeper into a rut.

#2 – IDENTIFY THE ISSUE

In your downturn, it’s not going to be easy to pinpoint exactlyone problem. But, if you’re feeling a lack of energy in your work, it’s important to know if you’ve lost passion in your career, or if there are smaller issues causing you to want to give up, whether it’s for a day or for longer. Figure out where your dark cloud is coming from and you’ll be a step closer to solving the problem and getting yourself “back in business.”

#3 – BRAIN DUMP

Business owners and entrepreneurs tend to focus on the “public” side of the business and let the “behind the scenes” work suffer. Chances are, there are things you want to accomplish in your business, but you lack the time to do them because the daily business itself gets in your way. Take some time to write down or type out every single idea that comes to mind – don’t focus on whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea, just write it down. As you write, you’ll feel inspiration starting to bubble up and you’ll realize what your next step will be.

#4 – FIND A MENTOR

If you don’t already have someone in your life who inspires and convicts you, it’s time to find one. This doesn’t necessarily need to be someone in your same industry, but someone that you admire professionally and personally. If it’s hard to think of a mentor in your network, find one online – even long distance! Search for others whose businesses or professional style you admire. If you haven’t met personally, send a short email telling them about yourself and asking about mentorship. The worst that can happen is you get a “no” and you move on to the next.

#5 – LEARN SOMETHING NEW

When you feel knowledgable, you’ll feel better about yourself and your work. There are a myriad of options available for affordable online courses and free webinars in every topic under the sun – marketing, social media, sales. If business is really bumming you out these days, use your time to learn something completely new. Take an art class or learn a new language. The confidence you’ll gain from a new skill could be just what you need to change your attitude.

#6 – ENJOY YOUR “DOWN” TIME

If you know you’re going to be slacking off a little during your slump, why not use your downtime better? Instead of sitting in front of your computer for 30 minutes and trying to convince yourself to work, take a 30 minute walk around your neighborhood. Or, take your “work” to the beach or the mountains, and give yourself a mini-vacation to inspire your mind.

#8 – SET REASONABLE GOALS

A mile-long to-do list can be just enough to keep you in your slump. Don’t try or expect to conquer it all at once. Set goals you know you can accomplish. For example: Between 9am and 10am, I’ll make three phone calls. Or: By lunchtime, I will have accomplished x, y, and z. Break your work into small pieces and handle only the next thing.

Remember, setbacks are normal. It’s a part of the game. Acknowledge that there are things you can learn from this. Recognize that you will eventually emerge, ready to take on your work with a new and inspired vision for your business.