Frontier Family Spotlight – Elise Stein

Elise Stein is celebrating 9 years with Frontier Title. We are thrilled to have her on our team, and yours!

How long have you been at Frontier Title Company? 9 years!

What did you do before working at Frontier Title Company? My biggest impact before Frontier Title was college at Michigan State University, ! Go spartans!

What do you enjoy most about your job? I love calling people to finalize the transaction! I love to let each party know we are funded and getting their commissions in order.

What three traits define you?  Meticulous, Experienced, and Friendly

What is your personal philosophy? I love the quote, ” What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked god for yesterday?”  I love remembering that I can create my own happiness.  

How do you define success? Success to me is a happy family

How do you spend your time outside of work? I spend most of my time with my husband, Michael and our daughter Claire.  We enjoy traveling and family trips to Michigan.  

Marketing Tips You Can Use This Fall

Autumn is on its way! In Texas, that means more football than falling leaves, but there’s still a distinct feeling in the air throughout the fall months, and with some of the ideas below, you can use it to your advantage when it comes to lead generation.

Get Involved

There’s always something to do in the fall months. From high school athletics to community festivals, there are wonderful opportunities for sponsorship and involvement. Go a step further than placing that ad in the football program and volunteer your time. It will give you a chance to talk to people instead of just hoping your ad catches someone’s eye.

Give Back

This is a great time to sponsor a food or clothing drive for the less fortunate. Partner with a local business and spend a day collecting items for those in need. Bring along some refreshments to hand out to your new friends.

Refer Your Fall and Winter Weather Vendors

Remind your mailing list about your favorite gutter cleaners or lawn clean up crew. As your clients prepare their homes for colder weather, you’ll be able to keep yourself in the top of their mind by helping them find good help quickly.

Help Your Clients Prepare

Create a Winter Weather Prep checklist or ebook that visitors to your site can download by signing up for your email list. The information will be useful, and you’ll be able to keep their attention with future emails.

Beat Them to the Punch

Every business sends Christmas greetings, and most homes are so inundated with cards that promotional mailing gets completely overlooked. Get a step ahead by sending a Thanksgiving card and recipe to your mailing list!

Time To Get Organized

Staying organized during a busy season can be daunting, or even impossible, for some. Here are some great ways to cut down on the clutter and keep your clients’ files controlled.

In The Office

  • Before you file anything, take a real look at what you’re putting away. Many of us stack papers and pile things up that we may never need or look at again. Realtor.org recommends that you “organize those you must keep so they correspond with how you transact business. For instance, arrange papers by prospect or neighborhood. Make one file each for maps, expense reports, and legal documents.”
  • Use different colors for folders or tabs to indicate the types of files in your system. And of course, make sure everything is clearly labeled for easy retrieval.
  • If something can be scanned and saved electronically – do it. Keep it all safe in a cloud-based system like Google Drive, Dropbox, or similar.
  • Finally, use a quiet day to organize the paperwork and do it frequently to avoid getting overwhelmed.

On The Road

  • Keep your papers in a plastic file case to make things easier to tote so that your important documents won’t be left behind, damaged by rain, ruined by food, etc.
  • Find a container that you can easily store on the floor of the backseat to keep the things you often need, like an umbrella, clipboard, measuring tape, air fresheners, etc. By keeping it all in one handy container, you’ll be able to carry things easily into the house and unload at your own office or home.

Helpful Apps

  • Apps like Everlance and MileIQ will track your mileage automatically so you’ll have it at your fingertips at tax time.
  • Circle Back will clean and complete contact information and merge duplicates so that your list can stay up to date.
  • If you’re looking to simplify your social media pursuits, Pocket is an easy to use bookmark tool that helps you to save content and articles you find on the web to your “pocket,” making it much easier to access (and remember) for your blog or newsletters later.

What tools do you use to keep your business in order? We’d love to hear about them!

Your Time Is Valuable.

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 $50 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 $30, 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.

Don’t Beg For Great Testimonials

Building your credibility in the real estate world is easy – as long as you have some strong testimonials to help. Because word of mouth is such a strong influencer in the marketing world, testimonials are as good as gold. People tend to ask their friends and neighbors for advice before beginning a search for a professional to work with.  Depending on your communication style, some of your past clients may send an email or letter full of praise without even being asked, and others need reminders or a little encouragement. It doesn’t have to be awkward – here are some tips on seeking out testimonials without the discomfort!

What To Do
  1. End your client experience with a survey. You can make one on your own or use a third-party service like Google Forms or Survey Monkey to facilitate your request. This puts the emphasis on the whole experience rather than solely on your skills and personality, but still achieves your goal. When users can send in a testimonials as a quick answer on a survey, it makes their job easier.
  2. Use what they’ve already said. In your time working together, chances are good for finding a line or two in your email correspondence or text messages that would be perfect to feature as a testimonial. But make sure you reach out and request your client’s permission to use their words. Text messages and emails are considered private, so you want to make sure you’re not offending past clients by using their words out of context or without their knowledge.
  3. Ask with a compliment. When reaching out for a testimonial, let the client know what led you to them. Try “I wish all my clients were as great to work with as you have been – would you consider writing a testimonial on our experience together?” or “Your opinion means the world to me. Can I send you a form to fill out for my testimonials page?” The emphasis here is on your own pleasurable experience as well as seeking out some kind client words. Also – most people love reciprocity and will respond to compliments with some of their own.

Of course, it’s important to respect your client’s time and schedule when you approach them with a request. At all costs, avoid:

What Not To Do
  1. Last minute requests and too many reminders. Asking for help at the last minute disregards their own needs and priorities. And it’s important to keep in mind that most people these days are busier than they care to be (especially so if they’ve recently moved and have to deal with unpacking, changing schools, etc.) Respect their time.
  2. Making them commit on the spot. Ask casually or via email to avoid discomfort in case your perception of the transaction doesn’t match your client’s. Give them time and space to consider your request.
  3. Waiting until you need a testimonial. Ask at the end of a transaction, when your client’s experience is freshest in their mind rather than waiting for the next time you freshen up your website or social media.
  4. Writing a statement for your client. If they don’t have time to write a testimonial, they simply don’t have time. Don’t put words in their mouth or add the pressure of speaking on their behalf.

Most importantly, don’t miss out on the benefits provided by testimonials because you’re afraid it will be awkward or uncomfortable. Use the above methods and your experience should be pain free!

Build Your Business This August

With Independence Day behind us and the start of school just a few weeks away, it’s time to plan your next move. What can you do this month to strengthen your future business?

Upcoming Holidays

Looking ahead to September, there are several ways you can reach out to former and prospective clients. Send out tips for Labor Day travelers (September 2) with ideas on keeping their home safe when they’re out of town, or nearby cities they can visit over a long weekend. There are other fun holidays next month that you can take advantage of with pop bys or special notes. Consider Grandparents’ Day (September 8) or National Good Neighbor Day (September 28). See more at www.NationalDayCalendar.com

Life Changes

With kids heading back to school or off to college next month, families are going through a transitional period. Use this as an opportunity to pass along information on social media, emails, and newsletters about transitioning. Focus on tips about organization, home office space, keeping school mess at bay, etc.

School Connections

Show your local school spirit by sponsoring a sports’ team or a PTA night. These are great opportunities to post to social media as well. Take a selfie at a game or festival and let your followers know you’re active and supportive of your neighborhood schools.

Embrace The Slump

If September starts to slow down, look at it as a blessing and not a curse. Slow business means you’ve got more time to pour into your marketing plans. Don’t lose the chance to get some serious work done, so that once the back-to-school season has calmed down, your network knows who to call!

These 3 People Can Help You Grow!

Most of us can agree that one of the biggest ways to attract business success is making friends with the right people. Whether you’re a master networker or a wallflower at parties, reaching out to the following community partners will help drive your business forward.

The Neighborhood PTA Mom

Where can you find all of your neighborhood’s adults gathered in one place? PTA Night! What better way to connect and foster new relationships than aligning your business with the families and areas you’re hoping to serve? Aside from sponsoring a PTA night, you may want to look out for opportunities to support school sports teams, theater and music events, and more. Your sponsorship lets potential clients know that you’re invested in the neighborhood.

The Local Librarian

Libraries are wonderful resources. Many libraries have space and time for scheduled community events, like a free home buying seminar. Get in touch with your closest library to see if there are rooms available for rent (many will allow you to host an event at a minimal cost, but require that the event be free to the public.) Marketed well, you could become the go-to agent for first time homeowners, property investors, home staging – whatever your strengths may be. When those attendees are ready to buy or sell, you’ll be first on their list.

The Small Business Owner

The possibilities with small business owners are endless. From restaurants to boutiques, entrepreneurs are typically ready and willing to connect to spread the word about their products or services. Connect with a home cleaning service to suggest a steady flow of business (from the buyers and sellers you’ll refer) in return for discounts for your clients. Reach out to your favorite pizza place about advertising on their tables, and order a pizza for your new homeowners on their first night in the new house. Whether you enter into a financial partnership, by way of advertising with your small business owner friends, or strike up a mutually beneficial arrangement, by making friends with a local entrepreneur, you’re placing yourself one step closer to those personal referrals. On top of that, you’re showing off your local expertise.

12 Brand Archetypes: Which One Are You?

Do you know your Brand Personality?

Brand Personality describes human characteristics that can be associated with your brand. These traits are things your customers can relate to. Just as our friends are a reflection on each one of us, so are the businesses and services we choose to patronize. A successful brand personality is one with which others are proud to be associated. Each brand has a personality, regardless of whether or not you’ve given it serious thought. As long as you have one, you may as well give it a deliberate look.

Brand Archetpyes

One way to find your brand personality is to consider traditional character archetypes. There are 12 archetypes, or models of behavior, throughout storytelling, and these same archetypes can be applied to brands. The question here is, “What role does your brand play in the lives of your customers?”

The 12 archetypes of branding are:

  • The Traditionalist: Sometimes known as “The Innocent”, Traditionalist brands offer their customers a pure and simple way of life. Marketing campaigns are just as simple as the brand promise. Companies offer transparency and moderate pricing.
    • The Promise: To make life happier, simpler, and better.
    • Traits: Optimism, goodwill, and loyalty
    • Examples: Folger’s, Dove Soap, Real Simple Magazine, Coca Cola
  • The Hero: Hero brands promise to save the day, improve the world, and inspire others to follow their example.
    • The Promise: To make a positive mark on the world and solve problems, or help others to do so.
    • Traits: Courageous, bold, confident, inspirational
    • Examples: Duracell, Tom’s, PETA
  • The Everyman: These brands find common ground with the consumer, tapping into our need for belonging and cultivate real relationships.
    • The Promise: To help others find a place to belong.
    • Connections, functionality,
    • Traits: Supportive, down-to-earth,
    • Examples: Home Depot, Papa John’s, IKEA
  • The Nurturer: Nurturing brands focus on helping people take care of each other and themselves. They offer protection, safety, and support.
    • The Promise: To care for and protect others
    • Traits: Maternal, selfless, generous
    • Examples: Campbell’s Soup, Johnson and Johnson, Hallmark Cards
  • The Creator: These brands want to create something meaningful and lasting. Their ads are experimental, pushing boundaries and shunning mediocrity.
    • The Promise: To unlock your creativity and promote self-expression
    • Traits: Imaginative, inventive, entrepreneurial
    • Examples: Lego, Canon, Crayola
  • The Explorer: Rugged and ambitious, Explorer brands want to help you make new discoveries and experience your best life. Products are new, exciting, and often non-conformist.
    • The Promise: To bring freedom and adventure into your life
    • Traits: Authentic, exciting, adventurous, and independent
    • Examples: Indiana Jones, Go Pro, REI
  • The Lover: We all want a little romance in our lives. Lover brands promise intimacy and affection by improving the customer in some way.
    • The Promise: You will be more physically or emotionally attractive or desirable through use of their products
    • Traits: Passionate, sensual, romantic, and idealistic
    • Examples: Victoria’s Secret, Godiva Chocolates, Cosmopolitan Magazine
  • The Visionary: Visionary brands seek to change lives (and the world) with their unique, cutting-edge, and proprietary products or services.
    • The Promise: To make dreams come true.
    • Traits: Imaginative, charismatic, and idealistic
    • Examples: Disney, Apple
  • The King: These brands are usually in the luxury market – companies usually appeal to dominant and authoritative customers who want only “the best.”
    • The Promise: Power and control
    • Traits: Authority, organization, focus, integrity
    • Examples: Mercedes-Benz, Rolex
  • The Entertainer: The name says it all. You only live once and these companies want to help you enjoy every minute.
    • The Promise: To bring joy, to help people have a good time
    • Traits: Irreverence, humor, adventure
    • Examples: The Muppets, Ben & Jerry’s, Skittles, Old Spice
  • The Sage: The Sage, or Expert, appreciates truth and wisdom. Knowledge and growth go hand in hand and these brands love to pass their information on to others.
    • The Promise: To keep you informed
    • Traits: Knowledgeable, analytical, measured
    • Examples: CNN, NPR, Google

So where do you fit? When you see or hear an ad or product, see if you can figure out their archetype. Study examples of brands that fit well into archetypes. Ask yourself:

Which brands and archetypes do you identify with most?

When you think of your customers, how do you want them to think and feel about your company? Which archetype fits your expectations?

What changes can you make to further develop your brand archetype?

Build Your Business In July

With Independence Day behind us and the start of school just a few weeks away, it’s time to plan your next move. What can you do this month to strengthen your future business?

Celebrate With Some Late Summer Holidays

Holidays can be the perfect excuse to connect with current and potential clients, and August is full of them – if you know which ones to look for. There may not be any big, widely recognized holidays in August, but there are a few good once that make connecting a breeze. Look ahead to Friendship Day (July 30) to be your perfect icebreaker. And who wouldn’t love to receive chocolate chip cookie mix in a jar as a pop by on National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day on August 4. Other fun holidays include National Garage Sale Day (August 10), National Relaxation Day (August 15), and National Dog Day (August 26). See more at www.NationalDayCalendar.com

Back To School

August means kids are heading back to school, and unfortunately, some are heading back with a lot less than others. A great way to give back and encourage others to do so is by holding a back to school supply drive. You may want to collect traditional school supplies, or think outside the box and collect money for school lunches, or ask for donations of new shoes. Add your office as a drop off point and you’ll be able to connect to new friends as well.

Block Party!

If your neighborhood doesn’t already have an annual block party, it might be time for you to get the ball rolling. There are some great ideas here to get you started. Use the opportunity to help your neighbors get to know you and each other. You’ll love being seen as a connecting point for others.

Social Media Challenge: Neighborhood Know-how

Part of selling yourself as an agent is selling your expertise about the areas you live and work in. This month, use social media to highlight your favorite parts of town, from restaurants to museums to family spots to free activities. You want your audience to know that you are the best source for information! And when they’re ready to buy or sell, they’ll certainly want an area expert like yourself to guide them through the process.

Safety First on the 4th of July!

Gearing up for a fun Fourth of July? While fireworks are exciting, be sure to keep your home and family safe with the following tips:

Check Your Coverage!

Basic home insurance covers fire, but if the fire starts as a result of fireworks set off by your family, you may not be covered if fireworks are illegal in your area. Check your coverage – and your city laws. 

Firework Safety

  • Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

Courtesy for Veterans

While Independence Day is a fun time for many of us, there are members of our community who have difficulty this time of year, specifically Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can be triggered by the sound of fireworks exploding. Through an initiative by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, signs may appear on lawns in your neighborhood asking “Please be courteous with fireworks”. These signs indicate that the household includes a Veteran with PTSD – be on the lookout and keep our soldiers in mind as you celebrate. Advanced warning can help a great deal, so consider informing your neighbors if you’ll be setting off fireworks.

Pets

Animals handle loud noises differently, and to some of our furry friends, the Fourth of July can be terrifying! Leave your pets at home if you’re attending a party, and leave them inside if you’re celebrating at home. Make sure pets have proper identification in case they run, and never use fireworks around your pets.


SOURCES:

http://www.netquote.com/home-insurance/fourth-of-july-firework-safety
http://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_multi_top_ten_fourth_of_july_pet_safety_tips
http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Top-4th-of-July-Safety-Steps-for-Travel-Grilling-and-Fireworks
http://time.com/3945001/fireworks-ptsd/