Friday, October 27, 2006

Making Connections

Sixteen years ago as a real estate newcomer, I signed up for the "Fast Start" training course and met Anne Hruby, one of the finest trainers in the business. Over the years, we've remained good friends and mentors for each other. So when she invited me to speak to a GRI class about Marketing not long ago, of course I was honored to accept.

As an introduction, Anne read from the new edition of "Connections" magazine that mentioned me, and from the new feature article about me in "Real Estate Executive Magazine." She told the class about my awards and achievements and made me sound terrific. After that glowing introduction, I told the group that if they are ever going to speak publicly, be sure to have a dear friend do the introduction!

Instead of a formal presentation, I held an open forum and let the class ask questions – many, many of them, like:

Who came up with your slogo, "Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome"? How much did you pay for it?

The answer is that I did, and it took thought and a change or two along the way, but no money. Then I had the agents call out their names, and to illustrate, came up with a few tag lines on the spot. I also asked them to give me their cards and write "slogo" on the back; most of them did, and I've have since come up with some more suggestions and sent them out.

What is the benefit of you making all your own appointments? You live in one area, have an office in another, how and why do you take listings so far away?

These and other questions related to my choice to work alone, to be the one who talks with my buyers and sellers, the one who sets the appointments and understands their needs. We talked about how I find ways to streamline the process and about how I only work with referrals. I explained the "Buyers4YourHome" page on my web site, and how I would advertise for "their" buyers on my site.

I’ve been in real estate for two years, but my friends won’t use me, they want someone more experienced.

I talked about exuding confidence and emphasizing the positives including your use of technology to give extra special service. I then asked this agent to call me after class so we could talk more and perhaps I can help her with some specific suggestions.

How do you network?

I asked if they had each other’s emails and suggested they create a list right then. They did, and everyone (including me) left with a list of over 50 agents and their email addresses. I spoke about Active Rain and handed out copies of one of my AR blog articles, A Dozen and a Half Ways to Make it Rain in Real Estate. At the bottom of each handout was the invitation to join Active Rain and the URL. http://activerain.com/action/referrals/homerome

There were many more questions and not enough time. I left on a high with more than 50 cards, more than 50 names and emails. They were happy that I took time to share. I was happy that I made a good presentation. I'm still not sure who got the most out of that day, but it definitely was a win-win.

And it was not only good for them and for me, it was also good for my clients. I now can tell them, "Here are over 50 successful agents taking a course to gain more knowledge. These agents will be going to my website to look at my listings and hopefully find a buyer for your home."

Marketing – it's all about making connections. You can never have too many. And you never know when the next person you meet will become a client and friend.

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