7 Ways to Impress Past Clients and Grow Future Business

Want your real estate business to perform at the top of its game? The solution almost always comes down to your relationship with your clients. It would be a mistake to view real estate as a series of “one and done” transactions. Rather, it makes more sense to build lasting and durable relationships with customers that will grow your business long-term. Here’s why that’s important and seven things you can do to impress your past clients to improve your results.

The Importance of Building Customer Relationships

The long-term success of your real estate business depends on the relationships you build with customers over time. Customers are continually evaluating their connections with brands and are more than willing to try someone else if they aren’t satisfied. Some of the benefits of building strong customer relationships include:

  • Reduces churn— Few people buy just one home in their lifetimes. Some will want to move up or try a different neighborhood. If you have a strong relationship with a client, you can keep them as a customer long-term.
  • Boosts customer lifetime value— Satisfied customers are going to produce more revenue for your business. The customer lifetime value (CLV) will be higher through repeat business and referrals.
  • Develops brand advocates— Happy customers become your business’s biggest cheerleaders. With you having to ask, they will leave positive reviews and recommend you to others in the community.

How to Build Strong Customer Relationships That Grow Future Business

The key to building strong customer relations, no matter the size of your real estate business, is to keep your clients engaged. Jimmy Burgess, the Chief Growth Officer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties and host of The Real Estate Podcast, shares some of his sales tips for real estate agents. Specifically, to boost engagement and grow your real estate business, Burgess recommends that realtors use these seven strategies:

  1. Take One Person Per Week to Lunch

Everyone needs to eat, right? Agents are social people. So, leverage this strength by taking one of your past clients out to lunch each week. Ask them about their home, family, and career. Begin building a long-term relationship with your clients that will pay dividends in the future.

  1. Notice and Recognize Special Events

People love it when you recognize their milestones and special events. In fact, one realtor in St. Louis uses Send Out Cards to copy photos of clients celebrating special times on social media and give them extra recognition. Let your clients know you’re thinking about them, and you’ll stay top of mind for them as well.

  1. Celebrate With Desserts

When special holidays approach, celebrate them by sending your past clients desserts. For example, you can give away pies for Thanksgiving or cookies at the holidays. This is another way to remind clients that you appreciate them.

  1. Have Food Truck Client Appreciation Nights

Food trucks have become incredibly popular for their quick service and quality meals. A fun way to connect with past clients is to advertise a client appreciation night, where you have some local food trucks come to your office or a designated neighborhood.

  1. Buy Group Tickets to Special Events

Whether it be a major concert, a local sporting event, or a popular wine, art, or food festival, consider purchasing group tickets that you can distribute to past clients. Often, these tickets will benefit the community as well as generate good will for your business.

  1. Celebrate Their Homeaversary

The anniversary of your client’s closing, the “homeaversary” is a big deal. Set these dates on your calendar so that you can send a thank you card and/or a small gift to your client to remind that that you are grateful for their business.

  1. Make a Branded Box Truck Available

If it’s in the budget, you might want to consider purchasing a branded box truck. Think of it as a moving truck with your business information all over the outside. You can loan out the truck to current at past clients at no charge, and this rolling billboard will generate goodwill while getting your name around town.

Get the Best Results With Your Real Estate Marketing Strategy

Each real estate market and year brings something new. So, it’s vital that you have a commitment to client service that will continue to grow your business under any conditions. One of the best ways to achieve real estate success is to have partners you can trust.

At United Title, we deliver a wide range of residential real estate services, including title, escrow, purchase agreement services, and more. Call us at (410) 544-5441 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help your real estate business and its clients succeed.

Five Marketing Ideas for 2022

The real estate market might be hot. But that doesn’t mean you still couldn’t use a tip or two that will give you an edge. After all, the availability of homes is still an issue. As a result, the competition is fierce for quality homes and clients in your area.

During these uncertain times, it’s more vital than ever that you have a winning strategy to generate strong real estate leads. If you want to maintain your competitive edge in the coming year, you might need to make a few adjustments.

Here are five real estate marketing ideas that can help your business attract new clients and produce the results you need in 2022:

  1. Focus on a Niche

You can try to be all things to all clients, but this can be a tough sell in real estate. As an agent, you’re likely to enjoy much more success if you focus on a particular niche. This helps you position yourself strategically as an expert in your chosen field, making you stand out in what is probably a crowded pool of other local agents.

Choose a niche that you are knowledgeable about as well as one you enjoy. If you love serving a particular group of clients, it will be much easier for you to create social media posts and video content that appeal to your target audience. And there are many different real estate niches to choose from:

  • First-time homebuyers
  • Relocations
  • Waterfront properties
  • Luxury real estate
  • Multi-family properties

You can also choose a niche based on a small geographical area or some other demographic of your target audience.

  1. Invest in a Solid SEO Strategy

While planning for how to remain visible online isn’t anything new, having a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy should remain one of your priorities in 2022 so that you can show up in the right places at the right time.

More and more consumers are relying on search engines for information before making major decisions, like hiring a real estate agent or buying a home. A well-thought-out SEO strategy will ensure you get the online exposure you need locally. This generally involves:

  • Having an SEO-optimized website
  • Posting helpful and engaging content
  • Getting positive online feedback
  • Being mobile-friendly
  1. Plan for Different Types of Interactions

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to be prepared. When it comes to marketing homes, who would have thought you’d be able to accomplish most of the process online?

Over the past year, many interactions have gone back to those in-person showings and closings that we’re all accustomed to. But there’s nothing saying we won’t have to pivot once again as infection rates rise or even as people’s availability changes.

The lesson is to remain flexible and ready to market your business and a client’s home in whatever way works best in the moment. That might be more social media and virtual tours over client meetings and open houses. The key is to emphasize the level of service that you offer to clients in your marketing materials and then do what is necessary under prevailing conditions to deliver that service.

  1. Offer Virtual Home Tours

Pandemic or not, more and more potential buyers do a majority of their real estate research online. The more attractive you can make your listings, the better. Of course, high-quality photos are a must. But you may also wish to consider a virtual home tour as another feature.

Virtual tours allow potential buyers to click through the home from the comfort of their digital device. They can tour the kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and even the closets. This growing trend can help you get more in-person showings that will lead to offers and sales.

  1. Hire a Drone

People care about the neighborhood they’re thinking of buying into, so your real estate listing should give them a clear picture of the surrounding area. Instead of relying on the buyer to figure out Google Earth, a drone video of the property and its surroundings would be a dramatic add-on.

You can start with the exterior of the home and pan out to show the neighboring properties and roads. Your drone video can also show the community amenities, like a pool or clubhouse, and any nearby features, such as a school or shopping center.

Remain Flexible to Get the Best Results

While we aren’t sure exactly what the coming year will bring, it’s a given that the real estate market will continue to evolve and change. So, your real estate marketing strategy should be nimble as well.

One of the best ways to succeed in real estate is to have partners you can trust. At United Title Company, we provide clients with a wide range of residential real estate services, including purchase agreements, title, escrow services, and more. To learn more about how we can help your real estate business and its clients in the coming year, call us at (410) 544-5441 or contact us online today.

The Five Biggest Threats to Independent Real Estate Brokers

The real estate industry is undergoing some significant disruptions. Volatile markets, shifting political climates, environmental changes, rising mortgage rates, and changing technology trends are just a few of the challenges facing the industry. But what about threats to independent brokers? Larger real estate companies may be in a position to weather a storm, but independent brokers face some unique challenges. Here are five of the biggest ones:

  1. Competition Against Larger Companies

Let’s face it – independent brokers have to compete against real estate agencies with some serious name recognition. Some of those companies spend significant amounts buying talent as well as investing in online marketing. A few even offer their agents stock and revenue share, which most independent brokers can’t compete with.

That said, you’ll often find many savvy Realtors and brokers at an independent brokerage. Agents who choose to work for these firms have their own reasons. But some of them include fewer corporate rules and the ability to be nimbler in a fast-changing local market.

  1. The Availability of Homes is Challenging

For real estate brokers, income depends on the availability of homes. For several years running, brokers have been faced with inventory shortages across markets, and this isn’t something that is expected to change in the next year or so.

New independent agents are in an especially challenging position because they lack the reputation necessary to secure listings or even get a seller to lend their ear when the competition is stiff. Since most sellers only interview a single agent, referrals are vital when inventory is low.

  1. Online Listings Have Become a Threat

Everyone knows that it’s been a seller’s market for some time. Online listing services have not only become something that lessens an agent’s role in the home buying or selling process, they’ve eliminated it in some cases. Online home shopping is all the rage, and even the nationwide real estate brokers are finding it difficult to deal with. Imagine what the indie broker is going through.

And it’s not just homebuyers that have taken their business online. More and more sellers are opting to cut brokers and agents out of the transaction completely by attempting to list and sell their homes with an online ad. It’s tough to compete with this but not impossible.

Many consumers might try to buy or sell using only their smartphones and a few photos, but a good number will also quickly figure out that this is a complex process. There are a lot of moving parts and tremendous value to having an experienced broker on the team. Independent brokers that welcome these customers into the fold will be able to quickly earn trust and add value to a real estate transaction.

  1. Digital Transformation is Highly Competitive

Whether an independent broker needs to build a new website, focus on SEO, get active on social media, or figure out how to use email marketing effectively, keeping up with others in the industry isn’t simple or free. What may be an easy task for one person, like speeding up a website or updating a server, can turn into a serious issue for a small company that doesn’t have dedicated technical support.

It makes sense for independent brokerages to try to save money wherever possible. This is going to be an ongoing challenge. But, when looking to do something outside an area of expertise or try something new, bringing in experts can save time and money, especially when you’re competing for marketing share in the digital space.

  1. Difficulty Meeting Legal Responsibilities

Everyone in the real estate industry has to meet legal responsibilities. But this can be particularly challenging for independent brokers who may not have in-house counsel or dedicated procedures to keep the team on track.

For example, there are emerging privacy regulations that everyone must adhere to, necessitating an update to various policies. Real estate brokers are required to remain in compliance with all state-based real estate laws and maintain high levels of client service. Further, a brokerage assumes the responsibility of educating and continually monitoring its agents, which can carry considerable risk for an independent brokerage.

Contact United Title Today

Property markets across the country remain hot. While this should be good news for real estate brokers, there will be some ongoing challenges. At United Title, we are committed to partnering with real estate agents and brokers throughout the area to help clients successfully complete transactions. To learn more about our residential and commercial title services, call us today at (410) 544-5441 or contact us online.

10 Time Saving Hacks for Real Estate Agents in 2022

The real estate market has been on fire for the past several years. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be complicated. Sure, you’re probably busy and don’t have a lot of spare time on your hands. But there are always a few tricks that can help you carve some additional minutes out of an hour.

Here are ten time-saving hacks for real estate agents in 2022 that can help you maintain and grow your business:

  1. Invest in an Appointment Service

Working in real estate involves coordinating a lot of appointments. When you have to exchange emails or play phone tag to get something on your calendar, this isn’t the most efficient approach. Instead, you might want to invest in an appointment service like Showingtime that can do the work behind the scenes while you take care of business.

  1. Try Hands-Free Calling

At some point, you’ll need to make a few phone calls while you’re on the road. But did you know that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle crashes? If you need to look at your phone while driving, you aren’t being safe and are probably breaking the law. For convenience and safety, use hands-free calling solutions to connect with your clients and business partners.

  1. Use a Multi-Stop Route Planner

Showing homes is an integral part of your function as a realtor. On some days, you might have multiple homes on your list and need to plan out an efficient route. An excellent solution is an app called Road Warrior that allows you to enter multiple destinations in any order. You can also integrate your planned route with Waze, Google Maps, and other GPS applications.

  1. Create Facebook Lists

It’s all too easy to log onto Facebook for business purposes and then spend hours looking at cat videos, catching up with friends and family, and planning your next vacation. Facebook can be the ultimate time-waster, but there are some ways to make it less distracting.

Rather than going straight to your Facebook feed, you can create Facebook lists that include people you’d like to stay in close contact with. This can include current, potential, and past clients that you want to keep in touch with on social media.

  1. Send Audio Messages

You might have a lot of information you need to convey to a client. Maybe it’s too much to send through a text message, or the client just doesn’t “do texting.” Sure, you could call and leave a voicemail, but voicemail boxes are notoriously full. One solution that is becoming more popular is to send an audio file. You can quickly record your friendly message to the client and attach it to a text. This is simple to do with Android or iOS.

  1. Install the Discoverly Extension

Real estate agents spend a significant amount of time doing online research. Whether this is your strong suit and something you love or your nemesis, a good tool to add to your arsenal is the Discoverly extension for Google Chrome.

This extension, which is commonly used by salespeople and recruiters, allows you to uncover the social media profiles and contact information of people you’d like to learn more about or get in contact with. You can find out if you have any mutual social media friends with some, see their recent Tweets, and learn about their LinkedIn connections. If you’re trying to generate leads, this can be invaluable.

  1. Create Some Useful Content

Of course, homebuyers and sellers are going to have questions and concerns. But do you spend a portion of your time answering the same questions from new clients? You can save a lot of time by adding valuable and informative content to your website. Set up a blog and begin posting articles and videos that answer some of those common questions.

  1. Automate Social Media

Even though social media can drain your time, it’s still an excellent digital marketing channel for just about any business. You definitely want to have a professional presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. That said, you can automate some of your social media content using services like SproutSocial or HootSuite.

  1. Set Up Google Alerts

You probably do a lot of reading to keep us with the real estate industry and what is happening in your local market. Sure, you could pick up the local paper or log onto social media. But, again, those can be distractions and time-wasters.

Instead, set up some Google Alerts with targeted keywords, like “mortgage interest rates,” and choose whether you’d like those alerts instantly, daily, or weekly. You can then read the relevant news articles and blog posts to stay in the loop.

  1. Use a Time-Saving App

The internet can be a black hole. And some of us can just spend too much time chatting on the phone about stuff that isn’t going to produce results. But relationships are still important, right? So, everything in moderation.

When you can measure what you’re doing, you can optimize it. Maybe you waste too much time on Twitter or reading marketing emails. A time-saving app like Rescue Time can help you track the time you spend on various websites. It runs in the background and reports the details to you.

When you read your activity report, you can decide what is working for you and what you’d like to change.

Partner With an Experienced Title Company

While not one of the items on our list, you sure can save some time and frustration by choosing the right title company. Since 1983, United Title has been a trusted partner of realtors, lenders, buyers, sellers, and other parties to coordinate the flow of funds and documents and bring closings to a successful conclusion.

We understand the importance of honesty, integrity, and communication in the closing process. To learn more about our residential and commercial title services, call us today at (410) 544-5441 or contact us online.