Blog : Lead Generation

NextHome introduces its newest Maryland office

NextHome introduces its newest Maryland office

Phillip Hobby

Pleasanton, CA — December 12th, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Chesapeake Realty. Located in Annapolis, the brokerage represents the 6th office location opened in Maryland for the NextHome franchise.

The brokerage is owned by Maryland-native Phillip Hobby and will bring client-centric customer service to all of Central Maryland. In January, NextHome Chesapeake Realty will also be licensed to help clients in Washington, D.C.

“We are a local, home-grown business where community members know the people who work here,” Phillip said. “As we grow, we are looking for experienced, community-related agents who are invested in our mission to be a hometown brokerage with small-town values.”

In addition to helping people find the perfect home, NextHome Chesapeake Realty can also serve clients who want the perfect investment or multi-family property.  

NextHome Chesapeake Realty is committed to serving Maryland-area military families. Each agent is licensed as a military relocation specialist. 

“Military families are an important part of the fabric of Annapolis,” Phillip said. “We want to make the process of buying and selling real estate as seamless as possible for military families and all our clients.”

Phillip spent much of his career in publishing as the owner of Exclamation Publishing. As the company produced magazines and hard-bound reference books, Phillip maintained a customer-first philosophy throughout the company. In 2014, Phillip had the opportunity to sell the company. However, not ready for retirement yet, he began a career in real estate and obtained his Maryland license. 

Over the past five years, Phillip has already sold over $56 million in real estate and has over 300 perfect 10 out of 10 customer satisfaction surveys.

Phillip’s search for a company with a truly client-centric philosophy eventually led him to NextHome. 

“NextHome is able to help me create something that I’ve always felt passionate about,” Phillip said. “They have the tools and consumer-based marketing I’ve been searching for, allowing me to run my brokerage the way I want and work with people I respect and trust.”

Phillip knows that relocations rank high in life’s most stressful experiences. Today, with NextHome’s suite of tools the brokerage aims to ease that stress. 

“Working in real estate is not only about helping clients buy and sell – a big part of it is helping people through a stressful experience,” Phillip said. “With the marketing tools NextHome provides, I can spend my time developing a personal relationship with the client rather than having to spend hours creating eye-catching marketing and other materials that NextHome’s system automatically generates for me.”

NextHome Chesapeake Realty’s top-tier agents also receive the best training and support in the business. 

“We want our agents to be industry leaders, and NextHome helps us achieve that goal by providing industry-leading tools and support,” Phillip said. 

Each agent at NextHome Chesapeake Realty aims to be a member of the Maryland Master’s Club, an elite real estate group that maintains some of the highest standards for entry in the industry. 

“You must be accepted into it by your peers and continue to maintain a spotless customer service record, as well as maintain at least $7.5 million in annual sales,” Phillip said. “Every single one of my agents is in that group.”

Outside of building his business, Phillip enjoys traveling and coaching elite soccer players. Phillip played professional soccer for the Washington Diplomats after college. He is a U.S. Soccer staff member and a nationally licensed coach with the organization. As an Olympic development coach, Phillip has traveled around the country training soccer coaches and helping players reach the highest echelons of their sport. 

Phillip has been married to Roberta for 25 years. The two began dating in the 10th grade and are the proud parents of four children. 

Please join us in congratulating Phillip on the opening of NextHome Chesapeake Realty in Annapolis, Maryland!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

 

NextHome announces new brokerage in Tampa Bay

NextHome announces new brokerage in Tampa Bay

Becky Kuntz & Amy Smith

Pleasanton, CA — December 5, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Bay Area Experts. The brokerage represents the 50th office location opened in Florida for the NextHome franchise.

Based in Tampa, NextHome Bay Area Experts is owned by friends Amy Smith and Becky Kuntz. Amy will serve as the office’s broker in charge, though both women are licensed broker owners. 

Together, the pair brings next-level professionalism and friendly service to buyers and sellers across the Tampa Bay metro area. Although their main focus area is Central Tampa, NextHome Bay Area Experts agents are happy to serve clients across the Tampa Bay area including St. Petersburg, Lutz, Westchase, Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, and the remainder of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. 

Their office of eight agents (and growing) brings a fresh burst of professionalism to residential and commercial transactions. 

“Our focus is on creating an environment where an agent can stand out professionally,” Amy said. “We are raising the bar and providing value as true professionals. When our agents succeed, our clients succeed and we take great pride in being able to be a part of that.”

Amy began her real estate career in Tampa in 1996. In her first role, she worked as a sales manager for David Weekly Homes. Two years later, she got her brokers license and opened Burcaw and Associates. The company became a beacon in the Tampa area commercial real estate for the next nine years. 

However, when her second child was born, Amy knew she needed a change of pace. She dove back into residential real estate, joining a team at a nationally franchised brokerage, and that’s where she met Becky. 

For years, Becky owned a mortgage and title company. Then, in 2007, markets shifted. Seeing an opportunity for career change, Becky sold her company and moved from the east coast of Florida to Tampa, joining the same real estate team Amy was on. 

“It was a great opportunity for me to develop a deep understanding of the Tampa area and learn the other side of the real estate business,” Becky said. 

Their time together through the real estate team built the foundations of a lifelong friendship. 

After several years selling together, Amy left the team and started her own brokerage (Shine Bright Realty) in 2011. 

Becky also left the previous large brokerage, first working with investors and then joining another nationally franchised team. 

However, the two continued to enjoy a great friendship. After more than four years of working apart, Becky and Amy realized they brought strengths to their businesses that would flourish when combined. At the end of 2016, they opened SmithJoy Realty – a nod to Becky’s last and Amy’s middle names. 

Together, Becky and Amy thrived. With five agents joining the brokerage, SmithJoy Realty was able to achieve $20 million in sales in its first year. Part of that success was because their brokerage gave agents unparalleled support.    

“We tried to create a hybrid model of what’s out there,” Becky said. “It seemed like agents had two options: the contract model where they get very little support or the team model where you don’t get to truly promote yourself and you get micromanaged. We aimed to create the best of both worlds. We want agents to have both the training and support they need as well as getting credit for what they do.”

For years, Amy and Becky resisted advertisements asking SmithJoy Realty to franchise with big national companies. 

“There wasn’t a brand out there that resonated with us, that was creating what we wanted to create or had the same philosophy,” Becky said. 

In 2018, Becky was showing beach properties to a buying client and everything changed. The seller’s agent was local NextHome professional, Annie Fleeting with NextHome Beach Time Realty. 

“I was just highly impressed with her,” Becky said. “Amy and I prided ourselves on our level of professionalism and Annie was the epitome of professionalism.”

The group went back to Annie’s NextHome office to discuss property details and the NextHome brand stunned Becky. 

“The brand was just amazing,” Becky said. “Everything from the business street signage to the marketing package was the same way: fresh, inviting, and modern. We eventually talked about the franchise and Annie gushed about the company. Then she said ‘NextHome was the best thing that I have done for my life.’ And I noticed she didn’t say business or career, but she used the word ‘life.’”

Soon, Becky and Amy started looking deeper into what NextHome had to offer. 

“It was all the things we built our philosophy around,” Becky said. “We want a family of agents all working together to navigate this industry. It isn’t easy being an agent, and we want a company that promotes a collaborative environment and provides value to agents and clients at every turn. We want to support career-oriented REALTORS® who take their business seriously, but not themselves too seriously. NextHome provides unparalleled support for that.”

Both Amy and Becky are active in their communities and are especially passionate about helping local animal rescues. 

Amy is the mother of two boys: Roman (14) and Casey (12). In addition, four rescue dogs call the Smith household home. When she isn’t selling real estate, Amy loves to camp with her boys and travel. 

Becky is mother to Ethan (11) and Jackson (11) and wife to Anthony. Together the family loves their five rescue dogs and they encourage each other to pursue excellence in the martial arts. The Kuntz family also loves the outdoors and each year the Smiths and the Kuntzs make a tradition of going on a summer camping trip. 

Please join us in congratulating Amy and Becky on the opening of NextHome Bay Area Experts in Tampa, Florida!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

Why The Holidays Are Your Best Selling Season

Why The Holidays Are Your Best Selling Season

The seasons are changing quickly and the holidays are racing in. This change lies in precise alignment with the parade of shorter days, longer sleeves. and hibernating buyers, sellers and even agents. As the once hot summer listings start falling out and reluctant sellers get cold feet, some agents begin taking this as a signal to slow down their activity. Ironically, the best agents claim this is the very best time for skilled agents to stay visible and stand out. See how you can leverage the transition of seller and buyer priorities and take advantage of the season — all while building up your base of potential sellers.

1. Warm-up your sphere of influence

Many agents throw all the hard work and effort they’ve put into building and establishing great relationships within their network by letting the connections go cold. Now is the best time to stand out by extending a handshake, mailing a card, delivering a gift of holiday cheer or even hosting a festive get-together. Not only are people more receptive to rekindling connections, but they are also more likely to be turning their thoughts inward this time of year. As people begin to ring out the old and prepare for the new, they may also be priming themselves to be a future client. Whether they are beginning to feel the hallowed halls of an empty nest or the cramped quarters of a growing family, many will be considering a change.

If your sphere is warm and your connections are strong you will be poised to be the one they ask for help come selling season. Although the concept is simple, the execution can be daunting. Consider tools like SmartTargeting Sphere to identify those in your sphere most likely to sell in the new year.

2. Double up on lead follow-up efforts

Your neighbors are more likely to get open house flyers and Just Listed announcements in the spring. When the market is hopping, your voice may be lost in the crowd … but when the market slows down, so does the average agent’s outreach efforts.

That’s why Portland, Oregon powerhouse agent Bev Blume ramps up her efforts during the quieter fall and winter season.

“I’ve found that by doubling up my follow-up and marketing efforts in the down season, the impact is a lot more profound. Not only do I have time to send more thoughtful notes and marketing pieces, my targets and prospects have the time to respond. Whether I’m restarting an old dialogue or getting in touch for the first time, I’ve found that the lead-up to the holidays is a great time to reach out and get a response.”

3. Support a local cause: Offer holiday gifts to top prospects

Do you know a local school selling holiday pies or wrapping paper or a Boy Scouts troop selling wreaths? Step up to be their best customer, then pass these holiday treats along to your top prospects. You can either host a live pick-up event or personally drop off the gift along with a hand-written note. Adopt a family in need. Or organize a coat drive. Invite prospects to drop coats at your house. Designate a time and day to drop and then offer donors a cup of hot chocolate and some treats. Spark up a conversation and make it a joyful event. It makes everyone feel good and do good!

4. Hold a holiday light contest

Brighten up interest by holding a holiday light contest. Most people will be putting up lights anyway so this can be very simple; drop off flyers, decide on a date to judge and present a gift to the winner. Neighbors love to see their work and achievements admired, so mentions and pictures on social media (with their permission, of course) will delight them and show what a great marketer you are.

5. Let predictive analytics do the work

Whether you have time to burn or are still busy wrapping up your 2019 sales, it can still be tricky to determine which contacts are gearing up to sell. SmartZip’s predictive analytics solution offers tested, proven predictions on the most likely home sellers in your market area or sphere. Put the analytics to work to help carefully design your holiday light contest map, gift-giving list, holiday card distribution and overall marketing efforts to focus on those most likely to sell in the coming months. Apply predictive analytics to your farm and your sphere to save steps, time, effort and help you engage with the right people at the time. New Year planning is right around the corner for you and your prospects.

Why not make 2020 great for you, your company and your sphere

Are you ready to get a jump on your 2020 listings pipeline? Take a look at the predictions in your farm and sphere and hear from agents using SmartTargeting from our partners at SmartZip. To learn more, click here.

Real Estate Marketing Fundamental: Keep In Touch

Real Estate Marketing Fundamental: Keep In Touch

Your key to a healthy real estate marketing approach: keep in touch with engaged leads and past clients.

It’s obvious. And fundamental. Often challenging.

You’ve done all the work to connect with, convert, and serve your buyer or seller. Staying in touch after close helps prevent them from jumping into another agent‘s lead funnel by referral or by online search when they’re thinking about buying or selling again in the future.

When you keep in touch effectively, you’re stacking your business with repeat and referral opportunities. You’re building and building from competitive advantage.

The key word there is “effectively.” It’s not just about the touch, it’s about the relationship. Anyone can have stuff sent out. The key is the tie back to your personal relationship and emotional connection with that client.

When you worked together, your buyer or seller learned about you. And your family. And your “why.” When you worked together, you learned about your client, as well. You connected.

Rekindling that relationship is what this process is all about. And generic touches can’t do that for you.
Here: we’ll take a look at some National Association of REALTORS® data and share REALTOR®Mag‘s 7 real estate marketing tips to keep in touch.

Plus, you can be the first to know about a new product to help you keep in touch more effectively.

Read Time: 4 minutes 30 seconds
Takeaway: Why and how to generate more business from your database

The Best Real Estate Marketing: Keep In Touch

Every year, the NAR publishes its Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers; they released the 2016 Profile at the end of October.

In the Buyer Highlights of the 2016 Profile:

  • 88% of buyers say they would use their agent again
  • 11% used an agent they worked with in the past
  • 42% used an agent referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative
  • 70% interviewed only one agent

Even though buyers seem pleased with their agents and say they’d use them again (88%), they’re not (11%). A very likely cause: the agent fails to stay in touch.

Nearly half of the buyers surveyed chose an agent referred to them by people close to them (42%). You need to be top of mind to be referred and you need to keep in touch to be top of mind!

And the consideration set for agents is limited, as the vast majority on buyers only talked to one agent (70%). You have to be in early and almost exclusively to get the business.

In the Seller Highlights:

  • 85% of sellers say they would definitely or probably recommend their agent
  • 64% used an agent referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative
  • 72% interviewed only one agent
  • 33% used an agent they worked with in the past

Each of these again points to significant opportunities to win more business simply by staying top of mind by keeping in touch.

Sellers want to recommend you (85%), but are they? Well over half of sellers rely on referrals (64%), but are those referrals going to you? Most only talk to a single agent (72%), so how do you get that appointment against competitors?

To win here and to capture all those repeat sales opportunities (33%), you just have to keep in touch.
So how do you close the communication gap? How do you overcome the challenges of time and resources?

7 Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Keep in Touch

One of many stories published about keeping in touch with people in your database to maintain relationships and generate repeat and referral business comes from Melissa Dittmann Tracey in REALTOR®Mag.

Here are 7 ideas from that story:

  • 1. Deliver news they can use (email or print)
  • 2. Offer an unusual gift (something to remember you)
  • 3. Send memorable and personal cards (don’t blend into the crowd)
  • 4. Give them a call (yes, pick up the phone)
  • 5. Follow up with a survey (show them you care)
  • 6. Connect on social networks (less formal, more friendly)
  • 7. Get creative (parties, events, value-adds)

Read the story to get details and read about examples of these ideas.
Are you doing any of these? Which ones? Consistently?

Which are effective? Which are cost-effective?

Which make a personal and emotional connection? Which build on the relationship?

Discover what works and do it consistently. Drop what doesn’t and try something new.

Staying in Touch with BombBomb

Nearly 600 sales professions, including approximately 360 real estate agents, shared with us the benefits of using BombBomb.

90% reported that it helped them stay in touch more effectively and nearly 4 in 10 said it doubled or more than doubled their ability to stay in touch effectively.

  • One-to-one video emails to check in with engaged leads and past clients (examples).
  • Automated drip campaigns triggered for closed clients or engaged prospects (described).
  • Monthly market updates and newsletters – often with a personal video (examples).
  • These are all smart touches that build relationship, in part through propinquity, over time.

They help you be the agent whose name is mentioned in a lunchtime conversation. They help you be the agent who gets the call from a past client for a new buyer or seller consult. They help you win from business you’ve already closed … the best marketing of all.

For more helpful tips from our partners at BombBomb, check out their blog!

NextHome Turn Key Realty opens in Raleigh

NextHome Turn Key Realty opens in Raleigh

Danielle & Chad Weeks

Pleasanton, CA — November 12th, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Turn Key Realty. The brokerage represents the 20th office opened in North Carolina for the NextHome franchise.

Based in Raleigh, NextHome Turn Key Realty is owned by husband and wife team Danielle and Chad Weeks. Danielle has a wealth of experience in relocations, especially for seniors who are looking to downsize, right-size, or relocate to a 55+ or retirement community. Chad is the quintessential analytical businessman and together they deliver superior service for all types of residential real estate. 

Although NextHome Turn Key is based in Raleigh, the team will also serve clients across Durham, Wake Forest, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Apex, Garner, and the remainder of Wake and its 15 surrounding counties. 

In recent years, Danielle has served the sellers of Wake and Durham counties as a top-producing listing specialist. However, prior to real estate, she spent more than a decade managing retirement communities. Part of that job was helping seniors transition from one home to another. 

“I spent time helping seniors through that relocation process from the other side,” Danielle recalled. “It helped me understand the unique and very diverse needs of older generations.”

In 2016, her skills caught the attention of a local real estate broker and she was recruited to a small, boutique firm. Danielle eventually transitioned to a larger, national brokerage where she catapulted her career to regional success. 

“My time as a listing consultant taught me to door knock, cold call, and do whatever it took to build relationships with clients,” Danielle said. “I gained great confidence and discovered that I could walk into a house, give a killer presentation, and sell that house quickly.”

Danielle continued to work on two high-producing teams as a listing specialist until she and Chad opened their NextHome brokerage in early August. 

“We wanted to deliver a higher quality experience and have more flexibility for our family,” Chad said of their attraction to NextHome. “Having our own franchise allows us to create the culture we want – where clients can feel valued and not like they are being cranked through an assembly line.”

NextHome had been a re-appearing presence in Danielle and Chad’s lives for many years. A North Carolina NextHome broker had tried to recruit Danielle just six months into her real estate career, and Chad’s best friend worked with another NextHome broker. Then, Danielle and Chad began to consistently see eye-catching orange NextHome signs popping up on properties everywhere they looked. 

“NextHome kept coming back into my life,” Danielle said. “Then I took a good look at the franchise and it was really cool. I like the ability franchises have to take NextHome’s great tools and tailor them to the way we do business and what our clients need.”

The NextHome Turn Key Realty team is now using the franchise’s superior tools to list and sell residential properties. Together, Danielle and Chad are building their business with a known name in Raleigh. 

“NextHome is well respected in our community,” Danielle said. “It’s a recognized and well-respected brand in the marketplace. Plus, combining my consumer-focused way of doing business with NextHome’s humans over houses motto made it a good match.”

When Danielle and Chad aren’t building their business, they enjoy getting together with friends and serving in their church’s ministry. Danielle is also active with many senior-related organizations that tackle all sorts of issues surrounding seniors by identifying problems and working towards solutions. Danielle has been active with Health Affairs Round Table (HART) for several years. 

Chad and Danielle are enjoying seven years of marriage and are the proud parents of Aubree (6) and Haven (3).

Please join us in congratulating Danielle and Chad on the opening of NextHome Turn Key Realty in Raleigh, North Carolina!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome expands in the Houston area

NextHome expands in the Houston area

Chantell Hypolite & Kenneth Gabriel

Pleasanton, CA — November 7th, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Realty Executives. The brokerage represents the 26th office location opened in Texas for the NextHome franchise and the eighth office location in the greater Houston area. 

NextHome Realty Executives is led by former City Planner Chantell Hypolite and her partner Kenneth Gabriel. Together with her team of top-notch agents, Chantell serves residential buyers and sellers across Houston. Her areas of expertise also extend to the suburbs, serving clients in Richmond, Sugar Land, Katy, and Spring. 

Chantell began her career as a City Planner in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, after obtaining her Master’s Degree in Urban Development and Environmental Policy with a Specialization in Housing & Community Development. Chantell has also been a City Planner in League City, Texas. For four years, Chantell specialized in housing and community development. Her days were filled with writing ordinances, considering zoning regulations, and mulling over the best way to use League City land resources. 

“I just naturally fell into the real estate side of things,” Chantell said.

Her evolution to real estate began with a job performing site acquisitions for cell phone towers.

“The site acquisition agent I was working with said he was really impressed with my knowledge and how easy I was to work with,” Chantell recalled. “He recruited me and soon I was finding properties to build cell towers on all across Houston, as well as into the valley, all the way to Mexico border towns.”

Chantell began negotiating land leases for the cell towers, resulting in the company paying for her to get her real estate license. In a matter of weeks, the sharp city planner had her license and a new career path. 

In 2018, after two years of negotiating land leases, Chantell dove into real estate sales full-time.  She was recruited through mutual friends to the RE/MAX Allstars brokerage based out of Cypress. Chantell worked with the brokerage for two and a half years where her resourcefulness and drive helped her build a successful career in real estate. Chantell then began working for a small boutique brokerage, Sky Real Estate Professionals, where she remained for another two years. 

Eventually, Chantell’s drive for constant improvement and innovation sparked her interest in opening her own brokerage.

One evening, she was at a continuing education class and began picking the brain of a well-established broker in the area. 

“This woman had owned her own brokerage for 10-15 years and I really respected her,” Chantell recalled. “She said, ‘You know, I think you might want to look at NextHome. If I had to do it again, I would open a NextHome franchise.’ I reached out to NextHome and the rest is history.”

Chantell was impressed with the members and leadership team she met at NextHome and how friendly everyone was. 

“My first thought was, ‘Are these people real?’ It was just a different environment,” Chantell said. “People were so nice. Kindness and treating people with respect is a differentiating factor in business and NextHome does it so well.”

Today, Chantell is blending her real estate expertise with NextHome’s suite of top-level tools to bring quality service to Houston homebuyers. 

“They can expect to have their needs put before our commissions,” Chantell said about what NextHome Realty Executives clients can expect. “We give world-class service. We are going to answer the phone, be available, and communicate often. If you have a property under contract, we will send daily updates as needed. You are never going to wonder where you are or what is going on in the process.”

Chantell is very active in her community, especially in serving Houston’s homeless and needy. NextHome Realty Executives is sponsoring a garden bed at the Blodgett Community Garden. Sponsors grow, tend, and cultivate the food grown there and then the fresh fruits and vegetables are available to residents across Houston’s Third Ward. 

In addition, Chantell volunteers with The Bag Ladies Organization. The group gathers feminine hygiene supplies and distributes kits to local homeless women. Chantell continues to put her city planning skills to great use with the area’s homeless coalition. 

“We identified through GIS mapping where resources were available for the homeless,” Chantell said. “Then we look for duplications or areas where resources are lacking and make suggestions.”

She is also an active member of the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church where she serves on the Courtesy Corp leadership team. 

Chantell is the proud mother of Carter (7) and the family recently welcomed Lilly (16) into their home. She is also the proud dog mom of a Yorkie Jase and a Lab mix rescue Cooper. 

When Chantell isn’t helping clients and her community, she enjoys riding bikes, DIY projects, and visiting the zoo with her family.  

Please join us in congratulating Chantell and her team on the opening of NextHome Realty Executives in Houston, Texas!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome announces 400th franchised location

NextHome announces 400th franchised location

Kelly Curran

Pleasanton, CA — November 5, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce the 400th addition to the franchise, NextHome In The Pines. Nestled in picturesque downtown Southern Pines, North Carolina, the brokerage marks a milestone for the flourishing NextHome franchise. 

“NextHome’s ‘humans over houses’ philosophy and one-of-a-kind branding is catching the eye of brokers across the nation and we are thrilled to be making a difference in 400 (and counting) communities across the U.S.,” said Imran Poladi, NextHome’s Vice President. 

The brokerage represents the 18th office opened in North Carolina for the NextHome franchise. 

NextHome In The Pines is led by local real estate veteran Kelly Curran. While Kelly is using her talents to serve local clients, Belinda Tucker will serve as the broker of record and administrative lead for NextHome In The Pines. 

Alongside her growing team of agents, Kelly is bringing people-first service to Moore, Harnett, Lee, Hoke, and Cumberland counties. Located just over an hour south of Raleigh, the town of Southern Pines is an attractive market for military families serving at Fort Bragg. The area also offers easy access to North Carolina’s stunning mountains.  

Kelly and her team offer a wealth of experience in military relocations, first-time home buying, resales, and investment properties. 

Kelly’s experience in real estate began at the brink of the 2000s in Connecticut, where she started working as an agent with a small regional company. Kelly remained with that company after it was bought by Coldwell Banker. While there, she worked with both buyers and sellers to create a seamless experience.  

In 2007, Kelly and her family moved to Seven Lakes where she obtained her North Carolina real estate license. She started at a small independent firm, then soon migrated over to a nationally franchised brokerage where she remained for six years. 

“The sheer volume of growth we achieved there was incredible,” Kelly said. “I was able to build a team and top $6 million in sales volume in an area where the average home price hovered around $190,000.”

In 2016, Kelly decided to move her talents to another small independent brokerage. She was there for three years and continued to grow and expand her business. Kelly was able to increase her team’s sales volume to more than $11 million, and she added two buyer agents and an administrative staff member to the team.

In 2018, after experiencing what both small independent and nationally franchised brokerages had to offer, Kelly felt it was time to find the best of both worlds. 

“Opening my own brokerage was what I saw as the next step in my growth,” Kelly said. “I was very attracted to the idea of being able to set the policy and directions of my own company to best serve the needs of agents and clients.”

After reading positive news articles about NextHome, Kelly knew she had found a good fit for her goals. 

“If I was going to do this, I knew I needed a good franchise,” Kelly said. “I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. At the same time, I wanted to give clients and agents something they could not get anywhere else.”

She gave NextHome a call and the rest is history. 

Today, Kelly is poised to provide North Carolina agents and homebuyers with unparalleled resources and service. 

“Our agents love the fact that they don’t feel a crushing pressure to simply sell, sell, sell,” Kelly said. “Yet, they feel pressure to be better than they were the day before. With our small team and NextHome’s resources, we have the ability to help agents build their own personal business. We want to make the lives of our agents better so they can make the lives of their clients better. As we do that, we all will continue to grow our business.”

For clients, Kelly has created a culture of consumer-focused service. 

“I believe in treating people as I would want to be treated,” Kelly said. “As a kid, we moved all over the place. Today, I can be that person who helps take a little bit of the fear out of such a big life change. At NextHome In The Pines, we follow through and we are always available. We will always put your needs first.”

Kelly is married to her sweetheart of 21 years, Tim, and together they have a son Ryan (19) who is a freshman at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. 

In the rare moments when Kelly isn’t helping her clients or building her business, she enjoys traveling and relaxing at home with her husband. 

Please join us in congratulating Kelly on the opening of NextHome In The Pines in Southern Pines, North Carolina!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

Why Consumer Education Videos Work in Real Estate (And How to Be Successful With Them)

Why Consumer Education Videos Work in Real Estate (And How to Be Successful With Them)

Creating great consumer education video content can help your business thrive. We know this because we’ve seen our top video influencers in real estate thrive in this video niche by creating informative, valuable and engaging content that ultimately leads to people wanting to work with them.

And while your go-to consumer education video might be a market update, there’s an endless amount of topics you can touch upon that can be of value to potential and current clients.

In fact, they want this content and are actively looking for it, especially on YouTube. According to WordStream, YouTube has more than a billion users, which accounts for about a third of all internet users. And “The Values of YouTube” 2017 study reported that 86% of viewers often go to YouTube to learn something new.

Karin Carr, one of our 2018 Top Real Estate Video Influencer Up and Comers, has truly embraced this consumer education video genre as her niche. And despite only starting her YouTube channel two years ago, she has over 4,400 subscribers and videos with thousands of views. The Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners agent also got 75% of her business from her YouTube channel alone—and no cold calling.

She even created another YouTube channel, “YouTube for Agents,” to teach other real estate agents her tips and tricks, as well as recently wrote a book on it, “YouTube for Real Estate Agents.”

See the video below for a look at what Karin focuses her educational content on and why she does so. And keep reading the post below for more on her story, why you should make consumer education a top priority when creating video content, and how to be successful with it.

Table of Contents

Consumer Education defined 
-Recommended real estate topics
Achieve success with consumer education videos
-Getting creative with content 
-Prioritizing keyword research
-Staying consistent with video 
-Being yourself on camera
-Providing value in videos 
-Karin’s bonus tips 
Why consumer education videos work 

What is consumer education?

So, the consumer education definition is pretty self-explanatory when it comes to video—you are providing educational content from your industry to consumers. But there are many ways you can approach this.

“When people go to YouTube, it’s a search engine. People are looking for videos like, ‘How do I fix my washing machine?’” Karin explains. “On YouTube, people go there to learn something or to be entertained. And if you can combine the two, those videos perform really well.”

And she’s not wrong. The top five reasons reported for why people turn to YouTube are:

1. For help with fixing something in a home, car or other
2. Entertainment
3. For learning something new
4. For satisfying curiosity about a topic
5. For assistance with solving a problem

For real estate, she recommends topics like: 

• How much does it cost to sell my house?
• How much do I need for a down payment?
• How do I stage a home on a budget?

“They’re Googling those questions, and if you make a really good YouTube video it can show up in the very first page of Google search results,” Karin says.

You can also get the full guide of real estate consumer education ideas at the end of this post.

How to be successful with consumer ed videos

Now, you might be wondering how to get started and prosper with educating consumers via video. And there are steps you can take to maximize your potential, and thrive with it. Here are Karin’s tips and recommendations for anyone looking to get started:

Get creative with your content ideas

When curating your consumer education content ideas, think outside of the box and get creative with your videos. Use your location, industry experiences and challenges as inspiration and opportunities to teach and generate prospects.

The first thing Karin did when she started making videos was pick a specialty to tailor her videos to—working with the military, as her market is located in Savannah, Georgia, a military community. A lot of the videos she made were about VA loans and using Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to cover mortgage payments.

“I was trying to come up with topics that I thought those specific people would be interested in, and that way I would attract my ideal client. Once you know who you’re trying to reach and what they want to know, it’s pretty easy to come up with content,” she continues. “If you try to be a general all-purpose agent in the market, there’s too much competition. You have to prove your value, and you do that by being a specialist.”

It’s also important to keep a bank of your ideas recorded somewhere—whether that be a notebook, computer, phone, etc. that you can access any time you get a new video idea. Karin keeps all of her ideas on her phone’s notes application.

Make it a priority to research keywords

Keyword research is SO IMPORTANT if you want your videos to be viewed. They determine where your video will rank in search results. And the video views generated through this are what lead to conversion.

Data from Advanced Web Ranking indicates that the higher you rank in search results, the higher the possibility that consumers will click and visit your website. The highest ranking Google desktop search results garnered a 31% click-through rate and 23% on mobile! As a result, the lower you rank, the lower your chances are of getting those clicks.

After deciding on an idea for her videos, Karin always does keyword research. She uses Keywords Everywhere—a free Chrome and Firefox plugin— and looks for what people are typing into the search bar that has a lot of searches, but low competition.

“If there’s low competition for a keyword I can rank for it at the top of the search results pretty easily,” she says.

Karin uses her selected keywords in the titles of her videos to get more organic traffic to them, and, in turn, her website to generate more leads. “If you make a great video but give it a terrible title, no one will ever find it in the search results,” she says. So, it’s best to avoid general titles like “Karin’s Vlog #2,” and instead use more specific titles that include your keyword, such as “Home Staging Tips to Get Your House Sold.”

She said even if there’s only 200-300 searches a month—but there’s little competition—for a keyword that shows intent that it’s still beneficial.

“They’re not Googling, ‘How much is a house in Savannah?’ if they’re not looking to buy a house,” she says. “So, 200 searches with high intent is fantastic! It doesn’t have to be thousands and thousands of searches a month.”

Consistency is key with video uploads

One of the lessons Karin talks about time and time again is the importance of consistency with your video uploads. She highly recommends:

• Figuring out what your upload schedule will be like and sticking with it
• Putting your upload schedule on a calendar
• Not skipping any of your scheduled upload times
• Recording multiple videos on a specific day of the week to have content to schedule out
• Say in your YouTube channel art or social media platform how often you’ll be posting videos

“You will be rewarded by the YouTube algorithm for your consistency,” she says. “It it tough? Yes, it is. But I’d rather be consistent than perfect.”

And her reason for this is, “If people show up to your channel on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. expecting there to be a new video and there isn’t one, eventually you’re going to train them and the YouTube algorithm that you are not consistent and that you don’t show up when you say you’re going to. Is that really something you want to be known for?”

Probably not, so be as consistent as possible!

Be yourself on camera

Do not be afraid to showcase you and your personality on camera. Video is all about showcasing who you are and what you have to offer—not what you look or sound like. So, own your video and who you are, and let your authenticity and humanity shine through.

“You look how you look, and you sound how you sound—nobody cares. You just keep making videos anyway because you will attract the people that like your personality, however you appear on camera,” Karin says. “They will like that about you. They will feel drawn to you. And when the time comes they will ask for your help. People are looking to you for your guidance and your expertise, not because you have a 26-inch waist.”

Also, don’t script your videos. It doesn’t work, and you won’t come across as genuine. When Karin started creating videos, she used scripts and could never get it to sound natural. Now she creates a bullet list of everything she wants to talk about, and builds from there.

Karin showcases her personality in every video she produces. She’s not afraid to be goofy and have fun in her videos, or be animated with her facial expressions or use her hands when she talks. She even dresses up in characters sometimes to make more data-heavy videos, like market updates, engaging and exciting yet still educational.

“I try to make it entertaining as well as informational. We feel like we have to be very professional in order to come across as competent. But that doesn’t mean we have to be boring,” she explains. “You can still be yourself on camera and show your personality and still deliver the information they want to know.”

Provide consumer value in your videos

After Karin decides on an idea for the video she’s going to record, she sits down and records a hook that includes her keyword at the very beginning to draw them in to the video from the start.

“Too many people start with introducing themselves and basically talking about how great they are for the next 45 seconds and nobody cares,” she says. “So I do my hook and then I briefly introduce myself because you have to say that you’re a real estate licensee so you don’t get in trouble with your local real estate commission, and you want them to know where you are physically located. Get through that quickly and then move on.”

Then she gets to the topic at hand quickly, and makes sure she answers the question viewers tuned in to have answered.

“You have to not talk all about yourself. You have to think of what the consumer wants to watch in a video, and it’s not a commercial,” she explains. “They typed something into the search bar because they were trying to find an answer to that question. People are looking for this information, so give them what they’re looking for and you will be rewarded with more business than you can possibly imagine.”

By not making videos that sound like sales pitches, you come across as more relatable and helpful.

“If they don’t feel like they’re being sold, I think it really lets them let their guard down and then they trust you,” Karin says.

She ends with a call to action that, again, is not straight up selling anything, but offering something of value, like a VA Buyers Guide. And that guide is on her website, which they submit contact information for and then she has a lead. She says 90% of the time, she received legitimate information, and her prospects are excited to hear from her because they think she’s famous after seeing her on YouTube.

Karin’s Bonus Tips:

Video length: Karin keeps videos around five minutes for a higher possibility of showing up in search results. This is short enough for the consumer to keep watching the whole video if they’re interested, and long enough to appeal to YouTube’s algorithm. Shorter videos are OK for other social media platforms, and may actually perform better on those outlets. HubSpot recommends the following video lengths for social media platforms:

• Instagram: 30 seconds
• Twitter: 45 seconds
• Facebook: 1 minute
• YouTube: 2 minutes

Equipment: You don’t have to use expensive equipment to make a quality video. Karin uses her phone or tablet most of the time to record content. She also uses an inexpensive microphone that just plugs into the audio jack. She does use a ring light for better lighting, and has a camera, but for the most part she sticks to the basics. And for her editing, she initially used the built-in video editing software from her computer and now hires a virtual assistant to do it. “All that time you get back is worth the expense,” she says.

Why consumer education videos work

Cisco estimates that by 2022, internet video traffic will account for 82% of all web traffic. And people are spending over a billion hours a day watching videos on YouTube. That is a huge stream of potential customers you can reach with consumer education videos.

And, in the words of Karin, “I get a boatload of leads. And they’re not just leads—they’re leads that turn into clients, and closings and commission checks.”

She was new in her town in June 2017, and within a year had so much business she needed to hire a showing assistant. Then that showing assistant became a buyer’s agent. And then she had to hire another buyer’s agent, two virtual assistants, and now she’s looking for a listing specialist. All of this happened within two years because she started making consumer education videos.

Karin explains that when people go onto Zillow and see a house for sale and request additional information, they don’t care who calls them because they’re just interested in the house. But if they watch her video on “How much does it cost to sell my house in Savannah?” and they call, it’s because they want to work with her.

“Whenever I get a seller lead or a buyer lead for that matter, 99% of the time they don’t even interview anybody else,” she says. “It’s amazing that by the time they’ve reached out to you, they’ve already decided that you are the person that they want to work with.”

When you give your prospects your wealth of knowledge via video without expecting anything in return, Karin says that when they do call you “it’s a done deal.”

“I’ve had people sign buyer/brokerage agreements over the internet and they’ve never even met me in person before because they feel like the know me already having seen so many of my videos,” Karin says. “It’s the best form of lead gen that I’ve ever done and I’ve been in business for 14 years.”

Get Started Today!

Now that you have all the knowledge to thrive with consumer education videos, it’s time for you to start making your own—whether that’s on YouTube, social media, or a video email via BombBomb.

If you’re feeling a little reluctant to start and are doubting if it’s for you, you are not alone. Karin says her first videos were bad. But she kept doing them, and look at where she is today.

“The first 20 videos you make are going to be awful. Make them anyway,” she says. “The more you do it, the better you get. Start now. The longer you wait, the longer it will be before you start to master it.”

And it you’re in need of inspiration, check out our 2019 Video Influencers Guide when it’s released later this year. There’s a whole section on our top real estate video influencers in consumer education that you can learn from.

For more helpful information from our partners at BombBomb, check out their blog! 

The Era of the ‘DSIY’ Seller

The Era of the ‘DSIY’ Seller

There’s a good chance that when a seller contacts an agent today, they’ve already jump-started the selling process — painting rooms, sprucing up the garden, remodeling a bathroom or researching what similar homes have sold for.

And while sellers haven’t gone full-on do-it-yourself, they are decidedly DSIY — “do some of it yourself” — when it comes to presale home improvements, staging and even finding buyers via social media.

Despite their can-do spirit, though, most DSIY sellers (85%) still enlist an agent. They want a strategic partner who has the market knowledge, marketing skills and legal know-how to do the heavy lifting that will get the sale to closing, according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018.*

What they do and don’t do

Half of DSIY sellers (50%) who eventually work with an agent tackle home improvements, 39% determine a listing price for their home and 25% have a home inspection done.

But there are some areas they shy away from before reaching out for help, including conducting buyer tours (only 17% do), promoting their home on social media (11%) and receiving offers (8%).

The agent as strategic partner

Like all good partnerships, once the seller reaches out to an agent, their relationship involves a division of labor. Some of the activities sellers participate in with and without their agent’s help:

  • 43% participate in deciding when to put their home up for sale.
  • 37% engage in some aspect of staging their home.
  • 35% make home improvement recommendations for selling.
  • 23% come up with the listing price on their own.
  • 36% work with their agent to determine the listing price.

But half of sellers (50%) say agents alone still do the heavy lifting that requires expertise:

  • 81% say their agent guides them through the sales process.
  • 78% say their agent organizes and submits paperwork associated with the sale.
  • 75% rely on their agent to lead contract negotiations.
  • 73% say their agent finds interested buyers.
  • 55% say their agent determines the listing price of their home.

Who are the DSIY sellers?

Generally, the younger the seller, the more involved they get in selling activities.

Millennials are so confident in their ability to get the ball rolling that 58% say they like to take the lead, compared with 40% of Gen Xers, 29% of baby boomers and 24% of silent gen sellers.

Millennials also are more likely to have photographs taken of their home (32%), help find interested buyers (22%), promote their home on social networks (38%) and have video or other media taken of their home (19%).

Seller involvement helps homes sell faster

The upshot for the DSIY seller? Sellers who work with an agent and participate in five or more selling activities close the sale almost two months sooner than sellers who do fewer than five activities. That’s 5.5 months on average for more active sellers versus 7.4 months on average for less active sellers.

How important is speed to sellers? A third (33%) of active DSIY sellers say they wish they had started even sooner.

The takeaway

  • Sellers understand that there’s work involved in selling, and many get things started themselves. Ask sellers lots of questions about their home-selling journey to date. This will build rapport and help you determine what you need to do for a client going forward.
  • Show your deep knowledge of the selling process by strategizing around a listing price — even if the seller has already decided on one. Explain how you can help get them to that number, or why the number is out of whack with the market.
  • Find the right balance between guiding and collaborating. A great agent is an educator and a facilitator, so make sure you continue to show your knowledge and educate the seller throughout the transaction.

For more helpful tips from our partners at Zillow Premier Agent, visit their blog!

*In 2018, millennials were ages 24-38, Gen Xers were 39-53, boomers were 54-73 and the silent generation was 74 and older.

Building a Gratitude Brokerage Culture

Building a Gratitude Brokerage Culture

Gratitude as a culture. Sounds great. But is it possible, sustainable or desirable?

For years the proponents of positive have preached the attitude of gratitude. At Thanksgiving the volume gets cranked way up and all; gracious and querulous, optimist and naysayer, happy camper and malcontent are called to join for one day in unison to give thanks for something, anything they are grateful for. We celebrate gratitude, laud it, grow from it, and even appreciate it. There’s scientific proof that gratitude attracts good things. And yet, as Fast Company suggests we, as a culture suffer from “gratitude deficit disorder.”

“We are hungry for genuine appreciation and thanks,” the article states. “We want to know that we matter, that our efforts are making the world a better place.” Unfortunately, many people are not getting that reassurance. In one poll, nearly half of those surveyed reported that they never feel appreciated at work.

Do your agents and employees feel appreciated? What about your clients? How do you know?

Gratitude Is Profitable

An article by Harvard Business Review says “when employees feel valued, they have high job satisfaction, are willing to work longer hours, engage in productive relationships with co-workers and supervisors, are motivated to do their best, and work towards achieving the company’s goals.“

“When people feel valued productivity is maximized, employee engagement increases and company loyalty prevails.

Gratitude also plays an important role in client retention, and failure to express appreciation can have detrimental consequences. According to an article by Bloomberg, “studies show that 68% of customers leave a business relationship because of a perceived attitude of indifference on the part of the company. It’s not that the associates are actually indifferent—it’s the perception that they are.”

Some believe that showing gratitude shouldn’t be an “event” so much as a state of mind. As shared with Inman News, “It begins with the first interaction and continues long after the transaction,” said Frank Chimento, vice president at Elm Street Technology who advises agents and brokerages and gives national talks on persuasion, influence and rapport-building strategies.

Make Gratitude a State of Mind – Company Wide

The toughest piece of advice, perhaps because having gratitude is an emotional act. It’s simply not recognized or discussed as something fundamentally important to business, yet this intangible expression of thanks can make or break a relationship. Start by thanking your own employees, even for small tasks. It creates an environment of mutual respect and appreciation. It also provides ancillary benefits such as empowering employees to overcome obstacles. In fact, acts of gratitude produce endorphins, which generate feelings of happiness. A focus on gratitude can, therefore, make the workplace more fulfilling, meaningful and productive.

One small act of gratitude can be a game changer. It can take a relationship from merely transactional to meaningful. It defines the character of a company. And I’m not referring to gratitude in the form of complicated programs or gift-giving. I’m talking about simply saying, writing or emailing (and meaning it) the words, “thank you.”

If you have any doubts, consider the following: A study conducted by the University of Richmond shows that 78 percent of respondents in a relationship with a B2B services firm identified gratitude as necessary in relationship formation. Further, the research states that even a single violation–perception of ingratitude–could seriously hinder trust and commitment and erode a client’s long-term orientation towards the company.

Extend Your Gratitude Culture to Clients

There are endless ways to thank your clients—handwritten notes, gift cards, taking them out to lunch, etc. But the way you phrase your appreciation could give your “thank you” even more impact.

An article by Harvard Business Review encourages companies to build a gratitude program based on a shared purpose you have with your client:

“Identify the shared purpose that you can work on together with your customer. See where you can express appreciation for their accomplishments toward that shared purpose. Cultivate gratitude and loyalty will naturally follow.”

Rather than thanking your client for the transaction—choosing to work with your real estate company—express your gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to the shared purpose, i.e. helping them find their dream home.

Invite Your Clients to Show Their Gratitude

Make it easy for you clients to show their gratitude for a great job done. Their words will speak for you and their referrals will be your reward. SmartZip’s Reach150 platform is an easy one touch testimonial and referral system that easily requests and publishes your client reviews and testimonials for you. Take a look and see how easy it is.

Meanwhile, THANK YOU for taking a moment to stop by.

For more helpful tips from our partners at Smartzip, visit their blog!