Blog : leadership

NextHome expands in Myrtle Beach

NextHome expands in Myrtle Beach

Liam and Tammi Pierce

Pleasanton, CA — October 24, 2019 — NextHome is thrilled to announce the expansion of NextHome Seekers in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. After almost three years of exponential growth, husband and wife team Liam and Tammi Pierce are opening the doors to a second office location. The office will represent the 9th NextHome franchised location in South Carolina and will complement the Pierce’s existing office in Murrells Inlet. 

The NextHome Seekers team of top-tier agents have used their friendly, people-first approach to triple the office’s sales volume since its original opening in 2017. Today, the family of 15 agents is on track to close more than 100 transactions in 2019. 

“One thing we teach our agents is to create experiences, not transactions,” Liam said. “We take to heart the NextHome philosophy of ‘humans over houses.’ The agents take it and run with it. They have so many incredible stories and we have immensely enjoyed nurturing that culture and sharing that people-first approach with our clients.” 

As NextHome Seekers continues to grow, the team looks forward to now serving clients in Conway, Little River, Longs, North Myrtle Beach, and parts of North Carolina. In addition to these new areas, the NextHome Seekers team will continue to provide superior service to Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Surfside Beach, Pawleys Island, and the remainder of Horry and Georgetown Counties.

NextHome Seekers is especially well-positioned to help with residential sales, investment property sales, commercial sales, luxury, and second home sales. 

“Our new office is in a great central location, which will give us more exposure and offer agents an extra space to work and bring clients in,” Liam said. “We have been growing exponentially, and we want to keep growing, so opening another location just made sense.” 

Both Liam and Tammi entered real estate after several years in management for a furniture distributor. The two met while living in the West Virginia/Pennsylvania area and were married in 2009.

It was an especially snowy winter in the Northeast that made the couple rethink where they wanted to raise their family. The long hours they contributed to the corporate lifestyle wasn’t working either.

“We enjoyed our jobs, but after we had our second child, we realized that living in the Northeast wasn’t a fit for our family,” recalled Liam. “Tammi and I decided to head south and make Myrtle Beach our new home. With the move, we were able to reevaluate what career we wanted to pursue that allowed us to raise our children the way we wanted to.”

“After the stressful travel, corporate deadlines, and demands of our previous career, Myrtle Beach has been the perfect place for our family,” added Tammi.

After relocating, Tammi got her real estate license in 2012, and Liam followed suit a year later.

Starting their real estate career with a local franchised brokerage in Myrtle Beach, the Pierces sold an amazing 26 homes in their very first year.

Over the next several years, they continued to build on their business, selling over 35 homes annually.

In November of 2015, the Pierces opened their own brokerage – Realty Co. Unlimited.

Coincidentally, just a few months after opening this brokerage, they discovered NextHome. 

“The company’s philosophy matched up exactly with what we believed in,” said Tammi. “Add in that the technology was second to none, we were all in. We are still thrilled to be a part of the NextHome family.”

NextHome Seekers officially opened its doors for the first time in March 2017.  

When the Pierces aren’t working, they live their family-first philosophy. They recently welcomed a new baby, Nolan, into their home in September. They are also the proud parents of Jaina (9) and Xander (7). When one-month-old Nolan isn’t demanding all their attention, the Pierce family loves spending time at the beach and taking in all that Myrtle Beach has to offer.

“We are very lucky to have built a home where millions of people come to vacation,” said Tammi with a smile.

Please join us in congratulating Liam, Tammi, and the rest of their team at NextHome Seekers on their success and the opening of their new NextHome office!

 

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! 

NextHome The Boulevard opens in Michigan

NextHome The Boulevard opens in Michigan

Michael T. Moore and Melissa Acton

Pleasanton, CA — October 22, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome The Boulevard. Based in Rochester, the new brokerage represents the 15th NextHome franchised office opened in the state of Michigan.

The Boulevard is led by experienced local agents Michael T. Moore and Melissa Acton. Mike will be the broker of record and Melissa will be the associate broker. 

Located in Rochester, NextHome The Boulevard’s team will serve residential buyers and sellers across Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Auburn Hills, Shelby, Utica, Royal Oak, Troy, Ferndale, and the remainder of Oakland and Macomb counties. 

Mike, Melissa, and the team are happy to help with all types of residential transactions.

“I’ve had an obsession with real estate since I was a little girl,” Melissa said. “My dad was a builder and whenever he would bring home blueprints, I would get so excited.”

Melissa remembers her family laughing at her wide-eyed excitement whenever she saw new real estate listings. 

Melissa spent the early years of her career in corporate America. However, the birth of her twins in 2011 gave her the push she needed to change her career’s course. 

As infants, Melissa’s twins endured many interventions. The time commitment required for these therapies meant Melissa needed more flexibility from her work. 

“I had to reinvent myself,” Melissa said. “I suddenly had an opportunity to go after a career that interested me and would provide the flexibility I needed because of the situation with my kids.”

Melissa obtained her real estate license and began working as a buyer agent with Keller Williams. Melissa became the friendly face clients would interact with. 

In the fall of 2016, Melissa’s twins started kindergarten and she discovered that one of her sons had a learning disability. 

“I took a year off to focus on making sure my kids were my first priority,” Melissa said. 

When she returned to real estate in 2017, she met Mike. 

Before his career in real estate, Mike spent 11 years as a regional safety director at FedEx. During those years, much of Mike’s time was spent traveling and he missed his family. When the company restructured and taking a buyout became an option, Mike was happy for the opportunity. 

“Suddenly, I got to choose what I wanted to do for a living and I had always wanted to pursue real estate,” Mike said. 

As he reestablished a great work-life balance, Mike got his real estate license and began working for a small, boutique firm. After two years with that company, Mike got an offer from a bigger brokerage in town. 

“It just seemed like a natural next step,” Mike said.

Mike spent the next two years with the large brokerage, where he found great success. Mike became one of the top five producing agents within the first year out of a firm of 400. Mike remained one of the company’s top five producing agents his entire time there and was the second top producing agent two years running.  

His success and sales volume set him apart in area real estate, so when Melissa was looking to jump back into the industry, she cold called Mike to see if she could join his team. 

“Having someone who could take clients for me and be a right-hand person was just what I needed at that time,” Mike said. “My wife and I were expecting another child at the time and Melissa’s cold call could not have been timed better.”

As Melissa and Mike began working together, they found that their skills complemented one another, and they were able to establish a productive partnership. 

That partnership, and the success it generated, prompted Melissa and Mike to talk about opening their own brokerage. 

“We saw things that could be done differently,” Mike recalled. “We had this desire to differentiate ourselves and fill a regional need for flexible, fun, and ethics-driven real estate services.”

The search for the right franchised brokerage began and stumbled across NextHome. 

“Our first call with NextHome was really good,” Mike said. “When we crunched the numbers on starting our own brokerage from scratch, the cost difference was so significant that going with NextHome didn’t even seem like a question. It was far and away the best business decision.”

However, it wasn’t just the numbers that made NextHome a good fit for Melissa and Mike. 

“It is so nice to have peers to connect with, as well as a corporate leadership team that holds the torch and leads the way in what sometimes feels like a dark tunnel when starting a business,” Melissa said. 

As Mike and Melissa continue to lay the foundation for their brokerage, they hope to build a team that refuses to over-promise and under-deliver. 

“Unfortunately, that’s very common in our industry and it doesn’t do anyone any good,” Mike said. 

Melissa added, “We work with an honest approach. We are bringing agents aboard who are of that mindset and who have experience.”

At NextHome The Boulevard, that honesty and knowledge also come with a healthy dose of fun. 

“We want work to be fun,” Mike said. “We want our clients to enjoy this experience that is commonly very stressful. It’s the most expensive purchase most people make, so we want to make the process as seamless as possible. I want clients and agents to know that I take my business seriously, but I don’t take myself too seriously.”

When he isn’t helping clients and agents, Mike enjoys working out, spending time on Lake Cass, and enjoying the great outdoors. Alongside Erica, his wife of 12 years, Mike has two sons, Dylan (11) and Maverick (2). 

Melissa and her husband Chris Ralph are the proud parents of twin eight-year-old boys, Griffin and Everett. Outside of selling real estate, Melissa enjoys traveling with her family and basking in the beautiful ruckus of her neighborhood full of kids. 

Please join us in congratulating Mike, Melissa, and their team on the opening of NextHome The Boulevard in Rochester, Michigan!

 

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.

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.

Skyrocketing success prompts NextHome Freitas Realty Group expansion

Skyrocketing success prompts NextHome Freitas Realty Group expansion

Livia Freitas Monteforte

Pleasanton, CA — October 17, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce the expansion of NextHome Freitas Realty Group. Lead by owner Livia Freitas Monteforte, the new office in Falmouth, Massachusetts will serve clients across Cape Cod. NextHome Freitas Realty Group’s expansion represents the sixth office opened in Massachusetts for the franchise. 

“As we grow, we want people to know that we will be present where our buyers and sellers are,” Livia said. “We want anyone in the Cape Cod area to know that we are a luxury, boutique real estate firm that makes real estate fun and modern. More than that, we are able to supply people with the help they need wherever they are on The Cape.”

The new office is located in historic downtown Falmouth, a stunning area peppered with picturesque storefronts where locals and vacationers meander throughout all four seasons.   

“We are pretty excited to be able to expand our location to another major hub,” Livia said. 

NextHome Freitas Realty Group will provide residential real estate sales services to the entire Cape Cod area including Falmouth, Barnstable, Woods Hole, Chatham, Bourne, Brewster, Sandwich, Mashpee, Yarmouth, Dennis, and the remainder of the Cape Cod area – commonly known as “The Cape”.

Livia opened the doors to her first Mashpee-based NextHome brokerage in October 2015. Since then, her team has grown to 18 agents (and counting) whose superior service has made NextHome Freitas Realty Group a well-known name in Cape Cod real estate.  

“We offer a really fresh take on real estate and we know that Cape Cod homeowners (and future homeowners) are going to be happy with what we bring to the table,” Livia said. 

Licensed since 1999, Livia began her sales career at Kinlin Grover Real Estate, a regional boutique brokerage. As a self-starter, she was able to quickly and efficiently set herself apart from the rest of the local real estate community by focusing on the customer service experience.

In 2003, Livia made the move to a franchised brokerage in order to start building a team to assist with her growing business. While she continued building her business, she was forced to purchase many of the tools and systems she needed to streamline her team’s work. Realizing a strong need to improve the way real estate was conducted on Cape Cod, Livia decided it was time for a change.

Instead of looking for a new company to affiliate with, Livia knew she could create the superior standards she expected out of a brokerage by opening her own company – and that’s exactly what she did.

In 2005, she opened Freitas Realty Group. Her passion for creating a brokerage that featured tech-savvy agents who were passionate about helping people with their real estate purchase or sale of their home was infused into the business. Agents loved the atmosphere, and Livia and her husband James grew the brokerage to 11 agents. Known in the community as “executive agents,” her team provided first-class service coupled with a high level of technology and transaction management to make the transaction as smooth as possible.

“I wanted to be the client-centric real estate brokerage that was the breath of fresh air our community was missing,” Livia said.

From 2011 to 2015, Livia never let up on driving the leads to the brokerage. This resulted in an incredible 30% increase in their company’s closed sales business for four consecutive years. In 2015, her brokerage exceeded $20,000,000 in sales volume – a huge indicator of the local community’s trust in her boutique firm.

Livia continued to stay at the forefront of new and innovative real estate technology, but often found herself vetting and spending countless hours making sure the products were the best for her agents.

Enter NextHome.

“I was days away from signing with a familiar national brand when I randomly Googled ‘Luxury Real Estate Franchise’,” recalled Livia. “That’s when I found NextHome. The company provides the brokers of today with the tools necessary to get out of the weeds and back to focusing on the customers.”

“From the moment I connected with Livia, I could sense her passion for real estate and helping people buy or sell a home,” said NextHome’s Vice President of Sales, Charis Moreno. “As a mother, I could relate to Livia on many different levels including how she handles her responsibilities as a business owner and her two daughters. The partnership with NextHome allows them to focus on their business growth and recruitment of new talent, while the NextHome franchise joins forces with one of the top brokerages in one of the most prestigious markets in the United States.”

When not selling real estate, Livia and James enjoy spending time with their two daughters, Dolce and Capri.

Please join us in congratulating Livia, James, and their team at NextHome Freitas Realty Group on their ever-expanding success!

 

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.

Real estate attorney takes lead at Pennsylvania office

Real estate attorney takes lead at Pennsylvania office

George Kotsopoulos

Pleasanton, CA — October 15, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Alliance. The brokerage represents the ninth office location opened in the state of Pennsylvania for the NextHome franchise.

NextHome Alliance is led by real estate attorney George Kotsopoulos, who brings 20-plus years of expertise to clients across southeast Pennsylvania. 

The NextHome Alliance office is based out of Douglassville, Pennsylvania. George’s growing team of 12 talented agents are thrilled to be able to serve clients across Reading, Pottstown, Boyertown, Douglassville, Allentown, and the remainder of Bucks, Montgomery, Berks, and Philadelphia counties. 

The Alliance team is experienced in all types of residential sales and is especially well-versed in investment/flip properties. In addition, team members provide prowess in property management and multi-family real estate. In the future, NextHome Alliance will expand to also help commercial clients. 

Located just 45 miles west of Philadelphia, Douglassville is a quaint little town where visitors can find historic 18th-century brick buildings along with stunning ranchers and classic cottages. 

NextHome Alliance is embracing the area’s small-town charm while giving homebuyers the extensive expertise they deserve. 

A native of Bucks County, George has spent his professional life as a real estate attorney and business leader. After law school, George started work with a national title company. In 1997, he opened his own title insurance agency – Capital Assurance Group. 

After years of working closely with many talented real estate agents, George got his brokers license in 2014. As a newly-minted broker, George transitioned his business into a real estate brokerage with an in-house title company. 

“As an attorney, I’ve always represented REALTORS®, but when I started working as one I developed a greater respect for the efforts they put forward on a daily basis,” George said. 

Agents were certainly not required in any way to use the title company services, but the bundle of business helped George and those around him offer a streamlined experience for clients who wanted it.  

Then, George partnered with other area agents as their broker of record as they opened a nationally franchised office. 

“In three years, we were able to grow the company from five to 50 agents,” George recalled. “My time in this role really helped me to understand how to skillfully grow a company.”

Soon, the legal veteran decided it was time to open his own brokerage under the NextHome banner. 

“I sent an email to NextHome to inquire about their business and I literally got a call back that same afternoon,” George recalled. “Being responsive is something that I pride myself on, so that call made me feel that I had found my kind of people with NextHome. Charis (NextHome’s Vice President of Sales) went into what the franchise has to offer and I thought the opportunity was ideal.”

George officially opened his Douglassville doors in late June, and since then has attracted the area’s best agents to his brokerage. 

“I think my 20-plus years of experience as a real estate attorney is very attractive to high-performing agents,” George said. “What both agents and clients see with me is that if they have any questions whatsoever, they can contact me and I will get back to them.”

That responsiveness and dedication to quality over transactions is percolating throughout the NextHome Alliance team and benefiting clients across the Pennsylvania area. 

“I’m limiting this office to 20-25 committed agents,” George said. “I want to be able to keep quality for our clients at the center of what we do. We are an office of producing, career-oriented REALTORS®. For the NextHome Alliance team, it’s not all about the numbers – it’s about the quality of the experience.”

When he isn’t guiding the NextHome Alliance team, George enjoys the area’s stunning beaches and attending country music concerts with his wife, Lisa. This year, George and Lisa are celebrating 29 years of marriage. Together, they are the proud parents of Will (25) and Kate (22).

Please join us in congratulating George on the opening of NextHome Alliance in Douglassville, Pennsylvania!

 

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 Inclusive Realty brings home the American Dream

NextHome Inclusive Realty brings home the American Dream

Charles Olaleye

Pleasanton, CA — October 8, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce the latest addition to the franchise, NextHome Inclusive Realty in Ventura, California. The brokerage will represent the 70th NextHome franchised location opened in the state of California. NextHome Inclusive Realty will serve clients across Ventura County, including the cities of Oxnard, Ventura, and Camarillo. 

The NextHome Inclusive Realty team will be led by Charles Olaleye, who approaches his business with a passion for helping all types of home buyers. 

“There are a lot of agents who are only interested in working with homebuyers who have a pre-approval in hand and the leg work is already done,” Charles said. “I want to take an interest in the whole process and help people through all phases of homeownership.”

Charles was born and raised in Nigeria and, after some time in London, settled in Maryland in 2002. Charles began a career as a credit counselor, then became a banker. 

“I’ve always loved helping people learn how they can financially achieve homeownership and what’s possible for them,” Charles said.

Coming from a country where buying or renting a home was usually a cash transaction, Charles learned through experience the necessity of good, long-standing credit as a U.S. homebuyer and the roadblocks that immigrants, especially, can run into. 

“I lived that experience first-hand,” Charles said. “A lot of the help with coaching and credit and education that I provide my clients wasn’t available for me. Agents wanted to only work with ready buyers and I was once that guy who wasn’t ready.”

Eventually, Charles found himself working as a licensed home inspector in Lanham, Maryland. One of the broker/agents Charles worked with was so impressed with the way he interacted with new homebuyers that he asked if Charles would consider getting his real estate license and coming to work for the brokerage.  

“The broker approached me one day and said he loved the way I help the homeowners and asked if I might consider helping people with the preparing and purchasing of their home versus just making sure their investment was sound,” Charles said. 

In 2006, Charles began working as a real estate agent for Homeland Real Estate. He remained with that company until 2013 when he moved to Home Resource Realty in Laurel, Maryland.  

Then, in 2017, Charles learned that the unique educational program that his kids were attending in Maryland was phasing out. 

“My wife is from the bay area and went to high school in Oxnard, so we had always planned on moving to Ventura County for retirement,” Charles said. “When we learned that a similar education program existed in Ventura for our kids, we moved up our plans by a few years.”

Charles spent the past year working through all of California’s real estate and brokerage licensing processes in anticipation of joining a large brokerage. However, earlier this year, his mentor and former broker in Maryland called and told Charles he needed to look into a fantastic company he heard about called NextHome.

“There are little things that larger brokerages do that I’ve always questioned,” Charles said. “NextHome recognizes those pain-points that need innovation in the real estate industry, and they do things differently. From there, it was a no-brainer. I placed a call and that was it.”

Charles is now providing Ventura homebuyers with an option they might not get with other agents – a real estate team that is willing to help anyone, including the complete novice. 

“I don’t mind helping others get ready for smart home buying,” Charles said. “The biggest part of the American dream is owning your own home. It’s a great achievement for many and an opportunity to leave a legacy for their kids. I want to serve everyone. The Fair Housing Act says that, but I truly live by that. I want to be able to help others who want that – not just as a one-touch thing.”

That continued relationship through all phases of homeownership is important to Charles, and NextHome’s CRM system gave him the tools he needs to maintain those relationships. 

“I’m that guy who is totally inclusive and I want to be with you from start to finish,” Charles said. “I don’t want to be that touch and go person and NextHome gives me the tools to accomplish that goal.”

Outside of work, Charles is a self-proclaimed homebody who enjoys spending time with his family. He has been married to his wife Adria for 14 years and together they are the proud parents of five kids and a teacup Yorkie.

The family enjoys a weekly tradition of Friday pizza and movie nights as well as walks around the neighborhood with a playful group of kids on skateboards and strollers.  

Please join us in congratulating Charles on the opening of NextHome Inclusive Realty in Ventura, California!

 

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 Envision brings people-first service to Metro D.C. market

NextHome Envision brings people-first service to Metro D.C. market

Leon & Lisa Nasar

Pleasanton, CA — October 3, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce the latest addition to the franchise, NextHome Envision. Although NextHome Envision is based in Maryland, the brokerage will serve clients across the Maryland, D.C. and Virginia areas.

NextHome Envision is led by real estate power couple Leon and Lisa Nasar. Veterans in the Maryland real estate industry, Lisa got her real estate license in 1993 and Leon followed getting his license that same year. The two met while Lisa was showing a commercial property in 1993. A few years later, they were married. 

With 26 years in the industry, the Nasars have built successful careers in various real estate subspecialties. Lisa has extensive expertise in residential transactions, specifically investment properties and rentals. Leon is a seasoned business leader with years of expertise in commercial real estate, multi-family properties, office space, and small shopping center deals. 

Lisa started her career with Long & Foster, a large firm that has offices across the eastern United States. Her love of real estate began as a college student when her father bought and rented out a home near The University of Maryland. Ever since, the University of Maryland graduate has enjoyed following the ups and downs of the residential investment property market. Shortly after getting her license, Lisa began working with commercial buyers. However, she soon migrated to the company’s residential and investment side where she found her niche. 

“I absolutely love what I do,” Lisa said. “It’s really easy for me to help people find the right house for them and their investing needs.”

While at Long & Foster, Lisa became one of the brokerage’s top-producing agents. She remained with the company for almost 26 years.  

After obtaining his real estate license, Leon started in commercial real estate. He found continued success and stayed in the commercial sector for five years. In 1998, Leon left full-time real estate to open a series of Nextel stores across the D.C. area. With three stores and all their various employees, Leon was able to put his leadership skills to work. Then, in 2005, Leon decided to sell his Nextel locations and jump back into full-time real estate with Long & Foster. During this time in his career, Leon started residential sales and quickly moved into management. 

As a manager, Leon had the opportunity to promote growth at various offices for the company. Before Leon took the lead at the Spring Valley location in D.C., the brokerage was handling about $81 million in sales. One year later, Leon was able to help that same office reach a $182 million sales volume. At another office, Leon was able to help guide growth from $860,000 in sales to $1.3 billion within two years.

Leon says the success came from encouraging a friendly, people-first philosophy with his team. 

“Many people have it stuck in their heads that real estate needs to be done a certain way,” said Leon. “I help agents realize that it is okay to have fun while they go out and help people.”

That relaxed culture prompted agents to strike up casual conversations about fun things that were happening at work.  

“It helped people get out of their shell a bit,” Leon recalled. “Just by the simple fact that they were talking about it, their friends started saying, ‘Oh, you are in real estate? By the way, I have this need or that property.’ I helped people connect with other people.”

The success of their office caught the eye of Berkshire Hathaway, which eventually acquired Long & Foster. The change prompted the Nasars to think about the direction of their own professional lives. That’s when NextHome and its humans over houses motto caught their eyes.

“Everything with NextHome was new, fresh, and exciting,” Lisa said. “NextHome offers brokerages great technology, great marketing, and a great vibe. Now we get to bring a whole new dynamic to an area that is lacking that.”

The Nasar’s business philosophy dovetailed perfectly with NextHome’s company mission, “Enriching lives by helping people find their next home.” 

“It’s all about caring about the people you are working with,” Leon said. “What makes NextHome different is the fact that the vice president calls me, and the company leaders have become my colleagues and still text me. It’s all about relationship building. You want to work in an environment where people care about each other and look out for each other – that is exactly the reason I chose NextHome. All the other benefits are a bonus.”

Lisa added that NextHome Envision wants to tailor its business to clients who want to be treated like humans, not transactions. 

“We don’t want to be the brokerage that has 250 agents,” Lisa said. “We want to create a family-like environment where we are here for everybody. While we still have the best of the best, NextHome Envision is a friendly and connected brokerage.”

When they aren’t helping their clients and agents, the Nasars enjoy spending time with their two kids and refining their talents. Lisa is an exceptional painter with a love for the performing arts. Leon is a classic car collector and marathon runner who enjoys working out and caring for his garden. The Nasar’s have been married for 21 years and are the proud parents of Sam (20) and Jackie (17). Sam is studying musical theater at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, and Jackie is applying for college as she starts her senior year in high school. 

Please join us in congratulating the Nasars on the opening of NextHome Envision in 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.

6 Follow Up Sales Email Templates That Get Responses

6 Follow Up Sales Email Templates That Get Responses

Quick, what’s the most convenient way to communicate in the business world?

The phone is an effective way to speak with a client or prospect, but that’s assuming they answer. And even then, the conversation can derail quickly if the discussion strays from your script.

Email, on the other hand, provides an easy way to get your point across, in the format and manner in which you feel most appropriate. In fact, 86 percent of professionals say email is their preferred method of communication.

But, there’s a hitch.

Your message is literally one of the hundreds of emails that the average businessman receives every day. So even if your client or prospect opens your email, they are most likely skimming and not giving it their full attention.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t be sending emails. Follow up sales emails remain a necessity to maintain your relationship with your clients and potential clients. If you do it correctly, you can create great follow up emails to help increase your sales.

What Makes a Great Sales Follow Up Email

While your marketing department probably tends to send out beautifully designed emails with flashy graphics and call to action buttons, your follow up sales email doesn’t need all the bells and whistles to be great.

You just need to focus on a few key areas:

  • Personal Message – Your follow up sales emails need to be personal. Focus on your client’s specific needs and challenges.
  • Helpful Content – Give your client a reason to read your email, other than to just say hello. Offer information about a service that your business provides that can address their needs.
  • Get to the Point – No one wants to read a novel. Clearly and quickly explain why you’re emailing and what you are offering. If this email is coming after a meeting, provide a recap and action items so there are no miscommunications.
  • Subject Line – Give your client a reason to read your email. You might have the best message, but if you don’t have a great email subject line, your email might go right to the trash.

Of course, all emails will be unique and should be used at different times in the sales cycle. But if you focus on these four key areas, you can craft winning messages.

6 Great Follow Up Sales Emails

There are endless situations in which you’ll need a great follow up sales email. Anything from your first contact with a prospect to the end of a major contract, and everything in between.

Here are examples of follow up emails to clients for some of the most common situations.

1. Follow Up Sales Email After Leaving a Voicemail or Speaking on the Phone

Most of the time when you first call a prospective client, you’ll get a voicemail. Your chances of getting a call back are pretty slim, so you’ll need to send a follow up email.

That email should briefly introduce you, explain why you’re calling, and clearly map out next steps.

Subject Line: I must have just missed you

Hi [Name],

My name is [Your name] from [Your company]. I just left you a voicemail regarding [briefly explain the reason you called].
I’d love to chat with you more about how [Your service] can improve [What it can improve]. I will try to call you back on [Day].

If this time is inconvenient for you, please email or call me back and we can schedule another time to speak.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

[Signature]

You can use the same style of email after speaking with that person on the phone. Just briefly recap your conversation and what will happen next.

2. Follow Up Sales Email After Client Opens an Email and Doesn’t Respond

In most cases, when you send emails to clients and they’ll never respond. There’s a chance they never opened the message, or maybe they did open it but took no action – there are ways you can track email opens.

There’s a chance your clients wanted to reply to your messages, but the emails got buried in their inboxes and they forget. There’s a simple sales follow up email trick that can work to entice a response.

Simply find the original email in your sent folder, and reply all to it so you are copying your original message in your new email. This prevents your client from having to dig through their inbox to find it.

Subject: Let’s try this again

Hi [name],

I sent you an email a few days ago about [Email topic] and noticed you haven’t had a chance to respond. You may be busy and forgot about it – that’s understandable.

For your convenience, I’ve included the original message below.

Thanks,

[Signature]

3. Follow Up Sales Email After an Event

Local events like conferences and networking sessions are a great way to meet new prospects.

However, in most cases, you only had a few minutes to speak with these prospects before exchanging contact information and going on your way. Make sure your follow up email includes information about something you spoke about to help them remember you. They are more likely to respond if they don’t view you as a stranger.

Subject Line: Great meeting you at [Event]!

Hi [Name],

I enjoyed speaking with you at [Event] last week. I noticed on your LinkedIn profile that you [What they do]. My company actually helps people like you with [Services]. If you have a few minutes, I’d love to meet up for coffee and chat.

I’ve available [Date/Time], does this work for you?

[Signature]

4. Follow Up Sales Email After Closing a Deal

The conversation doesn’t end after your client signs on the dotted line.

You want that client to be a repeat customer and refer their colleagues, so it’s important to maintain the relationship that you’ve built during the sales process.

This email should include a thank you and invitation for them to contact you with any questions or issues.

Subject Line: Welcome to the [Company] family!

Hi [Name],

I wanted to send a quick note to thank you for [recent order/partnership]. I know you’ll be thrilled with the service and quality [Your company] will provide to help you address your business needs. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

I look forward to our professional relationship.

[Signature]

5. Follow Up Sales Email After a Client’s Contract Ends

In a perfect world, every client would be a repeat customer.

Unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect and some of your customers won’t buy again.

Even though your professional relationship is ending, you still need to send a follow up sales email to thank them for being a loyal customer and offering your services again in the future. Plus, you never know if they might come back one day.

Subject line: Thank you for being a loyal customer

Hi [Name],

I’m sorry to see our partnership come to an end. Thank you for being such a loyal customer over the past [Length of contract]. Please keep me in mind if you need additional [Type of service] in the future.

Thank you,

[Signature]

6. Follow Up Sales Email After Client Stops Responding

At some point, it becomes apparent that your client has lost interest and won’t be buying from you. Before you cut your losses, try one more follow up email to see if they’ll re-engage. At the very least, you might receive confirmation that they aren’t interested.

Your previous templates obviously haven’t been working, so this is your opportunity to show a little creativity, humor, and personality in your message.

Subject line: Is this thing on?

Hi [Name],

I’ve tried to get in touch with you over the past few months, and it appears I’ve been unsuccessful.

I understand the timing might not be right, you’re just plain not interested, or you’ve cut the cord and are now living a new life off the grid. It’s ok, I won’t take it personally.

I’ll stop emailing you, but please keep me in mind should you ever need [Type of service].

I hope this isn’t goodbye.

[Signature]

Creating Great Follow Up Emails to Increase Sales

Obviously, our sales follow up email templates are just suggestions.

You understand your clients and their needs, and you know what has worked in the past.

If you have a system that’s worked for you in the past, keep using it. But, if you’re looking for a new way to increase your numbers, consider trying some new follow up sales emails.

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

Meet your September 2019 NextHomie of the Month!

Meet your September 2019 NextHomie of the Month!

Kacy Wallis

Please join us in congratulating our NextHomie of the Month for September 2019, Kacy Wallis, an agent with NextHome Signature Properties in Granite Bay, CA. Congratulations, Kacy!

Kacy’s journey into real estate began just 10 short months ago when Debbie Mitchell, Franchise Owner of NextHome Signature Properties, invited her to discuss all things real estate. Kacy had no real estate experience at the time, but she spent the last 20 years in the lobbying industry and was ready to make a career change. Debbie was Kacy’s personal real estate agent for many years, so when Kacy wanted an inside look into what real estate had to offer, Debbie was the first person she called.

After meeting with Debbie, Kacy knew right away that real estate was where she belonged. Kacy signed up for her real estate courses, passed her tests, and got straight to work with NextHome Signature Properties. So far this year Kacy has closed over 3.9 million in volume and is working towards being a Premier Sales Award winner at our next conference. Way to go, Kacy!

So, what’s her secret? Kacy has submerged herself in all things NextHome. She is an avid user of the NextHome tools and is committed to raising the minimum standards in all aspects of her marketing. She attended our annual conference in Las Vegas earlier this year and enjoyed making connections with hundreds of NextHomies from all around the country. Kacy is passionate about helping educate people on the buying and selling process, and her past clients appreciate the level of transparency and integrity she brings to the table.

Outside of work, Kacy enjoys spending time with family. Her husband of 22 years, Chris, and their 10-year-old daughter Karly enjoy camping, cooking, and spending time with their two dogs, Tater and Nellie.

We are so excited to have Kacy as our NextHomie of the Month for September 2019. Congratulations again, Kacy!