Blog : National Association of Realtors

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.

NextHome shifts the paradigm in Mid-Missouri

NextHome shifts the paradigm in Mid-Missouri

Betsy Woodruff

Pleasanton, CA — October 31, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Paradigm. The brokerage represents the eighth office location opened in the state of Missouri for the NextHome franchise.

Based in Columbia, NextHome Paradigm is owned by local marketing guru Betsy Woodruff. Betsy’s daughter, Katherine – an experienced marketer in her own right – will be the business’s broker of record.

The NextHome Paradigm team aims to challenge old standards and raise the bar when it comes to the level of skill and service clients should expect from their real estate agent.

Betsy and her team bring unique marketing and branding expertise to residential buyers and sellers. The NextHome Paradigm team also frequently assists niche clients buy and sell farmland and equestrian properties. 

NextHome Paradigm will serve clients in Columbia, Fulton, Mexico, Hallsville, Centralia, Ashland, Hartsburg, Harrisburg, and the remainder of Boone, Callaway, and southwest Audrain Counties. 

Located one and a half hours west of St. Louis and less than two hours east of Kansas City, Columbia is home to the University of Missouri. The town is well-known for its academic culture, world-class healthcare, and its commitment to the arts. 

Betsy is also a well-known fixture in Columbia. The Missouri-native made her mark as co-founder of the nationally-recognized WOODRUFF marketing and branding agency for 17 years. Long-time Mizzou football fans still recognize her name as the REALTOR® who sponsored the Tigers’ touchdown drive stats at Faurot Field after every score. 

“Total strangers still come up to me and say, ‘Betsy Woodruff… to the House!’” Betsy said with a smile.

In 2011, Betsy started working as the director of marketing and communications for Missouri REALTORS®. Her close association with real estate professionals gave her an appreciation for the career and a desire to pursue her real estate license. 

“I saw people who were successful in real estate come from all different backgrounds,” Betsy said. “I thought that with my passion and skill for marketing I could really do well in the industry. In hindsight, I wish I’d gotten my real estate license 20 years ago!”

Betsy soon found herself working for an independent brokerage, where she stayed for seven years. Out of roughly 60 agents, Betsy quickly became a top producer and was consistently one of the highest producing agents at the brokerage. Her hard work and creative marketing also catapulted her to the top five percent of producing agents in her MLS area, which has about 650 REALTORS®

“As a long-time business owner, I was well-connected in the community,” Betsy said. “I had a good reputation from that, I’ve really tried to make sure that my marketing efforts are ‘out of the box’ and creative.”

Her knack for creativity and a desire to shift the Columbia real estate paradigm is what eventually prompted Betsy to look into opening her own brokerage. 

“Honesty and transparency not only save time and prevent wasted energy, but also represent the qualities each of us should expect from those with whom we do business,” Betsy said. “While the Golden Rule may sound cliché, its genuine intent represents the standard to which I hold myself accountable.”

These guiding principles aligned exactly with what the NextHome corporate brand offered and, after a quick web search and perusing NextHome’s website, Betsy was hooked. 

“The branding was fantastic,” Betsy said. “Great marketing is near and dear to my heart. I literally spent 30 minutes just going through the NextHome website and my mouth dropped open. I Googled each member of the NextHome leadership team and immediately texted Katherine and said ‘I found it! This is who we are!’”

As she works to grow her business, Betsy strives to continuously elevate the bar for Mid-Missouri real estate. 

“A paradigm is a standard, perspective, or set of ideas,” Betsy said, explaining the brokerage’s name. We’re challenging old standards and raising the bar when it comes to the level of skill and service consumers should expect from their real estate agent.”

Under the NextHome banner, the team’s service reflects their intense focus on the success of their clients using cutting edge technology, consumer-centric marketing, and outside-the-box creativity along with genuine care and concern to deliver an unprecedented level of service and a continuous commitment to client satisfaction.

When Betsy isn’t growing her business, she is an avid equestrian and a die-hard Mizzou football fan. She is the proud mother of two daughters, Lauren (29) who lives in Los Angeles and Katherine (25) who is NextHome Paradigm’s broker of record.  

Please join us in congratulating Betsy and Katherine on the opening of NextHome Paradigm in Columbia, Missouri!

 

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 Exclusive Properties: upstate New York’s premier listing brokerage

NextHome Exclusive Properties: upstate New York’s premier listing brokerage

Carlos Lozano

Pleasanton, CA — October 29, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Exclusive Properties. The brokerage represents the tenth office location opened in New York for the NextHome franchise.

NextHome Exclusive Properties is based in the Long Island hamlet of Melville and is led by Carlos F. Lozano – a veteran real estate investor and flip property specialist. 

Just 45 minutes from Manhattan, Melville is an affluent area of Suffolk County and home to about 19,000 people. Carlos and the NextHome Exclusive Properties team are looking forward to serving buyers and sellers in towns across Suffolk and Nassau counties. Between the two counties, Carlos’s market area will include almost 3 million people, positioning NextHome Exclusive Properties to be the premier listing brokerage in the area. 

“At the end of the day, we say we are in the real estate business, but we are really in the people business,” Carlos said. “It’s all about problem-solving, so I’m developing programs and systems to assist my clients.”

With more than 30 years in the banking and real estate industry, Carlos is bringing a wealth of knowledge to Melville-area clients. 

Carlos began his professional career in investment banking, eventually becoming a co-owner of PacBanc Services. Carlos’s mortgage and banking investment company helped developers and corporations with larger commercial projects in the $15 million range and above. 

As a mortgage professional, Carlos began dabbling in investment properties in the late 1990s. This wise addition to his portfolio provided Carlos a new career avenue to pursue when the small banking industry fell on hard times during the Great Recession. Soon, investment and flip properties became his full-time job. In 2016 he founded Inland Empire Asset Management. 

“I became the acquisition specialist,” Carlos said. “I would find properties, negotiate deals, and work out the details. Then, I would work with a general contractor to achieve the property’s best value.”

At any given time, Carlos could successfully juggle two or three flips per month. The business became so successful that for the past four years, real estate investment has been Carlos’s sole source of income. 

However, the savvy investor wanted to create a long-term strategy for success – he wanted to own his own brokerage. 

“The flipping industry is interesting,” Carlos said. “You make money doing it, but it’s hard to grow equity in that kind of business.”

Through a franchised brokerage with NextHome, Carlos found the perfect solution to his long-term business goals. 

“I was looking for a company that already had it together,” Carlos said. “I researched numerous companies, and when I came across NextHome, I saw everything I wanted. I’m very tech-driven and love the tools NextHome provides, as well as the leadership and outlook. The corporate team is always looking for new opportunities, always pushing forward. That never-satisfied attitude is very important to me.”

Today, Carlos is building a small office of real estate rockstars. 

“I always want to keep my brokerage small, tight, mean, and lean,” Carlos said. “We are working to sharpen the few agents we have and make them superstars. I feel like we can provide superior support with a tight-knit, well-trained office of agents. That way, we can get agents to a level of success that exceeds even their expectations – helping them to truly excel.”

When it comes to clients, Carlos’s philosophy is centered around service. 

“My focus is to exceed our clients’ exceptions,” Carlos said. “I want them to be able to tell their friends that NextHome Exclusive Properties did everything they expected, and then some.”

When he isn’t building his business, Carlos enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife, Olga, and their son Daniel (10).  

“I’ve made a fantastic choice with NextHome,” Carlos said. “The franchise has provided more than what I thought was possible.” 

Please join us in congratulating Carlos and his team on the opening of NextHome Exclusive Properties in Melville, New York!

 

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.

Meet your October 2019 NextHomie of the Month!

Meet your October 2019 NextHomie of the Month!

Please join us in celebrating our NextHomie of the Month for October 2019, Beth Smoot, Broker/Owner of NextHome Triangle Properties in Raleigh, North Carolina! Beth is a courageous leader, a hands-on problem solver, and has a passion for giving back and serving her community. These traits made her the perfect candidate for the NextHomie of the Month title. Congratulations, Beth!  

Beth has been in real estate for over 15 years and opened her NextHome office in January of 2016. From the moment she found NextHome and everything the organization had to offer, she knew it was where she belonged. She now manages 10 agents in her office and together they’ve done over 85 transactions so far this year. Prior to real estate, Beth spent 10 years practicing law, then she transitioned into managing a very successful nonprofit organization. With real estate being her third career, she brings a wide variety of experience and skills to the table.

Outside of real estate, Beth continues to serve her community any chance she gets. Ten years ago, Beth co-founded The Green Chair Project with just $100. The goal was to gather furniture that was no longer being used and make it available to low-income families throughout the community. What started off as a few items being distributed from a closet in her church has blossomed into a 32,000 sq. ft. storefront that employs over 20 people. 

“Asking for help is hard. The difference between The Green Chair Project and other food banks is dignity,” said Beth. They boost confidence by creating a space that families in need are proud to walk into. “This project has taught me so many lessons, the greatest being that you don’t need to know what the end looks like in order to start.” 

Beth set a perfect example of how relentless determination can generate exemplary results and we are so proud to be able to recognize her efforts. 

Beth and her husband David, a child psychologist, have been married for 31 years and have two adult children together. Hannah, 24, who is a reporter, and Jake, 26, who works in a lab at Duke University. In her downtime, Beth enjoys painting and reading. She has also participated in a local book club for 23 years and hosts their Church Community Group every two weeks at her home.

When Beth was asked what characteristics make up a NextHomies, she proudly answered, “A NextHomie is someone who is committed to excellence and service to families in their community.” Her best piece of advice to finding happiness and success was to never forget it’s about, “Humans over Houses.” 

We are honored to recognize Beth as the NextHomie of the Month for October 2019. Congratulations once again, Beth! 

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.

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!