Ten Things a Real Estate Professional Can Do in a “Down” Economy #4

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Robin's Ruminations

#4  Get Some Training (fourth in a series)

blogicon1It always seems difficult to fit professional development activities into a busy work life.  And required training, such as Ethics or Fair Housing, may use up as much time as you believe you can spare.  However, now, when you are a little less busy, is a great time to invest in your professional development—learn a new skill, expand into a niche market, or earn a designation.

Learn a New Skill

Is there a tool or technique that you’ve been wishing you had time to learn?  Perhaps you’d like to become proficient in PhotoShop, so that you can enhance the photos and illustrations on your website or in your marketing pieces.  You might wish that you could create short, effective videos about your services and your listings, for posting on YouTube.  Or, you could be ready to try building a comprehensive website, using a tool such as WordPress.  The links I’ve included take you to some free online tutorials, but you can undoubtedly find onsite, “hands-on” training in a neighborhood community college or adult school, if you prefer that format for technical training.

    Learn About a Niche Market

    An effective way to build your real estate business is to specialize in one or two small market segments, or niches.  Examples of niche markets include accessible housing, retirement communities, and vacation properties.  You may already be working in a niche market like that.  If you would like to strengthen your skills and knowledge in a new niche market, this is a good time to seek out the specialists who provide training and coaching in that area.

      Earn a Designation

      Real estate marketing methods have changed a lot, in the past decade, as has the housing market, itself.  National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and other providers, such as Social Media Marketing Institute (SMMI) and RealtyU, offer a variety of designations on such topics as “green” housing, effective Internet marketing, and working with sellers.  Take advantage of any lull in your business to differentiate yourself from the competition, and to increase your value to consumers, by earning a designation.

        Just as you create a formal business plan and marketing plan, so you should create a formal professional development plan.  A slower market offers you the opportunity to put that plan into action.  Do it now!

        Previous post: #3 Retool Your Presentations & Marketing Pieces

        Subsequent post#5 Build Local Vendor Partnerships

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        Ten Things a Real Estate Professional Can Do in a “Down” Economy #3

        June 8, 2009 by  
        Filed under Robin's Ruminations

        #3  Retool Your Presentations & Marketing Pieces (third in a series)


        While you’re waiting for your local market to turn around, invest time in updating your presentations and marketing pieces.  This is a great opportunity to give them a fresh look, which will help distinguish you as a real estate professional.

        If your company provides starter templates for you, be sure to use the latest version or, if you use PhotoShop, you can create your own background designs.  Many of us would prefer to download a simple, appealing background from the Internet.  For example, I purchased a really nice background from Dreamstime.com, and Microsoft Office Online offers many free real estate templates.

        Here are some key design guidelines to keep in mind, when choosing a template.  Be sure the template

        • can incorporate your company’s logo
        • is uncluttered, so it won’t detract from the information
        • reflects your company’s color scheme (or you can change the colors to do so).

        Now that you have created a new design for your presentations and marketing pieces, turn your attention to the content:

        1. Update your company information with the latest data
        2. Update your personal information, including recent achievements
        3. Use an recent professional photo of yourself, in every presentation or marketing piece
        4. Update all of the statistics, verifying them with company, census, and MLS sources
        5. Demonstrate your savviness in using today’s marketing techniques
        6. Replace clip art with high-quality photographs
        7. Plan to include photos of a prospect’s home in your Listing Presentation and photos of your marketplace in your Buyer’s Presentation
        8. Include current information about your marketplace, and the vendors with whom you work.

        You will find that just knowing you have verified current information and a modern design will increase your confidence in making presentations to prospects.  It will also renew your enthusiasm for distributing your marketing materials and newsletters.

        Previous post:  #2 Enhance Your Online Presence
        Subsequent post:  #4 Get Some Training

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