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What steps will you need to take to maximize your success in 2022? As part of Agent Appreciation month, 11 of real estate’s top female leaders shared their three top success strategies that they’re recommending to their agents for 2022.
According to our first six experts, your success in 2022 starts with you — your self-care and authenticity, your focus on what matters most to your clients and your service to your community.
Here, you’ll find the first 18 of our 33 tips for Agent Appreciation Month on how you can have a successful and personally rewarding 2022.
1. 3 key areas to focus on in 2022
According to Amy Corr, executive vice president of culture and agent development at @Properties, 2022 is about personal connection with your past and present clients and being focused on what matters most to them.
Focus on the give
In terms of your relationships, rather than focusing on what you’re going to get out of it, reverse that. When you focus on how you can help this individual you know, like and love, then they will want to reciprocate and try to help you build your business.
Pick up the phone
We’re all very good at email and text messaging, but picking up the phone is still the fastest way to really connect with someone. However, some agents are very uncomfortable doing this. The secret of using this approach is to prepare two questions that you will ask the person you are contacting.
The first question should be something that relates to their personal life or something they have going on. You can look at Facebook to see what they’re posting about. Paying attention to what matters to them makes the person want to connect with you.
The second question has to do with the reason you’re calling. For example, you could say, “I love the kitchen remodel you did last year. Would you mind sharing with me who did the work because I’d like to pass it along to a friend who lives in the same neighborhood.”
Do a reverse ‘pop by’ (where you bring something to them)
Instead of doing a client appreciation event, do something simple and easy. For example, invite your clients to an ice cream shop to have a scoop of ice cream on you. It’s not that expensive and your clients get to interface with each other and interact with you as well.
2. When it comes to marketing, you need a mix of the old and the new
According to Natasha Patla, chief marketing officer of @Properties, their agents are succeeding by using a mix of the old and the new. Here are a few tips gleaned from this strategy.
Direct mail is alive and well
Patla is encouraging her agents to continue to do direct-mail postcards and newsletters. People still see them — even if they get tossed out. She said their statistics show these still work, especially with your sphere of influence.
Use client appreciation gifts to get face-to-face
Patla said they currently curate inventive gift packages agents can give to their past and present clients. Two examples include their “retro candy kit” for Halloween that had rock candy, pop rocks and other fun candies from the past. For the summer, they did a “Sun Bum” kit.
Evoke emotion in your campaigns
At Patla’s company, they like to evoke emotion in all their marketing campaigns. People are buying into a lifestyle — and they want to evoke that human connection.
For example, they just rolled out a program called “Everyday Acts of Kindness.” She said agents who are using this program are experiencing solid success in both their print and digital marketing efforts.
3. How to become an influencer
According to Marci James, director of industry marketing at realtor.com (a past sponsor of my Awesome Females in Real Estate Conference), the No. 1 way to build influence in real estate is to use social media. The question is how to do it. Here’s what James recommends.
Pick one channel where you concentrate your efforts
James prefers Facebook. The reason? It’s where the biggest part of her audience lives. She uses Instagram for her person posts because the platform offers a more intimate space.
Facebook is her workspace for building relationships and bringing value to the relationships she wants to create, she said. “I seldom do any posts about realtor.com.”
Spend 15 minutes a day
James urges agents to avoid becoming overwhelmed about having to make posts and create content. Instead, she recommends that you identify those who are most important to you personally as well as the influencers who impact your business.
Check on what they’re doing, and then comment on their posts. Avoid saying “congratulations” or “awesome job.” Instead, write a sentence or two that is meaningful — something they will remember. James says you only need to do four or five of these posts per day for this approach to work.
Focus on creating and bringing value to any relationships you build
According to James, influencers are approached by people all the time. The way to approach them is to be truly interested in who they are and what they do. You’re not going after them just to build your influence. Instead, you’re approaching them because you have a genuine interest in being a friend of theirs and providing value to what they’re doing.
4. Embrace your authentic self
Barbara Betts, broker-owner of The RE Collective, has an autoimmune disorder that has caused her to lose her hair. She hid the situation for many years. With the help of her family, she finally decided to become a full-time wig wearer.
The challenge was: Should she go public? Her friends advised her, “It’s nobody’s business,” but Betts says, “I needed to go public for me so I could own this process.” Here’s what she has learned from this experience that can help you with your business in 2022.
You must be authentic
Betts explains that the first thing she teaches agents who want to grow their business using social media is: You must be authentic (i.e., genuine, truthful and trustworthy.)
No one is perfect. When you can admit that there’s something wrong with you and that you’re not perfect, it’s easier for others to connect with you because they’re not perfect either.
Authenticity is different from relatability
Relatability is based on shared characteristics such as being a mom, having two kids, that we’re all human and have emotional scars, etc. The reaction to Betts’ decision to be vulnerable and share what she had experienced was overwhelmingly positive.
She received a slew of messages; women were conversations with her, sharing that their moms, aunts, cousins and friends are suffering too and hiding, and don’t think there’s a solution.
If you don’t like something about yourself, you can fix it
Betts recommends: Be a beacon of light that there are solutions. It doesn’t have to be hopeless.
She tells people that it’s a matter of just being a better version of who you already are. “What I’ve learned is that person was always inside of you — they were just afraid to come out,” she said.
5. Be the ‘hero’ in your neighborhood
Coni Meyers, a crisis management strategist, says one of the best ways to generate business in 2022 is to become a hero in your community by helping people — whether it’s a natural disaster, manmade disaster or some other type of crisis that happens in your neighborhood.
When you find ways to support the buyers, the sellers and the business owners in your community, that makes you a hero. The result is you become better known, and your business will improve because you’re showing up as the true, authentic, wonderful person who gives back.
And that’s really the secret. Here’s what you can do.
Go beyond food and clothing drives
While food and clothing drives matter a great deal to the community, very few people are prepared with emergency kits in their home. Even fewer have these kits at work. Meyers encourages agents to share the list of what is needed with their clients and their community.
Being prepared also means having digital and hard copies of all their important documents. These include vital health information, insurance policies, wills, deeds and other important documents.
These documents are also essential in terms of obtaining any type of assistance post-disaster that they may need.
Help local businesses
In a major disaster, businesses are just as hard hit as individuals you are, but there are not many resources available to them. It’s important that employees have emergency kits, especially if a disaster strikes during working hours.
Other items to include are where to shelter if there is a tornado, evacuation routes in case of a fire or bomb scare — plus plenty of water on hand as well. Post-disaster, search for specific programs that can help business owners navigate through the red tape required to get emergency relief.
Put together special projects to help the kids in your community
Children need their own disaster preparedness backpack at home and at their school. Many disadvantaged families cannot afford these. As an agent, you can conduct a drive to collect what is needed for these kits, assemble them and then distribute them to schools where there are needed.
6. Self-care comes first
According to “Miss Sass and Moxie” and executive consultant Deborah Trappen, one of her most important realizations over the last 18 months has been the importance of living your best life on purpose and on your own terms.
Here are her recommendations about how to go about doing so.
Create a daily ritual
In order to show up for your clients as our best self, we must fill our soul tank by taking care of ourselves each day. This includes caring for our bodies, but it also includes self-care, especially for women.
Creating a morning and evening ritual supports you to fill your “soul tank.” Keeping soul tank full includes having a manicure or a massage, reading great books and having amazing conversations with others that are not business related. These self-care activities allow you to show up beautifully for your clients.
Take care of yourself
According to Trappen, agents often worry about having enough gas in their tank to get to the next appointment. She recommends flipping that analogy and tracking to what extent you’re filling up your personal soul tank by engaging in self-care.
When agents build their businesses around their core values and they connect those dots with how that relates to their clients, the committees they sit on, their volunteer opportunities and all the other decisions they make, they live their lives at a higher level of joy.
Stop working with energy vampires
On the other hand, if you have clients who “make” you lie, (you see their phone number on your caller ID, and you click that you are not available when you really are), they’re probably not the ideal clients for you.
If you feel like a client is sucking the life out of you and keeping you from connecting around your core values, you’re dealing with an energy vampire.
This is why learning how to stop saying “yes” to every single client is so critical. When you have that feeling that something doesn’t feel right, it probably doesn’t feel right to them too. And that’s OK. Refer that business elsewhere. Instead, build your business with clients you love spending time with.
Ready for 15 more success tips for 2022? Check out part two of this series to discover international trends about who is investing in what countries including the U.S.
You will also learn how to be the best virtual version of yourself online, how to put your lead follow-up on autopilot, how to use Zoom to create a rich open house experience, plus how to use testimonials to increase your market share in 2022.
Bernice Ross, president and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.