Takeaways on Branding, Economics, and Organization

Wow! I knew LeadingRE was an elite group of real estate professionals but I, like many around me at Thursday’s LeadingRE Talks, were surprised to hear that only 20% of applicants to the organization are granted LeadingRE membership. That speaks volumes for this world-class group of independent real estate professionals!

Brian Boero of 1000 Watt shared his thoughts on branding. Ultimately, one’s focus should be on three areas that tell a story about the company:

  1. Quality
  2. Connection
  3. Independence

Quality is communicated through things like ratings, reviews and testimonials. Did you know that 81% of purchasers read reviews before buying? This is certainly an emerging trend that needs to be recognized. Reviews are especially important to millennials.

Connection means conveying the scope of your business, like the “I’m local, I’m global” phrase demonstrates.

People are craving unique brands, and communicating your status as an authentic, independent brand is ever important to branding efforts.

Michael Saunders of Michael Saunders & Company and Joe Horning of Shorewest REALTORS® talked about their use of the Testimonial Tree—a seamless program that is visible to the public with a multitude of uses, including posting surveys, videos, social media shares, links to agents’ websites, and more.

Jonathon Smoke gave a lively (and musical!) account of economic results for 2015 and his crystal ball projections for 2016. In 2015, new home sales were up 6.5% over the prior year—but the new home market is about half of what it should be. Jonathon is forecasting another year of growth, but low inventory will cause the increase to be lower, so he cautions all real estate agents to forego those vacations until after Labor Day! Get out there and increase the inventory!

Did you know that the number one age range for buyers in 2015 was 25-34? The biggest reasons people purchased last year included being tired of where they were, low mortgage rates, affordable housing, and increases in income. Oh yes…you can also follow Jonathon on Twitter @smokeonhousing to get more information, and you can get his playlist on realtor.com.

Karel Murray of Our Branch gave a great presentation called “Get a Grip! Finding Your Balance Without Losing It!” Karel is a fast paced, very entertaining presenter who shares her personal experiences to bring home her points. Some of my takeaways included getting rid of “the rear view mirror”. Leave the past in the past. She suggests identifying the top stressors, then setting a small number of realistic goals with a rolling 90-day check. After 90 days, if you are on track to meet those goals you can add three new ones.

Karel also talked about the time we waste on activity vs. results. She suggested taking all of that clutter on your desk and dividing it into three file folders entitled “To Do”, “Education”, and “For Fun”. I already do that (using different titles), but she also suggested you date each document. Then, when you go through your folders, anything older than 90 days should be pitched. If you didn’t get to it within three months, it must not be important. I love that suggestion!

Another really cool recommendation she made was to create 31 file folders numbered 1-31. Documents are filed in each folder based on the due date. For instance, if you have a February 15th deadline on an item, you may file it under February 10th to make sure you get to it in time to complete prior to the deadline. By doing this we manage our time without working on too many activities at once or neglecting those items needing priority status.

There’s just so much to talk about and so many great ideas at this event. More to come on my last day in sunny Miami!

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