Earlier this month Amanda and I had the chance to attend the Curaytor Excellence conference in Orlando, Florida. Curaytor is the team responsible for our website, marketing & branding and a large portion of our overall growth, and they invited Amanda to be a key note speaker. We love them, and if you're a Real Estate agent who is not using their service, we need to have a chat, but more on that in a minute. (Check them out here.)
In a market full of Realtors, a classic struggle that every new agent runs into is this: how do you differentiate yourself and your business from other Real Estate agents?
This is a conversation Amanda and I have had on many occasions, and it is certainly not an easy answer. Sure, there are a million different places you can plaster your name and face, but is that really enough? Not for our team. Between the two of us, Amanda and I have only been in the industry for less than 3 years, and yet, Amanda is on track to close 20 million dollars in Real Estate this year.
So how to did we get here? To a place where Amanda is doubling her business every year? The answer(s) are simple: consistency, creativity, and a willingness to help people anywhere, anytime.
Curaytor can't help you become more of a people person, but they certainly can help you with the consistency and creativity. Heck, they have even given us an even bigger desire to go above and beyond for clients.
After spending two days with their team, I want to share all the fun, recaps, and "Ah-Ha" moments we had during our time in Florida.
First things first, some AWESOME pictures from the conference. (All pictures were taken by Sandra Mackin and are property of Sandra and Curyator).
Amanda and I
Amanda giving her "Million Dollar Mom" keynote speech
Co-Founders Chris Smith and Jimmy Mackin
The amazing Curaytor Team, who makes all the magic happen daily
Leo, one of the awesome team members at Curaytor with Chris Smith
Morning session #2 with Josh Hasty
Myself at one of the many tech stations that were available to members to ask questions, get training and learn more about marketing your business
Jimmy Mackin teaching a great morning session on scaling happiness
Chris passing out speaker boxes so that the audience could ask questions to each speaker panel
One of the best parts of the conference was the sheer number of different ways we learned. There were morning sessions, break-away classes, and there were tech stations and training's everywhere you looked.
Not only does Curaytor provide Facebook marketing, website and landing pages, lead conversion optimization, technology and sales coaching, happiness and growth, they also have the best support team in the world. Each growth leader is available virtually anytime to answer your questions, brainstorm and work through problems in order to find solutions. The depth of their business is really astonishing.
On the last night of the event, we headed to an AWESOME country open bar for drinks and BBQ. Several people even got a few good rides on the mechanical bull. No pictures were taken, however. That's probably a good thing!
And finally, the TAKEAWAYS.
These are a few tips and tricks from my very long list of great strategies that have boosted our business in the 3 weeks since returning home.
- Make blogs longer. 2,000 words is ideal. | Blogs 2,000 words or more and that begin with a story typically see a 300% increase in engagement.
- Hellobond.com - custom thank you notes! | This is a must for your business! From your app, simply choose who the note is going to and who it is from, and mail it instantly
- Implement Basecamp for project documenting and accountability. | Any size business can benefit from Basecamp. Document all your projects and assign tasks in one easy space.
- Make "Today Lists" and "To-Do" lists. | Prioritizing your tasks into daily vs weekly helps with productivity, and if you're a C type personality like myself, this helps relieve the stress of needing to perfect every task.
- Slack - for efficient team communication. | Stop sending dozens of emails and texts each day, and switch to the website Slack which will let you consolidate all your communication into one place. You can search for conversations and time frames so you never loose another correspondence again.
- Call everyone who opens the emails. | If you have any type of email software that helps you track who receives and opens your emails, (Curaytor's is the best) then this is such a simple way to stay on top of active leads.
- With every new lead, follow the 3, 2, 1 rule. | When you get a new lead, call 3 times the first day, 2 times the second day, 1 time the third day, before moving to a drip campaign.
- When you call a new buyer lead, ask immediately if they need to sell first. | Tip for ISAs
- Buyers agents should get minimum of 30 leads per month. | If you're thinking about growing your team, this is the standard for buyer's agents.
- Remember, 6-9 month leads are the best!
- Send 5 hand written notes per day. | Send to potential clients, past clients, sphere of influence people, vendor or referral "whales" as we call them, etc. Let your sphere and clientele know you are thinking about them! This is an easy way to show people that you appreciate them.
- Brain storm what type of questions your potential clients are asking - write a blog post about those topics. | If you are blogging as a part of your business strategy, you really need to think about what types of content people actually want to read. Before you post, ask yourself, "is this something I would be interested in? If not, scrap it.
- Hyper-focus on what your ideal client is. | Think about age range, gender, type of work, price range, area, and start marketing as if you are speaking to that demographic. Realtors, we need to get intentional with our marketing. Identify the need, and create the solution.
- Blog weekly! | This is a must, my friends.
- "Non-updates." | Every day or two, email clients with a simple update on how things are going with their transaction. Doesn't have to be a major update, you just want to keep them in the loop and happy.
- Stop sending FWD emails that simply say, "See below :)" | This is not productive for anyone. Be specific with your asks, your team will thank you.
- With each new client, the agent should set the communication standards. | Introduce the client to the TC, Assistant, and Buyer's agent via email, and let them know who does what and how they can contact them for questions.
- During the transaction, you or your assistant should ask the client for a review on Zillow (include a link to where they can leave it). | Then, when your TC sends the last updates, have them also ask for the client to review you on Zillow. Make sure you capture that review before the transaction is closed.
- You should be email blasting consistently at least once per week. | Try and do the same email for the same day. For example, a market recap every Sunday.
- Lead gen score cards. | Make sure your ISAs have these! They are great for accountability and not forgetting the details of a lead. (And if you have Curaytor, LIKE YOU SHOULD, you can input the contact info into their CRM Follow Up Boss).
- Something we loved that Florida Agent Sean Ready did in the month of October was he promoted that if someone listed their house that month, he would donate 10% of the final transaction to Breast Cancer Awareness. | You could do something similar during the holidays or with a charity you love. Make a marketing campaign about it. (Ex: Weekly ads, blog posts, email blasts, etc.)
- Use Google Analytics for everything you send out with a link. | Track, track, and track more. This is an invaluable tool.
- Make short and sweet team meeting the standard instead of long, drawn out meetings. | We do daily 15 minute Pow Wows in the morning around 8:15 where we discuss the tasks and goals for that day and input them into Basecamp. We also quickly talk about what didn't get done the day before that still needs to be finished and why it didn't get done.. We have a 30 minute weekly meeting on Monday morning to discuss that week's to-dos, and a monthly lunch meeting for 1 ½ hour where we discuss that month's goals. Productivity soars when you get rid of pointless meetings and keep them to the point. Your team has things to do. Let them!
All in all, it was an amazing event and we are looking forward to taking our business to another level while we anticipate Curaytor Excellence 2016!