Two Texas stars share their tips for moving higher and higher
By Michael Antoniak
Although there’s no one-size-fits-all pathway to success, two Texas stars have some smart moves to share that can better your chances.
Robin Bailey of RE/MAX Associates Northeast in Kingwood and Christine Hale of RE/MAX The Woodlands & Spring have both received the RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award, signifying $3 million in career commissions. They’re also members of the RE/MAX Chairman’s Club, topping $500,000 in earnings during 2014. These two top producers are definitely worth listening to.
Here are 10 great tips they shared at R4 last March:
- Hire support staff.
“Hiring an assistant is the number one thing you should do,” says Bailey, who joined the network in 2003. “My job is to get out in the world, not sit in an office. My assistant does the support work so I can show homes, get new listings and work on my sphere of influence.” Hale fully agrees: “Having someone help with paperwork and the day-to-day routine boosted my career because I could focus more on listing and selling homes.”
- Build a strong team.
There’s strength in numbers, provided they share the same professional values and commitment. “Adding team members is a selective process,” says Hale, who heads a team of six agents, two administrative assistants and a pair of college students. “I expect all clients to be treated the same, whether they’re buying an inexpensive property or a multimillion dollar estate.”
Hale looks for positive, like-minded agents who are committed to the best interests of their clients. “I have a strong work ethic and I don’t balk at working long hours. I expect my team members to go the extra mile for our clients, too.”
I expect all clients to be treated the same, whether they're buying an inexpensive property or a multimillion dollar estate. Christine Hale
- Keep current.
Hale strives to keep up with changing technology and laws that impact how she is able to serve her buyers and sellers. “Our real estate contracts and laws are constantly changing,” she says. “I want to always be ahead of the public in knowing what’s going on. I want to be the source my clients turn to for the latest information.”
- Promote yourself.
Bailey keeps her name and image visible in her market. She has two large billboards at school stadiums, spots that run before movies in local theaters, and a full-page newspaper ad at the end of the year that showcases all the homes she’s sold. She advises an advertising budget that’s 5 to 10 percent of your total budget.
Hale concentrates on referrals and staying in contact with past clients. She uses email and direct mail to encourage visits to her website. “The Internet is one of my main sources of business, so I keep my website updated at all times.”
- Tap the power of social media.
The value of social media as a business-building tool can’t be overlooked. “I use Facebook daily to announce new listings, to feature houses I’ve sold and to advertise open houses,” Bailey says. She recommends posting often, providing useful real estate content, and showing your personal side as well. ”You’re more real to people when they can see your Facebook personality, hobbies, family, etc.”
- Make a great impression.
Bailey always heads to her initial meeting with sellers fully prepared and upbeat. “I put together what I call a scientific CMA, then explain the specifics of why I chose the comps, and how each one relates to their home,” she says. “I stay positive, truthful and brief.” Similarly, Hale says dressing for success and projecting the right image instills confidence in your abilities.
- Put yourself in your client’s shoes.
Bailey says her ability to empathize with her clients is one of her most valuable skills. “I can put myself in their situation, whether they’re low income, blue collar or white collar,” she says. “People appreciate that. It builds the connection.”
- Maximize a home’s appeal.
Help sellers make their home more marketable and you’re ultimately helping yourself. When she signs the listing contract, Bailey gives the sellers a detailed checklist on what they should do to get the home ready for sale.
Hale stages every listing and sometimes even covers the cost of repairs or upgrades. “When I have a seller who can’t afford the necessary make-ready repairs, I consider funding the cost and collecting at closing,” she says.
- Know when to let go and move on.
To grow and prosper, focus on how and where you want to grow as a real estate agent. Forget about inconsequential details or things you can’t change. “You can’t do everything or be everywhere all the time,” Hale says. “One of the most difficult things I’ve had to do is find a way to delegate duties and share my business with others.”
Rejection is a part of this career, adds Bailey. Never let it hold you back or cause you to lose sight of your goals. “It hurts, but it happens – and you don’t always understand the reasoning behind it,” she admits. “You have to learn to not let it bother you. Just move on.”
- Show your appreciation.
Bailey always lets people know she appreciates their business. “I thank people for the things they do to help me,” she says. She asks for the source of every referral, and then sends the referring person a small gift and a card after closing. And new homeowners always receive a lasting reminder of her gratitude, usually a watercolor painting of their new home. “Personalize the gift and make it special,” she advises. “They won’t forget you.”