There’s been a huge shift in the way businesses receive
feedback. In today’s fast-moving digital orbit, recommendations are dictated by
online reviews (think Yelp, Google My Business and Facebook).
For those willing to invest the effort, it’s clear that
paying attention—and responding when appropriate—to online reviews is a
powerful tool to boost credibility, authenticity and transparency.
Thank you Mary Ann for your legacy of professionalism and support, you will be missed.
After more than 40 years in the
title business, Mary Ann Howard has made the decision to join the ranks of
those who get to wake up every day saying, “What am I going to do today?” Yes, she
is officially retired.
Mary Ann built a very successful
career by always being accessible, not only to her agents, but to anyone and
everyone in the industry who needed help.
Showcase your firm’s strengths at the closing table.
Many title agents spend
money and time on marketing and sales efforts to increase directable business.
While most campaigns are effective, and certainly essential, one of the best
opportunities to showcase your firm’s strengths is at the closing table.
A well thought-out and
unique closing table strategy will result in increased referral business, and
will cost half of traditional marketing plans. A well thought-out closing table
strategy looks like this:
referral sources who attend closings at your office.
- Showcase your
firm’s customer service and competency.
- Follow up with
collateral materials and a call to action.
As real estate
professionals, we value a well-planned and executed marketing campaign,
directed at realtors, loan officers and future clients. Typically, this includes direct mail,
targeted email, web presence, social media and office visits.
All of these methods have
varying degrees of cost, both in dollars and time. Everyone would agree that
they are essential to building and maintaining a business.
The closing table, however,
is a hotbed of opportunity that is, unfortunately, often ignored. A number of
factors that make this situation unique include:
- All parties
can be scheduled and will attend;
referral sources are there;
- As a closing
agent, you control the pace, flow, and agenda of the time you spend together.
As the closing approaches,
since your office will schedule, you will be aware of who will be attending. With
that information, you can tailor your approach to fit the needs of each. Your
approach should be a systematic and repeatable part of your processes.
The buyer’s agent is most likely your referral source. You
should acknowledge their competence and professionalism, in the presence of
their clients, the buyers, and be sure to thank them with a small, parting
gift, in full view of the seller’s agent.
The seller’s agent is your primary target. An informational
packet should be prepared with contact information, pricing and an order form. Also,
testimonials are always helpful if they can be obtained. It can be useful to
acknowledge them in the presence of the parties, and thank them for their help
in facilitating the closing. Be sure to obtain a business card and information
on their office which could be helpful in future marketing opportunities.
Finally, it is always appropriate to ask for their future business in person.
The mortgage broker, if present, and not familiar to you, should
have their own take-away packet, containing similar information to the seller’s
agent, as well as a document outlining their firm’s experience in handling
various types of loans other than residential. An acknowledgement of their
professionalism and assistance in putting together the transaction is essential.
Sellers should be given a branded packet with all their documents, containing
all you contact information and some swag such as pens, highlighters or pads. Do
not overlook this important contact. They are a potential future client. At
some point later in the year, they will be looking for copies of various documents
which they have lost. Their ability to contact you and obtain these documents
will cement your relationship, and make it more likely they will call on you
for their real estate needs in the future.
Finally, remember that
you, as the closing agent, are on stage. Whatever you project at this closing,
will make or break your ability to obtain future business from the parties. You
should be affable, available, and project quiet confidence. This is important
at what can be the most stressful experience in a consumer’s lifetime.
At the closing table, by
targeting referral sources, showcasing your abilities, and having collateral
materials prepared ahead of time, you will be able to take advantage of a
unique and valuable marketing opportunity.
What if doing a good business turn, expecting nothing in return, and doing it because it’s the right thing, brings in new business?
preaches about being grateful during the holidays. While all of that is good
and well, the truth is that it can stretch us to the limit to give “yet
more and more and more time and with heart” to whatever cause(s) are
planted firmly in front of us.
what if giving is good business? What if doing a good business turn, expecting
nothing in return, and doing it because it’s the right thing, brings in new
now shows that doing “free business,” when it feels right, can generate future profits for you and your
agency. Here are three true examples of doing work for others, when there
doesn’t initially seem to be much point (except that it’s taking time and
resources from my own business) – paid off.
does not matter that these three examples are purely public relations and
marketing “gifts.” The concept plays out across all industries.
You’ll know how to translate these examples into your own agencies.
1. Free Public Relations Because Your Product is Exceptional
local, very small brewery makes some of the best tasting beer in a state that
is renowned for world-wide, award-winning craft beers. There are too many
breweries (if there can be too many breweries) in Colorado – yet here they are –
two brothers, one a musician, the other a forced-to-retire geophysicist – now
both brew beer for a living.
stumbled into making “gluten removed” beer while they were crafting
excellent tasting beer. Anyone who has celiac disease, IBS (irritable bowel
syndrome) or any other gluten sensitivity has had to kiss beer good-bye or
drink awful tasting beer. Except these brothers craft over a dozen exceptional-tasting
arranged a radio interview for them, guided them on how to “social media
it to death,” and then introduced them to a celebrity chef-owned Colorado
expect nothing in return, not because I’m Mother Teresa or exceptionally
generous. I just felt like doing it and their hard work and excellent product
warrant the leg-up.
did it or will it pay off? It just feels right. That’s the pay off.
2. Sometimes You Just Want to Be Part of a Very Good Thing
sit on the board of The Chanda Plan Foundation because I cannot resist the
extraordinary CEO who happens to be a quadriplegic.
Chanda Plan affords all spinal cord injured people free health and wellness
services that have proven to dramatically improve their lives. The services
include nutrition, massage, chiropractic and primary care physicians.
clients pay nothing. Some of them go on to become fully mobile. All touched by
The Chanda Plan live better lives; the results, after a dozen years, prove it.
dedicates free public relations and services to The Chanda Plan because it is
the right thing to do. It cannot be explained in a spread sheet, but it somehow
feeds Capital City Public Relations.
3. Scratching Each Other’s Backs Breeds Wonderful Friendships
does free public relations and marketing for a neighborhood hairdresser; our
coifs look all the better for it. Another writer needs contributions to her
literary anthology and she’s getting one from me.
one of the best editors in the business and my copy reads better because of it.
CCPR gave another paying public relations client extra services over the past
few months because the boost will likely catapult that business into another
the business sense in all of this? Where does the spreadsheet demonstrate how
the return on investment works?
isn’t one. Like the successful CEO that last week let me pick his brain over
coffee, when he is already working a 60-hour work week to keep his two
businesses running in the black, it just is because it feels right.
your business can go the extra mile, do a good turn, contribute to the
community in a new way. Perhaps you’ll never realize a dime in the action and
perhaps it will even cost you.
the truth is that these business relationships are truly friendships. And the
other truth is that it always pays off. Maybe it isn’t measured on the
calculator or within any traditional return-on-investment calculation.
does not matter if it cannot be laid out exactly, in numbers, how giving pays
off. It’s simply enough to know, in one’s soul, that it does.