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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:
- Target 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;
- Traditional 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?
Everyone 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.
But 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 business?
Science 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.
It 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
A 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.
They 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 beers.
I 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 restaurant owner.
I 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.
How 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
I sit on the board of The Chanda Plan Foundation because I cannot resist the extraordinary CEO who happens to be a quadriplegic.
The 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.
The 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.
CCPR 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
CCPR 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.
She’s 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 realm.
Where’s the business sense in all of this? Where does the spreadsheet demonstrate how the return on investment works?
There 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.
Perhaps 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.
But 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.
It 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.
- Alliant National Title Insurance Co. recalibrates regional operations in Midwest and West Regions, expands into five new states
- Margaret Cook Receives Outstanding Achievement Award from the Land Title Association of Colorado
- Bob Grubb Named Vice-Chairman of Holding Company for Alliant National Title Insurance Co.
The company’s West Region will become the Central West Region, while the Midwest Region will become the Great Lakes Region and include five expansion states LONGMONT, Colo. (Oct. 28, 2019) – Alliant National Title Insurance Co. announced today that it is expanding into five states and will recalibrate its West and Midwest regions to better […]
LONGMONT, Colo. (Oct. 10, 2019) – Margaret M. Cook, Deputy General Counsel and Sr. Vice President of Alliant National Title Insurance Co., recently received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Land Title Association of Colorado (LTAC). The award is given to honor recipients who have provided significant contributions in the title insurance industry. Meghan Pfanstiel, Executive […]
Grubb helped grow the company into the nation’s largest independent underwriter that does not compete with agents and will remain on the company’s Board of Directors LONGMONT, Colo. (Sept. 25, 2019) – Alliant National Title Insurance Co. announced today that Bob Grubb has been named the Vice-Chairman of Presidio ATC Holdco, LLC, and has passed […]
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