The Wow Factor: Business Unusual

The Wow Factor: Business Unusual

Apr 1, 2020
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This episode features an interview with Kristin Smith, a successful REALTOR® from Texas, on how she's staying positive and productive during these challenging times. Kristin offers advice on how to handle virtual showings for her residential clients, and talks about how she's using Opportunity Zones in RPR to help her investors.

Also in this episode: RPR “What's New” and “What's Next” updates, and a helpful video step-by-step and how-to on Opportunity Zones and RPR Sellers Reports.

Hello, everyone, from Realtors Property Resource®. This is The Wow Factor. I’m Reggie Nicolay, with my co-host Genie Willett, and we're here to apply our 20-plus years of marketing experience to help you identify practical tips and winning strategies that are going to help you gain the attention of your potential clients.

Each month we'll explore a new topic, interview an industry expert, and then break it down in the how-to with a quick tutorial, all to help you win your clients and close more deals.

We're back. We're very excited to kick off our second episode of The Wow Factor, and so much has changed since we put together our last episode in early March.

Sure has. I mean, we had to wait at least three weeks to film again for your quarantine haircut to grow out. Yeah, we did, but all joking aside, we hope that you're doing okay out there with yourselves and your families, and we know that just because you're stuck at home doesn't necessarily mean that business is stopped or that you aren't working.

Right. But what does that exactly look like for everyone? I’m sure that a lot of people are waiting to buy or sell a house if they're in a position where they can wait, but there are definitely a lot of scenarios where they can't or don't want to wait. So how are transactions taking place right now? How does one run their business when everyone is quarantined? And if your business is slowing substantially, what are things that you can do right now? How do you stay motivated? That's what we're going to talk about today.

It's true that the real estate industry looks different right now, but there are definitely things you can do. We have a few articles already out there with some helpful tips, but there are things you can do while you're stuck at the house.

For those whose business is really slow, it's a great time to learn new skills. It's obviously a great time. You can be staying in touch with your farm area, past clients, your sphere, whatever it is, just let them know how the real estate market is doing.

And we have an awesome guest to talk to today about how she's running her business during the pandemic. And a quick reminder of the flow of the show: after our interview we'll talk to the "What's New and What's Next" guys, and then Reggie will do a quick tutorial on RPR in the breakdown.

And don't forget, if you haven't already, subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up to date on all things The Wow Factor.

Okay, let's do it. All right. Today we'll be talking with Kristen Smith, who's been able to shift her business about as seamlessly as someone possibly could during the pandemic. She's going to give us her tips and tricks and hopefully some inspiration for everyone trying to navigate their businesses through this truly unprecedented time. Hi, Kristen.

Hi, Genie. Thank you and Reggie for having me. Love my RPR team. We're thrilled to have you here. You're the first guest we've had on the show that's not Reggie's wife, and honestly who better? Real loyalty, really, hey, third-generation REALTOR®. I mean, I first knew you know you through the advisory council with RPR because you've always been a supporter. But you have a lot of accolades to your name. I mean, you've been REALTOR® of the Year. You're a REALTOR® Magazine 30 under 30. You own your own video production company.

I really, really appreciate that but, uh, yes, I am a big fan of RPR. I always have been a big advocate of the program and everything that you guys are always rolling out with new stuff, so thank you all for having me on. I’m excited.

Thanks for being here. Well, let's get right to it. So, Kristen, obviously so much has changed in the last couple of months worldwide. A huge concern for everyone is how to stay safe. We're wearing masks outside now and trying to leave our houses as little as possible. With all that going on, how do you remain safe while also doing all the things that need to be done to sell a house, like photos and inspections and everything?

I think that we're, we're trying to practice this and do everything that we can to really filter out who really actually needs to walk through the home, someone who's truly interested, so we've implemented some practices where we're actually sanitizing all listings weekly, and depending on the amount of showings that — there's excessive showings on that, you know, depending on the price point — we'll add more sanitizing sessions. We always do 3D virtual walkthrough tours, but now not only are we just posting it on the MLS, which also feeds into RPR and whatnot, so you can see the virtual tours there, but it's just important now that we're following up and saying, hey, have you had a chance to walk through the home via the virtual tour? So I think that helps cut down showings for, you know, the sellers, especially if it's not a vacant home with people, the foot traffic coming in and out, but it also allows essentially a 24/7 virtual open house for these buyers who do still want to be looking, you know, whether it be at midnight or in the middle of the day. It's great any time, at any time. That's what's awesome about video.

So you seem to have such a positive outlook on everything. How do you maintain your mindset of confidence with your clients and yourself through all of this?

I’m big on, I think your thoughts become things, and so whether everything seems to be crumbling around us, and I’m not saying that it's not in certain areas, I just know that the mind is, it can be very sensitive, whether it be to positivity or negativity, and so what you feed it is really important, and so for me, I know it can be crazy, but I can't help but just focus on the positive, because that's what I want to attract, and I think, you know, what you're thinking about is what you're going to attract into your life, and so I think that focusing on something positive like what I want, which are my deals to be closing and for my buyers to be finding homes that they want safely and whatnot, I think that helps, and I know that may seem like such a small thing, but your attitude really does set the tone for your, you know, productive activities throughout the day.

Absolutely. Is there anything you're doing outside real estate to like keep your attitude, you know, going in the right direction?

Well, there's some awesome gyms out there that are doing Instagram live workouts. I know, Reggie, you and your wife are always on a workout and I love that but I’m always renovating, you know, houses. I’m in the middle of two bathrooms right now, so I guess that's keeping me busy insane right now and, uh, it, you know, it's always fun to have a lot of balls in the air, right, and try and juggle them.

So you also own your own production company and have been using creative digital media for a while now. Can you describe that for us and are you seeing that benefit your business right now?

I am, yes. So we've, I’ve actually had, took on a recent listing, and this is in the million dollar price point, and it just didn't have the social media content that it really needed to be pushed, and we recently did a 3D virtual tour on it and whatnot. We actually just received an offer today, and this has been a property that's been on and off the market for about eight months. So to see that in this time of, you know, what we're going through in the scenario that's a worldwide, you know, issue that is affecting everyone and then to still receive an offer on that, you know, what if we had an offer within 24 hours?

I just think that marketing now is more important than ever, and that's always been my focus. I haven't really ever paid for advertising before. It's just putting good content out there and then I think it's not just creating that content but making sure that you push it properly to the right targeted audience.

Are you finding that the consumer is warming up more now to, like, you know, digitally viewing a home than before or, you know, are they kind of forced into this or are they willing participants? You know, I mean, what do you think?

You know, I think that they're willing. I think that they like it. I think what's hard on them maybe emotionally as a buyer is to see the the inventory is at such a low, and so if you get on RPR, you can run a market report on the inventory. You can see what the levels are in certain areas. So if you farm certain neighborhoods or

or different cities then this would be helpful for you but there are just as many buyers and there's less homes for sale than before we went into this, so it's kind of like Lawrence Yun when he mentioned he doesn't think that this is the great risk like the great recession he thinks it's more like the great pause and that things are going to kind of pick up where they left off when we get back into the groove of things and businesses back as normal and so just knowing that it just kind of changes your perspective on things.

So you've already mentioned this, but is there anything you find yourself doing right now in RPR to help meet the needs of your clients or prospects?

Yes. Well, first off, I’m always looking in opportunity zones and so I love that feature in RPR, especially for my investor clients. All of my investor clients are

buying right now. I have several buyers they're like, you know, what should we be doing right now, and sellers, I'm like, if you're a seller, get on the market. There's not enough homes on the market, and if you're, you know, an investor, I would be buying right now. You can be renovating everything. By the time the market stabilizes and you're going to be ready to go and you're going to have not wasted your time. You will have been working throughout this entire time and so all of my investors are ramping up to buy and so these reports are just huge. I mean, there's a lot of ways to stand apart right now, to get listings for one seller. Reports I’ve, no seller’s ever seen a 70-page report before, so if you pair that with a 3D virtual tour and some video, you're going to likely get that listing, and so just these things right here that are, just, they're just secret weapons that aren't so secret but that really add such value to you as a listing agent, and why you should be the listing agent of choice.

That's awesome. Well, we can't wait to show everyone how to do those not-so-secret secret tips. Hey, once you know, you know. That's right. Well, thanks so much for being with us today. This is the first reason I had to put on makeup in a month. Still wearing sweatpants, though, obviously that's never changed. This is my top party on the bottom.

Welcome back, everybody. This is Mike coming at you with another round of what's new for RPR. Well, obviously a lot has changed since our last episode, and just to let you know, from day one, RPR has been cranking out content for REALTORS® who are working from home that could be actual deals that are still going down or simply trying to help you stay busy and stay sharp.

Our blog features more than a few entries with suggestions, tips, ideas, and ways to use RPR and or become more familiar with RPR. So please click on the articles such as "Use this down time to up your skills," which features links to all types of RPR learning options, or "Business unusual: three things to do right now in RPR." These write-ups will keep you busy and help you in the future. We've also got a month-long webinar series that focuses on things to do now during the big coronavirus crisis. Each session is just 20 minutes long. I'm sure you've got time for that. And finally, another big announcement that relates to using RPR’s mailing labels feature: we doubled the amount of labels you can create in RPR, going from 2,000 up to 4,000 per month. That increase is effective through the end of June. That's something to take advantage of and keep in mind so you can fire up your direct mail campaigns when the bell rings and we all get back

to business. That's it for "What's New Now."

It's time for "What's Next?" Take it away, Aaron. Stay safe, everyone.

Hey, Mike, thank you. Boy do we have a treat for you guys. Coming back this May is our "Facebook Likes to Leads: How to Leverage Facebook Ads for Lead Capture" webinar, and you guys won't want to miss this one. Reggie’s going to team up with RPR Training's own Katie Glebhoff and take you through a detailed walkthrough of how you can build a lead capture system using RPR reports and Facebook ads with a little bit of working with custom Facebook audiences sprinkled in. But here's the cool part. As you might know, Facebook has changed a lot with adding new guidelines for advertising, specifically in real estate, so Reggie’s going to share his hands-on trial and error experience with us all. As you can tell, I'm a bit of a fan of this topic and hope you will save your seat and join us for more this May. And that's that for "What's Next from RPR."

Now I'm going to throw it back over to Reggie for the breakdown.

And now for the breakdown. In this segment, I'm going to explore the two tips Kristin mentioned today when asked how she was using RPR. First, you'll recall that Kristin mentions opportunity zones. If you're not already aware, opportunity zones were established in 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with the goal of driving economic growth through long-term investments in economically disadvantaged communities by offering tax incentives to investors, and you, the REALTOR®, have access to these opportunity zones throughout the U.S. Within RPR, it's important to understand these map layers can be found in both

RPR Residential and RPR Commercial. You'll access opportunity zones by searching a geographic area, and then from the map, click on "Show Geographies." Now select "Opportunity Zones," which will reveal shaded peach-colored areas that qualify.

From here, analyze all properties that fall in an opportunity zone. Review economic and demographic statistics for the area and create reports for investors about the buying potential. One extra tip here: use the mailing labels export feature with opportunity zones. You'll be able to reach out to residents and business owners in the area about the advantages of selling.

Second up: in Kristen's interview she mentioned the agent should be paying attention to the seller's report, and actually that mixed with the 3D virtual tour, and Kristin believes you're going to be well on your way to securing your next client. But are you using the seller's report? Let's take a closer look.

First, the seller's report is one of the largest reports found in RPR. The report begins with an overview of the subject property including estimated value by way of an RVM or the AVM, in some cases. Also, if you've prepared a comp analysis or CMA, that value will be featured here on the following pages. You'll see home and homeowner facts, interior and exterior features property photos including historical photos when they're available. You'll be able to visualize the property history including estimated value over time, sales history assessed values and mortgage records, even see it all together in the sales and financing activity chart. In the next section, you'll move into the market. Here you'll see charts that show listing price and sales price comparisons and market health charts. Most importantly, your comparable properties will be featured here. Also, if the next section is included, you're going to get a summary of the market by status including active, pending, recently sold, distressed, and expired listings. The report then wraps up with the recommended pricing strategy.

So what are you waiting for? Give this seller’s report a try today. And as an extra bonus tip, you can customize the cover photo of your next seller's report and it's really simple. From the subject "Property," scroll below the street view or photos and choose "Upload photos." Locate a new photo on your computer to upload and click "Open." Now click "Edit," and then "Use for Report Covers" and select "Save Now." On the next report you create for this property, it will be the custom photo included on the cover page.

And with that, I hope you've enjoyed this week's edition of "The Breakdown." Those are some great tips, Reggie. I loved talking with Kristen, too. Everyone's experience is so different right now, but she's a great inspiration for staying confident and adapting to some pretty hefty challenges. Yes, and every market does look so different right now. We'd love to hear from REALTORS® on what's working in their local area. If you have any great strategies that you're adapting for your business, let us know. Also, if you have any specific struggles that you're facing, which everyone has some right now, it seems, let us know. We want to hear from you.

Absolutely. Well, that wraps up our second episode. Just a reminder: has all of our resources, articles, video tutorials, webinars, and a lot more. And don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up to date with all things The Wow Factor. Thank you so much for joining us. Stay safe out there. This is Reggie and Genie signing off.

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