Allison Sledge, Founder, CEO, Writer 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (757333-3195  (Office)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (917) 588-2117  ( Cell  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     allisonsledge@yahoo.com                                                                                                                                                                                                           

       "THANK YOU FOR PROTECTING OUR COUNTRY"

                                                        " I look forward to a great future for America.
                                                          A future in which our Country will match its 
                                                          Military strength with our moral restraint, its
                                                          wealth with our wisdom, its power with our 
                                                          purpose."
                                                                           
                                                                             John F. Kennedy

 We Support All REALTORS® Who Support Our Men And Women In The Military

          This Map Reveals Just How Big The U.S. Military's Footprint Really Is

       "Green = Army" "Dark Blue = Navy" "Light Blue = Air Force" "Red = Marines"

There are Twenty-Five Million living Americans have served in the United States Armed forces. They represent a huge portion of the United States population.


Unites States Veteran Population

  • 23 Million Veterans
  • 20 Million Spouses
  • 45 Million Siblings
  • 55 Million Children


Income Higher Than Non-Veteran Population


United States Military Population

  • 1.4 Million Active Duty
  • 1.1 Million Spouses
  • 1.3 Million Guard And Reserve


Recession Proof Income And Greater Disposable Income


Whether Active-Duty, Veteran, or Retired they all share a common comradeship forged under the most challenging circumstances in their lives. Those insights are the most powerful bonds in their belief system and drive a devotion that shapes decisions in their daily lives. This insight is a core driver of the Military Veteran affinity group. Depending on the need, Military Veterans represent a powerful audience to drive client success.

One of the most rewarding experiences that a Real Estate agent can ever have, is to assist Active-Duty Military families and Veterans buy their dream home.

How Real Estate Agents Get Press


                Why Should Real Estate Agents Worry About Getting Press?


You do your own advertising and you can have a steady business without concerning yourself with the trouble of looking for publicity.  Why should you care if you are getting Press Attention?


The answer is actually pretty simple: Press = attention and attention = leads. Obviously there are nuances to this, but top-line this is true 100% of the time. Some of the nuances…


  • Press = backlinks to your website. Driving crazy SEO value.
  • Press = new social followers.
  • Press = brand value, establishing yourself as an expert.
  • Press = direct website traffic.
  • Press = brand awareness, a huge leg-up for realtors.
  • Press = leads, plain and simple. People read about you and will call.


The life of a Real Estate Agent is a busy, between showings, new listings, and closing deals, it’s difficult to find the time to think about PR. If you’re a Real Estate Professional and you’re not sure if Press Coverage is something that you need, what follows will break down a few of our super simple methodologies for generating press coverage.


The interesting thing, and we’re here to pitch you our services, is that it boils to relationships + expertise + grunt work.


How Real Estate Agents Get PR


BENEFITS OF PRESS FOR REAL ESTATE AGENTS

Besides getting more listings, Real Estate Agents who get Press reap plenty of valuable rewards. When a Realtor is featured in a magazine or newspaper, does a public speaking engagement, or consults on a journalist’s story, they actively take steps towards growing and diversifying their career. Some of the most significant benefits of getting Press and using PR for Real Estate Professionals are:


  • Better Search Engine RankingsPress Coverage drives new visitors and increases traffic. The more variety of Press an Agent gets exposure from, the more they’ll see traffic come in from different sources besides just interested buyers. Other publications, businesses, or online outlets will back link to Realtors sites which will further improve their page ranking.

  • Establish Industry Expertise – Getting Press is a two-way street for Real Estate Agents and journalists. Agents who are interviewed or contribute to news stories on the local housing market, the current financial climate, or market trends become known throughout the community as an industry leader or a Real Estate specialist. The more they’re willing to contribute inside information, the more Press they gain. Buyers will become familiar with Realtors’ names and will start to seek them out when it comes time to buy or sell.

  • Online Exposure Press Coverage and social media go hand in hand, so when an outlet publishes a story on a Real Estate Agent they are exposed to that outlet’s followers, helping to grow an agent’s own list of followers and subscribers. Agents rely on these social contacts for networking and finding potential new clients.


  • Develop A Personal Brand – Personal branding takes shape when a Realtor can show off multiple sides to their career and personality in everything that they do. Press adds another layer to an Agents image in whatever niche they want to position themselves in, whether it’s in high-end listings, Military, character homes, or the condominium market.


  • Build Connections And Network – Once other journalists see that a Realtor is a willing participant as a source for one story, they’re more likely to be approached by journalists from other outlets. The main way Realtors get Press is through being features in articles giving advice about how to purchase a home, what questions to be asked, and how to attract millennials. Having a unique point of view on the industry or being able to provide insight into the local market makes all the difference in whether reporters want to use a Real Estate Agent for their stories or do a write up on them. The best ways for Real Estate Professional to get themselves in front of journalists is by:

  • Being Newsworthy – Have inside knowledge on the market or Real Estate Trends that you see makes all the difference when trying to pitch a story to the PressReal Estate Agents should ask themselves why the story would be relevant to readers before pitching the story to reporters.


  • Pitching Their Story –It’s critical for Real Estate Professionals to actively seek out reporters who are willing to write about them and give them the coverage they need to build their career. Hone in on who the most relevant journalists are in the Real Estate Industry and approach them with well-thought out pitches that are too good to pass up.  Real Estate Agents must do their homework on reporters that may be interested in a story and reach out to them directly.


  • Responding To Source Requests – When Real Estate Agents take an active role in participating in journalistic stories as sources, they are making themselves known among the Press and opening themselves up for future opportunities. 


Craft a Winning PR Strategy

Getting Press as a Real Estate Professional is clearly beneficial for Realtors Brand, however; creating the right story or making a connection with a journalist at the right time isn’t always easy, especially when juggling a busy career that involves working around the clock. For many Real Estate Agents, the best choice is to reach out to a PR specialist for help in getting the Press they want without the work.


Tapping into seasoned PR expertise lets Realtors enjoy every potential benefit of increased publicity that they can leverage to create lucrative opportunities for more listings and more properties sold.


If You're Looking For A Great Way To Stand Out As A Stellar Certified Military Relocation Professional, You've Come To The Right Place. Military Real Estate Professionals Provides Everything You Need As An MRP To Help Transform Your Online Presence And Image To That Of An Experienced Expert In Military Home Buying And Selling. Assisting Our Beloved Veterans And Active-Duty Military Families In Their Real Estate Transactions Is An Honor And Privilege As A Real Estate Agent. We Are Here For You To Be The NUMBER ONE MRP In Your Service Areas!!!

MILITARY RELOCATION PROFESSIONAL


If you are planning on relocating, you need things to move FAST. You need a Real Estate Agent who understands your needs. A Certified Military Relocation Professional (MRP).


If you are coming in, you need to find a home that suits your needs ASAP.  


If your PCS orders have you moving away, you may need to sell your home ASAP. 


Military personnel have special needs that civilians just can’t understand.  Home hunting is often done from a distance and selling negotiations may have you communicating with your Realtor® from remote locations.



YOU DO Have A Choice Of Hiring A Qualified Military Real Estate Professional  


You want a Real Estate Agent who has the level of expertise that is superior when dealing with Military families and Veterans.  


Finding a Realtor® with expertise in working with Military personnel can be a challenge. Things have to move FAST when you receive your PCS Orders. We have assembled the best-of-the-best Certified Military Relocation Professionals (MRP's) here on this website. Our clients  have been vetted and are committed to serving Military families and Veterans that far surpass most of the thousands of Real Estate Agents in their coverage area. 

          Military Relocation Professional Core Course

Affiliation: MRP
Format: Classroom, Online

Course Credits: Required course for the MRP Certification, counts as one elective towards the ABR® Designation.


Course Objective:

The goal of Military Relocation Professional Certification Core Course is to educate Real Estate Professionals about working with current and former Military service members to find the housing solutions that best suit needs, as sellers or buyers, and take full advantage of Military benefits and support. Students will learn how to provide the Real Estate services at any stage in the service member's Military career, that meet the needs of this niche market and win future referrals.


Learning Objectives:
  • Learn the processes and procedures involved in a Military relocation and how these impact serviceers relocation and housing choices.
  • Use demographics of the Military market to formulate business strategies and determine service offerings for sellers and buyers.
  • Provide information to help members through a rent or buy, sell or rent decision-making process.
  • Enhance your sensitivity to the emotional issues involved when a Military family relocates.
  • Identify and provide services that help service members sell or find and purchase suitable homes.
  • Apply knowledge of the Military relocation process to guide service members through the Real Estate transaction.
  • Explain the basics of VA financing.
  • Recognize situations in which a buyer is eligible for VA financing.


Course Outline:
    Introduction

A. Course Learning Goal

B. Learning Objectives

C. Course Structure 

D. MRP Certification Benefits

E. Earn the Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification

F. Test Your Military Services IQ


    I.

A. Fast Facts About Military Service Members and Families

B. Profile of Military Families

C. Military Retirees

D. Where Military Families Live 

E. Housing for Military Families

F. The Military Housing Private Initiative (MHPI) 

G. Living Off Base in Private Sector Housing

H. Exercise: What Influences Housing Choices?

I. Rent or Buy? 

J. Practitioner Perspective

K. Sell or Rent?

L. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

M. Exercise: Internet Field Trip, BAH rates

N. Services for Military Buyers and Sellers

O. Core Real Estate Skills 


  1. Adapt Your Skills for Military Buyers
  2. Adapt Your Skills for Military Sellers

P. Realtors Property Resource® Reports Answer 5 Big Questions

Q. Build a Referral Base

R. What MRP Reps Need to Know

    II. the

A. PCS Relocation - When and Where?

B. Getting Ready to PCS


  1. Meeting With the Base Transportation Office
  2. Military Movers
  3. Household Goods
  4. Personally Owned Vehicle 
  5. DITY Moves

  6. Moving Pay and Allowances

C. Family Matters

  1. Deployment
  2. Military Spouse
  3. Youngsters and Teens
  4. Adaptive Housing: Help for Wounded Warriors

D. Military Sellers and MRP'- What They Want

E. Winning and Marketing Listings

F. What If the Home doesn't Sell?

G. Starting the Home Search

H. Practitioner Perspective

I. Asking the Right Questions

J. Qualifying the Buyer

K. Pentagon Foundation Dream Makers Grants for First-Time Home Buyers 

L. Get Ready for Power Shopping

M. Absent Spouse

N. Practitioner Perspective

O. Making an Offer

P. Negotiation Strategy for Military Buyers and Sellers

Q. Contract to Closing

R. Post-Transaction Support

S. The Last PCS

T. Practitioner Perspective

U. Does the Military Downsize? 

V. Data Security Planning

W. Exercise: 4 Case Studies


    III. for And

A. Caution

B. Pop Quiz

C. Benefits of VA Home Loans 

D. Steps in the VA Home Loan Process

E. Determine Eligibility 

F. Determine Entitlement: Certificate of Eligibility

G. Misconceptions About VA Financing

H. Does Bankruptcy or Foreclosure Disqualify a Borrower?

I.  Find the Right Home 


  1. Eligible Properties
  2. Purposes of VA Loans

J. Apply for the Loan

K. What Does the VA Guarantee?

L. Internet Field Trip: VA County Loan Limits

M. Request the Appraisal


  1. Appraisal Too Low?
  2. Notice of Value
  3. What If the Property Needs Repairs

N. Pay Funding Fee and Closing Costs

O. Origination Fee

P. Closing the Sale


  1. Seller Concessions
  2. Real Estate Commissions

Q. Selling Restores Entitlement


  1. Basic Restoration
  2. Special Restoration
  3. Unused Entitlement

R. Sale with VA Mortgage Assumption


  1. Release of Liability
  2. Release of Entitlement

S. VA Compromise (Short) Sale


  1. Qualifying Hardships
  2. How Does a Compromise Sale Work?
  3. What Can You Do?

T. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Short Sales

Serving Those Who Serve Our Country

By Keith Loria


For Real Estate Professionals who work in areas with a strong Military presence—either Active Duty, Retired, Reserve or National Guard—the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Military Relocation Professional (MRP) certification can give them a leg up on the competition.




Having honorably served our country from 1999-2008 in the United States Marine Corps, Andrew Finney—a Real Estate Consultant for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Nevada Properties—became curious about the Real estate market during his time serving and wanted to get his license. After transferring from Okinawa, Japan, to San Diego, Calif., he worked at his goal and finally succeeded in 2013 once his school and military commitments were done. “I first learned about NAR’s MRP Certification in 2015, and decided to get it since the majority of the families I work with are Active Duty or Veterans,” says Finney, who has helped roughly 90 families buy or sell homes since beginning his Real Estate career. “The main reason I earned the MRP Certification is because my goal is to always provide my clients with the highest level of service while safeguarding their best interests. Even though being Active Duty for just shy of nine years taught me much about what’s contained within the MRP, I found great value in taking the online course at my own pace, and the insights that were offered have been invaluable.”


In addition to helping Finney stay increasingly cognizant of how active duty PCS (permanent change of station) orders work for families, the MRP Certification has been instrumental when it comes to helping clients understand their door-to-door move priority. “A major benefit is the MRP Facebook page,” adds Finney. “The community of MRP Real Estate Professionals across the country is amazing. In fact, in several cases, I utilized the MRP Facebook page to find Real Estate Agents in other locales for the Active Duty and/or Veterans that contacted me. The MRP community is a tight-knit bunch that’s always ready to help our nation’s brave Active Duty and Veterans succeed in buying and/or selling their homes.”


Recently, Finney was contacted by an active duty USAF Airman about buying a home in his home state of Las Vegas, Nevada, but his PCS orders came through, so Finney was able to connect the man and his family with a fellow MRP Agent through the Facebook page in just minutes. “I make a point to listen carefully and attentively as they share with me what’s most important in their home-buying/-selling experience,” says Finney. “Then, we devise a winning strategy for them to successfully buy and/or sell their home within the time-frame they need with the terms they’re seeking. They deserve all of our respect, compassion, professionalism and dedication in providing exemplary Real Estate service to them,” adds Finney, who believes that anyone with a passion to help Active Duty and Veterans through the Real Estate process should earn the MRP Certification so they can best help these individuals understand what’s most important to them. “From my experience, most agents don’t really know how the VA loan process works, or the Active Duty or Veteran mindset itself. If you want to provide service that’s second to none for Active Duty and Veterans, jump off the fence now and earn NAR’s MRP Certification.”


For Cindy Jones—an associate broker with Integrity Real Estate Group in Alexandria, Va.—whose primary focus in the Northern Virginia area includes the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir and MCB Quantico, NAR’s MRP Certification is vital.


After a career as a college administrator and working as a consultant for major education technology vendors, Jones received her Real Estate license in 2003 and her broker license in 2006. “Since my primary business is working with Military families, it was a natural fit to take the course and earn the MRP Certification,” she says. “Having the MRP adds another layer of confidence for our Service Members to know they’re working with a Real Estate Professional who not only has experience in helping families make moves that are sometimes difficult, but also education on the basics of VA mortgages and the challenges facing Military families when they receive orders.”


In fact, a few years ago, Jones was contacted by a retired Marine officer who was struggling to come up with the 20 percent down payment they thought they needed to buy a home in her area. “One of the first questions I asked was whether they were eligible for a VA home loan—a question I learned to ask immediately in the MRP class,” says Jones. “They were under the impression they could only use a VA home loan one time, something they had done 20 years prior when stationed in Texas. I quickly connected them to a local lender who specializes in VA home loans, and 45 days later, they were in their new home using their VA benefits with no money down.”


Jim Green, a REALTOR® in Colonial Beach, Va., says since he lives and works in an area with a large Active Duty and Retired Military presence, being able to show that he has training that’s specific to helping these individuals with their transition helps distinguish him from other Real Estate agents who may not understand the needs of Military families“When you’re dealing with the nation’s best—and that’s what we’re doing—you want to make sure you provide top-notch service and take care of them,” he says. “I’m a former Navy cruiser destroyer type of guy and was a defense contractor for 30 years, so I speak their language and I know what these families are going through.”


Impressed with the MRP class, Green says it provided him with a strong set of tools that, when combined with his background, helped him increase his business as he’s been able to guide hundreds of families through a smooth home transition.


For more information, please visit militaryrelocationpro.org.

How Will A Press Release Benefit My Business?


Dollar for Dollar, Press Releases Beat Advertising! Dollar for dollar, you will never match the return a well-produced Press Release creates compared to advertising or marketing dollars you spend.


Six or eight Press Releases can routinely create the equivalent traffic and customers of purchased ad space that could cost $5,000 or more.


These aren't inflated numbers:a single newspaper ad , say half a page, can run $1,000 or more in any reasonable sized city…much more in a large market like Chicago. When properly distributed to the media, professional Press Releases pack a lot of power with far less cost.



Press Releases Build Credibility

Potential clients and existing customers, not to mention vendors and partners, trust what is said in the news media about a company — and they tend to distrust advertising by that same company! By getting in the news, you establish credibility that greatly exceeds any paid marketing message. There simply is no advertising venue that equals the credibility and legitimacy of the legitimate news media.


Few Businesses Ever Explore The Press Release Media Method

Every business advertises at some point. But few ever do a serious Press Release blast with a well-written professional news release…and fewer still. Keep at it and turn it into an on-going campaign. So, relatively speaking in most local markets, the competition is not large at all.


Online News Distributors Welcome Targeted Press Releases

Never before have the online media been more effective than when it comes to Press Release Distribution. As the public rapidly moves online, they expect to see most of their news online too. Not just national, but regional and local news as well. They expect to read about local businesses and form opinions based, at least partly, on those same stories.


Know What Works

If you are using a free or low-cost Press Release distribution company, you are paying for your Press Release to be posted on a website. A large proportion of the Press Releases on these sites are not newsworthy and are written in a marketing that turns off the media. To be successful your news release must be 'news worthy' and written as a reporter/journalist would write it, not to sound like a hyped-up advertisement! Paying a reasonable fee to have the news releases written in the proper and using the right 'angles/hooks' is extremely important.


Press Release Spam

Offline media journalists aren't interested in Press Release spam. Buying a media database and distributing the Press Release yourself will yield little response (and might find your company's emails being permanently filtered to the trash or spam folder). Targeting your message to the proper journalists is the trickiest part of the .


Online Sources Feed Offline Media

Because journalists are overworked, they often visit just one or two sources of Press Releases. As a result, they go to the largest source of newsworthy Press Releases: PR Newswire or Ein Presswire, which are the oldest and largest newswires of Press Releases. If your budget will allow, this single source can be more effective than any other, and placement with them will usually make a big difference in results.


                               OUR CLIENTJASON MERO

Press Release

By Allison Sledge


WOODBRIDGE, VIRGINIA, REALTOR® JASON MERO EARNS HIS MILITARY RELOCATION PROFESSIONAL (MRP) CERTIFICATION


Jason Mero is an awe-inspiring, exemplary and unpretentious Real Estate agent at Weichert Realtors® in Woodbridge, Virginia. He is also a retired United States Army Veteran.


Jason was born in Auburn, New York, and was a volunteer Fireman and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at age 17, before graduating from Auburn High School. He also joined the National Guard while still in high school and then became Active-Duty in the Army upon graduation.



Jason went to Fort Benning in Georgia for basic training and his first Duty Station was at Fort Knox, where he was assigned to the only deployable Infantry Brigades. He went through Advanced Individual Training (AIT) and Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) courses before being deployed to Korea and stationed at Camp Greaves. He says, “We supported the Demilitarized Zones (DMZ), joint security activities and the UN forces. We were the Quick Reaction Force (QRF), capable of rapid response to developing situations and had equipment ready to respond to any type of emergency.”


Jason then transferred to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama to attend the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) school and was reclassified as a Bomb Specialist. After being Certified at Redstone Arsenal, Jason was assigned to the Indian Head Surface Warfare Center at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. He then went back to Redstone and graduated. Every Certified Civilian Bomb Disposal Technician in the United States has graduated from Redstone Arsenal.


Jason was then assigned to Fort Irwin in California. Fort Irwin provides realistic joint and combined arms training focused on developing Soldiers, leaders, and units of America's Army for success on the 21st century battlefield.

He says, “Our primary focus here was to support Southern California, Arizona and Nevada for Weapons of Mass Destruction.” We supported local law enforcement, backing them up for bombs, bullets – any kind of explosive devices. We trained in nuclear weapons and anything that was hazardous.”


Jason then changed Duty Stations to Tooele Army Depot in Utah before deploying to Kosovo. “We supported NATO forces there and found, removed and disarmed the Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s.” He states, “We investigated and gathered evidence from house bombings and turned it over to the NATO forces.” He then went back to Fort Irwin to clear, then relocated to Fort Drum in New York.


While at Fort Drum, Jason supported the local law enforcement in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. He also worked with the Secret Service and the United States Department, protecting foreign Dignitaries, the President of the United States, The Vice President and their families, including the First Ladies. This involved instructions from the Department of Defense (DoD) which included bomb searches in hotel rooms, travel routes, restaurants and anywhere else the officials would have to go. He says, “Most of the civilians didn’t even know we were Military because we dressed in civilian clothes.”


Jason then deployed to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, came back to the U.S. briefly, and was redeployed to Iraq in 2003. “In Kuwait, we supported the Military forces going into Afghanistan, with all of their shipments going through clearances. We conducted training operations and secured the Naval piers, making sure there were no explosives there.


We cleared the routes for the Military convoys moving from Point A to Point B. We also cleared a lot of camps they built so they could continue moving forward.”

Jason then transferred back to Fort Drum and trained for their overseas missions. He then deployed back to Kuwait to go into Iraq to support the 101st Division out of Fort Campbell, and the 3rd Infantry out of Fort Benning. He served in Mazul before returning to America, where he changed Duty-Stations to Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. Here, Jason took on a research and development role. He says, “Our main function was to develop procedures for our career field. Any new Military equipment was determined, tested and developed, including unmanned vehicles.”


Jason was soon deployed back to Afghanistan to do counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism and counter -IED tactics. He was in our nation’s front line on terrorism: small cells of highly trained, passionately committed investigators, analysts, linguists, SWAT experts, and other specialists from dozens of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies, uniting together in the line of fire – far away from home. When it comes to investigating terrorism, they do it all: chase down leads, gather evidence, make arrests, provide security for special events, conduct training, collect and share intelligence, and respond to threats and incidents at a moment’s notice. As Jason puts it: “We eliminate the bad guys…”


When Jason returned to the U.S., he was sent out to different conferences to talk about what he did overseas. He then went to Korea for a year and was responsible for the NATO forces. He was the 1st Sergeant who protected the V.I.P.’s and did protection detail for the Secret Service and the State Department. He trained, led the Company, mentored the team leaders and made sure they were prepared to go out on their missions.


Jason returned to Fort Belvoir in Virginia and supported the Washington D.C. Capitol region, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the DoD’s Secret Service missions. He then went to Fort Lee and ran a forensics lab. He processed evidence for criminal cases – and retired in 2003 after a stellar and a dangerous Military career, in the service of his country.


Jason is married to his beautiful wife, Melinda and they have two wonderful children, Ryan and Lucas. He decided to become a Real Estate agent because he wanted to help his fellow Military members and their families find homes, since it was difficult for him to do so. It was a natural progression for him.


Jason’s areas of service in Northern Virginia are Woodbridge, Dunn Loring, Fairfax Station, Fort Belvoir, McLean, Springfield, and Vienna.


For more information about “Military-Friendly” agent, Jason Mero, please visit these important websites:


http://www.jasonmero.com/


http://www.realtor.com/realestateagents/Jason-Mero_Woodbridge_VA_2107371_503989251


http://mvarep.org/profile/JasonMero?xg_source=profiles_memberList


Media Contact:

Jason Mero

Weichert Realtors®

(315) 430-6107

[email protected]

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and its affiliates offer Designations and Certifications for a wide range of Real Estate Specialties.  Earning these Designations and Certifications helps members to increase their expertise and marketability, giving them a professional advantage. The problem with Designations and Certifications is that Real Estate Agents don't use them properly. Agents plaster them all over their business cards, flyers, web site, and email signatures, but their main marketing target - the consumer - has no idea what the Designations and Certifications mean. In most uses, they appear as "Real Estate Jargon" and detract from the agent's marketing message
What Should A Realtor Say About Themselves?


Whether you are being interviewed live or online from someone reading about you there are always some things you will want to cover especially if they benefit you as an agent to do so. One of the biggies is time in the business. 


Many consumers will ask how long you have been selling Real Estate. This is as common a question you will get. Of course if you are a Veteran Realtor you will want to say so!



Production level is another big one to cover. Everyone loves to work with a winner!!! If you have a track record for success you will definitely want to emphasize that. If you are one of the highest producing Realtors in your company, town or even the state this is something you should make people aware of to make their selection process easier.


If you have areas of expertise such as online marketing by all means make sure people know it! With over 90 percent of all buyers’ finding their next home online, you want to make sure that if you are good with social media or SEO people should know about it!

AS A CERTIFIED MILITARY RELOCATION PROFESSIONAL, (MRP) YOU NEED TO PROMOTE YOURSELF MILITARY!!!

We Are The Premiere Website For Military Relocation Professionals (MRP'S)

With more than 22 million Military Veterans and another 1.1 million Active-Duty personnel in the United States, this represents a significant potential client base for NAR members who have their MRP Certification....

Peak Moving Season For Military Is Here: Make Your Plans Now And Find A Military Relocation Professional

Once again, the spring and summer months herald the busiest move season of the year as hundreds of thousands of Air Force, Army, Marines, Defense Department and U.S. Coast Guard servicemen and women receive orders to new assignments across the nation and worldwide.


The period of May 15th through August 31st is the annual peak move season


More than 65 percent of Military moves occur across the U.S. during peak season.

Military Families Need A Real Estate Agent With Experience In The Military Housing Market


Limited time and access to information on your next city can make it difficult to decide where to live, whether to buy or rent and if on-base communities will better serve your needs. When it comes to these considerations, a Real Estate Agent familiar with Military relocation can make a world of a difference.


The National Association of Realtors has a special certificationMilitary Relocation Professional  (MRP) – for Realtors trained to work with Military service members and their families


Realtors with this designation are familiar with the limitations Military families face when searching for a new home, and they can serve as a resource to fill those gaps, says Jim Lawrence, a Realtor and instructor for the MRP certification in Birmingham, Alabama.



“The Realtors knowledge of the market area is vital, even though the Military members know the process because they do it so often. What they don’t know are things like local transportation patterns, shopping districts, schools, recreational areas, things like that,” Lawrence says.




The right Real Estate Agent won’t just know the local market – he or she will also be well-versed in the Veterans Affairs home loan process and how it differs from conventional or Federal Housing Administration mortgages. 


VA loan-savvy Real Estate Agent who is experienced working with Military members and Veterans is exactly what they need. They can make this an easy process so that there’s no hesitation in using the VA loan benefit


The VA loan benefit is an earned benefit for the service memberit’s something they’ve sacrificed to qualify for and it’s important that Real Estate Agents honor that sacrifice and that commitment to our country by serving them through the VA home loan.

Create Strong Online Presence

Real Estate Agents cannot sell homes or properties if they do not have clients. Thus, a Real Estate Professionals number one need is to find new clients and really build the right image for them and their business. 


This means understanding the power of the Internet. Few people today find listings in newspapers or by signage alone. Instead, more consumers today go online to look for property listings, read up on Real Estate Agents and make buying decisions.


Real Estate Agents who create a strong online presence will be ahead of the game and increase the pipeline of new business.


Develop A Well-Designed Website

Websites help Real Estate Agents build their reputation and brand. After all, people today want to work with experts in the field. It is important that a website is easy to navigate, attractive and has high-quality images and text. It's also very important that you promote your website. Smart Real Estate Agents will hire professional web designers to help them create a site. A strong online presence can increase search engine rankings and web traffic as well as create word-of-mouth buzz.


Use Social Networking Websites

Social networking websites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram help Real Estate Professionals communicate with consumers, post images and information about new properties for sale, and give people real-time information. Using these social networks, Real Estate Agents can generate a lot of great prospects online. Quick communication keeps a Real Estate Agents listings fresh and can lure in new clients. Smart professionals should not only post about available properties and showings but also relevant local articles and media.


Use Directories
Another way to lure in new clients online is to make sure that a Real Estate Agent is mentioned in Directories, related websites and even on websites like the Better Business Bureau and review sites. Consumers want to work with experts who are referenced by other websites and groups.


Link To Other Websites

Real Estate Professionals who want to build a strong online presence need to link to other websites. This is a chance to connect with the local newspaper’s website, advertise and increase link building. Such collaboration helps improve name recognition and a realtor’s reputation in and outside of the community. 


Smart Real Estate Professionals use the Internet to build their image. Over time, happy clients will discuss their experiences online, which can help convince other people to use the agents. Social networking websites are changing how Real Estate Professionals can market themselves as well as available properties and the latest Real Estate News. In time, interest and credibility will increase and a Realtor can build their brand, find new clients and increase sales.

MRP REALTORS® Help Military Use Housing Benefits

Many Military members have no idea they qualify for the only no-money-down mortgage on the market, but there are specially trained real estate professionals to help.


REALTORS® who earn the Military Relocation Professional (MRP®) Certification are specifically trained to guide Veterans, eligible surviving Spouses, and Active-Duty Service Members on how to take advantage of the numerous housing benefits of VA loans, awarded to those who serve and protect this country. "Less than 15% of Veterans have taken advantage of VA loans," said Phil Riek, a Real Estate broker and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel. "There is huge market potential."




There are 1.43 million Active-Duty service members, said Riek. Of those, 87% are in the continental United States. There are an additional 1.5 million Reserve and National Guard members and 20 million Veterans, he said. With drawdowns and budget cuts, Riek says there is a growing number of service members returning to civilian life and many are eligible for housing benefits.


All Active-Duty service members and those who have been honorably discharged are eligible for VA financing. In addition, most states and counties offer benefits like closing cost assistance and tax abatements, but those benefits go unclaimed because most people do not know they exist.


VA loans require no down payment or private mortgage insurance. They also offer low-interest rates and allow a 4% seller contribution. "VA loans perform much better relative to delinquency than FHA," said Paul Marek, a mortgage originator in Florida who specializes in VA loans. "I attribute that to the military discipline [service members] exude in taking care of their primary shelter."


Agents who earn the MRP® Certification understand the nuances of this loan type and the demands of this lifestyle. Most Active-Duty service members relocate every two to three years, according to the MRP® Certification core course material. These agents know that Active-Duty home buyers are highly motivated, because they usually have only 10 days to search for a house. 


VA loans can be used to purchase a single-family home or a multifamily income property of up to four units, as long as it's owner-occupied. These loans can also be used to build a house, make repairs, refinance, and adapt the home for special access.


While many Veterans might think their benefits have expired or are exhausted, it's best to double-check. Your MRP® can guide you on recent benefit updates or point you in the right direction to see if your eligibility has changed.

Three Reasons Millennial Buyers Love VA Loans

Millennial Veterans and Military members are helping fuel the resurgence of the historic VA loan program. Last year’s 700,000-plus loans were more than double the Veterans United agency’s total from five years ago.


Younger buyers in particular have flocked to these government-backed mortgages during a time of tight credit and flat-lining wage growth. The VA says millennials accounted for about a third of all VA loans last year.


These low-interest loans offer qualified buyers a wealth of benefits. 



That’s especially true for millennial borrowers, who often have dented credit or minimal savings. This $0 down payment loan program was created to help level the playing field for those who serve our country, and it’s still doing so today. “VA loans offer an extraordinary opportunity for Veterans because of lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, no or low down payments, and no private mortgage insurance,” said Jeff London, director of the VA home loan program.


Here’s a closer look at three of the big benefits that make VA loans such a good match for millennial home buyers.


1. No Down Payment Requirement

This renowned benefit of VA loans helps Veterans purchase without having to spend years saving for a down payment. When determining affordability, qualified buyers in most of the country should know that they can purchase a home for up to $424,100 before having to factor in a down payment. That ceiling is even higher in costlier housing markets.


The average VA loan last year was for about $253,000. Getting a conventional loan for that amount often requires a down payment of at least $12,000. FHA loans require at least 3.5% down. That’s no small sum in either case, particularly for younger Veterans and Military families.


2. No Mortgage Insurance

VA buyers also don’t have to pay extra each month for mortgage insurance, a common feature of low-down-payment loans. Conventional buyers typically need to pay for private mortgage insurance unless they can put down 20%. FHA loans come with both upfront and annual mortgage insurance premiums. For example, FHA buyers shell out an additional $140 per month for mortgage insurance on a typical $200,000 loan. That extra outlay can limit your purchasing power, as well as put a hole in your monthly budget.


Most VA buyers encounter a funding fee that goes straight to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans and Military members can finance this cost over the life of their loan. Borrowers who receive compensation for a service-connected disability don’t pay it at all.


3. Flexible Credit Guidelines

VA loans were created to boost access to home-ownership for Veteran and Military families. They’re naturally more flexible and forgiving when it comes to credit underwriting. Lenders typically have lower credit score benchmarks for VA loans than for conventional mortgages. The average FICO score on a VA purchase last year was 50 points lower than the average conventional score, according to Ellie MaeCompared with conventional borrowers, qualified VA buyers can also bounce back faster after a bankruptcy, foreclosure, or short sale.


Despite their flexibility, VA loans have had the lowest foreclosure rate on the market for most of the past nine years. That’s due in large part to the VA’s commitment to helping Veterans keep their homes. Loan program officials can advocate on behalf of Veteran homeowners and encourage lenders and mortgage servicers to offer alternatives to foreclosure. “VA is even there to assist Veterans who encounter difficulty making payments,” London said. “Last year, VA and servicers helped over 97,000 Veterans avoid foreclosure. Using the VA program is a win for Veterans, lenders, and taxpayers.”


More than seven decades after their introduction, VA loans are still making a big difference for Veterans, Military members, and their families.“A home and its equity becomes the bedrock of their economic future,” said Curtis L. Coy, deputy undersecretary for economic opportunity at the Department of Veterans Affairs. “Money that would have typically been used for the down payment is now money in their pocket—money that can be the beginning of their savings or can be used to fix up their home.  It is a win-win for the Veteran and the community where they spend that money.”

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Veteran and Military Home Buyers Make

Having a place to call your own—whether you’re going to be there for four years or forever—is an essential part of the American dream. 


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers plenty of great programs to help those who have served in the Military get there, but the process isn’t foolproof. People can (and do) make mistakes buying their first home, second home, or 10th home.




You can avoid your own tale of woe (or head-banging frustration) by avoiding those mistakes before you start your home search. We asked VA-savvy Realtors® to tell us which missteps they see the most—and how you can do the whole thing correctly right from the start.


Mistake Number 1: Not Getting A Realtor Who Knows VA Loans

If you’re getting a VA loan, make sure you work with a Realtor who understands the process.“I see a lot of people go with an agent who doesn’t understand the VA system,” says Katie Fraser, a Realtor with Trident Realty Group Northwest in Seattle. “The VA won’t underwrite [just] any house. It is a huge, huge, huge deal to use an agent who understands the VA system, the VA appraisal process, and what that all really looks like.” When you’re buying through the VA, you’ll need to find a home that meets VA property requirements. A VA appraiser will have specific criteria; for instance, fixer-uppers (and even some newer homes) won’t qualify. Save yourself the headache of making an offer on a house that may not get approved, and work with a VA-experienced Realtor from the start.


Mistake Number 2: Not Communicating With Your Lender

Veterans have access to arguably the most powerful mortgage option on the market, but about one in three home-buying Veterans don’t know they have a home loan benefit, according to the VA. When you first meet with your lender, be sure to discuss your Military status so you can be informed about all the potential advantages. One of the biggest benefits you’ll get with a VA loan is the ability to buy with 0% down (yes, we're totally serious). VA loans also come with low-interest rates, don't require mortgage insurance, and have more forgiving credit requirements.

"Veterans should ask their lender if they offer any incentives for Veterans," adds Alissa Gerke, broker and owner of Select Realty Group in Columbia, MO. "I’ve seen lenders waive appraisal fees, offer a waiver of origination fee if the Veteran has a certain credit score, or other lender credits." That's right—pretty much everything will get easier as soon as your lender knows your Military status, so speak up!


Mistake Number 3Forgetting About All The Home-Buying Costs

While you'll have a ton of financial advantages with your VA loan, you will have some costs to deal with. “Probably the biggest mistake I see is Active-Duty Members coming into the home-buying process and not knowing there are other costs and fees necessary for buying a home,” Fraser says. When you’re buying a home, you’ll likely have to plunk down a bit of cash for things like a home appraisal and inspection. It might not cost much in the large scheme of things, but it'll help speed things along if you come prepared knowing what you'll have to shell out for.


Mistake Number 4: Not Thinking Of Your Home As An Investment

Maybe you think there's no sense in buying if there's a chance you might be relocated in the next few years. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't buy; in fact, that home could end up being a smart investment. By searching in high-demand areas or choosing a popular home style and size (like 1,500 to 2,000 square feet), you’ll give yourself a better chance at resale if you need to move later. Or, you can hang on to it and rent it out. “My clients and I often go out and look for their first rental home, not just a home for their family," Fraser says. "With so many in transition, they’re able to purchase a home and it becomes an investment property for them when they go on to their next duty station or they move.” Don’t like the idea of becoming a landlord? A VA loan is assumable (meaning you can transfer the loan and the property to another Vet), or you can just sell the home to a nonmilitary buyer. And don’t forget: You can use your VA home loan benefits again and again, so you can own a rental property and a new home.


Mistake Number 5Making Other Big Purchases Before Closing

Once you’ve found a home and your offer is accepted, you’ll probably be excited to just move in already and make it yours. Maybe you have an eye on a new big-screen TV, and you're looking into financing a new living room set you love. But don’t do that yet. “Opening a line of credit or making a big purchase after loan approval is a common mistake,” Gerke says. “This can oftentimes change the Veteran's credit score and make them ineligible for the loan.” Wait until after closing to make any other financial moves, just to be on the safe side and to keep your loan on track.

STAND OUT FROM THE COMPETITION


VALIDATE YOUR EXPERIENCE ON YOUR WEBSITE, SOCIAL MEDIA ~  ENHANCE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE


SHOWCASE YOUR EXPERTISE AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE NEEDS OF VETERANS HOME-OWNERSHIP


LET MILITARY FAMILIES KNOW THAT YOU ARE THERE FOR THEM AS THEIR 'GO-TO' REAL ESTATE AGENT


BUILD CREDIBILITY WITH YOUR PEERS AND CLIENTS

TELLING YOUR STORY TO CUSTOMERS 

Customers connect with businesses when they identify with their stories

Everyone loves a story. While it’s unlikely that your products or services are genuinely unique, your story is, and that’s what will resonate with your customers.


Your story, then, is the ideal factor to differentiate yourself from your competitors. 


If you aren’t telling a compelling and interesting story to your audience it’s very difficult to differentiate and get people to pay attention.


What Is Your Story? 

Your story tells your customer or potential customer why you are in business, why they would want to engage your service.


It’s more than the facts - it’s the personality of your business and the experience you are offering beyond the day-to-day transactions. It’s telling them what’s at the heart of all that you do. 


Storytelling is all the rage. More and more brands are comprehending the power of stories to transform their presence and identity. How does such a story create that trusting feeling that customers crave? To read a story is to feel an experience and to synchronize our minds with the subject of the story. People trust other people. The core reason why your story should be personality-driven is so that it will provide someone real for customers to trust. 


Careful customers are asking Why should I buy from you?” If you can answer that question with a real story, then you’ve built the trust of that customer. The story must connect with your customers.


At its essence, a story isn’t really about your company. Your company is the construct, but the goal of the story is to create a connection with your customers.


Tell your story in such a way that it tells your customers we relate to you, we understand you, we are like you


Stories are a vehicle for trust and belief. When people hear your story in more places, it reinforces their trust. And when they start telling your story themselves, they trust it even more.


The great thing about a story is that it lives on. Real stories keep on telling, keep on going, and keep on connecting with people. Keep your story alive by continuing to impress your customers and give them the best experience possible.


Your story will build the foundation of trust, but only a customer’s personal experience will cement that trust into something that lasts.


       Few Things Can Communicate That Level Of Engagement Like A Story




Real Estate Branding Creation In Five Steps



Branding your Real Estate business is vitally important, but what is a Real Estate Brand? Let’s first start by giving you some (oft-quoted) key definitions of branding:


Walter Landor, one of the greats of the advertising industry, said: “Simply put, a brand is a promise. By identifying and authenticating a product or service it delivers a pledge of satisfaction and quality.”


In his book ‘Building Strong Brands,’ David Aaker suggests the brand is a “mental box” and defines brand equity as: “A set of assets (or liabilities) linked to a brand’s name and symbol that adds to (or subtracts from) the value provided by a product or service…”



As Al Ries once stated, a brand is “a singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of the prospect.”


So taking these established definitions into account, it becomes clear that establishing your Real Estate Brand is the process of communicating effectively and consistently a relevant message over time so that you will (eventually) elicit the desired emotional response whenever your name is seen or heard by your target audience


Now let’s delve further in and lay out some fundamental steps you should take when planning and then pushing out your Real Estate Brand.


5 Keys To Building Your Real Estate Brand

1. Evaluate The Competition. What niches are currently being exploited in your local market? Is there a high-end specialist? A condo expert? A Military Relocation Professional (MRP)? A low-cost leader? A “green” Realtor? Someone who sells mainly golf communities? Knowing what marketing angles your competition is pushing will help you see opportunities to market your own business in a unique way. It’s always important to ensure that your branding is not confusable with that of your competition; the last thing you would want is your prospects mistaking you for them when they are ready to pick up the phone and get started with a transaction! And knowing what is currently working out there may give you an idea as to what people in your local market respond to, which never hurts your cause.

2. Define Your Brand. Before you even think about a name, slogan, or look to your Real Estate Brand, make sure to ask yourself the right questions so that whatever you choose will directly speak to your target audience. Here are some important questions that will help guide you though this process:

  • What is your core demographic? Can they be narrowed down by age, gender, family status, or profession?
  • What Real Estate services do they need? What services are the most sought-after? Are there any services that a premium is put upon?
  • What neighborhoods that you serve are the most lucrative to do business in? Would it benefit you to brand yourself around those specific markets?
  • What specific advantages do you hold over the competition? Some Real Estate agents brand themselves around a signature service that they provide.
  • What are the values of your company? Branding around morals and ethics can instill consumer confidence in your Real Estate business.
  • Do you rely primarily around referrals for your business? This can influence your branding decisions at the very least and can even be the driving force behind your brand in some cases.

3. Create Your Brand. Using all the answers to the questions in the previous step, brainstorm on some business names and possible slogans. Be creative, memorable and meaningful. If you aren’t good with words, you should find someone you trust who is to work with you on this project. Its well worth the money to hire a writer, because nothing will turn off a prospect faster than a Real Estate Brand they deem “lame,” “cheesy,” or “inauthentic.”

4. Put A Look To Your Brand. In the online marketing world, some key demographics are heavily influenced by visual appeal. So hire someone reputable to design an appropriate, unique logo for your business name. You should also consider creating unique logos for your signature services (or products if you have them). Once people become accustomed to your logo’s elements (the color scheme, the shape, and words contained within it), they will start to associate qualities to your brand. So that’s why it’s important to make that visual impact right off the bat in a way that’s easily memorable. You may want to think of some types of imagery that are popular in your local market and create your logo with a similar theme.

5. Deliver Your Brand! Once your Real Estate Brand is complete, you need to do everything you can to push it out into your local market. Every phone call should be answered with your branding in the script. Your print materials, including stationary, business cards, postcards, and home signs should proudly display it. Then spread your brand throughout your online presence; from websites to blogs, from social networking profiles to email blasts… they should all have language and visuals (logos) that reinforce your brand.  And consistency is key here; promote one slogan and one signature logo. That will impress a similar message to all you communicate with, and remember, exact repetition of your brand over time is what delivers your brand through offline and online channels.

Personal Branding For Real Estate Professionals


Why Would You Buy A House From Yourself?

If you can’t answer that question, it’s time to work on your Real Estate Personal Brand. People choose who they do business with based on a number of different factors, including presentation, demeanor, experience and passion. Your brand combines your beliefs with your business practices and this is what people gravitate to when seeking out a Real Estate Professional.




 We work in Real Estate, so let’s get specific about how to make your mark on Real Estate with your personal brand.


Authenticity:

Anything other than the real you wont work. Discover exactly what makes you fascinating. Build your brand on your true strengths


As a Real Estate Professional, your goal should always be to attract clients who identify with you and your abilities. The same skills you have at building friendships can be utilized to build trust with clients. People make decisions every day in the industry based on gut instinct, and insincerity just won’t work.


Focus:

Blurry brands languish. Define your brand with a focused niche to connect with the minds of those you aim to influence. If you’re having trouble clarifying your message, bring it back to the basics. Why do you love Real Estate? People? Your town? Great architecture? Try to remember the first reason you got into this field. Or think about the first sale you made. Use those emotions to drive your messaging.


Slogan:

Your brand should be the promise you make. Work at developing a unique selling proposition and express it in a concise, memorable slogan. Real Estate is an evolutionary, exciting, personable market; why did you choose to become a part of it? These are all integral questions you should be able to answer honestly and easily. Condense these ideas down and sum them up with one sentence — this is your slogan.


Voice:
People remember how you made them feel. What you say is important, but how you say it is even more important. Develop a unique and genuine voice. Are you a quirky individual that comes across as stiff in your writing? Do you sound genuine in person and forced online? Are you an older professional trying to make connections with younger clientele? Try to use language that is true to how you speak, and make sure that it sends the right message to your clients.

                                              Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken.”

                                                             — OSCAR WILDE

Opine:

Nix the notion of universal appeal. Take strong stands on your ideals and voice your opinions. There’s no notoriety in bland land. Be BoldA sale price is a bartering ticket waiting for to be debated, so use all of those skills you’ve acquired in a “fast on your feet” business and tell it like it is. Feel free to say how you feel about market trends and neighborhoods. Your customers will appreciate the blunt tactics that bring effective results.


Understand Triggers:

Weak brands focus solely on intellectual arguments. Strong brands tap into emotions. The subject you need to master is psychology. Become a student of it. People buy houses on based on feelings and what it will do for their personal lives, not just property stats. Dig deep and try to comprehend emotionally what the people you are selling to are looking for. Adjust your strategy accordingly.


Photo:

Your face must appear all across the social sphere. Don’t scrimp here. Hire a pro to do a photo shoot and pick the portrait that says, “I’m your friend.” A personal brand is heavily based on visuals. Find a picture that drips with confidence and friendliness. Post it all over your social and make it your visual signature. If you don’t have one, hire someone to make you look great.


Content:

Valuable content has magnetic power. Create an interesting mix of content to earn the mindshare and trust your brand needs. After you decide who you are, share what you know. Your content is the key to conveying that message of your brand. Choose to share insightful knowledge. Use interesting content to challenge the status quo of a classic industry. Don’t forget to ask questions: Ask your audience for their ideas and input. Everyone who’s looking for new homes can benefit from a expert comment or two.


Questions:

Ask questions. Ask people to tell you their stories. Ask for their ideas. And then listen closely. Everyone loves a good listener. Questions can be drawn from every corner of your life, whether that’s in person or online. Listening to people’s Real Estate needs or past experiences (good and bad) can help you grow your knowledge base of potential client do's and don’ts. Social is a great resource for potential new business strategies and content. Listening can be the difference between finding properties a client “likes” to signing papers.


Keywords:

When surfers go to Google, which words will lead them to you? Build a short list of the most relevant keywords and use them often. Pick out some relevant keywords for your business area. Decide which words from your website and social pages have the most traction, and integrate them appropriately into your content, pages, and social media. The phrases you choose should accurately describe your business but also who you are as a professional.


Media:

Media is more complex than ever, and more vital. Identify the outlets that are most valued in your field, and use their tools to elevate your brand. Social media and multimedia channels and Press Releases are the best way to get your messaging out there quickly and creatively. If you’re message and ideals are constructed properly, it will enhance your brand. If you aren’t getting interviews or spotlights from major media, build from within. Hire a video production team or take some tips from video experts and make some impressive content to share. Video is also a great piece of content to share on social media.


Graphic Design:

Everything you create should be presented with class and continuity. Develop a tasty logo, color palette, and design standards that reflect well on your brand. Design is a crucial piece of making your brand message sing. Remember to compose a striking logo that translates the qualities of your slogan. Consider getting a pro on this one: The more professional your designs look, the more weight your brand will have.


Network:

Make connections locally, regionally, and globally. Have a business card or something of even greater value to distribute, such as a Press Release. Follow up and follow through. Use social media to reach out and connect with new business partners and potential clients alike. But don’t focus on just business. Make sure that people know and trust you and your brand way before theyre thinking of Real Estate. And when they do? You will immediately pop up in their heads as a reference to a friend or family (or perhaps themselves).


Influencers:

Influential professionals have prominent friends. Seek out leaders. Surround yourself with them. Find ways to be of value to them. There is a world of Real Estate Professionals out there who have years of skills and knowledge to impart. Seek out those who you can make you better — it’s the best way to become a leader.

                                      

                                        A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.”

                                                                FRANK CAPRA

Join:
Affiliations are all-important to the growth of your brand. Find groups you’d be proud to be a part of, get involved, and make your presence knownJoin as many business affiliations as you can. This includes professional groups and organizations, conventions and conferences. These are great ways to learn industry secrets and insider knowledge through workshops and organic conversations. Make a point of having one-on-ones with people you find interesting. Keep business cards on hand.

Teach:

Every person you admire taught you valuable lessons. Commit to nurturing the teacher within and build your brand by becoming a trusted advisor. Pull up the next generation of Real Estate Professionals by offering your knowledge to them. Being a trusted expert in an industry is a luxury and a privilege. Start to build your network of great Real Estate Agents and Brokers.


Recognize:

You won’t achieve your goals on your own. Privately and publicly, recognize the contributions of every person who’s played a part in your brand development. Most people don’t wake up wanting to show properties for a living. Who were the influencers in your life that shifted the winds of change towards your current career? Recognize their contribution to your success. Something as simple as a mention in an interview, a tweet of thank you, or a simple card are all gracious responses.


eXamine:

Your X-ray for all online efforts is analytics. Deploy Google Analytics and/or additional tools to inform you of how visitors behave on your site and what you can do to improve their experience. Are people going to the pages you want them to? Are they clicking on your prioritized links? Are they getting to your website via the keywords you anticipated? Look at your online analytics to inform yourself on how your audience is realistically interacting with your brand. You may consider adjusting your branding tactics based on these responses.


Help Others:

Dont wait for opportunities to come to you. Find ways to be helpful. Be the first to volunteer, connect people, or get behind any meaningful mission. Not everything is business. Your brand is still very much who you are, and people respond well to those who put themselves out on a limb to lend a helping hand. Always be thinking of how you can do things selflessly for the sake of a cause.


Zeal:

Zeal is a strong feeling of interest and enthusiasm that makes one determined to do something. Without it, there’s no point in building a personal brand. This is something that should come naturally if you’re passionate about your work and your brand. Channeling this energy will make the difference of new and exciting business opportunities!!!

Real Estate Agents: Put Public Relations to Work For You!!!

Historically, in the Real Estate Industry, the work of Public Relations has mostly been pursued by the corporate offices of big brands. Agents and smaller office groups usually don't put a strategic focus on this important facet of branding for many reasons. It could be a cost issue, a manpower issue or a lack of understanding about just why Public Relations efforts are important.



Working on your own Public Relations efforts are part of an overall personal branding strategy and it's a crucial piece of the puzzle. Did you know that Barbara Corcoran credits her success to her relentless PR efforts? She used the power of Public Relations to compete against giants like Trump and sold her company for $70 Million dollars. 


Success in this area is not outside of your reach. Ensuring that your name is synonymous with Real Estate knowledge and community support is paramount to creating a brand that is seen in a favorable light. Ultimately, if done correctly, long term public relations efforts will set the stage for an endless stream of business.


The keys to being successful in your Public Relations efforts depend on two things: consistency and relationships. You must be consistent in your quest to get your name out there. You can't make an initial attempt and then forget about this important focus when you get busy. Forging relationships with targeted media outlets is an important step in the process. Building relationships takes effort and as such will take time to cultivate.

With this in mind, here are some tips to get started:


1 - Identify the media outlets you wish to be highlighted in. Identify both local outlets, like your local newspaper including online newspapers and also identify Real Estate Industry focused outlets. Getting quoted in a story in your local paper will show the people in the area you serve that you are a valuable source of information. Getting quoted in a story that is published in an industry outlet, like Inman news, creates credibility on a larger scale. The larger the audience of the outlet, the more credible you become


Think about it ... Getting your name associated with a story on a highly trafficked industry related site will not only give you credibility but will get your name in front of agents countrywide, which can lead to referrals!!!


2 - Start reaching out to the writers, publishers, editors and reporters of the outlets you have identified. Don't just introduce yourself but tell them why you are a great source for any Real Estate related information. Once a month send a personalized email with some tidbits they might find interesting, or story ideas. Even if you don't hear back right away, keep it up! It takes time and fortitude to make these relationships solid, so be consistent. Remember that while the goal is to get your name attached to a local story about Real Estate, you have to get there by giving these contacts relevant information that will make their job easier.


3 - Get involved in your community! Many agents do things all of the time that contribute to the wellness of their communities but often times don't tell anyone about it. Get a Press Release written about a cause that you are involved in.  You'll get your name out there subtly through showing your involvement with the cause. If you've done a good job of getting the names of the editors and reporters of your local outlets, you'll have a great list to send your Press Release to.


These tips are a great starting point in harnessing the power of Public Relations to build your brand. Know that many regional and national reporters scour local outlets to uncover news and good sources, so over time, and as a result of your consistent efforts, you may be fielding calls from reporters all over the place asking for your input and advice on Real Estate related stories. Good Luck!

             Press Release Link-Building


Along your SEO journey,  you’ve most probably already encountered a Press Release. This link-building technique is usually a great way to attract links through other publishers and Press Release websites. 


And as you well know, other publishers and Press Release Websites can generate a lot of buzz – and they usually have good PageRank juice to boot!




It All Boils Down To Content

Again, the thing you need to start with is having a good, solid content that is newsworthy. Usually this content has to be fresh and new in your industry in order to spur interest with publishers. Always remember that in news pitching, you’re not just writing for any ordinary person. You are writing for publishers and other knowledgeable writers in your niche – who are usually as updated as you are!


Obviously, having a content that can be considered a ‘fresh scoop’ SHOULD be worthy of attention and media coverage. Once you have established your newsworthy content, its time to spread the word.


Getting It Out

It is more strategic for you to publish your content on a  Press Release website. Why? Because they have a good, established amount of readers – some of whom are publishers as well! ! And if they see that you are published in well known PR sites, theyre going to have an increased amount of respect for you.


News Pitching - ***** (Military Real Estate Professionals Does All Of What You See Below For You!!!) *****

  • News sites usually have a “send a tip”, “submit news” or “contact editors” page linked somewhere in the footer – use this to submit your story if you think you have groundbreaking news in your industry.
  • When pitching your story to news sites,  paint your story in the most interesting way and don’t forget to cite sources (one or two of which should be a content in your website). Make sure you don’t have any grammatical error as you’re trying to be a reputable source of information.
  • When you’re submitting your story, don’t use their social network accounts or email addresses to do so. They have their ‘submit news’ page for a reason – overriding it may mean that your story will not go to the editors or to the people whom you want to send it to.
  • It is a must to have great, juicy information – so you will have to go out of your way to acquire data that is not widely spread. Publishing a story like this can gain links, interest, brand exposure and traffic to your website – especially if the content in your website is the main resource of the news scoop.


News Sourcing

Sometimes the fish you’re trying to catch when pitching in these news sites are the journalists who are using them for sources. There are several other websites that are available out there in order for you to do this. You can tip journalists and reporters and publishers directly by using News Sourcing sites.


In pitching your story to news sites, you should also direct them to your content as you dish out the story or the coverage. These news websites usually provide a contact details form or some other way wherein you can reach the publishers when submitting a pitch.


How To Find The Best Real Estate Agent


If you're in the market to buy or sell a house, chances are you'll want a Real Estate Agent to guide you through the process. 


Most people don't have the time, expertise or motivation to go it alone, and finding a good Real Estate Agent becomes essential to enjoying a smooth Real Estate Transaction



Here, we take a look at ways to find the best Real Estate Agent for your next home sale or purchase.


Get Referrals

While some may say it's easy to get a Real Estate License, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to stay in business. The Real Estate Agents who make it, tend to have satisfied clients who send more business their way through referrals. Talk to your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to find out who they recommend (and who you should stay away from). Try to ask open-ended questions that encourage full answers: instead of asking, "Did you like your Real Estate Agent?" try "What are a few things your agent did really well?"


Find a Local Expert

Find a Real Estate Agent who specializes in the market where you'll be selling or buying a home. Local experts are more familiar with particular neighborhoods, the local scene, schools, daycare facilities, Military Bases, VA Hospitals and other amenities, and will have a better idea regarding the prices that actually buy and sell homes in the area. In addition, local experts will have connections to other professionals and services in the area: Lenders, contractors, appraisers, etc. Ask the brokers-in-charge at several firms for their top agents where you're buying or selling, or look through local Real Estate Magazines to find agents who have a lot of listings in the area.


Look for Experience

This can get tricky since new Real Estate Agents aren't necessarily bad agents (they have to start somewhere, after all), but experience is often a better bet. Experienced agents tend to be better negotiators - getting you a higher price when selling, or a lower price when buying. Real Estate Agents who are very familiar with a market and who have closed a substantial number of deals are also better equipped to guide you through the process and respond quickly to any bumps along the way. Keep in mind that quantity doesn't always equate to quality, however, and consider: How close is the agent's average listing price to the sales price? How many price reductions had to be made? How many listings didn't sell?


Get Connected

Technology is a vital part of modern Real Estate, both for buyers/sellers and agents. A good Real Estate Agent will use a number of tools to help organize and promote their business (thereby assisting you with your home sale/purchase), including contact management systems, agent websites, marketing software, Press Releases, electronic signature software and Real Estate Apps (e.g., House Hunter and Open Home Pro). Being connected also means that you'll be able to reach the agent - either by phone, email or text. Find out which tools they'll be using to help buy or sell your home, and how you'll be able to connect with them.


Go All In

The housing market moves quickly, so it usually pays to have someone who is a full-time Real Estate Agent working daily on your behalf. Full-time Real Estate Agents are generally more experienced and focused on getting the job done (and done well). In addition, it can be challenging and frustrating to schedule showings, meetings and closings around an agent's other job schedule. Find out ahead of time how much time/focus your agent will be able to dedicate to your home sale or purchase, and make sure their availability coincides with yours.


The Bottom Line

Buyers and sellers now have access to much of the same property information that Real Estate Agents do (online and via mobile apps), and today's successful Real Estate Agents set themselves apart by being experts in a local market, a niche market, great negotiators, and staying connected, both to other professionals and through technology. 


If you're in the market to buy or sell a home, take the time upfront to find a qualified, experienced and professional Real Estate Agent who can help ensure your transaction goes as efficiently and favorably as possible.


35 Easy And Effective Real Estate Marketing Ideas

The Real Estate Industry has had some interesting ups and down over the past decade - NAR (National Association of Realtors) membership hit its all-time high back in 2006 with 1,357,000 Realtors before dropping dramatically with the housing financial crisis. 


However, since its rock bottom in 2012 (with 999,000 members), it has been steadily increasing, and with nearly 1,100,000 members in 2014, the competition among Realtors is heating up.

The competition is fierce, and these days youll need expert online and offline marketing skills to set yourself apart from the pack.

While Real Estate Agents are still key in the home buying process, buyers are increasingly looking to do more leg work online before involving the experts. A study from the National Association of Realtors showed that 92% of buyers use the internet to begin their house hunting quest, driving home the vital need for Real Estate Agents to have an active online presence. If you're not active, engaging, and networking online, then you're missing out.

Here are the 35 best Real Estate Marketing Ideas for those looking to win the Real Estate Marketing Game.

1. Set Yourself Up For Social
Make sure you have Social Media accounts on all the big networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and even Instagram if you snap a lot of house pics). Interact with users, Share Good Press, and promote yourself and your properties.

2. Add Social Sharing To Property Pages
Chances are, home shoppers are eager to share their top housing pics with friends and family, so make it easy for home buyers to email and share various properties online by adding social sharing buttons.

3. Keep An Eye On The Competition
What are other Realtors in your area doing? What do their websites look like? How active are they on social media? Take note of what competitors are doing – then avoid their mistakes and replicate their success!

4. Make Yourself Easy to Contact
Put your contact info on every page of your website. Ideally, make an impressive contact us page that grabs attention.

5. Create A Killer Press Release
Create an awesome Press Release about yourself and make sure everyone you know, or come in contact with, has a copy of it! You can e-mail it, hand it out at open-houses and give it to everyone you meet, just as you would a business card. It's very impressive, You should also upload your Press Release on your website and Social Media pages.

6. Make Use of Local Images
In many ways, youre not just selling a house, youre selling a whole town or area. Showcase the best that your area has to offer, with high-quality, beautiful photos of local town landmarks, videos and familiar sites.

7. Create An Irresistible Content Offer To Capture Leads
Consider producing an ebook like “X number of things new home owners should consider before buying” or “X most valuable features of a new home.” Offering free ebooks in exchange for an email address (and zip code, in the case of Real Estate) is a great way to capture leads.

8. Hire A Photo Pro
Successful Real Estate relies heavily on great photography. Bad photos will diminish interest in even the greatest of properties. It’s absolutely vital that you have gorgeous photos of your properties and yourself!!!  Hire a professional photographer (preferably with experience photographing homes and architecture), or, if you have sophisticated equipment and are confident in your abilities, have your own hand at it. Just remember this is one of those scenarios when it pays to bring in the professionals.,There are tons of great resources that provide in-depth detail about Real Estate Photography.
9. Create a Virtual Tour
Your clients’ time is precious, and they want to understand as much as possible about a property prior to visiting in
person. Virtual tours are a great way to give a comprehensive, accurate preview of the property for potential buyers.

10. Local Sponsorship
Consider helping sponsor local festivals, sports teams, or school events. Signing up as a local sponsor often means 
getting you and your business a spot on t-shirts, program pamphlets, or flyers, ballpark banners, etc.

11. Animated Video
Consider outsourcing a quality animated video for your Real Estate Business. Short, cute, high-quality videos
can help establish your brand as well as give a touch of personality. You may even want to consider featuring local 
landmarks or sites in your animated video to make it ultra-unique and targeted. Your animated video doesn’t have to
be super sophisticated, but it's important to have one.

12. Pinterest Boards
Pinterest Boards are a great way to provide images and information for specific listings. You can create a Pinterest 
Board for a single property that, in addition, to property photos, highlights major benefits of your area.

13. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
Tech-savvy consumers spend tons of time on their mobile devices. In fact, a recent study has shown that 80% 
of Internet users use their mobile devices for online activity. It’s paramount that your website is mobile -
friendlyEven better, consider creating a mobile app that potential buyers can use to review listings.

14. Create A Newsletter
Email marketing is one of the best strategies for building client relationships. Collect emails from your website, local outreach, or any other methods you can think of. Send your email subscribers the stuff they’re looking for – notices 
about upcoming open houses, new houses on the market, news about seminars you’re offering in the area, etc. 
(Note: if you work in different geographical areas, you’ll want to segment your newsletter subscribers based on their location, ensuring that they only get relevant emails and updates from you).  

15. Start An Email Nurture Campaign
Nurture campaigns are like the breadcrumb paths of Hansel and Gretel, except instead of a gingerbread house at
the end, clients find their dream home.  Leave your clients amazed by tailoring your interactions with them based on previous actions they’ve taken. If they first attended an open house with you, send them an email detailing other 
nearby houses on the market. If they attended your first time homebuyer’s seminar, send them your “10 Things Every
New Homebuyer Should Know" ebook. Deliver content that will help your clients take the appropriate next step, 
depending on where they are in their journey.

16. Build Your Google My Business Page
Google My Business is the latest in Google location-based pages. If you’re feeling confused, don’t worry – it’s 
basically the same idea as Google Places for Businesses and Google+ Pages. Setting up a Google My Business 
account makes it easy for users to find you in Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+

17. Consider Going Niche
If you’ve got some Real Estate Marketing Competition in your area, you may want to consider making yourself 
stand out by going niche. Become the go-to Real Estate Agent for dog owners, families with kids, divorced 
individuals, Military Families and Veterans, seniors or whatever you have expertise in. Making a name for yourself
in regards to a specific niche need can make you memorable, especially in saturated zip codes.

18. Use Emotional Storytelling
Utilize emotional storytelling with compelling copy and powerful visual elements. Humans respond to 
stories – tell a good one and clients will flock to you.

19. Host A Webinar
If you feel comfortable enough, hosting a webinar can be a great way to garner attention for your business. Host a
“12 Little-Known Things to Look For In A New Home” webinar, providing a Q&A at the end for questions. Webinars
can also be re-purposed as YouTube videos, with can serve as valuable video content that can live permanently on
 your website! Click here some more tips on putting together a great webinar.

20. Saddle Up For Social Ads
Don’t be afraid to dish out dough for paid ads on Social Media. With organic reach dwindling on many popular social networks like Facebook, paid Facebook ads are often the most effective way to get in front of clients. Facebook
has tons of great targeting features that ensure you’re only paying to get noticed by your key target audiences.  

21. Old School Mailers
The web is where it’s at, but that’s not to say traditional advertising doesn’t have its place, especially when you have targeted audiences. Consider sending out postcards to qualified leads or potential buyers in the specific zip codes 
you are active in.

22. Become A Columnist In Local Magazines
When it comes to Real Estate, it’s important that you get laser focused on local. Getting yourself in local magazines 
or Newspapers is a great way to get the word out about you and your brand. See if you can write a column or
feature for local publications. You don’t want to be blatantly salesy – today’s consumers don’t like to be pitched to. 
Instead, try to showcase your knowledge. Write about how rising prices of houses on the market shows that the town
is doing well, or list the reasons why your regional area is becoming more popular (maybe it’s the revitalized downtown area or improved school system).

23. Host Free Seminars For Home Buyers
Make yourself and your knowledge available to the community by hosting mini-seminars. Consider providing a basic
101 seminar about the basics of home buying and mortgages.  Remember, marketing today is all about inbound,
and that doesn’t just apply online. Users want you to share some of your knowledge for free before investing time and 
money in you. A home buying seminar is the local equivalent of a webinar. Yes, it will take time and energy, but 
attendees will walk away impressed and will have established a relationship with you. That relationship will
be worth its weight in gold when they’re ready to shop for a home.

24. Get Branding
Branding is your buddy – that means pens, drink koozies, and all those other freebies people love. Give out some 
branded goodies at local festivals and events to spread your brand

25. Partner With Local Businesses
Developing relationships with other local businesses will be key for your Real Estate Marketing efforts. See if you 
can get local breakfast joints to let you buy them a set of new coffee mugs with your logo on them, or buy a place 
on their paper placemat setting. Don’t be afraid to get creative with local partnerships. 

26. Ask for Testimonials From Former Clients
Testimonials are tremendous trust signals. Showing that real, live people endorse your services means the world
to potential clients. When a homebuyer has had a great experience with you, reach out to them and ask for a nice testimonial. If possible, try to get a photo of them as well. Make the most of these testimonials by placing them 
strategically on your website and sharing them now and then on social networks.

27. Create an Awesome Website
Today’s consumers like to do a lot of legwork themselves online when making major purchases, and that includes 
home buying as well. Make it easy for users to access your information – make sure all your property pages have 
great photos, virtual tours, and easy access to Google Maps and Google Earth. List the hot spots nearby and their respective walking distances (mention the bus stop that’s just a five minute walk, or the Starbucks at the end of the 
block).

28. Make Your Site Easy to Navigate
All the great property pages in the world won’t mean much if your site is a nightmare to navigate. Your visitors need 
to have a good experience on your website, so take the time to brush up on user experience design skills and 
information architecture. 

29. Include Local-Oriented Copy
Make sure you are including some local-oriented keywords in your copy to ensure that your content is found by 
buyers Googling online for homes in your area. 

30. Get On Zillow
Zillow is basically the Yelp of Real Estate Marketing, and you really need to be on there if you want any chance of 
discovered - you can ignore the sun, but it will still burn you! Zillow offers the ability to advertise as an agent on their website. This can get a bit pricey, but considering the huge role Zillow plays in home buying, it’s probably your best 
bet. After all, sites like Zillow account for 48% of all site traffic for Real Estate searches on the web. Zillow also
allows users to review Real Estate Agents, so put on a smile and rack up that rating, as a solid star rating will greatly increase your leads. 

31. Shared Scheduling App
Use a scheduling sharing app to coordinate times to show a house to buyers. Scheduling apps like Doodle can cut 
down on the endless back and forth timeslot swapping.

32. Give a Local Care Package After Closing
Your relationship with a client doesn’t end right after they close. You want them to remember your name so that 
hopefully they’ll share your info with friends, family, and acquaintances who might consider moving in the future. 
Send a local care package to clients after they close, with local movie or theater tickets, restaurant gift cards, etc.

33. Keep In Touch
Stay in touch (even months and years later) with past buyers in order to build in that good relationship. Send your 
clients anniversary cards, holiday cards, etc to stay fresh in their minds. When they have a friend who is ready to buy, they’ll pass along your info. 

34. Create a Referral System
Provide incentives for past clients to refer you to future homebuyers.

35. Leverage Call Tracking
Real Estate is one of those industries that absolutely must use call tracking in their paid search campaigns. Most 
people use the phone when trying to find a Realtor or make an appointment to view an apartment, condo or house. 
If those calls come about because someone saw your PPC ad, you want to be able to track which ads and keywords
are driving calls.

Press Release
By Allison Sledge

COLUMBUS, GEORGIA REALTORS® ‘THE McLAIN & BATSON TEAM’ EARN THEIR MILITARY RELOCATION PROFESSIONAL (MRP) CERTIFICATIONS

"If I were in the Military, I would want to work with an MRP because they went the extra mile to show that they care and that they are knowledgeable about VA loans and all aspects of Military life.”
Gail McLain



COLUMBUS, GEORGIA, USA, March 20, 2017 /
EINPresswire.com/ -- Bob and Gail McLain along with their granddaughter Morgan Batson, of CENTURY 21 Premier Real Estate in Columbus, Georgia, are Certified Military Relocation Professionals (MRP’s).

Bob says, “My Dad was in the Army Air Force (AAF) and worked in Aviation as a Radio Communications Technician.”

Gail says, “My Dad was in the Army so I understand the situations that they are put in. Women who stay home while their husbands are deployed go through a tremendous amount of stress, worrying about the safety of their spouse overseas while handling all the responsibilities at home and raising the children – my heart just goes out to them. I care about them deeply because they sacrifice so much for our country.”

Morgan reveals, “The Military are such a wonderful group of people who are so loyal to one another, which is why it is very important to give them excellent service. It’s imperative to understand their language, their needs and their circumstances because they deserve the utmost respect for protecting our country and fighting for our freedoms. I never take what they do for granted and I am truly honored to be able to assist them in any way that I can.”

After high school, Bob worked in the textile mill as the Weaving Mechanical Supervisor while attending Southern University College. He later worked for Kimberly Clark Corporation before becoming a tire builder for Michelin Tire Company. It was during this time that Bob decided to get his Real Estate license & begin his current career.

Bob is a Certified New Home Specialist; Certified Marketing Specialist; USAA Certified; Multi-Million Dollar Club; Lifetime member of the Columbus Board of Realtors Circle of Excellence; Phenix City Board of Realtors Circle of Merit; a facilitator of Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University, proud owner of German Shepherd dogs and a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Ellerslie, Georgia.

In the 1980’s Gail became a licensed Realtor and like many other homemakers, she thought it would be a ‘cool’ part-time job. “It didn’t quite work out that way!” She says, “I loved working in real estate but with teenage children still at home, I soon realized that it was too much of a sacrifice of family time.” Therefore, Gail decided to attend Columbus State University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. She worked in banking for 15 years before retiring in 2011. “To be a great Realtor, you must be full-time and very committed, so many years after my children were grown, I retired from Wells Fargo and became a full-time Real Estate agent working with my husband, Bob.”

Gail is currently a member of the Columbus Board of Realtors, the Phenix City Board of Realtors, the Georgia Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. A member of Cornerstone Baptist Church, Gail facilitates Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University classes, loves her German Shepherd dogs, cats, chickens, cooking, sewing, gardening and volunteers at Sound Choices Pregnancy Center.

Morgan graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science. She says, “I really wanted to be a Physician’s Assistant because I always wanted to help people. Then, my grandparents came to me and said ‘We really need your help… why don’t you come join our team?’ I had no idea of what I was getting into, but I was excited and I loved it! I got my Real Estate license in two months and I am so very blessed to have my grandparents in my life. They are extremely supportive of me and encourage me in everything that I do.”

Morgan is a member of the Columbus Board of Realtors Circle of Excellence, the Phenix City Board of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors. She was awarded the Rookie of the Year for 2016 by the Columbus Board of Realtors. An avid fitness expert, she teaches BUTI yoga and loves her daily workouts. Morgan is a member of the Junior League of Columbus and enjoys playing on a kickball team with her high school sweetheart & boyfriend of 10 years.

Bob says, “I am so proud of Morgan and I’m so grateful to have her with us, and Gail is my best friend… she keeps me on the straight and narrow. We value the Christian principles and we treat our clients the way Jesus would treat anyone.”

Gail says, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Morgan on our team, and I love the fact that Bob is such a good Christian. He’s got a beautiful heart and soul. We give credit to God for our success. It is a blessing from God and we acknowledge that. All of our clients were sent to us by God and we are here to serve them.”

Bob likes working with buyers and meeting new people. He enjoys showing them houses and guiding them through the homebuying process while Gail loves helping the sellers and giving them good home staging & financial advice. It’s a match made in heaven!

Morgan says, “We’ve built our brand around the Military and Veterans. If you don’t tap into that, you’re missing out on a phenomenal group of people! They can make a choice as to who they want to work with and we’re here for them. We know what we’re talking about.”

Gail agrees. “If I were in the Military, I would want to work with an MRP because they went the extra mile to show that they care and that they are knowledgeable about VA loans and all aspects of Military life. 90% of our clients are Military so we thought it was very important that we all have the Military Relocation Professional Certification.”

For more information about “The McLain & Batson Team”, please visit these important websites:

http://www.mclainbatsonteam.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ColumbusHarrisCountyGeorgiaHomes/

http://mvarep.org/profile/McLainBatsonTeam?xg_source=profiles_memberList


Media Contact:
The McLain & Batson Team
Century 21 Premier Real Estate
(706) 888-4063
[email protected]

Click Link Below To See The McLain & Batson Teams Published Press Release

How to Enhance Your Real Estate Branding With Public Relations
By Matthew Bushery


Once you’ve established a strong online presence  - one that includes a fully fleshed out website, consistent content creation, and a savvy social media strategy  - it’s time to turn your attention to other Real Estate Branding efforts to support this digital marketing foundation. 


Promoting your business through blog posts, social shares, and email campaigns is a vital component of any successful Real Estate Marketing Plan, but it’s not always enough to draw attention from the right audience. 


However, there is a way to break through to a new level of brand recognition — using community outreach to maximize exposure, specifically through a Real Estate Public Relations (PR) strategy, which we explain how to implement below.


The Core Benefits of Public Relations — and How It Can Help Your Real Estate Branding

Before explaining how you can get your Real Estate PR Campaign off the ground, let’s examine why it’s worth your time to pursue this tactic. There are many benefits for brands in using Public Relations to enhance their visibility — many of which are applicable to you, the agent — but these are the primary benefits to consider.

You can get assistance in gaining exposure for your Real Estate Brand.


No one gets to where they want to be professionally without a little help. Sometimes, it comes in the form of a reference from a former colleague that helps you land a job. Other times, it’s a referral lead from another agent in your market. Similarly, when it come to Public Relations, you can leverage other people (journalists, TV/radio personalities, industry influencers, bloggers) and publications (newspapers/news websites, magazines, weekly/monthly newsletters) to become a recognizable agent in your community.


While it typically takes time to develop a solid PR Strategy that generates buzz around your brand and positions you in the light you want leads to see you in, sticking with your community outreach plan in the long run will bring about numerous distinct benefits for your brand. Think of it this way: Just as persistence is required to “win” with your Real Estate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy, the same holds true for building mutually beneficial relationships that yield more acknowledgement of — and, if done right, high praise for — your company and you can develop relationships with sources who have large followings.


Speaking of relationship-building, it certainly comes in handy to have connections who can regularly publish and promote your content and help introduce your Real Estate Brand to an entirely new audience


The trick to building bonds with Writers, Editors, Reporters, Publicists, and other Media Professionals is learning what you can do for them in return.


The biggest benefit you can offer publications, blogs, and other digital channels is Name Recognition that will generate traffic for their sites and, in turn, advertising revenue. This means having an extensive online presence is paramount: The more fans and followers you have, the more likely you are to appeal to publications, podcasts, radio stations, and similar outlets who can share your information and content.


You Can Build And Maintain Your Real Estate Brand Reputation With Help From A PR Professional

Over time, as you develop close relationships with those who work for News Outlets, respected blogs, and similar entities, you will notice big changes in your Real Estate Marketing Analytics (assuming you track all external brand mentions closely and routinely). Additionally, you will also likely notice that people recognize your name and that of your company.


Some people may know you from the local newspaper where you were quoted regarding home buying trends, a community charity event you sponsored, or perhaps a similar promotional endeavor you undertook in previous months. Thats the power of Public Relations: It helps you publicize yourself and your brand in ways that support your digital marketing foundation and lead more people to check out your online presence who haven’t done so before.


It takes effort to gain exposure both offline and online (with the latter taking slightly more importance given the age we live in), but these “bonus” marketing efforts can generate lots of traction for your business that may otherwise never come about without some savvy outreach.


The Bare-Bones Basics Needed to Start a Public Relations Marketing Strategy

If Public Relations is the icing on the cake, your overall Real Estate Marketing Strategy is the cake itself — each layer representing a different component of your online presence: your website, email campaigns, social accounts, guest postings, promotional videos, etc. Without all of these elements, a real estate PR Plan will do you no good.

It’s not enough to get your website set up — it needs to be routinely improved.


A modern, responsive Real Estate Website is the basis for any comprehensive and compelling online presence … But in reality, it’s just the first step. To merit some Real Estate PR, you must build many landing pages on your website that provide unique value for your audience. A concerted effort is required to build up your site’s SEO Value through creating pages that highlight, among other things:

  • Details about your work history, certifications, and specialties
  • In-depth information about local housing conditions and your community
  • The particulars of popular streets, neighborhoods, and developments
  • Quotes and insights from buyer and seller clients you’ve worked with
  • Resources for buyers and sellers (e.g. ebooks featuring advice)


Once these pages have been built, you have the necessary collateral to justify spending time, energy, and money ramping up your Public Relations Efforts and, in turn, putting a magnifying lens to your digital body of work.


Promote your own content through email, social media, and other channels regularly.

Offering your Real Estate Knowledge and expertise to local news services and getting your housing research syndicated on business blogs in your market are tremendous methods for plugging your business and getting more clicks to (and leads from) your website. Having said that, this should only be put into action once you take care of the core promotional tactics you can conduct on your own time — especially through email and social media.


The Best Ways To Develop Mutually Beneficial Relationships With The Media And Bloggers

With your primary, day-to-day Real Estate Marketing Plan in place, you can turn your attention to Public Relations activities. There’s no one way to do PR — it’s all a matter of need and preference. The one place to start planning your PR strategy, though, is with outreach.


Write Detailed Copy That Explains Your Real Estate Brands Value Proposition And Goals

When you first began your career as an agent, you likely created a mission statement that outlined, at a high level, what you aim to achieve in Real Estate Sales. One of the chief tasks any professional with a PR strategy should undertake is to create coherent, to-the-point boilerplate language for use in Press Releases and by media who will need a description of your brand should they mention you in their content. Create a similar statement that relays your value proposition and what distinguishes you from other agents.


Be As Personable And Relatable In Your Press Releases As Possible To Earn The Trust Of Resources.

Just as you present your services and sales history to potential seller clients during listing presentations, it’s ideal to be down-to-earth and relaxed when pitching stories to news outlets, blogs, and the like. The stuffier and staler you are with your proposal, the less likely your contact is to be receptive to your ideas and requests.


If you’re unsure of how to get your foot in the door with PR pitches for stories, brand inclusions, and quotes, not to worry: Sites like Help a Reporter Out (or HARO) make it simpler to connect with the right Real Estate Publications and other sources that pertain closest to your area(s) of expertise.


If you’re a busy Real Estate Agent, your inbox is filled to the brim with email from past and current clients, top-of-the-funnel prospects, bottom-of-the-funnel leads, colleagues, bosses, and other connections. That means it’s pretty difficult for someone you don’t know to grab your attention and make you click on a message, right? Now put yourself in the shoes of a media member with the same dilemma: Are they more likely to open an email with the subject line “I have a GREAT opportunity for you! Click here!” or one that’s personalized to them and piques their interest?


Offer Real Estate–Oriented Answers And Insights That Are Too Good For Contacts To Pass Up

At the end of the day, the most enticing reason for Writers, Editors, Producers, and those in similar Media-Based Positions to use you as a source in a News Report, Press Release, Feature Article, or other content is your expertise and knowledge of all things Real Estate. Constantly learning on the job and gaining new certifications and designations through the National Association of Realtors and other industry resources isn’t just something that can help your bottom line — it can also help prove you can be extremely useful to those producing content around Real Estate.


In your communications with media connections, express the specific, intricate aspects of Real Estate in which you are most knowledgeable. It’s this attention to detail that can lead to them choosing to incorporate your voice and thoughts in a piece of Press instead of another local agent.


Personalization in email subject lines legitimizes your brand and increases the odds of recipients opening your email, so spend some time crafting short subject lines that boost your chances of getting your messages read and responses from persons of interest. Of course, email is just one touch point, as mentioned, but nonetheless, this is imperative if you ever want to build long-term relationships with the media and prominent personalities online.


The Essential Real Estate Public Relations Activities You Can Conduct Yourself

Even as recent as the early 2000s, the need for Real Estate Agents and other professionals to leverage external media professionals to build brand awareness through tactics like Press Releases and interviews was high. Real Estate Industry Members simply didn’t have the resources or know-how to get mass exposure by themselves.  Times have changed and now it's time for you to get out in the world and make yourself and your brand known to the world!


Building a reputable Real Estate Brand starts and ends with being omnipresent, so while the (overwhelming) majority of your marketing time and energy should be spent in front of your computer screen, don’t forget to fill in the gaps, so to speak, with offline promotional activities like these.


Consistently Craft New Content For Your SEO Marketing

As noted above, fine-tuning your on- and off-site SEO efforts is an absolute must if you want to bolster your Real Estate Branding.

Your website: It’s what makes success in search engine results pages (SERPs) for organic marketing possible. Some agents may not consider these activities related to Public Relations, but that’s exactly what they help with: getting your brand name better-known on the internet and by the right audience searching for primary, secondary, and long-tail keywords pertaining to your housing market.


Publicity For Real Estate Agents:

Reputation Is Everything!!!


We live in a digital world. You’re probably reading this on a computer or mobile device, which is probably also where you get your news. 


Being in the news is great - and it gives you a stellar reputation.



Newspapers are still a vital part of our media culture, and Newspaper articles are powerful tools for Real Estate SalesPeople get their news everywhere online. They go to online Television Stations to read their news and Real Estate news sites for Real Estate information



They read their news on Social Media news sites, Military news sites and Business News sites - millions of people are online everyday - reading their news online.


Publicity for Real Estate now seeks to build NAME RECOGNITION  for the Real Estate Agent, and draw the potential client into making contact with you.

Things Everyone Should Know About Public Relations

Public Relation (PR) Agencies promote their clients, their services and often, their stories. But unlike advertisers, they persuade their external or internal audiences via earned methods. Whether it’s the traditional media, social media or speaking engagements, they communicate with their audiences through trusted sources.


To help the general public understand Public Relations and how to use these skills, and for those in the industry who need to explain their jobs to their grandparents, the occasional stranger, and friends, here are a few things everyone should know about Public Relations.



 


What Is Public Relations?

PR is the Persuasion Business. You are trying to convince an audience, inside your building or town, and outside your usual sphere of influence, to promote your idea, understand your services, support your position, or recognize your accomplishments. Here’s what the Public Relations Society of America PRSA agreed upon after a few thousand submissions:  “Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public.”


PR People Are Storytellers

They create narratives to advance their agenda. PR can be used to protect, enhance or build reputations through the media, social media, or self-produced communications.  A good PR practitioner will analyze the client, find the positive messages and translate those messages into positive stories.  


The Princeton Review notes that: “A Public Relations Specialist is an image shaper. Their job is to generate positive publicity for their client and enhance their reputation… They keep the public informed about the activity of individuals, celebrities, government agencies, explain policy, and manage political campaigns. Public Relations people may handle consumer relations, or the relationship between parts of the company such as the managers and employees, or different branch offices.”


Their Tools Include The Following:


  • Write and distribute Press Releases
  • Speech writing
  • Write pitches (less formal than Press Releases) about a firm and send them directly to journalists
  • Create and execute special events designed for public outreach and media relations
  • Conduct market research on the firm or the firm’s messaging
  • Expansion of business contacts via personal networking or attendance and sponsoring at events
  • Writing and blogging for the web (internal or external sites)
  • Crisis public relations strategies
  • Social media promotions and responses to negative opinions online


How Is Public Relations Different Than Advertising?

Public Relations tastes great, advertising is less filling. There’s an old saying: “Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”


Public Relations is earned media.  This means you convince reporters or editors to write a positive story about you or your client, your candidate, brand or issue.  It appears in the editorial section of the magazine, newspaper, TV station or website. So your story has more credibility because it was independently verified by a trusted third party.


Another huge difference is price.  PR firms charge monthly retainers or can be hired for specific projects. 


Advertising can be very pricey. A former client purchased one full-page ad in a weekly magazine that cost him $125,000.  He expected a wave of phone calls, viral media and multiple conversations about the ad.  He got zero.  


In contrast, getting quoted in the New York Times, Forbes and Reuters resulted in national speaking invitations, calls from new and existing clients, and solid credibility. Not everyone can afford $125,000, but advertising can be expensive when you figure the cost of the space or time plus the creative designs and production costs.  And most advertisements need to be repeated several times before the consumer can be influenced.


Because it’s in their best interest to sell you more ads, advertising folks tell clients what you WANT to hear. “Baby you’re the best! You just need to pay for a few months more for billboards and TV spots!”  Because PR people deal with image enhancement and creation of long-term relationships where your story often must be accepted by others (the media) before you obtain recognition, PR people tell clients what they NEED to hear.

IN 2017 - MORE REALTORS® WILL DO CONTENT MARKETING - AND SMART ONES WILL BE MORE TARGETED 


Marketing mavens have been talking content marketing and “becoming a media company” for years.


At Inman Connect San Francisco, Gary Vaynerchuk proposed the “digital mayor” strategy. And in 2017, more Realtors will be creating written, video, and visual content than ever.



Why? Content adds value to homeowners. Content is one of the most effective methods of generating organic traffic to your website. Content generates organic (low cost) leads. Content can be used to qualify prospects. 


Content is, as it has always been, king!


Now, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine ranking place (SERP) for Real Estate is getting tougher because of all this content being created by your competition, both small and big.


Googles latest algorithm changes clearly prefers sites that have useful content for their users.


This means you simply cannot rank as well with a normal MLS-listing-based website.


Why? Because Zillow and Realtor.com are already doing that, and their massive database will always outrank you. Furthermore, Googles algorithm is expected to get a lot smarter in 2017 with big changes expected in the area of local SEO.


However, smart marketers realize that you don’t need to have thousands of views per blog; you only need your target audience to see your content.


Therefore, smarter marketers are clarifying their target audience, rather than targeting “anyone who is looking to buy or sell in XYZ city.”


Therefore, the next trend will be to create more content marketing with a very specific target audience and making sure they know who you are and why they should hire you as their agent.


  1. Hyperlocal areas: Cities, neighborhoods and subdivisions
  2. Types of clients: First-time homebuyers, upsizing, downsizing, Military relocation, investors and so on
  3. Types of homes: Condos, lofts, townhouses, duplexes, lakefronts, estates and so on
  4. Timing of the transaction: Moving now, moving soon, moving next year


Action Step

In 2017, devote your time to content marketing because it will be an absolute necessity to make yourself stand out from the competition.


Advertising and lead-generating is temporary, but to build your own brand as the go-to Real Estate Agent in your community, you need to adopt some sort of content marketing strategy.

The Military Market you reach is 100% employed. The Military Market is not affected by the tides of unemployment and it is a stabilized market segment; no recession, no pay cuts, and no unemployment!

Where can you reach millions of young, family-oriented consumers with high rates of disposable income? In the U.S. Armed Forces

The often-overlooked Military Community includes more than six million Active Duty Personnel, Spouses, Children, Volunteers and Civilian Employees.
Veterans Portrait Project
By Stacy PearsallMilitary Veteran

While I’m known internationally for my war photography, it's the Veterans Portrait Project (VPP) where I now focus my lens. I began the VPP as I recovered from combat injuries sustained in Iraq. 

After spending hours in VA waiting rooms surrounded by Veterans from every generation and branch of service, I was compelled to honor and thank them in the only way I know how, photography. Since taking my first portrait in late 2008, I’ve conducted more than 100 portrait engagements, traveled to 65 cities in 27 states and captured over 6,000 Veterans' portraits to date. My goal is to capture portraits of Veterans in every state and province from which the United States Department of Defense recruits.

The Veterans Portrait Project began as an emotionally cathartic, physically healing tool. I’d committed my life to my country and when I could no longer serve in uniform, the VPP became an extension of my service. My new mission is to share the unique stories of Military Veterans and honor their service in a unique, creative way.


Each Veteran receives a complimentary, high-resolution portrait they can share with friends and family. Their portraits and stories are also included in national printed exhibitions, showcased in video productions and shared via social media, thus ensuring their contributions to American Military history are never lost.

The Veterans Portrait Project collection represents the over 22 million Military Veterans in the United States. They’re young and old, male and female. They come from all walks of life and have varied religious beliefs, levels of education and racial ethnicity. What unites them all is their service. It’s a bond that cannot be broken, and I’m proud to be one of them.

To see all of these wonderful Veterans Portraits, please visit Stacy Pearsall's website:

Want Publicity? You Gotta Be Willing To Give


There she is again, staring back at you from that "Ask the Expert" column in your local paper. Once again, that agent is building trust and familiarity with prospects that should be yours.


What's more, she's dispensing Real Estate advice that you could have penned with your eyes closed. Why does she have all the luck?

Answer: She doesn't. Luck has nothing to do with it! Nor does the right-place/right-time myth.


Publicity only comes to Realtors, and Brokers, who make it happen. 


Unfortunately, publicity is often overlooked as a key marketing tool to gain attention and interest in a service or office. Using publicity as a sales tool can be a much more effective method of generating sales than buying advertising, because people assume they'll get objectivity, and useful information, from articles, columns, news stories, radio and TV interviews, how-to pieces, and the like. 


Fortunately, today's technology makes massive publicity affordable for Real Estate Agents.



Multiple Choices

So what are your options? Let's take a look -- you could:

  1. Appear on a Local Radio or TV Talk Show
  2. Publish a Press Release 
  3. Be the Subject of an Article in a Local Newspaper or Magazine
  4. Write an Article or Column
  5. Become Part of a radio Business Panel Discussing Issues that are Pertinent to Home Buyers or Sellers
  6. Speak at Association Meetings or Chamber of Commerce Gatherings
  7. Serve as a Resource for Reporters who need Background Information, Commentary and Opinions on            the Real  Estate industry
  8. Participate in any of hundreds of Publicity Opportunities that increase your image, services                            and awareness. 


More Than Meets the Eye

Now, take a look at what the ideas above have in common: In each situation you're offering free, and useful, advice to consumers, or being helpful by offering yourself as a resource for reporters who need background information, commentary, and story ideas on the Real Estate industry.


That's what I like most about this marketing method -- not only does it help you, but it also helps other people. Call me a Pollyanna, but my personal beliefs and experience are such that "getting begins with giving." Witness this article. Someday, somewhere, someone in my target audience is going to size up my face and my words, feel a sense of trust with me because they gleaned a useful idea from what I offered through my media presence and then will make the effort to ask me about how I can help them.


Ironically, we shy away from publicity because we think it's all about "me," but publicity actually forces you to think about giving, not getting. The result could be that you help someone else succeed, while you simultaneously do so yourself. Now isn't that worth doing? You bet! So let's get started.


And Away You Go

The first thing you must do is make local news media aware that you're interested in being helpful. Get a Press Release. Call Real Estate, or business, reporters and offer to buy them a cup of coffee or lunch. Give them your Press Release. Tell them how little time you'll need (Reporters have busy schedules). Compliment specific articles they've done (Do some homework). Let them know the areas (commercial, residential, military, mortgage lending, etc.) in which you are an expert, and encourage them to call you. Tell them about your experience so that they have some facts to work with and to remember you by, but skip the sales pitch (Reporters don't like to be sold, nor is it their job to promote your business or help you sell your service).


If you're confidant you can follow through (and you have the authority to do so), tell them you can provide industry reports and tips about trends you see in the industry. Let them know you can give opinions and quotes on legislation affecting the Real Estate industry, and that you can draw conclusions and/or comparisons to the impact the legislation might have in your town. Be sure to ask them how they like to receive information (e-mail, fax, phone, snail mail), then follow up by sending information in a short period of time. This will put your name in front of them again. Check-in with them periodically, without being a pest.


course, there are a zillion other things you can do with/for the news media, but my space here is limited. In short, if you want to write a column, put some samples together and approach the business editor of your newspaper. If you want to get on the radio, arrange to meet the appropriate talk show hosts, and tell them you'd like to serve as a resource. If you want to pitch story ideas, put a pitch letter together and send it in (Be sure, however, to include a "hook" or compelling reason why someone should listen to your story. The hook should always be in the form of a solution to a problem. And, for television and magazines, think visuals -- reporters and editors love stories accompanied with pictures - which your Press Release will contain).


Bring It On Home

Sadly, many people lose publicity opportunities because they're hard to reach. In a perfect world, any reporter who could give you valuable publicity would sit by the phone waiting for your return call. But the truth is, reporters always work on a deadline, and the moment you don't answer, they've decided to move on. But they don't move on to the other numbers on your card; instead, they move on to another source - your competitor.

Reporters refuse to play the multiple numbers game -- they want one number that will reach you 24/7. If you haven't consolidated all your contact numbers into one number for your clients, then it's time to do so now for your publicity opportunities. (Don't assume your cell phone is the answer to this dilemma -- cell phones are notoriously unreliable, expensive, and always need to be re-charged when a reporter calls).


Aww Shucks!

Is the homework, the time, and the consolidated phone numbers worth the investment and the resulting publicity? You bet! People will read (or hear) your name, pay you compliments, store you in their memory banks, and best of all, will trust you because, without realizing why, they'll feel more comfortable with you because you gave them advice and let them know who you are. 


Debra Traverso, M.A., is the author of hundreds of articles and five books (published in eight languages), a speaker & trainer, marketing consultant (for Fortune 50 companies), lecturer on news media at Harvard University, and vice president of One Call whose Mobile Manager service for Realtors keeps her available 24/7 for the news media and clients. 

Each year, 200,000 Military members transition from service back to civilian life.

Seventy-five percent of Military Service Members say owning a home is one of the most important things upon returning from service.

Only 10% of Veterans will use their VA home loan benefit, mostly due to lack of education and awareness.

  1. Real Estate Agents need to practice smarter marketing. Aside from negotiation, another aspect of the Real Estate business that will need your focus, is marketing, specially self-marketing

  2. Marketing a property is an entirely different undertaking than marketing yourself. In self-marketing, the product is none other than you, the agent.

  3. You should promote yourself as a credible, competitive, and better agent by having knowledge and confidence about your business and the industry.

                      The Military Market Is A Niche And Specialized Market

One thing for sure, is that most Real Estate agents don’t have deep experience in a particular niche, such as Active-Duty Military and Veterans. Their “generalist” experience and lack of expertise is your opportunity to shine. 


This is why it’s more important than ever to focus your career development on mastering a sub-sector of your market, such as Military families and Veterans.

RICHES ARE IN THE NICHES!!!



To become a successful Real Estate Agent, you can’t go after every home buyer and seller. You have to target a few specific Real Estate Niches in which you’ve proven an ability to close deals. These target audiences, property types, and price ranges may not be the ones you envisioned working with when you started your career as an agent, but there’s plenty of money to be made by specializing in select facets of Real Estate sales.




Use savvy Real Estate marketing ideas that help spread word about your focus area(s) and to make it known that these niches are your forte. 


Active-Duty And Military Veterans

For many Military service members, serving at home or overseas leaves little time to carefully comb over finances and figure out how much house they can afford. Though you can (and should) have things like a mortgage calculator and personal finance tips on your Real Estate website geared toward all buyers and sellers, target collateral specifically toward Military members and Veterans who could use assistance with organizing their money matters and determining how to go about their home purchase.


Sign up on Military-Related websites and publish articles on Military News sites. Provide insights for Veterans, including info on VA loans and how to anticipate future savings and earnings, and their effect on loan terms. 


1) NICHE MARKETING SETS YOU APART FROM YOUR COMPETITION

When it comes to Real Estate marketing, you have to stand out from the crowd immediately. Some Real Estate agents will choose to set themselves apart using weird colors, slogans, logos, or cheesy gimmicks — This is a huge mistake. People will definitely remember you, but for all the wrong reasons.


The best way to stand out from the crowd is to market to a subset of the population. If done correctly, this small group of people will immediately self-identify and resonate with your brand. And when the time comes for them to buy or sell, you are the one that they will look for.


2) YOUR MARKETING BECOMES A PIECE OF CAKE

When you niche down, you can really understand who your ideal client is. This solid understanding will allow you to create an avatar of this person. How old are they? How much money do they make? Where do they live? What are their biggest concerns? What are their dreams and aspirations?


Your marketing plan literally transforms when you finally realize that your ideal customer is a 32-year-old Active-Duty serviceman with an expecting wife, whose number one priority is trading their life in base housing  for a quiet home in the suburbs in time for their baby’s arrival. Or a retired Veteran who needs an experienced Military Relocation Professional to guide them through the process. Once you truly understand your niche, your marketing will no longer feel like a burden, because you now have a template that’s easy as filling in the blanks.


Furthermore, your marketing will no longer feel like an advertisement, but more like an intimate conversation between you and your target demographic. This is what every seasoned marketer dreams of.


3) YOU CAN BEAT ZILLOW AND DOMINATE SEARCH ENGINES

Search engines like Google reward niche content – Especially if you pick a niche with popular keywords and relatively low competition. 


When you dominate this niche, you’ll get discovered on Google. Furthermore, it’s easy to outrank sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin when you take this approach because they have little to no market saturation when it comes to Real Estate niches.


4) YOU GET TO BE THE GURU

When you focus on a particular niche, you really get to dive into every aspect of it — Which makes you better and better over time. When people come to you, your knowledge and expertise will easily shine through. Clients will hire you and trust you based on your expertise.


For instance, if I was a Veteran, I would prefer to work with a Certified Military Relocation Professional. I would feel more comfortable knowing that my Real Estate agent understands my deepest fears, goals, needs, and finances.


5) YOUR PERCEIVED VALUE IS HIGHER AS A SPECIALIST

There’s an old saying that says, “When you try to reach everyone, you become special to no one.” This is because generalists are so common. Think about it. In every industry, the people who make the most money are always specialists – Doctors, lawyers, restaurants, entertainers, athletes, musicians, etc. Real Estate is no different.  So choose a specialty and you’ll always be in high demand.

Many people think the key to success is working harder and working more hours. But we don’t agree.


At Smart Agents, we agree with Abraham Lincoln when he said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend four sharpening the axe.” 


Marketing yourself (and your listings) is a never ending challenge. You must do all that you can to make sure you are always in front of your potential clients. This should be a major priority.



Smart Agents:

There’s a classic story of a lumberjack that illustrates the smart agent’s thinking. A young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job. He asked the young man to cut the tree down. He did so and did it well. Impressed, the foreman said, “You can start Monday.” By the time Thursday afternoon arrived, the worker’s boss told him to pick up his check when he left for the day. The young man said, “I thought you paid on Friday.”

“Normally we do,” said his boss. “But we’re letting you go today because you’ve fallen behind. Our charts show that you’ve dropped from first place on Monday to last place today.” The new worker was confused. He was the first one there and the last one to leave. He took the shortest amount of breaks. The foreman thought for a minute and then asked, “Have you been sharpening your axe?” The young man replied, “No sir, I’ve been working too hard to take time for that!” The moral of the story is simple. Working harder can’t replace or overcome working smarter.


The goal of Smart Agent is to share the techniques and strategies we have worked to perfect with our team of Realtors. There’s so many different opportunities and niches that are overlooked frequently. I remember a foolish agent that was like the young lumberjack. This agent was convinced that working hard and long was the was the way to go. This agent worked 60-75 hours a week. Constantly prospecting and doing what he thought was working the right way. This agent thought his commitment to good service and his visual efforts in marketing were enough to separate himself from his competition. What he didn’t realize was that every agent says the same thing. He may have worked harder than other agents, but since every agent claims they do that, owners didn’t see a difference.


The smart agent is relaxed and doesn’t work more than 40 to 50 hours a week. The difference between these two is obvious and noticeable even outside of work. A smart agent has systems in place to bring him listings. Plus, he actually stands out.


So, that begs the questionWhat do you do to stand out?


How can you prove yourself as an expert in your field and earn the automatic respect from customers and potential customers?You have to become an authority. Really stand out, with your knowledge and experience. There are ways to automatically position yourself as that.


Think about when you give away a business card, or even if you mail out letters. Most mail is opened right over the trash can, there’s a high chance it’s going to be thrown away. People get business cards ALL THE TIME. They’re nice to give out, but it’s not like business cards really help you stand out that much. They’re something you have to have, but it won’t create a point of difference that’s going to really stick in someone’s mind, especially since they all say somewhat of the same thing. Take about 20 minutes and ask yourself these 2 things.


1) What unique benefit can I bring to a client?


2) Why do I deserve to be in this market?


Sell Yourself First!  LOVE What You Do Or Lose The Sale.

If you are not excited about the services you have, how could you possibly expect anyone else to be? In the case of Real Estate, the ‘service’ is YOU. Sure, there’s a lot more to it than you, but ultimately, every person wants you to answer the age old question: “What’s in it for me?” Trying to convince an owner you are the best agent to list their home is nearly impossible if you don’t believe it is true. Before trying to sell one single person, be sure you’ve sold yourself. You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and people WILL like you when you bring a positive, confident attitude to everything you do. Have an answer to “What’s in it for me?” questions. It is not likely you will get that exact question, but it will be the reason behind many things an owner asks. Be prepared with a solid, real-life reason why they should list with you, versus another agent. This is not the place for meaningless, buzzword-filled proclamations. Bring something unique to the table. Something that sets you apart from other agents in your market.


Of course, you must be able to prove your confidence through action. Be ready to DO what you said you would! Give an honest, straightforward answer, and you’ll win their trust. Back it up with actions, and you’ll win their business.

What You Need To Know To Sell to Military Families

This article contains the shopping behaviors, retail preferences, travel habits and big-ticket purchasing decisions of Military families.


Entrepreneurs and business owners increasingly have zeroed in on customer segmentation in search of new market share. From the nation’s changing demographics—such as Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials—each generation offers up its own consumer perspective, behavior, and purchasing journey—all of which business owners must analyze and transform into real-life marketing and sales strategies.



Often one segment proves elusive — Military families. These consumers—including Active Duty Military, Reservists, Veterans and their families — stand apart from the typical consumer in that they experience regular relocations, often live far away from loved ones, possess higher levels of education and maintain a close cadre of friends and neighbors. However, as a consumer group, Military families continue to remain nascent from a marketing perspective.


To shed new light on the shopping behaviors, retail preferences, travel habits and big-ticket purchasing decisions of Military families, Influence Central teamed up with Military One Click, a premier online resource for current and former military personnel and their families. Our study reached Spouses of Active Duty and Retired Military personnel, as well as Moms of Military service members. In addition, respondents came from all branches of the service, including the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force, with near equal representation. Study findings also remained consistent no matter the length of Military service.


Our study of 400 Military family members offered an insider’s view into what most influences their consumer purchasing choices and shares insights on what business owners and entrepreneurs can do to reach this market.



1. Military Discounts Prove Tipping Points to Purchase

The best way to reach consumers affiliated with the Military? Offer a Military discount. Overwhelmingly, Military families say they shop at businesses that offer these discounts, and 92 percent say they tailor their purchases to stores that offer deals for Military familiesMoreover, Military personnel and their family members will eagerly travel to get this discount. Sixty-seven percent of Military families will drive upwards of 15 miles if a business offers a substantial discount.


2. Word of Mouth Plays a Powerful Role in This Close-Knit Community

Even if a growing business serves up a discount to Active Duty Military personnel, Reservists, or Veterans—it won’t work if no one knows about it. So communicating these deals to Military families will be key to making it work, including engaging with Military consumers via social media or word-of-mouth marketing so customers and potential customers can remain aware of the latest offerings. In addition, business owners can look to build strong relationships with Military consumers so their businesses will remain top of mind. Finally, don’t forget to encourage these customers to write online reviews to help share their personal experiences with their Military colleagues.


3. Travel And Vacations Are A High Priority

As Military families spend much of their lives away from family, vacations and travel increase in importance, as more than 55 percent look to visit family one to two times each year. In addition, these families also seek out relaxation as a family and nearly 60 percent take vacations one to two times per year. Yet even as these families place a premium on getting away, they still seek out value. More than 80 percent search for vacation destinations that offer a discount, and nearly 90 percent use the availability of Military discounts to determine where they’ll stay on vacation.


5. Ownership Trumps Leasing

Despite their mobility, Military families exhibit a strong preference for buying items outright, instead of leasing or renting—particularly for big-ticket items such as cars or homes. Our study showed that an overwhelming 95 percent of Military families prefer to buy cars and houses instead of taking out a lease or renting. As in other categories, these families still keep an eye out for value, as 81 percent of Military families prefer to buy a house from a qualified Military Real Estate Agent who is familiar with their needs.


We’ve long known that moms direct their family’s purchasing decisions, but this study offers entrepreneurs and business owners new insights and perspectives into the consumer behavior of Active Duty Military, Reservists, Veterans and their families. Gaining a deeper understanding of what motivates the habits of this powerful American consumer group, as well as what impacts their path to purchase, can go a long way in beginning to cultivate this market as a strong consumer segment.

Seven Reasons Why You Should Buy A House When You Are In The Military

1) It Can Be Less Expensive:  Again, it depends on the market demographics of the area.  In the area my family is probably moving, it is much less expensive to buy a house than to rent.  For example, a single listing on Militarybyowner.com shows the same house for rent for $1,850 per month, or for sale for $275,000.   A mortgage payment on a 30 year loan for $275,000 would cost roughly $1350 per month, a savings of $500 per month.  You can either pocket some serious savings, or get a much bigger house.


2) You Have Lots Of Kids Or Big Dogs and it is near impossible find rental housing or live on base:  This one is pretty self-explanatory.

3) You Really, Really Want To Be Absolutely Positive That You Won’t Have To Move Mid-Tour:  Even with a long lease, stuff can happen and you can have to move unexpectedly.  Owning decreases the possibility to as close to zero as possible.

4) You  Want To Paint Or Plant Trees Or Smoke Up A Storm:  Renting means restrictions on what you can and can not do to and in the house.  If you buy, you can pretty much do anything that is legal and isn’t against the covenants of your neighborhood.

5) This Is Your Forever Home:  Whether you are leaving the service or just planning ahead, it is nice to get started paying off your forever home while you are still receiving Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH.)

6) It Could Appreciate In Value, And You Could Make A Profit(either in sales profit, or monthly rental income):  If the market works in your favor, you could see appreciation in the value of your house, or earn monthly rental income, or both.  

7) There Can Be Tax Benefits:  Under the current tax laws, mortgage interest for your primary residence is deductible if you itemize your deductions on a Schedule. If you then rent the property, you may benefit from the loss created by depreciating the property.


As you can see, there are numerous benefits and costs to buying a house, and many of those issues are created by or increased by the nature of the Military lifestyle.  It is a huge decision and Military families struggle to make the right choice every day. 

Niche Focus: Military and Veteran Markets
By NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS 


Recognizing when certain Real Estate industry trends are coming to an end may present lucrative niche segment opportunities for growth. This is particularly the case if you have a solid idea where your targeted market is heading. One niche market to consider may include working with Military and Veterans personnel.




The case for the Military niche begins with a vast population of potential buyers and sellers. There 22 million Veterans in America and almost 1.5 million Active Duty Military personnel, according to data presented in a Press Release issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). 


Military buyers are also eligible for attractive mortgage packages offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ home loan program, which features zero-down payment loans and boast one of the lowest default rates in the country.


The knocks on addressing the Military niche are abundant and have been so for some time. However, this is one of the things a forward-thinking and savvy broker or agent should be looking for—an underserved market that is ripe for recovery under the right circumstances, many of which can be driven by Real Estate professionals who want to serve this unique market.


One perk to current economic conditions is that inventory is near its 30-year lows in many U.S. markets. Interest rates continue to be outstanding on the commercial market and even better when properties are financed through a VA Loan offered exclusively to Military personnel.


Furthermore, the rental market continues to be sensationally-hot throughout the U.S., particularly in areas where families are routinely coming and going. That can be a selling point to any Military or Veteran home buyer. Do this by including a rental marketing plan for Military families who will likely be moved within two or three years. Demonstrate to buyers up front how monthly rental income will cover the costs of mortgage and ongoing maintenance expenses.


This is hardly a ground-breaking new business model; however, it can still be highly-effective when Military personnel purchase a home for the right price! In this capacity Real Estate agents can function as much more than an agent to a home; rather, they can also serve as a trusted business advisor that helps honorable and forward-thinking Military families invest in their long-term financial futures.


Three Things to Get Started:

  1. Market Viability—Do your research and make sure there is a market for Military home buyers and sellers in the communities you serve. For example, if there is a large population of Military and Veteran personnel in the communities you serve and housing prices are on the rise, then you may have very good reason to begin addressing this niche.  But it is also important to remember that Veterans are everywhere.
  2. Become a Military Expert—In addition to knowing your market inside and out, you must understand and respect the nuances of Military families. What influences home buying vs. renting decisions? What can Military personnel afford to buy? What do they pay to rent? What local, state and federal benefits exist? What is your plan for managing or selling a property if a family gets moved? NAR’s Military Relocation Professional (MRPprogram is a great way for a REALTOR® to gain education that qualifies them to address the Military niche.
  3. Build your Network—Establishing relations with local Military Relocation officials and positioning your skills as value-added expertise will be critical to long-term success. Seek referrals from pleased customers and attend local Military events for starters. In short, show you understand and care about the unique challenges your customers face and can be a visionary and expert resource rather than just an order taker.


The Military niche is not for every agent.  However, those who can focus on the serving the needs of Military now will be positioned to be leaders in their markets when this trend becomes the one your peers are talking about, if they aren’t already doing so.

What Real Estate Agents Need To Know To Serve Military Service Members And Veterans

Buying a home is a goal of many Americans and Veterans and Military members especially value home ownership. Three-quarters of Military service members said buying a home was one of their biggest goals after returning from service


These men and women may have different home buying needs than the average civilian. This is why it's crucial their Real Estate agent be in tune with the nuances that go into finding the perfect house for a Military person or family.


Veterans and service members are eligible for a VA loan. These loans offer low rates, flexible credit standards and other great benefits that don't go along with the typical mortgage. 


However, only 10 percent of qualified home buyers don't take advantage of the VA loan - mainly because of lack of education.


Military Members Need Knowledgeable Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents are important to the home buying process for many, but an agent experienced in working with service members and their families are important for Veteran home buyers. This is because many of them may not know how to look for house that meets their needs or about how to take advantage of the VA loan program. 


According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, service members also have access to free financial education and counseling through the Personal Financial Management Program at their local installation. It's important that Real Estate agents working with service members know all of their rights and benefits in the home buying process, as some of them may not know everything they are qualified for.


When a service member looks for the right Real Estate agent, they look for someone who can help them navigate the complex process of buying a home. The VA loan offers unique benefits, but also has unique requirements for properties purchased through it, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 


What Real Estate Agents Should Know

Aside from available benefits and property requirements, agents hoping to help Military service members find homes should also educate themselves on the rules of working with Military members A way to determine if they are eligible for the grants available to disabled Veterans, agents can ask whether they receive monthly checks from the VA. This could be an indication they are disabled and may qualify for a grant for specially adapted housing.

A Real Estate agent working with a Military service member may have to dig a little deeper to learn what the client needs from a house. Realtor.com explained some active-duty service members may only have a short period of time to find a home. This is because when they receive a permanent change of station order (PCS) they have 10 days to find a home in the new area. If a Real Estate agent knows this ahead of time, he or she will be able to prioritize this client better in the home search.


Also, because active-duty service members might be asked to relocate several times throughout their careers, it is especially important that the chosen home have a good resale value. The person or family may only live in the home for a few years before receiving relocation orders again. This means there is little time to increase the resale value. So, finding a home with a great value right away will prove to be beneficial to the service member in the long run.


When working with Veterans and Military service members, it is crucial that agents know what benefits they are eligible for, what requirements the property must adhere to, as well as all the needs the person has for the home. 


By educating oneself about working with this group of people beforehand, Real Estate agents are sure to be successful in working with our nation's service men and women.


ISIS IS NOW TRUMP'S WAR -  BUT DOES HE HAVE A PLAN FOR ‘THE DAY AFTER’?

By James Kitfield 

President Trump holds an executive memorandum on defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria after signing it in the Oval Office of the White House on January 28th, 2017. 


In his first speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, President Donald Trump repeated his promise from the campaign trail to achieve a decisive victory over the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

Just the day before, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis had briefed the president and his national security team on a list of options for accelerating the fight against the terrorist group. “As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS — a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women and children of all faiths and beliefs,” Trump told Congress, in an unusually restrained and disciplined speech. “We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.”


Dropping all his claims during the campaign that he had a secret and “foolproof” plan for defeating ISIS “quickly and effectively and having total victory,” Trump now faces what are likely to prove to be some of the most important decisions of his presidency. Barack Obama similarly promised to decimate al-Qaida and fight the good fight in Afghanistan as a presidential candidate in 2008, for instance, only to come to recognize that those early decisions on the Afghan war were the most difficult and consequential of his presidency, reverberating throughout his entire eight years in office.


The nature of Trump’s anti-ISIS campaign could fundamentally recast U.S. alliances, with repercussions lasting years, and even decades. Trump’s military plan will also reveal the level of risk that an inexperienced and unpredictable president is willing to assume in order to keep a campaign promise that plays well with his political base and burnishes his strongman persona, yet entails life-and-death consequences. With the recent loss of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens on a commando raid in Yemen, Trump has already felt the weighty burden of the commander-in-chief who sends service members on perilous missions, only to have some return in flag-draped coffins.


Most importantly, Trump’s anti-ISIS campaign plan will provide an early indication of whether he grasps the complexity of a threat that is not likely to yield decisive or easily sustained victories. Indeed, completing the ongoing military task of wresting Mosul and Raqqa from ISIS’ grasp is likely to be only the first, albeit important, phase in a long journey. The United States’ conflict with the global jihadist movement, now almost two decades old, is now officially Trump’s war. “But the military defeat of ISIS is only the first step,” Petraeus said. “The much more challenging task is to use all elements of American and coalition power to help achieve political solutions that will avoid once again creating fertile ground for extremists, and thereby avoid the rise of ISIS 3.0.”


And he added: “Our success in that mission will determine whether the U.S. military has to do this all over again in five years. And beyond that, we have to bear in mind that this is a generational struggle, and we have to conduct it in a way that is sustainable over the long term.”


According to a knowledgeable source, the anti-ISIS plan delivered to the White House fell far short of a formal campaign strategy endorsed by the secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs. “I would call it less of a plan than a framework for considering a range of options designed to achieve desired end states, and the risks associated with those options,” said a senior Pentagon source. “The idea is to begin a discussion with the White House and eventually elicit guidance and decisions about where the commander-in-chief wants to go with the campaign.”


At a minimum, the Trump administration’s anti-ISIS campaign is likely to intensify and accelerate efforts already underway. Many experts expect the Pentagon to increase the numbers of the 5,000 U.S. troops currently deployed in Iraq, and the roughly 500 in Syria, who are primarily on train, assist and enable missions. Operational commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, who heads the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, has already repor