Business ResourcesResources for your real estate business.
FAAR hosted a panel discussion called “Booming Business: how to capitalize on the growing 55+ market” featuring a stellar group of speakers moderated by 2020 FAAR President, Drew Fristoe. Below you will find a new resource guide with contacts to all of the panel members in pdf form for easy printing and sharing and a recording of the event. Here is the list of panelists with contact information.
Century 21 Redwood
Spring Arbor of Fredericksburg
Healthy Generations, Area Agency on Aging
A question was also asked about how to find qualified local attorneys who specialize in elder care. Kim Moulds was kind enough to share a resource she received from ElderCare Matters. If you’re interested in investigating this resource, please visit eldercarematters.com. FAAR does not have a relationship with this organization nor does the Association endorse using their services. It is being shared for informational purposes only.
Prospecting in a pandemic is different than any other prospecting we have done before. This week Deb Ellis shares with us how we can retool old tactics to work for us in a pandemic.
Build Your Relationships
Do you have a good CRM (customer relations management) program? If you do, Great it is time to break that out! If you don’t, it is time to build one. There are three key things that will contribute to a successful CRM. The first thing you will want to check is your contact list. Do you have a database of all your contacts? A great way to keep track of your contacts can be a simple Google Sheet. You will want to make sure your contacts have the name of the contact, an email address, and possibly a phone number.
The second thing you will want is a collection of notes that help you reach out to people such as the day they adopted their dog, their wedding anniversary, or the day they bought their home. Sending people handwritten notes acknowledging both the big events and the small events is a great way to create a real connection.
Finally, setting up an email campaign to go out once a week can be a great engagement tool. Many times the topics in your “newsletter” don’t even have to be about real estate. Selling real estate is all about selling a lifestyle, so connect your newsletter to lifestyle such as what local restaurant is having a special.
Another great way to do prospecting in a pandemic is to utilize video. Short videos of things around your area, you talking about the great refinancing rates, or even interviewing local businesses about how they’re currently doing business, can get a lot of interaction. Videos are a great way to get face to face time with potential clients and engage them on topics that are relevant to them right now.
Posting videos on Instagram, Facebook, and in your newsletter can get you the greatest reach. Make sure your social media pages stay up to date and relevant to get the most exposure.
Serving your local community can seem nearly impossible in a pandemic. Luckily, there is a great new resurgence of food trucks! Organizing a food truck for your community can be a free marketing tool. It may only cost you time. Organizing an event like this is not only timely, it is fun!
Update Your Bio
Now is a great time to update your bio and your photo. Some experts suggest your photo should be updated every two to five years. Take a look at your bio and see if there is anything new you would like to add or if you would like to reword anything. Check out this great class by Matthew Rathbun on writing a Bio for Success.
Hold a Pandemic Friendly Open House
Get face time and engagement with potential buyers. Better yet, show other sellers how hard you’ll work to get their property out there. Try hosting a digital open house. If you’re not quite sure how Shaw with Universal Title made a great video with a variety of ideas on How to Make Your Virtual Open House a Success.
For more on these great tips and other ideas, check out the video below!
While the staff at FAAR has been hard at work from home, the easing of restrictions on businesses announced by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has the staff excited to come back and serve our members in real life. The safety of our staff, our members, and the public is paramount to FAAR so we have created a phased reopening approach.
The entire office was deep cleaned. At the front desk, plexiglass partitions were installed to minimize person-to-person contact during transactions. We are stocked up on hand sanitizers and disinfectants so that the staff can regularly clean the frequently used areas such as door handles, bathrooms, and classroom.
FAAR is open on an appointment-only basis to start and then will reopen fully with adherence to the Governor’s requirements and with continued virtual capabilities. Check out the full details of the reopening schedule, the staff looks forward to continuing to provide the membership with great service!
May 18: FAAR staff returns to work
- Members are welcomed in the building on an appointment-only basis
- For your safety and for the safety of those around you, we require that face coverings and a 6-foot social distance be maintained at all times
- Staff will wear masks when interacting with members
- We will continue all current services virtually as well as serving you in the office
- Staff will conduct frequent wipe downs of high-touch areas such as the front desk, elevator buttons, shared equipment, kitchen counter, faucets, microwave, refrigerator, etc.
June 1: FAAR resumes normal business hours for all members
- For your safety and the safety of those around, FAAR encourages all members and the public visiting the building to wear face coverings and maintain a 6-foot social distance
- Staff will continue to disinfect high-touch areas on a frequent basis
- FAAR will continue to offer classes, meetings, and events in a virtual format in addition to in-person at the office, as allowed by the Governor’s orders
Enjoyed conducting all of your FAAR business remotely? No need to stop! We will continue to offer virtual processing of all membership services, touchless store pickups upon request, and virtual learning for CE credit.
Digital marketing is an everyday necessity, the need for which is only amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week in our free Tech Time workshop, Chris Muldrow of Fredericksburg Today discussed how you can reach your potential clients through Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and MailChimp.
Digital Marketing through Facebook
Facebook is an excellent way to reach individuals interested in purchasing homes. One major factor, in the effectiveness of Facebook, is that their primary demographic fits with a general targeted market of home buyers. Additionally, Facebook has a wide reach. Before you get started with your Facebook ads, check out these great tips from Facebook Business.
Things to keep in mind when marketing on Facebook
- People browsing facebook like to stay on facebook – Sometimes it is better to push people to an active Facebook page than your webpage
- There are many different types of ad campaigns. Make sure you understand the differences before selecting one.
- Don’t forget to mark that your ad is in a special category to be sure your ad follows fair housing guidelines.
Marketing on Google
As Chris points out in Tech Time, everyone Googles at least once a day. A tried and true tool of marketing is to be where your clients are. Google targets audiences with search histories and habits related to your marketing campaign. Check out how to build a great Google ad from ads.google.com.
Things to keep in mind when marketing on Google
- Ads are targeted based on people’s search history and user profiles.
- You will want to direct people to either a personal website or specific listing (preferably hosted on your website.)
- Ads that run through Google can be built in several different formats to reach a wider audience.
Running a Newsletter Through MailChimp
Out of all the marketing channels discussed, MailChimp is the most direct. Unlike the other two marketing channels where you are looking for new potential clients, MailChimp helps you farm potential clients. By creating a monthly or bimonthly newsletter, you can reach out to your target demographic. Check out what all MailChimp has to offer on their website!
Things to keep in mind when marketing with MailChimp
- With a free account, you can email up to 2,000 people.
- In general, you will want to send out an email once or twice a month.
- You can collect subscribers by offering an option to subscribe on your website.
Tech Time Recording
Check out last week’s tech time below to get these great tips and more and then check out faarmembers.com/calendar for the next Tech Time!
The Fed released a study on the economic well-being of U.S. households, with extra data from April 2020. No surprise that financial circumstances were generally positive in 2019 but that financial conditions changed dramatically for people who experienced job loss or reduced hours during March 2020 as the spread of COVID-19 intensified in the United States.
Click the image to access the Fed’s website with the full report and a short video on the report highlights.
FAAR Releases 2020 Fredericksburg Area Smart Growth Survey
In early 2020, FAAR contracted with the National Association of Realtors® to conduct a survey on growth and development attitudes in the Fredericksburg region. The survey was conducted by the firm American Strategies and reached 425 adults aged 18 or older who indicated they live in the City of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County, or Stafford County. The survey was conducted March 5 through March 8, 2020.
The survey looked at people’s opinions on quality of life, availability of amenities like access to medical facilities, entertainment, restaurants, and places of worship, housing affordability, barriers to homeownership, and priorities of local government. The survey results provide the basis for further consideration by the FAAR Board of Directors about how the Association can continue to advocate for affordable housing and sustained, responsible growth.
Would you like to be part of the decision making as FAAR moves into the post COVID-19 new normal?
Does a leadership role in FAAR interest you?
Are you ready to give back to the REALTOR® community?
-Pat Breme, CIPS, RCE
If you have answered yes to one or more of the questions than you might be interested in running for the 2020 FAAR Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee is accepting applications until June 5.
The Board is a hard working body of 13 people who set policy for the entire association. The group meets monthly to ponder issues, solve problems and keep the association financially solvent by carefully managing funds and investments.
A new Director commented, “ I had no idea the Board did so much.” A lot of deliberation is given to each topic on the agenda. The reoccurring question asked? “Is this good for the membership?”
The members voted in 2017 to add an affiliate member position on the Board of Directors. Affiliate members are welcome to submit an application. The Affiliate Director has full voting rights, serves no longer than a two-year term and may not serve as an Officer. Affiliate members applying for consideration follow the same application and vetting process (interviewed by the Nominating Committee) as an agent member would follow in applying to run for the Board of Directors.
Affiliate applications are reviewed by the Nominating Committee and those persons who meet the basic requirements of service to the Association, exhibit leadership characteristics and a willingness to dedicate time and energy will be considered for an interview by the Committee. The Committee can recommend all the applicants, one or none, but not more than three may be placed on the ballot. The affiliate candidate getting the highest number of votes receives the position.
Below is the application for a new director and the Leadership Code of Conduct forms. Return the completed forms to me at email@example.com on or before June 5. Selected applicants will be notified of an interview time.
Please contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org with questions you might have. View the contact information for the 2020 Leadership Team at faarmembers.com/leadership. Each would be happy to answer any questions you might have about serving.
The terms are either for 2 or 3 years. Is the Board a clique? Yes, if you define the word as a group of people with common interest. The common interest is YOU!
FAAR’s Education Committee and our Affiliate Marketing Partners have weighed in to give you a set of tips to keep you sane and sailing through this time of upheaval due to COVID-19. Check it out!
Looking for more resources? Visit faarmembers.com/coronavirus
How things have changed from January and February! COVID-19 crashed into our market in mid-March and virtually ground life as we know it to a halt, so how did that impact the local real estate industry? The first quarter of 2020 was strong, with increasing volume and pricing, and decreasing inventory and days on market. The leading edge of COVID-19 impacts started to be felt in late March, but overall the quarter was a strong one. Access the full report below and share with your clients and customers. Questions or feedback about the report? Send Kim McClellan an email.
Zoom has become an important part of the real estate digital evolution and our new normal. On Tuesday, April, 28, 2020 Matthew Rathbun walked us through some important tips, tricks, and best practices for digital meetings through Zoom. Check out these great tips from the webinar or watch the video at the end!
The Right Set-Up
Before you even open the program there are three key things you will want to run your meeting. The first thing you will need is a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone. The headphones and microphone help prevent feedback and other technical difficulties. The second thing you will want is a good webcam. In his webinar, Matthew suggests that your camera should be above eye level and that investing in a good webcam can make you look more professional than your built-in camera. The final thing you will want to check is your lighting. Good lighting from the front helps your video to look bright instead of shadowy. Standing in front of a strong light source, such as a window or lamp can make your face hard to see through video.
You will also want to consider the paid account for Zoom. The free account allows you to those meetings for up to forty minutes, while the paid account has an unlimited meeting time. Additionally, many of the tools covered in this article and the webinar are part of the paid version. A monthly subscription is $15 a month and a year-long subscription is $150. You can check out the Zoom website to see all the cool features and exact pricing!
Organizing Your Zoom Real Estate Meeting
- If you are using dual monitors, make sure that is selected in your settings.
- Set up reminders to automatically send before your meeting so you are always on time.
- Take the opportunity to turn on the touch-up filter to soften your appearance.
- Enable the waiting room so that you have to admit people joining the meeting. This helps protect your meeting from hackers and allows you adequate time to check your set up.
- Allow clients to share their screen. Allowing another user to share their screen can help throughout your meeting so you and your clients can compare notes.
- You can set up a password for your meeting if you have multiple attendees.
Inviting Your Clients
Once you have selected a date and time for your Zoom meeting, you can send the invitation to your clients. You can copy the meeting link straight from zoom and embed it in your email. You will want to restate the time and date of your agreed-upon meeting. Additionally, you will want to prompt your clients to set up a free account and test the program for themselves. Zoom can be used on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Allowing your client to see what works for them ahead of time will ultimately help your meeting go smoother.
Check out these great tips and more in the Zoom’inars webinar below!
While continued governmental restrictions shutter businesses and completely change the way Americans operate in their day-to-day lives, the local real estate market bucked national trends and posted increases in volume, sold price, and units sold. While national news...
How things have changed from January and February! COVID-19 crashed into our market in mid-March and virtually ground life as we know it to a halt, so how did that impact the local real estate industry? The first quarter of 2020 was strong, with increasing volume...
The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) announces its endorsement of Mary Katherine Greenlaw for Mayor of the City of Fredericksburg. The general election was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 and also includes seats for At-Large City...
Despite significant concern over the impact of COVID-19 on the local real estate market, March numbers show increases in sold volume, median price and units sold. FAAR Board Member Linda Fosdick remarks, “Our Lake Anna market enjoyed a robust spring. Even at the...