Real Estate Rainmakers Vol. 4 – Leigh Brown
Real Estate Marketing Secrets from the Nation's Top Producers
Looking for powerful new real estate marketing strategies to grow your business? You’re in the right place.
Every week, CityBlast asks one of the world’s top agents to dish up their closely-guarded secrets to Realtor® marketing success in a ’21 Questions’ format. They’ll reveal powerful real estate agent marketing strategies, and help draw a roadmap to understanding exactly how to get to the top of the game.
Sound good? Without further delay, here’s one of the top 1,000 ranked Realtor® in the nation, Leigh Brown of Charlotte, North Carolina’s Team Leigh Brown, with her top real estate marketing tips and tricks!
1) Tell us what market you work in, and how long you’ve been in real estate
Charlotte/Concord NC. Full time in residential real estate since Jan 1, 2000.
2) Tell us how you got started in real estate?
I was sick of the corporate sales world, the travel, the relocations, and frankly, I didn’t know what else to do! My dad has been a Realtor since 1978 and had been after me to join him for some time, so I gave in since it seemed like an option. I started with him as a buyer agent while he mentored me.
3) What drew you to the real estate industry?
Income potential-freedom from sales forms and other peoples’ rules-and I had someone to lean on.
4) When you began your career, what was your biggest challenge?
Learning how to budget my time and money! I worked probably 100+ hours per week when I got started (of course, I was single which makes that easier). I didn’t listen or understand about quarterly taxes-and at the end of my first year, I owed the IRS $19,000 and had to get on a payment plan to get out of that noose. It’s a common mistake of Realtors and one that we just don’t ever talk about.
5) What role does technology play in your business?
Technology is a great toolset for me. It improves efficiency for sure! However, it has not and will not replace the relationships or the communication that are so critical to the Realtor role. I know that some Realtors are paperless but me? I love my notepads, my Rolodex, and my binders.
6) What are the top tools you couldn’t live without?
Notepads. My iPhone. Dropbox. Altos Research. Fellow Realtors.
7) If you could give just one tip to yourself as a new agent, what would it be?
Be authentically YOU. The best agents are likable at their core, which is why they get the business. You’re likable when you’re genuine. When you try to be what others think Realtors are, you’ll fail and be miserable, too.
8) What’s the best secret strategy you’ve ever discovered?
That I’m not number 1. If you lean out of the ego piece that is central to who Realtors are perceived to be (because frankly, it’s what they put out there!), you will find that other agents will share their best ideas with you-help you get better-be your best allies in a bad transaction-and help you succeed. If you’re obsessed with money and deals and being #1, no one is going to want to hang out with you or support you.
9) What’s the best way to build a long-lasting client base?
Again, be likable. Be genuine. Let social media showcase YOU, not real estate. When someone has an illness, call them-send a card-bring supper over. When someone has a baby, call them-send a card-bring supper over. When someone loses a loved one, call them-send a card-bring supper over. Essentially, be a Southern woman.
10) What is the biggest challenge that prevents others from becoming a top producer?
Their own mindset. Their excuses for why something ‘won’t work in my market’. Their call reluctance. Their belief that some promise from an online coach will bring business faster than being connected in the local community. Top producers just get it done EVERY DAY with no excuses.
11) How do you think mobile devices have changed the real estate marketing world?
Everything moves faster now-offers, responses, expectations. It’s a double-edged sword. Our clients wanted more of us in an analog world, but in a digitally connected world, they want and expect you 24/7. You’re expected to NEVER put down your phone and that has increased stress levels, increased tensions, increased burnout. But information being available at one’s fingertips has allowed the consumer to find their house on their own and to rely on the Realtor as the guide moreso than the finder. That’s a positive.
12) How do you think social media has changed the industry?
I used to love it but some days now, I don’t. Overall, social media has created the current divide in our society which has bled over into real estate. Again, it causes everything to move faster. It also creates different expectations of agents and clients alike. If you miss their news in your timeline, you get in trouble for it so you have to manage it well in order to harness its power to build deeper relationships faster.
13) What’s your best go-to method for selling a listing fast?
Best price matched with the best condition. It’s not rocket science.
14) How do you generate new leads?
I pick up the phone and call people I know. I also send personal notes. Sounds old school but I promise – it works.
15) How do you feel about competition between agents?
It’s great! I love being surrounded by some of the best Realtors here in the Charlotte market-it causes me to stretch and get better. None of us can handle every buyer or every seller so those relationships matter in the long run.
16) What’s one technology that doesn’t exist yet that you would love to see emerge in real estate marketing?
A national MLS.
17) What separates a good agent from a great one?
Work ethic and integrity.
18) What’s your best advice for marketing real estate services to Millennials?
Understand that they are not uniform. Not all millennials are lazy snowflakes who text all the time. Read research outside of real estate to get a broader picture of how they operate. Also, get to know one or two of them. The best way to overcome biases and to increase your ability to work with ANY market segment is to know folks.
19) What do you think is most important when developing an online real estate marketing presence?
Be genuine. Make sure that the person they see online is the person they meet at the grocery store or at the listing appointment. If you’re all real estate all the time…you will be avoided like the plague!
20) What words do you live by?
21) What’s your endgame? What are you working toward in life/real estate?
I’ll let you know when I find out. In the meantime, one of the personal goals that my husband and I have is to purchase at least one investment property per year. We plan to retire and retire well. In life, I’m trying not to raise a flock of assholes so if the kids come out okay, I’m happy.