Real Estate Rainmakers Vol. 5 – Scott Friestad
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, Scott Friestad of Friestad Realty, with his top real estate marketing tips and tricks!
1) Tell us what market you work in, and how long you’ve been in real estate.
I got licensed in 2005. I became my own broker in 2008. I live and work in Northwest Louisiana. I mostly list and sell bank foreclosures. I have a niche market however for the past 10 years I have dominated this market.
2) Tell us how you got started in real estate?
I started buying houses as investment properties and flipping houses. Once I had been doing this for around a year I decided that I wanted to help others do the same. So I transitioned from the mid-level management to being a full-time real estate salesperson.
3) What drew you to the real estate industry?
I was looking for good investment vehicles, some that paid better than a deposit account but not as risky as the stock market. Back in 2004 I purchased and read about 5 books on flipping houses or making money through real estate investments. After house number 2 or 3 I was hooked.
4) When you began your career, what was your biggest challenge?
Finding people that I could help fulfill the American Dream with. Our area is oversaturated with real estate agents and at the time it seemed like everyone I knew had an agent. The hardest part, in the beginning, was finding clients. This was “pre-internet leads” that were available for sale.
5) What role does technology play in your business?
Even in this niche market of selling houses for the Federal Government and large banks, technology is what allows us to close as many transactions as we do. This job is HARD, but with the right software and the right time management controls which are all technology driven and improving daily, we are able to continue to grow and help more corporate sellers and in turn list and sell more assets.
6) What are the top tools you couldn’t live without?
Very fast computers, multiple screens, a couple of proprietary software programs that are constantly adapting and improving based on what banks desire and a well-trained staff that shows up to work daily.
7) If you could give just one tip to yourself as a new agent, what would it be?
This business is hard, work hard and know the results will show up if you have the right plan and follow it daily. Daily habits are better than any ONE thing. Lead generating DAILY will take you further than any lead purchase will. Once you have a client, stay in touch with them forever.
8) What’s the best secret strategy you’ve ever discovered?
Stay in touch with past clients. No reason to purchase leads when you already have relationships. Foster those relationships and you will never need to purchase leads.
9) What’s the best way to build a long-lasting client base?
Care for the ones in front of you. Take care of your current clients as if they were YOU, and they will tell everyone they know how great you are. Never stop reaching out to your clients. Don’t beg for business but be the local expert in real estate. Be a master of your craft and your sphere will take notice.
10) What is the biggest challenge that prevents others from becoming a top producer?
Thankfully most people that get into this business do so for all the wrong reasons and most do not make it. Being a top producer usually means being the person who cares the most for the client. In the age of third-party websites that appear to be the local expert, they do not care and agents do not need to spend top dollar for those leads. A true top producer becomes exactly that over time by caring for EACH transaction from start to finish and establishes a client for life. You do that enough time and you will have more business than you can service.
11) How do you think mobile devices have changed the real estate marketing world?
Drastically! Due to mobile devices, and web developers and companies providing what seems to accurate date on real estate, in real time, anytime day or night, consumers expect the same of an agent. Consumers expect agents to never take time off, never sleep, never do anything except provide answers. Mobile devices have created a culture of NOW. In real estate, people expect answers right NOW, no matter what day, time or season it is.
12) How do you think social media has changed the industry?
I do not think social media has had as big as an impact on our industry, yet, as others might think it has. People realize they know 10 or more agents, agents are using social media to promote listings whereas used car salespeople know better. I think social media has brought awareness to tribes or friend groups about who is in the business, however, I also think social media is mostly noise. A large % of stats on real estate posted on social media is probably not true or very misleading. The constant boasting by 1-2 agents or companies on social media is a turn-off. I think we will see less posting of houses for sale over time as this next generation realizes that people want to be on social media for the social aspect and not to be sold something. Right now agents can do or say anything positive on social media, true or false, and hope that others praise them. I think it is a dangerous road most agents that use social media to try and gain clients with.
13) What’s your best go-to method for selling a listing fast?
In my market, price and condition are the two things that sell a listing FAST. If the house is in good condition and priced right, it will sell fast. If undervalued, no matter the condition, I will get 10 offers. If overpriced for conditions, I could hire the circus to be at the house, give free tickets to that circus and it would not help the house sell. All these open houses, agent open houses, free home warranties, free moving vans, and gimmicks do not help a house sell fast when it is not priced right.
14) How do you generate new leads?
We provide first class service and it has been 10 years since I personally need to generate new leads. However our agents need leads or need to work 100 leads to find a few buyers. The number 1 tool I used 10 years ago and the number 1 tool I would promote today is to prospect to your past clients or if you are new in the business, prospect to the people in your tribe or friend group. They know you, trust you and will soon realize you are the local expert…if you are. Become a master of your craft. Know the market better than anyone else and then provide results that others will not provide. Just like in any industry, work harder than anyone else is willing to work and in the end you will be the #1 agent in your market.
15) How do you feel about competition between agents?
In our area we have 1200 realtors and about 5000 closed transactions a year. Less than 5 per agent and I closed 264 transactions in 2017. Competition between agents is stronger and harder now than it was 10 years ago and with these real estate franchises opening every day and recruiting agents who are incentivized to recruit agents it’s only going to get worse. I think each state needs to make it hard to get a license and I also think these franchises need to look at how many non-producing agents they are creating and consider the ethics of selling a pipe dream. I would love to see the number of agents cut in half overnight.
16) What’s one technology that doesn’t exist yet that you would love to see emerge in real estate marketing?
Software that will listen to what a buyer wants and set up a search in MLS based on what the buyers said or what the buyers needs are. This will happen one day the company that creates it should get rich.
17) What separates a good agent from a great one?
True and genuine care for a client…nothing to do with money.
18) What’s your best advice for marketing real estate services to Millennials?
I have not figured this one out yet. For my younger agents, I tell them to try and match and mirror the client.
19) What do you think is most important when developing an online real estate marketing presence?
You cannot do it part time or halfway. All in or not in at all. Technology is expanding and getting smarter daily that an agent needs a HEAVY online presence and this takes a fair amount of money…or none at all. I think both are fine. If you are going to spend all your time growing relationships with your past clients and sphere, I am not sure anything online is needed. Again, I think most stuff on social media is noise and not helpful in real estate and would say that about anything searchable online. Real, fresh, usable content is valuable. Everything else is noise.
20) What words do you live by?
Outperform the competition, at any ethical costs. Work harder, smarter, faster, better. And the end of the day have no regrets.
21) What’s your endgame? What are you working toward in life/real estate?
I would like to own 25 nice rentals that will take me till death does us part. I am 45 and own 16 today. My retirement vehicle is real estate as I love what I do. Agents that do not own investment property but try and preach it to clients really confuse me. Agents who do not own their own home…newer agents that rent really confuse me. That kind of lifestyle makes no sense to me. Driving a Porsche while renting a house is living a double life in my opinion.