Real Estate Rainmakers Vol. 3 – Victoria Carter
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, Victoria Carter of New Jersey’s Weichert, Realtors®, 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
I have been a professional in the real estate industry since 1998.
I specialize in towns that are directly on or within very close proximity to the Midtown Direct train line in northern New Jersey. These towns are within a one-hour commute to New York City, door-to-door. As a result, the communities are commuter havens and magnets for families looking to access New York City while maintaining a high-quality life in the suburbs. These towns include:
- Berkeley Heights
- Glen Ridge
- New Providence
- Short Hills
- South Orange
- West Orange
2) Tell us how you got started in real estate?
After my graduate studies, I worked for the public and private sectors. My management and negotiation experience prompted me to consider the real estate profession, and I began working in real estate in 1998.
3) What drew you to the real estate industry?
When I started my own family and went through the process of buying a home, I came to believe there could be a whole different level of service offered by realtors. At that time, I decided to pursue a career in real estate.
4) When you began your career, what was your biggest challenge?
As a real estate agent, you will never truly succeed unless you offer real value-added to your clients. You need to understand the local school system, nuances specific to different neighborhoods, housing markets and trends, commuting options, and the finances behind buying or selling a home. When I started my career in real estate, one of my biggest challenges was that the knowledge learning curve was steep, especially because my coverage area was broad.
5) What role does technology play in your business?
The adept use of technology is key to my business and servicing my clients. My team has a significant presence on social media. On Facebook, my team page has over 7000 followers, and my social media marketing includes Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Other technology we use includes email campaigns, Internet-based community calendars, Ask Alexa, lead generation systems, video marketing, 3D floor plans and tours, and drone photography.
6) What are the top tools you couldn’t live without?
There is no “tool” that is more valuable than face-to-face collaboration with my team. Each week, I hold a team meeting. At the meeting, my buyer’s agents, marketing and listing coordinator, transaction coordinator and I sit around a table and discuss current listings, upcoming listings, leads, marketing strategy and initiatives, team goals, ways to improve, and what is working and not working.
By having weekly meetings, our team vision stays aligned, and the entire team remains focused. We help each other, learn from each other, and leverage the team as a whole.
7) If you could give just one tip to yourself as a new agent, what would it be?
You need a strong constitution if you want to become a top real estate agent. It’s not for everyone. There is nothing low-key about it, so be comfortable with your name in the spotlight.
8) What’s the best secret strategy you’ve ever discovered?
It’s by no means a secret – don’t be afraid to know what you don’t know. In areas where you neither have the time to manage nor the expertise, hire someone to help you. You will not grow your business unless you have this understanding.
9) What’s the best way to build a long-lasting client base?
To build a long-lasting client base, you must have a reputation of outperforming your peers and adhere to a set of core values. To me, those values include:
- Hard work
- A commitment to stay ahead of the knowledge curve in your field
10) What is the biggest challenge that prevents others from becoming a top producer?
As mentioned previously, real estate agents are often hesitant to hire others to help them in areas like social media or marketing. It costs money to grow a business and hire the right people. To become a top producer, you must also have a long-term vision of what you are trying to achieve.
11) How do you think mobile devices have changed the real estate marketing world?
Most potential homebuyers start their home search online. They are looking at properties, school rankings, and neighborhoods. These clients want instant access to their agents and interactive, rich user experiences on their mobile devices. Real estate agents that cannot provide these options on mobile are less competitive than those agents that can. You would be surprised how many agents still do not have a responsive, mobile-friendly website.
12) How do you think social media has changed the industry?
Social media, used well, is a game changer. It allows real estate agents to post content that is valuable, timely and hyperlocal. It attracts new clients, and it gives my team social listening tools – we encourage client reviews and comments, and we answer them. For our listings and open houses, we use social media ads and achieve broad audience reach.
13) What’s your best go-to method for selling a listing fast?
When selling homes, I am deeply committed to properly preparing a home for the market which includes home staging as well as informed and realistic pricing. These two factors are critical to my success in achieving the highest market price in the shortest amount of time. I also ensure that all of our properties are extensively marketed via an integrated, multi-channel strategy, which encompasses the use of new media.
14) How do you generate new leads?
I generate new leads in many ways, but here are three of the most important:
- Based on my reputation
- Through past business; people selling the house I once helped them purchase
- From referrals
15) How do you feel about competition between agents?
I think agents and teams have to respect each other’s businesses and learn to operate in the same coverage area. It’s part of being a professional in the real estate industry.
16) What’s one technology that doesn’t exist yet that you would love to see emerge in real estate marketing?
I would like to see beacon technology built into all “For Sale” signs sending signals to a simple mobile app. In this way, potential buyers would be able to locate open houses or homes for sale throughout a town regardless of the listing agent.
17) What separates a good agent from a great one?
Great agents understand that real estate is a business. They are full-time professionals and client-centric in their approach. Their clients receive the same attention to detail and care that you would expect from an accounting, legal or estate planning professional. A great agent’s definition of success is the client’s success.
18) What’s your best advice for marketing real estate services to Millennials?
To work with Millennials, a real estate agent must be very comfortable in the digital space. Millennials will contact you and search for homes using a mobile device. By some estimates, 99% of Millennials use websites in their home search, and they often watch video tours before attending an open house. They are active on social media and will look at your online presence. An impactful digital presence is key for any real estate agent seeking out Millennials.
19) What do you think is most important when developing an online real estate marketing presence?
An online presence reflects your personal brand. It must be consistent and professional in its execution and true to your brand voice. Online marketing is not something which should be done haphazardly, but rather it must be strategic, mindful and continuously adapt to an ever-changing digital landscape.
20) What words do you live by?
Treat others as you would like to be treated.
21) What’s your endgame? What are you working toward in life/real estate?
My endgame is to remain in real estate, grow as a professional and person, and continue to help people with what is often the largest transaction they will complete in their lifetimes. Even after one of my clients buys or sells a home, I want to remain a resource for him or her and someone they can rely upon in future.