Category: Archive

How to Break the Myth That All Real Estate Agents Are the Same

Tips on how you can stand out from the real estate crowd.

As a real estate agent in California, you may know by now that the industry is full of hot competition. You want yourself as an agent and the services you offer to stand out from the crowd – but so does everyone else. It’s not just real estate agents that suffer with this. Buyers and sellers can often think that it doesn’t matter which agent they choose – they’re all the same. To help you truly shine in this industry and prove you’re different, take a look at these tips.

Think outside the box

When a real estate agent thinks of promotional material, the first thought is often to plaster their headshot on signs, business cards, and benches. However, this can be seen as an outdated method that doesn’t capture that much attention these days. Professionals should take the time to demonstrate a true respect for buyers and sellers. Like most marketing material these days, it should be clean and concise.

Highlight your services

Do you do anything different than most real estate agents and agencies? If so, let your followers and fans know! If you have particularly good reviews and referrals, make sure to share them on your site and social media. People like to know what they’re getting out of a service, especially if it is from someone you have previously worked with.

Leverage referrals

Similar to above, make sure you use referrals to your advantage. A review from a previous client gives more depth to your agency as people see you as a person rather than just another service provider. Make sure to ask for referrals from your clients so that you have a nice accumulation of reviews.

As a real estate agent, you help buyers find their dream homes. The team at Dean Rathbun can help agents grow their reach and book of business. Whether you need an expert network or resources to expand your agency, we’re here to help. Visit our team to learn more.

Things to Do for Valentine’s Day in Orange County

Ideas on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Orange County, CA!

It’s that time of year again! Roses are lining the supermarkets and there’s soon to be a mad rush to purchase heart-shaped chocolate and sweet cards. That’s right, Valentine’s Day is almost here. If you’re looking for some sweet ways to spend the day of love with your other half, take a look what you can do in Orange County.

Spend the day at the beach

The weather is warmer and there’s no better place to watch the sunset than beachside. Whether you take a sunset stroll, share a picnic or a dip in the water, Orange County has a variety of beaches with different personalities to suit everyone. Crystal Cove is great for tidepools and Laguna Beach is picturesque for a romantic walk.

Visit Disneyland

Act like kids again and visit Disneyland – a.k.a. the “happiest place on earth”. Couples with a good sense of fun can find all sorts of romance and whimsy at Disneyland, from exploring the different lands to enjoying good food.

Sample Orange County wines

If you aren’t a huge foodie or just want to enjoy a sophisticated day with your loved one, taking a tour of one of the many vineyards in Orange County is a great way to spend Valentine’s Day.

Wine and dine

Enjoy a four course Valentine’s Winemaker’s Dinner in Laguna Beach with your loved one. Enjoy fine epicurean creations paired with artisan boutique wines while listening to live music.

Try new chocolate

Visit Valenza Chocolatier’s Valentine’s Day pop up to experience sensational chocolate. There’s something for everyone at this event, including that special someone in your life.

From the team at Dean Rathbun, we hope that you and your family enjoy Valentine’s Day! Contact us for all of your home loan needs.

How to Better Communicate with Millennial Buyers

Tips to win over millennial buyers.

As a real estate agent, you may have seen a shift in your client base over the past few years. Today, you may be working mainly with millennials (people aged 18 to 34). Millennials are gaining momentum in the real estate industry as they continue to be one of the biggest groups of homebuyers in America. You may have noticed that millennials have different wants and needs when it comes to homes. They also have different expectations of how and when to communicate. To help you better connect with this home buying group, take a look at these tips.

  • Reach them at the right place.

Millennials were born with technology at their fingertips. As a result, they aren’t going to be browsing the daily paper for homes. Take your marketing efforts to social media to reach the majority of millennials eager to find their dream property. Social media networks, particularly Facebook, allow you to build relationships with millennial prospects.

  • Know that text replaces talk.

Most millennials have demanding jobs that require a great deal of their time. Acknowledge that they may not always be able to pick up the phone, even after hours. However, most millennials always have their phone with them, so it is worthwhile texting or emailing them to keep them in the loop. Talk with your clients individually to discuss their preferred method of communication.

  • Get mobile-friendly.

Everything for the millennial age group is instant. Mobile users continue to rise each year, far outweighing the number of desktop users accessing the internet. This means that your website and social media platforms need to be mobile-friendly. Make sure you capture their traffic by making your website compatible with all devices.

These tips can improve your communication with millennials. At Dean Rathbun, we know how to make testimonials work for you. Learn more about how we can help your growing agency.

The Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Terms

Words and phrases to help real estate agents be better at marketing.

We are living in a digital world. Businesses and real estate agents need to develop a sturdy and professional online presence if they want to be seen by clients. Even if you think you know how and what to market, bear in mind that the industry is always changing. To help you become a better marketer as a real estate agent, check out these terms you should know.

  • Analytics

Analytics include collecting, interpreting, and analyzing data based on website visits, internet ad clicks, and social media interactions. Understanding your analytics helps you better understand what marketing method is working.

  • Branding

This is when you create a distinctive name, image, or impression that your target audience will understand to be your business.

  • Closed-Loop Marketing

Closed-loop marketing is when you use information from sales to study how marketing efforts impact the bottom line of your agency. It helps you to identify which lead sources are effective so that you can adjust your marketing accordingly.

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

As a real estate agent, knowing details about your clients is critical. CRM programs track interactions with existing and potential customers, as well as compile contact information, scheduled events, and notes.

  • Inbound Marketing

This is a strategy of using marketing to attract visitors and potential customers toward your content instead of relying on paid advertising to gain views.

  • Target Audience/Market

A real estate agent should know exactly who is their target audience. Understanding your target market enables you to create more effective marketing content.

  • Word-of-Mouth

Word-of-mouth marketing is a promotion that spreads through recommendations from current or previous clients. Reviews and referrals are great word-of-mouth promotions.

When it comes to marketing, agents need to stay on top of the latest trends and strategies. The team at Dean Rathbun can help agents grow their reach and book of business. Whether you need an expert network or resources to expand your agency, we’re here to help. Visit our team to learn more.

3 Real Estate Marketing Tips for the Holidays

Put these holiday marketing tips into practice for a merry season.

The holidays are the time of year when real estate agents kick back and relax. Although the numbers of homebuyers and homes on the market do dip during this time of year, if you aren’t gathering leads and marketing during the holidays, you could be missing out!

Working with buyers and sellers during the holidays means you have less agent competition and your clients are usually extremely motivated. According to the stats, internet searches for real estate peak during the holiday months, which means any marketing you do could bring more interested prospects to your website. Check out these creative marketing ideas for real estate agents during the holly jolly holidays!

  • Give

The holidays are a great time of year for people to do some extra service for those in need – after all, it is called the Season of Giving! A great idea to show your community spirit is to host a local service project, such as a toy drive or collect supplies for an animal shelter. Partner up with your nearest non-profit to get people involved and network with the locals.

  • Host an Open House Holiday Party

It’s that time of year when families gather and enjoy the season. A holiday party is a great way to get to know people, as well as show them what you have to offer. Host the party as an open house for a home that you’ve listed (get the seller’s permission first). Provide holiday snacks and listen to holiday music to bring out the festive cheer.

  • Send Holiday Cards

Send a hand-written holiday card to your leads to generate some interest and show them you truly care. When you provide a personal touch to your prospects, you make people feel important and closer to you.

From the team at Dean Rathbun, we hope that you and your family enjoy the holidays! Contact us for all of your home loan needs.

Reasons Real Estate Agents Should Prospect During the Holidays

Get to work during the holidays for a successful new year!

As the end of the year approaches, many businesses and real estate agents are winding down for a little R and R. While many take it easy and cut back on their workload, doing so could mean you miss out on some great opportunities. Take a look at these reasons why real estate agents should prospect during the holidays!

1) Low competition but high motivation.

You can count on the fact that many real estate agents will be taking an extended break. While this may sound ideal, getting to work means that you are up against less competition. During the holidays, sellers and buyers are highly motivated. If you meet with buyers willing to talk, tell them why they should take advantage of selling their property now, rather than over spring.

2) For a steady New Year.

If you’ve taken the holidays off, come January you could be a little rusty and without many prospects. Putting the work in now means that you can start off the New Year full of appointments. While other agents are emerging from holiday hibernation, you could be looking at a full book of business.

3) Shows dedication.

When it’s deep in the season of the holidays and you are reaching out to clients, they will see that you are dedicated and hardworking. In turn, this could result in a stellar review and referral that makes you shine as an agent.

At Dean Rathbun, we know how to make the holidays work for you. Learn more about how we can help your growing agency.

Agents, Find a Better Work/Life Balance

How to find a work/life balance in real estate.  

Being in real estate can be demanding. The more clients you have, the busier you get. Since most of your clients will only be available to look at properties in the evenings and weekends, it can feel as if you work around the clock. Even though you love your job, do you ever get a minute to catch your breath? A healthy work/life balance is important for succeeding in your career and maintaining your health and relationships. Here are a few ways to improve your balance.

  • Be realistic in your expectations.

Although real estate agents are expected to work weekends and even holidays, a healthy work/life balance is achievable. However, it’s important to go into this with realistic goals. If you aim to be one of the top real estate agents in your city, this will require much of your time and energy, meaning you’ll sacrifice time with your family and friends. Consider taking on fewer clients and relax your expectations to get a feel of what you can realistically cut back on.

  • Take a couple of days off each week.

Resolve to take at least two days off per week – no matter what. You deserve a mental health break and a chance to catch your breath. Ideally, these days should be when you aren’t as active with clients. When you do take this time off, make sure you enjoy yourself! This means not replying to emails and turning off your phone if you’re tempted to check in with clients.

  • Stop your workday at a dedicated time every day.

It’s easy to spend all evening responding to emails and answering client questions, but draw boundaries so that you have time off. When you initially meet with clients, let them know that unless it’s an emergency, you don’t typically respond to emails or phone calls after a certain time, say 5 or 6 p.m. As long as you return their phone calls and emails in a reasonable time frame, clients should have no issue with this.

These tips can help you to become a better, more efficient real estate agent. When you’re looking for more tips and advice about the industry, talk to the experts at Dean Rathbun. We have the right resources for your needs.

What We’re Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving from Our Team 

The season of giving thanks is upon us! Now is the perfect opportunity for our team at Dean Rathbun to extend a huge thank you to our clients. We are so grateful that you are part of the family and we enjoy having the opportunity to help you reach your dream house goals. It is only because of your continued support and loyalty that we can do what we love. For that, we are incredibly thankful.

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Whether you’re gathering with friends and family or helping out your local community in need, we wish you a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

How to Make Your Next Home Sale Over the Holidays

How to get properties moving during winter.

Traditionally, homeowners avoid selling their home during the winter months. It’s cold, it’s dark, and the holidays are already stressful and eventful. However, those homeowners that do choose to sell their homes over these months could be in for a treat. The lack of inventory means that there are more potential buyers for any single home, and there may even be a bidding war.

For real estate agents, the thought of selling a home during the winter and in the middle of the holiday season can appear incredibly daunting. For tips on how to get your listings ready to sell over the holidays, read on.

Appeal to Emotions

Individuals, couples, and families often want to be settled in a property before the holidays, so it’s a good idea to encourage a quick and easy sale to land them in their dream home before Santa arrives. If potential buyers walk into a property in the depths of winter and they still love it, imagine how much they’ll like it in the summer! Arrange viewings in the daylight, if possible, so that homebuyers can enjoy the true experience of the property.

Appeal to Senses

Make the property warm and inviting, and make sure the lights are turned on for viewings. Talk to the current homeowner about limiting the holiday decorations, sticking to neutral and simple décor. Anything with a lot of lights and tinsel is going to distract the viewer. Cinnamon or pumpkin-spiced candles can help to create a cozy atmosphere that cannot be underestimated.

Make Sure It Can Be Seen

Making the house look and feel good is important, but you may not get anyone in the door if you don’t list the property online. The internet has no seasons, meaning that many people do their house hunting online before stepping foot into a property. Winter can be a tricky period for photography, since the low sun can cast dark shadows and gloomy days can make the property look tired. Make sure you capture the home in all of its glory before publishing pictures online. Use high-quality photos and list the property to your social media accounts, website, and newsletters.

Need industry advice on how to sell a property and expand your book of business? Talk to the experts at Dean Rathbun who can help you get started today.

Tips and Tricks For Promoting an Open House Online

Steps to improve your online advertising efforts of open houses.

As a real estate agent, you know that attracting interest and foot traffic for an open house can make or break a sale. A successful sales transaction is dependent on whether you’re able to drum up enough interest to warrant an offer (or two). Sure, you can go old school and put out the front yard sign and hand out flyers, but you may benefit from advertising the open house online. Take a look at these useful tips to promote your open house event online.

Get Emailing

Although personalized invitations are better, if you’re pinched for time, sending emails is your best course of action. You want to set an attractive subject line so that users click on the email rather than sending it straight to their trash. Make it seem like an important event, list the necessary details, and include photos of the house!

Turn to Social Media

More often than not, boring posts will be scrolled right past on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You want to make your post is appealing enough for users to stop and read the information. A great way to do this is to post a photo collage of the home and add relevant tags. Once your post is set, put it on your social media accounts and on pages available in the community.

Make a Video Montage

Imagery is key, as people are more likely to look at photos than read text. Use this to your advantage by making a video montage of the property, including stunning features and views that will catch someone’s eye. You can then turn this into an invitation! Make it fun and interesting, since you’re not only enticing people to visit the open house, but you’re promoting yourself as an agent.

As a real estate agent, you help buyers find their dream homes. The team at Dean Rathbun can help agents grow their reach and book of business. Whether you need an expert network or resources to expand your agency, we’re here to help. Visit our team to learn more.