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Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s Fusion 2013 Brand Conference

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In early February, Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate held its second brand conference in Las Vegas, Nev., which was designed to stay true to their marketing and business platform to help its network of brokers and agents “Be Better.” Mark Woodroof, partner at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene based in Houston, Texas, shares his experience as he and 100 of his agents attended their first brand conference under the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate name.

I’ve been in the real estate industry for more than 25 years and an owner of a top brokerage for nearly 15 of those years. During my career, I’ve had the opportunity to attend many events both on a brand and industry level, but none quite like the Fusion event hosted by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. Since joining the brand in June 2012, we’ve benefitted from the personal attention and innovative strategies and tools offered to us by the brand, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that the same level of personal engagement, energy and custom content was integrated into the conference—along with a lot of fun!

Fusion was 100 percent about us, the brokers and agents who make up this dynamic brand network. The offerings and attention to detail, even beginning at on-site registration, made us all feel like VIPs and that we were valued as part of a community. We celebrated successes, got inspired and met many amazing people within our U.S. and Canadian network. The content from beginning to end was designed to make my agents more productive and successful as real estate professionals and they learned trends and valuable insight from experts like Alex Perriello, president and CEO of Realogy Franchise Group, and Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC, along with nearly a dozen other experts in the fields of real estate, technology, social media and marketing. These speakers did not simply speak to us, but rather engaged with us and honed in on skill development and new ideas that our agents can apply to their business every day. Just some of the many topics and insights included:

Technology

To optimize your online presence, you must find a unique way to relate to people. Once you build your base, train that sphere of influence to seek you out. Many think that the key to online success is to be everywhere, but that’s not it. The key is to be consistent and to make sure your professionalism, personality and passion are at the core of your online strategy. Three important takeaways:

-Social Strategy: Participate where your targets prefer to communicate.

-Content Strategy: Find out what your targets want and base your content development on that.

• Define your own professional expertise so you can establish your social profiles and customize your website to stand out from others.
• Define your passions so people can relate to what you’re passionate about.
• Define your personality to provide a balanced picture of yourself.

-Distribution Strategy: Stay consistent by knowing when and how often to post online and explore aggregate tools to save time and encourage consistency throughout multiple channels.

Revenue Generation & Productivity

Time is your most valuable asset because you can’t reproduce it. Do not confuse activity with achievement—one gets you something in the end and the other just makes you busy.

-Get back to the basics: Today it is vital to be proactive and build your listing inventory. Get in front of potential sellers by prospecting, door knocking, cold calling on FSBOs and working expired listings. Don’t expect potential sellers to come to you—you need to approach them.

-Understand the market: Study and understand your local market. Find neighborhoods where there are short supplies of homes for sale and focus your prospecting activities within those areas.

-Make a plan: It isn’t enough to just set a goal. You must put together a detailed plan that includes the steps you will take daily to work to achieve those goals. Work backward from your end goal to determine the step-by-step plan to help you get there.

Skill Development

Challenge the status quo. Be a leader and never stop learning. Elements that impact our industry are continually changing and it’s important to understand the new customer relationship cycle to provide the best customer service. Customers want to chat with you face-to-face and through other media channels, so understand what those are and learn! They want to look at decorating ideas and be inspired by you as a real estate professional to visualize themselves in their new home.

-Collaborate: We all have strengths and new ideas; think how beneficial it would be for your clients and your business if you shared best practices with other agents. You always get back more than you give.

-Use Your Brand: Take advantage of the tools, training, technology and content your brand has to offer that sets you apart from the competition. For example, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has industry, design and research content that competitors don’t have access to, and it’s for the network to use!

-Provide Exceptional Customer Service: Never underestimate the power of personal, face-to-face interaction. Use all other communications to support your relationships, not to replace the value of one-on-one communication.

At Fusion, the brand team also developed content specifically relevant to brokers and managers to help us improve our business operations and attract the best talent on the market. The attending brokers and agents didn’t want to miss a thing, from amazing key note presentations to unforgettable networking events; they were part of the action.

It’s always a major decision when you switch affiliations, but our experience at Fusion 2013 from a learning and service perspective was just another strong support point that with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, we are where we need to be to bring our brokerage into the future.

For more information, visit www.bhgrealestate.com.

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