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You find a lot of commonalities among real estate’s top producers. They’re passionate. They’re incredibly service-oriented. They’re smart, savvy and innovative.

I’m fortunate to know a lot of successful agents, and it’s fascinating to talk to them about their business. I recently enjoyed many such conversations at the RE/MAX Elite Retreat, a three-day event that brought top earners ($500,000+ GCI) together to share ideas and strategies.

This year’s retreat helped me see another trait in so many of these agents: creativity.

What struck me in particular were some of the unique little innovations these top earners implement in their businesses. You won’t read about these ideas in training manuals—and, on their own, they won’t revolutionize your operations. But they illustrate the value of thinking differently and putting a creative touch on traditional methods.

A few examples of thinking outside the real estate box:

Go Dog Go
Here’s a fresh, new twist on an established idea: enlist Fido’s help.

Strap a GoPro camera on a dog and have him run around the home to create a fun video tour from a pet’s perspective. Keep the video short, add some fun music, and make it easy to share on social media. The result is a unique new view of the house, a seller-pleasing piece of social content, and a fun way to connect with potential buyers—especially dog lovers. Best of all, it positions you as an agent able to stand out from the crowd.

Be More Data-Driven
I loved “Moneyball,” the book and movie about building a successful baseball team based on data, analytics and statistics, rather than high-priced talent.

Real estate data applications are expanding every day. Data has always played a big part in our business, but several top producers are finding new ways to dig deeper into expansive demographics to create strategic action plans for various segments. It takes their business away from a one-size-fits-all mentality and aligns their marketing efforts with messages most relevant to each audience.

It’s a fascinating new twist, with plenty of vendors involved in the space. Done right, data analysis can go a long way in figuring out the most effective way to invest your time, money and attention in the right areas.

Eliminate an Email Step
This one is more of a “nice touch,” but it struck me as a better way to do things, and small enhancements have a way of adding up over time. The next time you plan to attach a PDF, graphic or document to an email, do this instead: Save it as a JPEG and drag it into the body of the email.

The benefits are two-fold. First, you save the recipient the extra step of opening the attachment, and second, you increase the chances of your content being seen or read.

Ideas like these aren’t going to make or break a career, but sometimes, the little things make a difference we never even notice. The key is to stay open, creative and—like the top producers I know—eager to share the methods that work best for you.

Geoff Lewis is president of RE/MAX, LLC.

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