In the following interview, Debbie Phipps, team leader and REALTOR® with The Debbie Phipps Team at Keller Williams Realty in Christiana, Del., discusses promoting her team—with a partner she can trust.
Region Served: Tri-State area of Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania
Years in Real Estate: Over 30
Number of Offices: 1
Number of Agents: 5
You’ve been building a strong reputation for several decades. Can you talk about the importance of branding, both when you’re starting out and when you’re well established?
I focus on staying on top of marketing changes and which generation is looking at what, and how to get everyone’s attention, because making yourself public is critical to your success from day one until 30 years in. I learned early on that you don’t ever want someone to say to you, “Oh, I didn’t know you were a REALTOR®” because you didn’t tell them. You always need to be front-of-mind and stay front-of-mind. You could give great service to a client, and 20 years could go by before they’re ready for their next transaction, and despite a great experience with you, if you haven’t kept in touch, they may not remember your name…or may not know you’re still in business. Don’t let that happen.
How do online buyers notice/respond to your branding presence?
I’m everywhere, and people call me to list houses because they see from their own research that no one else has the branding I have. I spend a lot on marketing, and my biggest investment is on realtor.com®. I identified early on that it was the place to be, as it’s the only site that had a relationship with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), and the only site that allows us to download directly from our multi-list. No one else does that.
Have you gotten listing appointments as a result of your pervasive branding?
Absolutely. While I’ve gotten listing appointments, better yet are the listings I get.
How do you incorporate your ability to do online marketing in your listing presentation?
How do you sell potential clients on this element? During listing presentations, I show potential clients what will happen if they list with me, how I come up in every zip code using realtor.com®’s Local Expert product, how their house will show up when buyers search, and all the ways I get buyers to look at my listing.
How does your presence on realtor.com® compare with other places you could advertise?
Realtor.com® is efficient on a much higher level. With realtor.com®, I can count on the quality of up-to-date information. If the price changes, the realtor.com® listing changes. If the house has sold, it disappears. A lot of other sites are not as well updated, and after I’ve listed on those sites, I have no control over that information as it changes. With realtor.com®, I know it’s always correct and current, so I can send people there and trust that they’ll get the right information. I still do some print marketing in the Real Estate Book, as there’s still a population of people who want to see the print ads, and I don’t dismiss that, but realtor.com® is where I put most of my focus.
What’s your favorite thing about working in real estate?
Making a difference in people’s lives. I was in the corporate world before real estate, and the level of satisfaction is so different when you’re working with individuals and helping them achieve personal accomplishments.
For more information, please visit www.hub.realtor.com/team.
Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at email@example.com.