On the back

It’s not easy being creative on demand.

Even less so when the pressure is on.

You see, there are all these great real estate agents around me.  Successful ones who have been in business for years, driving fancy cars, and getting all the cool listings.  They are so successful, and seem to have it all together.  Everything they do just seems to work.  When they get a listing, their marketing is so dialed in the houses just seem to sell immediately.

They know how to react to every situation, how to handle every negotiation, and of course have the best marketing materials seemingly appear overnight for their new listings.

If you are like me you struggle with your marketing materials.

Especially the printed kind.

In the bottom drawer of my desk, I have an embarrassingly high stack of flyers that I’ve collected from other agents.  I gather them from around the mailboxes at the office.  I pick them up every time I drive past a sign box on the street.  I save the ones that are sent to me by other agents.  I use them as inspiration when I am designing my marketing collateral in Pages (Apple’s word processing program  – check out the video on the Apple website, it’s super helpful).  Because I have so many different flyers collected, making the front part is easy.

Back of FlyerBut once I’ve designed the front, I’m only half way done.  Every piece of paper has 2 sides, and I like to fill both sides with helpful information.  I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Not many Realtors do this.  How do I know?  Because of all the flyers I’ve collected!  Only a small percentage actually are printed on both sides.

So what do I put on the back of a real estate flyer?  Lots of different things:

  • More photos of the property – people love photos!  Make them big, and bright!
  • A little personal letter with my biography and link to my website.
  • An example of a “Gateway” email – the automatic ones your MLS prepares and sends out to your clients.  This tells buyers that there are other options, and they have to contact YOU to get them.
  • Mortgage rates, prepared specific to your listing by your favorite mortgage broker
  • A letter for prospective sellers about your services and what YOU can do to get their property sold fast.
  • School Data Elementary, Middle and High Schools
  • Neighborhood data – Parks, Restaurants (both take out and sit down), Grocery Stores, Pharmacies, Dry Cleaners, Auto Repair, etc.

I know these are just a few examples of what to put on the back of a real estate flyer. What creative ideas have you seen used?  Share them in the comments below, and I’ll add the best ones to this article.

The best way to sell a house is to go on vacation

Sometimes, we all need a bit of a break.  For me, a break takes many forms, and usually a short one is enough.  On days when I know I’m going to be especially busy, I usually have a hard time sleeping the night before, so I get up early and go for a quick run to clear my head.  Or, after an especially tough day a couple of fingers of higher-than-average-priced bourbon and a movie after everyone else goes to bed helps me to unwind.

But sometimes there is no better way to take a break than getting on an airplane and flying somewhere.  Especially if the destination is to see my brother, and his family in San Francisco.

This last weekend I did just that.  I hopped on a plane and went to the city by the bay.  I took my little guy (his first flight) and my Dad even flew in for the weekend from Tucson.  I love my job.  Selling luxury properties, and modern homes is a ton of fun (and work), and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I’m always talking to people about their dream lifestyle, and for 4 days I got to spend some quality time with my original immediate family.

I don’t talk much about my family on this blog – I like to keep my private live just that.  Locked up.  Mine.  I try to not bring work home (as much as that is possible), and the reciprocal count’s too.  So enough of the personal stuff, and back on to the original topic:

The best way to sell a house is to go on vacation

I’ve heard it dozens of times before – When you are trying to take a break in real estate, the second you try to take some time for yourself, your phone is going to ring.  This time was no different.  As soon as I was packed, I got the call that every agent wants to hear – “check your email, I’m sending over an offer.”

World Cup Sailing in San Francisco Prada Boat
I grabbed this pic of the World Cup Cats under the Golden Gate bridge with my iPhone while on vacation in San Francisco

Over the next few days we did the usual negotiations – buyers come in low, we counter, and eventually a compromise is reached.  It’s a very exciting process, and a high that you want to feel over and over.  When I returned to Austin, we were just finalizing the contract, and  the deal was done.

Plus, And the best part?  Because of technology, the seller’s agent never knew I wasn’t even in the state.

I know I was technically working while on vacay, but this is the fun kind – the part of the job we all love.