Quotes of the week

"Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute."

Author, Gil Stern

"Write injuries in sand, kindnesses in marble."

French Proverb
What will you do about St. Patrick's Day?
Now don't say "nothing," because you know it's not only a fun day to celebrate, but also a valid reason to reach out and touch those past clients and folks in your sphere of influence.
You shouldn't let it go to waste!
So start thinking about it now - otherwise it will suddenly be mid-March and too late.
How about a card - or even an email, with an Irish blessing like:
May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.
I found that one, and many more right here.
Meanwhile... Remember to Prospect!
You'll find letters for prospecting, for capturing web visitors, and for staying in touch with your current clients, at Copy by Marte.
I've added a few more sample letters, so you can see if the letters are right for you.  
Psychology in Marketing...
How NOT to use it.

Lately I've been getting goofy emails from someone called "support."
I don't know what he's selling, because he's going about using psychology in marketing in entirely the wrong way.
Read about it on Active Rain...
Just for fun...
A few days ago a friend sent a link to a website that gives you a quiz to see if your accent reveals your roots.
It's kind of fun, but not entirely accurate for everyone.
For instance, it told me that I live near the Great Lakes - and I've never even visited there!
Here's the quiz - see if it pegs YOUR accent correctly.
(Yes you do. We all do.)
"Secret Agent" Isn't a good status for a real estate professional
What feels worse than finding out that someone you know just listed their house with some other agent? (Or if you're a mortgage lender, a home inspector, or a stager, hearing that someone you know hired one of your competitors.)
When you see them next and somehow bring it up in conversation, your acquaintance says "Oh! I didn't know you (sold real estate, handled loans, etc.)! If I'd known that, I'd have called you."
I expect THAT feels even worse.
Sometimes people who know you won't do business with you because they simply don't want their acquaintances to know anything about their finances. We can all understand that. But everyone you know should at least know you're there and available to help them.
Since being pushy about it is likely to turn people away rather than gain their business, what can you do?
Be subtle.
Make your profession known without saying a word, and quite often other people will start the conversation. Some will say "I didn't know you were a …" Others who knew but hadn't thought about it will be reminded and will start asking questions.
So how do you do it?
Start by putting your company name on everything from your ball cap to your shirt to your jacket. Then wear that attire when you're out and about shopping, jogging, or walking the kids to school. In other words, any time casual attire is appropriate. If you do jog or work out at the gym, be sure your water bottle is printed with that vital information.
For more formal occasions, such as a Chamber of Commerce or Toastmasters Meeting, you can wear your REALTOR® pin on your lapel – and ladies can wear a designer pin that indicates the profession.
If you have kids and make it a habit to attend their sports events – or even if you don't have kids but enjoy attending the local games - you can have your "R" or your company name printed on a director's chair and use it at every outdoor game. Do the same if you attend outdoor concerts, hometown parades, etc.
If local laws allow, get magnetic signs for your car doors and leave them attached when you attend neighborhood meetings or parties.
If you like to work on your laptop at Starbucks, another local coffee shop, or the library, purchase a "skin" for the lid and display the REALTOR® "R" or your company. In that setting, even strangers are apt to strike up a conversation about your work.
And thinking of total strangers, many agents report gaining new client leads because they were wearing their company name tag while shopping or while sitting in a waiting room at a dentist office, a garage, or a car wash.
Your email signature
Most professionals do attach their business signature to emails. Most also make the mistake of not including the name of the city where they do business.
If you've made that mistake, go fix it. Then use that signature for personal email any time you send a funny (clean, non-political) joke, a poem, a heartwarming story, or beautiful photos to friends. You know that if they enjoy it, they will probably forward your message on to other friends. Some of those friends will at least know who you are, but may not realize what you do. Remind them.
And as for the people who don't know you: Some will be in your town and some may be thinking of moving to your town. Some may be familiar with every zip code and prefix in your city and some may not. So why risk missing a new contact when the fix is so easy?
Your elevator speech
Be ready – with a short version of your elevator speech.
Then, when someone notices that you're an agent and asks you about it, you can respond smoothly. Instead of stumbling or saying "Yes, I sell homes," you'll be ready to say something like "Yes, I'm an agent here in Yourtown. I specialize in marketing waterfront homes on Yourlake."
After that you can let the other person lead the conversation with their questions.
Oh, and be sure to have a few business cards in your pocket, just in case someone asks for one.
How to make a positive impression
Yes, they asked about you and your work. But that doesn't mean you should take over the conversation and keep it focused on you.
Instead, return the compliment.
Ask about what they do and be interested in the answer. Ask some questions of your own. Ask for their card – just in case you need them or run into someone who might need them.
If you encourage people to talk about themselves, they'll leave the conversation with a positive impression of you. They'll think you're smart, competent, and interesting.
Follow up: If you've gotten a card from a new acquaintance, take the time to hand write a note and mail it the next day. Say you're glad you met and invite them to call any time they want information about the real estate market.
Here's to more and bigger closings,
Copy by Marte, Priest River, Idaho