Best Agent Business
Providing part-time virtual assistants to top real estate agents.

The Value of a Lead

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Do you know which of your leads are the most valuable? Generally, one referral lead is worth four sign calls and 20 internet leads! Increasing your sphere of influence and satisfied client base will increase your most valuable leads. If you are not already doing so, begin to contact your SOI at least monthly by mail, and include emails and phone calls in the mix so that you are contacting them about 18 times in a year.



How Does Your Marketing Look?

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"On average, agents and brokers typically spend 10 percent of their gross commissionable income (GCI) a year on marketing - four percent of which is allocated to direct mail and six percent to online/web/email channels." To read the entire survey press release, click here.

Those are the findings of a recent survey by QuantumDigital, an online provider of direct mail services. In the survey, they asked 10,000 real estate professionals about their marketing practices. The results are a pretty good guide to ensuring your marketing efforts are up to or above standard.

How do your practices measure up? What percentage of your GCI are you spending on marketing and how does it break down? We would be happy to analyze your marketing needs and efforts and suggest any needed improvements. You can contact us by email, through your Key Assistant, or by scheduling a call with Steve Kantor, Best Agent Business president.
Here are some other highlights of the study:

  • SOI marketing still leads to the most new business.

  • Email is mostly used for customer retention and follow-up.

  • Direct mail and online marketing are used for customer acquisition.

  • 67% of real estate professionals are part of an online social network.

  • Top two social networks for real estate professionals are LinkedIn and Facebook.

  • Top two cited real estate blog sites are ActiveRain and RealTown.

  • Top three listing sites are, Craigslist, and corporate/brokerage web sites.

  • Mail and email campaigns typically hit 200-400 local contacts.

  • Real estate professionals need to touch their market at least 18 times per year!


Monthly Emails

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How do you keep in contact with your entire database? One way, even more effective when combined with other marketing plans, is to send a monthly email.
We advise sending a monthly email during first week of the month to your clients, your sphere of influence, and all buyer/seller leads. Sending a monthly email only takes a few hours to write, edit, and send each month. We suggest a quarterly rotation of three types of emails:

  • Market conditions: A summary of market conditions in consumer (not real estate statistician) English, offers for a CMA for seller’s or buyer’s mortgage pre-approval or credit repair for buyers, and a link to your website for more detailed charts and graphs and a longer version of market conditions.

  • Helpful home ideas and vendors: Something of value which relates to the home. This may be a coupon from a local plumber or vendor, useful tips for the home, or something which connects you and the warmth of a home.

  • Personal/holiday/events: An email which is not about the market and not about the home, but a bit about you personally, perhaps a holiday, and hopefully an invitation to quarterly Client events. For example, we suggest quarterly ideas of New Years/Valentine's Day; Summer Coming, Back to School, and Thanksgiving.

All monthly emails should have a catchy subject line that makes people want to open and read the email. All monthly emails should include a short personal question and note at the top of the email which encourages people to respond to you. The goal is to get people to reply and interact with you.
Everyone should be sending a monthly email to hundreds of their contacts through Top Producer or Agent Office. We would love to see your emails, help with suggestions and to share ideas. We help many clients create and send out their monthly emails, in addition to their other types of mailings and we can help you too! Just contact Best Agent Business for more information!


Are Short Sales Your Thing?

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With the increasingly difficult real estate market, many agents are training and specializing in Short Sales. A Short Sale usually occurs at the beginning of the foreclosure process. The bank will sometimes allow a homeowner facing foreclosure to sell the home for less than what is owed on the mortgage. This benefits all parties involved: the bank has fewer costs and may get a higher amount than a foreclosure auction would bring, the home-seller comes out with somewhat less damage to their credit and self-esteem than a full foreclosure would cause, and the home-buyer gets an outstanding bargain! The benefit to you, the real estate agent, is a larger market of homes that are actually selling with more frequency! If you already are or decide to begin specializing in short sales, Best Agent Business has the resources to help you grow your business. Just send us a quick email or ask your Key Assistant for more information.


Set Your 2009 Goals!

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Have you been thinking about your 2009 goals? If not, now is the time to not just think about them, but begin to plan them! When the ball drops at midnight on New Year’s Eve, your plans for jump starting your goals should be ready to go.
We at Best Agent Business are big on goals. Steve Kantor, Best Agent Business president, says that he sets annual and monthly goals and achieves about 50-60% of them. While that success rate may seem low, many of his goals are ambitious and have taken him as long as 2 or 3 years to achieve. Set some goals that you know you can achieve and some that seem too high. Do not get down on yourself if you don’t achieve them all. Instead, focus on your success and continue to move forward.
We hope you have set and achieved several goals for 2008. We would love to hear some of your successful goals! Leave us a comment or send us an email with the details of your goal and how you achieved them. If you want help with goal-writing and setting, you can signup at our site


Where Did Those Lost Deals Go?

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Have you ever looked at how many lost deals you have and why they were lost? Certainly some of them are lost due to funding issues or a change of plans, but how many are lost for reasons that you can control or at least influence? How many of your lost leads were picked up by another agent? How many of them decided they just weren’t going to find “the” house? Knowing why your leads are lost can improve your methods in the future. If calling your lost leads can teach you that you are too aggressive or not aggressive enough, then you will know to work on that sales trait in the future. Best Agent Business has a calling team that is ready to make these calls for you. Check with your Key Assistant or email us today to learn more!


How Many Conferences Do You Attend?

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Everyone should attend one conference a year. We attended NAR Orlando this month and met with over 100 people. We attend about 3-6 conferences a year. If you want some advice on best conferences for you to attend based on the stage of your business, feel free to ask.

Here are some future conferences:


What’s Your Favorite Book?

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In a recent interview with RE/MAX Times Online, Ryan O’Neill cited Billion Dollar Agent: Lessons Learned as his favorite book! O’Neill recommends it for real estate agents to help them get ahead. Billion Dollar Agent: Lessons Learned, by Best Agent Business president Steve Kantor, teaches goal building skills, helps readers put their real estate skills and career status in perspective, and provides tips and lessons learned from top real estate agents. Visit the Billion Dollar Agent website and the Billion Dollar Agent blog to learn more and get your copy!


Your Own Newspaper

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Many successful real estate agents use a custom newsletter, complete with paid advertising spots, to market to their target farm of over 10,000 homes. How would this work? Contact the experts at Best Agent Business for more information and to get started.



By Best Agent Business

Which of your clients have equity in their homes? You should focus your buyer-seller prospect marketing on these clients in this down market, especially if they are in a move-up stage of their life. We have the ability to develop any type of marketing plan you could think of. Contact us to see what we can do for you.


Listing Plan

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For our clients who use our Listing Management services, we create a 30-100 page Listing Plan which covers each detail of your listing management, screenshot by screenshot. This is invaluable way to create a system, make sure we have backup for your needs across assistants, and provide an asset for your business. If you do not have a current copy of your Listing Plan, just ask.


Research Your Leads

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Some people who might connect with you online have a strong internet presence. Assuming they have used their real names in places online, you may be able to find out information about them. You may also be able to access newspaper archives with information about them. Try searching by their name, including variations, or email address. If their name is common you should include their city and state to narrow the field. You could find some valuable background information to help make a connection. Best Agent Business has a research team that is great at doing this type of research. Contact us for more information!



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Will you be at the 2008 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando this weekend? We will be at booth 2360 and would like to meet you! We will be attending with a few Best Agent Business assistants and would love to give you an in-person thank you for doing business with us or to let you know more about our services. Be sure to direct other brokers or agents our way during the conference!


Snail Mail?

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How do you contact your buyer-seller leads? Are you sending emails only? No matter how tech-oriented a person may be, an email will not speak as loudly as a physical mailing will. Start out by sending a personal note to your qualified internet leads. Follow this up a few days later with a marketing packet. Need help? Ask how Best Agent Business can do these mailings for you!


Proactive Customer Service

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You need to call all of your contacts several times per year to ask them how they are doing and see if there is anything they need. In addition to your personal calls, you can have Best Agent Business call your clients for feedback. Begin to practice proactive customer service and database marketing calls.



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Best Agent Business is involved in a wonderful effort to increase neighborly love—with a frightful twist! We have started what is called “Ghosting It Forward.” This is a combination of the movie “Pay It Forward” and the fun Halloween tradition of “Ghosting” or “Boo-ing,” as some neighborhoods call it. Basically the idea is that you gift some neighbors with a bag of candy, a nice card, a small decoration or any other small gift that you feel is appropriate. The fun part is that you do this in secret!
Do not let your neighbor’s know that you were the one who ghosted them! Include, with your gift, the directions which instruct them to do the same to 2 other neighbors. After a while this idea will spread around your neighborhood, your town, and we might even see it happen all around the country. It has already begun. Have you been ghosted yet?


Give More Than You Take

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Are you a giver or a taker? While most of us must take a great deal to increase our business, we can also give even more! Not only does this increase other’s opinions of you, but it could increase that which is being given to you, such as referrals and repeat business. Best Agent Business practices this. We are always willing to share information with clients and non-clients for no additional cost. Take a step back and ask yourself if you have given anything today. Be willing to constantly provide help, ideas, and knowledge to clients, prospects, and fellow agents.


How productive is your database?

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For every 100 clients or SOI in your database, you should be getting 4-10 deals per year from repeat or referral business. Are you achieving 10 per 100? If not, ask us for improvement ideas. You may need to clean up your database and you should probably increase your focus on marketing efforts. We can help you with all of this! Contact us for more information.


Best Agent Business provides virtual assistants to successful real estate agents. You probably already know that. But did you know that we also utilize the very same virtual assistants to keep our business running? That’s right; everything about Best Agent Business is done by a virtual assistant from their at-home office. Even this blog! We believe that, just like Microsoft, we should practice what we preach. We eat our own dog food, so to speak. Yum!


A great time to increase marketing to clients and SOI is during October and November when life is steady and calm and business is a bit slower. We encourage you to reconnect with calls, emails, mailings, and special events revolving around Halloween and Thanksgiving. This is far more effective than the December holiday rush. We strongly encourage you to consider investing $1-$10 per person for your clients, SOI, and farm. People love Halloween and it is the most 'home' oriented holiday because people walk around the neighborhood. Do pop-bys or pop-ins to give away pumpkins, pumpkin pie, or other items. We have a new blog full of great Halloween marketing ideas. Check it out! Best Agent Business has assistants ready to help you get your choice of these ideas up and running.


Two buyer’s agents are better than one. When you hire two buyer’s agents, you should encourage friendly competition and cooperation. Develop a method to compare their success and create a positive work environment to minimize turnover.


Internet Leads: Too Many or Too Few?

By Best Agent Business

The internet is a wonderful thing. The number of leads you can generate from having a website, blog and online listings is amazing. And it’s pretty easy to do; just subscribe to a real estate website, pick a template, fill in your name and address, and post your newest listings. Voila! You have internet business! Of course, you could double or triple your time spent online, operate several web sites and create unique content for each, publish several blogs, update your listings with lots of pictures and even use virtual tours! But what do you do with all those leads? If you overspend your time or budget on internet lead generation but do nothing with it, you have wasted leads and lost potential profit. Be sure to balance your internet improvement time with time spent calling, qualifying and resolving your new leads. You can do this yourself, or you can have someone else do it. There are many options, but did you know that we specialize in these areas as well? Best Agent Business can not only improve your website, write your blogs and post your listings, we can also follow up via email and phone with your new leads, passing the hot ones on to you.


Having Trouble Focusing?

By Best Agent Business

We all have days that just seem to be a waste. These are the days we can’t seem to focus, the days we wish we could spend golfing, boating or just vegging out at home. However tempting that may be, it will do nothing to get you through the backlog of duties you probably have waiting for you at the office. If you don’t have anything pressing, such as a major deadline, meeting or showing on these days, then spend them doing small buffer tasks. These are the tasks that need done, but get pushed to the side. They usually have no real deadline and require little time and little thought. Take a few minutes right now and make a list of your “buffer tasks.” When it’s done, set the list aside until you have a day that you just can’t seem to focus.


IVR as a Marketing Tool

By Best Agent Business

An interactive voice response system, or IVR, is a great tool for marketing your listings. Customers call it and listen to a number of selections, including detailed information about particular listings. Not only will this free up your time, it will pull in additional clients who may not be ready to talk to a live person just yet. Make sure this is an 800 number, because you want the out of town clients to feel comfortable calling as well. Best Agent Business has information on a number of reliable IVR services. Let us know if we can help you get this started.


What To Do With All Those Contacts?

By Best Agent Business

Clean up your Seller leads and code properly. Seller - A is someone who has had a listing appointment or someone who you anticipate a listing appointment with within 30 days. Seller - B is within 3 months. Seller - C is within one year or unsure if selling. If Seller - C decides not to sell, move them to SOI - C so they will receive your monthly emails and mailings. We suggest keeping leads under a FSBO or Expired code until you meet with them and they escalate to Seller ABC.
Once your clients and SOI are properly coded, you should develop a unique marketing plan for each group. Let us help you reach out to them. We are experienced at helping busy agents sort through their contacts and reach them using a variety of marketing tools.


How much is a client worth? How about your SOI? Did you know that they are worth an average of $500 a year per contact? That certainly makes an investment of $10 per person per year well worth it. That is all it takes to manage and update your database! Think of the profit you will bring in when you are using the correct marketing tools for the correct contacts because your database is clean and you know who to market to! If you are not sure how to start, send us an email or speak to your Key Assistant for further information.


Voice Mail or Personal Note?

By Best Agent Business

How about both! We suggest that you contact past clients and leads by placing calls first thing in the morning. Set aside time each day for this. You will likely reach their voice mail, so leave a short friendly message and the follow this up with a personal note via mail a day or two later. This takes 5 minutes per client or lead each week. You will find great returns on your investment of time.


What Feedback Do You Get?

By Best Agent Business

As we all know, an ideal showing would result in a quick sale and several referrals. You can increase the positive outcomes of your showings with showing feedback. We have feedback tools that can be leveraged for price reductions, staging, referrals and recruiting. We can share ideas and implement many of these tools for you. Just ask!


Delete Toxic Clients

By Best Agent Business

The most successful businesses turn down business. Learn to just say NO to toxic clients or prospects. In our coding system, they are marked as Client - D with address, phone, and email deleted along with a nice long note of why we never want to work with them again. Have a great Friday and delete a toxic client to end your week.


If you are a top agent, we recommend that you use all the low cost listing marketing tools at your disposal. Besides having your listings on Zillow and Trulia for free, they both have low-cost options for $20-50/month for premium exposure and advertisements on specific zip codes. If you do over 20 listings per year, we recommend this option. Email for details.


It appears that it is time to put on your selling cap! Applications to buy a home or refinance a loan jumped 33.4 percent last week, according to a report by the Mortgage Banker’s Association. This jump is directly related to the lowering of interest rates after the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac takeovers. The federal government has been trying to help the real estate market by attempting to force interest rates down for months, but with little effect. With the takeover they were able to push the rates down to a 5 month low. Last week, the average rate on a 30-year fixed loan dropped to 5.82 percent. Let’s hope this trend continues!

With the increase in business you are sure to have, remember Best Agent Business is here to help increase the time you spend with all those new buyers!


Did you know we can help you blog? We can create blogs on ActiveRain, RealTown, your website and other sites. We can write, edit, research, post, and do social networking to improve your SEO rankings. Just send an email to Steve Kantor or your Key Assistant and tell us your blogging needs. We suggest a budget of 1-2 hours a week or about $1000-$2000 per year.


How Are Your Financials?

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Did you know we offer full accounting services for our clients? We can use QuickBooks Online to organize and manage your business finances. Cost: About 10 hours to get started and about 2-5 hours of accounting work per month. Agents who produce monthly financials and have a budget often generate higher net profit than those who throw a shoe box of receipts at their accountant once a year in a rush. Email for more details.


Best Agent Business begins...

By Best Agent Business

Best Agent Business provides part-time virtual assistants to top real estate agents.