Goals, Success and Self Employment

Business merry go roundBeing clear about your own needs wants and desires is the only way to being clear about building the success map for your business.  You didn’t go into business for yourself because you wanted someone else setting your goals and direction.  You got off the employee merry go round because you believed you had something special and unique to offer of your own.  You had your own thoughts, ideas and abilities and you wanted to develop them and share them with others.

Here’s your chance.  Differentiate yourself from all the other Real Estate brokers out there, by clearing defining WHAT YOU OFFER.  Okay, I know right now you’re thinking – I sell real estate, what is she talking about?!?  That’s just it, you sell real estate the same as every other broker out there, so what are YOU going to do to set yourself apart from the hungry pack?  How hungry are YOU?  Hungry enough to take the time to PLAN FOR YOUR OWN SUCCESS?

When I was actively selling real estate I developed a system for the houses I put on the market for sale that I offered exclusively to the clients that worked with me.   It was part of my standard service and not an extra or add-on.  They hired me, they automatically received this “fuller service” as part of the deal.   Sellers talk to each other and word got around eventually that there was something more to me than your average agent.   That’s what you need to work on – setting yourself apart from every body else out there doing the same thing and sticking with it for the long term!  It takes more than a day to become a real estate agent and it takes longer than a month to develop a viable business.  But none of that begins to move in any direction until YOU define it, map it out and give it legs to go on!

So get your steps to success mapped out today before you follow one more lead into a dead end.  According to the National Association of Realtors, 95% of agents fail to put together a business plan.  Is it any wonder roughly 70% of agents quit each year?  If you need help getting started, templates are offered by Realtor.com, Trulia, and Active Rain.  Just find the one that works for you and get started building your personal road map to your success.  But don’t forget to include 5 very important activities.

I call them the 5 “F’s”  that need to be included in developing a Real Estate Business Plan:  (these can be very useful in ANY  business plan, really)

Family – let your family be part of the plan!  They know plenty of people so recruit them to help you build business.  Spouses can hand out business cards in their work place and help expand your reach about your real estate business.   While we’re on family, don’t leave out planning family time into your schedule.

Fitness –  building a business, especially in the beginning, is very stressful and exercising on a regular basis will afford long term benefits.  Don’t skimp on keeping fit!  Not to mention the opportunities to farm for business while you’re working out at the community gym.  Solitary activities can still work toward your goals when you plan them properly.

Friendship –  nurturing strong friendships that keep us grounded and broaden our horizons is good for our soul as well as our business.  Develop friendships, like we did when we were kids.  It isn’t just useful in business, it’s FUN!

FUN – speaking of fun, don’t be all business all the time!  Relax, enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Continue with your hobbies and pursue your interests in other areas of life along with building your business.

Focus –  by having a plan in place you should find yourself making the most productive use of your time.  When you have goals for each day, each week and each month you are far more likely to reach them and far less likely to spend precious time on activities that won’t get you to where you want to be.

Now that you aren’t riding the carousel of the “employee” take CHARGE of where you are going with a well thought out plan!  Luck has nothing in common with success except U C it through!

COMMENTS are encouraged and welcomed!  What ways have you planned for your own success that others may find helpful?

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Inbound vs Outbound

Paying for advertising space in magazines, newspapers, on grocery carts and all the other avenues of traditional advertising is known as Outbound Marketing as it is all about putting your name or product “out there” in the hope that the advertisement may entice someone enough to want to do business with you.  When you are already a well-known brand that style of advertising can work extremely well in that it simply reminds people you are available to them and that they already like you and want to do business with you.

What do you do when you aren’t already well-known?  When you want to increase your exposure without spending thousands on full-page ads or cable commercials?  You call on the big guns for the small business – INBOUND MARKETING.  Developed to work in conjunction with existing Social Media, INBOUND MARKETING allows you to market via specific significant content in the virtual marketplace, utilizing engagement that piques the interest of your potential clients, drawing them to your website and advertising media by sparking their imaginations and influencing their attention on what you have to offer as it pertains to benefiting  them.

There are many ways to engage your potential audience once you’ve captured their attention using all the forms of CONTENT MARKETING that don’t just tell WHO YOU ARE or WHAT YOUR PRODUCT IS, but by expanding on WHAT PROBLEMS YOU SOLVE FOR OTHERS and WHY THEY BENEFIT FROM DOING BUSINESS WITH YOU.  Instead of constantly bombarding the marketplace with BUY NOW, BUY HERE, HIRE ME style sales tactics or the ever popular cold calling method of trolling for dollars, lead your potential clients to interact with you on their terms, through blogs, personalized video and podcasts, free downloadable eBooks and more, making it easy and enjoyable for consumers to consider what you have, how it helps them and solves their issues and why you are their best choice.

Thinking of blogging but not sure where to start?  GhostbloggerMarie provides blog content that is fresh and relevant to your marketplace and the niche you are trying to reach.   Blogs are original material and reasonably priced.  Visit the Resource Page for other support services to the Real Estate professional.  SUBSCRIBE to GhostbloggerMarie’s BLOG for inspiring articles and interesting trends in the Real Estate field.

2 Steps to Develop YOUR Niche in Real Estate

niche marketing techniques

Check demographics to choose niche marketing

Seeking a niche to grow your real estate business?  Don’t overlook demographics for guidance as to what and where and WHEN!  Interest rates, inventory and certainly the current state of the economy have their impact on the real estate market, which makes it ever more imperative you set yourself apart by being the “go to” agent for certain types or a certain style of real estate business.  The art of choosing what will work best for you and work within the makeup of the area you operate in can prove to be a bit of a balancing act.

Just selling real estate in general is what all agents do but if you intend to build a strong presence and be in business 20 years from now, it is essential you identify and begin building toward your niche, whatever your specialty will be, based not only on the strengths you possess, but also on what the market will sustain.

That’s where demographics come in.  If you live in an area primarily populated by retiree’s, first time homebuyers might not be the most lucrative specialty to develop.  Offering services in an area primarily attractive to young families just starting out?    A niche in retirement homes may not afford you the best living either.  Take time to research the specific demographics in your target area.  List the three largest, then ask yourself, what is the most pressing need for each of these particular groups and more importantly how can I fill that need more satisfactorily than the competition?  Then put #pure marketing to work for yourself.  Pure marketing?  That’s not a sales tactic and it isn’t about selling a product.  Pure marketing is convincing others they need what you are offering and explaining why YOU are the very best one to meet that need.

Your best business practice?  Develop your strengths around the demographics of the area you’ve chosen to do business in for the optimum chance of your business thriving whatever the current economic state.  Whether residential or commercial, wrap your special talent around the greatest need of the largest demographics in any geographical area for results that are sure to anchor your real estate business in a sea of success and foster growth for many happy years.



Are there other ways to develop a niche?  How has your expertise turned into a success story you can share with others – COMMENT  below.  SUBSCRIBE to this blog for regular updates that include inspirational, motivational and informational articles weekly.

Realtor Resources; Real Help

Realtor Resource


My husband has a tool in his tool belt that he swears he can’t live without called the multi-tool.  It has as wide a variety of uses as a Swiss Knife without all the bulky attachments and in his field as a handyman it has become invaluable in saving him time and getting things done just the way he wants them.  Real Estate Agents and busy Professionals have a tool like that available to them, which harnesses the power of technology allowing them to leverage time and get things done the way they want and need them.

The Virtual Assistant industry does away with the need to maintain offices and the attendant overhead associated while offering the best of both worlds.  Factor in technology and these services don’t necessarily need to be locally offered.  Outsourcing can be done quite successfully right here in the States without state boundaries being a limitation.  GhostbloggerMarie caught up with Michelle Anatasio, owner of  CT Virtual Assistance LLC  for an open discussion about the many benefits a Virtual Assistant provides the savvy Professional.

My company specializes in offering a range of virtual assistant, marketing consulting and concierge solutions to busy professionals, entrepreneurs and small businesses.  Our administrative, creative and technical services can be ongoing or per project basis.    I believe that we are offering affordable solutions and customized alternatives to the need to hire and fund in-house administrative, creative or technical staff.  Our services can be packaged or available a la carte.  We maintain some flexibility in order to meet the need of the client” Michelle shared.

As a value addition to most business models there are three main courses an offsite Virtual Assistant brings to the table:

1)     Relieving clients of tedious administration tasks so they can focus their attention on growing their business

2)     Substantial financial savings

  1. eliminating the costs of onsite staffing
  2. minimizing the need for equipment including repair/maintenance costs
  3. minimizing or even eliminating acquisition and storage of office supplies

3)     Clients receive greater flexibility and reliability for increased productivity when working with  a Virtual Assistant service company

Thought you couldn’t afford the help you need?  You may be very pleasantly surprised to discover that you can indeed afford and receive the help that will free you to pursue greater business growth with a Virtual Assistant corralling those administrative tasks that steal so much of your time.

Your comments and thoughts on this subject are welcome!  

Follow this link for more  information about Virtual Assistance and Michelle Anastasio.

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Blink! All changed!

Reprinted from a post originally written by GhostbloggerMarie for a client in March 2012.  Reprinted for your enjoyment, as a sample of what great blog content looks like.

 It moves that quickly and often times it changes that drastically!  That is exactly why so many of us find it so exciting, fascinating and FUN to be involved in REAL ESTATE!
One day all the headlines are screaming at us about foreclosures and short sales and doom and gloom at every corner!  Next day, we quietly continue to sell houses to wonderfully “average” people that turn those plain houses into wonderful homes that they enjoy taking care of, sprucing up and participating in their neighborhood block parties from.

Denver is enjoying a bustling summer “season” of sales.  Houses are flying off the shelves, even at prices above the asking price!  I’ve been involved in a couple of auction like “bidding wars”!  I have to admit, it makes this industry a fun one to be active in.  Just when everyone thinks we’re down down down as low as we can go and no hope – we start to soar.  Just like that, in the blink of an eye, everything changes and off we go!

Two reasons for this phenomenon.  One – The “spirit” of the people we serve.  Its been called all sorts of things, but it comes down to this common denominator:  the will to occupy and enhance ‘our own space’.  There just isn’t anything like homeownership.  We start to do things we never saw ourselves doing before.  Building decks, planting shrubs and trees and flowers, cheerily waving at our neighbors who are all doing the same thing.

And two- the “spirit” of Real Estate Brokers.  There is something in us that really wants to see others get busy at number one above.  We believe in it.  We’ve built our lives around “making it happen”.  Yea, I know, there are a few “shysters” in the bucket, there always are in every industry.  But for the most part, a Real Estate Broker honestly wants to see houses filled with people turned into homes.  Dry grass watered, loved and pampered and turned into a lawn.

That’s part of the reason why the “market” has always adjusted in the past and will continue to adjust in spite of all the economic woes nipping at it.  Real Estate is one of those industries that is driven by real people, not commodities and imaginary paper worth whatever someone else says its worth.

GhostbloggerMarie provides exceptional content for the blogs of Real Estate Agents, highlighting their personal strengths, information for the real estate public, and interesting blogs about real estate in general.  Comments are welcome and inquiries into my services are encouraged, thank you for reading.

1 Very good reason all Real Estate Agents should be blogging

Real estate is all about RELATIONSHIPS.  One on one getting to know all about you relating to another human being on an intimate level kind of relationship.  How do you build relationships in a world that’s all about technology?  When everything is online even if you are online how do you make that personal?  How do you share enough with online connections that will turn into personal face to face connections?  Social Media is the general answer, but isn’t there something more specific?  Sure, you can build a following one status update, one tweet at a time, but that is going to take you as long as it used to take agents who made the rounds door to door in their “farm” areas back in the day.

So what is the answer?  Is there a way to engage your audience that isn’t limited to 140 characters, that allows interaction based on meaningful dialog you’ve initiated?  CIO makes an interesting observation in a recent article they wrote about content concerning a magazine John Deere started back in the 1800’s to engage their potential customers and ultimately brand themselves as the supplier of Tractors and farm equipment.   I think they did a pretty good job of it, and I believe the blog as platform on Social Media sites does that same good job for Realtors.

By including a Blog on your website, clients can not only access your site to search for homes, which they can also get on plenty of other sites, but through the blog they can also get personal information, interact with you for questions and answers and by your posts, get to know you personally.  The blog also serves as an excellent SEO tool, as search engines LOVE fresh content and new information.

If you are like most Realtors the majority of your time is best spent out in the market place rather than behind a computer screen.  Although you certainly should contribute personally to your Social Media, a blog about things your potential clients will be interested in doesn’t have to be written by you personally to engage visitors to your site. There are content providers available who provide this service for the busy professionals who haven’t the time themselves.

GhostbloggerMarie provides fresh and relevant blog content, ghost written by this former Realtor and posted to your site under your byline.  Contact me today and start posting fresh, dynamic blog content in as little as one week regularly to your Social Media sites.

CIO article about content

A Broadened Narrow View


GhostbloggerMarie sees two distinct ways this sentence can be applied.  (There may be many more, I’m hoping you’ll share others!  Be certain to let us know in the comment section below!)

1.  Narrow thinking may keep you from seeing the fullness of a subject matter.  Take a look at the bigger picture.

2.  Business application:  Take a look at the whole picture before you choose the niche you want to serve.  Seeing the whole field can help choose the small part you’ll have the greater success with.

A simple weekend exercise to keep our muscles flexed for Monday.narrow path

Your turn…..