Hard to beileve I was carrying five mortgages just a couple of years ago. My real estate business had slowed down to a trickle, I was getting divorced after 20 years of marriage, and bankruptcy was on the horizon. Losing everything, I put into motion a plan to become solvent and get my business back on track.
First, I had to get my real estate business going stronger. I already had one of the most viewed websites in our area: www.SandpointID.net. I had been using YouTube a bit, and was on all the typical sites such as Linkdin and Hot Frog.
I began using videos in a different way. For instance, this morning, I finished a video for a couple from Canada on a waterfront condo that we wrote an offer on Tuesday. The video will help with the rest of the family to get a sense of ownership and make the sister, who has not seen the property, get in touch with the condo.
We will be doing the same thing Saturday with a couple coming in from Texas to look at the same house for the third time.
Simply posting on YouTube is a good general way of reaching out to potential buyers, but specific use for targeted buyers is a powerful tool.
I also began using social media in a much bigger way. For instance, this blog is on ActiveRain. It automatically posts to my Facebook page. In ActiveRain, I rank 13th in the entire state of Idaho out of 1,253 agents, and am one of only two featured agents in Sandpoint.
On FB, I will soon have over 1,000 friends. While that may not sound like much to many people, most of these are people who actually live in Sandpoint, a town of 7,365 people. Everything I do posts on Facebook, including all of my blog articles and videos. This all happens automatically. Virtually everything can be programmed to do this task with little or no effort.
Still, last year, virtually every transaction I put forth fell apart. No money was coming in, and all money and savings I once had was gone.
Broke, at times I had to choose between driving clients around, or paying the power bill.
Times sure have changed. I could have put my head in the sand and given up.
Instead, like many other REALTORS®, I made the decision to work in another field. My best friend had opened a popular restaurant, and I had written a book on wine: Passion for Wine. Being a published author and restaurateur, I began managing this great little place: Dish Home Cooking. Let's be honest, the best ideas are often difficult to implement, but pay off in the long run.
I continued with realty, and began finding some success with getting deals to close. Still, real estate was slow.
My friend also got divorced and had to close the restaurant, and though I made some good sales, I didn’t have a closed deal for almost six months. Again, money became tight.
So, once again, I looked for other work. I became the wine steward/buyer for the most successful, high-end store in our region, and took on the task of opening the most successful, new restaurant venture in our area: the new Dover Bay Café.
All during this time, and for the last six years, I have hosted two radio shows: North Idaho Business as well as North Idaho Arts & Adventure.
Earlier this year I approached Judy Delucchi, former broker and owner of Starhawk Realty, and asked her if she would consider partnering with me as a real estate team.
I put on a positive attitude, fell in love with the most beautiful girl in the world (seriously, she is astonishingly beautiful and a true hero), and began to work as hard as I am able.
Here are the results of these various efforts:
· A string of waterfront sales
· Several closings
· New clients and buyers virtually every week
· The most successful new restaurant in years
· Yoke’s having increases in their wine sales in spite of a down economy
· Increases in my listening audience
Finally, I am also getting ahead financially. Am I out of the water? All I can say is, I plan on doing even more with technology and media. Innovation and creativity are bringing in new clients, but it is how my team operates, and my ability to put people at ease that clinches the efforts.
It just proves that when the chips are down, become innovative and work harder, and you will see success.