FLAT BROKE??? GET BACK IN THE GAME in 2009 By Sharing Ideas to Get 15 Transactions or More in 2009

Real Estate Agent with Fairfax Realty, Inc.

Hi Everyone!!!

My name is Uniqca V. Powell, and I am a Real Estate Professional who is licensed in DC and MD.  I am certain that you have guessed.  Yes, I am one of those Agents who is flat broke, and REFUSE TO GIVE UP. 

I am reaching out to all of you to share some of the ideas that I have picked up to assist with getting back in the real estate game . . . Some ideas that I have heard for those of us who are FLAT BROKE, and absolutely DO NOT HAVE ANY MONEY are:

  1. IDEA #1:  Pass out 1,500 business cards in one month, which calculates into -- on average about 75 cards a day if you use a 20 business day month -- or if you prospect about 3 hours per day, then this is 25 cards per hour.
  2. IDEA #2:  Make a list of all persons in your Sphere of Influence (i.e. Family, Friends, Affiliations, Vendors, Cleaners, Waiters and Waitresses at Restaurants where you frequently attend, Past Co-Workers, Memberships, etc.).  Then, contact these individuals Monthly or Quarterly.  Some say to touch these individuals 33 times per year whether it be by sending Anniversary cards, Thinking of you cards, Pop-bys after calling them, Sending Personal Notes, Sending graduation gifts, when applicable, Congratulations on Baby Announcements, Weddings, Engagements, Visiting persons when sick, or just show that you care.

Here is what I would like to know.  Have any one of you used the above tips or other tips that have previously helped you OR is assisting you NOW with closing 15 or more transactions or other successes to indicate that you have climbed out of this Market Slump?  PLEASE SHARE YOUR IDEAS and SUCCESSES . . . I need it, and I am certain that many other Agents need this boost as we are all putting our Business Plans together to have a BETTER Year in 2009!!!

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!  Please share and freely submit your ideas, suggestions, successes, and comments.  Remember, we need ideas for those who are FLAT BROKE!!!

Uniqca V. Powell, RE/MAX Specialists, Upper Marlboro, MD (Serving DC, PG County and Montgomery County, MD)



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Teresa Cooper
Home Solution Real Estate Services - North Charleston, SC
SC Lowcountry - Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley

UNIQCA - I read your post, and know that feeling all too well!  There are lots of ways to generate business leads, that are low cost or no cost.  You've given me some ideas for a series of new blogs, but in the meantime, try this.  It's worked for me, and generated a couple of listings and a couple of buyers in the last few months.


CRAIGSLIST - go to the real estate section.  Decide if you want to target Buyers or Sellers.  I've been most successful with BUYERS.  Actually, most people who are posting for a place to rent, really do want to buy, just don't know how or think they can't afford it.  I peruse the "housing wanted" section, read the posts, see if I can get any "between the lines" hints that these folks really do want to own a home, then I send them just a brief offer of help.  Typically, it will include some information about the rental market in the area they are looking at, and then I ask them that if for the same monthly payment they could BUY a house, would they be interested.  The responses will surprise you! but be prepared to do a lot of work with these prospects - both in educating them about the home buying process, and also in assisting them with getting fianancing.

Let me know if this works for you!

Dec 09, 2008 01:18 AM #4
Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker
http://www.CapeGroup.com & http://www.REindex.com - Falmouth, MA
Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA

Also, make sure your web site is optimized.  One of the things to do is to run it through the code validator to see if there are any coding type-os.  I was able to get one of my home pages to perfect from over 1700 mistakes.  See: validator.w3.org

Dec 09, 2008 01:24 AM #5
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants


What happen to the social network that you were building ---- it was in one of the blogs that I read that you were starting? Did that not offer you some leads? I think that all the above advice is great, but one ingredient is missing and that is you need to be out daily working ---- I have had some success with pre-foreclosures contacting the homeowners that are heading for foreclosure. The challenges is that like anything it is very time consuming and requires that you be persistent. The other area that I have worked and been bless to see results in are expires. Happy Holidays.

Dec 09, 2008 01:33 AM #6
Uniqca V. Powell
Fairfax Realty, Inc. - Washington, DC
Listing Agent and Brightwood Neighborhood Spec.

WOW!!! Active Rainers, you have provided me with great ideas ALL in about 5 minutes.  This is fantastic!!!

Marc, thank you for sharing your ideas.  I will start organizing my plan of attack of my Sphere of Influence.  This is why I want to obtain some type of Contact Management System that will give me automatic reminders each day for my 33 touches for each person.  I am certain that I will one day have that organized.  Will also include Open Houses, perhaps doing these at a minimum of twice per month.  This, no doubt, is a great way to meet buyers at NO COST to me.  Thank you for sharing.

Mary, I love your idea.  Sometimes I am in a frenzy about if I should contact FSBOs, then I ask myself HOW to contact FSBOs.  You have answered both questions.  I love your idea about NOT calling FSBOs but instead just knock on the door and provide them with a CMA to review.  Then, ask them, why do they think their home has not sold?  Great idea!!!  Just love it.  I will keep my eyes open for these opportunities.  You are correct when you say that there are 3 reasons homes do not sell:  sales price, condition, or location.  Thank you so much for this information.  It is very practical.

Teresa, What a fabulous idea!!!  I was just thinking to myself about how I could get the word out to homebuyers about the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) here in Washington, DC, which pays up to $7,000 in closing costs AND up to $70,000 towards the Buyer's down payment.  Also, if the Buyer works for the DC Government, they qualify also for the Employer Assistance Housing Program which provides an additional $10,000 towards their purchase.  These funds are deferred for 5 years.  This is a GREAT way for me to get the word out.  I NEVER thought of using Craigs List in this fashion.  Also, thank you for the note to be ready to do a lot of work with these prospects . . . I will bear that in mind.    Also, what a GREAT question to ask them . . . "If for the same monthly payment they could BUY a house, would they be interested?"  I am going to place this into a script.  I will let you know about my successes.  I really believe that I will find success by applying this method.  Thanks for sharing!!!

Heath, thanks for the point of reference about the my website. 

Dec 09, 2008 01:50 AM #7
Pat Champion
Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty - Mount Dora, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

Thank you for posting this-there seems to be some really good information.  I wish you luck and success.

Dec 09, 2008 01:57 AM #8
Uniqca V. Powell
Fairfax Realty, Inc. - Washington, DC
Listing Agent and Brightwood Neighborhood Spec.


BNI (Business Networking International) went great; however, the Organization places a lot of emphasis on becoming Chartered.  To become Chartered, you need 15 to 20 members who are in different affiliations.  It was very difficult to get business representatives to commit to a weekly meeting and to commit to try to recruit other members in the group.  If the commitment is there, this could be a GREAT thing.  I found that I along with 3 other members were the only ones that were carrying the load and were very much involved.  Unfortunately, 4 people can not carry the entire load.

BNI gave us a timeframe to become Chartered.  We did not make this deadline.  In addition, I became pregnant and no longer had the energy to keep it going.  Thus, I passed the Buck to one of the other committed Business representatives, and for the aforementioned reasons, they decided to dissolve this group and create something along the lines of Real Estate only.  They have formed a group called REIS, which I will probably join once I get off of Maternity Leave.

Nevertheless, PLEASE NOTE, if you have a good support group, BNI is absolutely fantastic!  I loved it, and I met a bunch of GREAT people.  Would do it again in the right place and space.

Other point of reference, I actually specialize in foreclosures, and I have tried to contact the homeowners.  What I have found is that the homeowner, in my area, says that they have it taken care of.  Then, I have noticed that they generally call me when they only have a little time left before the home is headed for the auction.  Do you have any suggestions regarding how to attack this?  Perhaps a timeline?

Lastly, I have been seriously thinking about doing Expired Listings.  I must admit that I have a little apprehension about these.  I really don't know why, but I do.  I really want to do these.  Do you have a method or system in place that works for you?  If so, do you mind sharing it with me?  I really would like to apply it.  I, too, agree with you when you say that I (Agents) really need to get out in front of people.  I totally agree with that as well.  Thank you so much for sharing.


Dec 09, 2008 02:05 AM #9
Uniqca V. Powell
Fairfax Realty, Inc. - Washington, DC
Listing Agent and Brightwood Neighborhood Spec.


You are very welcome.  I am going to really put some of these ideas into practice to the best of my ability.  This AR website is TRULY the BEST!!!  Thank you for your well wishes!!!


Dec 09, 2008 02:07 AM #10
Randy Parker
Real Living Advantage - Dalton, GA

Hi Uniqca,

The internet is quick and free.  Gather every email address you can and begin to reachout through cyberspace.  Send ecards, emails, or anything thats free.  Remind people that you're a Real Estate Professional and ask for business.  Don't be shy, let people know that you want referrals etc... I'm in my recruiting season so I have a list of agents that I send emails to at least 2-3 times a week.  Some I have been contacting for several months and now they are beginning to respond.  In tough times you have to out hustle the other guys, so get up every morning and hit the ground running.  Keep me informed on your progress.




Dec 09, 2008 02:09 AM #11
Uniqca V. Powell
Fairfax Realty, Inc. - Washington, DC
Listing Agent and Brightwood Neighborhood Spec.


Thank you for the boost.  RE/MAX has e-Cards.  I will put them to further use.  I realize that I must be consistent.  Again, thank you for the encouragement.  I really, really need it.  By the way, do you have an automatic e-Card that goes out?  If so, how often do you send it out?  What software do you use? I really, really like SharperAgent; however, I can no longer afford it.



Dec 09, 2008 02:31 AM #12
Hans Iduma
Gaithersburg, MD
Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist

Uniqua, I am working with a group of 3 agents as REO buyers agents and we do Bank owned open house which draws huge crowds. We capture serious leads at the open house for the agents. We provide the agents with the best contact conversion tool in the industry to help them convert theses leads to sold deals. These agents are excited and I would love the chance to explain this to you. It does not cost you a thing.

Dec 09, 2008 12:04 PM #13
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Hey Uniqca. Another thing that you can do is blog more here on Active Rain. Many real estate agents write success stories here everyday on how Active Rain have contributed to their business ActiveRain Success Stories. Blog about the Brightwood Washington DC Real Estate Market Reports,Blog about a restaurant that you like to eat at-Take pictures here and put it on here. A lot of real estate agents do it and have gotten listings from it- I NEED TO DO IT MYSELF,maybe even school that Leroy attends-LOL. Anyway great to see that you are blogging again and I hope you continue blogging. Talk to you soon. Take care.

Dec 10, 2008 04:58 AM #14
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Uniqca: I read up above about wanting a contact management system.  I use Top Producer 8i. I love it but it costs just under $40 a month. I am busy and do not have time to really learn all of it and use very little, BUT, the daily activities are priceless.  You enter people (or upload from outlook) your contacts and set them up with a marketing plan that reminds you to either, call, email or send letters as you have indicated during set up.

I have been specializing in pre-foreclosures, and I have been busy busy busy. YES, they take a lot of time, persistance and not all of them close even when you get an offer.  But I get paychecks at least every 6 weeks instead of 6 months.  You can do it too!

Dec 13, 2008 11:59 PM #15
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Love the suggestions. You might also start sending CMAs to everyone that you have ever sold a house to. I think that everyone wants value rather than just anniversary cards or birthday cards. You have to set yourself apart as an agent who has the knowledge of the market so that they will want to refer their friends to you.

Dec 14, 2008 03:57 PM #16
Regina P. Brown
California Coast & Country Homes, Inc. - San Luis Obispo, CA
e-Pro Realtor

Uniqca, thanks for posting this question, there are some good ideas here.  My suggestion is to send a greeting card to everyone on your contact list!  Cards are cheap at the Dollar Store but it does cost a stamp.  Or else send a monthly newsletter with house tips!

Join my NEW group for professionals who work from their home office at http://activerain.com/groups/virtualoffice

Regina P. Brown
Allison James Estates & Homes

Dec 14, 2008 04:51 PM #17
Dana Emerson
Keller Williams Realty Livingston Partners - Denham Springs, LA

Thank you for sharing.  Great stuff.  I can't wait to try some of the suggestions.

Dec 15, 2008 03:09 PM #18
Laurie Logan
Keller Williams Realty, Inc., Broker Associate - Madison, WI
South Central WI Real Estate

Hi Uniqca,

I believe in calling people in my SOI - I like the business card idea but 1500/month may be a little over the top (you end up focusing on the card distribution not the business)

Consider this, check with an agent in the office who is listing heavy and reasonable, review their inventory and pick some listings you would like to 'adopt,' ask permission to market them (use all the no cost/high impact venues we share here at AR)

Good Luck!   Laurie

Dec 20, 2008 02:53 PM #19
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

Great ideas here, everybody.  I don't really have anything to add except that what really matters is to just GET MOVING and do the things you already know you need to do!

Dec 20, 2008 04:07 PM #20
Terry Miller
Miller Homes Group - Tyler, TX
Miller Homes Group and Tyler Apartment Locator

Great post.We have several agents we cach in your boat right now and the one thing they all have in comon is heart and desire. Hang in there, you will make it.

Jan 19, 2009 07:09 AM #21
Uniqca V. Powell
Fairfax Realty, Inc. - Washington, DC
Listing Agent and Brightwood Neighborhood Spec.

Hi Everyone,

Sorry I have not been responding to your wonderful suggestions.  I have a new baby girl who is now 12 weeks old.  She has been keeping me quite busy.  I am also in the process of transferring Brokerage firms.  I am transferring to Keller Williams Capital Properties.  Have also decided to focus my attention on my Target Market and truly specialize in that area.  HERE WE GO!!!

Hans -- I would like to hear about the opportunity of working with REO Buyer Agents.  Of couse, as a person who is a Real Estate Investor and who has bought several foreclosure homes myself, I do have an interest in what you have to say.  Call me at 202/299-4731 or 202/544-8389.  Look forward to hearing from you.  Otherwise, if you call me before 2/15/09, you may leave a message at 240/765-1609.  Thanks again for the opportunity.  This may also be of assistance to my husband who actually likes to purchase foreclosure property.

Lanre -- It is so good to hear from you!  How are things at EXIT?  Hope all is well.  Anyway, I finally got the courage to do a blog of Brightwood.  Take a look at it, and let me know what you think  I do not know how to attach the link on this comment; however, it is called:  "Is Brightwood (a Subdivision in Washington, DC) a Wonderful Place to Live? You Judge for Yourself -- Come Take a Tour with Me!"  In addition, you make a good point about blogging about the Brightwood Market . . . about my son's school . . . etc.  I am going to make it my aim to become the true Brightwood Specialist.  Thank you for the suggestion.  DON'T FORGET TO READ MY Brightwood Tour Blog and comment please.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Evelyn -- How did you get your foot in the door with Pre-Foreclosures?  Are you going to the Recorder of Deeds or the County and pulling up the Notice of Foreclosures and contacting the homeowners diirectly?  Any help would be appreciated.  Also, thank you for the tip on Top Producer 8i.  Actually, Keller Williams has their 33 touch system incorporated into Top Producer.  When I am actually there, I may try it out.  I use to have 7i, and just could not get it off of the ground. I had it for two years; however, I think it was my computer as oppose to the actual software that was the problem.

Lise -- Thank you for the suggestion about sending CMA's to everyone that I have sold a home to.  You know, I have thought about that but just NEVER followed through with it.  I will add that suggestion to my ACTION plan.  Truthfully speaking, I totally agree with you that people want something of value, and a CMA WOULD NOT be "readily" tossed into File 13 (the trash can).  Smile  Thanks a lot!!!

Regina -- I just joined your group re:  "Virtual Office . . . Work from Home"  Am looking forward to reading some of the comments on your site!!!  Also, I will add "Greeting Cards" to my action plan.  I like that idea.  People like to be thought of.  Besides, these cards usually have large, colored envelopes, which stand out when received by database recipients.  LIke that idea!!!  Also, just found a sample Newsletter that I can modify.  I received it FREE from the 30-day Trial for:  http://www.TheWiseAgent.com  It was found in the e-mail that they sent to me once I registered.  In one of the e-mails that they sent to me, there was a short list of sample items (i.e. letter, envelope, newsletter, etc).  You can save these and personalize them.  Thus, I will add:  sending a Newsletter to my contacts, monthly.  Thanks for the tips, Regina!!! 

Dana -- I, too, can't wait to try some of these.  Am also interested in seeing if I will receive any response from the public on my Brightwood Tour Blog.  Will send feedback if I do, or should I say "WHEN" I do.

Laurie -- 1,500 business is quite overwhelming; however, I just took the idea of it all . . . that is . . . never let a person who I have made contact leave me without my asking them what they do, and in turn, sharing what I do by leaving my business card (It's FREE marketing!)  Also, a few years back, I did what you suggested:  I asked one of the top listing agents in my office what he does to keep his referrals coming to him.  As with most top agents, they usually say:  "Nothing"  Nevertheless, I did see that he, at least, sends 500 business cards (hand-crafted) to his SOI.  He also advertised in every local journal.  Perhaps, where I am going (KW), I will ask someone there and maybe I will get some cheap, inexpensive ideas that work.  Thanks!!!

Janna -- You said a mouthful.  I realize that I can do all the planning in the world, but if I do not put them into action, it is NULL AND VOID. Thank you for that reminder.

Terry -- Thank you for the words of encouragement to:  "Hang in there".  I needed to hear that.

DON'T FORGET TO READ MY BLOG regarding the "Brightwood subdivision".  It is called:  "Is Brightwood (a Subdivision in Washington, DC) a Wonderful Place to Live? You Judge for Yourself -- Come Take a Tour with Me!"





Feb 05, 2009 02:37 AM #22
Uniqca V. Powell
Fairfax Realty, Inc. - Washington, DC
Listing Agent and Brightwood Neighborhood Spec.

Hey everyone!!!

Here is the actual name of the blog that I wrote on the AR.  The name is:  Is the BRIGHTWOOD Subdivision (in Washington, DC) a Wonderful Place to Live? YOU JUDGE FOR YOURSELF . . . Come Take a Visual Tour with Me! Please view this blog -- providing a tour of the Brightwood Subdivison in Washington, DC -- then leave a "Comment".  

Thanks, in advance.

Uniqca V, Powell

The Brightwood-DC Residential Specialist  

Feb 07, 2009 03:17 AM #23
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