“Every agent has some kind of value they offer. It's important for agents to be able to communicate that value in a way that consumers understand,” says Dustin Raye, Associate Broker and REO Director at Spyglass Realty and Investments.

Both Raye and Gerri Rosenthal, President and Broker of Beacon Real Estate & Associates, Inc., share with us how they meet new clients and how they reveal their unique value in that first meeting.

In the REO Realm

-- Where/how do you meet most of your new clients?

Dustin Raye: At events like Five Star. I also make an effort to develop strong relationships with my asset managers so that if/when they transition to a new company, I can reach out to them directly in an effort to secure new business.

Gerri Rosenthal: I got started back in 2002 through my BPO work and through Five Star. Over the years, I also got involved with other networking groups. I also was delighted to become part of the FORCE. Most of my clients I met at various conventions. The FORCE does a lot of networking at Five Star. I have been to conventions in several states with the other groups for great educational programs and to maintain my relationships with my asset managers.

-- When meeting a prospective client for the first time, what do you tell them about yourself and your business?

Dustin Raye: I let them know I used to be an asset manager, so I understand the importance of completing tasks on time and completing timely highly accurate BPOs. I emphasize the fact that a large portion of our business as a brokerage comes from retail clients. I also make them aware that when it comes to marketing, we make no distinction between retail and REO. By that I mean we always use professional photography, recommend repairs and staging when necessary, etc. Essentially we spare no expense when it comes to showcasing their asset in the best possible light and getting it in front of the largest possible audience.

Gerri Rosenthal: I share with them my knowledge and experiences in the industry and the fact that I belong to many groups that specialize in REO and other companies that I have worked with. I keep in communication with them by phone, email, or system they prefer, and I am a "no-nonsense" person. They will always get the facts from me. They may not always like what I say, but I give them my honest opinion.

-- What is the most important way you provide value to your clients, and how do you explain that to prospective clients?

Dustin Raye: Listing presentation and marketing. We point out that 70 percent of the agents in our market do less than three deals a year. We let them know that we're seriously committed to our craft and we're continually evolving with current marketing trends and technology. In today's climate, a top-producing agent isn't just a real estate expert. They're experts in marketing, renovation and design, and negotiations. A well-rounded real estate agent needs to know how to really tap into each of these skills and strive to stay educated in the current trends of each of them, especially in marketing. What you learned last year is probably not relevant to what's happening now, so you have to constantly monitor and learn current trends.

Gerri Rosenthal: Getting it listed and sold. I let them know that I don't do this alone but work with a team. You can't complete all the tasks required without assistants. I share with them the facts. I tell it like it is. I do the best I can to complete all tasks in a timely manner. I don't mess around on details. We can handle their assets if occupied or in poor condition. I work with a lot of independent contractors for preservation if needed. I am comfortable working with CFK on occupied properties. I am there if inspections have to be made on repair work, and I let them know if they want an experienced person who will get their asset sold, they have come to the right brokerage. I am always a text, email, or phone call away.

In the Retail Realm

-- Where/how do you meet most of your new clients? 

Dustin Raye: I meet most of my retail clients through social events and networking events in my neighborhood and around town. I usually wear branded t-shirts or drink from branded Yeti cups or some other kind of Spyglass Swag. That tends to spark up a conversation about real estate.

Gerri Rosenthal: I have a lighthouse in front of my office which draws attention to us. I also belong to a lot of international organizations and utilize online presence for my listings on Facebook and other news media I work with.

-- When meeting a prospective client for the first time, what do you tell them about yourself and your business?

Dustin Raye: I communicate our differentiated value. For buyers, we offer design and renovation services, post-sale. We also scour agent-only Facebook groups and network with wholesalers for off-market listings so we can give our buyers a heads-up on listings not found on MLS or listings that are coming to MLS. For sellers, our value is in presenting the property to the market by way of upgrading the home for the purpose of increasing the sales price and curb appeal. We then follow that up with marketing through social media and retargeting our listings to people who have viewed other properties on our site. These are techniques that 90 percent of the agent pool doesn't understand so there's real value there for a home seller. Every agent has some kind of value they offer. It's important for agents to be able to communicate that value in a way that consumers understand.

Gerri Rosenthal: I let them know my experience being in real estate over 35 years, my ethics, and that I will do my best to help them find the perfect investment or home. I let them know that I have been a Top Producer, and when they come to my office they can see my display of awards by my conference table.

-- What is the most important way you provide value to your clients, and how do you explain that to prospective clients?

Dustin Raye: The answer is the same for both retail and REO clients. I focus on listing presentation and marketing and the fact that we stay current with changing trends.

Gerri Rosenthal: By being educated and experienced, I can share with them the things they need to know to make a deal go from offer to close. I explain to buyers that I have worked with many buyers and am very familiar with real estate contract work to help them put in the best offers when buying. I am also familiar with the many forms of financing available to them so they can get the home they desire or an investor can get the best investments to flip to meet their bottom lines.