About Eric Blackwell

For the last 10 years, Eric Blackwell has been actively helping REALTORS® master online marketing. He has been the Director of Technology for a large brokerage in Louisville Kentucky. He has been teaching, coaching and helping REALTORS®, teams and brokerages to succeed in the emerging online real estate marketplace.

Online Marketing Lessons from Serbia

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Belgrade Serbia, to meet a company representative who has software and services that I use.

We had never met in person before, even though we’ve been doing business together for well over a year; and a lot of business at that. It amazed me how similar my experience in meeting them could be to what a new Hampton Roads resident would find as they met their REALTOR® for the first time. The meeting was seamless and their approach to relationship marketing was amazing. I thought I would pass on 3 key things that they did to earn my business and my respect.

 

1) They were authentic. The person I met when I got off the plane was EXACTLY who I had been doing business with via the web. He was as helpful, innovative and friendly in person as he was online. The photos that I had seen of Vladimir were an exact match to seeing him in person. Who you say you are online creates a promise, and when you finally meet someone in person, that either delivers on that promise or not. One thing that sets many people at ease when they meet you in person for the first time is that the experience CONFIRMS what they already thought they knew about you. Having that happen multiplies the level of trust much quicker and when you only have a day or two to develop that relationship, first impressions matter a lot.

 

2) They took great pains to understand my needs. Our conversations started and ended with them trying to understand MY business and MY needs vs. making me try to understand theirs. Many times in the real estate business our jobs are to help people understand the “ins and outs” of the business.  With that said, the opportunities we make to have general conversation, ask questions and listen empathetically allow us to truly form a bond.  Honestly, the more I tried to understand what they needed, the more they did the same with me. The result was SYNERGY and a lot of great ideas. This also lead to increased trust and respect, which I am sure will lead to more business.

 

3) They were AMBASSADORS of their area. Despite my excitement, I was uncertain about travelling to Serbia. Most of the news that we see about Serbia is less than what their Chamber of Commerce would want us to read. Based on my experience, I will be traveling there again. The warmth, hospitality and genuine friendliness that I felt contributed to a truly special experience that I will cherish. They went out of their way to educate me on the culture and the history of Belgrade, and the aspects that were a potential negative were kept in context.  This relaxed me and truly helped to enjoy the experience. Whether people are relocating for military reasons, retirement, or for a job change, their anxiety about an area is often the best place to start. If you can make them feel a sense of belonging, your jobs are well underway.

 

Think of these three points as you do business. People have concerns when relocating, and many areas of the country have stigmas attached. People worry about the education that their kids will receive, and what people in general will be like. It is an unfair perception, but savvy REALTORS® take the extra steps to show potential relocation clients the award winning schools, the arts, the museums and other parts of the city that counteract negative impressions that they may have received from the press, friends or other sources.  Try to identify the possible negative stereotypes someone may have about moving to Hampton Roads, and consider these questions:

  1. How can you overcome those objections?
  2. What are some of the GREAT things about our area that you can point out to a potential client which will sell them on the area and more importantly on you?
  3. What are some of the things that you do to make a relocating person or family more comfortable on their first visit to Hampton Roads?

 

About Eric Blackwell

For the last 10 years, Eric Blackwell has been actively helping REALTORS® master online marketing. He has been the Director of Technology for a large brokerage in Louisville Kentucky. He has been teaching, coaching and helping REALTORS®, teams and brokerages to succeed in the emerging online real estate marketplace.