Coco, an agent in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and I had a chance to chat recently about her success as an agent, using the Ninja systems and making it all work as a single working mom. Coco is so amazingly positive. Just the way she says hello when she picks up the phone is enough to make you smile. Her positive energy is contagious so it is no wonder that her clients adore her and love working with her. Coco even told me a story about some clients of hers that made Easter baskets for her and her children this year. When your clients start bringing you gifts, you know that you are doing something right!
Here are some of the great insights that Coco had to share about her success and getting it done:
How did you get started in real estate and how long have you been doing it?
I moved to Coeur d’Alene 11 years ago with my husband at the time and we started a computer company. On the side we would buy and sell properties as investments. I got frustrated when the agents we were working with would drop the ball so I got my license 3 years ago figuring that I would just take care of our personal investments and that would be that. Well, it turned out that not only do I love selling real estate, but I’m good at it too and things just started to take off.
Where does most of your business come from?
Even though I have been here for 11 years, we ran our computer company from our house so it has really only been since getting my license that I have been focused on getting out and connecting with people. I have 3 children, the youngest which starts kindergarten this year, and I am out and about all the time with them attending soccer practices, play dates or what ever other activities they might have going on. I always wear my name tag when I am at one of my kids functions. Always!!! There is at least one person that will ask me about real estate whenever I am wearing it. I also LOVE to scrapbook. It is amazing the friendships that I have built with having scrap booking parties at my house. A couple bottles of wine later and we have become a pretty close group. The third thing that has been really successful for me is doing house warming parties for my clients. I have them give me the list of who they would like to invite with the addresses and I send out the invitations. I also handwrite a reminder card a few days before the party and then send a thank you note afterwords. I also give my clients change of address cards with a picture of them in front of their new house that they can send out which also have my information on them.
What would you consider to be your best practices in real estate?
~ My WARM list and HOT list. I got over these with fellow agents and clients every other week. It keeps me focused on finding solutions for my clients and it’s amazing what I come up with when I get out there and network around it.
~ I plan out my week every Monday which includes my “hour of power”. I have been making plans and lists for years and it always feels so great to check my goals off once they are accomplished!
~ Touring homes. Even if I can’t make the office tour, I try to go to as many open houses and brokers opens as possible. Knowing the inventory has helped me keep up to date when I am asked questions
~ We have a transaction services person in our office that we have the option to use. I honestly can’t believe that everyone doesn’t use her! She is SUCH a huge help for me. For a monthly fee she processes all of my listings and transactions, sends out just listed and just sold cards for me, does phone call and email follow up for me and will even send out handwritten note cards to my clients for me. I make the note cards myself, but she gets them out the door. I also have her send out monthly updates to my clients of where I have been advertising.
~ Working for a company and broker that you believe in. I have a very close bond with both of my brokers and their families. I feel like I’m truly part of the Windermere family! I don’t have any family close by and it is so nice to be able to feel so comfortable and supported by my coworkers! Our group here in Coeur d’Alene is such a wonderful group of caring, smart and dedicated people. I am honored to be apart of that.
What is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge with being a self employed, single working mom is time management and feeling pulled in every direction. in order to keep my head on straight I tell myself that I’m not alone in feeling this way and that my kid’s are only going to be little for a short time and to enjoy every minute I do have with them before they leave the nest!
How do you work your schedule?
I really try to do as much as I possibly can while they are in school. The summer time can get a bit nuts, but I have various babysitters that I can call on and my ex husband and I make it a point to be there to cover for each other with the kids. I also do a lot of work at night after they go to sleep. It can make for a long day, but it is more than worth it, if it means that I get to spend more time with my kids during the day.
How do you stay in touch with your clients?
I get lots of face to face time with my clients and friends during the week just with taking my kids to their activities. That works out well since I am effectively doing two things at one time. I do tend to text and email a lot with my clients, which just seems to work for me. In addition to the just listeds and just solds that my office sends out for me I also do a quarterly mailing of some sort. It is usually for something like coffee on me, a free pumpkin at Halloween or something like that.
Wow! Thank you Coco, for sharing so much. You have accomplished a tremendous amount in your 3 years in real estate. It just goes to show that if you keep working at things, they all come together. If you have further questions for Coco on how she does it, or better yet, to send her a referral, Coco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org / www.callcoco.com / or 208-755-1125.