Upcoming Festivals in Delaware

How do you market yourself and your real estate services? You probably have a website, maybe put something in the newspaper from time to time and, if you’ve been around long enough, likely get some referrals and worth of mouth advertising.

But what about some of the non-traditional options like giveaways and attending local events and festivals?

Having a presence at some of southern Delaware’s fall festivals, particularly the ones that are in communities where you do business, is a great chance for you to get your name and what you do out in front of the public.

And, the best part is, you can do it for a VERY low cost!

This is fall festival season in southern Delaware, so there are literally events and happenings every weekend between now and the middle of November. Some are smaller and some are bigger – but all are opportunities for you to get some face time with the public and maybe even capture a new client or two.

The Southern Delaware Tourism website is a great option for keeping up to date on what’s coming up in the area, as are local chamber of commerce sites. Do a Google search for festivals in your town and see what you come up with.

But, we’ll save you a little bit of time here today by telling you about a few of the bigger festivals that are coming up in the next few weeks. If you want to get out and mingle with the community, these are good opportunities for you to do so.

Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival (Oct. 13-16). Now this is not the kind of festival where you can set up a booth and market your services, but this is held at several locations around the resort and you can certainly get out there and meet your adoring public. Make sure you have some business cards at the ready and prepare for some fantastic jazz music.

Apple-Scrapple Festival (Oct. 14-15). This is the perfect festival for renting a booth and handing out your promotional materials, while shaking hands with as many people as you possibly can. This event in Bridgeville is very well attended, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to meet a lot of new people. Get them on your mailing list and worry about converting them later on.

Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddler’s Festival (Oct. 28-30). Another great event for setting up shop and talking with people who are out and about at one of the area’s final semi-warm weather events. This event has grown every year and is a great place for you to meet lots of people.

World Championship Punkin Chunkin (Nov. 4-6). This huge southern Delaware event returns this year after a two-year hiatus and is one of the area’s largest and most well known festivals.

Sussex County’s Return Day (Nov. 9-10). This is one you should definitely consider attending, both as a REALTOR® and as a local businessperson. Thousands of people come out for this event from all throughout the state, so it’s a chance for you to meet people you might not meet at other festivals. Set up a table, or just roam around with your business cards and meet as many people as you can. And it’s a great event to boot!

Five Bonus Tips for REALTOR® Safety

Five *Bonus* Tips for REALTOR® Safety Month

As we continue with 2016 REALTOR® Safety Month, we have a few more tips to keep you safe when on the job.

We’ve talked before about many of the basics, like using a “buddy” when hosting open houses, taking extra precautions when showing properties and always having your cell phone accessible at all times.

Today, we’re going to give you a few tips that will help keep you safe when out in the community.

  • Develop a code word or phrase. Actually, you might consider coming up with a couple of these, one to indicate a possibly dangerous situation and another to signal for immediate help. Make sure everyone in the office knows these phrases.  When you call in, they will immediately recognize the situation and act accordingly.
  • Use technology. There are many smartphone applications today that can help REALTORS®. Some of the more popular ones include bSafe and Real Alert. When you feel uneasy for any reason, keep your hands on your phone and you can make it ring with the push of a button. You can then call for help using your secret distress code.
  • Proper identification. Before taking someone to see properties, make sure they visit your office and fill out an ID form. Also make a copy of their driver’s license for your files.
  • Carry pepper spray. Better to be safe than sorry, and a can of pepper spray can go a long way in a dangerous situation. Just be sure to practice using it first so you know the correct way of doing so.
  • Trust your instinct. We all have what we call “gut feelings” from time to time, and we should listen to them. If something doesn’t seem right to you, then make sure you either proceed with extreme caution or remove yourself from the situation entirely.

 

As always, we welcome your comments on this or any of our other online material.

Have a great day everyone!

Open House Safety Tips

Open House Safety Tips

In our continuing look at REALTOR® safety this September, today we’re going to focus on one of the most common situations for real estate agents – hosting an open house.

While it’s true that open houses are not utilized as much today as in decades past, they are still an effective tool for marketing your available properties. There are many considerations associated with hosting this type of event – some you know about….and perhaps some that you don’t.

As always, personal safety should be your top priority when out on the job. Let’s look at ways to stay safe during publicized open house events.

  • When possible, use the buddy system. If someone from your office is available, bring them along for the day. Be sure to return the favor the next time your co-worker is having an open house event of their own.
  • Check for a signal. Be sure to check for a signal on your cell phone before starting your open house. If the signal is weak or intermittent, make sure you’re close to a land line at all times – or use your buddy’s phone, if possible.
  • Avoid rooms you can’t easily exit. These include attics, basements and small interior rooms that have a single way in and out – anywhere you can’t easily exit if need be.
  • Let someone know before you go. Ask them to check up on you after a predetermined time, or to call the authorities if something in particular alarms them. It’s always good to let at least one other person know your location at all times.
  • Always walk behind the guest. Never turn your back to someone at an open house, particularly if it’s someone you don’t know. Show him or her the home, but always walk behind the potential homebuyer to avoid any dangerous situations.
  • Do a sweep before leaving. Don’t assume everyone has left the property at the end of the event. Check the rooms and yard before locking up.

By taking a few precautions, you can greatly reduce any risk to your personal safety while hosting an open house.  Remember: Safety starts by being prepared in advance.

Three Things Coming Soon You Can't Miss!

Three Things Coming Soon You Can’t Miss!

Foundation GalaMost weeks at SCAOR are full of activity, and this week was no different.  Check out everything happening around here, and jump in!

SCAOR Community Service Foundation’s Harvest Moon Gala –

Did you know that the Foundation’s Harvest Moon Gala is only three weeks away?  Click here to grab your tickets before they go!  With catered food, music, dancing, and a silent auction – this is a “can’t miss” event!  On Thursday, September 29th, enjoy the beautifulatmosphere of Nassau Valley Vineyards from 6-10PM.  Auction proceeds serve the needy of Sussex County.

 

National Speaker Marc Cunningham –

Did you know that National Speaker Marc Cunningham will be with us on September 27th for two classes?  Sign up for yours today!

  • Module 7 – Systematizing for Success: Running Your Business on Autopilot through Systems
    The most successful companies don’t rely on people for their success, they rely on systems. Systems are simply road maps or instructions that allow your processes to be repeated, duplicated, and run by anyone. Systems will make your property management business scalable, increase the value of your company, take pressure off your team members, protect you from liability, reduce the dependence on any one employee, create clarity, and give you a way to hold your team members accountable. We will walk through the step-by-step process of how to create and implement a System Manual specific to each position in your company. System Manuals changed our business, and they can change yours too! This course satisfies the State of Delaware’s Module 7 requirement.
  • Module 4 or 7 Success is Not an Accident: 10 Necessary Behaviors to Win Business
    Too often we try to re-invent the wheel when it comes to running our property management companies. Rather than creating mediocrity, we should imitate the success of others. In this discussion we will look at the 10 most critical areas of business success AND define how you can start implementing them TODAY! If your company needs to improve on any of the below areas of expertise you will find this class useful: Hiring & firing, setting clear expectations for your team members and measuring them, creating multiple profit centers, being an effective leader, how to create system manuals to standardize and protect your business, what opportunities exist that you are not taking advantage of, the future of the property management industry.

Wallops Island Industry Bus Tour –

The Commercial Market is ever changing on Delmarva, and this is your chance to see first hand one of the major “new” developments that will have an impact far and wide in our marketplace.  The PCA will be hosting it’s 3rd Annual, “Industry Bus Tour” on September 15th.  This year Wallops Island Flight Facility and Industrial Park will be our focus, come learn about this exciting venture for our marketplace and an opportunity to present property or share your business, so bring your flyers.  Event is sponsored by PCA, Cost is $30 for PCA members. Lunch will be available for purchase after the tour.  We will be departing SCAOR at 8:00 AM and stopping at the Berlin Food Lion (on RT. 113) at 8:45AMSign up NOW! 

Wallops Island Bus Tour

Bonus: General Membership Meeting – October 3rd at 12PM

Remember to put October 3rd’s General Membership Meeting on your calendar!  This is where SCAOR Membership comes together yearly, shares information & announcements, and discovers the 2017 leadership results.

NAR President Tom Brown's Letter to Association

Letter from 2017 NAR President William Brown

Dear 2017 REALTOR® Association President:

At last week’s Leadership Summit, I asked REALTOR® association leadership to help drive the REVOLUTION occurring within our profession.  The acceleration of change within the real estate industry, over the last decade, has been monumental. As leaders, it is our job to help our members and our associations stay ahead of these changes.  By no means is this an easy task. However, NAR offers a wide range of resources to provide leadership with support.  

First and foremost, I am sharing with you a link to Leadership Summit Resources. Here you can access numerous videos and presentations from the Summit that I hope will help to keep you motivated throughout 2017. 

Additionally, we are launching, “Presidential Briefings: A monthly guide to your year in office,” which is  geared solely at association leadership. This communication is designed to provide ongoing support, tips, tools, and resources to help you and your leadership team better serve your consistency. This communication is a new initiative spearheaded by the Association Executives Committee Volunteer Leadership Training Work Group and is supported by recommendations from last year’s local and state presidents and AEs.  We will request your feedback and recommendations as the initiative rolls out.  

On behalf of the National Association of REALTORS®, thank you for the work you do now, and for the work you’ll do throughout 2017.  As elected leaders, we only have one year in our roles; we only have one year to make a difference.  Let’s utilize every day to make sure that we are fulfilling the responsibilities that were entrusted to us by our members.

Let’s look towards the future and act in the moment. Now is the time to be revolutionary!

Sincerely, 

William E. Brown

Bill Brown Signature

2017 President
National Association of REALTORS®

How do *YOU* Market a Listing in Southern Delaware?

How do *YOU* Market a Listing in Southern Delaware?

If you’ve grown up in the state of Delaware, you know fairly early on in life that there’s a vast difference in lifestyle depending on where you live.

You learn the difference between living “above the canal” and “below the canal,” and you learn to embrace the way of life where you are.  Here in Sussex County, there is also another unique dynamic: the vast difference between those who live near the 26 miles of Atlantic coastline on the eastern third of the county and those who live in the rest of the county.  So as REALTORS® who specialize in these unique and vastly different areas of southern Delaware, how do we vary our marketing to reach our target audiences? Well, there are many ways, some tried and true and some fairly new –

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • The Internet. Nearly everyone these days begins his or her home search on-line.  If you’re not advertising on the Internet, you should really reconsider. With more Millennials entering the marketplace every day, you simply need to have an online presence if you want to be successful.
  • Video Marketing. You don’t need to have these done professionally if your budget doesn’t allow for it, but marketing your properties these days using video is *extremely* effective. Consider spending a few extra dollars and making that home shine via a 30 or 60 second video.
  • Community Newspapers. In terms of marketing, it’s true that the Internet has taken over — but don’t discount your time-honored community newspapers. There are many people in Sussex County who still love to pick up the newspaper and enjoy it with their morning cup of coffee.  Habits and customs are still very important to many residents, and that includes reading the weekly and/or community newspapers.
  • Drone Technology. This can be used to market any property, but is really effective when marketing homes that are in planned communities, complete with amenities like swimming pools, clubhouses and golf courses. If you’re able to, use it as much as you can. If it’s still cost prohibitive at this point, wait for prices to come down (keep it on your wish list for the future). It really does make properties come alive in a unique way.

There are other methods, to be sure, but these are four of our favorites.

Remember: know your target market, your communities and your demographics before embarking on any marketing campaign.

5 Tips for REALTOR® Safety Month Next Month

A career as a REALTOR® may not be as dangerous as being a police officer or a fireman or a race car driver. But life as a real estate professional does have hazards that come along with it, many of which you have likely encountered at one time or another in your career.

With REALTOR® Safety Month beginning in a few weeks, we thought we’d today mention a few ways that you can keep yourself safe.

Remember, safety should always be your number one priority. We want you to be productive and successful, but we also want you to safely return home.

Here are five situations to be aware of and steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Allowing strangers into your car. You can try having your client follow you from listing to listing, those listings could be very far apart. So, it’s inevitable that, at some point, you’re going to have clients in your personal vehicle. While this is usually not a problem, there are times when danger can arise. If you must have people in your car with you, make sure you park in a location where you can quickly leave if you need to. And try not to park in an area where you’ll need to shift into reverse first, as that can take additional time.
  • Showing properties alone. As with the point above, there are going to be times that this can’t be avoided. But try to bring someone along with you whenever possible. Some other safety tips include letting others know where you are and always walking behind your client.
  • Entering vacant homes. You never know what you might find in a home that’s been left vacant for some time.   It’s a good idea to never visit these properties at night and always tell a friend or co-worker where you will be.
  • Open Houses. You never know who is going to show up at an advertised open house event, so use as much caution as you possibly can. Partner up with a co-worker when possible and never leave your valuables unattended. Also, make sure you always have your cell phone with you in case you need it in a hurry.
  • Meeting new people. As a REALTOR®, you’re going to be meeting new people on a regular basis. Be sure to always ask for identification and have them fill out a profile sheet so you know who you’re dealing with. Introducing them to co-workers is also a good idea, so others have seen what they look like. That way, at least one other person can identify them.

It’s always a good idea to take extra precautions in the course of your day-to-day business dealings. When in doubt, always err on the side of safety.

Four Reasons to Go Paperless

4 Reasons to Go Paperless

The proof is all around us in 2016 – We are living in a digital world, one where paper is being used less and less frequently, and business is being conducted almost exclusively online.

This is especially true in the world of real estate, where nearly all prospective home buyers now begin their searches on the Internet. Long gone are the days of leafing through big books filled with listed homes and mailing forms back and forth to one another.

In a time when pretty much everyone has a smart phone and is never out of touch, it just makes sense to go paperless.

Here’s why:

Efficiency. Nearly everything is now done digitally, meaning agents essentially can take their offices on the road with them. With email, e-signing, cloud based storage and more, there’s really no need to return to the office if you’re in need of a document. Save yourself some gas and time, and do things via your smart phone or laptop.

Environment. Help save the environment – while also saving money in the process. Think about how much you spend annually in copier paper, ink, toner and more (and how much harm overuse of these products does to the environment).

Organization. Cloud-based systems are taking over the business world, and will continue to do so. Using products like Dropbox or Google Drive can greatly help you and your business be more organized and productive. No more piles of paper on your desk; one push of a button on your phone or computer and any document you need can be retrieved instantly.

Customer Service. With digital storage devices and greater flexibility, your clients can now expect better service from you, their trusted REALTOR®. This also has the added benefit of improving your reputation and referral business.

So here’s the bottom line – going paperless today can have incredible benefits for your growing real estate business. If you’ve been in the business for a long time, it may be a difficult transition, but one we think you’ll be glad you embraced.

Sussex County Association of Realtors

Phone: 302-855-2300 | Fax: 302-855-2319

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