It can be difficult to compete for a buyer's attention during the holiday season, but this poses little difficulty to Denine Taraskus. By closing on five properties, she became Opcity’s top closer by number of transactions for December 2018. With those numbers, it’s hard to believe that she’s been a realtor for just 21 months. An active Opcity user for more than half of that, Denine credits the platform for much of her success.
“Opcity has given me the opportunity to earn a living that I never ever could have before. It’s given me an opportunity to build a business. If I didn’t have Opcity, I’d be sitting at home crying at my desk.”
After speaking with her, it became clear that Opcity was just a contributing factor. Though she might not have called it such, it seems that her inbound methodology has an even bigger part to play. Instead of bombarding customers with unwanted emails, Denine takes a subtler approach.
“I don’t push and I do back off. I will send them information through text or email. I don’t always call. If they’re not going to answer the phone, I don’t want to waste my time calling them. It seems people have too many other people calling them at the same time, because when they get into a system, they’re in everybody’s system. […] And I’m honest. I ask them: Do you really want to buy a house or were you just looking? A lot of time they’ll say, 'I really do want to buy a house, but I have so many people calling me.' So, I give them time to breathe.”
Inbound marketing emphasizes customer relationships over short-term profitability. It replaces cold calls with warm leads and emphasizes the fact that customers are human beings. Realtors who subscribe to this methodology know that heavy-handed selling can drive potential leads into the arms of the competition. Because it can take seven touch points to convert a potential customer, they’re also paragons of patience.
Denine's ability to embrace the inbound marketing methodology is the reason she is so successful working and converting the introductions she meets through Opcity.
“I met one lead over a year ago. Anything I sent him, he wasn’t interested. Sometimes he wouldn’t respond. [..] And he switched areas, he switched everything up. So, it was hard for me to know what to search for. I would just shoot out a house to him and he’d send a few remarks back. Then we got to a point where he finally was serious and he said, “Hey, let me see that one.” […]
That helped a bit, but I still backed off. I let him come to me. And then he got to a point where he backed out of our contract. I knew it was for personal reasons and I could have written him off, but, instead, I would reach out every couple of weeks and ask, 'How are you doing?' I felt like he was my friend. I was not going to dump him.
And when he was ready to get out there again, we found a house pretty quickly. Happily, ever after. He was ecstatic. I could have given up on him many, many times, but I didn’t do that. I don’t give up on my people.”
In real estate, the first person to meet a client is usually the one to close the deal. This often results in a rat race that could leave the inbound-minded in the dust. This rarely happens to Denine. When asked why she thinks that is, her answer boils down to two things: a humanistic approach and an open calendar. By ensuring her clients see her as a human being, Denine becomes more friend than realtor. She often does this through storytelling.
“When I meet people, I tell them stories related to whatever we’re looking at. This shows that I’m a regular person, not just a professional. It can be stupid stories. It can relate to something we’re looking at in the house or if they have a child that’s close to the same age as mine, I might share something that mine just did. By relating to them, I show them that I’m a real person. People don’t realize that realtors are people too. I actually have to do laundry and cook dinner and go to the bank.”
Lastly, like many inbound professionals, she works her life around her customer’s needs.
“If they call me at 10:30 at night and ask me, 'What about this house?' I don’t ignore them or blow them off. I actually say, 'Let me look it up.' And, I do. I don’t tell them to wait until I’m back in the office. I just ask them to hold on a minute. I’m there for them all day and all night. A lot of agents won’t do that, but I will.”
While Opcity connects realtors to leads in seconds, this doesn’t mean that the entire deal has to proceed at a breakneck pace. Some clients might be frightened off by such an approach. So, when phone calls are being ignored, take a page from Denine’s and give the client some time to breathe.
Denine is a Weichert® Sales Associate, and believes wholeheartedly in the unique, personal nature of real estate. You will see that revealed in how she follows through on what I promise, as she carefully guides her customers through the many steps and decisions along the way.
I am fully committed to providing you with what my company calls "The Weichert Difference" - a noticeably higher level of service that will make your real estate experience as easy and as stress-free as possible.
Denine can be reached at movewithdenine.com.