I was away from the Comox Valley on an advanced real estate marketing course in Vancouver last week and one of the topics covered was the use of social media for real estate marketing and advertizing. As a Comox Valley realtor I was able to apply what I learned almost immediately to market Comox Valley homes for sale. The course included some time dedicated to building a real estate business. One of the points made was to highlight the difference between selling homes and marketing homes. Real estate brand names were mentioned and strategies discussed. Direct and indirect response real estate marketing was also discussed.
Real estate is more than the realtor occupation. It involves elements tied to the Comox Valley community, to social networks, and there are physical, family, mental and financial challenges to establishing and successfully maintaining a real estate business.
How can the internet be used to help a Comox Valley home seller get the exposure needed to sell their home? How can social media be used to connect to potential Comox Valley home buyers? How can some print media be used to attract Comox Valley property buyers? What role does the Comox Valley realty office play in helping? How can your professional connections be employed to connect potential home buyers and sellers of oceanfront and oceanview homes and other types of real estate? These were but a few of the real estate discussions.
Near the end of the course was a Gratitude Exercise. This topic was both timely (just before our Canadian Thanksgiving) and appropriate (my wife and I were visiting our daughter, son-in-law and first grandson while I attended the course). While visiting, we remarked just how lucky we were to be grandparents of such a terrific grandson who is loved immensely by his parents.
The Gratitude exercise asked us the following questions:
What am I grateful for in my life?
What am I proud of in my life?
What am I happy about in my life?
What am I committed to in my life?
Who loves me?
Who do I love?
What can I do to make a difference in someone’s life today?
In each case my answers focused on my family, pets and friends. Perhaps this is because of my upbringing. My parents used to tell me “It is not what you do in life that is important, but who you are in life and how you treat other people”. This is what is truly important in life, and it is for what you will be remembered.
To test this on yourself, write down the names of the last five Nobel Prize winners. What are the names of the last five Oscar winners? Who are the five most wealthy people in the world? Do you know who all of them are? In contrast, do you remember the name of the person who did you the most recent kindness? What were the names of people who made a difference in your life and development as a person? The same can be said for Comox Valley real estate. It is easy to remember the great people I work with and easy to forgot those on the other end of the spectrum.
After more than 35 years life experience as a professional I can certainly agree with what my parents instilled in me. While I have accomplished many things in life as a professional, nothing has made me happier and more content than what I have done for other people, and the love that I have received from my family. As a Comox Valley realtor I enjoy what I do but it pales in comparison to the love of family.
I recall one young man trying out for a baseball team that I coached years ago. He was only 17 at the time and he had no parents (one left when he was young and the other passed away). His 18 year-old sister had custody of him. As he came to tryouts, his raw athletic ability was obvious to me. What concerned me was his grades in school (bordering on failing) and his lack of passion for life. He did not have a job from which to make spending money and his future seemed dim.
I got together with the other coaches and we agreed that we would arrange to find a part time job for him. We also agreed to develop his ability on the team. Without going into all of the subsequent details, he made the team and the following year his grades had risen significantly. He went on to be offered, and accept, a college baseball scholarship. It was a great feeling to know that I had a small part to play in his development and subsequent success.
A second young man trying out for the team had ADD. He was effectively written off by the coach of the varsity team (I coached the junior varsity team at the time) for lack of talent as a pitcher. I disagreed and worked with the young man during the entire off season. We worked on his focus and his mechanics. His fastball went from a low 60 mile per hour fastball to one in the mid 80s by the following spring. Nobody previously had taken enough interest in him to show him how to improve his mechanics. A year after I left the area (offered and accepted a new job in a new location) I heard that he not only made the varsity team, but he was one of their best pitchers. He is now a successful working professional. Once again, it was a great feeling to know that I had a part to play in helping someone develop into the person he is today.
In life, it is often the little things that can make such a difference. As I have heard many times before, when you take care of the little things, the big things take care of themselves. While it took me longer to learn, I now know that if you are thinking of someone, tell them. If you love someone, remind them. Don’t assume that they know just because you do things for them. I have a lot to be thankful for in life and this long weekend is a great opportunity to reflect on all of this. I have a wife of more than 30 years who is my rock. I have two loving and tremendously talented and successful daughters, a tremendous son-in-law, and I suspect that I will soon have a second. I also have a grandson who brings me great joy. Happy thanksgiving Canada, and wishing that you have as much to be grateful for as I do.
This course was in addition to learning about the latest Comox Valley real estate marketing methods that are used successfully throughout North America. As a realtor it is important to employ traditional real estate marketing that still works as well as the newer leading edge methods that realize success for Crown Isle real estate listings to those in other parts of the valley. These advanced methods work equally well for high end Comox Valley properties as well as those in the heart of the Comox Valley real estate market. Some of the methods learned applied to how to best employ online real estate marketing methods to realize a much higher level of success than what can be achieved through traditional real estate ads in Comox Valley print media.
by Brett Cairns