Tips on Writing a Good Bio

A good bio is an integral part of your online presence and a task worth taking some time creating for real estate business owners. Your bio is your opportunity to summarize your qualifications, highlight some pertinent facts about yourself, and infuse a bit of your personality. Prospective customers and clients will be looking for that bio or about me section on your web site to find out what kind of person will be assisting them with one of the larger purchases in their lifetime. So, make a connection, gain their trust and excite them for the process. Be authentic and real.

Do not sell your services in your bio/about me space. A biography is a written account of a life, not an advertisement. Make your bio about WHY you can enhance your prospective client’s experience and not just a list of accomplishments and designations.

What do your prospective clients generally want?

  • Clients want someone they can trust.
  • Clients want someone competent enough to ensure a smooth transaction.
  • Clients want someone they’ll enjoy spending time with.

Keep It Clean and Quick
The length of a great bio should be between 200 and 300 words, and around 2 to 3 paragraphs. Any longer and your reader will start to lose interest. Use short, clean phrases that are easy to understand. Speak as an expert in your field, but use language anyone can understand.

Think “30-second elevator pitch”.

Answer the following questions for them:

  • Who Are You?
  • Why Choose You?
  • Why Are You Unique?
  • In What Ways Could They Connect or Relate With You?

Grab the reader’s attention
Remember that most people who will be reading your bio are strangers who know very little about you. Start by introducing yourself and using an attention-grabber to draw the reader in and make them want to learn more about you. Using a conversational voice throughout will also make it easier for your readers to follow along.

First or Third Person? Your choice!

Get a little personal
Don't be afraid to include some personal or unique information about yourself in your bio. Consider including a headshot of yourself, quotes or testimonials from clients, and links to examples of your work. Depending on the outlet, you may even want to add a sentence or two about your family, favorite hobbies or pastimes.

Include these basics after your opening, more personable paragraphs:

  • Current job, business or professional experience
  • Publications or presentations you have completed. If you have written any real estate related articles or books mention them, this will add to your credibility.
  • Educational background
  • Professional memberships or designation you currently hold. Spell it out – don’t assume the general public understands Realtor acronyms like CRS.
  • Awards, honors and certifications you have received

Contact information
Often missed is the opportunity for the visitor to contact you right off the page, so make sure all your contact info is right there, include your name, company, address, telephone, email, social media sites and website address as the last paragraph of your bio.

You Need Three Versions
All versions start with one well-written, comprehensive summary of who you are, where you came from and what you do. Your full-length bio tells different aspects of your story.  This typically exists on your personal website or blog and is 2 to 4 paragraphs in length.

The second bio is an abbreviated version for your profile on your company site and other profiles. It could also be used to introduce you for a speaking event, and in your presentation materials.

The third version is a short, one-sentence bio for your social media sites.  You can easily craft your second and third version after you finish your first, complete bio.

Bonus Tip: Make a bio video!
We highly recommend creating and including a video introduction and bio that encapsulates the tips we have outlined here. Keep it short, personable and to the point, maximum of 1-2 minutes in length.

In summary, someone who knows nothing about you or your business should feel encouraged to work with you from reading your biography.

For more great insights, tips and examples on writing your agent bio,  read Matthew Raburn's blog article Mastering The Real Estate Agent Bio.


How to Update Your Facebook Privacy & Data Sharing Settings

In this week's tip. we share some important tips and how-to's for reviewing and changing your Facebook data sharing and privacy settings. As a response to the Cambridge Analytica fiasco and the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) effective May 25, 2018, Facebook has made it easier for users to control who and what can see and use your data on Facebook. The GDPR has forced Facebook to introduce new privacy options and it appears that they have decided to roll them out world-wide.

At some point in the next couple of months you should get a pop up asking you to make some choices about:

  • Ads based on data from Facebook’s partners.
  • Information—like relationship status and religion—that you are currently sharing on your profile.
  • Whether or not you want to allow Facebook to use facial recognition.

Read more about the GDPR and Facebook Here:


How to Limit what Is Shared from Your Facebook Account

Step 1 - Remove unwanted apps and/or modify data your share

  • Login to Facebook and go to the down arrow in the upper right hand corner of Home page
  • Select Settings


  • Next select Apps and Websites from left side list
  • Select any of the apps you want to remove and click on the blue remove button
  • You can view and edit any app to change what the app can collect or do


Apps, Websites and Games OFF or ON

If you turn off this setting:

  • You won't be able to log into apps or websites using Facebook
  • Apps and websites you've logged into with Facebook may delete your accounts and activity
  • You won't be able to play some games on Facebook, and your gaming activity may be deleted
  • Your posts, photos and videos on Facebook that apps and websites have published may be deleted
  • You won't be able to interact with or share content from other apps and websites on Facebook using social plugins such as the Share and Like buttons


Step 2 – Review Your Ad Preferences

From the settings area, select Ads to update, modify or delete what you are sharing and third parties are collecting from your interactions with companies, advertisers, etc.

Go to each area and modify as desired. Ensure you select ‘See more” as you may be surprised at the sheer number of interests and advertisers you have interacted with while on Facebook!



Your Interests - Check all categories including “more”

Advertisers you’ve interacted with - Who have added their contact list to Facebook These advertisers are running ads using a contact list they uploaded that includes your contact info. This info was collected by the advertiser, typically after you shared your email address with them or another business they've partnered with.



Whose website or app you’ve used Whom You’ve visited More … Whose ad you’ve clicked  



From your Facebook app on your mobile device, go to settings (three horizontal lower right hand corner) and scroll down to Settings & Privacy Then Privacy Shortcuts Select Privacy Checkup – takes you through 3 steps

  • Choose audience for your posts from your newsfeed
  • Profile – what info you are sharing and with whom
  • Apps & Websites (I had 70 on mobile – even though I had deleted 20+ from my desktop Facebook settings)

Check out this article:

Bonus Tip - Check out the Data Facebook has collected on you

  • Download a copy of your Facebook data (your archives ) from the link on bottom of settings page

Read more about Facebook Privacy and Data Policies:

nterested in learning more about Innovative Real Estate Strategies?  We are ready to help you build your legacy!
Contact Jan O'Brien for a confidential interview today.
702.858-9191 |

Catch Jan's weekly Podcast at


Start Your Day with a Powerful Morning Ritual

Our business and mindset tip of the week is how to create and follow a daily (morning) ritual.

Avoid the urge to check your phone, notifications, email and social media as the very first thing you do when you wake up in the morning.

Instead, design and adopt a daily ritual to start your day in a positive mindset.  Show up every day: Mentally, Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually.  Now more than ever it’s important to get up, do your morning mindset ritual, get dressed for success and get to work!

Some suggestions:

  • Morning meditation or prayer
  • Focused Breathing Exercise
  • Exercise, stretch, take a walk
  • Review your goals and say your affirmations
  • Eat a healthy breakfast
  • Read for 30 minutes
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Then, review your day’s tasks and schedule

Check out these articles and links to meditation resources:

Other Resources

Interested in learning more about Innovative Real Estate Strategies?  We are ready to help you build your legacy!
Contact Jan O'Brien for a confidential interview today.
702.858-9191 |

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eMail Marketing Tips

In a previous week’s business tip, we covered 10 ways to build your mailing list.  This week we build on that business strategy and share some tips and best practices for using email to market to your database and various email lists.

Overall, our recommendation is to have a multi-type connection plan for leads and past clients/your database that includes:

  • Email
  • Text
  • Calls
  • Mailers
  • Social media messages
  • Personal notes

Let’s talk specifically in this tip about email marketing.

What can you use for email marketing?

Your current CRM

  • Referral Maker
  • Top Producer
  • LionDesk
  • Contactually

eMail Marketing & List Services

TIP: Remember, if you use these email services, you must have an opt-in, permission-based list.  Do NOT buy a list, upload it and start emailing to the list if you don’t have permission or get their opt-in first.  You could be black-listed if you receive too many SPAM complaints. Leverage calls- to -action on your websites and landing pages that integrate with one of these services.

How often should you email your lists?

Buyer & Seller Leads

  • Initial 10-14 day conversion plan that includes emails and other connection types (calls, texts, social media, video email)
  • Then based on qualifying the lead, set them up on a short or long-term campaign

Your Database – at a minimum send a monthly item of value or your newsletter

What do you send?

  • Monthly Newsletter – educate, entertain, sell, ask for referrals
    • Market update
    • Local Business Spotlight
    • Community info/events
    • Call to action / referrals
    • Tips on home selling/buying, maintenance, investing, protecting your assets
    • Add Video to really stand out
  • Invitations to client appreciation events
  • Just listed/just sold quarterly success email


Interested in learning more about Innovative Real Estate Strategies?  We are ready to help you build your legacy!
Contact Jan O'Brien for a confidential interview today.
702.858-9191 |

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10 Ways to Build Your Mailing List

In this business tip, we discuss ten ways to build your database (or your mailing/emailing list). As a small business owner, you must always be connecting with potential customers and adding them to your mailing list.  Ultimately, the goal is to nurture your leads and build relationships through a consistent connection plan that provides valuable and informative information over time.  You must stay top of mind with your database so they think of you for their next purchase or sale or they know someone who is ready.

It is imperative that you have these tools to support your list building strategies:

  • An IDX real estate website with lead gen forms and calls to action
  • Landing pages with specific purposes (Automatic home valuation, targeted home searches, relocation or other reports. etc)
  • Client Relationship Management (CRM) with effective campaigns an action plan
  • Optional –  email marketing service (mailchimp, constant contact, aweber)

Here are ten strategies to implement or add to your lead generation plan:

  1. 5 business cards a day
    This strategy is simple yet effective … especially if you make it a habit and consistently hand out five business cards every day (5 days per week).  You will be surprised where business comes from with his one strategy.  Be intentional with this tactic and get the person’s contact information so you can add them to your client appreciation program.
  2. Home Search App
    Do you have a personalized search app that you can share with new connections?  This is a great conversation starter when face-to-face with someone and you can share the app immediately with them.  You can also use the link to your app as another call to action in your marketing.
  3. LinkedIn Strategic Connecting
    Strategic connecting on LinkedIn is a powerful way to build your database.  Remember, you must have an all-star profile first!  Get free access to our monthly video workshops  - just sign up for a free account at  We have a video tutorial on  Updating Your LinkedIn Profile – 11 Power Tips
  4. Social Media
    What social media platforms are you consistently leveraging for your business?  Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn can be effective with consistent and quality content. 
  5. Open Houses
    Consistently conducting effective open houses is one of the easiest way to meet and add people to your database. 
  6. Online Advertising
    Drive traffic to your home search website and/or landing pages with specific calls to action with Facebook Advertising and/or pay per click ads (Google Adwords).
  7. Offline marketing to your website or landing pages
    Always include the URLs to your Website/ Landing Pages in all of your offline marketing (business cards, postcards, property flyers, letters, etc)
  8. Video Marketing & Facebook Live
    Leverage the power of video… just start today!  Creating video is easier then ever with our smart phones.  If you are going to use video as part of your business and marketing plan, you need to create a YouTube Channel.  Use Facebook Live for instant video creation and sharing,
  9. Email signature links
    Add a text link(s) to your email signature block to drive traffic to either your Home search page or Home Valuation landing page (or both)
  10. Voice Mail CTA
    Add a call to action on your voicemail message to send callers to your website or landing page(s).


Interested in learning more about Innovative Real Estate Strategies?  We are ready to help you build your legacy!
Contact Jan O'Brien for a confidential interview today.
702.858-9191 |

Catch Jan's weekly Podcast at

Four Key Past Client Connections

Closing Settlement Statement

This marketing connection is designed to send the first week of January to all clients who closed a transaction in the previous year. Make sure to send it in January for those clients who prepare a tax return as soon as they get their W-9 or W-2s!

Tips on Implementing this Client Connection Strategy

Follow these easy steps to make this a seamless and annual follow-up to all of the clients who closed a transaction with you in the previous year.

  1. Create a letter about the Closing statement and tax time
  2. As part of your post-closing action plan, make a copy of the Closing Settlement Statement.
  3. Bonus step – print out the letter with your client’s information and file with the closing statement, address the envelope and keep it somewhere safe.
  4. During the first week of January (or even last week of December), pull out the file folder with all of your pre-addressed and stamped envelopes and mail them the first week of January.
  5. Make a follow-up phone call 5-7 days after mailing to ensure your client received the mailer.  As always, don’t forget to ask for a referral!


Home Anniversary Card, Call and/or or Email

Remembering a Pivotal Moment #1

Building rapport is one of the most basic strategies in Real Estate yet despite our best intentions; even the simplest connections can get buried in the other tasks that come our way on a daily basis.

QUICK MARKETING TIP:  A hand written anniversary note is the most memorable way to connect to your clients.  You can personalize the downloads above by handwriting the postcard or letter.  Email is efficient and certainly totally acceptable, however, it’s not nearly as personal and can easily be deleted. 

If you are a hard and fast email user, below you will find a template that you can send. Adding good memories that relate to the transaction will make it even better.   Simply copy and paste the text into your email, make your changes, and send it on its way!

Hello (Client) –

It’s hard to believe that a year has already passed since the docs were signed that the keys exchanged.  One of the greatest and most rewarding parts of being a REALTOR is helping people go from home shoppers to homeowners.  As I look back on it, we had a few bumps that we conquered, but overall, the process was smooth and I was proud to have represented you.

[Add any positive memories or stories that might make your client look fondly back on the transaction.]

Here’s to another great year in your home!

As always, I’m just a phone call, email, or text away if you have any real estate questions.  If you know anyone that is interested in buying or selling, please point them in my direction.  I’d love to be sending them a note in the future!



Birthday Card, Email and/or Call

Remembering a Pivotal Moment – #2

Let’s explore another pivotal moment that we ALL have every year – THE BIRTHDAY!  Some look forward to it, some do not, but very few don’t appreciate the acknowledgment!  We know that rapport building is one of the most basic strategies in Real Estate so make sure that you are putting this in your CRM’s follow-up system so you don’t miss them.

Here are Four Client Connections we highly recommend including in your past client connection plan:

  1. Closing Settlement Statement
  2. Home Anniversary Card Email and/or Call
  3. Birthday Card, Email and/or Call
  4. Annual Home Valuation

QUICK MARKETING TIP:  As always – we are huge proponents of a handwritten note or card. That is, by far, the most memorable way to connect to your clients.  If you haven’t done that – do it!  There is no reason, however, that you can’t hit someone with both!  Load up the email in your CRM AND send a card or note via the mail.  Believe me, no one else is doing that. 

Hello (Client) –

Happy Birthday!

[Make this email super short, unless you have a great story to share, the point is to touch base and let the client know that you remember them]

Here’s to another great year!

As always, I’m just a phone call, email, or text away if you have any real estate questions.  If you know anyone that is interested in buying or selling, please point them in my direction.



Annual Home Valuation

We recommend scheduling this connection during the month of the client’s home anniversary (date they closed on their home purchase).  Alternatively, you could prepare and send these individual reports at the end of the year.  Depending on your database size, this could become an overwhelming task however!

The secret to success as with any strategy is to have a system for making it happen.  Here are the steps to consider for your system:

  • Schedule this as a recurring task in your CRM for all past buyer clients (recommend a date in the home anniversary month after your anniversary call/card)
  • Download and customize the cover letter we have provided
  • Prepare the customized report using your preferred CMA program
  • Mail or email the completed package to your client
  • Schedule a follow call to ensure they got the report and discuss market, ask for referrals

Learn more about building your legacy at Innovative Real Estate Strategies.
Contact Jan O'Brien for a confidential interview today.
702.858-9191 |

Catch Jan's weekly Podcast at

The Local Business Spotlight Connection

Our business tip this week is the Local Business Spotlight Connection.  It’s an easy and powerful strategy to provide added value to your past clients (Your Database) and another way to connect or follow-up with your past clients.  Identify 12 small business owners in your market area – one to spotlight each month.  Start with your database and think about who has a local small business.  Create and send a letter or email to your database to see if they have a business or service to promote. Ask them to contact you so you can discuss the networking opportunity.

Here are the key points to execute this business strategy:

Cross Endorsement Program (Groupon Idea)

  • Identify business owners in your community and your personal database to approach with the idea and schedule a meeting (coffee or lunch)
  • Explain the program as a cross promotional endorsement (mutual supporting of each other’s business)
  • Ask the business owner what they are willing to provide as a benefit to your database (coupon, discount, item of value)
  • See if the business owner is willing to promote your business to their clients.  Maybe allowing your business cards to be on display at their business.  Or maybe your offer something of value that they can promote to thier mailing list (Free Home Warranty or $500 toward closing costs on next home purchase or sale)
  • Promote in your monthly newsletter
  • Create a marketing flyer and use it during the month at open houses – whenever you meet prospects
  • Use the marketing promotion in your farming
  • Include these business owners in a local business directory
    • Online as an additional page on your website
    • Create a document you can email, mail and print out as an item of value
  • Include/ Invite them to your client appreciation events


Are you ready for personalized 1-1 coaching with Jan O'Brien? That is one of the many benefits at IRES.
Contact Jan for a free coaching session today.
702.858-9191 |

Catch Jan's weekly Podcast at

Claim Your Agent Profile on

Have you heard about or seen their major TV and online advertising?

What is, you ask? According to their About Us page:  “HomeLight uses actual sales data and client reviews to find the best real estate agent for you. We’re a small team of talented people in San Francisco and Phoenix, excited to change the face of real estate.”

Claiming your Agent profile is free.  If selected by a buyer or seller and you close a transaction from you owe a 25% referral fee.

How does it work?

Again from…  “The company is helping sellers find the real estate agents best positioned to sell their homes based on actual performance data. Its proprietary algorithms analyze nearly 30 million aggregated residential real estate transactions to help sellers find the real estate agent in their area best suited for their needs” Specifically, after answering a few simple questions, HomeLight’s Matching Engine searches and analyzes over 18 million transactions since 2009, along with 2 million agents and 200,000 brokerages, all aimed at matching you with an agent. It will look at things like recent listings an agent has completed, educational background and bios, customer reviews from individuals who have interacted with the agent, the agent’s transaction volume by year, and more.

To recap how Homelight works:

  1. They have the relevant data and an algorithm for matching consumers with agents
  2. Prospective buyers and sellers on answer a series of questions about their location, buying or selling, type of property, price range and type agent they are seeking
  3. A list of agents “matching the criteria” is displayed and the consumer can choose to meet with as many of these agents as desired.
  4. Agent recommendations include data depicted in the image below



Why you need to create your profile NOW – especially if you are actively listing and selling homes and have client reviews online

  1. Major national advertising campaign is driving consumers to their site!
  2. is coming up in Google results for agents
  3. It’s FREE to claim your profile!  If you are selected by a buyer or seller and close a transaction you owe a 25% referral fee
  4. Homelight partnered with YELP to provide data-driven insights that show up on your Yelp Profile (this is relatively new and in my searches on Yelp, I only found a few agent profiles with the data displayed… for now). in the news:

Are you ready for personalized 1-1 coaching with Jan O'Brien? That is one of the many benefits at IRES.
Contact Jan for a free coaching session today.
702.858-9191 |

Catch Jan's weekly Podcast at


Design & Follow Your Perfect Week

Where and how are you spending most of your time each day?  In this business coaching tip, we share how to use time-blocking to design and then follow a perfect week.

Get instant access to our free download… Agent Perfect Week Template in Excel format.

The power of time-blocking

  • The primary goal with time-blocking is to carve out blocks of time to commit to the most important activities in your day and week.
  • Schedule your personal time First …(morning ritual, workouts, days off)
  • Next plug-in time blocks for Incoming Producing Activities  (proactive lead generation, calls, texts, client follow-up , client appointments, etc.)
  • Then fill-in your weekly calendar with all of the Support Activities (admin, paperwork, training, meetings, appt prep, research, content creation)

Of course, the trick is sticking to your commitments and not allowing interruptions, distractions or something else deter you from doing the activity you have scheduled.  Remember, if you erase, you must replace!

Personal Time

  • Days off / vacations
  • Workouts
  • Morning Routine

Next on blocking time for Income-Producing Activities

I.P.A. – Income-Producing Activities

  • Prospecting
  • Follow-up
  • Client Appointments
  • Networking Events
  • Client lunches and pop-by’s

S.A. – Support Activities

  • Admin
  • Paperwork
  • Trainings- Workshops- Webinars
  • Office Meetings
  • Prep work-research
  • Social Media
  • Team Meetings- Accountability

Ask yourself these questions to stay on track:

  1. What are my highest value activities?
  2. What are my key results areas?
  3. What can I and only I do that, if done well, will make a real difference in my business?
  4. What is the most valuable use of my time right now?

Learn more about building your legacy at Innovative Real Estate Strategies.
Contact Jan O'Brien for a confidential interview today.
702.858-9191 |

Catch Jan's weekly Podcast at

Six Keys to a Thriving Real Estate Business

1 - Shift to the Business Owner Mindset

  • As Michael Gerber states in the eMyth Revisited  – you are the 3 key roles when you start your business:
    • CEO – vision
    • Manager – operations; customer service
    • Technician – sales & marketing; content creators

Successful business owners have these 3 traits:

  1. a great work ethic (they show up and work their plan),
  2. unwavering perseverance and
  3. a positive, make-it-happen mindset.

Work Ethic - requires diligence, hard work, and self-discipline. This means you have a definitive plan of action and you work it consistently.

Positive Mindset is a process not event! You have to be mentally tough!

  • Every day, we have a choice about our attitude
  • Every day, be prepared to play and win

Perseverance is continued and patient effort.

  • Commitment & Accountability
  • Power of a business partner, coach


2 - Know Your WHY & Your Business Purpose

Are you truly passionate for your business – what you do?

Do you know your WHY? What is your big WHY – your Purpose?

When you discover with complete clarity your WHY, then you have uncovered the absolute secret to success for your life and business.

You are at your best when your heart (passion) and mind (attitude) are in alignment and connected with your true path and purpose. This is true in your personal life as well as with your business. When they aren’t aligned, there is always a degree of dissatisfaction and unrest.

Article - 12 Signs that Your Are Living Your Passion – Your Life Purpose

  • What you are doing does not feel like “work”. It brings joy and a true sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
  • By the way, it’s never really about the money. It’s about what the money will allow you to do, what it will bring to your life and for your family.

Develop your Unique Value Proposition & Brand

  • Who is your perfect client?
  • What is their challenge or issue and how do you provide a solution?

Unique Value Proposition - (UVP)

  • Who are you? What makes you unique?
  • What do you do?
  • How do you do it?

Example: About WBNL Coaching


3 - Have a Plan then Take Action

Know Your Desired Outcomes.

Identify your target markets - we recommend the rule of 3

  • For us it is Teams, Small Brokers and Coachable Seasoned Agents

Have a Budget and Profit & Loss statement

  • Reality check when you start a business and don’t have major marketing & advertising dollars to invest
  • Most small businesses take 2-5 years to show a real profit (after all expenses including salaries)
  • Track and update your income and expenses monthly

Commit to a written Business Plan with clearly defined, vibrant goals.

Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.

  • S    Specific; Simple
  • M   Measurable; Meaningful to You
  • A    As if Now; Achievable; All areas of your life
  • R    Realistic; Responsible
  • T    Timeframe; Toward What You Want

Be willing to do what it takes to accomplish your outcomes.  Be consistent in your actions and build the positive habits. Practice leads to mastery.

Small Steps
Any movement or action, no matter how small, toward what you desire is all it takes to build momentum and achieve results.

Focus on what you want (not on what you don't want). Create a Success Action Plan that outlines the action steps (tasks and habits) to move you toward your desired outcome.

Daily / Weekly Success Action Plan – 3-5 best, consistent actions to drive your business forward or generate new business

  • Connecting with past clients
  • Generating new business
  • Consistent Lead Follow-up


4 - Create Business Systems and an Operations Manual

What are the key business systems?

  • Business Plan & Goals
  • Database Management & Referrals
  • Lead Generation, Sales & Marketing
  • Client Service Pre, During and Post Sale
  • Financial Management & Operations

For Real Estate Agents, Teams and Brokers:

  • Listing System
  • Buyer Sales System
  • Recruiting & Growth
  • Retention, Training, Coaching

Operations Manual - Why you need one

  • Written procedures for the primary pillars of your business operation will provide consistency, efficiency
  • Reflection of your expectations and standards
  • Create checklists, job descriptions and training document
  • Key asset for your eventual Exit Strategy
  • Build it as you go
    • Leverage your admin staff if you have it


5 - Build A Referral-Based Business

Clients First Mentality

  • Make a commitment to always take care of your clients’ needs first.
  • Honesty, integrity and professionalism are non-negotiable traits.
  • Fast customer service response time – go the extra mile

Client Relationship Management System

  • Use a great software system to help you automate tasks and remind you of key tasks, calls
  • Lion Desk, Top Producer
  • Email Marketing – Aweber, Constant contact, Mail chimp
  • Client Appreciation Program
  • Ask for Client Reviews/Recommendations on the key review and ratings sites
    • Yelp, FB Business, LinkedIn, Google business
    • RE – Zillow, Realtor and


6 - Implement a Solid Sales & Marketing Plan

“Customer service is your job, but sales & marketing is your business.“ – Brian Buffini

If you don’t have considerable dollars to invest initially in your business, you must be prepared to survive

  • 3-6 months Reserves in the bank
  • Other income sources 

You must be willing to prospect and attract new business in ways that don’t cost

  • Making Phone Calls
  • Leveraging LinkedIn
  • Networking
  • Advertising – Online & Offline

Three Prerequisites for Lasting, Positive Change

These three principles are the keys to making a positive shift in your life or business.  

1 – Identify and get rid of whatever is holding you back

Do the work on yourself first! Discover what the negative emotions, limiting decisions and beliefs may be holding you back from reaching your desired outcomes. Get help with this process – hire a certified coach, see a trained therapist – find a process or program that works for you.

Here are a couple of recommended books and resources to check out:

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

The Work of Byron Katie has been one of the most powerful personal growth strategies I have discovered.  I also had the opportunity to see Katie in person as she demonstrated live the power of “The Work” with people from the audience.

The Work is a method of self-inquiry with four questions that, when applied to a specific problem, enable you to see what is troubling you in an entirely different light. As Katie says, “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.” Contrary to popular belief, trying to let go of a painful thought never works; instead, once we have done The Work, the thought lets go of us. At that point, we can truly love what is, just as it is.

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)

This is another of my all-time favorite books and one I have re-read many times.  Don Miguel  Ruiz’s practical advice on living by these four basic principles can truly be life-changing.

1.    BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD. Speak with integrity.  Say only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.  Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2.    DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.  Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3.    DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.  Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.  Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.  With just this one agreement you can completely change your life.

4.    ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST.  Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.  Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming NLP Training – Recommendation: NLP Coaching

2 – Take Action

This is a critical first step after doing the positive change work on yourself. You must have a plan and action steps that you actually do and move you toward what you desire. What action are you taking right now to move toward your desired outcome? Resolve to do something every day (one small step) that moves you toward your goals. Daily action increases your determination and gives you energy.

3 – Focus on What You Want
Our unconscious mind is a powerful force which is designed to (among other things) preserve and maintain our body and control and maintain all perceptions.

Do you take 100% responsibility for your actions, your life, where you are now?

Or, do you blame your current condition, state of being, attitude, life on someone or something outside of yourself?

Is it really your environment, the market, your boss, the economy, the kids, the economy that’s responsible for where you are now – mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually?

Are you the Victim or the Victor?

It’s not enough to just think about what you desire. Positive thoughts with real feelings behind them (or in the words of Napoleon Hill “a burning desire”) is the first step. The next powerful step to manifesting your reality – your outcomes or goals – is to take the right and appropriate action toward not away from it. If your thoughts are dwelling on the fact that you don’t have it yet, things never work out for you, or other negative self-talk – you are moving away from what you want. Simply recognize the negative thoughts and change them! Practice makes perfect.

Focus on Results – Question to ask yourself”

  1. What are my highest value activities?
  2. What are my key results areas?
  3. What can I and only I do that, if done well, will make a real difference in my business?
  4. What is the most valuable use of my time right now?


4 Ways to Improve Your Quality of Life & Work

  1. Identify and do MORE of the things that are of the highest value to you and bring you the greatest rewards and satisfaction (80/20 principle).
  2. Identify and do LESS of the things that are not helpful and not contributing to what you want.
  3. START to do high value things today that you are not currently doing. Act on new choices, learn new skills, take on new projects or activities.
  4. STOP doing the things that are no longer consistent with what and where you want to go.


Learn more about building your legacy at Innovative Real Estate Strategies.
Contact Jan O'Brien for a confidential interview today.
702.858-9191 |

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The Power of Hand-Written Personal Notes

When was the last time you received a personal, hand-written note in the mail?  If you are like me, you still have it! Writing personal notes is one of the most impactful and least expensive ways to connect to people and grow your business.

Here are the top reasons why you should include writing personal notes as a daily success strategy for your business:

  1. Personal Notes are always opened and read
  2. They leave a lasting impact
  3. Personal, written note cards can make someone’s day
  4. They help you build and deepen the quality of your connections and relationships
  5. Personal notes make you really stand out from your competition

Who do you write notes to and when:

  • Write notes to current and past clients and your database
  • Family and friends
  • Send notes to vendors and other business partners
  • Send a personal note for birthdays and anniversaries
  • Send a thank you note to show gratitude and appreciation to someone for something they did or that impacted you
  • Want to meet someone or connect with an influencer/mentor – try a hand-written note!
  • A personal hand written note should follow every call, even when only leaving a message
  • After a meeting or event
  • After receiving a referral (not when you get the deal:)
  • Before, during or after a transaction

A common excuse people give for why they don’t write personal notes is “my handwriting is too sloppy” or “I don’t know what to say”.  Taking the time to send a note is a thoughtful and personalized way to show others how important they are to you.

Our recommendations on how to implement this powerful practice and get the best results:

  • Write the note in the moment – immediately after the interaction or when the feeling
  • Keep it simple and to the point
  • Use a blank card so you can hand write a personal message
  • Always have a supply of blank note cards, envelopes and stamps on hand
  • Consider using colored ink (not black) so it is obvious that it was hand written
  • Hand address the envelope with both the destination address and return address
  • Use a stamp that draws attention

Commit to writing and mailing at least 1 note every day!


Are you ready for personalized 1-1 coaching with Jan O'Brien? That is one of the many benefits at IRES.
Contact Jan for a free coaching session today.
702.858-9191 |

Catch Jan's weekly Podcast at


How to Reduce Your Liability as a Real Estate Agent

Do you have a risk reduction plan for your real estate business?  In this post, we outline 12 strategies or best practices to consider adopting to reduce your liability and help manage the risk of potential litigation as well as complaints filed with the state real estate licensing entity or your local REALTOR Association.

  1. Develop and use standard procedures with everyone.  Review fair housing rules and treat all prospects, customers and clients honestly, fairly and equally.
  2. Keep a communication log during your transaction.  Record your notes, conversations, milestones.  If red flags are raised during the transaction or you encounter challenges, it is particularly important to record the pertinent facts and events.  If you are using a paperless transaction management system, scan and upload all of your notes, emails and correspondence for your transactions.
  3. Use email to confirm conversations, verbal agreements, proof of delivering copies of contracts and addenda.  If your clients don’t use email, then mail copies of all the contracts and documents they sign via certified or registered mail or us an overnight service like Fedex.
    Note: If you and your client prefer communicating via text, make sure to take a screen capture of important texts regarding the transaction. Or better yet, follow-up the text with an email to document the notification or important communication.
  4. Keep a record of your transaction including all paperwork, emails and correspondence. Create a file on your computer (or use a cloud-based program like Dropbox or Evernote) and a folder in your email program to organize your correspondence and documents.  Archive your closed transactions (including your emails and other correspondence) and store them in your transaction management system, Dropbox, Evernote, and/or a backup drive.
  5. Rule of 3 – always recommend three vendors, contractors, attorneys, lenders, home inspectors, home warranty companies, etc.  Consider creating a disclosure with the companies and service providers you recommend and having your clients sign and acknowledge the choices you presented.
  6. Always recommend and explain the benefits of a home inspection and a home warranty to your clients.  Get a written waiver if they choose not to.
  7. Disclose…Don’t Diagnose.  Be the source of the source.  Stay within the boundaries of your area of expertise (real estate contracts, sales and marketing). Leave the analysis and diagnosis of any potential defect, issue or concern to the appropriate expert or contractor.
  8. Educate & set the proper expectations with your clients and customers. For example:
    • Explain the entire short sale process; pros and cons of purchasing a short sale
    • Review earnest money and what happens with a cancelled sale
    • Conduct a seller and buyer interview/qualification with all clients
  9. When working with buyers, make sure your buyer is ready, willing and able to purchase.  If getting a loan, have they started the approval process with a lender?  If they are a cash buyer, do they have proof of funds?
  10. When working with sellers, ensure they are ready, willing and able to sell.  Conduct a thorough consultation prior to listing to ensure they are motivated to sell and realistic in pricing the property. With short sale sellers, ensure you have the sellers complete the short sale packet and all documentation before you list the property.
  11. Use a transaction checklist or action plan to stay on top of all the tasks and procedures in a real estate transaction from initial contact to the successful closing of escrow.  Include any due diligence and contingency deadlines.
  12. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate… often and with all parties to the transaction!  Return phone calls and emails promptly.

Are you ready for personalized 1-1 coaching with Jan O'Brien? That is one of the many benefits at IRES.
Contact Jan for a free coaching session today.
702.858-9191 |

Catch Jan's weekly Podcast at