Benchmark’s Giffen Earns WCAR REALTOR® of the Year Award

FRANKLIN, Tenn.—(November 24, 2014) The Williamson County Association of Realtors® has presented their most prestigious award, Realtor  Of The Year, to Benchmark Managing Broker John Giffen at their annual installation and awards reception held at Lillie Belle’s in downtown Franklin.WCAR realtor of the year- John Giffen

In presenting the award, 2014 WCAR President Lisa Culp Taylor said the criteria is based on civic and community service, business accomplishments and contributions to the state, national and Williamson County associations of Realtors.

“John has been involved in real estate since 1986 as an owner, investor, Realtor and managing broker. He has been active in the National Association of Realtors AS A REBAC instructor, as a member of the Council of Residential Specialists and as a member of the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers. He also serves as a member of the Diversity Committee of the Tennessee Association of Realtors,” Culp Taylor said. “As a WCAR instructor, John has served on many committees including Grievance, Professional Standards and Education.”

Giffen was also installed as a 2015 WCAR Director, along with Benchmark agent Lisa Wurth, who will be extending her service on the WCAR Board as a member of the 2015 Board Executive Committee, in the role of Secretary/Treasurer.

Giffen in his remarks to the group said “it’s an honor and a privilege to receive this award representing a noble profession and a noble cause helping steward the largest asset a person has, “ Giffen said. “Moving to Benchmark was the best professional decision I’ve ever made and I appreciate our CEO Phillip Cantrell’s incredible work ethic and integrity. I also so appreciate my wife, Michelle, who understood and supported the sacrifices I’ve made over the years to be successful in this profession.”

Benchmark WCAR Cantrell, Wurth, Giffen

Benchmark CEO Phillip Cantrell with WCAR- Secretary/Treasurer Lisa Wurth and Benchmark Managing Broker John Giffen

Established in 2006, Benchmark Realty, LLC is a locally owned full service residential and commercial real estate brokerage with offices in Cool Springs, Murfreesboro and Midtown Nashville. With almost 600 agents serving all of Middle Tennessee, the award winning company has become one of the fastest growing, technologically innovative real estate firms in the area. CEO, Phillip Cantrell was last year’s  WCAR- Realtor of the year winner making this the second consecutive year that a Benchmark Realty Agent has taken home this prestigious award. Visit them online at www.benchmarkrealtytn.com.

4 Fabulous Marketing tips for Realtors®

As a Realtor®, it’s your job to market your personal brand as much as possible – after all, how can anyone do business with you if they don’t know who you are? We mail out flyers, send emails and pass out business cards, but we could always do more… we could always use that extra little push.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. We’ve put together a list of four winning marketing tips used by the pros that you can put to use today, and the best part? They’re simple and require minimal effort.Marketing Tips for Realtors- Benchmark Realty

4 Winning Marketing Tips for Realtors

  1. Follow up with past clients. Scour your transaction files as far back as you can; remember the first property you sold? When was the last time you talked to those clients? Now is the perfect time to send a holiday card with some personal branding inside. Don’t worry if it’s been years, because that adds to the “pleasant surprise” factor.
  2. Pick a volunteer activity and commit to it. Volunteerism is a wonderful networking activity, and adding something to your website about the volunteering that you do is a nice side benefit that shows you’re an active member in the community.
  3. Ask for testimonials. We always provide great service, but we’re usually too modest to ask clients if we can attach their name to the wonderful things they say about us. It can’t hurt to mention that you’re trying to build up the Testimonials section on your website and ask for a quick quote.
  4. Update your website and blog. If it’s been a while since you’ve created a blog post, or if your site is straight out of the late 90s, it might be time to freshen things up. Even if you can’t hire a designer to recreate the whole thing, you can still make sure the information is up-to-date. (There was a time when the average home price in Spring Hill was just over $100k, but that date has long passed. If your site still says it, you’re sending the wrong message!)

Are You a Benchmark Realtor?

At Benchmark Realty, we specialize in giving our agents all of the tools they need to succeed. If you’re not working with us yet, why not call and find out about our 100 percent agent commission, how you’ll have total control over your real estate career and what motivates us to take care of our real estate family?

We’re available at 615-371-1544. You can also fill out the form below and we’ll set up a confidential meeting where we’ll answer all of your questions and discuss your future with Benchmark Realty.

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Why Should You have a Facebook Page?

Facebook. It’s everywhere. But does that mean you need to have a public, business-related Facebook page if you want to succeed in your real estate career?

Maybe.

You have to weigh the pros and the cons, and if you’re not sure whether it’s going to benefit your business, it might not be a good time to start a business-related Facebook page. We’ve put together three pros and three cons so you can make the best decision for your business.why you should have a facebook page- Benchmark Realty

3 Reasons You SHOULD NOT Have a Facebook Page

  1. You don’t have time to maintain it. Once your Facebook page is up, you’ll have to post regularly – at least a few times a week – using the 3-2-1 rule for social media.
  2. You’re combining business with pleasure. Never, ever combine your personal Facebook page with your business Facebook page. Not only is it the fastest way to damage your brand (someone who doesn’t agree with your personal views may choose not to work with you, despite the fact that you’re the most qualified Realtor® around), but it puts you in danger of giving out far too much personal information.
  3. You don’t want to interact with people who “Like” your page. The whole purpose of setting up a Facebook page for your business is to engage people; you’ll want to show your knowledge and show that you’re interested in what others have to say. Letting comments go unanswered makes you look inattentive and sloppy, so if you can’t commit to engaging those who engage you, you might be better off without a Facebook page.

3 Reasons You SHOULD Have a Facebook Page

  1. As many as 90 percent of people use the Internet to search for homes. On top of that, people buy from people they trust – and you can establish unbelievable rapport through your Facebook page. Posting new listings, even if they’re not yours, generates a lot of buzz online (especially now that people can share interesting photos with just one click).
  2. Facebook can strengthen your brand. If you’re sharing valuable content that people actually want, you’re going to get “brand ambassadors.” Those are people who will help get the word out about you and what you do simply because they enjoy your posts.
  3. Search engine optimization. Did you know that search giants like Google actually look at social metrics to determine whether your website is worth sharing with searchers? They do. If you have a site that’s popular on social media, they figure there’s a good chance that everyday web surfers will find it valuable – and having a successful Facebook page can boost your rankings in the search engine result pages.

Are You a Benchmark Realtor?

At Benchmark Realty, our agents are among the happiest in the business. Whether they love our Total Freedom concept (they do), they’re appreciative of the 100 percent agent commission they get right out of the gate (they do), or they’re glad for the extensive support network and advanced strategies we have to offer (they are), people love working with us.

If you’re not a Benchmark Realtor yet, call us at 615-371-1544 or fill out the form below. We’ll give you the inside scoop on how we help our agents and give them the tools they need to succeed.

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5 Sure-Fire Ways to turn Real Estate Leads into Sales

While every situation is different, most Realtors® are letting good leads slip right through their fingers. Are you one of them?

The Ideal Real Estate Leads: Qualified, Interested and Engaged

It would be amazing if every lead we got as Realtors was qualified, interested and engaged – but that’s just not the case. However, it’s our job to read the signals each lead is sending; we might miss something valuable that, in the long run, ends up costing us.Real Estate Leads- Benchmark Realty

There are no guarantees in this business (except that you’ll get 100 percent of your commission working with Benchmark Realty, that is), but using these five tips will help you convert more leads – and that means making more money.

How to Convert Real Estate Leads into sales:

  1. Treat your first contact like gold. It is gold. Even if you’re not sure whether the person will qualify to purchase, your first contact builds the foundation for your future relationship with this client. That means trying not to let strange numbers go to voicemail (people certainly want a responsive Realtor) because they’ll go somewhere else immediately.
  2. Take the time to get to know them – but really get to know them. Let them do all the talking, and interject a question now and then; the key, though, is paying attention to what they’re telling you. A successful Realtor listens far more than he or she talks.
  3. Don’t be afraid to show potential clients you’re the expert. Send them a list of references without being asked; show them your testimonials. Give them information on available tax credits, reassure them that you’re watching the market for what they need, and ensure that you’re giving them targeted follow-up when they have a question. Don’t fall into the trap of putting them on an email list and assuming that they’ll eventually call you.
  4. Talk about your successes. Yes, we just told you to be quiet and let them talk. However, it’s good to make the words that you do say count for something. You’ve negotiated better prices for past clients, right? Make sure that you mention a specific instance in casual conversation.
  5. Keep them interested. When potential clients reach out for your help, they usually want it right now – and then they become distracted. See if you can meet with them right away; if you can’t, make sure you stay in touch until their schedule permits a face-to-face meeting. Send them a quick, personal email: “Hi Jim, I just saw this house when I was looking for listings for you; it seems like it’s a really good fit, because it has three bedrooms and a fenced backyard, just like we discussed on Tuesday. Let me know what you think – call my cell because I’m out showing properties all day. Thanks!”

At Benchmark Realty, we’ll support you in any way we can. Whether you need help focusing your business plan on next year’s growth or you want to attend our monthly Mastermind Meetings (they’re awesome!), we’re here to make your real estate business a success.

If you’re not a Benchmark Realty agent yet, call us at 615-371-1544 or fill out the form below. We’d love to hear what you want to get out of your real estate career and show you how we can make that happen.

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