Ashton Gustafson, a Texas-based real estate professional, spoke to a group of Sibcy Cline Top 100 agents to share his thoughts on real estate – how to have music among all of the noise. His two-hour presentation sped by as he shared his stories of working with buyers and sellers. Here are some of the points taken from his presentation:
Faster than Expected is Greater than On Time
To deliver “happiness” and be memorable to clients, agents have to have be on top of their game. Service that is faster and better will be definitely be remembered and appreciated. Ashton cited an example of ordering boots online with free, three-day shipping. Instead, the boots arrived in under 24 hours with a note from the company that they realized he was ordering for the first time and wanted to do something special for this buying experience. That action led to lots of praise from Ashton for that shoe company – which was Zappo’s.
Building Your Brand
An agent’s brand is not a logo – but how that professional conducts business. Ashton feels it is important to “get in the path of people’s stories long enough to eventually be in the past of their business.” In other words – call, write and see your sphere of influence. Offer people good information and stay connected often. He said people prefer to work with real estate agents who are also friends. In order to qualify as a friend, an agent needs to make that personal connection first.
Ashton shared an example of an agent who heard a buyer who casually mentioned that if he bought a certain home he would want to camp out in the backyard on the first night at that home. That agent leased a large star-gazing tent and to make that wish happen when the client purchased the home – and created a memorable real estate experience.
Ashton offered several useful apps to maintain agent brand building:
Slydial – This direct-to-voice-mail messaging app lets you easily leave a message. In minutes agents can make “just-thinking-about-you calls”.
Snip.ly – This app has the ability to add a personal touch to a digitally shared article. When a reader clicks through on the Sniply link, that agent’s contact information appears at the bottom of that piece – making it a much more personalized connection for the reader.
Search.Twitter.com – Twitter is great place to find out what is happening locally. By connecting to “search dot twitter dot com” – one can type in a search term and find out local news in just seconds. (Much easier than scrolling through Twitter news feeds!)
Evernote – This app is effective for note taking and lists.
Listening is Greater than Shouting
Paying attention to what people are saying, an agent can be even more connected. When house hunting, don’t see just one home, but plan tours for several homes so you can have the time to talk and figure out what that buyer really desires.
Ashton feels that having a “human” thumbprint is much more important than a mere digital one. The more personally connected agents are to their sphere, he feels will result in more business in the future.
Your Music is Greater than the Noise
There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Ashton suggests spending those minutes wisely and not waste time on meaningless activities. He feels connecting to email all of the time is not productive – nor is immediately answering a phone call. He utilizes a “60 Daily Points of Rhythm” (or here), a system that includes 25 relationship-building calls, 25 personal prospecting emails and 5 handwritten notes of gratitude. By concentrating on getting his points, he is accomplishing his job so he then has time for his interests and family.
Ashton consistently provides his sphere with hyper-local CMAs every 6 months, offers of home evaluations and post-buyer transaction neighborhood updates of real estate activity. Consistently providing information has resulted in recognition of Ashton as a market expert.
Want to learn more about Ashton Gufstason?
Ashton is a native of Wichita Falls, Texas. He is a fourth-generation real estate professional who was named by Realtor Magazine as part of the “30 Under 30” class in 2010. Here is how to follow Ashton: