This past week I had the honor of interviewing Kim Dittler of Prudential Northwest Properties. Kim was recently honored by the National Association of Realtors as being one of 30 rising stars under the age of 30 in the entire nation. Kim is a true professional and all around great person. After spending time with her there is no doubt that she is one of the best real estate brokers out there right now. Kim and I spoke on many different topics and in this post I've listed ten questions that I asked her along with her responses.
Q: Now that you have been in the real estate business for a few years, what do you love most about it?
A: I've been selling real estate for about five years and got started right out of college. I love owning my own business and working with people and building relationships. I've become good friends with most of my clients. I love that this career pushes me out of my comfort zone and every day challenges me. I love the marketing and negotiating aspects of the business and working towards my clients’ goals.
Q. What keeps you motivated each day and your attitude positive?
A. It is so easy to be motivated and positive when things are going great, but when things are tough we all have to look deep for the reason we do what we do, which is our true purpose. We have to be able to answer the question, "Why am I doing what I'm doing”. It is so tempting to be discouraged in this type of market. For me I truly care for people and I've found a job where I can help them through a very stressful time in their life. I love having the opportunity to care for people when they are at their best and when they are at their lowest. I love helping them with this large financial and emotional decision they are making for their home and family.
Q. What do you see as your guiding principles for working with clients?
A. There must be a values match with your client and there must be a good fit with your business model. We have to use wisdom and work with the right people for us. I want to be the best agent for my clients and if I cannot do this then I need to refer them to someone else.
Q. How are you engaging your past clients and sphere of influence in an effort to receive referral business from them?
A. I've had to become an expert in the market and be very professional at all times. I make it a point to educate my clients on the market via a customized market report that I send out. I do a great deal of networking and holding open houses to meet new clients. I do not cold call but I do stay in touch with my past clients and sphere of influence regularly and I've been blessed to have them send me referrals.
Q. Are you using social media to grow your business? Explain how that is working for you.
A. Yes. I am using Facebook primarily. I use it as a soft sale. My friends know I'm in real estate so I don't talk about it a lot on Facebook. I have a photo album on Facebook where I share pictures of my clients that recently sold or bought a home. I try to focus on letting my Facebook friends know that I am a real person and that I have a life outside of real estate. I want them to see the personal side of me as well as the business so I focus on a soft sale approach in social media.
Q. What do you believe are the top three to five marketing tools that must be used by all brokers in our current market?
A. The big hot topic is Social Media. Facebook Fan pages are something I'm looking into using more. Working with other businesses is extremely important to get business to business referrals. A client appreciation event has been very helpful for me as well. Any activity that focuses on connecting you with other people.
Q. In your opinion, what are today's consumers looking for from a real estate professional?
A. One thing that I love about this market is that it has weeded out a lot of the agents that had bad business practices. What is left are the agents that are dedicated and treat it as a career. I think professionals are expecting to work with agents that are well educated, professional, punctual, and caring. Clients want to know that you care about them and that you recognize they are a part of your success. People want someone that is tech savvy. They want agents that will match their communication style whether it is texting, phone, email, or using social media.
Q. What is your take on the market right now? Are you encouraged, concerned, excited?
A. I think right now we are experiencing a perfect storm in our market. We have low interest rates, a tax credit for first time home buyers and move up buyers, and we have low prices on homes. I get excited about working with first time home buyers and I share with them just how much of an opportunity this market is for them. I don't think the expiration of the tax credit will affect our market at all. I think the low prices will keep buyers engaged in the market. I'm excited and encouraged.
Q. What is next for Kim Dittler? Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
A. I would love to say on a beach in Hawaii! I don’t necessarily have aspirations of having an incredibly large amount of business. I prefer quality over quantity. I’m looking to grow my business but maintain quality. I’m looking at adding an assistant to my business to help me with the non-high payoff activities. My main focus though is to grow my business but never sacrifice the quality of the service I am providing my clients.
Q. What is the best piece of advice that you can give to brokers that are striving for success in their careers and life?
A. I think it is all about your frame of mind and attitude. I love what I do and love working with people. I see my job as an opportunity not as a challenge. If you have your heart in the right place and you are willing to work hard you will do very well. Take a day off and rest from your business. Be excited and keep your attitude positive.
If you would like to here the entire interview with Kim Dittler you can click here.
Make it a great day!