Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before.
This week, we talked with Sandra Billings, the broker/owner of The Billings Group in Northwest Houston/Copper Lakes, a rapidly-expanding firm that is now recruiting new agents for its office.
Houston Agent (HA): The election season is in full swing, and we’re hearing quite a bit about the democratic process and community involvement; what are some of the ways that you, as a real estate professional, get involved with both Realtor associations and the greater community?
Sandra Billings (SB): Being actively involved in my community and in my association helps me to be better aware of the areas I am marketing and selling. It helps me make connections that I may not have otherwise had and it provides me with the satisfaction of helping others.
There is a saying that, “no one cares what you know, unless they know that you care first.” I carry that into all I do. I really try to care for the people and the community events I spend my time on. My involvement ranges from building renovation projects in my community to speaking to parents of children affected with the same genetic conditions as two of my sons.
Our Realtor association provides us Realtors with many opportunities to accomplish marketing and networking avenues as well as protecting our interests. I support them with my dues, participating in sponsored events and promoting myself as a member.
HA: How do you approach coaching your agents? What are some of the key lessons/principles that you share with them as they begin their real estate careers?
SB: Education is key. If you are just starting out, take as many classes as you can. Talk to other seasoned agents and learn from what they did or did not do. I have been in this business for over 20 years, and I still learn something new every day. Lastly, be kind with everyone you deal with. Being firm is different than being disrespectful. My principles are very simple. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Be honest, trustworthy and hard working.
HA: What forms of Internet marketing have you found the most successful? And in what ways do you find online marketing better, or not, than print marketing?
SB: Another great feature of being a member of our association is the great website they provide us for free! It has been a very successful tool for me. Of course, a mix of Internet marketing and print marketing is always a good idea. In my business, I definitely think that Internet marketing has an edge over print marketing, because almost everyone is online! Don’t forget about word-of-mouth marketing! It goes back to living your principles. If your clients liked you, it is worth more than the money you spend on Internet or print marketing.