The Short List: Tarl Anderson’s Lesson 1 of Real Estate 101

by James McClister


Tarl Anderson is the broker and owner of Tarl Anderson Properties working in Houston.

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Tarl Anderson, broker and owner of Tarl Anderson Properties, who shared his first lesson of Real Estate 101. 

As agents, we should all be maintaining a current DIGITAL client database and we need to be working every day to build it. Use your Gmail Contacts, Outlook, Excel or any CRM on the market, but get it digital and in the Cloud today. Old dogs must learn new tricks – or die like dinosaurs!

8. It is your job to make sure that people know what you do and how to reach you. Get a personalized website with a vanity URL. They cost $12 a year and come with a free email address. Stop using your AOL, Hotmail, or Yahoo email address and remove these from all work related publications like your website and business cards. You can forward those old ones to your new account but stop sending from the old ones and stop marketing those accounts. Make it easy for people to find you and look like a professional. Your website is your digital business card that can’t be ruined in the back pocket of your client’s pants as they are tossed in the washing machine.

7. The National Association of Realtors states that over 70 percent of consumers that used a Realtor would use that same agent again. However, similar surveys all follow a common trend; they suggest that about 70 percent of those consumers couldn’t remember the name of their agent a year after the transaction was complete. This is a simple concept that has been around forever, but is somehow forgotten as we get caught up chasing the next great idea. Stay in front of your clients!

6. Collect at least five “bits” of data on every client and race to get 200 people completed as fast as you can.

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Mailing Address
  • Birthday

5. You may not get all bits on every contact but add 50-100 bits of data per week. This may mean that you will have 400-500 people in your database before you have all 5 bits on 200 people. If you eventually get 400-500 complete contacts then you should be able to sustain a career in real estate without buying leads or depending on your broker to provide them. These people do not have to be clients. They can just be people that know you, love you, and trust you.

4. If you have an email but no phone number, then email them to ask for their number. If you are friends with them on Facebook or LinkedIn and don’t have any other information, then send them a message asking for whatever information you are missing. It’s really simple to cut and paste the same script into all of these and knock out a bunch every night but always include their name to personalize it. I try to make time to do these fact finding missions a month or two before the holidays so the card you are about to send can be the reason you are contacting them and go to the current address.

3 Literally write down the name of every single person you know that might also recognize your name. Once you have too many contacts then you can start classifying them and focusing on certain groups but for starters you need as many people in there as you can. I have 4 groups:

  • A’s have referred someone
  • B’s have worked with me (or I am working hard to get them to do so)
  • C’s might work with me in the future (but I’m not working hard to get them)
  • D’s are DNC or Do Not Contact

2. Once you start snail mailing your costs skyrocket every month, so I started by emailing through an email marketing software (like BombBomb.com) which told me when certain addresses asked to unsubscribe, which ones are not working, and finally which ones were opened. There are a few rules that I follow when sending out to my database. If they ever unsubscribe then mark them as a D and don’t ever do anything for them again (other than what is required as a fiduciary). Only focus on the people that want to support you and help you grow your business. To do this you will have to always be working to create interesting and fun content. Always be sure to include something about you personally so you are not just a professional robot personality. Be human. People do business with people that they know, like, and trust.

1. You can always send out around the holidays, their birthdays and then at least two more times a year to everyone. When they have a need you should be the first person that they think of. Don’t get your feelings hurt when someone unsubscribes. They are just saying, “Don’t waste any more time or money on me. I won’t be bothered to hit the delete button a few times a year, and I don’t support your efforts to be a successful real estate professional.” Get these people out of your way so you can truly focus on giving attention to those who DO want to support you. Every “no” pushes you one step closer to the next “yes” so start to see them for what they are worth. It’s simply a numbers game.

Somehow, when I have hired new agents to work for my company, there is only thing that I have found determines their success or failure and that is their willingness and ability to complete this one singular task. If they can’t or won’t then they will ultimately fail to succeed in this business… so get started TODAY. Good luck!

Tarl Anderson is a real estate professional with 10 years of industry experience. He’s served as advisory board member for the National Association of Apartment Locators and has worked in a variety of capacities throughout his decade-long career. Anderson is currently the broker and owner of Tarl Anderson Properties.

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