Some people use family and having children as the excuse for why they couldn’t do more business or for other things that go wrong in life or their career — our guest does the opposite!
In today’s episode, Mary relays how her family is actually her greatest business asset. From past client events that focus on kids, to having customized kids listing agreements she leverages the power of family to make both her business and her community a better place. We also touch on the importance of having a plan when it comes to social media, and she explains how to use the tool Answer The Public to get ideas for social media and video content. Finally Mary and Matt discuss how to build credibility when you are new, and specifically how to work with strangers when your own friends and family don’t trust you yet.
Find Mary Harmon online:
The Neighborhood Realtor is proudly sponsored by Treadstone Funding and Neighborhood Loans. For more tangible tips in real estate marketing, check out Matt's book, The Tangible Action Guide for Real Estate Marketing available on Amazon.
Learned something new, or have a suggestion? Message Matt Muscat on Instagram!
Mary H | 00:00:03:06 | It's a delicate balance between like wanting to be present with your kid, but also, you know, when the business is a hard market right now. So when you get the business, you really have to take it or somebody else will.
Matt M | 00:00:22:14 | Hey, everybody, thank you so much for tuning into the show today. Today, I actually have an agent on who is not in California. She's not in Texas. She's not in one of these $85 million average listing cost areas. She is killing it in a market very much like the markets that you guys are all working in. So I'm very excited.
Matt M | 00:00:41:06 | Mary Harmon, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, welcome to the show today. Hi.
Mary H | 00:00:45:00 | Thanks for having me.
Matt M | 00:00:46:29 | So, Mary, I just want to jump right into it because I have more pages of notes from our earlier conversation than most people that I interview. So why don't you start by telling us how long you've been in the business and what got you into it?
Mary H | 00:00:58:12 | So I try not to tell this, but I know you want me to because it's funny. So when I was in college, kind of all the hometown people in Tuscaloosa, because we had the University of Alabama here would end up at kind of our local bar when all the college kids were gone and we'd all catch up no matter where we went to the university.
Mary H | 00:01:17:11 | And one of the guys that I was friends with in high school was back in town and was a realtor and everybody was talking about, I can't believe you can do it. You know, if you can do it, anybody can. And I was like, Oh, yeah, I probably could do it. And one of the other friends was like, There's no way you could pass the test.
Mary H | 00:01:34:15 | So like a week later, I was licensed realtor in here, and that was back in 2008. So I'm going up on 15 years now. It's hard to believe I don't feel that old.
Matt M | 00:01:44:28 | Well, I know obviously you've been since. Oh, and by the way, like so many of the most successful people that we've had on the show are people who started between oh six and nine. I think in in ironically, a challenging and different market. Yeah. And every market has its own challenges. But what was your trajectory? I mean, I know right now you're doing killer business, but did it start that way from day one?
Mary H | 00:02:06:23 | No, not at all. So when I first start got licensed, I was just an assistant to another agent here in our market and did that for about two years until I graduated from college at the end of 2009, based on March 2010. And I was at that company for about another year and a half. And I know it's been a long time.
Mary H | 00:02:26:16 | I don't think I ever actually closed anything that was my own at that company and then switched companies when I got my broker's license and really hit my stride. And probably for the first two years, I don't think I worked with anybody that I knew. I think they were all strangers, whether they were leads from other agents that they had.
Mary H | 00:02:49:29 | And I did want to work with whether they were open house leads, Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, but they were really like cold and strangers.
Matt M | 00:03:00:09 | So how do you how did you process that? So number one, I think it's huge for people out there to realize they're not alone. Right? Like most people, no matter how much like when agents get into business, they think like, oh, my first deals are going to come from my family, my friends, people that know like me, but like you just said, like, that's not necessarily the case and you're a likable person.
Matt M | 00:03:19:08 | And part of that route is trust. Like everyone sees you in the real estate, everything else. Nerd. Oh, she's too young. Oh, she doesn't experience. Oh, there's someone else I know my mom stuff cousins and is a realtor. And there's all those reasons that you don't get those clients that you expect. So you end up having to work with some stranger.
Matt M | 00:03:35:15 | So what did you do to quickly develop rapport with them and then actually get them across the finish line?
Mary H | 00:03:45:07 | I think I made them feel comfortable, not only with just my personality, but also by being an expert.
Matt M | 00:03:52:20 | So, so like dive into that because like, how do you how do you become an expert or at least portray that you're an expert before you have done, you know, 100 deals? Like how did you really get there with them? Because I think that's fascinating and it's what we all need to do. But I think a lot of people are missing the the connection of the dots there.
Mary H | 00:04:13:02 | I think I thought it was going to be education. And I'm not saying that all these letters behind my name didn't help or don't help, but if anything, it helped my confidence. So immediately, like I said, I got my broker's license the very first year month really, that I could. I got the ABR, the CRC, you know, all of these designations immediately.
Mary H | 00:04:34:02 | But more importantly, I followed around other agents to listen to what they said, how they said it just what they did. And then I also when I tried to go into every property that was listed immediately, so if I was at an open house, I could say, well, you know, the wife had a break, one that just sold last month, two doors down.
Mary H | 00:05:00:00 | It ended up having multiple offers, but the roof was not new and neither were the windows. And in here you have a little bit more of an open floor plan. But if you don't like that open floor plan, the House two neighborhoods over is was the same builder, but it has the dining room closed off. So by immediately I was talking about it kind of bridge that gap of stranger versus expert.
Matt M | 00:05:25:08 | What you just said is fascinating because you made yourself an expert in the market that you were in at that one point in time. And I think that's something that actually any any new agent can do. Right, Because the market changes so quickly, especially right now, that you don't necessarily it doesn't help to be an expert in the market that we had five years ago.
Matt M | 00:05:44:23 | It helps to be an expert in what is happening in the market today. And in many areas like this, it differs city by city. It differs zip code by zip code. You know what new company is moving to the area? What is the trend that's happening right now? So, number one, be a hyper local expert in your area immediately go to lots of houses.
Matt M | 00:06:02:26 | But the number two you mentioned, not only were you an assistant for a couple of years, so you actually got trial by fire and you got to experience lots of transactions before you had to put your name on them? Yeah, but then at the same time, when you were off on your own, you asked every agent, What's going on?
Matt M | 00:06:18:09 | Where did you get that deal from? How can I do it? What's happening in the market? And by doing that, you kind of were able to double dip on that expertise. And then third, you mentioned confidence. Yes, I think so many new sales professionals, they lack the confidence. But you also start every day with like a mantra or something like figure out how to be confident because most of us bring something to the industry that we don't realize.
Matt M | 00:06:41:01 | And that's where I think we can draw our confidence from.
Mary H | 00:06:43:08 | Yeah, absolutely. Because, I mean, even now I'm thinking like I feel like I could have kept that deal or I could have won that client over if I wasn't so busy because I'm just a single agent and I can't answer every call, no matter how many times I want to, because I'm showing a house or because I'm in a closing.
Mary H | 00:07:02:07 | And I always tell my clients to kind of reward. I'm like, I want to be here with you physically and mentally, so you'll see me ignore some calls on my phone or send a text message, and I send a text that says, Hey, I'm with a client right now. As soon as I leave, I'll call you back. And a lot of times when I call them back, they're like, Oh, well, we wanted to see this condo, but we already found somebody that could show them.
Mary H | 00:07:24:14 | So I feel like a newer agent sometimes could kill it because they have that time to devote and really kind of outshine with their communication and some other way.
Matt M | 00:07:33:29 | It's kind of like figuring out the value and the assets that you have at any point in your career and figuring out how to sell it, right? Like we're all offering something different. And if you can't offer 20 years of market experience, that needs to be figuring out what you can offer and figuring that out quickly. Now, Mary, I really want to chat too, because you the market that you're in is is not huge, right?
Matt M | 00:07:57:08 | Like it's the average population in your or what's the population by you because I think.
Mary H | 00:08:00:29 | I'm well I don't always test include like North fort or the university just because but I mean we are probably really at source and we're spread out I would say probably 100,000 just if you take out the university and you have to think the university has 35,000 students. So we kind of have two worlds of like regular Tuscaloosa and then campus.
Mary H | 00:08:27:00 | But what people don't realize is like my little MLS serves, I think it's nine counties. So moms, I'm driving an hour and 10 minutes down. I rural two lane road without cell service, you know, to get to the next showing. And so not only are we spread out, but we're different counties different military it's different rules on Airbnb and, you know, different school systems.
Mary H | 00:08:54:13 | And so you really kind of have to know, you know, is that not even is that on septic or sewer, but what water is that? You know, how often do they, you know, do things? A lot of our water don't even have online accounts, you know, So and they only open on Tuesdays, you know, So those kind of things you really have to know about our market.
Matt M | 00:09:14:12 | So in this type of market, I mean, 100,000 people, you were able to close over 68 units last year just by yourself. Like, let's repeat that. You do not have a team of 30 people working with you and you're driving all over the place. I mean, 68 deals by you. Seems like that might be a lot more somewhere else.
Matt M | 00:09:34:01 | Yeah.
Mary H | 00:09:34:14 | And I think what's important to realize is I went back and look, because I knew you were going to ask me again last year. That was an average of 240,000. We know. And and I sold several that were in the 30,000 last year. Whether they are lots or, you know, a variety. Now that didn't mean I mean I just closed the 800 last week.
Mary H | 00:09:57:21 | So we literally have that you know everything and we sell everything. So we sell condos, townhomes, mobile homes, million dollar houses, you know, garden homes, everything.
Matt M | 00:10:10:14 | So the question I have is because obviously every market is so different and we had a guest on the show that was, you know, the complete opposite area of you are from a huge, huge city with 20 million people a couple weeks ago. Yeah. And his whole thing was in those areas, you really have to like brand yourself into a niche and specialize in one thing.
Matt M | 00:10:28:17 | How do you feel about that in your area? Because obviously with such a smaller population, my area is very similar, by the way, so I'm not knocking you at all, but I know a lot of our listeners are in, you know, areas of 100 to 400000 people. So do you feel like your brand and your niches, you, you yourself, the family, the mom, etc., or do you feel like you have a niche inside of that?
Mary H | 00:10:52:25 | Even probably more family oriented? And that's just because of my, you know, let's, you know, have met my wife right now. I have a six year old and eight year old John Thomases mean I'm currently riding horses and playing baseball. And saving grace is doing hip hop and dance. And so I'm doing those and I'm exposed to those.
Mary H | 00:11:17:09 | And it's a pain point. Sometimes balancing life and motherhood or parenting in general. And so I feel like I set out with how can I make their lives easier during this? You know, how can I help the process? And so I think that's where I've come up with trying to come up with things, you know, whether it's I keep the silly stuff, which is, you know, the slime or the crayons and the crayon, you know, but at my desk, so when they come in with their kids, they immediately know they can go over to my little basket and get a toy.
Mary H | 00:11:49:12 | And then they go sit down in the corner over there where I have some pillows on the floor. And so then we're over here and they're not kind of in our way when we're meeting or setting up everything virtually so they don't have to come in if they don't want to. So that maybe it's hard for the different couples to get their schedules or to get a babysitter and just trying to make the process easy for them.
Matt M | 00:12:13:22 | I like that. So I think the first, you know, really interesting thing there is that your your niche and you're kind of what you specialize in and the sphere of people that you're in, it really changes for every realtor based or salesperson based on the stage of life that you're in. Right? I'm sure that when all of your kids are graduating high school, a lot of your clients will be the same kind of thing.
Matt M | 00:12:34:23 | It's people approaching that empty nester vibe and then all of a sudden they're going be selling their houses with you. But right now, based on the area that you're in, in your life, you're building little things inside of your business to make life easier for people like you. And I think they appreciate that. And it shows them that you get it right.
Matt M | 00:12:53:01 | They feel more heard because you're figuring that out before they have to ask for it.
Mary H | 00:12:57:25 | Right? Yeah.
Matt M | 00:12:58:23 | And that goes into like your conversion rate. Like, I know when we talked before you had, you know, when you were working Zillow leads back in the day, you had a 100% conversion rate where a lot of people are converting like 1% right now. Yeah, but you're figuring out the right questions to ask, assessing the client's needs, and then setting up an entire client experience around that.
Matt M | 00:13:17:19 | And so I think whether it's Zillow or something else, yeah, you're going to have a higher conversion rate. I mean, how many leads are you getting a month right now? And what's your conversion rate currently?
Mary H | 00:13:27:26 | Well, I'm not currently doing any legit leads, so I think that's important to know. I mean, yes, I have my listings on Zillow and Realtor.com, but I'm not giving them any money. Sure. And so the the leads I'm getting maybe a, you know, comment on my Instagram or my TikTok or it may be I mean, we just went on a field trip Wednesday and I was on my phone.
Mary H | 00:13:55:25 | I had just listed a condo. Somebody called just off of it, hitting the market and wanting to do it. And John Thomas yelled across the entire part of three classes and said, Mom, put your phone down. You came here to be with me, not to sell houses. Like 40 parents just giggled and like three came up to me were like, Well, about that.
Mary H | 00:14:16:03 | Did you know anything about this one or about that? You know, they just know that, like, that's what it is. And so I think I get leads just from being present. Yeah, I'm not getting now that being said, I don't get I've established myself as an expert. I think I have that when I hear other agents or friends.
Mary H | 00:14:37:09 | That message me and say, Hey, how'd you do this? Or How many listings are you getting? Like, I went on two listing appointments this weekend and there wasn't like, it wasn't a legitimate I mean, it was an interview, but they didn't say, like, we'll let you know. It was like, okay, so where do we sign it? It wasn't charging.
Mary H | 00:14:53:01 | I mean, in.
Matt M | 00:14:53:11 | Essence, your conversion rates 100% because the people that are coming to you as leads are people that you're closing for, people that are working with you because of you. And I just also need to know, like, did you give your child a giant reward for getting you those possible? Listen, we're in some deals.
Mary H | 00:15:08:12 | Like I mean.
Matt M | 00:15:09:21 | It sounds like you should get a Lego set or something.
Mary H | 00:15:11:29 | I we did stop at Chick-Fil-A on the way back, but you know but it's and it is. And it's a delicate balance between like wanting to be present with your kid. But also, you know, when the business is that hard market right now. So when you get the business, you really have to take it or somebody else will, you know?
Mary H | 00:15:31:09 | Absolutely.
Matt M | 00:15:31:20 | And I think part of that like becomes having that conversation. I knew like, you know, with a six year old, it may be harder than an eight year old, but having that conversation and almost having it be like a little family context, like I know one of the lenders in my office, she has kind of like the little meter in her house and it shows her family like every day, like she lets her kids call her the meter for every closing she gets.
Matt M | 00:15:49:06 | And the closer they get to the goal, that's like the Disneyworld meter, Right? And so when she's on the phone, she her kids are cognizant of the fact that this like helping mommy get this deal and helping be quiet, blah, blah, is getting the family and them closer to their goal. Right. And there's you know, there's different ages for that.
Matt M | 00:16:08:12 | I'm sure, you know, your teenager may be like, okay, mom, like, just spend time with me. But it's different for every stage that you're in. Probably.
Mary H | 00:16:14:18 | Well, and I'm of the mindset that I don't just like any house we look at, but I'm going to tell you what I think, and I'm the detailed one that's looking at the ceiling going that talks coming undone. There's a weird crack right there. There is a stain where they didn't turn their vent on over here, you know, just pointing stuff out because I feel like that's important.
Mary H | 00:16:36:28 | And I didn't realize how much they had transferred over. And I videoed it for a couple out of California that was buying an investment property. And J.D. Gray said, Mom, you're missing stuff. This my six year old took my phone and did the entire tour of their missing an air vent over there. They haven't said that baseboard in three years.
Mary H | 00:16:53:04 | That van's missing two blades. And so with that house finally sells my closet by, I may pace it just as a funny because she's so aware of like they're just they're just been used to it and so they do come to sharing this with me. They know which one opens a door and which ones hold the keys. And Mommy doesn't forget to put it back in the lock box, like and then other parents kind of giggle and say, Grace is in charge of keeping the other kids away so we can talk.
Mary H | 00:17:19:09 | And then they do hold your own hands. And so it's funny because she'll say, We're going to go in a house now, everybody hold your hand so you don't feel like you need to touch me about a lot of stuff, you know? So they've learned to be respectful during showings just by being around.
Matt M | 00:17:33:10 | Well, these sound like the kind of people that I interview on the show that tell me that they are now a top producing realtor because they got into real estate at the age of eight. So if somebody is interested in being on the show in 12 years, I would love to have her. I'm sure. I'm sure her skillset will continue to grow.
Matt M | 00:17:51:20 | Real estate has a lot of contracts. I want this podcast to have a social contract as well. Here's what I need from you. If you're listening to the show and you get something valuable out of it or you hear something that you think that's awesome, I want you to send me a dream on Instagram, or if you find my email, send it that way.
Matt M | 00:18:07:04 | The more feedback that I get helps me to put together better shows and attract better guests. Continuing on that track of like how you really kind of work your database and do things for them that, you know, the golden rule like you do things for them that you would want. I know you do some really cool birthday boxes that your clients really like and have kind of become well known in your community.
Matt M | 00:18:27:29 | What is the birthday park proximity and how how does that help you stay top of mind?
Mary H | 00:18:31:19 | I didn't think to. So it's just a little like three by three box that I get on Amazon and if someone is interested, they can direct message me that can share them with it. But I put some colored confetti in it. That's my branding colors. Then they get like a little Debbie birthday cake that's individually wrapped with a candle, a birthday hat, one of those things you blow in that and makes that noise matches a matchbook.
Mary H | 00:18:58:05 | And then it says on there like it's your birthday. I'm sorry. I'm not there to spend it with you. You know, put your candle in, you know, blow a celebratory thing, blow your candle out, sing yourself Happy birthday. And people love them. I actually got a really kind of bittersweet text message yesterday that just said, Hey, thanks so much, my birthday box.
Mary H | 00:19:18:01 | I just want you to know how much I look forward to it, because being a single lady, I don't know that I've had a birthday candle for the last three years. If it hadn't been for you, you know, that's.
Matt M | 00:19:28:16 | Yeah, that's, that's touching. You make you truly made someone's day and usually it's not costing you a fortune, right?
Mary H | 00:19:35:26 | It's probably about $3 a box plus shipping, which is not that at all.
Matt M | 00:19:40:05 | But I really like that, you know, you have some instructions in that car. This is like this is how to do it. Right. Like it sounds it sounds dumb, right? Like, of course someone knows how to put a damn candle in a cupcake and do a birthday thing, but it makes it an experience when you do that. And I think right now, especially for people in their twenties, thirties, early forties, people are craving experiences like none of your clients that can afford a $300,000 house need you to send them a $2 to $4 gift.
Matt M | 00:20:06:20 | Yeah. However everybody likes a good experience. Yeah, everybody likes something that they can giggle at for $0.05.
Mary H | 00:20:13:01 | And I normally get like I sent 40 this month and I've probably had five call three text messages and probably two send me really funny pictures of them wearing the stuff or blowing out the kazoo or whatever you call it. So when you think about mean, that's like a 30%, not just return, but like people engaging in it and calling and staying top of mind.
Mary H | 00:20:38:29 | I'm sure the others opened it. If I see them out, they'll be like, I thanks my birthday box, but it's a little bit more meaningful than just, you know, Hey, happy birthday on Facebook.
Matt M | 00:20:51:22 | Yeah. I mean, I think anything that you're doing, you need to be able to see some of that instant reaction, that instant results from you. So many people like did the happy birthday thing on Facebook and then stuff because they never heard back. Yes. Now there are people do really good happy birthdays on social media that are individualized, that are personal letter videos that see immediately results in replies and have real genuine conversations because it was meaningful.
Matt M | 00:21:16:24 | And I think it's easier to continue to do things when they work. So I would tell everyone out there, if you're doing something for a birthday, for a closing, for a special occasion and you're getting no feedback, stop today. Yeah, pivot and try something different. Mary's idea might not be right for everybody out there. If you're a 65 year old dude out there working with, you know, your golfer, buddies like this might not be the play, but like, figure out what it is for your people and make that work.
Matt M | 00:21:42:03 | So I know we're we just finished it. We're kind of in the spring market and you also do a fun egg your yard thing also about that because I've actually never heard this one before. Yeah.
Mary H | 00:21:53:17 | So it was long. Luckily the kids were out of school Thursday and Friday and so I took one kid with me each day and get some really funny pictures and people like saw us driving around because we were in some of these neighborhoods that have, you know, 150 houses and I was taking six. I would let Sissy stand up and hang out of my moonroof And so people would wave and see us and comment and be like, Oh my God, are you bringing the stuff by?
Mary H | 00:22:19:13 | And we're like, Yes. And so even if we made it was about 75 six inch Easter egg. So they're decent sized and depending on the age of their kids, you know, if it was like an infant, it was like a little plushie. If it was a toddler crawling, they got a candle set. If it was like a four year old, they got slap bracelets that were in this, you know, had Easter stuff.
Mary H | 00:22:43:06 | And then if it was like a six year old boy, they got slime. And so and these eggs are big enough. Or I could put multiple kids in there. So I would know, like, you know, if you had two little girls, what kind of the age range they were, what they may like. But then we just did a cute little egg.
Mary H | 00:22:57:22 | You know, you've been eggs. Y'all are the best clients around, you know, Happy Easter. And then I signed each one because I think it's important that they know it's may I did it. And then not just a high schooler. I'm pagan. And so it was a lot to take 78 around and hand-deliver and leave them on their yards.
Mary H | 00:23:17:11 | But the kids love it. And I got some really fun pictures of kids going Bibles or hitting their mom with the slap bracelet and slime. And it's amazing that it's not amazing. But people forget that when people love your kids and treat their kids, you know, and include them and stuff, it makes obviously their kids remember you, but it really makes them respect you and like you a little bit more, you know, because let's be honest, my kids aren't always well-behaved.
Mary H | 00:23:49:26 | So if somebody you know, even when they're not being I remember it, you know, And so loving on their kids. I think the reciprocation is is a pretty strong thing we get at when.
Matt M | 00:24:01:25 | I think when you you know the way to someone's heart is oftentimes through their kids, especially if that's the area of life that they're in. But also you did something unexpected that brought them a moment of joy. And it's one of those things where you brought them a moment of joy in their personal life and having a house and helping them get through that process.
Matt M | 00:24:21:00 | It's a huge personal life issue to. So your it really does tell you about not only do you involve kids in the kind of like client appreciation side of things, you make them sign some paperwork. I mean really it's this is not a this is not a joke for kids. Like, if you're a child and your family is buying a house of Mary, you there is some work for you to do.
Matt M | 00:24:41:28 | So what does that look like? This is the most intriguing thing you told me.
Mary H | 00:24:45:00 | So for the children, we have the Children's Buyers Agreement and Children's Listing Agreement. And so, you know, add a listing.
Matt M | 00:24:51:06 | Do they pay a separate commission or they do they have to pay you a separate commission at closing or how does. I'm just kidding.
Mary H | 00:24:56:06 | I pay them, actually. But like with the listing and this really was just kind of just listening to him, it wasn't it, from personal experience because we haven't moved since my kids were little. But the listing agreement says, and I talked to him about, you know, it's kind of age appropriate to what they're good at. And so, like, you know, this is a big deal.
Mary H | 00:25:16:14 | We're getting ready to list your house and we're going to take pictures and there's going to be strangers coming in. And it's going to be stressful for mom and dad. So this is what I need from you. And then I tell her, I'm like, all right, we're going to come up with five things for you to do. And in return, I'll give you a it's normally a $25 gift card, and then they pick whether it's to the ice cream shop to five below to target Amazon.
Mary H | 00:25:38:25 | But it may be that they make their bed that they put all their clothes in the dirty clothes hamper, that they pick up their toys and put them in the basket and actually go in there and like show them. So this is what I need you to do. I need you to put all your toys over in this basket, you know, whatever's in there, right.
Mary H | 00:25:55:02 | And make your bed and make your pillows look like this. And then I say, you're going to turn on all the lights before you leave. Take the trash out. And so that way, you know, when they go to a showing or when it's about to be a showing and it's when they're home, they go around and turn on all the lights because it's important.
Mary H | 00:26:14:11 | I think it makes a difference as a buyer when you come in and all the lights are already on in the house. But instead of adding that to the list of all the things the parents have to do with the kids, take the ownership of that. It makes it a little easier for the parents. It keeps the kids from re messing the house up after you just cleaned it and they're excited to kind of, you know, do the process.
Mary H | 00:26:35:26 | And so then I tell them, like I had a kid a few weeks ago and the mom was like, Now they did not do their part. They cannot do it, you know? And I felt bad and still send them something. But I do try to be like, all right, you know, because everybody is on Bluetooth in their car now.
Mary H | 00:26:51:03 | So a lot times they'll call me like, right, we already left. I'm like, All right, Matt, do you make your bed? Do you turn the lights on? You know, I'm checking in if you want that fiver gift card.
Matt M | 00:27:02:05 | The Neighborhood Realtor podcast is proudly made possible by the support of our sponsors, Treadstone Funding and Neighbor, who owns two amazing Midwest mortgage companies that now have offices all around the country. If you're a realtor and you'd like to learn more about connecting with one of our lenders, DME, and that must be an alternate to with someone on your market.
Matt M | 00:27:19:10 | If you're a lender and you want to join the right mortgage company in DME, and I'll connect you as well. Well, I love this because you're not only are you, you know, you're giving the kids some work to do so that you're taking a little bit away from your clients, but also you're getting everybody in the family invested in this transaction.
Matt M | 00:27:36:01 | I think a lot of times kids can be kind of nervous to move, right? Like they might not know what's going on. They feel like this is being done to them, like they have no personal agency in this process. But when you, the professional, are an adult, too, are getting them involved from day one. They're part of it.
Matt M | 00:27:51:15 | They're all rowing in the same direction. And they're like, my boss always says, like, you're only as good as your saddest family member. Isn't like the entire mood of your house and your professional demeanor is only as strong as that of your of your, you know, most pissed off family members. My three year old is like in a bad mood that brings our entire house.
Mary H | 00:28:09:16 | Absolutely. So and that's kind of where the bias stuff because I participate getting that participation, I'm able to kind of help the anxiety because typically we're pretty good about reading it. And so, you know, I'm always like, because a lot of times they don't know what's a given because they've never made it before. So I'm like, we got to figure out which room you want, you know, Do you want to closet?
Mary H | 00:28:34:05 | Do you want just one? Do you think you want carpet? So then they immediately go run through the house to be like, Oh, this is the room I want, you know? So they're not nervous about what the next one's going to look like because they're doing that. Or I'll say, okay, how many bathrooms do we really think we need?
Mary H | 00:28:50:06 | Like, do you want to share a bathroom with your mom and dad? And of course, have already had the conversation with the adult. So I can I'm not just promising them the world, but okay, so if you can find the bathroom, you think that's yours? It's not connected to your mom and dad's room. It's just going to be the kids bathroom.
Mary H | 00:29:04:17 | See if you can find it. So it kind of keeps them going where we can talk and have an adult conversation without, you know, the kid crawling all over us and. Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, mommy, mommy, to all of us. But they really start realizing the next house is going to have what this house has. You know where I'm going?
Mary H | 00:29:23:08 | The bedroom. I'm going to have a bathroom, you know, or. Yeah, you said you might want a space in the backyard for you to play. See if it's big enough, go look, you know, and then, you know, off they go. And so getting them involved during that buyer's, you know, it's not always a buyer console in person just because of time.
Mary H | 00:29:41:00 | But talking to them, it's like, okay, Matt, what do you want your next house to have? You know, do you want a neighborhood playground? Do you want it to be flat so you can ride your bike back up the, you know, to the garage instead of having to walk it up the hill like you have now and just getting them not just anxious about the next house.
Matt M | 00:30:01:07 | Yeah, you're adding the positive emotion there. So I want to pivot really quickly because a lot of people find out about all these awesome things you do via social media. Yes. However, and I know we actually initially connected via social media group that we're in, but you don't just kind of like do social media and go to market with the belief that like, oh, I'm pretty.
Matt M | 00:30:19:02 | And since I'm on social media and I know everyone, I'll get business, you actually have a plan. So walk us through really quick. We have a couple of minutes left. What is your plan for social media and how do you consistently make it work for you?
Mary H | 00:30:30:27 | Yeah, so we I use this program called Answer the Public, and I do have an incredible social media girl, Katie. So I can't take all the credit, but I can go on about once a month is when we do filming and do answer the public. It's everywhere. At least I know in the U.S. we can type in like your zip code or your city and see what are the top search terms for the last 30 days.
Mary H | 00:30:52:01 | So I'm able to go in and see that like I'm about to do some videos on parks that you'll see coming up that we had a ton, which surprised me of what part do I take my kid to in Tuscaloosa now that the weather's pretty, I guess the new people are moving here don't know. And so I'm going to do videos and answer and feature like my kids top five parks because I know that's what my area is looking for.
Mary H | 00:31:19:23 | And so I'm able to not just like shoot it in the dark of what I think somebody wants to know, but actually do that. We also do try to do one, if not to just depends on my energy and time level. Honestly, social like videos of new businesses that have come to town. And so I like to go there and show the inside talk about where it is, talk about what what's what they have that not all the other businesses have.
Mary H | 00:31:45:23 | I am a big whiskey drinker and so a lot of times if it's in a restaurant, be like we all tell me about a special whiskey drink you have. Sometimes they'll let me kind of you can taste it on the videos. And so it's not sales because I'm getting people involved about. I know you've all wondered about this new kids clothing store that just opened as here it is.
Mary H | 00:32:04:08 | Come in. Sadie Grace's favorite. Yeah, they have shoes, they have accessories, they do gift wrapping. You know, these are the sizes they carry. And it's located next door to point blank, like. So it's good to get in those businesses and introduce myself to them. And then as people in the future refer come in, they'll be like, Oh, my husband sent me.
Mary H | 00:32:24:18 | Well, hopefully then they'll reciprocate. But too it just showcases our community and people then check back to my page because they're curious about what's going on this weekend or what's this new restaurant is. And not just if I'm posting a new house, if that makes one.
Matt M | 00:32:39:12 | It's big too, because like most people in social media are doing it to get in front of New people and it's hard to meet new people, especially when you're busy. So when you feature a new business that business owners, that has employees, that has super loyal customers, and now all of a sudden you're attaching your brand to that wave of that new business, All the excitement around that business, it's huge.
Matt M | 00:32:59:21 | And then those people follow you, you engage with them, etc.. Plus, like all businesses have employees, they need houses. Your realtor kind of. It's a perfect match made in heaven. So I love that summary. This has been amazing. We're going we're we went over on time, but I think everyone here so if someone has a referral in the Tuscaloosa area, how would they get that to you?
Matt M | 00:33:20:20 | Or would you be willing to send someone a copy of your buyer, your children's buyers or seller contracts?
Mary H | 00:33:26:02 | They can message me on Facebook or on Instagram. I will say I'm in the South as you can tell, we all have double names. So first name is like Mary Harmon, and so my handles are Mary Harmon and then Instagram. It does have you on Facebook. It just has Mary Horman. So if you go look at me, you may eventually find me, but don't just put Mary Young because it's under Mary Harmon first and foremost, but you can reach out on Instagram, Facebook.
Mary H | 00:33:54:01 | I'll be glad to share and help as much as I can. A lot of people would just think at the University of Alabama, they don't realize we have Nucor Steel, which is the largest one of the largest steel plants in the U.S. We have Bfgoodrich tire plant, we have Mercedes-Benz and 29 suppliers. So we have a lot of workers coming in with that.
Mary H | 00:34:15:10 | We have the in class, we have a new electric vehicle. Mercedes is building and all its really amazing, all the different stuff we have in Tuscaloosa that people don't realize that they may have clients come in here for.
Matt M | 00:34:29:21 | Cool or if they need tickets to a football game. I'm sure you can hook them up.
Mary H | 00:34:32:21 | Basketball's doing better to baseball. So yeah, we have lots of people.
Matt M | 00:34:36:12 | Just you guys have it all. Well, Mary, thank you so much for joining the show today. And guys, remember, if you heard anything on this episode that you found useful, which I know you did, Please, please, please go to the show on Apple, Spotify, your favorite place, and leave us a review. The more reviews we get, the more amazing guests that we can attract.
Matt M | 00:34:54:01 | So I appreciate it in advance, Mary. Have a good one. Thank you so much for having me.
Mary H | 00:34:58:12 | Everybody.