This week we’re shining our success story spotlight on Hamilton REALTOR® Donna Bacher. Donna earned her real estate license in 1983 and hasn’t looked back. To be fair to Donna, she was a success in her own right before discovering Point2 Agent. She’s gone from selling $40,000 properties to $250,000 properties and increased her efficiency by leveraging changing technology along the way. In addition to being a broker and agent, Donna’s also a mother of 3, active in her community and a licensed pilot. Whew!
I earned approximately $50,000 off my website in the first year, approximately $65,000 the second and now I capture and close about $85,000-$90,000 a year in business from my website alone. My website is my 24/7 assistant.
So how did this 30-year veteran get her start in the real estate industry? Well, believe it or not, a psychic told her to give it a shot. And the rest, as they say, is history.
We caught this sparkplug between flights and managed to ask her a few questions about her career and her experience with Point2. Read about her incredible journey to success and get her tips for new agents here:
When and why did you get started in real estate?
Now this is funny. Back in early 1982, I was a senior credit officer with the CIBC, and I really loved my job. One day, minutes before I was leaving for work, I called a psychic on a radio talk show to find out about my love life. I didn’t figure I’d get thru…but I did! Madam Maria told me to forget about my love life…it was my career that I should be most concerned with. She told me that my security with the bank would be in jeopardy within 10 years – things were changing – and that I had a wonderful career waiting for me in real estate. I went to work that day and resigned! I starved for 7 or 8 months until I got my license in October, 1983 and never looked back.
What are your primary challenges in your market?
Real estate is always changing. I’m extremely familiar with the city I work in and, after 3 decades, I’m really disciplined when it comes to keeping up with changes that may have an impact on anything involving real estate. In Hamilton we currently have issues with illegal rental properties. Right now, there’s a lack of homes for sale, but I know that next month that could change.
On a broader scale, Ontario is a strict province to conduct business in. We have a lot of draconian laws that seem to put us behind of the rest of the country when it comes to technology e.g. digital signatures, IDX etc…
When did you start using Point2 Agent and what made you choose us?
I started to use Point2 about 5 or 6 years ago; it was all about affordability. I started with the cheapest package. Soon I moved to the Professional package because it had a lot more features and the results were so incredible. Then I moved to the Elite package because the results were even more incredible for the money spent.
In 2007, as a result of a divorce agreement with my REALTOR® husband, I agreed to sell him my rights to our joint 800 name client list. So, on January 1st, 2008, I sat down at my desk as a new agent. Just a handful of clients, a new name, a Point2 website and a great desire to eat. I hired an assistant for 2 years who did nothing but learn about technology, including P2 websites, and then give me a weekly report. I earned approximately $50,000 off my website in the first year, approximately $65,000 the second and now I capture and close about $85,000-$90,000 a year in business from my website alone. My website is my 24/7 assistant.
What were/are your primary goals for your website? Where have you seen success?
My website is continuously changing. My primary goal is be switched over to one of P2’s mobile friendly sites by May 1st, 2013, while still maintaining my Google rankings. I increased my goals this year…so I’m going to be really ramping it up a notch!
What is your most popular webpage?
How often do you update website content? Do you do it yourself, have an assistant or hire outside services (graphic designers etc…)?
Because technology is constantly changing, I have full control of my website right now. I make changes to my listings and content. I change the whole look of it at least annually. Right now, I’m really giving it an overhaul…but like I said before, everything you do has to make Google happy. It takes time, but it’s well worth the effort.
How have you seen technology impact your business in recent years?
User-friendly technology has really only been around for 7 or 8 years, so there was a time when it would take hours to list, show and sell a house – let alone prepare good ad copy. Most of my time was spent selling and rounding up more business. Personally, it was tough to take a couple of weeks off a year. I never had time to go on holidays and really enjoy them.
Today’s technology allows me to be extremely efficient. It saves me a tremendous amount of time and money. Point2 websites are a great example. We’ve moved away from expensive hard copy advertising to web based advertising and personal websites. These websites give ourselves and our listings exposure that we couldn’t even begin to imagine 10 or 20 years ago.
Another interesting thing I’ve noticed is the caliber of my clients has improved. Most of the clients I get from my website have taken the time to read my “About Me” page. They know who I am and want to deal with me. When they contact me they often ask me to “Come & list [their] house” or “Will you represent us in buying a house?” This is a huge plus. I remember the days when I had to fight for a listing and try to convince people to choose me. Now, they’re sold on me before they even contact me. My Point2 site does all the hard work for me.
I’ve said this over and over. I would never be able to achieve this level of success year after year without Point2. It doesn’t matter if you have a $10,000 website or a $50 website – it’s the optimization that’s important. That’s where Point2 comes into play. Because they’ve been around for so long and have had such a head start on real estate website optimization, it’s hard to beat them.
Do you have any tips for real estate agents who are just starting out?
First, put on your ear muffs and start working on a Point2 site. Do not buy into a branded website because if you ever change companies, your site doesn’t go with you. At the same time, go to the library and hunt down some books on “sales” and read as many as you can to find your particular sales style. It won’t be the same as anyone else’s…it’ll be a hybrid model that you create and feel comfortable with.
As leads come in from your website, follow through. Be prompt in answering your leads. Remember that if people contact multiple agents, they’ll probably work with the person who is the fastest at accommodating their needs. Schedule an in-person meeting with them as soon as possible. If that doesn’t work, then your sales skills aren’t working for you. Go back to the library!
Don’t spend precious time and money attending expensive “sales” seminars right away or posting on Facebook and Twitter about the fact you’re in real estate. Blog on Point2 instead, then post that blog on social media to increase your Google-ability. Preview homes as they come on the market and work on your Point2 website every day. Technology is amazing…use it well and you can’t help but win!!
Thank you for taking the time to share your inspiring Point2 Agent success story with our readers, Donna. If anyone has any questions or comments, we encourage you to leave a reply below.