Keep it Local at NAR

Michelle and Tyler Holt in the French Quarter.

Michelle and Tyler Holt in the French Quarter.


I’m so excited for the thousands of NAR attendees that will be visiting New Orleans. NOLA has been my home for the past three and a half years, and I still call it home even though I recently moved. As the Big Easy gets ready to host an amazing event I thought I’d share eight insider tips.

1. Get off of Bourbon Street

There are so many amazing parts of the city. Bourbon is just one, and for many locals not one of our favorites. Check out Frenchman, Magazine, the Garden District, Marigny, Bywater, City Park, St. Charles, and walk all over the French Quarter. Jackson Square is a great place to start and Decatur and Royal are the main walking streets through the Quarter.

2. Listen to Our City

Music is a huge part of NOLA history. New Orleans was the first city in the New World to have Opera and it is of course the birthplace of Jazz.  You can hear so much great live music all over the city. WWOZ 90.7 is listener-supported volunteer programed for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station. It is a big deal.  The WWOZ website provides the best calendar for finding out who is playing where and when on any given night.

A few personal favorites: Historic Preservation Hall, Maple Leaf, BMC, Snug Harbor, Spotted Cat and d.b.a. Note: there is indoor smoking allowed at several bars so if that is a concern I would check the venue before you arrive.

3. Coop’s Place

Best fried chicken and red beans and rice, be warned it is a dive bar with bad service. Don’t be a diva – this place is like the Soup Kitchen in NYC . Everyone waits in the line: celebrities, locals, and tourists and you don’t ask to “customize” something. What’s on the menu is what you get.

4. We Don’t Flash Boobs

So, you’re in the Quarter and someone on a balcony has beads and a crowd forms and starts going crazy for the beads – PLEASE do not flash. First off, it’s not Carnival season, second, you will get a ticket. Carnival for locals is about family and friends celebrating their love of New Orleans and its rich history. We try to keep the tourists close to the Quarter so we can keep them contained. But asking locals “if they flash” or even joking about it is going to get major eye rolls.

Carnival is a season, Mardi Gras is a day – if you want to see some of the amazing artisans that help create Mardi Gras check out Mardi Gras World. It is totally worth it to see the huge and amazing floats that are created not just for local Krewes, but also for Disney, Universal Studios and many others.

5. Learn the History

There is a lot of history in New Orleans, it was founded in 1718.  From the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 with Thomas Jefferson to the famous French and Spanish architecture, to the important role it played in the American Revolutionary War, the Slave Trade, and it’s role in the World War II.

  • Visit America’s National World War II Museum. It is amazing and a short jaunt from the convention center. Plan at least four hours. You won’t be disappointed. TripAdvisor recently named it the #4 museum in the United States and #11 museum worldwide.
  • Take a tour. A little know fact about tour guides in New Orleans is that they have to be licensed. We care about the quality of how our city is represented. A personal favorite of mine is the  Haunted History tours. I’ve been on the Ghost tour twice and enjoyed it each time as it has great legends and stories about the city. Don’t forget to give a tip, or as the french say Pour Boire meaning “for drink”.

6. Food is Serious

Similar to New York, to make it in New Orleans you have to be good to survive. There’s too many great options that if you aren’t on par then you can’t last. Also, for dinner you will likely need reservations. So, if you are dying to get in somewhere then call ahead for a reservation. Here are a few personal favorites:

  • Cochon – cajun southern cooking
  • Peche – seafood grille
  • Commander’s Palace – quentinesstial Southern experience in the famous Garden District
  • Antoine’s – the oldest French-Creole fine dining in New Orleans. Lunch is amazing and not to be rushed.
  • The Joint – best barbeque hands down. It has been featured on several lists and on the Food Network. (Pretty much everything on my list has). And it is in the historical Bywater.
  • Beignets – so this is personal preference so try both and decide for yourself: Cafe Du Monde and Cafe Beignet.  Tip: don’t buy the beignet mix – it won’t taste as good at home.
  • Dat Dog – hot dogs have never been the same. Started as a shack and then it blew up!

7. T-shirt City

When you’re strolling on Royal and Decatur you will see a lot of  souvenir stores. Bypass those and check out some of the places and t-shirts locals wear. In fact, great local boutique shopping is found on Magazine Street. Great cafe’s and shops there. The shops listed below are locally owned, topical, and endeared to locals. You may get better service at Coop’s if you are wearing a Defend New Orleans shirt for example.

  • Dirty Coast – coined the phrase “Be a New Orleanian Wherever You Are”
  • Storyville – “Nola Seasons” is a classic
  • Fleurty Girl – awesome Black and Gold source and a fantastic example of the NOLA entrepreneurial spirit
  • Defend New Orleans – New Orleans’ proud and independent spirit

8. Black and Gold Fever

There’s always a lot going on in the city. This weekend with NAR is no exception. Emeril Lagasse’s annual Boudin, Bourbon and Beer festival is happening. As well as the big game on Sunday at the Superdome with the Saints playing the 49ers.  Wearing black and gold is always advised. To find out what else might be going on check out these great calendars:

Michelle Holt is the Director of Marketing at REDX. She just moved from New Orleans, LA to Salt Lake City, UT and next to Christmas, Mardi Gras is her favorite holiday season. Prior to coming to Real Estate Technology, Michelle worked at two large investment banks. She studied Public Relations at Brigham Young University.

Data that Drives Success: Paula Burlison Case Study

Graph With Stacks Of CoinsIn 2007, the bottom dropped out of the housing market and real estate values in the United States fell by $6 trillion.

During this time, Paula Burlison was working as a realtor in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of the hardest hit markets in the country. While other realtors floundered, Paula not only managed to keep her business afloat, but continued to make a substantial income as well.

How did she do it? By understanding the data that drives her business.

How Scripts Can Help Realtors Generate Consistent Results

9311718035_23ab0c5834Do you hate the idea of using a script on sales calls or appointments? Many realtors shy away from using a script because they don’t want to sound canned or robotic when talking to prospects and clients.

After all, many agents went into real estate because they love interacting with people. The last thing they want to do is kill that spontaneity and the personal touch that makes their job so enjoyable.

We have all experienced that awkward call from a telemarketer who can barely pronounce your name and reads tonelessly. But scripts don’t have to spell disaster all the time.

Gain Accountability, Increase Income: The Rocky Wright Case Study

8404984150_616882fa48_bAccording to Christine Comaford, Forbes Magazine contributor and author of the book Smart Tribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together, 98% of the CEOs she works with are kept up at night by one thing: how to get and increase accountability in their business.

Why? Because increasing net income, improving performance, and achieving predictable revenue can all be attributed to raising the level of accountability in the sales process.

Realtor Rocky Wright knows this. He has developed a unique system of accountability that requires him to look no further than his own family for results.

The Virtues of the Market in the Fall Months

(09) Fall LeavesAs the weather cools and the leaves begin to fall, our thoughts turn to cold winter days and the festive holiday season to come. This is also the season when the housing market drops off, and you, like many other realtors, want to get as many of your listings sold before the holiday rush.

Even though selling in the fall means fewer listings and buyers after the peak spring and summer selling season, fear not. Autumn is the second busiest time of year for real estate and there are some definite benefits to selling during this time.

1. Nice weather brings out the buyers.

In many parts of the country, the fall weather is a perfect combination of sunny days and cool nights. People are out and about and are more willing during this time to come to an open house or walk around a prospective neighborhood.

2. Less competition means better commission.

The peak of the real estate season in spring and summer also means a lot of homes on the market. As this number drops off in the fall months, the competition will also dwindle. Buyers in the fall tend to be more serious and more urgent. There are fewer listings to choose from and they want to get moved in before the cold weather hits.

3. Fall colors increase curb appeal.

Second only to the greenery of spring, the beautiful falling leaves against still-green lawns and fall flowers make homes look warm and inviting. You can’t beat curb appeal.

4. Motivated buyers and sellers mean quicker sales.

Many sellers who held out for a higher price on their home during the peak season will be more willing to drop their price the closer they get to the holidays. This often leads to faster sales, especially since fall buyers are often more eager to make a purchase.

So how can you take advantage of the fall selling season?

Keep the following tips in mind when considering the autumn real estate market.

Revisit Expireds and FSBOs that have been on the market for a while.

Even if you didn’t have success with these leads in the spring and summer months, they might be more willing to use your services now that the summer is over.

Represent homes in fall mode on social media.

Marketing yourself on sites such as Twitter and Facebook can be very effective. Advertise your homes on these sites with creative, fall themes. For example, when describing homes, be sure to make them sound cozy and warm so that potential buyers will be able to imagine themselves settling into the home for winter.

Offer fall-related rewards.

For buyers who meet with you to discuss openings, offer some warm apple cider or a slice of pumpkin pie.

Create seasonal advertising.

Use an editing program to insert trick-or-treaters on the porch of the home or add a few autumn gourds to the front walk. Help buyers to see themselves and their families living there right now.

Selling a home in the fall months isn’t necessarily more difficult. It just requires understanding the market and planning accordingly. For more expert advice on how to grow your real estate business, contact us today.


What Fishermen Know about Successful Real Estate Prospecting

lines-in-waterEvery fisherman knows that the more lines you put in the water, the more fish you’ll catch. You can experiment with bait, lures, timing, and locations but when it comes right down to it, two lines in the water statistically catch more fish than one.

Same goes for real estate prospecting. You’ll “catch” more leads if you pursue several modes of communication rather than sticking to one all the time.

When REDX talked to the most successful agents in the country, we found that 74% use at least three different prospecting methods in addition to picking up the phone. Try these favorites from the most successful agents in the country.


The next most common form of communication after phone calls is mailers. Mail is most effective when it

  • Contains customized information that lets the recipient know that your are interested in their property
  • Is mailed multiple times until the property is sold or relisted
  • Provides information that will help the owner successfully sell their property (tips and tricks, etc.)

Though we always recommend agents include phone calls in their regular prospecting, we know of agents who have hit and surpassed the $250k earning level without phone calls because of effective mailers.

Door Knocking

It’s old school, we know. So you can imagine how surprised we were to find out that 58% of the $250k agents we interviewed knocked doors. In fact, they said they’d do it more if they had the time.

The key difference here is more in attitude than it is in actually knocking on doors. Mid-range earners often have the attitude that they are above knocking doors and lean toward more sophisticated prospecting tools.

The big earners all had the attitude that there was nothing more valuable than meeting people face to face, getting to know them, and showing them what could be done to help them sell their property.


While the traditional tools will always do a great job, high-tech tools are gaining momentum.

Social Media

We found that $250k agents were 43% more likely to use Facebook and 11% more likely to use Twitter as prospecting tools than $70k and under earners.

The most successful agents don’t use social platforms to simply list properties. They use them to engage with and educate their current and prospective clients. They get creative about soliciting business and follow up with past clients in an environment where readers feel comfortable and unthreatened.


$250k earners are about 41% more likely than $70k agents to use a tablet in their listing presentation.

Visual representations strengthen any pitch or relay of information. The ability to interact with a presentation also adds to the effectiveness.


An auto-dialer is a computer program that provides up-to-date, at-your-fingertips information on properties then automatically dials the phone number for contact. A whopping 94% of $250k agents use auto-dialers.

No more wrong numbers. No more incorrect info. We take pride in Storm Dialer, our excellent auto-dial system. Find out more about it here.

Get more lines out in the water by thinking like a $250k earner. Use several of their favorite tools to increase your commissions now.


What High Earners Know About Lead Prospecting

chart-different-lead-typesAre you maximizing your opportunities as a real estate agent, or are you just treading the easy, safe, traditional path of lead prospecting that everyone else uses? On the road to real estate success, prospecting as many lead types as possible is an important way to expand your horizons. (more…)

What Successful Realtors Say and How They Say It

ConfusedHave you ever hear the phrase, “work smarter, not harder”? In your real estate business, this can be the difference between earning over $250K per year and $70K per year. Using tried and true methods that have proven to work for others is a great way to minimize your effort and see greater returns.

One of the most important jobs of any realtor is converting leads into appointments, and appointments into contracts. Whether you are on a prospecting call, making an appointment, talking to past clients or connecting with your sphere of influence, using a script can help you breeze through this process.

How to Make More Money in Real Estate by Restructuring Your Day

schedule_iphoneAs a Realtor, how do you organize your day? Do you have a strict schedule or do you just sort of see what comes your way and then wing it?  Here’s a little secret: the real estate agents who make $250K or more per year stick to a strict schedule. This schedule is one of the keys to their success.

Develop Discipline

Believe it or not, realtors who exercise regularly make more money than those who don’t. In fact, 74% of high earning realtors go to the gym at least 3 times a week. What does this have to do with my real estate business, you ask?

In his bestselling book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains the way one small but important habit can change everything. “Typically, people who exercise start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.”

By infusing discipline in one area of their lives, these real estate super stars are making it easier to create that same discipline in other areas. Make a commitment to develop a schedule that incorporates habits that will help you focus on what is important to your success

Increase Your Prospecting Time

In real estate, your leads are the lifeblood of your business. In order to make these leads work for you, you have to put in the time to foster them. Realtors who make the most money also spend the most time in lead prospecting each day.

The $250K earners prospect (on average) 4.6 days per week, while the $70K earners only spend around 3.5 days a week prospecting leads. Furthermore, the highest earning realtors spend 90 minutes or more on each prospecting session, while the lower earners only spend 45 minutes to an hour each time

This means that agents who make less than $70K are prospecting just under half the time, but are earning only one third of the income. A jump in only 30 to 45 minutes per session generates a tremendous amount of additional income.

Once Isn’t Enough

In addition to more days and more time spent on leads, $250K earners don’t give up when their leads don’t answer the phone or the door. Nearly one hundred percent of these agents make evening calls to those leads who didn’t answer their phone during the day with an occasional weekend call to those who didn’t answer at all during the week. They know that each prospect they contact is a potential sale, and lost opportunities mean lost income.

If you are struggling to make your real estate business as successful as you know it could be, consider infusing more discipline and structure into your day. These habits will continue to build on each other and you will see results as you increase the number of appointments you make each week and grow your bottom line.