As he sat in his car in front of a listed house, Steven David Elliot knew perfectly well his client wasn’t going to buy it. He knew they wouldn’t buy any house any time soon — they just weren’t ready. But they wanted to look. And so he took them out.
All told, it was about three hours out of his day — three hours out of a day in the life of a very busy real estate agent with Fathom Realty in Raleigh, North Carolina. But Steven didn’t consider one minute of it wasted.
“While I waited, I answered emails on my phone. I sent notes to folks who had been at my event the night before,” he said.
But getting administrative work out of the way wasn’t the only upside. Even the time with the client was valuable to Steven. “I had a conversation I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I learned about a new property I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. And I was able to demonstrate to my client that I will be there, and so when they are ready to buy, they will call me. And they will tell their friends to call me, too. It was all worth it.”
That is the core of Steven’s approach to real estate, business and life in general: being there. And being valuable.
It’s what led him to run a successful bookstore in a time when the bookstores faced extinction. It’s what has helped him become a leading agent in just over three years. And it’s what has helped him create one of the largest networking events in the North Raleigh area.
These networking events are the stuff of legend, sometimes hosting upwards of 500 people in a single venue. But it’s not just a numbers game. Steven also creates smaller, more intimate events. One of his favorites was a smaller work table event.
“Each table had four or five people. And one person got to describe a problem or challenge with his or her business. Then the other three brainstormed strategies to solve it.” The results were impressive. Strangers came together, bringing their disparate experiences to the forefront, and created actionable ideas for the benefit of others.
Helping others is the through-line in all of Steven’s activities. These networking events have allowed him to create a roster of referrals, a contact list of trusted experts across skillsets, businesses and industries. Once he refers a contact, he knows that referral will reflect his trust with superior service. And he knows that referral will come back to him.
“I want to be the go-to person. I want to solve your problem. But if I can’t, I’ll connect you to someone who can. I am a servant, and by serving others I will be rewarded with abundance.”
With this kind of networking prowess, Steven doesn’t have to do much in the way of paid marketing for his real estate business. And yet, he’s a firm believer in the power of digital advertising. Particularly the power of brand awareness. And for that, he uses Adwerx brand ads.
“Complete strangers walk up to me on the street and say, ‘You are that real estate agent on the internet!’ The ads are like sign calls, only better. I am putting my ads right on potential clients’ smartphones and computers, in their offices, cars and living rooms,” he said. “In order to help as many people as possible, I need my name to be repeated as frequently as possible. And Adwerx lets me do that.”
This strategy has put Steven in a unique situation. Clients ask him to represent them, rather than the other way around.
Marketing himself is really a way to let him market for his clients. With Adwerx listing ads, Steven advertises his client’s property in a high visibility way. He’s using the targeted cities feature, promoting a home in Apex, North Carolina to buyers in Silicon Valley, California.
For Steven, a transaction isn’t a sale as much as a fulfillment of his client’s need. “I use a social workers’ lens. I’m not selling. I am helping them accomplish their goals and get what they need, not just what they want.”