Future of Real Estate: Marguerite Martin
In this next installment of the Future of Real Estate series on Union Street Media’s YouTube channel, Rachel Allard, Senior Vice President of Strategy at Union Street Media, chats with innovator, entrepreneur, and marketing maven Marguerite Martin. Martin is the creator of MoveToTacoma.com, is a real estate matchmaker, and consults with brokers around the country. View the video above for the full interview.
Marguerite Martin was twenty-five when a friend pointed her to real estate. After working what seems like every type of job imaginable, from waitressing to hanging sheetrock, Martin’s friend suggested she try real estate. “He was my realtor – I’d bought my first house with him – and he was like, ‘I think you should do this’ and I did,” she reflects.
Several years into her real estate career, Martin had done really well, but was fighting burnout. “Real estate agents work really freaking hard,” Martin reflects. Then the market crashed in 2008. Martin started experimenting with what she was able to do and eventually stopped listing houses, turning to referrals instead. Her managing broker at the time first challenged her, and then encouraged and advised her to “make more of a follow up and be more intentional about referring” to increase her chances of success. Hearing things like “You have to list to last” and “This is never going to work” actually fueled her drive to do something different.
Flash forward to now, Martin has built a business on matching people with the right agent for them. She hasn’t had to return to traditional selling. When asked about her process for making a match, Martin says that she spends a lot of time helping agents find a niche. She notes that a lot of realtors “don’t have the courage or don’t have the confidence that [their] pipeline will be full enough” to specialize in one thing and refer everything else. Martin continues to mention that even clients don’t realize that their needs fall into a niche.
“If you’re sending out a lot of referrals and they’re not closing, you’re just not making good matches,” Martin says. She believes asking the right questions is key to attracting the right kind of clients you want to work with and who want to work with you. Martin then says that she discusses ideal clients with agents in a way to encourage them to have niches. She explains that it “makes your marketing so much more efficient if you know who you’re talking to.” She then stresses that it’s important to spend time and money attracting people who you most want to work with. Then “everyone else will still come.”
“I think the thing that changed my real estate life when it comes to marketing was seeing examples of what was possible in other agents.”
– Marguerite Martin
Martin has surrounded herself with other agents with whom she can collaborate, bounce ideas off, commiserate with, and learn from. She talks about people she admired and “having the opportunity to actually speak to them”, but laughs when she thinks about being a full time consultant. While she’s led classes and has a ton of knowledge from which others would benefit, she’s generous about advising others, because she believes that they often have the idea within them, they just need someone to help them pull it out. And networking and doing that for each other is important.
When asked how this year has been for her, Martin says that she’s “doing great” and that nothing much has changed for her. Martin has seen second home markets like Tacoma experience a surge and that “Tacoma was already one of the fastest rising real estate markets in the country. And it still is. It’s even tighter – it’s very challenging.”
This time though, Martin has systems in place that have helped her handle the demand. As opposed to much earlier in her career, when she regularly experienced waves of burnout, Martin has created and refined her own systems that work for her. “It’s about survival and being a happy person as well as making money,” Martin says. A cornerstone of her system is having a robust digital strategy that layers different channels to create “this giant interlocking web that supports you.” “Have your websites, have your podcast, have your content creation, have your blog,” Martin lists. That’s how you stand out and build a business that runs on its own.
Though she’s focused on sustainable technology, Martin doesn’t add on every new channel that comes around. “I’m working on a lot of the same technologies I’ve been working for the last five years. You know podcasting was probably the last new thing that I did and it just still works in exactly the same way,” she explains.
Additionally, part of Martin’s system is time blocking and organizing her work, and she’s disciplined about sticking to it. Martin reveals that she spends only a few days each quarter focusing on blogging and then doesn’t really think about it after that. “That’s the kind of marketing prospecting I mean about sustainability,” Martin states. She believes prospecting is like a math problem and says, “what specific content do I need to put out there that’s going to actually generate the number of prospects calling me that will convert to x number of closes?”
“The whole thing is, technology should just be an amplification.”
– Marguerite Martin
As great as having an online presence is, Martin cautions agents to be mindful when personifying themselves online because they could become dissonant. “I think that some of us can get into trouble with that psychologically,” she states. Martin says it’s okay – and good – to be authentic but you shouldn’t put your whole self out there in a way that changes how you behave so others see you a certain way. “We are the product but also, get some boundaries because it can get stressful if you don’t,” she says.
When asked if she has any advice for her younger self, Martin says, “set bigger goals and go to therapy.” Martin explains that real estate agents take on a therapist-like role during the buying process and “we need somebody with no stake in our lives helping us and supporting us through this very emotional and challenging work.” Martin would know – she’s helped thousands and is looking forward to accomplishing the bold goals she’s set for herself, building on the remarkable success she’s already seen.
You can learn more about Marguerite Martin on her website: https://www.margueritemartin.com/
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