Happy Friday everyone! For those readers who do not know, I recently took the plunge and earned my Florida Real Estate License. This is something I have wanted to do...FOREVER! So, I studied like crazy, and let me tell you that exam was stressful as all get out, but I passed it on the first try, which is great considered only 50 percent of people do. I truly was not sure I had passed until I walked out and got the passing certificate in my hot little hands. Real Estate License-- Check! So, now I was a licensed agent-- and still there were big decisions to be made. For instance, we owned a little place in St. Petersburg, Florida, and I truly love St. Pete. I spoke with all of the large real estate brokerages in town, and they were all nice enough, but I did not feel an instant connection with any of them. Also, I could not envision dealing with the crazy traffic that is the Tampa Bay area while running to listing and showing appointments. SW FL--Check! I happened to notice an ad for a small brokerage in Fort Myers, Florida, which is where a few of our friends in the entire world live. I talked with the broker, and the other people in the office-- and felt like this was the right place to call home. Real Edge Brokerage is heavily into investment properties-- we buy, rehab and sell distressed homes, and work with real estate investors as well. These are things I was also excited about, so I feel like this was the right match. My Marketing/Finance/Sales Background--Check! My professional background has been heavy on finance and sales prior to owning my own marketing company. I spent twelve years as a Finance Manager and Finance Director in the automotive world, and three years doing Mortgage Lending-- so I know credit and lender parameters, basically what it takes to help a customer get the loan they need. Helping buyers, especially those that are credit challenged or first time home buyers find their way "home" will definitely be one area where I concentrate my efforts. Everyone should own their own home! Of course, Marketing has been my life since 2008, and it will lend itself well to Real Estate. Who would you rather have list your house? Someone with tons of Marketing experience, or cousin Ruth that says she has a friend that might be interested. To get maximum exposure for your home listing, you need Maximum Marketing-- and I will provide that to every real estate listing client. (In fact, my goal is to get so busy that my husband has to "retire" and work with me!) Real Estate Specific Marketing--Check! I set out to find some great, inexpensive or free, real estate specific marketing tips, and found so many that I thought it would be helpful for other new agents as well. So, here is a roundup of some of the best articles I found, with hundreds of tips to help you get started listing and selling homes now! http://www.point2homes.com/agent-websites/blog/2015/09/08/75-marketing-ideas-for-real-estate-agents/ 75 great tips from Point2Homes. It notes video marketing, which has huge impact for our agency. Customers love to really "see" a home, and a comprehensive walkthrough on video can really generate a lot of interest! https://placester.com/real-estate-marketing-academy/107-real-estate-marketing-ideas-agents/ Placester rounds up 107 tips; I love this article because it divides tips from fundamentals to advanced and innovative. I qualify for the advanced tips because of my Marketing background, but want to jump right to the innovative, break the mold tips that help agents stand out in a crowded field! http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/04/16/real-estate-marketing This 35 tip Wordstream post has lots of common sense, yet often overlooked, ways to build your brand---and make no mistake, the product you are marketing is YOU! http://fitsmallbusiness.com/real-estate-marketing-ideas/# This 50 item Fit Small Business post has some good offline and online tips for creating buzz about you in your local area. http://agentredefined.com/top-ten-tools-and-apps-for-real-estate-agents-in-2016/ This blog post on Agent Redefined actually has 26 tools and apps to help real estate agents be more successful in 2016. http://www.outboundengine.com/blog/10-fully-baked-marketing-ideas-for-real-estate-agents-in-2016/ This post on Outbound Engine shows ten tried and true methods of marketing for real estate agents. If you need more marketing tips, or help with your real estate specific marketing, contact me! I am always happy to help others be more successful.