Winning combo: Lead questionnaire, customized portfolio
When asked about the tools she uses to do business, Joni Snyder starts out by saying, "I don't know if you would call it different or not." Then she talks about the things she does for her clients, and they are very different indeed.
"We have this lead questionnaire," Snyder said from the New Homes Realty, Inc., office in Ocala that she shares with her husband, Butch. "I have a list of 15-18 questions, and I ask everything, things people don't usually think of: what type of cabinets, what color paint, do you like trees – some people don't want a tree on the property." Her questionnaire was developed from one used by other New Homes agents. Snyder has been selling real estate since November of 2005, after 27 years with Sears. Butch joined her soon afterwards.
"From those answers we put together a personalized booklet, so I can give them [clients] a picture of myself and Butch, then pictures and information on all the houses we'll visit that day, pictures of the neighborhood, maps, tax rates, mileage to the grocery store and hospitals, schools if they need them. And if they have hobbies – if they like horses, we have that. One lady wanted to know where the jail was, so I gave her a map – I don't know why, I didn't ask."
Snyder's presentation starts in the car. "People are kinda amazed when I pop open the trunk, it's like a mini-bar in the car – without the alcohol, of course." Joni stocks chips, cookies, drinks – "I ask them what they drink" – and a basket of toys to keep the kids busy. "We try to go above and beyond what people expect. We want to make the buying experience fun."
Managing Broker Amy Stier, of the East Florida area for New Homes Realty, says their talents work on many levels. "We get a lot of testimonial letters from clients. From the day I met Joni and Butch I saw they were true relationship people, and that benefits everyone. When I gave them our Exceptional Service award in December, everyone at the agency was picking their brains about how they put things together."
Joni is a packrat of information. "My file system has gotten pretty big," she said. "I go to the Chamber of Commerce, the Internet, school Web pages, local magazines and newspapers – I grab everything, sooner or later I can use it."
And what sparked her desire to "make the buying experience fun"?
"Butch retired from the Army after 20 years; we moved about six times in seven years, so I've seen a lot of agents who send you listings and that's it. But we had one agent in Virginia, she impressed me. If you had a question she already had the answer. That was seven years ago and I'll never forget it – Mary Ann, I told her she was the reason I'm doing this now."