Interview with Susanna Grubb from Ultimate Florida Real Estate

SACC-SFL had a talk with new Trust Member Susanna Grubb to chat about her new company Ultimate Florida Real Estate and what to think about when selling or buying. 

You recently started the ”Ultimate Florida Real Estate”, tell me about it!
Yes, I did! I’m very excited about what 2018 has to offer. I was a real estate agent for various companies in Jupiter and Palm Beach for 12 years. I tried mom-and-pop brokerages and global realty brands. As an agent, you pay a portion of your commission to a broker. As I was generating 100% of my leads, I saw less and less value in what the brokers had to offer me. It was time to venture out on my own. Now I’m focusing on creating and establishing my brand and in about 6-12 months, I’ll start hiring.

What are your biggest strengths you think?
I already have an existing buyer and seller client base, referral network and presence across social media and about 50-60% of my clients are Swedish. Many companies market themselves as both “local” and “global”, but I truly represent that. I have lived, worked and raised a family in Palm Beach County since 2003 so I have a lot of local knowledge for people relocating here. My biggest strengths are my higher education, vast travel experiences and respect for people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. My graduate thesis was about “schema theory”. I have a passion for SEO and that will take me to the next level.

I also know you have a masters degree in Technical Communication, how did you get in to the real estate business? 
Yes, I do. When I graduated I was 7 months pregnant and had an 18 month old toddler. I also moved a week later from hightech Seattle to old-world Normandy. I consulted in webdesign for a while. When we moved to Florida, I got attracted to real estate because of the flexible work hours. I managed my husband’s triplex in Newport RI 1992-1999 so I had handled many contracts before but as a landlord.

How is the real estate market in South Florida right now? Is it a good time for selling?
We have a great market right now – for both buyers and sellers. As more people can work remotely, we have much younger buyers moving to Florida than in the past. The market is more year-around and less seasonal. Homes in low crime areas with good schools, golf courses and medical facilities as well as beach condos and waterfront homes are hot. Look at comps sold in the past 90 days. What the seller paid is irrelevant. Realistic pricing is key!

For everyone that will sell or buy real estate, do you have some good advice?
When selling a home:
– Maximize your square footage under air. Get quotes for possible improvements and ask an experienced agent how this would effect the selling price.
– Unclutter the entire home or condo. Neutralize it so it appeals to as many potential buyers as possible.
– Ask your listing agent to hire the best photographer they know and get drone shots immediately (not as an add-on).

When buying a home:
– Request the price per square foot for the most similar active, sold and pending comps. This will show you the true value.
– Ask about pending or upcoming assessments for the condo or community. Get all financials during due diligence period.
– Find out the pet, vehicle and rental restrictions. Towns are following up on Airbnb rentals and few of them meet the HOA rules.

3 Best Practices for Small Business Marketing

With a MBA in Marketing & Management from Columbia University and nine years in direct mail –  you can surely say that Janet Granger has a lot of experience when it comes to marketing strategy. Janet has been named one of the 20 Most Influential Content Marketers in New England and in 2016, she published the book: Digital Influence for Baby Boomers: Why you should care and yes, you can do this! Here are her 3 best practices for small business marketing:

Small businesses need marketing but often work with a shoestring budget. Knowing that every penny has to be spent wisely, here are the best ways to ensure that a marketing person, team, or outside agency delivers the greatest success and results.

1. Define what’s important to you.

This may sound simple but it’s rare that marketing people start with asking questions. Most often, they start with suggestions of what to do and how much to spend.

Which, if you think about it, makes no sense. There’s no package or one-size-fits-all marketing plan. Every marketing strategy should start with the business results. What do you want to achieve?  For example, if most of your sales come from a conference or event, is your goal a certain number of people at your booth/location? Or is it all about online sales? Or foot traffic into a store? Are you looking to build your brand? Let your marketing team know what is important to you and how you’ll be judging their results.

If you don’t set out the goals at beginning, you’re setting yourself up (and them) for failure. Not sure what you should expect? Ask them what they will be delivering for you. And if you don’t like what you hear, change it.

2. Marketing takes time; don’t expect perfection at the start.

The early part of any marketing campaign is where the marketing person (or team) watches what’s happening and, if they’re good, tweaks the campaign to maximize results.

There’s nothing worse than a business owner seeing the early results of a campaign and shutting it down prematurely. Yes, it’s great to be involved and to monitor. But don’t expect the final results at the very beginning. Marketing is part science and part art. Give a campaign four weeks before you start to evaluate it and two – three months before you decide to change it or pull the plug.  

On the other hand, if the early results show that absolutely nothing is working, it’s time to stop, step back, and assess. This is often a good moment to try something new while still focusing on the same goals (as established in Step 1). 

3. Be sure to have a thorough debrief at the end, to review the metrics from the campaign.

Ask your marketing person or agency to review (a) what they promised you at the very beginning (again, Step 1) and (b) all the data that shows they delivered on that promise. If they can’t do this, they haven’t done their job.

Knowing that you’ll want this at the end of any campaign, it’s good for your marketing person or team to think about what data and results you’ll need before the project even starts. That way, all the metrics are set up properly at the beginning to measure if the campaign was, or was not, successful. 

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