The San Diego Daily TranscriptBy KATIE THISDELL, The Daily Transcript
Thursday, October 16, 2014

Success in the real estate industry is linked to relationships, said TV and radio personality Craig Sewing.

He advised more than 1,000 people connected to the industry to “build a network of like-minded professionals to mastermind with.”

“These relationships are invaluable to building your business,” said Sewing, host of his self-named radio show and “The American Dream” TV show.

Sewing hosted his annual Real Estate Mastery Event on Tuesday morning at the San Diego Convention Center; more than 2,000 RSVP’d to the free event. Panels included many of the region’s top producers in the industry, who are familiar faces on his programs.

“They have a vested interest in me, and I have a vested interest in them,” Sewing said of the synergy that helps business on both ends of the relationship.

Sewing shared several strategies for professionals to increase their business, such as by establishing relationships with each person that a client may work with, such as their CPA or financial planner. If you refer to them, they’ll refer to you, he said.

He also suggested the alphabet strategy: with 52 weeks in a year and 26 letters in the alphabet, if you (or an intern) called everyone with the last name that starts with A one week, with B the second week, and so on, you’ll keep in touch with everyone in your address book.

“Do you think calling twice a year might turn into another deal?” Sewing said.

Earlier in the morning, Alan Nevin, director of economic and market research at Xpera Group, shared an outlook for the upcoming year.

He said 2015 will see new homes built, which will help agents and brokers by having an expanded inventory. But he said San Diego will “remain an unaffordable market. We really have an undersupplied market and that just means business will be good,” Nevin said.

Despite reports stating that the future will see fewer homeowners, Nevin said that San Diego is not New York City.

“The reality is, the minute a couple has their first child, they buy. That is what drives the market throughout state of California,” he said. “People do want to buy, they do want to own. They’re not going to rent for life — they want to buy a house.”

Many speakers talked about the importance and impact of a strong marketing focus.

Sam Khorramian, who convinced many in the crowd to sign up for an on-demand online marketing coaching system, said real estate professionals need to leverage the power of the Internet to create new leads, particularly through video marketing, which he called “one of the best marketing strategies in the entire planet.”

Posting videos on YouTube and adding descriptive titles, descriptions and tags can help increase web traffic, which can increase deals, he said.

Seth O’Byrne, a Realtor at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, began to regrow his team four years ago, and focused on slicker, cleaner marketing, and his three C’s: credibility, celebrity and connectivity.

He said he wants clients to think they’re working with someone famous, who has built credibility by talking eloquently about real estate, and that is likeable.

“We want to be really famous to a small group of people,” O’Byrne said about quality over quantity. “You stand a really good chance of standing out.”

Broker Kurt Wannebo advised Realtors not to work alone, and to get support for marketing and advertising. ‘The moment you think you can almost afford an employee, hire them,” said Wannebo, the CEO and broker for San Diego Real Estate & Investments, which he started in 2005.

Melissa Goldstein Tucci, a top broker at Century 21, recommended always maintaining professionalism, by dressing for success and immediately returning phone calls and emails.

“Trying to keep yourself to a higher level of professionalism really sets you apart,” she said.