Debbie Lariviere, Real estate and Business coach for Middleton Elite Coaching, shares her top takeaways and her thoughts about what she learned at REBar Camp RDU 2023

REBar Camp – RDU 2023 was inspiring! Coach Debbie had the opportunity to mastermind, network, and collaborate with some of Raleigh’s most influential thought leaders, speakers, agents, team leaders, brokers, and real estate professionals. The event’s facilitators offered valuable insight into technology, digital marketing, and leadership for the real estate industry.

Debbie curated a list of her top takeaways from REBar Camp-RDU 2023!

Speaker Valerie Garcia

Speaker and Encourager; Valerie Garcia

Valerie Garcia is an international speaker and consultant who works with entrepreneurs and businesses to help them grow and improve. She focuses on the importance of leading joyfully, marketing like a human, and growth amid change. Valerie delivers encouragement and truth with her signature straightforward style and sense of humor, and challenges her audiences to question traditional marketing methods and find new ways to connect with customers.


Top 10 things Debbie learned from Valerie Garcia


1. Be Weird! Every idea starts as stupid until it becomes normal.

Be weird, be bold, and have the courage to take risks and trust your instincts. This means stepping outside of your comfort zone to push your boundaries. By doing so, you may become open to new experiences and put your ideas into action, creating a rhythm of intention for bringing your bold ideas to life. You and your ideas don’t have to be perfect, just be bold (and weird) and be willing to put yourself out there. 


2. Disruptors – They change things for the better or make them more effective.

Change is inevitable, which makes learning how to embrace it and use it to your advantage a vital practice. Disruptors often force us to evaluate what’s working and what’s not to identify areas for growth, improvement, and efficiency. 


3. If you want to beat your competition, don’t work to be BETTER than them, be different than them.

What would distinguish you from your competition? Good. Now do it.

Listen to your audience and, better yet, your competition’s audience. Their feedback and experiences can help guide your decision-making and help you stay ahead of the curve. A clear vision of where you want to go and what you want to accomplish is critical. Think big, competitively, and be flexible and agile enough to stay ahead. 

4. Be “Remarkable” so much so that people remark about you.

Being unique, authentic, and different in a highly crowded industry is essential. It is even better to be noticed for being extraordinary and remarkable. Strive to deliver on creativity and quality; people will talk about you.

5. Delighting doesn’t build loyalty. Decreasing friction does.

Your value is apparent when you can solve your client’s pain points and make their job (and life) easier to manage. If you do this consistently, you can earn their loyalty. What does decreasing friction mean? Here are a few examples of how Middleton Elite Coaching decreases friction for our real estate and business coaching clients:

  • We take the time to listen, observe, and learn to understand our client’s business and their needs. Then, we work to make their most difficult aspects easier.

  • We don’t confuse activity with productivity. We guide our clients to understand the highest and best use of their time, effort, and skill. Finding simple systems and processes for productivity.

  • We establish an efficiency plan for our client’s businesses and show them how to leverage in the areas where they need it the most. The emphasis is on solutions.

Bottom line – make it easy.

6. Own the problem.

Be open, honest, and admit when you have made a mistake or created a problem. Embrace this as an opportunity to learn. The mistakes we make are often the best lessons. Not succeeding can feel like the end of the world, though it can actually be the beginning of something better. Experiment, fail, and learn from it. Test, measure, analyze, and adjust. Own whatever you have done, but don’t let it stop you from achieving your goals. Do let it inspire you to improve.


7. Lead with your clients “WHY” not “I.” Start all of your statements with “you.”

If you genuinely want to help your clients get what they want, aim to understand it.  Learn to listen to the root of your client’s words to connect with them and their goals meaningfully. Let the reason they have hired you be your focus and the building block of their trust in you. Ask questions, listen to their answers, offer expertise, and keep their goals in mind throughout the transaction process.


8. Narrate the process and how Candyland is the same as a real estate transaction.

Valerie has a fantastic analogy about how the Hasbro game Candyland parallels a real estate transaction. We won’t spoil it here in case you ever have the opportunity to hear Valerie speak (which we hope you do!).


9. Be willing to be unpopular.

We all bring our unique goals, dreams, desires, and experiences. A beautiful part of the human experience is agreeing on one thing while fundamentally disagreeing on another passionately. There are times when yours may be an unpopular opinion. The same is true in business. 

Ask yourself, “What would the best version of me do?”. The answer may require you to push yourself in an unpopular direction. Take risks, and don’t be afraid to fail. More importantly, don’t be afraid to succeed. Be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Innovation is about creating new ways of doing things. If your curiosity leads you down an unpopular path, be willing to forge ahead for the sake of your unique experience.


10. Be authentic and able to describe yourself how others would describe you in 3 words. THAT is your brand!

Your reputation and your brand are what people expect from you. Your authenticity is your ability to deliver on your reputation in a way only you can. In business, branding is based on authenticity. Your brand is held in the hearts and minds of your customers, which is why it can be valuable to uncover how people perceive you. If asked, could you identify the 3 words that others are most likely to use to describe you? 

The 3 best ways to determine how others perceive you are:

  • Review the feedback you have received from clients. Is there consistency in the words used to describe you and your services?

  • Listen to the way people introduce you to others. Are there patterns or repetitions in words that are used to describe you?

  • Ask people you trust what comes to mind when they think of you.  

Use your authenticity to advance your brand and reputation in a way that positions it as exciting and compelling to your target client.

Facilitator and Real Estate Marketing Professionals; Brad Carroll and Bobby Carroll with Dakno Marketing

Dakno Marketing president and CEO Brad Carroll took the stage with Bobby Carroll leading a session on Tips to Maximize Google for your Business.

Here are Dakno Marketing’s Top Tips:

  1. Become a “Local Guide” using Google Maps.
  2. Leave reviews for other businesses – offer the waitress or owner’s name and what brought you to the establishment. 
  3. Upload photos with the review. Use Canva to watermark the photo with your real estate information.
  4. Answer questions that are asked on Google Maps.
  5. Comment on every Google review – good or bad.
  6. Always respond to customer reviews – good or bad – in a timely manner.
  7. Optimize your Google My Business page to include a description of your business, website, phone number, and hours of operation.
  8. Include accurate and relevant keywords in your Google My Business description.
  9. Include links to your website and other social media accounts on your Google My Business page.
  10. Keep your business address and hours of operation up-to-date.



    Final Thought

    The format of REBar Camp is a one-day event led by participants, who share best practices, learn about innovative tools, and network! It’s collaborative and it’s fun! We thoroughly enjoyed the connections we made, the ideas cultivated, the inspiration gained, and the insight we took from this event. We encourage you to find a REBar Camp near you!


    Be Elite!


    Debbie, Bill, and The MEC Team