This piece features Tina Mak, a Broker from Coldwell Banker Westburn Realty in Vancouver and Founding President of AREAA (the Vancouver Chapter Asian Real Estate Association of America).

The short video below focuses on how to take online relationships beyond borders. Tina Mak is featured in this video and she focuses on what digital means to attract and convert international leads.   

Tina believes in the importance of following up with leads. But how should you follow up? You need systems in place that will help you automate and personalize your communication with your leads and clients alike. You also need to be timely and relevant. You don’t want to follow up months after someone has reached out to you. It wouldn’t paint you in a positive light. You also don’t want to forget about a client after they have bought a home and then hope that they will reach out to you when they are ready to buy or sell a second time. Here are a few of Tina’s suggestions for following up with your contacts. These tips will help you continuously build relationship beyond borders.


1. Follow Up With a Sales Report.

Every quarter send your clients a personalized sales report. Not a generic one. For example, “Dear Lisa, this is all the sales made in your building or in your neighborhood for this first quarter of the year.”

It’s very time-consuming to do but it’s very effective. Tina has  seen a lot of referrals come from past clients when she shares these personalized reports. Her clients will  say to their personal networks, “Tina Mak works in my area. She always sends me  information about the sales in my building or in our neighborhood.” This has  been an effective tactic of Tina’s for over two decades.


2. Networking.

After you collect business cards, what should you do? You can scan it and put it in your database. Don’t forget to follow up with them though!

Every holiday season, Tina creates an e-card (for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chinese New Year and so on).  The message is not general like, “Merry Christmas, Lisa! I hope you enjoy your holidays”. Instead, Tina  opts for more personalized cards while poking fun at herself. She’ll add herself as a character into the cards. That allows the card to be authentic. It works well because people don’t always remember what you say, they remember how you made them feel.  

When it comes to referrals, do you think the same would work? That is, that following up online with personalized messaging while letting your personality shine through, would work? Yes. Tina shares a few examples to drive the point home:

  1. Three days ago she got a call from a top power house agent in Beverly Hills. The agent’s client was looking to buy in Vancouver,  so the agent called Tina. All of this was due to Tina’s involvement online and her consistency in following up with her colleagues through social media, videos, and emails.

  2. An executive from the head office of Coldwell Banker in New Jersey sent Tina’s name to an agent in Sotheby’s Thailand. The agent in Thailand then shared  her name with their network in Hong Kong. The buyer ended up connecting and buying in Vancouver from Tina.

These are a few tips that have worked well for Tina throughout her 20+ years in the real estate industry. We hope they will work well for you too! Remember: network, stay in touch with your contacts online, and begin building relationships through authentic and personalized communication. We hope 2016 will bring you more international leads and recognize you  as a high-performing real estate professional across all borders.


To connect with Tina Mak, visit her at