Marketing Academy
RE insights - An interview with Tara Webster.

RE insights - An interview with Tara Webster.

12 min read
RE insights - An interview with Tara Webster.

Why do you need to partner with an NGO or bundle up when showing a property? - an interview with Tara Webster.

Tara Webster is a broker and owner of Your Next Move REALTY LLC in New Hampshire. ( It is a real estate company with a dynamic group of seasoned Realtors who believe that they can accomplish more by working, learning, and networking together to achieve the absolute best results for their clients. Next Move REALTY LLC is quite a new company, but Tara has more than 15 years of experience in the industry and is an amazing and passionate Realtor. This way of working together is progressive in nature for the industry but has proven wildly successful for her. Read on to find out what she has to say about her real estate career, industry trends, and her daily grind. 

Anna Starkey: Nice to meet you, Tara. Tell me, how did you get started in the industry, and what’s your story?

Tara Webster: So, it was 2007, and many people were in the business. I got started through the process of buying my own first home. I was in my early twenties and knew nothing about real estate or how things worked. It was really tough because the subprime market had crashed at that time. It made buyers and sellers rely on themselves. I was trying to get guidance on how to navigate that, and I just fell in love with the industry. I found it fascinating. So, almost immediately after I bought that first house, I enrolled in the classes and got my license, and I haven't looked back since then. It was 15 years ago. 

How long did it take you from when you decided to start in the business to get it all sorted?

The course, I think, was a couple of months. I was working full-time, and I did some night classes at the time. Once I was licensed, I interviewed with brokerages in the area, but it really was not a long process. It was maybe four or five months total, start to finish.

Before that, I worked in retail, and I was in customer service and marketing. I did that for about 10 or 12 years, and I liked what I did, but I knew it wasn't my career. I was waiting for something else, but I definitely took a lot of what I learned in those previous jobs and still use it today.

Beginnings can be hard, so do you remember your first deal?

Yeah, I actually was very lucky with my first deal. I had a set of buyers who were friends of the family, and it was a cash transaction, and there were not a lot of obstacles in that deal. It really was a very easy one. I remember that house in particular, though, because it had very cool cork flooring, which I had never seen before at the time. By the way, they still live there, and they still love it. So, I guess I would say that it was a success.

Were there any other memorable transactions or deals in your career?

Probably my most challenging and most memorable deal was 12 years ago. I was representing the buyers at that time and selling a foreclosure property. It was challenging right from the beginning: a house that needed a lot of repairs and they were doing a renovation loan on it. So it involved us getting a lot lined up, many contractors and estimates on the work that needed to be done. It was all in the middle of the freezing cold, brutal winter with piles of snow. None of the systems at the house were turned on. Every time you had to go there, you just were freezing waiting for the appointments to be over, so that was really a challenge. The Septic inspection company came, but the ground was so frozen they actually had to jackhammer through the dirt to get to the septic tank. That's the only time I've ever seen that in my career. This went on for months, and two days before we were supposed to finalize the deal, the buyer called me to say they had a dream about the property the night before and they decided that that was not the right one for them.

Oh no!

After everything we had been through. I was pretty quick on my feet, but that was one that just I don't even know what to say. We had to get into all the risks of trying to get her out of the deal, and she did ultimately end up canceling the contract, but it was just months and months of work in brutal conditions to try and make that happen. So that's one deal I will not ever forget.

Another time I was showing a house, knowing that there was a tenant living there. I usually announce myself, when we get to the property, knock, or when I'm unlocking the door I say: “Is anybody home?” kind of thing just to make sure. This time I also did that, but nobody answered, so we proceeded into the house. And this was a two-storey house with a full basement. We started at the top and worked our way down, and I was chatting with my buyers the whole time.  As we were opening the door to the basement, a naked man came out of nowhere. He scared us as much as we scared him, and he kind of ran back into another room. It turned out that the seller of the property forgot to tell the tenant that we were coming for a showing. 

What advice would you give someone who is just starting in the business with those kinds of stories in mind?

It's very tough for somebody who's starting right now in this market, but remember that people will always move. I often hear people saying, the market's gonna crash or, real estate is so bad right now. We get a lot of those comments, but people always have to move. Life happens, and things happen. There's divorce and death and relocating and jobs, and those things, never stop. So, the market is never dead. This is a challenging time for a new agent, though, with a lack of inventory, for instance. A bigger challenge for new agents is that they have to get out there and get their market share. They must be prepared for it to take a while, and it's going to be a lot of hard work, and they should use that time, to learn what they can learn, so they are ready for things to pick up. To take the time now to slow down and get prepared for when things are crazy again.

Also, there are so many different styles of different agents. It could take you a while to find your own. I was fortunate enough that when I started in the business, I joined an independent firm with 30 very seasoned agents. They were a real staple in the community, and they just mentored me. I went to every appointment I was with every agent, and I could see all aspects of everything. There was no coaching or training program that they had in place, but it was all very hands-on as they all were very willing to take me under their wing. The best way to learn, really, which I would highly recommend to anybody getting into the business. Of course, you can go through the training on the computer, but it's just not the same. Every situation is so different. And it's better to learn firsthand. I was with them for 14 years and value all of them. That’s just really shaped me into the agent that I am today.

What is your typical working day? 

There's no typical day in real estate. Some days I think I'm heading into the office, and I'll be in the office all day, and I end up showing properties, being on the road. But that's part of what keeps it so interesting and why I love it: no two days are the same. It's very unpredictable, yet always exciting.

But how do you manage your office and out-of-office tasks? Do you have any system for that? 

Generally, I start at my office, and then my day goes from there in any direction. I very much like to be making sure all of my paperwork is caught up all of the time, and going to my office forces me to do that. I like to stay diligent in that, even if I don't have a particular task just to be accessible to other agents. 

What part of the job do you enjoy the most? 

I particularly like working with first-time buyers myself, and it's always fun bringing them out to properties, seeing their first reaction, and how excited they are about the potential. I love going through houses and seeing all the different things and all the different options and all of that; that's very fun to me.

Do you have a unique strategy to understand your clients and their needs? I guess the first-time buyers might not be the hardest, right? 

The best strategy is the one of listening to your clients, actually having a conversation with them to see what they are looking for and how you can help them, and educating them on the process. It sounds so simple, but there's not enough of that in our industry. Like every agent, I have tricks up my sleeve, but most of all, I want to make sure that I’m starting with the basics and that I really understand my clients so I can fulfill their needs.

You said that you like to be accessible to other agents. Do you enjoy sharing knowledge and working together? Do you do mentoring, too?

We have 10 agents here and a lot of us have worked together for a very long time. So we are a very close-knit group. We're constantly bouncing ideas off of each other and asking: “Hey, what do you think of this, and what do I do here?” those kinds of things. We have a very open door policy; any help when somebody needs it. 

Speaking of extra help: which tools help you in everyday work? What kind of technology do you use daily? 

Probably the biggest thing is my phone. I am on it the majority of the day, and I can't multitask like I need to without that. My new favorite app is CubiCasa. It creates floor plans and does measurements and all of that stuff. I've been having a lot of fun with that lately - that's a great new tool that all of my agents have been using.

Of course, I use social media: we're trying to grow our online presence - we are on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn (social media for us is huge). We are trying to generate some great content and make it more personable. We want people to get to know us individually a little bit more. We know that people are finding houses online, so our website is super important. Also, we are making sure that we're available in as many places as we can be, and this is really a big part of our marketing strategy..

Real estate is a demanding profession, so how do you balance work and life?

Yeah, that's a hard one. It's taken me years, and I don't always do a great job, but I try to set boundaries. Still, I might have to sneak away during dinner, and I'm on the phone. Or I'm grocery shopping, and I'm pulled over in an aisle, texting or sending an email. But I have a fantastic husband, and he is very willing to pick up the slack for me, so that helps immensely as part of my support system.

What do you find the most rewarding?

Probably the most rewarding are referrals from a past client, reaching out again. I think that's a great feeling to know that you really did a great job the first time around for them, and they want to work with you again or want to pass your name on to somebody else. That's probably one of my favorite things.

How do you stay up to date with the market trends and regulations? 

There are a lot of agents in my company who have served on local or state boards and committees. They follow the newsletters, the updates, and the new regulations. And all of those things are really key to staying on top of the market. We have an inside track into a lot of that, where we are involved in the industry.

The ultimate 2024 guide to building a real estate website
Get your FREE copy now!

If you're looking at the real estate market, how it has changed and evolved in the past few years: the pandemic, now the crisis. What are your thoughts?

The pandemic was huge in changing the industry. Many ways we were marketing properties changed, and how people viewed their houses and what they wanted to see for features in their houses. I think the biggest change as of late was the pandemic. It was an interesting time for me. My daughter was remote learning for almost two years. And I was fortunate enough where I could be home for most of that. But it really taught you how to do video marketing. For instance, there were a lot of my first videos that I had done that really were just horrible. But I learned through the process of doing them how to perfect them. Luckily in pre-pandemic times, I had a client who was in the military, and they were stationed in Germany. I had done quite a few video showings for them. I would have to post them on YouTube, as they were very long, send them the links, and then they would see them the next day because of the time difference. I was thankful I had that bit of experience. I never have wanted to be one who was on camera, and that has really been a learning curve for all of us, I think. But video marketing took off during the pandemic, and that's here to stay. I don't think that's gonna go away anytime soon now that people know that they can work from anywhere. It really puts the online presence at the top, being accessible from anywhere. So, there were a lot of changes that we all had to get accustomed to.

Do you continue it now, or you’re back to more traditional ways?

I think we're a mixture of both. There are some traditional things that will never go away in our marketing. But we are geared a lot more towards being online. The days of selling a house from a yard sign or a newspaper ad are dead. We've really had to move with the world and step up the way we're showing our properties.

You have to kind of figure out what works for a particular person. I have some clients that I'll be texting with, for instance, and then I might have a different generation of clients that, it's a phone call, they're not going to be texting with you, and I'm not gonna send them an email. You have to come in and meet me, and we'll do the paperwork in person, so the marketing needs to reflect that as well. We embrace all of these advances in technology, but we have not forgotten about the old things. I still have paper copies of property and listing sheets with me, and if I'm doing an open house, I all have a QR code for someone who could pull things up on their phone, but there's a packet you can take in hand, right next to that. You really have to be mindful of the different generations and the different comfort levels of the people. We're trying to reach out, so I don't want to exclude anybody in our marketing. I want to embrace all of them. 

It's cool - a silver marketing strategy. Sometimes, it’s the lack of skills, but people are used to being cared for. It's about the feeling.

Yeah, and some of our technology is impersonal, as great as it is. It takes away that personal connection. And that's one thing I make sure that I haven't lost, that's still a huge part of the day-to-day, is that personal connection.

We’ve been talking mainly about the pandemic aspect in the context of changes. What about the current situation and your predictions for the future?

Right now, our biggest challenges are affordability in the market, the lack of inventory, and high-interest rates. That is really tough, especially for new agents who are trying to come on right now. But we're hoping to see changes to that soon - we won't be in this market forever. I've been through quite a few real estate cycles, so it will change - we gotta get over the hump. It's been a seller's market for a couple of years now, and I think we're really going to see that change in the buyer's market within the next year. That's my personal opinion on where it's gonna go. 

It’s part of your job, though: you have to stay on top of the news with the market and always be reading what's coming out and knowing the ins and outs. Plus, building a good network. I have a great network of people that I work with. 

How do you differentiate yourself from other agents in your area? What makes you unique? 

I think our level of service does make us unique here. We are not afraid to go that extra mile for people. This was true for my previous company. We had a fantastic reputation - voted the region's best real estate firm for 22 years in a row. So, that really set the bar very high, and we've continued that, at this firm, there's a very high standard to our level of service here.

What are your company’s challenges and goals?

Our goal for this year has been getting our name out there and letting people know we are here. Many of us are known in the area because we've been in the industry for a while, but letting people know that we are at a new company and where we are so they can come and visit us. The challenge is to build our presence and just get the word out. It has been the focus for this year. We're out in the community and doing events and all of that stuff.

For example, we've been involved in a couple of community events, like family picnics and local festivals. We were a vendor and had a photo booth set up with all the props. It was a family event - people could come, get their photos done, and pick up some of our marketing stuff. We're always looking for something new. Right now, we are doing a Halloween costume drive. We partnered with S.C.A.R.E New Hampshire, which is a nonprofit that collects Halloween costumes and distributes them to needy people. Together, we have a costume drive until the end of September, and then we'll be helping with the distribution so people can come in and get free Halloween costumes for their kids. Marketing-wise, there's always something new we're trying to do. It’s a message: we're in the community, see us. 

I'm also a stickler for unique marketing, so I'm always searching for something new. I think I'm a very creative person, and that's part of the fun for me. We have some pretty neat marketing campaigns we're rolling out as an office, but I want more than a postcard with a property photo on it. It's something that people are going to remember and talk about, so that's what I'm always searching for. Of course, not everything I do works. But I certainly try. For example, take real estate photography - we use professional drone videos and drone photography, which is really cool. It gives your marketing a different perspective, literally. You look at the property from new angles. I've staged many waterfront properties and used drone photos, unusual perspectives from the docks, and all of those things. I also enjoy working on the placement of the photos: flow them through the house correctly; that's the fun part, an interesting way to stand out; that's what I'm looking for in our marketing. 

Should there be a question, I haven't asked you so far?

I don't think so. There's nothing else I can think of off the top of my head.

Thank you for the interview - it was great talking to you.


"RE Insights" is a series of interviews exploring the real estate world through professional experiences, shedding light on challenges, triumphs, and strategies in navigating its dynamic and technologically advanced landscape. The series aims to educate and inspire through deep dives into professionals' stories, offering a unique view into the industry's impact on our lives, communities, and investments. 

If you're a real estate professional and wish to be featured, contact us at 


Take your real estate website to the next level with Placester!

Discover new opportunities and save thousands of dollars every year.

Call us at 800-728-8391 for more details or simply leave your phone number, and we’ll reach out to you!