Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How do we interact in 2011?

To reach consumers it is necessary to understand how people interact today. More than likely, people meet online with 1 in 5 marriages originating from an online introduction. With the likelihood of personal interaction initiating online, a strong, widespread, dynamic, and planned online presence is a must for a real estate professional to grow a successful and productive business.
An online prospecting campaign must include a substantial amount of Facebook. Successful campaigns that create a measureable return on time and dollar investment usually include use of both the personal profile and a business page along with facebook ads.
Recently Facebook incorporated Facebook generated lists to help organize friends into manageable groups. Lists allow individuals to post status updates to specific groups of people allowing a great opportunity to target market. It would be beneficial to post an open house for friends in a specific geographic area. But it may be considered spam to others who live far away from the open house. Lists also allow facebookers to review or watch posts from specific groups of people. Many people today have more Facebook friends than they can interact with. Lists allow people to streamline friends into smaller lists. The smaller groups let posts move slower down the wall so it is easier to pay attention and interact with friends.

Social Media giants dominate the internet

Many agents believe a website will suffice in capturing online consumers. This is far from the truth. In a Comscore Report dated Tuesday, December 21, 2011, consumers spent 35% more time on social media sites than that of a year ago. Websites are too static for today’s online consumer who searches sometimes daily for updated information. Websites should change as the market changes and should provide current
detailed information customized for a targeted group of consumers. In many instances, blogs have taken the place of websites. Agent blogs have the ability to be changed easily, are usually controlled by the agent, and are preferred by search engines like Google.
An agent’s blog can be the hub for consumers to be drawn towards with other even more dynamic sites used as outposts to guide the consumer in. Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are constantly changing and highly trafficked. Youtube, for example, is the second most searched site
behind Google. Facebook has enough members to make it the third most populated country in the world. These, and other social sites, are excellent areas to find consumers who are searching for information about real estate. These sites are needed to help draw buyers and sellers to the agent’s blog. Social sites also allow the agent to create an online personality necessary to creating a personal brand.

Linkedin is a business related social networking site. Somewhat like an online rolodex, Linkedin allows members to connect to each other. Members can post their profile and job history along with updates. Linkedin, according to Wikipedia, has 21.4 million monthly visitors just in the United States and is growing at 2 members per second. Linkedin has over 135 million members worldwide.

Twitter is another fast growing social media site with more than 300 million posts called tweets and 1.6 billion searches a day. Limited to only 140 character posts, Twitter delivers short text like messages and links to its members. Twitter is great for posting links to blog articles and for public conversations within groups.

Youtube is a social media giant with postings of not just short videos but full length movies and music. Youtube, started in 2005, is now a subsidiary of Google. According to Wikipedia, Google reported in May 2010 that it served nearly 2 billion videos a day and nearly double the primetime audience of the three major television stations combined. Registered Youtube users can post videos and video blogs that are viewable by the public or to a specific audience.

Flickr, like Youtube, hosts videos but is mostly used to host photos for use by bloggers. Owned by Yahoo, in June 2011 Flickr had more than 51 million registered users and more than 80 million unique visitiors. This is a perfect place for real estate agents to posts house photos. It also is a great place to post photo libraries of communities.
Though not even scratching the surface of the social media sites, the final outpost of the online marketing hub is the social media giant Facebook.

Facebook Continually updating, Facebook allows users to create both a personal and business persona, posting information about the user’s life and business. Due to its popularity and strength, Facebook dominates the social media scene with over 800 million users. According to Wikipedia, by April 2010 nearly 42% of the United States’ population had a facebook account. In May 2011 Facebook announced it served nearly 140 million monthly users. Comscore's December 20th 2011 report stated that one in every seven online minutes is spent on Facebook while three out of every four minutes spent on social sites are spent on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Marketing Your Real Estate Business By Building Trust

Reaching today’s buyer takes a multi-level approach to prospecting. Though you cannot replace old fashioned face to face relationship building, the first contact an agent has with a prospective buyer is more and more likely going to take place in an online setting. Reaching buyers this way takes an organized approach just like any other advertising campaign.

Attracting buyers, and sellers for that matter, online requires placing findable information that will draw the consumer onto an agent’s online sites and keep them coming back for more information. In the end, an online relationship will be created that allows the consumer to trust the agent enough so the consumer reaches out. This new real estate consumer researches differently than the consumer just a generation or two ago. The new consumer searches topics not people. For example, the new consumer would much rather gather information about a specific community from many sources than reach out to an individual real estate agent. This way the consumer can analyze the validity of the information and glean what he wants instead of trusting that an individual agent is accurate and unbiased. In the end, the new consumer will more likely reach out to the individual agent that consistently provides quality information.
Some things only change on the surface. When farming a neighborhood in the past, a successful real estate agent would use many advertising tools to reach the consumer. The agent would use not just direct mail, but also phone calling, local newspaper advertising, and other community focused events to become recognized as an area specialist. Today’s agent needs to understand that consumers search many different online sources and need to spread information throughout the internet instead of relying on one single source to capture the consumer.

That's not my mountain. Mine's over here!

My Big Ah Ha: I can't measure my life unless I use my measuring stick.
Social media and the internet in general has made it much easier to see what our friends are doing literally all the time. Mine, just so you know, are doing some pretty incredible things. Two are on cruises, while a couple more are in Florida on vacation. I'm here at home. For Christmas I put in a new cooktop. It took me two days. I spent Christmas at home like always trying to keep my kids in bed until it got light out (like always). My mom and dad, sister and brother in law came over. Jerry brought coffee and my mom made french toast. Lisa and I supplied the early rising kids and the pozole on Christmas Eve. Christmas dinner was at my sister's house like it always is. Her dinner surpassed the feast she prepared last year which was the best ever. The wine we chose on our annual pre-Christmas Spec's run was perfect. We played dominoes. As perfect as that all sounds, I have felt more than a little unsatisfied of late. We didn't spend Christmas in a beautiful cabin in the mountains, we weren't on the beach some place sunny and warm. No exotic backpack trips!
Then something dawned on me, those weren't my goals. I hadn't aimed at those peaks and I definitely hadn't reached them! Instead, I had plotted a different course this year. My mountains had other names: Mt. Training Job, Merit Badge Counselor Summit, Hill Country Peak. I bagged all of those and more this year. Sitting in my alpine meadow, the view below looks pretty good. I can see part of the route I took to get here. Some of it I hope I never have to cross again. Some areas I hope to visit frequently or plan to visit similar places. Turning back around, I can see the new summits ahead. some I'll never ascend and I'm ok with that. They aren't my mountains. Mine have names like Davis Mountains.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Prospecting for a New Consumer

Statistics continue to point that the trend of using the internet to learn about literally any topic and to interact is not only not going away but is getting greater. We continue to see individuals reaching toward their peers to get information about products and services instead of relying on advertisements to help them identify brands and make purchases.
Real estate consumers are always becoming more adept at researching without the assistance of a real estate agent. They easily obtain information on communities, researching schools, proximity to amenities, prices, and more before reaching out for the services of a real estate professional. This new consumer is a confident researcher able to make choices based on the availability of endless information.

Though stated many times in the previous decade, real estate agents are no longer the gateway to the information. The role of the agent is changing rapidly as much of the control of the real estate transaction is moved into the hands of the consumer. The availability of information is only paled by the ease of communication. The new consumer is relying on peer recommendations, referrals,
and independent rating systems to aid in choosing a real estate professional. This savvy consumer bases service provider selection on relationship over advertising. Simply stated, the consumer demands a relationship based on trust. This trust relationship must be earned by the
agent and cannot be underdeveloped.
Looking positively at the new consumer, the agent can now truly focus on providing superior service and invaluable intricate knowledge about the real estate transaction. Agents can focus more on providing a singular place to gather information regarding specific communities and the transaction. Agents can once again truly specialize and provide develop a niche market.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The New Facebook Timeline

The new Facebook Timeline is creating a lot of stir. People are beginning to add it to their profile making it available for all to see. With the excitement comes a lot of questions.
Facebook has a video illustrating how the timeline is set up. On the page with the video are photos explaing the different parts of the Timeline page. It includes an explanation of your Cover which is a larger picture that you can use to help illustrate your personality. Here's mine:
My friends would, hopefully, agree that this picture exemplifies me. I love my wife and children more than anything. The outdoors is important to me. I enjoy a nice glass of wine. And, that dog drives me crazy.
The second part of the new Profile page highlights our Stories. These are the events in our life. We can highlight events so they show up on our Timeline. I added, for example, the date of my wedding, and the birth dates of both my sons. I felt those dates were fairly significant in my life. If not for the good, at least, they definitely changed my life!
The third part of the Profile page shows the Apps that you use.
Initially, The new Timeline page won't replace your Wall. But seven days after you get the new Timeline it will automatically become visible. Go on, give it a try. I think you'll like it! To create your new timeline, click on this link and click on Get It Now. Happy Facebooking!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Service Starts with Hello

In many ways I am a bit conservative and set in my ways. And, I’m ok with that. I like routines and the certainty of knowing what to expect.

Because of this characteristic, I tend to shop at the same places even if it is not necessarily the most convenient. I’ll actually drive past several similar stores to go to the one I know even if they’re the same brand. Peculiar?

Recently, I had to get an oil change. I mean really had to get an oil change. I’d been putting it off because the place I usually go is clear across town now and Saturdays have been so packed with events. So, I’ve been circling this place at lunch checking it out the last couple of days. Yes, there is medicine for people like me. I choose not to take it.

Finally, yesterday I bit the bullet and actually pulled into the driveway. As soon as I did, a worker (Sorry, but what do you call someone who works at an oil change place?) walked to my car and greeted me. He actually welcomed me to the established and asked how he could serve me today.

Dumbfounded by his enthusiasm, I was speechless. I rarely get greeted so eagerly by hosts at restaurants or sales people let alone by a mechanic. He kept his side of the conversation by asking several key questions until he understood what kind of service I needed. Professionally and succinctly the service-minded worker explained the procedure and then guided me into the shop. His crew took over from there while he offered me coffee and magazines to occupy my time.

I didn’t need a magazine, I was lost in thought. Imagine if real estate was done this way? I mean a hearty welcome. Ok that’s common. But then a series of questions by the salesperson so she could understand the needs of the consumer and then a presentation. It’s not a unique idea nor even new.

Ken Blanchard focuses on customer service in Raving Fans. So do many other authors and business trainers and coaches. But, do we? Is $ally our $eller truly our main focus? Or is the consummation of the transaction our goal. My head was swimming!
While deep in these ideas, the worker drew me back to the room. As promised, my newly found service hero had delivered my car to me. He then reviewed the service his crew provided, and then (get this) genuinely thanked me for choosing his shop. Unbelievable. Thanks, Jim! I will be back you can guarantee it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

20 Stress Management Tips for Peak Performance

The long-term affects of prolonged stress are accumulative and can be physically and mentally damaging over time. Stress manifests in the body as TMJ / teeth grinding, tension headaches, neck / shoulder pain and lower back pain. Here are several practical ideas that you can use to help you dramatically reduce your stress level and live a much more productive life. Remember, take care of yourself so you can be the best for your clients.

1. Get plenty of sleep.
2. Eat balanced meals and avoid eating junk food.
3. Drink plenty of water and avoid nicotine, excessive caffeine and other stimulants.
4. Avoid drinking alcohol in excess.
5. Learn to make decisions quickly and let go of the need to over-analyze everything.
6. Express your feelings appropriately and don’t bottle up your emotions.
7. Avoid trying for perfection and don’t sweat the small stuff.
8. Maintain a positive mental attitude by utilizing affirmative “self-talk.”
9. Stop worrying so much and look at situations more optimistically.
10. Smile and laugh frequently throughout the day, don’t take yourself so seriously.
11. Mix leisure with work: take breaks and get away when you can.
12. Make a point to spend quality time with your friends and family.
13. Become more tolerant and don’t be overly critical of yourself or others.
14. Always be kind and gentle with yourself.
15. Listen to upbeat music or watch your favorite movie.
16. Exercise for cardiovascular fitness three to four times a week.
17. Set written goals, plan your time and prioritize your activates.
18. Keep list of “things to do” and stay focused on short-term accomplishments.
19. Get a massage or take a warm bath.
20. Do something nice for someone else.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Seven things you need to do to engage your Facebook followers

This is a no-brainer, but were you aware that people buy more when they are engaged? Though I can't source this, some statistics show that consumers spend 20-40% more when they are actively engaged with the salesperson or company.

Do you know why? ...Because buying and selling is emotional
We must move away from one-sided tightly scripted messages to a free form of dialogue with consumers. Creating dialogue and engaging your consumers means you have to know who you’re attracting.
  • Ask Questions - Brainstorm a list of questions your followers will find engaging
  • Keep it simple and fun - Use videos and photos to attract followers
  • Keep an editorial calendar - Plan your posts around themes.
  • Create a content grid – Organize your posts into categories: Real Estate, Local Interests,
  • Personal Interest, Your website
  • Reply to every Like or Comment - Simply, “Thanks for the likes” will suffice.
  • Reply to every Share - People want to know that you’ve seen them.
  • Measure your success with analytics - Use the basic Facebook analytics or more detailed Hootsuite or Google Analytics to measure your traffic.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Questioning techniques can simplify the buying process

How did their real estate agent know that they all wanted their own shrub?

Helping people buy requires learning about the buyer's motivations and needs. Some of these have nothing to do with the number of bedrooms and square footage.

Learning to ask the right questions will help the buyers get what they are looking for. Open-ended questions allow the consumer to explain and describe more. The real estate agent can learn alot from open-ended questions.
Open-ended questions that start with
  • How
  • What
  • Why
  • When
  • Who
  • Where
  • Describe

Closed questions have their place too. Use closed question to get definitive postions from buyers. Closed questions may lead specifically to a yes or no answer and include words like:

  • Do
  • Are
  • Is
  • Have
  • Could
  • Would
  • Will
  • Can
  • Did
When qualifying buyers and sellers, it never hurts to SLOB them!
  • S How soon do you want to move?
  • L How long have you been looking?
  • O Have you made any offers?
  • B If you found the right house today, would you buy it?

Setting goals gives you a roadmap to success

The second part of Jim Rohn's discussion with Vic Johnson of Goals 2 Go about goal setting is below. Jim hits home with explaining why listing goals, both short term and long term, is necessary. Simply put, crossing something off your list everyday makes you feel good.
Having daily goals and clearly understanding what you will do each day helps you become effective in both your business and personal life. Don't go to bed without tomorrow's list done!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Just a few choice words

Just a few words from Jim Rohn to start the day:
Skills: Don't wish it were easier; wish you were better. Don't wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don't wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.
Growth: Don't join an easy crowd. You won't grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform and achieve are high.
Change: We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.
Activity: The few who do are the envy of the many who watch.

Success: Success is what you attract by the person you become.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

You can't hit a your target if you don't know what it is

Setting goals is like going to the dentist. Everyone has to do it but most people don't like it. So, we put it off as long as we can....sometimes years. If you can afford to do that, I guess it's ok. If your career and financial stabilty is dependent on your goals, then it's not!
Jim Rohn, on more than one occassion had a few things to say about goals. Watch part one of Mr.Rohn's interview with Vic Johnson of Goals 2 Go entitled, "Becoming the person you need to be to achieve your goals."

Monday, October 31, 2011

Prospect to Urgent Consumers

The key to prospect identification is URGENCY:

  • TIME is the key criteria for determining who is a prospect
  • Categorize your prospects by WHEN they want to move
  • Question for motivation using time based questions:
  1. How soon do you plan on moving?
  2. How much longer will your home meet your needs?
  3. At what point would you consider seeking the services of a sales person?
Bring information to customers who you know want to move. Focus on using active propsecting methods attracting those with an urgency in the buying or selling desires.

Expired Listings
Open House attendees
Good News Bads News
Cold calling this group can be more difficult because they don't know who you are. - Bad News
Cold calling this group can be lucrative because they are ready to make a move. - Good News

Key Concept - If you need business right now then you’ll need to take the initiative to actively prospect the groups that are urgent now and develop relationships by making cold calls and make them warm.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How you succeed depends on what you're willing to learn

Jim Rohn called Self Development "Working harder on yourself than you do on your job."

Mr. Rohn shared a story told to him by Earl Schoaff: "To be successful you must have an appetite for learning. Pursue learning in a manner in which it will help you to grow and change. Become a real searcher for knowledge. What you think about is like the sail on the sailboat. No matter how the wind blows, if you’ve got a place you want to go, you can’t arrive there by cursing the contrary wind. You arrive there by adjusting your sail. That’s your thinking, your ideas, and information. If you are short on that, it will cause you difficulty in the future."
When setting goals, more often than not, you'll have to overcome a obstacle in order to achieve your goal. Usually that requires meeting new people or learning new information. Embrace this challenge enthusiastically by listing the hurdles you'll need to overcome to be successful in reaching your desired outcome. These smaller successes will lead you toward your ultimate goal.

Friday, October 28, 2011

8 Quick Tips How to Successfully Tell 20

When doing Tell 20, or asking homeowners if you can put signs on their property for open
houses, or walking your farm area:

  • Wear your name tag at all times
  • Dress professionally.
  • State your name clearly and clearly state COLDWELL BANKER UNITED, REALTORS.
  • Give a specific purpose to your visit.
  • Be confident, positive and enthusiastic.
  • Always graciously thank people for their time even if they turn you down.
  • DON’T walk across lawns.
  • Stand back a little way from the front door, you’ll seem less threatening.
  • Have something to give people, even if you are just asking to place a sign. Hand them an open house flier, business card, brochure, newsletter.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Five Pre Open House Activities to Increase Attendance

Open houses are a sure way to to find both buyers and sellers in your marketplace. Many buyers test the market by visiting open houses long before they are ready to buy. Visiting an open house enables buyers to understand what they can afford in specific areas of town and subdivisions. Hosting open houses puts real estate agents face to face with these interested buyers.
Sellers also visit open houses. Often they compare their home to houses that are already on the market. Visiting open houses give the seller a baseline for their home and helps them understand what they may get when they sell their home. Some sellers attend open houses looking for a good neighborhood specialist, interviewing agents and quietly observing their skills.
Preparing for an open house properly allows agents to maximize their time at the house by filling their funnel with as many prospects as possible. Here is a list of activities to prepare for an open house.
Direct mail invitations to houses around the open house. Using either a direct mail postcard company or other mailer, choose 50 homes near the home. Plan ahead because this may take up to ten day or so to reach mailboxes.
Create a phone list to Tell Twenty. Focus on the ten neighbors across the street and the five on either side. Some agents will use phone lists to invite the nieighbors to the open house while others will use door hangers or go the old fashioned route of knocking on their doors. Whatever works to get them to the open house!
Focus on Online Marketing Most MLS systems, including, now have the capability of posting open houses. Use your company site and personal site to attract potential customers as well. Don't forget to use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to post information about your open house. Be specific when using Facebook, inviting your local lists of friends.
Email blasts are a helpful in generating interest too. Create a single use website or a link to the open house announcement on your mls or something like that. Send the link to your local sphere of influence announcing the open house. don't stop there. Expand your efforts by asking the seller to send the link to heir friends as well. Often people today are involved in groups that have e-bulletin boards for announcements. Think this through thoroughly... there's literally thousands you can touch this way!
Open House Signs If your area alows yard signs, place an "Open Sunday" sign rider on the yard sign. consider placing ample directional signs the day of the open house as well. Covering an are well can take anywhere from 6 to 10 signs. Folow local ordinances on sign placement and gain permission from neighbors by knocking on doors. Don't forget to give thei neighbors your business card.
This list of activities gets people TO the house. What happens next depends so much on you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Prospecting is a Contact Sport

Reaching out to consumers comes in many forms. Some methods require agents to actually make active contact with people. These active prospecting methods have face to face contact, phone or email contact, or other contact methods that allow for conversation. Other prospecting methods are inactive. They place prospecting materials in front of consumers with the hope of the prospect then to reach out for the real estate agent. Real estate agents’ prospecting plans need to include a balance of active and inactive prospecting methods.

Belly to Belly, Nose to Nose, and Toes to Toes

If I can hand you a business card then I am involved in an active prospecting activity.
– Steve Barnes, Coldwell Banker United, Realtors®

Active Prospecting includes activities that allow engagement in conversation such as face to face meetings, phone callings, emailing, and some social media posting. Real estate agents who are handing out business cards in a networking meeting, talking to their friends in social settings,calling friends and family member or neighbors to discuss market conditions, homes on the market, open houses, and other real estate activities are conducting active prospecting activities.

Active Prospecting Methods
Phone calling
Handing out business cards
Networking at social settings
Emailing friends and family members

Passive Prospecting creates opportunities for consumers to see, hear, or read about you, your company, and your services. The marketing piece gives the consumer enough information to be able to reach out to the agent. Passive marketing pieces usually have a call to action and a valuestatement along with the contact information of the real estate agent.

Passive Prospecting Methods
Direct Mail postcards, etc.
Print Ads
Internet Ads
Flier boxes
Door hangers
Television Ads
Agent Intro Videos
Calendars and other giveaways

To be successful in real este, agents must use a combination of both active and passive prospecting methods. What are you using to insure success in your business?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Filling the Funnel

Real estate opportunities are in each relationship we have. Whether in a first encounter with a consumer or with a long time friend, all people need a place to live. Not only do all people need a place to live, many people invest in real estate. Some invest in residential rental properties, while others purchase residential properties to rehab and then sell for profit. Both of these residential transactions, in addition to the lease opportunity, may include at least one real estate agent. This limited approach in real estate does not include any commercial transactions or development though each is attractive income generation options.
The question that comes in mind when considering all the opportunities to generate an income helping people buy, sell, lease, or develop
real estate is, “How do I find people who have a need in real estate?”
The word used to find people to work with is called prospecting. It is how real estate agents come into contact with consumers who have an interest in buying, selling, or leasing real estate.
The goal in prospecting is to find as many consumers as possible who are interested in transacting real estate. Reaching out to friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and others is like filling a funnel. The more prospects that are placed in the funnel through prospecting, the more likely a steady stream of income flows out the bottom of the funnel. The income level is dependent upon the volume of the flow and usually the dollar amount of the transaction. Assuming though a constant dollar amount of the transactions, the only way to increase income then is by increasing the number of transaction which is dependent on the amount of prospects reached. Reaching more people to make more money sounds simple. Yet many real estate agents fail at an alarmingly high rate. To have success, real estate agents need to have a plan about how to make contact with consumers and then follow their plan.

There are many ways to reach consumers to fill an agent's prospecting funnel. When creating their plan, agents can choose their prospecting methods by determining which are their favorites and their own strengths.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Prospecting through social media

Social Media is Relational NOT Transactional

In creating a set of business objectives, we tend to look at number of contacts needed to create one appointment or one revenue share. Though textbook planning, this doesn’t necessarily lend itself to the essence of social media: creating a network of people who share about themselves.

Looking then at the goal of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, I am enthused by the potential of online relationship building. Wow, social media creates the perfect platform for personal branding!

Often people question which social media platform yields the greatest results? The answer varies greatly depending on the preference of the media user. Though many people believe Twitter, for example, is more B2B focused, it provides ready opportunity to build hyper-local market interest. Facebook, on the other hand, is commonly considered a business to consumer media source. Neither social media platforms, however, will produce prospecting results unless they are worked consistently to deliver relevant market contact.

Easy steps in making money with social media:

Choose your favorite platform. If you like Twitter, use it. If Facebook is your favorite social media platform then become a Facebook professional. Learn your social media platform’s tools and posting methods.

Identify your content strategy by understand your target market. This could be a geographic group like in the old neighborhood farm days or it could be an interest group like model railroaders.

Research and “friend” or “follow” your target market.

Identify daily tasks. These are 4 to 5 daily posts of information that are of interest to your market group.

Manage the delivery of the information through a realtime drip marketing program. Just like neighborhood farming, you can’t send out a year’s worth of postcards in one day. Sites like,, and deliver scheduled posting opportunities. Most blogging platforms like Wordpress and Blogspot do as well.

Keep posting! Growing a group of faithful followers who know, like, trust you takes time. Success is dependent on consistent longevity.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Four Sales to SUCCESS

I was trained to look at each contact with a prospective client as a SALES opportunity. Don't try to do one sale before you have completed the sale before it.

The first sale is the initial phone contact with the prospective client . . . Sell the Appointment. Don't let them make you do your presentation over the phone. Give them enough info that they want to hear more. You want to give your presentation face-to-face.

The second sale is your Presentation . . . Sell the Sizzle, not the Steak. If you want to meet them in their home or office, ask for a specific amount of meeting time . . . I usually ask for 30 minutes because it is not too much time out of their schedule and yet it is enough time to make a quick evaluation of their interest in your presentation.
• first 10 minutes is the "ice breaker"
- If you know them already, talk about something you have in common
- If they are new to you, look around the room quickly to see what they are interested in . . . pictures, trophies, golf clubs in the corner, fish tank, etc. . . . and ask about that. They will want to talk about their passion and that will loosen them up.
• next 20 minutes - your presentation
• last 10 minutes - wrap it up and set up next appt. . . . when you reach the end of the 30 minutes, look at your watch and tap it with your finger and say, "Well, our time is up, so I will . . . (reaffirm what you agreed to for the next meeting). Many times, if the client is really interested in what you are saying, they will say, "No, you don't have to leave yet . . . I want to hear more about . . ." (or something like that)

The third sale is the Close . . . this may take more than one meeting.

The fourth sale is to get Referrals . . . if they liked what you did for them they will give you 2 or 3 referrals. If they cannot think of anyone, don't tell them that you will call them back. Have something to prompt them with. You can interchange the questions or come up with new ones.
• Friends - Do you have any friends who have outgrown there current house and are talking about buying or building another one?
• Neighbors - Have you heard any of your neighbors talking about getting transferred?
• Relatives - Do you know any of your relatives here in Houston or Texas or other states that are thinking of selling their house or buying/building a new one?

Guest Blogger David B. Atkins is a Sales Associate with Coldwell Banker United, Realtors in Houston, Texas and owner of Bulldog Shipping

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sale slumping or nonexistant?

Sales can be a discouraging and frustrating business when you look at each potential customer one at a time. Remember when Tom Hopkins and his quarters? This is a contact sport frequently requiring many attempts before obtaining a sale. I’ve seen statistics that show 100 contacts make 5 appointments that make one signed agreement. To create a signed agreement (buyer rep or listing agreement) you’ll need to hurry the process along by making more contacts every day.

Here’s what I mean, you’re right FSBO’s don’t want to pay commission. They’ve got their guard up because they know you’re going to ask. We know, however, that 70% of all FSBO’s give up and list with a real estate agent. Create a relationship with them through multiple contacts. Statistics show only 4% of prospects sign agreement after the first contact. This increases to over 80% after the 8th contact. Review your FSBO plan and keep calling. Don’t give them pricing info. That’s what they get when they list with you. It’s your expertise.

Now, how else are you going to fill your funnel? Open Houses? Expired listings? Social Media? What about your Sphere of Influence and the 7 Second Presentation? Revisit your business plan.You can do this. If you lost it or didn’t make one then ask and I’ll give you some templates. The bottom line is simple mathematics. If you want a signed agreement each month you’ve got to be making 100 contacts EVERY WEEK.

Make the act of prospecting your goal so you can have some immediate success. Here’s what I learned as a new agent: “I don’t expect you to sell a house every day. I expect you to do the ACTIVITIES necessary to get in front of people.” In other words I had to teach my wife and kids to stop asking me if I sold a house today and asking me if I did my prospecting activities. Get it?

You still get to ask for the business with your contact it just isn’t as imperative to make business with every person when you’re following up with 100 or more people.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Video Blog for Authentic Marketing

Video in blog posts can take many forms. From fun and whimsical to informative and serious, video creates authentic marketing opportnities for those who use it. Youtube is the second largest search engine in the US with millions of minutes of video posted everyday. Use this to your advantage. Create a youtube channel and link back to it as often as possible from your blog. Embed video into your blog when possible as well. Here are a few helpful video blgging tips to get you started.

  • List topics you wish to explore

  • Research to find others who have created videos of the same topic to help gather ideas

  • Share links to others' videos

  • Make your own videos

  • Create a small studio using ample lighting

Here is an example of a fun video from Realtors in Canada

Monday, March 21, 2011

Use Video to Innovate Your Marketing

Using video to prospect has several benefits for marketing and prospecting for new business. Consider these:
  • First page Google: Video helps move you up the search engines. Video helps create a dynamic website that encourages comments vrom viewers.
  • It's Fun!: Creative outgoing people can quickly crank out a video to involve viewers in their website.
  • Viewer Friendly: More and more people are willing to spend a few minutes watching a short video than reading a market summary. Do yourself a favor and capture a larger audience by posting a few short videos.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.