Top 10 Activities Top Agents Do To Kick Start 2019

It is that time of year when you feel a little holiday hangover and the motivation levels are not what they should be. It is the time of year when an agent cannot control what the market or their client is doing but it is essential an agent control what it is they are doing in January to kick start their year off right! This week we want to share the top things an agent can do at the start off the year with a bang to ensure you got a good jump to 2019.

Top 10 Activities for Realtors© To Kickstart 2019

1. Happy New Year / Gratitude Message – create a message for everyone expressing your gratitude for their support for you and your business in 2018 and wish them all the best in 2019. Let them know none of your success would be possible without them and you appreciate them all. Create a video, letter, email, Facebook social media post and share the happy new year – gratitude message to everyone you know!

2. Re-branding Launch 2019 – time to reinvent and relaunch your brand with a new photo, new logo and a new slogan and re-brand your old real estate self and create a fresh new look and start for 2019 and your business. Ask for your clients for input and poll their feedback on your new photo, new logo and new slogan over social media and build up the hype for your new branding launch in 2019.

3. 2018 Market Review and 2019 Predictions – create a message for everyone reviewing the past year and what the real estate market did in 2018. What did price do? Inventory? Sales? List to sale ratios? Recap and summarize the past years market and let them know what is trending and share your bold predictions for the market in 2019. Create a video, letter, email, Facebook social media post and share this with everyone in your community!

4. Pop by gift – always a great time of year to pop by and say hello to everyone you know with a jug of window washer fluid with a tag message “I’m happy to provide great clients like you with a clearer view of our local market.” Courtesy of Buffini and Company. 

5. Checklists / Procedures – time to get the systems, checklists and procedures created or upgraded. Do you have a process in writing for every activity you perform in real estate? The greatest challenge for all agents in their business is they are consistently inconsistent. Having written checklists, processes and procedures for each activity in your business will make a huge difference for implementation and execution in 2019.

6. Database Touches – the highest R.O.I. source of any top producing agent is repeat and referral business. Having an intentional value added process to engage and deepen your advocacy with people that already know, like an trust you is absolutely key to any agents success in 2019. Spend more time money and effort keeping them than we did getting them!

7. Lead Generation Funnels – the top reason for agents not doing well enough is due to the lack of leads. Without enough leads we are forced to work with anyone and everyone. Without enough leads we can’t generate enough appointments and then enough listings and sales in 2019. Focus on the “FAB 5” lead generation funnels of the industry in 2019. 1. Database 2. Geographic Farm 3. Expired or FSBO 4. Open House 5. Online Leads

8. Tools In Your Tool kit – do you have a pre appointment package for buyers or sellers. Do you have a marketing tool you can deliver to the clients in advance that sets you apart from all your competitors before you even meet them? Pre listing and Pre Buyer packages deliver that punch in 2019.

9. Presentations and Process – do you use professional dynamic presentations with your buyers and sellers? Presentations that share with them the benefits of doing business with you vs. the rest? Does your process set you apart from the competition? Do you show them why they should sign with you a listing contract? Buyer agreement? Price their home properly the first time? Or do you just wing it?

10. Complimentary Market Analysis – provide a package of listings, sales and expired comps for the last year to every client and person you have a relationship with. Provide them with enough information they can get an idea themselves of the value of their property. 3 days later follow up and ask them if they have any questions? Ask if they have other real estate properties you could evaluate for them? Ask if they know anyone else you could provide them with this complimentary service as well. This usually leads to listing appointments for agents in the new year and a great jump on spring listing inventory!

So there you have the top activities for kick starting 2019 off on the right foot! Don’t sit around and wait for real estate to happen. Take steps to create real estate in January 2019!

Finish Your Year Before It Begins

Jim Rohn, the legendary business philosopher always said to “Finish your week before it begins.” He meant that we take control of our schedule and real estate business and plan for the week ahead before it even happens. If we don’t take control then someone else or something else always does!

So when the year begins to wind down you should not wait until the very end to start planning for next year. This means having a crystal clear understanding of the successes and challenges of your current year, how it impacts your upcoming year, and developing a vision of what you want to accomplish, and how. Many agents aim for nothing every year and most hit it with amazing accuracy!! You should always start working on your next year strategy months in advance of the new year. This awards you enough time to make an impact on your final quarter, and lay the groundwork for making sure your next fiscal year starts off on a solid footing.

For agents who want to achieve greatness, push the envelope, and grow their business through market share, market penetration, paying down debt, increasing sales, profits and cash flow, get going now! If your business isn’t growing, pushing the envelope, thriving, and maximizing profit, then all you’re really doing is suffering a slow death. Believe me, your competition is fighting the fight every day, and they didn’t wake up in the morning and say “Gosh, golly, I hope I stay even in 2019.” They want to eat your lunch, take your business, absorb your market share and steal your customers away.

Some people might ask me if they should start planning by looking at their competition, and the answer is NO. Why focus on the competition, instead of focusing on yourself? When it comes to my business, you should not care what others do.   Care about what YOU do. Recognize your competition for what and who they are, and then put your best foot forward by pushing the envelope in your business. You should approach the new year as if you are going to battle, and for that you should develop a strategic plan.

Business Plan – a written document that describes in detail how a business, usually a new one, is going to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written plan from a marketing, financial and operational viewpoint.

FACT: LESS THAN 3% OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN

FACT: ESTIMATED 3% OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS IN NORTH AMERICA DOING 97% OF BUSINESS

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Writing a business plan may seem a daunting task as there are so many moving parts and concepts to address. Take it one step at a time and be sure to schedule regular review (quarterly, semi-annually, or annually) of your plan to be sure you are on track to meet your goals. It is that time of year again when we begin to build our plan for 2019 so let’s look at the key areas of the agent’s solid business plan.

Business Plan for the Successful REALTOR©

Step 1) “Success and history always leaves us clues.”   began by looking back to identify the clues that have been left for us and the business.  Look at the real estate market first and search for the following clues.

  • What have the number of sales been doing the last year? 2-5 years? Up? Down?
  • What have the number of listings been doing the last year? 2-5 years? Up? Down?
  • What have the average and median prices been doing?
  • What price ranges are experiencing more activity? Less activity?
  • What neighborhoods or areas are experiencing more activity? Less Activity?
  • What property types are selling more? Less?
  • What buyer types are buying more?
  • Where are the buyers coming from? Local? Next state or province? Over Seas?
  • Imagine the targeted and strategic plan you would be able to build for you and your real estate business with this kind of information?

Now you are not just winging it. You really know where and what to focus on.

Step 2) Looking At The Present State of Your Real Estate Business

  • What have my sales been doing? Up? Down?
  • What have my listings been doing? Up? Down?
  • What is my average price? Can I raise my average selling price?
  • What is my Gross Commission Income doing?
  • What is my average deal worth?
  • Where are my listings and sales coming from? Sources of business?
  • What types of buyers do I represent?
  • Where are the buyers coming from? Local? Out of area?
  • What are my pending sales?
  • What do I have for potential buyers and sellers?
  • Strategic Business Planning for Your Real Estate Business

What if you took the time to really track and measure and reflect on your business at a deeper level and see your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities?

Step 3) Activity Plans – Take the time to lay out your activity plan calendar a year in advance. Focus on the activities you know you are good at and you see a return on your invested time and money. For most agents it would be your sphere of influence, referrals and face to face or voice to voice activities.

Step 4) Budgeting – Profit is the goal in business. Knowing what your personal life and your business world cost you monthly is so important. Expense management is just as important as your income and earnings. Have a clear picture of your expenses and measure all of them for their return on investment or if they can be reduced in any way.

Step 5) Goals – If your “Why” is big enough the “how” will take care of itself. What is your purpose? Vision? Values? Mission Statement? Taking the time to know what it is you want and why you want it is a game changer for us all. Nothing gives me more joy than impacting and improving people’s lives personally and professionally every day.

In my own real estate business, taking the time over the last 25 years to create a business plan has been so incredibly beneficial for me and I know it will for you as well.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We are approaching the single most important time of year… As the listings and sales season start to temper we have the tendency to want to take it easy and relax but I am here to say… NOT JUST YET!!!

This was the time of year where you should take full advantage of your time and make the most of the market season. This time of year can be for some a difficult time in real estate or a time where the market gives you the greatest gift which is TIME. The time for you to do the things you know are important but the year has just been too busy to do those really important activities. One of the most impactful and meaningful activities for your business is what we call the “Holiday 100” The holiday hundred is your goal to personally visit 100 of your best clients and see them during the holiday season. 3 clients a day for 33 days.

So in November, sit down and write out your year in review letter. Make a list of all the events and activities personally and professionally that happened to you and your family. Write about hobbies, travels, children and their activities, your  wife … Find a favorite photo and place the photo and letter on holiday letterhead for your upcoming visits.

Think about it, we are in the relationship business and this letter will invite your clients in to your personal and professional life. This can help deepen relationships and find more items you have in common. They will love to read the letter every year. The next item is to have all your calendars delivered into the office by the middle of November to put you holiday letter and a calendar into large white envelopes. Then  would take your database and make a list of names and phone numbers of all your A and B clients. These are the people you would want to personally see from Mid-November until Mid-December… Print their address labels out and place them on the envelopes with the holiday letter and their calendar.

If you prefer it also works well to write a Christmas Card or order a Day timer instead of a calendar with your year in review letter. Keep in mind the calendar is not the secret weapon to success. Feel free to be creative too… it’s all about the relational contact and something to put in their hands to be Top of Mind. The final item was to find and purchase a hundred small holiday gifts. Poinsettia flowers or homemade spiced apple cider mix, scented candle, bottle of mini bailey’s, holiday scratch and win ticket, homemade peanut brittle or Purdy’s chocolates… Try to maintain about a $10 item budget. Now you have you Santa client pack ready and then comes the most important part of all…

…Booking the appointments.

Take the time to personally call and set up a “pop by” holiday visit to their home in hour segments and stay for 45 minutes per client. Let them know when you arrive that you have another visit within an hour so cannot stay too long. TIP – when booking appointments let them know why you are coming.

The 33 day festive client visits can be amazing. Clients will be so surprised and many client think they will never see you again after our last real estate transaction. They will be so pleased with the letter, calendar and small gift but most important was the gift of my time!! Ken Blanchard wrote in the book “The Generosity Factor” that we all have gifts to give. Our Time, Touch, Talents and Treasures. Never underestimate your greatest gift of “TIME”… your most precious commodity. Don’t just swing by and drop the items off. Stop and give the client your gift of time. This activity alone would set me up for a good month.

I can’t tell you enough what this will do for your business but most important your relationship with your clients.

How Do I Finish 2018 Strong?

Ugh!! This is the time of year and season in real estate that is typically slower and consumers tend to not be as much in the buying and selling mindset and that my friends is out of our control! What is not out of our control is what we do, what we think, what we say and what we believe is to be true. I love the photo of the small goldfish with a shark fin attached to the top of itself. It kind of reminds me of real estate agents at this time of year. We are either the gold fish and being eaten or we are the shark fin and we are the one that is eating. Right now ask yourself, which one do I see myself as the goldfish that is being defeated and eaten or the goldfish with a shark fin and is rising up and taking what it deserves? What is your mindset? How do you see yourself right now? What do you believe about yourself? What is your inner voice saying about you and real estate? What do you hear others saying about yourself? If I can encourage you to take control of one thing at this time of year about yourself personally and professionally, then take control of your mindset! If you can’t buy you then who will be able to buy from you?

There was once a story about a British shoe company that sends two shoe salesmen over to Africa. They wait a few days and call the first salesman and he reports back to head office that it is a waste of time here because nobody here is wearing shoes and I am heading back. Then they call the other salesman and he is so excited because the opportunity is beyond belief because literally nobody here is wearing shoes! It is the same for us in real estate at this time of year. We can think it is over and this is it for me and my business or you can think this time of year is the greatest gift and that the coming year is going to be my best as agents leave the industry and it moves to a professionals market. Now that we have our thoughts and mindset in check for the balance of 2018 let’s look at activities that will help us finish the year strong!

How to Finish Strong in 2018

1.)    Low Lying Fruit – What would help me get paid today??

a) Get A Listing
b) Get A Price Reduction
c) Present A Reverse Offer To Interested Buyers
d) Find Something For My Hottest Buyers To Buy
e) Get A Buyer To Sign An EBA
f) Get A Private Seller To Sign A Fee Agreement or Exclusive Listing and find them a buyer

2.)    Now More Getting Lucky – Time to work on

a) Seller Counselling Skills
b) Buyer Conversion Skills
c) Questioning Skills
d) Presentation Skills
e) Pre Listing Packages
f) Pre Buyer Packages
g) Closing Skills
h) Advisor Skills

3.)    Full Contact Sport –

a) Present Offers Face To Face
b) Present Counters Face To Face
c) Get Signatures In Person
d) Take Clients Their Paperwork In Person
e) Meet Your Clients At The Office For Advisement Session

4.)    The Gift Of Time –

a) Coffee, Lunch, Breakfast
b) Pop By gifts
c) Calls, Texts
d) Calendars, Christmas Cards,
e) Hand Written Notes
f) Client Event g) Complimentary CMA
g) Business Directory Book
h) Santa Visits

5.)    Face To Face Activities –

a) Open House
b) Mall Kiosk
c) Door Knock ( Just Sold, Bona Fide Buyer )
d) Networking
e) Volunteer

6.)    Planning 2019 –

a) Business Plan
b) Marketing Plan
c) Budgeting
d) Track, Plan, Measure
e) Implementation Execution

7.)    Make a list of activities that generated your business this year. Now go do what already has made you money and do more of it!

Let us recap…..Change Your Mindset ( Hunt or be hunted! ) Worry about the things you can control and not the things you cannot control. Get Face To Face, STP (see the people), Implement & Execute ideas are useless. Do what you already know works. Back To Basics. Practice Your Skills vs. Being Lucky. Be Intentional, Strategic and Planned. Do More Of What Worked. Give Others Your Greatest Gifts (Time, Touch, Talents and Treasures).

 

The Sales Skills All Real Estate Agents Must Have

In selling it doesn’t matter the product or service, there are certain skills and processes you must have to be effective in selling anything. Don’t think for a minute the top real estate agents in this industry don’t master their sales skills and sales processes daily. They take the time to sharpen the sword and understand the impact this time spent has on their real estate business success. Let’s have a look at the most important sales skills an agent needs today!

Sales Skills All Real Estate Agents Must Have

1. Managing your own time – Most agent’s time is dictated and controlled by their buyers and sellers. Very few Realtors© exercise control of their own time. When the client says jump the agent normally responds with “how high”? Most agents put in a hard and long day and find at the end of the end they really didn’t get the results they were looking for. Working smarter and managing the highest and best use of your own time is a critical sales skill in real estate.

2. Engage in conversations with people – Every day you need to be able to engage in conversations with either people you know or don’t know about possibly buying or selling real estate. These conversations with people are the root of our database and key to our real estate success. Every day these conversations lead to you adding someone new to your database that don’t have an agent of choice. These people may buy or sell but just as important is them knowing someone else who might be and referring them to buy or sell with you. Get out there and have conversations every day in real estate.managing the highest and best use of your own time is a critical sales skill in real estate.

3. Strong lead follow up – When someone gives you their name, phone number, email it is a customer trying to give you an opportunity to list something or help someone buy something. They are literally handing you the opportunity to earn their business and if served effectively you earn the commission. It amazes me the mindset of agents not wanting to “bug people” or the number of clients that said they never heard back from any agents. The discipline and skill of having strong lead follow up in real estate is another area where many agents can improve greatly.

4. Qualifying the buyer or seller – The ability to identify the “looker” from the buyer and the seller from the dreamer is another incredibly important sales skill for any real estate agent. My mentor taught me “Wade, learn how to lose them Tuesday before they use you and drop you on Saturday.” The power qualifying questions are as simple as “WHY?” “WHEN?” and “HOW? Cash or credit?” The answers to these simple but powerful questions are the secret to qualifying success.

5. Presentations – This is show business and your ability to wow and awe someone to buy or sell with you is key to your success. Having the ability to present to your audience and make them laugh, cry and feel is an incredibly powerful sales skill and something I just loved to master myself. Sales is storytelling and people love stories. Are you an engaging powerful storyteller or are you just someone that just talks, talks and tells? Master your presentation and storytelling skills and watch what happens for you and your business.

6. Handling objections, stalls and conditions – Knowing what to say and how to respond to basically twelve of the most common public responses is another powerful sales skill in real estate. Anticipating what they will say and respond to you and being able to respond with something that changes how they feel about how they think is such an important skill and process. Here are the terrible twelve most used objections agents will hear from clients.

1. We are going to wait
2. We aren’t sure
3. Will you cut your commission?
4. We don’t want a for sale sign
5. We are going to list with…
6. We are going to try selling ourselves
7. We want, need or have to have $ _______
8. We don’t want to put more money into
9. How much real estate do you sell?
10. How long have you been an agent?
11. Why didn’t you show our home when it was listed before?
12. You’re a new agent.

I encourage you to take the time to really work on these specific sales skills and processes. Putting in the time to polish these skills will help take your business to a whole other level, I promise. Where are your skills and processes lacking from the above list? Take action and finish 2018 strong and have skills and not rely on chance or luck and be market and economy proof as an agent!

Is Your Real Estate Business Driven By Vision or Need?

We all have needs. We all have bills to pay, mouths to feed (in my case 5 mouths to feed – I know, it is not easy!), and some have college to pay for. I get it. Today, consider setting that aside, and instead start working in a vision. Ask yourself, “Is my real estate business driven by my vision or my needs”?

That’s right, what if you started working according to a vision, instead of working according to your needs?

Most of us are used to responding to needs and do everything we can to meet those needs as they arise. This is not inherently bad, those things absolutely need to be addressed, but at what cost? This endless cycle is one reason why people never step into their true purpose.  We’re too busy thinking about our needs.  We find ourselves focusing on one closing, because ‘if this doesn’t close I can’t pay my bills.’ Or we got lost in the middle of a hard transaction and lose focus on what we need to do to move the needle of our business. We easily find ourselves stuck focusing on our needs instead of on our vision.  Most inventions, scientific advancements, and dramatic accomplishments were done by people who didn’t focus on their need, but rather on something that motivated them.  People who are visionaries are focused on the future, not now, and especially not the past. They are looking forward, and working in that forward vision.

Focusing on your needs instead of living according to a grander vision is like running around to put out a bunch of small fires. As long as you are only living to meet your needs, your focus will constantly be on those fires. This is stressful and often means many people never reach their full potential. When you live according to a vision, the fires bow to that vision. It’s fun to work on the things we love, right? We find we have more creativity and passion and energy, things are usually lacking when we are stressed about meeting the immediate needs in front of us. I am positive there are greater things for you to achieve…stop chasing fires and start chasing your vision!

Making Your Real Estate Business Driven by Vision

Here Is A Top Agents Exact Business Vision. Put your vision into these three pillars.

  1. The first pillar: What am I going to do stay in touch with my sphere of influence? The people that know, like and trust me. That one is easy; Service For Life! I mail to my database and I get about a 10% return – if I have 300 in my database, that means I will do about 30 transactions a year from people in my database or referrals from people in my database.
  2. The second pillar: What am I going to do to chase business? I decide whether it is going to be open houses, geographic farm, door knocking or Facebook Advertising. I am going to focus on being the best I can be for one at a time. If I pick Open House then I go and study and come up with the best plan. I am going to be the King of Opens! Once I have mastered the first then if I am going to run the next, say Facebook Advertising to generate leads. Again I go study and come up with my best plan.
  3. The third pillar: What am I going to do to attract business?  I decide whether I am going to create a podcast, show, blog, book, and more – it’s going to be called I Love ______ (your hometown). I am going to help people who are new to ______ (your hometown), get connected to other people, places and events happening in the city I love!

What is your vision for your business? Tell us in the comments below! If you aren’t sure – You can start planning your vision by completing or reviewing your business plan. We are moving into the 3rd quarter and this quarter is crucial for many reasons. It is a good time right now to review your business to see if you are on target to hit your goal or not. If not, make changes to your business plan to keep you on track!

 

10 Tips to Get Listings In A Low Inventory Market!

The majority of markets in North America are experiencing unprecedented low inventory levels and the supply is just not meeting the demands of buyers. The spring is quickly coming upon us and the key to our success as agents is the inventory game and having that listing inventory going into the spring and summer season. So if there are little or no listings how can I buck the trend and create listings vs. wait for listings? Here are our top ideas for you to implement now and begin winning the inventory game!

1. Unsolicited market evaluations for all past clients. Put together a snapshot market evaluation package for each and every one of your past clients (Don’t give them your estimated selling price). We want to deliver or mail the package of comparable’s so the client can physically see and touch the information you are providing and see the “value add” you deliver. Let them know many of your clients are curious what their current property value is and you took the liberty of preparing a snapshot for them to see where their property currently sits. This is a great tool for them to see their current property value for sufficient home insurance coverage. For income tax purposes regarding capital losses and gains and just where they stand financially. Three days after you have delivered the information call them and follow the package up. Ask if they got the package? Did they have any questions? They noticed for legal and insurance purposes you need to physically view their home to give them a specific value of their property. Would there be a good time for your to come over and view the property and give them a number? Ask them if they have other real estate holdings you could evaluate for them? Ask them if they know other friends, family or coworkers that would appreciate the same service?

2. Direct Mail. There are many reasons you could send out unaddressed ad mail to get new listings but remember direct mail is not as effective without follow up by a door knock or phone call. The top direct mail reasons that seem to get the best results are “We Just Sold” and implying there are more buyers still looking. The other is “We Have A Buyer” and looking for a home for them. Please don’t use either of these methods if you don’t have a bona fide buyer. Get in the door honestly. Other options are “Open House Invite” or “Just Listed” or the most over used option “Free Home Evaluation”.

3. Door Knock. The follow up to your direct mail is imperative to your conversion and success. The door knock is a warm approach now and not a cold door knock. Again the most successful conversion is coming from a “We Have A Buyer” and “We Just Sold”. Many of my coaching clients say a 90 minute door knock set between 3pm and 6 pm is always a great time and something comes from it every time.

4. Open House. Floor Time. Kiosk. – These are the only options agents have where the customer will come to you and the agent does not have to go to the customer. For those that are prospecting reluctant then these options are the only hope you have to generate the listings.

5. Geographic Farm. – Two options here for the geo farm. Option one is to mail the farm area every second week, door knock, Facebook page, you tube channel, etc. The second option is to find a specific area, building or complex with a 6% or higher annual turnover rate and pull title on every home owner and personally mail them 4 times a year specifically about their area and the general market conditions and have a website specific to their property which creates the perception you are the resident expert and the only agent personally mailing to the homeowners.

6. Facebook, Google Ad Campaigns. – Creating strategic ad campaigns specifically for home sellers and directing them to a landing page that allows them to get an evaluation of their property over the internet. Landing pages like Bold Leads or Prime Seller Leads are a great option.

7. Expired Listings. – If your market area allows this you have a great resource of clients who already own a home, want to sell, worked with an agent and were willing to pay the commissions! How can you not love them.

8. FSBO. – Again you have a seller who owns a home, wants to sell but doesn’t want to pay. We help them sell for 7-10 weeks in exchange for them to buy with you or if they don’t sell we hope they

list with you!

9. Agent To Agent Referrals – Working the agents from other offices and communities that the buyers are relocating to your area from. Offering a referral fee for any listing or buyer referrals to the network of agents and be their point of contact in your area.

10. B2B. – Network with all the business owners and service providers in your community. Find ways to co brand and co market each other’s businesses and services. They in turn feel they need to refer you listings and business for your help and support with what they do!

So there you have it. Ten powerful ways to generate listing inventory and really make a huge impact on your first quarter of 2018 and make the rest of the year that much easier. Please feel free to share any other listing activities you have found effective in the comments below!

 

The 12 Days Of Real Estate (Christmas)

On the first day of real estate my true love gave to me… Spend some focused time on your real estate database prior to 2018. If you don’t have a database then assemble one. Input names from your phone, emails, social media and client files. Take the time to build a monthly database touch system for 2018 making specific activities each month to add value and deepen your relationships with your database. This “give to get” activity is the best way to increase repeat and referral business in 2018.

On the Second Day of real estate my true love gave to me… Create an online lead generation system. These landing pages capture a seller who is curious what their current property value is or a buyer who wants to be notified of hot new listings and beat other buyers to them. Check out Prime Seller Leads real estate leads or Agentlocator real estate leads for this. A nice steady stream of buyer and seller leads from a good landing page keeps you from those peaks and valleys in your business. This is a great way to create more buyer and seller leads all year long while you are busy serving your active buyer and sellers and when you don’t have the time to prospect.

On the Third Day of real estate my true love gave to me… 2 daily hours of power prospecting and lead generation. High-volume agents don’t just service existing business and then start lead generating once they have closed the majority of their transactions. Instead, they block time (usually in the morning so it gets done) to do something each business day that gets them closer to earning a new client. In a nutshell, there are two ways to be successful in real estate: By Default: live in the same area for years where everyone knows you and eventually sends you business; or By Design: time-block a relatively small portion of each business day to proactively generate for new leads.

On the Fourth Day of real estate my true love gave to me… Listings is the name of the game. The power of the spin is where a listing can generate up to 15 other pieces of business if done right! If a real estate agent is working more than 65 hours a week and not closing more than 45 transactions annually, the agent either has a time management problem and/or is working with far more buyers than sellers. You can handle four times as many listing sides than buyer sides at the same time. So, top producing real estate agents always focus their lead generation activities on the listing side. Top listing sources are your sphere, open house, FSBO, expired or door knock looking for a bona fide buyer.

On the Fifth Day of real estate my true love gave to me… Face to Face activities like coffee, lunch, door knock, open house, kiosk, floor duty, networking, volunteering and a “pop by” are all great. We know conversion is higher when you are face to face and the prospect can tell if they like or trust you quickly and want to do business with you. Although many agents are reluctant to reach out to people.

On the Sixth Day of real estate my true love gave to me… An Agent to Agent referral system with other agents working the areas where the people and business is coming from to buy real estate in your market. Contact them once a month and stay top of mind and be that referral agent source of choice in your market area. Share tips and ideas with other agents to keep top of mind and make them feel like they want to refer you their clients moving to your area. This is a lucrative business opportunity if done consistently.

On the Seventh Day of real estate my true love gave to me… The power of words. Scripts and dialogs are important. Successful real estate agents understand whether they use someone else’s scripts, dialogs or their own, they’ll eventually start saying the same things they know will work. Using tested real estate scripts created by others simply eliminates the trial and error process and enables agents to start seeing desired results more quickly. Sound like your planned and engage and attract the clients to want to work with you with your powerful words of persuasion.

On the Eighth Day of real estate my true love gave to me… Have powerful sales presentations and visuals. Pre seller and buyer packages. Don’t tell them but show and sell them. Have a visually powerful presentation for listings, buyers and pricing. Don’t just wing it and leave things to chance but engage people to want to do business with you, your company and NOW! Talk alone is cheap. The most powerful visual sales tool is a pad and pen and being able to show prospects and tell them has greater impact than words alone. Remember some of us are visual and some of us are auditory but we don’t know which one they are.

On the Ninth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me… Know your why, purpose and vision. My goal that drives me every day is to impact and improve people’s lives personally and professionally every day. Real estate is the vehicle that makes this happen. We all need to be part of something bigger than ourselves. If your why is big enough then the how takes care of itself!!  Create a vision board with images of the things that drive you, move you, things you want and need to experience each and every year. Never underestimate the power of a vision, purpose or why! Create that vision board and place it on your screen saver.

On the Tenth Day of real estate my true love gave to me… Be a servant and focus on helping others get what they want and you in turn get what you want. Listen for the need and be aware of others fears, challenges and offer to help. So as to not “bother” the general public when prospecting for new business, top real estate agents always tie the reason they’re contacting people in with providing some type of value at the same time. Always come from a mindset of contribution. Helping you is what we do. Listen for the need. Take care of people and the cash takes care of itself.

On the Eleventh Day of real estate my true love gave to me… Be a lean mean appointment setting machine. The money in sales is in the conversion to the appointments. No appointments then no presentations. No presentations means no contracts or agreements. The lead generation is great but not having the skill to convert to the face to face appointment is a real estate

killer. Know what you have and what you can offer for them and engage them to want to sit down and meet with you. What is your value proposition for a buyer and seller? Why you? Why now?

On the Twelfth Day of real estate my true love gave to me… Leverage by systemization and delegation. When real estate agents consistently do not have time to prospect for new business because they are too busy servicing their existing business it’s time to hire someone to help out. The first hire should be an administrative assistant, not a buyer’s agent. Administrative assistants help agents make more money by freeing up time for agents to perform more important revenue-generating activities. 3D test everything in 2018. “Do I do it? Do I delegate it? Do I just dump it?”

I trust your holiday season is full of love, happiness and joy.

Power Planning for Success in 2018

When the year begins to wind down you should not wait until the very end to start planning for next year. This means having a crystal clear understanding of the successes and challenges of your current year, how it impacts your upcoming year, and developing a vision of what you want to accomplish, and how.

I believe you should always start working on your next year strategy months in advance of the new year. This awards you enough time to make an impact on your final quarter, and lay the groundwork for making sure your next fiscal year starts off on a solid footing.

For agents who want to achieve greatness, push the envelope, and grow their business through market share, market penetration, paying down debt, increasing sales, profits and cash flow, I urge you to get going now! If your business isn’t growing, pushing the envelope, thriving, and maximizing profit, then all you’re really doing is suffering a slow death. Believe me, your competition is fighting the fight every day, and they didn’t wake up in the morning and say “Gosh, golly, I hope I stay even in 2018.” They want to eat your lunch, take your business, absorb your market share and steal your customers away.

Some people might ask if they should start planning by looking at their competition, the answer is NO. Why focus on the competition, instead of focusing on yourself? When it comes to my business, you should care what others do, Care about what you do. Recognize your competition for what and who they are, and then put your best foot forward by pushing the envelope in your business. You should approach the new year as if you are going to battle, and for that you should develop a strategic plan.

Business Plan – a written document that describes in detail how a business, usually a new one, is going to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written plan from a marketing, financial and operational viewpoint.

FACT: LESS THAN 3% OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN

FACT: ESTIMATED 3% OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS IN NORTH AMERICA DOING 97% OF BUSINESS

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Writing a business plan may seem a daunting task as there are so many moving parts and concepts to address. Take it one step at a time and be sure to schedule regular review (quarterly, semi-annually, or annually) of your plan to be sure you are on track to meet your goals. It is that time of year again when we begin to build our plan for 2018 so let’s look at the key areas of the agent’s solid business plan.

Business Plan for the Successful REALTOR©

Step 1) “Success and history always leaves us clues.”  Began by looking back to identify the clues that have been left for us and the business.   Look at the real estate market first and search for the following clues.

What have the number of sales been doing the last year? 2-5 years? Up? Down?
What have the number of listings been doing the last year? 2-5 years? Up? Down?
What have the average and median prices been doing?
What price ranges are experiencing more activity? Less activity?
What neighborhoods or areas are experiencing more activity? Less Activity?
What property types are selling more? Less?
What buyer types are buying more?
Where are the buyers coming from? Local? Next state or province? Over Seas?

Imagine the targeted and strategic plan you would be able to build for you and your real estate business with this kind of information?
Now you are not just winging it. You really know where and what to focus on.

Step 2) Looking At The Present State of Your Real Estate Business
What have my sales been doing? Up? Down?
What have my listings been doing? Up? Down?
What is my average price? Can I raise my average selling price?
What is my Gross Commission Income doing?
What is my average deal worth?
Where are my listings and sales coming from? Sources of business?
What types of buyers do I represent?
Where are the buyers coming from? Local? Out of area?
What are my pending sales?
What do I have for potential buyers and sellers?

Strategic Business Planning for Your Real Estate Business
What if you took the time to really track and measure and reflect on your business at a deeper level and see your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities?

Step 3) Activity Plans – Take the time to lay out your activity plan calendar a year in advance. Focus on the activities you know you are good at and you see a return on your invested time and money. I am guessing for most agents it would be your sphere of influence, referrals and face to face or voice to voice activities.

Step 4) Budgeting – Profit is the goal in business. Knowing what your personal life and your business world cost you monthly is so important. Expense management is just as important as your income and earnings. Have a clear picture of your expenses and measure all of them for their return on investment or if they can be reduced in any way.

Step 5) Goals – If your “Why” is big enough the “how” will take care of itself. What is your purpose? Vision? Values? Mission Statement? Taking the time to know what it is you want and why you want it is a game changer for us all. Nothing gives me more joy than impacting and improving people’s lives personally and professionally every day.

In my own real estate business, taking the time to create a business plan has been so incredibly beneficial for me and I know it will for you as well.

In today’s post I have given you a brief business plan overview. To help you get going with your own plan we put together a step by step Income Generator Business Plan you can download by clicking the link below.

Click here to download new Income Generator Business Plan….

 

The Fab Five of Top Real Estate Professionals

At Royal LePage RCR Realty, we are huge believers of tracking and measuring everything we do in real estate so we can tell what is working, what is not working and what we are doing well and more importantly what we frankly should just do more of. The second half of the year is about doing more of what works and if you do more of that you obviously like your chances of finishing the year strong. This is the top five activities that work with all the most successful agents we work with.

1) Database – All the most successful agents have at least 28 to 36 organized, planned and systemized activities a year that add value to their past and existing clients. They personally mail them, e mail them e reports, provide complimentary annual reviews of their real estate holdings, host client party events, hand written personal notes, birthday and “houseaversary cards, pop by gifts like ketchup, relish and mustard packs with a tag that says “Thought I would catch up and let you know I relish your real estate referrals and not all agents cut the mustard.” and more. They have a blend and balance of top of mind and give to get activities that continue to propel their repeat and referral business year after year!

2) Open House – There are literally very few activities an agent can do where the clients actually come to them and the agent doesn’t need to go find the client. Agents get to use their strengths as they get to meet the client face to face and engage their audience and the clients determine whether the agent is likeable and someone they can trust. Think about it open house is the rare place agents can use the interpersonal skills to get a client to engage and connect and feel they want to do business with them and why it is always in our fabulous five activity list year after year.

3) Door Knocking – 86% of communication is non-verbal meaning that eye contact, voice inflection, voice tone and body language make up a large portion of non-verbal communication which we are able to utilize going door to door and meeting face to face with the clients. Now you have to go bang on doors and ask everyone “Hi you want to sell your house?” the cold call approach is dead and gone, unfortunately. What in fact works very well is warm call approaches using a Bona Fide buyer, New listing, Recent sale or invitation to your open house approaches. Think about it, what person wouldn’t want to help you find something for a buyer, hear about the latest asking or sale price on their street or be asked to snoop at the neighbors upcoming open house?

4) Geographic Farm – Almost every top agent stands out from the crowd and the way they stand out is being an expert or have a niche at something. Every agent is good at every type of real estate and very few make themselves experts, niched and stand out from the crowd! Being an expert at an area, neighborhood, property type or even a certain demographic will get you further and more recognized as an expert than just being like all the other agents. Top producers strategically pick, work and add value to their geographic farm and within 8-12 months it pays back in spades and if done correctly it always hits the top producers activity success list year after year.

5) Online Leads – This is not the silver bullet but something for a new agent to kick start their career, a veteran to top up their business and keep a bit more consistent and something a top producer uses to feed leads to their associates and increase their volume and leverage. Before anyone even turns this type of activity on, buy, read and study Chris Smith’s book “The Conversion Code” it’s easy to buy and turn the lead machines on but converting the leads is where the money is at! Start at chapter 8 and learn the art of conversion before embarking on the online lead machine.

So there it is, the top five activities that are consistently showing up as the most successful dollar producing activities of hundreds of agents we have had the pleasure of working with. Track, measure and see what your top five are and spend the second half of 2017 doing more of what it is your doing right and is making you money. Finish the year strong and don’t reinvent the wheel and take you and your business off course!