Top Ten Things Top Producers Do To Take Their Real Estate Business To The Next Level

It is so important to understand the behaviors of top producers and what it is they are doing to propel their business to the next levels. Success is easy to achieve in real estate if
you understand sales and the art of customer service. Why is it that so many agents don’t take the time to invest in the proper real estate behaviors?

Top 10 Real Estate Behaviours of a Top Producer

1) Daily Focus On Lead Generation & Prospecting Top producers are constantly communicating with people and they are looking for someone who is wanting to buy or sell. They understand the importance of filling their appointment funnel. This activity is blocked in their schedule every day to ensure that their business doesn’t experience the highs or lows of most real estate agents and their business. It is like a professional golfer they are at the range every day and hitting their share of golf balls to ensure their success.
worm2) Prospect & Lead
Generate In The Early Part Of The Day
We have all heard the term “the early bird gets the worm” or “eat the frog first” which means do the most important activity in real estate being prospecting early in the day because the longer we wait the higher the chance it doesn’t get done. We have all the distractions come at us as the day goes on and the chance of getting the prospecting done diminishes quickly. We have less distractions in the earlier part of all of our days in the office when almost no one is around and the phones have not started ringing.
3) Tough On Pricing Their Listings The top producer knows what to say and knows how to present the pricing with a seller and has the skill to take control and explain to the seller the importance of proper pricing. We have all heard the term “less is more” and with pricing the tougher we are on the price the more the seller will make if we are strategically able to create multiple offers from pricing their homes sharply. Don’t let the seller win the pricing debate and have the visuals and words to say when facing the pricing war with sellers.
4) Focus On The Appointment  The mindset of a top producer when they are prospecting is not ever on the leads and the amount of leads they can generate but their focus on the number of bona fide and qualified buyer and seller appointments they make. It is about the quality and not their lead quantity and will the buyer or seller appointment be with someone who is having to buy or sell in the nest 7 or 10 days. Get the appointments and not the leads because the appointments lead to sales presentations and getting them to sign the contract.
5) Track & Measure –  Knowing their numbers for everything they do in real estate is critical to their success. They know what they do well and what they do not do well. They know the best sources of where their business comes from. Their prospecting numbers, closing ratios and conversion rates of everything. This shows where they are improving and where they need improvement and the gaps and hole in their business from tracking and measuring constantly.
6) Review Their Business Plan They are always working with a business plan and reviewing their plan and constantly looking for ways to improve and tweak or fine tune the business plan. They are focused on their plan from their constant review of the plan and know what they need to be doing every day to accomplish their goals. Nothing is left to chance and there is never any guessing involved when you are following and reviewing a business plan for your real estate business.
7) Fanatical With Schedules

 

If you do not take control of your time, someone else or something else will. Time to a top producer is like water of oxygen and it is so precious. Time is always blocked for lead generation, prospecting, lead follow up, appointments, sales presentations, preparing and negotiating contracts which are all high dollar productive activities. They are intentional and almost fanatical with every minute of their day and know that dollar productive activities trump all.
8) Scripts, Dialogs & Sales Presentations Top producers are effective communicators and understand better than anyone what to say and how to say it when it comes to any buyer or seller situation they encounter. They practice over and over the right words to say and the right ways to say it and have the confidence in themselves and earn the trust and respect of others quicker because they have put the time in practicing and preparing for every situation they may face in real estate.
9) Standards   The minimum standards are set for everything they do in real estate. A minimum standard for number contacts they make. Minimum standard for number of sales and listings. They even have minimum standards for their buyer and seller sales presentations. This standards are set and never compromised they understand the how you do anything is how you do everything.
10) Don’t Get Emotionally Involved Last but not least we see that all top producers are so good at being charge neutral when it comes to any situation in real estate. They remind themselves that at the end of the day it is not their money and it is not their home and it is not their decision and don’t allow themselves to become emotionally involved in the transactions they are working on. Take it from a twenty plus year veteran this is so much easier said than done.

 

We have taken the time to look at the behaviors and habits of the top producer and I hope you can see what you are doing and what you are needing to do to take your real estate business to the next level.

Real Estate Financial Strategies 2016

After more than two decades in real estate I can honestly say the most important thing I learned in real estate was treating the financial side of the business better than any other area in real estate. It amazes me how many agents don’t have the financial end of real estate in order. Here are some of the most important strategies for your real estate business and the financial side that you should definitely put into place!

Separate business account from personal account. Agents must have their personal finances and their real estate finances separated. If yHow-To-Grow-Your-Savings-Account-2-e1427123042515ou own any business or franchise you cannot have your personal money and your business money flowing together in the same accounts. I have found having my personal finances going through one lending institution and my business finances going through another completely different lending institution allows me to keep them organized and identified on all of their different statements and paper work. Put your home finances and business finances in two separate banks.

1. Your Personal accounts and your business bank accounts should have separate chequing and saving accounts, separate line of credits preferably unsecured, separate overdrafts, separate physical cheques, separate credit cards preferably with air miles connected to them.
2. Take the time to write out all your monthly non-negotiable expenses for your personal expenses and your business expenses. Knowing what your monthly net is for your personal and business lives is so important when you need to determine what you need to make for your annual income each year. So many agents set their income goals each year and they are not even high enough to cover their personal and business expenses for the year. Another great tip if you can pay it off every month is to put all business and personal expenses through a travel credit card and build up travel points for an annual holiday flight each year.
3. At the beginning of each month sit down and write cheques for your personal expenses and business expenses and live the golden rule of paying yourself first. Imagine if you had cheques coming to you each month in real estate to pay for your personal and business expenses. The cheques will have a positive effect on you mentally and allow you to just focus on the important things now that the bills are met at the beginning of the month.
4. When you take any money personally always remit the tax owing on that amount to the government at the time the money is paid to you. I always paid the tax on the income I wrote myself personally so that come tax time the following year the taxes were paid and not having to play catch up or pay the penalties because the money was already spent
5. When your commission income comes into your business accounts try to build up monies in your business account and not tempt yourself with it in your personal accounts and spend your monies from business because you see it all the time and think it is there and you can spend it. I always left the funds in the business account and had control on my personal and business spending by having it sit in a separate account.
6. Choose a good and affordable accountant for your personal and business accounts that will do a good job on your reporting and filing each year. I have an amazing relationship with 2 outstanding accountants that I can just reach personally on their direct lines for quick advice and not have to pay an arm and a leg for quick simple advice
7. Take the time to find yourself a simple work at home bookkeeper as well to be able to take your receipts quarterly so it doesn’t get overwhelming dealing with one whole year. It is so tedious and time consuming doing the receipts and expense reporting when you could be out listing or selling a house. They put expenses into an excel or quick books report every three months for me and balance them with my bank statements and even pull out the HST for quarterly filing as well. It should be fairly inexpensive and quicker to do just a batch of 3 months’ worth of receipts and not the whole entire years’ worth.
8. The final strategy is to set a goal to live on 70% of your business income and save 10%, invest 10% and donate 10% ( just start with like 85% and 5%-5%-5% and create the habit. Have your bank auto withdraw the 5%-5%-5% into three other separate accounts within your business account to start building up your wealth within your business accounts. You then can use the savings for emergencies, invest in real estate or the markets and be able to give away a portion to make a difference in the world each year.
9. Be sure to check your tax rates for your state or province.  Here is a sample tax rate for the province of Ontario to help me determine what to submit to the government each month when taking money personally each month

5.05% on the first $41,536 of taxable income,
+9.15% on the next $41,539,
+11.16% on the next $66,925,
+12.16% on the next $70,000,
+13.16 % on the amount over $220,000

I trust that the financial officer role in your real estate business improves and this information helps you as much as it helped me in the past 2 decades in real estate. Make 2016 the year of profit and take control of your personal and business finances!

 

Low or No Cost Marketing Ideas in Real Estate for 2016

The financial burden on agents and their business is always a going concern as most of us feel like the costs of being in real estate just keep going up year after year.

“Always believe that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” – Abraham Lincoln

A new year has arrived and with it comes unlimited possibilities to grow our business and become even more successful Realtors. We also have an opportunity to look back on the previous months and consider the things that worked to propel us towards our goals, as well the initiatives that might have fallen flat.

Whatever your resolutions, one thing’s for certain when it comes to becoming the best agent you can be: you’ve got to be on top of your marketing game.

Whether you’re celebrating the completion of your first year as a Realtor, or coming up on a five-year anniversary, there’s always room for improvement.

So to get you started here are some must-have marketing ideas that will set you on the right track to make 2016 the best year yet!

Start with these 50 Quick Tips 

1. Touch up your Facebook Profile
2. Create an Royal LePage profile
3. Write 25 blog articles that address the common issues in real estate
4. Contribute occasionally to Local Blogs
5. Write the occasional long-form post on LinkedIn
6. Invest a percentage of each commission cheque into real estate marketing ideas that are producing leads for you
7. Comment on the top agent estate blog posts daily
8. Connect with all past clients, new leads, and other agents on LinkedIn
9. Sign-up for an image program like Big Stock that lets you download images for cheap everyday
10. Curate lists of popular or useful articles on your website to get the attention of publishers and help your visitors learn more
11. Install and monitor your Google Analytics
12. Use a tool like Agency Analytics to monitor your SEO rankings
13. Update your social media bios to really represent your brand
14. Study copywriting and then review the past 15 emails you’ve sent to leads. Are they attractive?
15. Sign-up for Meetup and start attending local group meetups
16. Create client testimonial videos
17. Find cheap local newsletters to display your branding in
18. Come up with a real estate team name, logo, slogan, and business card that are all in line with each other
19. Keep the same real estate domain name for the duration of your business
20. Strive to be interviewed on podcasts and YouTube channels, so that you can develop a brand that is bigger than yourself online
21. Host free seminars to help out home buyers at community centres
22. Take a course on getting your first 10,000 real estate website visitors
23. Take a course on setting up Google Ads
24. Study Inbound Marketing with Hubspot for Free
25. Setup your business on Yelp
26. Setup Hootsuite, Buffer, or Social Sprout to start managing your social media campaigns better
27. Research some basic SEO tips and setup a sitemap on your website for easy indexing
28. Add testimonials to your social media accounts
29. Create a list of Keywords that are relevant to you
30. Write out the top 10 negative emails or messages you get from clients. Then create a scripted response to them
31. Define your method for real estate photography
32. Set a goal of adding one new marketing method per month
33. Add local trade shows and networking events to your marketing calendar
34. Setup Google Drive, Evernote, or Dropbox with all the folders you need to keep yourself organized
35. Challenge yourself to learn one new thing about real estate law, sales, marketing, or transactions per day
36. Hand out 10 business cards everyday
37. Write handwritten notes to every client right after they move in
38. Write a free buyer guide to give away in exchange for contact information
39. Write a free seller guide to give away in exchange for contact information
40. Use Free home valuation tools to generate more seller leads
41. Target investors through developing useful information online for them and providing value through helpful emails
42. Use DocuSign or DotLoop to provide a better transaction experience to your clients
43. Install Google Analytics to understand where your website visitors and clients are coming from
44. Reach out to a local business you’ve worked with in the past for mutual marketing opportunities
45. Buy 3 past clients $5 Starbucks cards and include a small CTA for referrals or testimonials
46. Post an ad on Craigslist for a property you are listing
47. Put together a market research survey using free Google Forms and send it to past clients
48. Put together a research survey for people that didn’t hire you and send it out to them
49. Speak on a local radio show
50. Reach out to the neighborhood associations and find ways to get involved in neighborhoods you want to sell real estate in

 

So, what are you going to do first?

These marketing ideas are sometimes easy and other times challenging. Are you going to take the energy to execute  them today?

Before you go, take a few minutes to read through these last five ideas that cover email, web content, video, and social media marketing ideas.

Email Marketing

Real estate email marketing is all about the value proposition.

From your customers view point, your email has to make their job easier. It has to grab our attention, align with our interests, conform to our desires, and then tell us how to act.

The average time spent on each email is very short. It’s typically 15-20 seconds, according to marketingsherpa.com.

This means your email has to perk that attention and then drive home value very quickly.

Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to write great emails. I honestly believe that so many people are doing it poorly that you can easily make it a competitive advantage in your business.
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Here’s A Free Real Estate Email Marketing Template:

  • Attention Grabber Opening: State your clear and concise value proposition. It has to get their attention yet describe what you do honestly.
  • Custom Interest Poke: Social media makes this really easy. Perhaps you can add something from their Facebook or LinkedIn page that they posted recently. People love to hear about themselves. You’ll see a vast increase in the number of responses after you start customizing each email for the person.
  • Provide Value: Maybe these are links to blog articles that you KNOW help potential clients. Maybe it’s just a pdf attachment to help them buy/sell their house. Maybe it’s interesting information about the area they are interested in. Whatever your value is, it will help your email stand out. People will actually start saving your emails if you can provide something they cannot easily find elsewhere.
  • Call-to-action: Finally, don’t forget your call to action. Examples: “When are you interested in brainstorming ways to sell your property?” “You can reach me at [insert phone number]. I can’t wait to hear from you.” etc.

These email tips will help you sell more real estate. Although the game has changed a bit in the past few years, real estate email marketing is still the best way to stay in touch with clients. Now, you simply have to provide the most value to people in order to see the most return via email.

This is also a great time to talk about marketing automation. Software platforms and technologies that automate marketing will save you time and make your marketing more effective.

Right now, in the year 2016, it’s estimated that marketers (this means you too) are spending 50% or more of their time generating content and marketing automation is worth $5.5 billion, making automation marketing one of the top lead generation tactics.

 

Facebook Marketing

Instead of talking about social media marketing at large, I’m just going to focus on the platforms that you need to make sure you’re incorporating into your daily routine.

And Facebook is at the very top of that list.

Keep in mind that simply having a Facebook page and posting to it a few times a week isn’t enough. In fact, if you don’t utilize Facebook like the valuable real estate marketing resource it is, you’re wasting your time. And we simply cannot have that.

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So, here’s the deal.

The whole point of your real estate Facebook page should be “Give to Get.” You want to give 3 things to your audience before you ask for anything in return. Keep this principle in mind and you’ll see great success. For example, post 3 articles that genuinely help people buy or sell. Then ask for their business.

Also, when was the last time you actually updated your Facebook contact info? When you first create your Facebook page, you may be in a hurry and not completely fill out the contact info. Go check your page now and make sure it’s 100% accurate.

There are tons of fields you can fill out on the backside of your business page. The more you write there, the better!

While you’re at it, take just a few minutes to search for a Facebook group or two to participate in. Seriously. Don’t ignore Facebook groups! There are typically 30-40 active Facebook groups for every major city out there. Joint them and become part of the conversation.

Finally, did you know the average blog can convert 2-10% of its visitors into leads? You need a website that has fresh content written by you in order to fully use Facebook. Facebook is where you share your best articles. And then the traffic from Facebook turns into leads once they hit your blog.

The best thing you can use your real estate Facebook page for is promoting the content you write on your blog. Writing content is the #1 most effective way to get leads off of your website. Facebook ties directly into this. You can post all your content on your Facebook page. The blog gives you things to share and talk about with your followers. It also gives you another avenue for directly engaging with them.

Last thing, if you’ve already got your 2016 ad budget in place, I’m sure you’re curious about Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads For Real Estate are a great idea! They will get you tons of leads. While your monthly ad budget may end up costing as much as you paid for your license, it’ll soon start paying for itself.

Content Marketing (Your Blog!)

Seriously, it’s the year 2016. Your website needs a blog. 90% of all home buyers start their search online and pretty much 100% of them use online research methods throughout the process.

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And did you know that websites without a blog get 4-6 times less Google search engine traffic?

Just look at how much Zillow or Trulia invest in online content. They do it because it yields major results.

You simply need a website setup that you can post content to. And you need to have lead capture setup.

At this point, having a blog isn’t an option, it’s a requirement, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have options for how you create this content.

Try these tips if you don’t like writing:

1) Record video answers to common real estate questions and pay someone on Fiverr to transcribe them for you. This will give you high-quality video content and blog content in minutes!

2) Outsource the writing of blog content. While this isn’t my favorite, you can easily have someone create blog content for your business!

3) Leverage the power of others. Do you partner with lenders or companies? Ask them to contribute written blog content on a regular basis.

This is also an excellent time to consider how your website is performing via mobile.

This is not debatable in 2016. Emarketer suggests that the number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass 2 billion this year.

You’re really going to miss out on tons of leads should you not have a mobile real estate website.

Pinterest Marketing

Every Realtor should be on Pinterest. Seriously. If you want to grow the leads coming into business, Pinterest is really the way to go. The site sends more traffic to websites than Facebook and Twitter combined. And the average demographic on Pinterest has an annual 6-figure income. These are people you want to sell houses for.

Here’s the data from analytics.pinterest.com for a Realtor who just started using Pinterest:

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Pinterest is thriving right now and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s projected to thrive even more in 2016. And it’s literally the best place to spend your time and energy. This network was made to drive traffic to websites. It literally only takes 2 clicks on a picture to end up on your real estate website. That’s amazing!

Most social networks try to keep people on their website and away from yours!
This just isn’t true with Pinterest. And because of that it’s a great way to capture leads.

Video Marketing

Did you know that listings using real estate video marketing tactics receive 403% more inquiries than those that don’t?

That’s a lot more potential buyers!

Plus, video can increase the understanding of your value proposition by 74%!

All this means one thing:

You need to be making videos!

Here’s a great outline to follow when doing real estate video marketing:

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Video production can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Your main priority is simply to be helpful. You don’t need a Go Pro or Canon EOS Rebel (at least not yet) to make effective, quality content that will actually help your viewers.

So grab your android, iPhone or iMac–you can even record and upload a video from your webcam, or create a photo slideshow– and commit to creating your first video today!

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Too often I see an agent pick up a marketing idea…take it for a test drive. And then stop. That’s not how marketing works! Marketing works over time…with dedication to making the idea more effective. Because marketing is best done over the long haul. It’s a long-term game.

Stick with it and I promise that if you execute on these ideas you will see results! And, they’re essentially cost-free. So really, what’ve you got to lose?

I’d love to hear what marketing ideas you’re loving this year. Let’s chat in the comments!

 

2016 Realtor Success Formula

This is the time of year for all of us to take time to reflect where we have been, where we are at and where we are going with our real estate businesses. Success means different things for all of us and it is something we attract in our lives. Proper planning is key for our success as it does not just happen to us on its own. I would like to share with you, some great ideas by Alicia Matheson an ex Disney institute expert.

So what is the formula for success in real estate? Let’s look at this formula and then break down each piece to the success formula and how you can apply it not just to your professional life but to your personal life as well.

Right Attitude + Right Purpose + Right Plan = Real Estate Success.

Royal LePage RCR Bolton 2016We know that having the right attitude without the purpose and plan does not alone bring us the success. I can have a super positive person with the most amazing attitude but if that person is an idiot then all we have is just a motivated idiot and not a successful agent, right? The essence of the right attitude is what is below the surface? What is at your core? What is your self talk like? What is the little voice inside saying to you all the time? Is it saying “I am enough… I am loved… I am more than ok because God doesn’t make junk?” Here are some great strategies for creating that right attitude. Having a morning ritual of proper breathing, gratitude, affirmations, prayer, meditation and 15 minutes of good reading content. Try creating your own ritual and choosing the right daily attitude for you.

Our values = our purpose. It is the reason why we do what we do. How it makes us feel. What is your legacy? What do you want them to say when your movie has ended and the credits are rolling? I get the greatest joy from impacting and improving others lives personally and professionally every day. Real estate is just the vehicle that allows me to do this. What gives you your greatest joy and how does your real estate business allow you to do express those things?

Without implementation and execution do we really accomplish anything? What is your 2016 plan of action? What are you going to do different this year? What will you stop? What will you start? What will you continue and then some? Create an Action Plan Using These Questions:

  • What one ritual will I implement in this year?
  • What new knowledge will I acquire?
  • How will I grow my business?
  • What will I focus on?
  • What is my mission? Purpose?
  • How will I measure and celebrate my success?
  • How will I help others achieve their goals?

I trust this formula will help with your plan for 2016 and help you  begin this year with passion and direction.

 

Converting to the Sit down…

Our emphasis on lead generation for real estate agents the last decade has really created an epidemic for the industry. We can just buy leads now and make it rain if we want, so having the skills and the ability to convert the lead to an appointment isn’t that important any more because we just buy another lead!

Isn’t it time for our agents to develop their appointment conversion skills and get the client to want to sit down and meet with them and close for the appointment?

It is great that lead generation is readily available to agents, at a hefty price I might add but all those leads and no buyer and seller appointments still doesn’t pay the bills at home or create the lifestyle an agent is looking for. So, here is a strategy I feel helps an agent convert more appointments and create the desire for a client to want to sit down for the appointment.

1) Start by writing out the current challenges, problems and fears a buyer in your current market is having. Then do the same by writing out the challenges, problems and fears a seller is having in your current market.

2) Ask appointment engaging questions specifically addressing the buyer and sellers challenges and fears.

  • Out of curiosity are you folks having a difficult time finding what you are looking for?
    • Are you folks looking for a deal or a home? Their is a difference you know.
    • Do the homes you have found have offers on them or have sold already?
    • Have you tried to buy without having your existing home sold?
    • Have you been in a multiple offer situation or lost in a multiple offer?
    • Are you concerned you will list your home and it will sell and leave you homeless?
    • Are you relying on traditional sources for listings that all have a 24 to 72 hour delay getting to you?
    • Are you subscribed to an automatic listing alert system that notifies you when something like what your want hits the MLS system?

3) These questions help the buyer and seller discover their fears and challenges in today’s market.

This also makes them feel like you know what they are feeling and experiencing which will cause them to want to speak with you more! “This agent knows what we are facing and seems to get us… Not just asking me about my money and if I am preapproved!”

4) Close for the appointment! “I have a direct client program that offers solutions to these current firsttime-buyers-mortgagemarket challenges… I would love to meet with you and share them all. Would today at 4pm work or tomorrow at 2pm be better?”

If people can feel like you really understand them, the market, their fears and the challenges they face and that you have a solution for them, why would they not want to meet with you? What’s the worse thing that could happen other than they learn something they didn’t know.

Try this appointment converting strategy and start converting more appointments. The appointments in real estate really are where the money is!!

 

The Lost Art in Real Estate Sales – The Hand Written Note

Discover the Impact of Personal Hand Written Notes.

I was reminded so many times the last week or two about the powerful impact a personal hand written note has on people.

Someone once said “Short handwritten notes yield long results”… Why has something that was effectively done consistently by generations before us become a forgotten art?

Personal gestures are meaningful and memorable and right at the top of personal gestures sit hand written notes.

Always send a card or note when you are reminded of a person. So many sales professionals including myself think right away well that sounds nice, but I am too busy.images (1)

“Why write a personal hand written note when I can send hundreds of emails and texts each day or better yet just tweet something on twitter or type up a Facebook post…

Personal handwritten notes are something my parents, grandparents and generations before would do. You want me to take the time to start writing personal hand written notes?”

You bet I do!

For years I’ve been asked what are some of the most inexpensive and highest ROI marketing strategies in real estate sales and I always place at the top of the list the personal hand written note.

A personal note deepens a relationship with a client every time.

They are always read.

Just try not opening one or try just tossing one into the garbage without reading it.

They gift someone your time, your most precious commodity.

Because they take time, they show people you care and leave a lingering impact or what I like to call “a sweet after taste” with your clients.

So many times I have had people call me and say something like “Frank I got your note today. Wow, you don’t have any idea how incredible your timing was with your note, I really needed that, thank you.”

Knowing I had that kind of impact on someone’s day never gets old!

This is one activity technology cannot replace because of the gesture, courtesy and professionalism a personal note has. In business, we begin with an idea but we thrive in business from great relationships.

Here is a list of activities/events that can inspire you to write and send a personal hand written note. Build the habit by doing it daily and watch what it does for others but more important what it does for you, your personal and professional life.

  • Phone call
  • Meeting someone
  • Coffee, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • After receiving a gift
  • After receiving a referral
  • After receiving good service
  • Just because
  • Thinking of you
  • Prior to appointment
  • After an appointment
  • Get well
  • Sympathy
  • Event
  • Celebrations
  • Service providers (lender, inspector, etc.)
  • During a listing
  • During a buying experience
  • Subject removal
  • Opening escrow
  • Sale completion
  • Escrow
  • The other agent

Here are a few note dialogs to really get you started.

“Dear Client, Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed meeting you today. I am excited to have you part of my client community and looking forward to many years of serving you. All the best, Agent.”

“Dear Client, Thank you very much for the referral to John and Kathy. You can be certain I will give them excellent service. Your trust in me is greatly appreciated. All the best, Agent.”

“Dear Waitress, thanks for the amazing service and smile today. You made my day and must really love what you do. All the best, Agent.”

“Dear Client, it was great talking with you today. I am glad you found great value in the information that I provided. Please call if you have any more questions or concerns. All the Best, Agent.”

HANDWRITTENLETTERANDPENWell there you have it. Something so special as your own handwriting is almost as unique as your own DNA.

It takes a little more effort to write a note rather than an email, text or tweet BUT…

Your clients never get notes like they get an email, text or social message.

Statistics say only about 3% of postal mail is ever personal and the rest is junk, business or bills.

The combination of your valuable time, effort, stamp and your thoughtful message all carry an incredible VALUE that is truly lost with technology.

I encourage you all this week to embrace the classic personal note and see what it will do for others and for you and your business.

 

Top Reasons to List – Buy/Sell over the Winter

We’ve all heard many excuses why home owners/buyers want to wait till spring to make a move in real estate.

The fact of the matter is, the excuses are endless so it’s our job as REALTORS® to be equipped with facts and a strong reality check to combat these reasons we hear everyday.

To help you through the winter season I put together some of the top reasons a client would want to choose this time of year to buy, sell or list a home.

Top Reasons to Sell Real Estate over the Winter

  #1 – Serious Buyers
• Yes there are fewer buyers, but those buyers are usually very SERIOUS about making a purchase or many HAVE to make a purchase.

#2 – Less Competition
• Most sellers wait until the spring or summer to list, so your home will have far less competition
• Spring = Greater supply = Same Demand = Less Money

#3 – January is the Biggest Transfer Month
• More corporate relocation moves happen during January than any other time of the year.
• Catch the corporate relocation buyers

#4 – High Attentive Efficient Service
• By putting the home on the market during the winter you experience better, personal and faster customer service from movers, lawyers, banks, insurance providers etc.

#5 – More Time to Get Top Dollar
• By starting to market your home early, you may be able to secure a higher price with more listing exposure time.

#6 – Time to Shop
• If your home sells quickly, you will be able to shop for your next home during the winter, a great time to find a bargain!
• More time to look and not pressure to shop and beat the other buyers.

#7 – More Advertising Punch
• Most REALTORS® and offices have less inventory during the winter, enabling your home to stand out even more.
• Less marketing noise out there for the buyers and they see your home with ease now.

#8 – The Inexpensive Money
• Today’s interest rates are still some of the lowest in history. This gives buyers more spending power and increases your buyer pool
• When shopping for your next home, you can benefit from the low interest on your new mortgage.

#9 – 20% of Homes Sold During the Winter
• Buyers and Sellers are usually quite motivated to get the transaction completed.
• This can mean less price haggling and fewer hassles during the process.

#10 – Non-Contingent Buying
• By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the spring, when more houses are on the market!
• Less “subject to the sale” offers from buyers and you are not one of them when you are buying your next home.

#11 – No Yard Work
• Great time for a home that needs a yard make over to sell.
• No need to worry about your yard work. Snow makes it look fresh and white.

#12 – Buyers Are Searching
• Buyers begin the search and purchase for spring moves in January, February.
• Busy move times are March Spring Break, April Easter and May long weekend

#13 – No Pricing Games
• Less choice for buyers means less sellers to play pricing against each other
• Buyers will often make more concession in their buying decision with less choice

#14 – Show Time
• Property shows well, almost staged with holiday décor adding to the ambiance
• Tis the season for your home to shine!

#15 – Quality Showings
• Little chance of quick showings and not being prepared to show your home
• Easier time of year to make appointments and give sellers advance notice.
• Higher quality showings

#16 – Right Buyer, Right Time
• The odds are the same for the right buyer looking at your home regardless of the season.
• Right buyer, right time, right home

 Top Reasons to Buy Real Estate over the Winter

 #1 – Competing Offers
• Little or no chance of multiple or competing offers for the buyer

#2 – Service
• Better service from all service providers like the agents, banks, insurers etc. Not as busy now.

#3 – Motivation
• Sellers motivated at this time of year if still trying to sell from summer or fall.

#4 – Negotiation
• Sellers willing to negotiate, been on the market for some time now. Give and take.

#5 – Expired
• Buyers can shop the expired listings market, which has the largest selection this time of the year.

#6 – Closing Options
• Good time of year to make an offer and do the due diligence, buyers can move quickly now or slower in the spring if not in a rush.

#7 – Housing Options
• Easier for sellers to find alternative housing, not as much pressure finding a rental vs. the really busy spring and summer season.

#8 – Subject to the Sale
• Great time for buyers to make contingent “Subject to the Sale” offers and get them accepted and movement on the price.

#9 – Moving Services
• Easier time for a buyer to move and find help and services like movers, cleaners, storage.

#10 – Completions
• Better timing for buyers on completions with lawyers, banks land registry. Not that busy and time to attend to you now.

#11 – Competition
• Less competition for the same property from other buyers on the deals that pop up this time of year.

Now that you’re equipped with ammo to overcome any objection, go out there and list and sell some real estate this winter season.

 

How to Create that Perfect Week in Real Estate

Scheduling a Balanced Week as a Realtor is Vital to Your Success

How important is it taking a blank week schedule template with the days of the week running across the top and the time of day from 5 am to 10 pm running down the side and scheduling that perfect week?

We all have heard the advice “finish your week before it begins” and “time block” and “planning is important” but so few people actually take the time to design the perfect week before it even begins.

The fact that no two days in real estate are alike is a blessing and a curse for agents. We feed off the excitement but also get off track from the distraction of this type of business.

So, what’s the best way to stay focused and achieve the highest results while juggling the demands of our personal and business lives?

It is to create and follow a predetermined, detailed scheduled course of action and stick to it!

Routine, schedules and habits minimize the decisions we have to make each day and the fewer the decisions we have to make the better we do in business and life.

You probably don’t think you can follow a schedule or routine but you would be surprised how much you already do. Take brushing your teeth, combing your hair and the things you eat are all things just in the morning you do the same way over and over.

 

clouds_dream-1483097 1.     Define Your Why? – What is the biggest reason for doing what you do for a profession? What is the one thing you love that gives you purpose in what you do? What are the dreams and goals that drive you to go to work every day? Take the time to define your purpose… your why… your dreams and your desires in life and clearly write them down first. Doing this step helps insure the most important things to you get proper placement on your schedule.
tumblr_ly2c8jmxum1r4dfvho1_500 2.     Then take your schedule and begin with time for YOU – In order for you to be good for others you need to be good yourself. Take time to read, rest, listen, exercise, have fun including holidays and traveling and enjoy your closest friends and family members each day and week into your schedule first. Who? What? Why? What are the things that make you better physically, mentally and spiritually? Schedule them first!
what_should_i_say 3.     Learn what to say and how to say it – So many new agents don’t know what to say and how to say it and so many top producing agents have forgotten what they learned to say and how to say it in this business. Schedule 30 minutes a day and review your presentations, dialogs, objections and really internalize them to be that effective and engaging communicator. It can be as simple as what you say and how you say it when calling a past client. “Hi this is ________ calling form ____________ realty how are you today? This is a business call. Of all the people you know who do you think will be buying or selling next?” Obviously you need to add the personal relational dialog to it but really think how important it is to know how to ask for the business? This simple practice will give you confidence and help refine your customer dialogue to peak efficiency.
prospecting (1) 4.     Prospecting and Lead Generation time – Now that you are warmed up by taking 30 minutes to become a better communicator you are ready for lead gen. Blocking at least 2 hours a day for prospecting and lead generation is critical to any real estate agents success. This is face to face or voice to voice activities or personal hand written notes that will create listing and buying appointments for you and your business. We all know if you don’t take the time first thing in the morning to practice the communication and to prospect and lead generate first thing in your day, there is always someone or something else that will rob you of your day and it will never get done.
download 5.     Schedule your appointments for buyers and sellers – We need to be scheduling appointments in real estate. When are you at your best? Morning? Afternoon? Evening? To be able to engage and effectively convert those buyer and seller appointments into listing and buyer agreements. The successful appointment is the appointment that leads to written agreements like listing and purchase contracts which is the reason behind the appointment.
Do-doing-done 6.     Schedule time to work on your business – Prioritize your activities with a simple system like a “To Do – Doing and Done” board to visually see where you are at and choose what is important and priority when it is written out in front of you. Take 3 white boards and place them on your office wall. To Do. Doing and Done on each of the white boards in your office. This simple system keeps you on task and get the things that are important done first!
3-d 7.     Always use the 3D test – Everything you do and schedule always ask yourself is this the best thing form me to DO? For me to Delegate? Or for me to just Dump because it is just not priority or important enough?

 

When agents have a clear, scheduled detailed plan of what the ideal week personally and professionally looks like and is clearly defined and laid out for them each week they eliminate the decisions, guessing and know the importance of what actions are priority to them personally and professionally.

Eliminate the “chaos” of real estate and life and have a clear picture of what it is you want and what it is you need to do and when to do it to accomplish that dream of living the good life.

I have attached a blank template for you to begin creating your own perfect week… follow the steps I suggest when you fill in the slots and I trust you will start living the life you were meant to live in real estate and life.

Click here to Download a Blank Spreadsheet

Fantastic Four of Real Estate

I came across an agent recently who’s stress and frustration was just mounting as nothing seemed to be working for him and he felt completely overwhelmed. I sat and quietly listened and then asked him this very important question.

“If it were a matter of life or death and you needed to make some money in real estate today, what would you do? “

fantastic-four-real-estateI believe there is literally only 4 things an agent can do to get paid today. I mean right here, right now get paid and make a sale today, there is only 4 things. We are bombarded by so many different things in our industry and need to get back to the simple basics and focus on
the Fantastic Four in real estate every day. So here they are…..

 (1) 1) Take a saleable listing – Where do we go and who do we talk to in order to find a saleable listing that would help me get paid today? Think of the listing strategies that would have the highest chance of taking a listing and tackle those first. I would suggest, for sale by owner or a personal referral through my sphere of influence would be my top 3.
 (2) 2) Take a price reduction – Repositioning a property and its price would be a powerful way of creating a sale for any agent today. We have these clients already wanting to sell and under contract with us, but are we counselling them and using our skills to reposition their price and create a sale?
 (3) 3) Create a buying opportunity – It amazes me how many agents don’t know the hottest buys in all the different areas. The Best Buy for a first time buyer, move up buyer, investor and more. Find the buying opportunities in your market and then tell the world!!! Text, email, call or post on social media the best buying opportunities in your market place and create vs. wait for a sale today!
 (4) 4) Touch your centre of influence – Contact the people who know, like and trust you and focus on creating a real estate referral for a buyer and seller today. People love to help people they like, trust and know. “Of all the people you know, who do you think will be buying or selling next?”So there you have it. The simplest most powerful ways to get paid today in real estate today. I trust you focus on the Fantastic Four every day in real estate and don’t be swayed and bombarded by all the other things agents do in real estate, just keep it simple and get paid today!