Now that’s scary! Make it a great week! We’re here if you need anything!
Now that’s scary! Make it a great week! We’re here if you need anything!
In Step With Career Agent Leonard Giarrano
by Julie Escobar
One of my dear friends in this business is a fellow by the name of Len Giarrano. We met in New York years ago and he’s just the kind of businessman you want to pull up a chair next to and let his wisdom and sage advice wash over you. He was kind enough to share some of his insights with our readers.
Here’s a little of what we learned:
Q: Thank you, you my friend. Can you start by telling us a little about you?
A: My name is Leonard Giarrano. I started my career as a Hotel and Restaurant major, part-time community college restaurant management and marketing teacher. I found myself wanting a career and practice that I could help facilitate the interests of others like my Dad in his law practice. At the same time, I wanted a vehicle to develop my own personal wealth. Creating Wealth by author Robert Allen inspired me with its promised nuts and bolts of real estate for building wealth. And that led me to real estate, and I’ve never looked back.
Q: Most agents coming out of real estate school have high aspirations and goals, but lack clear direction on how to even get started. What would your top three pieces of advice be to head them in the right direction?
A: The master appeared as this student was ready. I found a real estate office that had a spaced-training program that had recipes that I could apply myself to and get the foundation of listing and selling real estate in a defined area. Emphasis on a planned listing presentation chalk full of quality service techniques far and above the efforts of other agents. You are going to WOW them with crisp, prepared professional presentation. Get high-quality business cards.
Q: What common misconception do you think most agents have in terms of making it in today’s market and what myth-buster would you share with them?
A: Bottom line? Real estate is about relationships and listings are (and always have been) the name of the game. Read Robert Allen’s book Creating Wealth, for some sound fundamentals. Also, note that buyers will come as you build a practice from listings. Inspect what you expect as product knowledge is the fuel for confidence.
Q: Building a Book of Business is one of the smartest things an agent can do, yet so many agents instead continuously “chase new business”. What advice do you have for building a strong sphere of influence?
A: Get a personal core list of people you know and could pop by to say hello to for referral. You will need an annual calendar and thank you notes. Start a geographic community to focus on. Find an active market in both price point and volume as an area to focus your efforts. There is a seller in that enclave that needs the services of a professional agent. A printed listing presentation that you share at the seller’s kitchen table with visual support materials will walk the conversation towards your representation. Raising the seller’s consciousness to the task ahead builds the needs of your service. I am happy to share my 25-point listing presentation with anyone who asks.
Q: That’s generous Len! Prospecting is a crucial component for agents (new and experienced) – what tips would you give someone new to the process?
A: Get a foothold, identify an active real estate community of homes as a farm. Take a six-month snapshot of homes available listed and inspect those. What is in-contract and 180 days sold? Find an office agent that has a listing there. Volunteer to run two weekends of open house. Send a mailing campaign to invite people to the open house. Hand write an invitation to the immediate neighbors. Develop a thick flyer to show your effort far and above the other local agents’ handouts. Buy 110-pound paper stock for 1st page of the flyer. Next, 28 or 32-pound paper for remaining pages. Buy a tri-level clear plastic flier rack. Up front is the thick flier, next fliers on area info, schools, shopping etc. last and not least have pre-printed contracts (full price filled in) and all disclosures high-lighted printed on 28 or 32-pound stock. Snacks and bottled water for the open house and York Peppermint individual wrapped candies add a great finishing touch. Collect as much information as you can and be sure to add those folks to your new database so that you can continually stay in touch.
Q: Follow up is where a lot of agents fall short. Do you have any strategies for helping agents get over the fear of the phone and following up?
A: I’m old school, so my first inclination is to say watch an old episode of Columbo. He was a master at follow up! Or just always look for something that is a fair trade item to get back in touch with all that you meet. Example, you can offer entry to a drawing, local school information, a free survey, market analysis, home component content such as tips for their HVAC or even their home tech system. Local restaurants and businesses can even supply you with coupons to send. The key word is communication Share the item with an “As Promised” message which subliminally lets them know that you keep your promises
Q: Any business planning tips that you think would be important to share?
A: Schedule your prospecting and personal time off. Early to bed and early am with some exercise, all in writing and in an obvious space for your and those that are part of your efforts to see what is on the menu for your shared success. I’ve also had great success with local small builders.
Q: What are the top 5 tools or sites that you would recommend to new agents just starting to build their business and marketing platforms?
A: Professional dress appropriate to climate, polished shoes, pressed clothing. Gals dress carefully look up Barnard University, a collegial fashion. Dress for success is a great primer. Equipment: Black or cordovan color, leather or vinyl letter or legal pad with pocket. Silver or chrome ballpoint pen, 25’ tape measure. Three-ring notebook with divides (three-hole punch). Dividers define priorities, year, month, at a glance, one-page worksheet for each day as a day planner. Next section seller leads, next section buyer registrations other sections to organize activities. This book is your office. Two-hole punch and file folders with two dividers for your listings. Start a file on serious leads gives you an assumption to the listing.
Q: Any last bits of advice for agents to take to heart?
A: This exciting and rewarding career is a practice so crush the fundamentals, own them. Invest in real estate to build your pension and retirement. You are ten years to a net worth of a million.
Q: How can our reader’s best connect with you to share their success and referrals?
A: Direct 941-724-0690, text to see if I can spare a conversation with you and give you the attention you need, e-mail an outline of questions you wish me to discuss with you. Leonard Giarrano, Associate Broker, RE/MAX Alliance Group, or email me at LVGiarrano@hotmail.com.
Things are hopping out there in today’s market! And that’s great news, but the savvy agent leaves nothing to chance when it comes to their long-range strategies for finding, nurturing, and KEEPING new customers.
However you are generating business leads, whether by referral, website, blog, social media, SMS or pay-per-lead services, unless you USE them, well, unfortunately, you’re fairly likely to LOSE them. Our market is the perfect storm for lead loss. Why? Simple — with reduced patience and the insistence of a higher level of service, consumers are no longer willing to accept “good” or “good enough.” They know that competition is fierce and they know more (thank you Mr. Internet and Ms. Media) and expect more than they ever have in the past. So how are you going to project your business in the eyes and minds of your leads and current customers?
Let’s take a look at some ways you can turn “good or good enough” into “the right person for the job” in their minds…
1. It’s about CONSISTENCY. It starts with a desire to consistently stay in contact with a lead, whether self-generated or purchased until it results in a transaction. Sound easy? It’s not; it takes a carefully crafted system, creative marketing and a lot of patience. Consider an internet lead first. It may have potential, but more often than not, it’s not really a “done deal” now is it? Some are just curious about their market. Others are simply seeing what they might sell their home for today. Still others may not be ready to transact for years. However, by connecting with these possible buyers and sellers month after month you incubate or “warm the lead” until that consumer feels comfortable enough to reach out for your answers and trust you enough to do business with them.
2. Speak their language. Stop talking to consumers as if they are all the same. Sellers want to know what it means to their financial bottom line if they sold their house, what the process is, how long it would take, and the big question for many–what will you do differently than everyone else? Buyers want to know how to get the most house for their money, what their financial options are, and where they can get their down payment.
3. Make it about THEM. The stats are in your favor if you take the time or put systems in place to make sure you are CONSISTENTLY sharing viable, valuable information, staying in touch and putting service first week after week via social media and month after month via additional means such as enewsletters, direct response postcards, etc. then you will continuously grow your referral base. Think about it from the perspective of your lead. How valued would that make you feel? How many of your competitors are they likely to hear from with the same careful attention? Not many, I venture to say.
Salespeople are historically poor at this necessary component which is probably why the top producers are such a small percentile. Change your thought process (and your presentation) to be not just a real estate expert but a marketing expert as well. It’s a mindset that will serve you well. Capture the series of messages you want to convey each month or tap into a ready-made system such as our enewsletters, to ensure that the process is consistent and efficient. While taking that step may seem daunting to you now, what it will mean to your bottom line and your career longevity are enormous.
4. Patience is a virtue. Most lead incubation strategies are not overnight successes. That’s why they’re leads and not customers! Put in the time, make the effort and stick with it! The rewards are great, and with a terrific system, the work is little. Make it part of your overall marketing plan. Use it to show sellers how actively and diligently you work to find the right buyer for their home. Use it with buyers to let them know how vigorously you are searching for the right home for them. Use it, to keep your pipeline consistently full as you “turn up the heat” on your “warm” incubated leads as you continue to add new “cold” leads to your powerful system.
Hopefully you picked up a few ideas or at least a better understanding of what lead incubation has to offer. It keeps your pipeline fresh while you stay focused on prospecting, presentation and closing! Good luck to you and please, contact us should you have any questions on this or additional products and services. We’re passionate about your success.
By Julie Escobar
Networking in our business is a powerful thing – not only to continuously grow as a professional, but for the ability to connect with some very cool people. I was fortunate in the last week to touch base with one of my favorite agents to follow online Keith Grogan. He recently shared some valuable tips for agents about the real importance of nurturing those valuable agent-to-agent referral relationships – and how many agents fall short. It was timely and on-point, and he was gracious enough to sit down for an interview to share his experience. Here’s an excerpt from our interview:
Q: First of all Keith – thanks so much for taking your time to share with our readers! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A: I spent twenty-four years in sales management with consumer product companies, managing both regional and national sales forces with a constant focus on team building. When I grew weary of spending all of my time on the road, I sought a second career, one that would require little or no airplane travel. After serious consideration, I found that real estate would provide the most opportunity and I loved the concept of being in control of my income knowing that the harder that I worked, the more that I would make. What a great concept! Sixteen years ago, I partnered with one of Atlanta’s premier agents, Marsha Sell, who is now in her 43rd year of selling Atlanta real estate. We have a team that support our efforts and we cover Atlanta and the northern suburbs.
Q: Your recent online advice to agents on why it’s SO important to build a strong referral network was on point — and so timely. Can you share your thoughts on that with us?
A: My business partner began building her network throughout the country years ago when most agents were only looking for ways to gain more exposure for their listings. Our referral base has enabled us to avoid the peaks and valleys that many agents experience because we have a good flow of referrals coming in throughout the year.
I see many, many agents who are so focused on the short term and get so wrapped up in each transaction and making sure that they get paid that they simply never consider the referral potential nor are they adept at knowing how and when to ask for referrals.
Q: Too often agents are unresponsive, or unreliable when it comes to managing referrals and leads that come their way — can you share how you feel they are missing a big component of their business by doing this?
A: Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to place more outgoing referrals than in any year in the past ten years and I have been absolutely shocked at how difficult it is to place most of these referrals. In a huge percentage of the cases, it was nearly impossible to even reach the agent. More shocking to me was that, once I did reach the agents, most of them sounded as if they weren’t too sure that they wanted to take a referral at the time. I guess that they just had all the business that they wanted!
Of the referrals that were placed last year, I only received updates throughout the process from two or three agents. If you are trusting a client, a friend, or a family member with an agent in another area, you would think that just common courtesy would dictate that they would at least update the referring agent on date of contact, date of first meeting, time frame for purchase/listing, progress reports, purchase notification, and confirmation of closing. To me, that seems very basic but, sadly, that is not being done.
When I find an agent who is enthusiastic about a referral and who communicates effectively, I look for opportunities to give more referrals to that agent.
Q: You have a LOT of social media fans for your terrific sense of humor and terrific posts. You shared with me why you made the shift to humor – can you share that with the readers?
A: I had volumes of inspirational and motivational quotes and cartoons that I accumulated and used often during my years in sales management. In my early days on social media, I posted only inspirational, motivational, and informational posts. When the market changed a few years ago, I realized that most of my Realtor friends throughout the country were trying to stay afloat in uncharted waters and nobody was having much fun. I decided to shift the focus of my posts and, since that time, my goal is to bring a smile to at least one Realtor’s face every day.
Q: I’d say you succeed in that goal every day Keith! Now, if you had to give your best piece of advice to a new or experienced agent in today’s market – what would it be?
A: Build your database, maintain your database, and work your database. The longer that you are in this business, the more of your business will come from your database. When you work your database and communicate properly with your database and sphere of influence, you can reach a point where you find that you are getting more clients, more listings, and making more money and you will find that you are working less to secure new business.
Q: How can readers connect with you?
A: Keith Grogan, The Sell Team, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage,
Awesome stuff Keith – thank you so much for your insights and ideas. You are a terrific example of professionalism and high standards in our business – and one heck of a funny guy to follow! If you haven’t connected yet with Keith, follow his Facebook page today. He’s always on point! While you’re at it, be sure to connect with us there as well!
Being a PROFITABLE SALES AGENT means doing things sometimes in unexpected ways. It means staying in touch. It means developing those powerful relationships with other agents that will earn you a great reputation – and bottom line referrals. Want to learn more about being a strong agent? Stay tuned right here and become a Profitable Agent Member Today! Join in the month of February and take 50% off your membership with the coupon code 50OFF!
The topic of safety came up again this month, as I imagine it does all the time for agents all over the globe. I was hearing a lot of rumblings from agents who were not taking as many precautions as they maybe should be for fear of meeting resistance from their sellers and buyers. That’s scary! There are ways to present safety precautions in a professional way, and I wanted to dive a little more into the topic. Fortunately, I was able to turn to my social media friend Barb Erdmier to look to for some real-world answers. She’s a powerhouse agent with a track record for excellence – and an eye for what it takes to keep agents – and clients safe in today’s often uncertain world.
We’re grateful for her insights! Here’s an excerpt from our interview…
Q: Barb, personal and property safety is paramount for both consumers and agents these days. What would you say are the top four ways that agents keep home sellers and buyers physically SAFE during the listing process and how?
A: In regards to physical safety for sellers, I would have to say elimination of having open houses is paramount to safety. I explain to my sellers the reason I do not like having homes open is that we have no idea who the people are that are coming in. Nor, what their intentions are. Could be innocent or could be harmful. I inform my sellers to check windows and doors after private showings as well just to be sure all are locked. I also am finding shoppers ringing doorbells to ask sellers to view properties. I inform sellers to ask shoppers to contact me and to not let anyone into their home without an appointment. Sellers need to put all prescription medications and financial documents away during showings as well.
As for the physical safety of buyers? I would have to say top one would be to not visit properties without an appointment. It’s trespassing and they could be arrested. Also, some homeowners have aggressive dogs that must be removed prior to showings that could be wandering around outside. Seeing the property during daylight hours is always a good idea to avoid tripping and falling due to darkness.
Q: How do they keep buyers and sellers financially safe?
A: Sellers need to keep financial docs out of sight. Bank statements, pay stubs, checks, credit cards, tax returns, etc. Buyers need to work with a lender they can trust. Either recommended by their agent or family member.
Q: Do you include that kind of information in your pre-listing and/or listing presentations?
A: Most definitely.
Q: What extra precautions do you share with your colleagues in the industry to help them be safer in today’s world?
A: There are a ton of safety apps available for smart phones. Agent Safe, Personal Safety, Safer Showings, Real Agent Guard. Meeting a new client? Always get them in the office first. If that cannot happen, take a spouse, co-worker, or friend with you as an added precaution.
Q: I spoke with my brother recently who is a retired homicide policeman and he said one of the most important things people can do is to listen to their intuition. If that have that ‘feeling’ that something is off – to be on high alert or walk away. Developing that extra sense can be a saving grace. Your thoughts on that?
A: Oh heavens yes. On more than one occasion I have brought a man with me on a showing for a new client, only to have the buyer not show up. I’m thinking they drove by and saw me with a large male and kept on driving. If for some reason I am by myself, I take a picture of the license plates of the buyer and send to my husband. I let the buyer know what I have done this as well so they know that they are being “tracked” if I may end up missing. My husband has full access to my showing schedule as does my office and assistant.
Q: Any last words of advice for either consumers or agents — or both?
A: The selling/buying of a home is an exciting time for all parties. Just keep your guard up and be aware of surroundings at all times.
Q: How can our readers connect with you?
A: Sure, I can be reached on my cell at 815-222-8866 or via Email at
Thanks so much Barb! Your insights are awesome. Bottom line? Safety is a priority for you and your clients. Never miss an opportunity to go the extra step or to listen to your gut. Stay safe friends and let us know your thoughts!
by Real Estate Coach Judy LaDeur
If you are looking to build a referral based business, it starts with the very first contact. Every person that you meet is a potential client, even if they currently know another agent. I always ask everyone that I meet if I can send them my homeowner tips and ideas each month. They rarely say no. A NAR survey showed that 87% of all homeowners surveyed were happy with their agent and would use that agent again IF they could remember their name! That’s sad but true. I would say that 9 out of 10 times that I ask someone that I meet who sold them their home, I get the same response. They were really nice, but just can’t remember who they are. I have found that repetition of marketing materials, combined with personal contact, is the #1 thing that you can do as an agent to not only have those you know do business with you, but it’s also a great source of ongoing referrals.
When I started in the business, many years ago, I was “thrown in” and told to “hit the phones”. No one told me what to say or what to do. That has changed, and today’s agents have more training than ever before. Here’s the million dollar question. If there is more training today than ever, why are so many agents still struggling to earn a living? Perhaps they are not doing the basics. This is a contact business, and if you are not selling or listing a home, you should be looking for someone who wants to sell or list a home. It’s just that simple!
What does your pipeline look like? Your pipeline consists of the total number of active listings, combined with the number of buyers that you are working with, plus any prospects that you are currently talking to about listing their home or buying a home. You should have 25 people in your pipeline at all times. How many do you have right now? If it’s not at least 25, then it’s time to hit the phones!
Once they are your client, stay in touch weekly, providing reports and feedback to insure that they are happy. Most clients want results. Results require honesty. Is the home priced too high? Does it need staging? Our job is to deliver the “tough news” in a way that they appreciate and understand. I picked up many expired listings, through referrals, and each time it was the same scenario. They needed a price adjustment and staging or decorating. They were always willing to do what was asked, when they knew that it was the key to getting their home sold. If they were not willing to do what was needed to sell their home, I was not the right agent for them.
Happy clients are clients for life if you get the job done and stay in touch after the sale. If you are looking for a great tool to stay comfortably in touch, go to www.TheProfitableSalesAgent.com and sign up for our weekly newsletters. They are filled with lots of great tips for homeowners, and simple ways to stay CONNECTED.
If you follow these simple steps and you’ll have happy clients from first contact to close, and a source of referrals for life. You’ll end up with a lot of great new friends too!
COACHING TIP OF THE MONTH
MAKE THE CALL
There are many agents who take the listing and then don’t communicate with the seller because they have nothing good to say. You contact each of your listings, without fail, every Tuesday. If there has been absolutely no activity, simply tell them that. Generally though, even though nothing has happened with their particular listing, something has happened in the neighborhood. Whatever it is, tell them and, if appropriate, discuss a price reduction. Studies show that sellers want lots of communication from their agent, so stay in touch and you will see that they are more likely to work with you to get it sold.
by Real Estate Coach Judy LaDeur
I recently heard that real estate sales is a 93/7 industry. That means that 7% of the agents are earning 93% of the money! I found that amazing! Why are such a small % of agents earning so much more that the majority of agents? To find the answer, we did some research and found that successful agents have several common traits. Successful agents are:
1. Passionate: Successful agents are passionate about their company, the opportunities within their organization and passionate about the business. When your presentation is passionate, the person you are talking to knows that you believe in your company and are sincere about what you have to offer. Of course, there is a difference between being passionate, or trying to sell your services. No one wants to be sold. But the more you believe in what you have to offer, the more successful you will be in sales.
2. Great listeners / Attentive: The #1 key to success is to be a great listener. With buyers as well as sellers, from the moment you begin asking questions, you will learn what they want and what is important to them. Successful agents have good eye contact and keep their attention focused on the client. When you take the time to understand their concerns, past experiences and expectations, your job is much easier!
3. Patient: This one is tricky. By nature, great salespeople are not patient at all! But, great salespeople know that it is a process. It is all about the timing and being there when the time is right for them to make a move. So, a very important trait that we see in successful agents is that they have consistent marketing campaigns, designed to keep their clients informed and educated, and to stay in touch until the time is right. It takes patience and marketing, but it’s exciting to be positioned when they are ready.
4. Competitive: Successful agents hate to lose. This is a great trait. It means that they prepare properly for the appointment and fine tune their skills whenever the opportunity presents itself. If they don’t sign the prospect the first time they meet with them, they continue to follow up until they can get back in front of them again, but they don’t give up! This is where patience comes into play again.
5. Caring Nature: Successful agents truly care about others. This is a character trait that you cannot fake. When you care about what others care about, it shows. I often say that even though it is tough…the best agents are always honest about what it will take, even if it means they don’t select that agent. You cannot be all things to all people, but you will have more success and less stress when your goal is to “help others make the right decision for them”. In most cases, that will be you!
6. Strong People Skills: This is a relationship business. To be a great salesperson, you have to like people, and they need to like you too. Strong people skills come into play in several areas. It means having a strong relationship with the people in your client data base, as well as those in your office and your community. The best agents prefer doing business with and selling the listings of the other great agents in the market.
7. Good Problem Solvers: Tenacity is a word that comes to mind. It is not always easy to get the sale closed, or to secure the financing that your buyer needs, but a great salesperson knows who to call and where to go to get the job done. They do not look at objections as objections, but rather as challenges that have a solution, and they look for it!
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being outstanding, rate yourself in each category. If you have a total of less than 55, look at the areas that you can improve in 2015 and create some actions steps to make next year your best year ever!
The Profitable Sales Agent can help you consistently stay top of mind and build a strong business foundation with the right tools and strategies each month to help you move forward. Learn more here. Our Profitable Sales Agent members will find additional scripts, tips, and tools in your membership platform. Have fun with them!
While there are tens of thousands of agents across North America competitively out-listing their peers by making FSBOs their niche market of choice, there are still some surprisingly pervasive myths floating around out there about working this demographic.
So, let’s put on our “Myth-busters” hat for a moment and take a look at some common misconceptions:
1. All FSBOs are MEAN. Come on now – all of them? In truth, most sellers who are trying to fly solo to get their homes sold are eager to save money, not well-informed as to what it takes to price right in today’s market and usually fairly motivated. Are they distrustful of agents? Sure, manay are — but that doesn’t make them mean – it makes them human beings. It’s YOUR job to earn their trust, treat them with respect, develop a relationship and make them raving fans.
How do you help develop that relationship? Consistent communication, professional presentation tools and a can-do attitude.
2. All FSBOs Are Overpriced. Don’t you just love sweeping generalities? In truth, (again) – many probably are. But surprisingly, with all of the internet information out there, and the fact that it is a buyer’s market — many for sale by owner sellers DO get pricing a property right. But more often than not, they don’t get that they can get MORE for their home, statistically, using a real estate professional – in fact, last year, according to NAR, the average FSBO sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 for agent-assisted home sales, so it’s your job to help them understand that!
A great tool to use is the Merchandising Review from our friends at ProspectsPLUS! As soon as you see that FSBO pop onto the market, you should contact them by telephone and attempt to use the Merchandising Review as a reason for them to set an appointment to talk with you.
“Hello, Mr./Mrs./Ms/Miss__, my name is __, and I’m with _. The reason I’m calling is that I see you have put your home on the market and I’m sure you’re eager to get the best price for it – right? (Wait for their answer!)
Wonderful! I wanted to offer you a very special tool that we use called a Merchandising Review Form…have you heard of it before? It is what I use to make a comprehensive analysis of whether a home is salable in TODAY’S market and what you can do to guarantee that it will sell for a great price and terms.
What I’d like to do is set a time when we could sit down together and go over the Merchandising Review. No cost or obligation – just something that can help you get your home sold. It takes about 20 minutes. (Set a time.)
Walk them through each item and negotiate the issues that were might keep the property from selling. Correct these issues, and ask if they would allow you to show them your marketing plan.
3. FSBOS can just do this on their own. I love this one. Truth is, statistically, most FSBOs do end up using an agent. In fact, last year, only 9% of the homes sold according to NAR were FSBOs. And of those – 31% don’t even market their properties. So, they NEED someone like you to lend them the expertise to not just get a great price, but to make the process as headache free as possible.
Most Difficult Tasks for FSBO Sellers:
FSBO’s really are the “low hanging fruit” for many agents – why? Because they’re usually still motivated to sell! But the keys to success are that you have to consistent (can’t show up just ONCE – remember MOST deals are sealed after the FIFTH contact), timely (most successful FSBO experts make reaching out to FSBOs a DAILY business practice – no half-stepping it!) Know your business and your market (practice, drill and rehearse your presentation and you’ll create a presence as the turn-to agent in your market for FSBOs.
So go ahead – go after those FSBO’s and start maneuvering, out-selling and out-smarting the competition in your market place! And remember -we’re here if you need us.
By Real Estate Coach Judy LaDeur
Every agent naturally falls into one category or the other: Farmer or Hunter. They are completely different ways of approaching real estate prospecting. Most agents, are farmers.
Farming is the art of developing relationships with a specific group of individuals, educating them about why they should want to work with you, and being positioned when the time is right for that person to make a change. A broker or agent who farms assumes, just like a farmer, that if they prepare the soil, plant the seeds, water the crops and take care of the crops until harvest time, that there will be a bountiful crop so the farmer will be able to eat and also feed his family. Farming is a passive form of prospecting.
Some facts about farming are:
a) Requires patience/waiting
b) Takes 6-12 months to fill the pipeline
c) More than 80% of consumers are emotional customers – so they need a relationship built before they can trust you enough to do business with you
d) Education, information, and items of value are consistently sent out to gain trust
e) The goal is to stay positioned, educate them, to gain their trust so that when the time is right and they do have a real estate question or need – yours is the name that is top of mind
Hunting is the art of full engagement. Going after the target, not waiting for it to come to you! The hunter assumes that is he/she is not actively pursuing the target that they will not eat. Think of the lion. The lion does not sit in the meadow just waiting for his prey to appear, the lion tracks their prey, and pounces on it when the opportunity presents itself. A Hunter also looks for the prey, stalks it and pounces when they are not paying attention. A hunter does not assume that the food will just appear on their table. The hunter believes that if it is not out there hunting all the time, it might starve. The hunter’s actions are assertive or aggressive forms of prospecting.
Here are some facts about hunting:
a) It is a numbers game. Lots of contacts/ fast results
b) Everyday someone is ready to buy or sell — the goal is to find that person each day
c) You have more control over the numbers
d) Instant gratification
Here are some Farming activities:
a) Mailings to educate them about your company, what you offer, and to build the relationship
b) Having coffee to build the relationship
c) Invite them to an event
d) Personal notes
e) Calls, just to say ‘Hi’
f) Social media interaction/ comments
Here are some Hunting activities:
a) Target FSBOs
b) Target Expireds
c) Target Renters
d) Sending mass mailings/media/ email etc. playing the numbers game
f) Using social media to place ads and target specific groups via Linked In and FB.
g) Purchase leads
h) Calling your sphere to see if anyone has a real estate need
If you HAD to get 5 listings in the next 30 days, or leave the business, what would you do? That is how the hunter thinks at all times!
The Good news is that most of you planted a crop in the spring and nurtured it until now, so you can harvest your crop and also go hunting…
The Profitable Sales Agent can help you with BOTH your FARMING and HUNTING techniques! Learn more here. Our Profitable Sales Agent members will find additional scripts, tips, and tools in your membership platform. Have fun with them!
By Julie Escobar
It’s that time again. Kids everywhere are returning to school and although mine are all but grown up, I got to see a glimpse of that first step into “the big world” in the eyes of my nephew Eli, who is still in grammar school. Shy and unsure, but excited and eager—it got me thinking about some of those first lessons we learn, how important they are to building a better life and how easily we can lose sight of them in our hustled and hurried world.
So this month take a look at some of the best lessons you learned along the way and consider what impact great teachers made on your life. Then remember that some of those lessons we can put to good use today as we grow our businesses, build relationships, and seek that peace of mind and life balance that can be so elusive for professional salespeople and entrepreneurs.
BUILD RAPPORT: Part of that “playing well with others” talent that we had to learn as children, great parents and teachers shared the art of finding common ground and appreciating differences. They taught us to pay attention to the people around us with an open mind and a compassionate spirit. I believe this life skill is a very real common denominator in top producers. Unlike their “hard sell” or self-indulgent counterparts, the savvy sales professional understands that building rapport with a client or customer (or anyone for that matter) is about creating a connection. It’s not about qualifying them or finding an edge, but more about building a relationship, creating a dialogue, and opening a door to what could be a lifetime client.
Some keys to building solid rapport:
BE BRAVE: I like this one. Did your mom or dad ever tell you to be brave in a tough situation? To lead and not follow? To “just try” when you felt like you couldn’t do something? Is that something that you’ve passed down to your children or your protégés? To do extraordinary things, to accomplish greatness, and build foundations, you have to step out of the wings a little. You have to dare to be different and meet challenges where they are. I love the Robert Anthony quote, “The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity.” There’s not much we can’t achieve if we’re willing to do the tough stuff, to fight for what we believe in and to put our bravest face forward —even when we’re feeling not so courageous.
FOLLOW THE RULES: This is a tough one. In changing economies, in difficult times, and frankly, when we’re hell-bent to get something we want, it’s tempting to break the rules or to take short cuts. I’m not saying you have to follow the trends, or conform to the masses but in terms of the basic laws and principles of character, integrity, and professionalism, show them what you’ve got. The very best of you. From good manners to good behavior to good business practices, trust me, in the long run it makes a huge difference to your reputation and the name you present to those around you.
SET HIGH STANDARDS: It’s a funny thing about standards; people will rise or fall to the level that you set them. Know that it’s fine to set boundaries and expectations. In fact, look at the marines for example. Their motto is they only want a “few good men.” Not everyone—just the few. That’s high standards, and they have a line out the door to get in. Whether you are dealing with customers, kids, friends or family, it’s important for you—and for them—to know that when it comes to the important things that matter (like that integrity and character stuff we just talked about) you’re not willing to accept or deliver less. Believe it or not, your bottom line will reflect the high bar that you set.
KEEP LEARNING: Oh my! If we could just convince EVERY child the benefit of this one! Our capacity to learn is limitless as is our ability to utilize that knowledge to enrich our lives, advance our careers and soothe our souls. Each week or each month, determine a skill, a technique, a piece of history, or a tool for the future and then learn everything you can. Become the master of your profession and feed your mind with all the wit, wisdom and knowledge that you can. It will keep you younger, sharpen your competitive edge, and hopefully, ignite a love of learning in those around you as well!
So, tap into that childhood spirit of old and dust off the best lessons you’ve learned from teachers of every size, shape and color. Maybe it was an elementary teacher, a high school coach, a wizened grandmother, a mentor or a parent—take the time this month to remember what they told you and what they taught you. While you’re at it, if possible, let them know they’ve made a difference in someone’s life. I did that and made someone’s day. Who’s day can you make? “Take out your pencil and paper and let’s begin…”
As always, call us if you need us at 1-866-234-8740 and visit our site online at www.theprofitablesalesagent.com. We’ll always do our best to ensure your “homework” is a great experience!