Don’t Be an Invisible Agent

An Interview with the Talented Kathy Casarin

By Julie Escobar

I’m so fortunate in my travels to have met and connected with some creative and talented real estate professionals. One of those, who I met through Facebook actually is Kathy Casarin!  She’s a full-time REALTOR® with Nasser Real Estate who believes that Real Estate is all about networking, getting yourself and your name out there to be known. Her top advice: “Get testimonials, volunteer, use social media, get involved in your community, children’s school, attend fundraisers, and participate. All that is free and comes back to you in spades.  Real Estate is a very social business, people want to feel they know you and can identify with you.  So I would tell you to not be shy, or sit around the office waiting for leads to come to you.  Instead – get out there and meet your next client!”

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:  First: Distinguish yourself.  Find a way to stay apart from what everyone else is doing and ahead of your competition.  How?  Get designations!  You can take the classes online or even travel to do that.  I recommend the Certified Negotiation Expert Designation first. How impressive does that sound – right?  Another designation that requires more course work but you learn a lot is the Certified Residential Specialist.  Once you have your designations, be sure to use them everywhere.  On your business cards, social media, advertisements etc.  Designations and awards if you can get them from a publication, board etc. help you stand out and validate you.  During my first year in the business, I earned RISMedia’s National Top 50 Realtors On the Rise award. During my first listing appointment, I remember getting the listing, because the client said how professional and prepared I was and that having awards and designations meant that I was serious about my business.  The results spoke for themselves.  Confidence won and I then tackled the market with ease.  I was also told I was so much more prepared than the prior agent and they I know were in the business for years.  So it’s all up to you be prepared, read, stay up to date on Inman News, Real Estate blogs, feeds…talk up your local market – and BE the expert. Will it take work?  Absolutely.  But when you take the time to be the source of information, data, and real estate facts in your market, you will blossom.

Next, saturate yourself in social media.  Remember this: It all works — you just have to do it!  Get on Facebook, create a business page…use Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.  Create accounts on Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, ActiveRain and start to get your name out there.  Once you’re up and running, Google yourself to see how much you fill the internet.  You want clients to find you!

If you’re new to Real Estate?  Don’t be an Invisible Agent!  Take phone time, go after expired listings, offer to hold other agents’ open houses.  Get involved in community groups and by all means, make sure people know you’re in real estate.  Your business cards and all correspondence should have your professional headshot on them so that people can identify who you are.  Write a press release announcing that you’ve recently joined the XX Real Estate Group and submit it to all local media outlets with your headshot.  This is free press if you don’t write it for yourself who will?  It’s a good start to building your business profile.

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:  Do not speak negatively about the market.  In fact, don’t dwell on the negative at all.  Every day, no matter what market you’re in, people are out there looking to buy. In tough markets, lazy agents give up — and that means those agents aren’t doing the work – so their market share could be yours.  Take the reins! Don’t forget referrals, and past clients either.  Build your book of business database from day one and watch it grow.  You never know when someone’s cousin, co-worker, or friend needs a home.  You want to ensure they remember and then contact you!

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:  Perfect – since I just mentioned building your book of business!  Your book of business is a database that contains past, present and possible future clients.  Think of everyone you know, everyone you do business with – get them all into one big database, and use identifiers so you know who is who. (Friend, family, acquaintance, past client, etc.) Use your social media to gain new clients for this book, engage them, with blogs, e-newsletters, post cards, letters and more.  And here’s an out of the box idea: always consider doing what nobody else doing.  Like attend a bridal expo and host a drawing for a prize to one lucky couple!  These people are getting married and will soon be looking to buy their first home!  Obtain their contact info for the prize and follow up with them.  Congratulate them when they do wed that thoughtfulness costs nothing and will earn you their trust.

Q:  Prospecting is a crucial component for agents (new and experienced) – what tips would you give someone new to the process? 

A:  Get involved, attend local chamber events, network, business to business breakfast meetings where you exchange referrals with professionals in other lines of work.  Read!  Know your market and what is going on.  You are the expert.  You are the one they will come to.  Example:  “I just read this morning on Realtor.com that…”

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:  There are services that help you with this, small fee…tap them.  Software that offers to generate newsletters, such as iContact and Constant Contact are great. Think of every Monday as new business Monday!

Q:  Any business planning tips that you think would be important to share? 

A:  Your board most likely offers classes, scholarships, officer and board roles, and awards opportunities. Check into this…it’s an easy way to get involved in your local market and your best bet is to act like a sponge and learn all you can from the well-seasoned agents all around you.  Look for a broker than will be a mentor. You know what they say, “there aren’t any stupid questions.”  Ask and learn as much as possible.  About sales, and about your contract and deadlines.

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:  Get online! I love Facebook, LinkedIn, Inman News, and REALTOR.com.  I also recommend that you create a comprehensive pre-listing presentation package! I created one years ago when I got my start and would mail it out to expireds several times per week.  It contained testimonials, information about me, my company, articles I thought pertinent to someone thinking about selling, information on what sells a home, staging information, and more.  I put all this together with the intent of addressing and answering any question these potential sellers would ask me during a listing interview.  It worked like a charm. I would not only get an interview — once they read through my packet, I got the listing.  Why?  They weren’t my client and I already delivered way more that all the other agents sending a quick expired letter. This one tool alone helped me to fast-track my start in this business.

Q:  Any last bits of advice for agents to take to heart? 

A:  You build your reputation on how you conduct yourself with each transaction. Always give it your best.  It’s not about you, it’s about your client or potential client.  Always put yourself in their mindset.  Think like they would and this helps you best direct them.  It also helps you when showing houses, as you listen to them, you can help narrow down their searches and keep them focused.

Q:  How can our readers best connect with you to share their success and referrals? 

A:  Please like my business Facebook page Kathy Casarin, Realtor or email me:  KathyCasarin@yahoo.com.

Thank you Kathy for your powerful insights. You’re a rock star!

If you’d like to learn more about being a

How to Create CUSTOMERS for LIFE

From First Contact to Closecustomer for life

By Real Estate Coach Judy LaDeur

To make it in this business for the long haul – you need to build a referral base. And that process?  Starts with the very first contact. Every person that you meet is a potential client, even if they currently know another agent. I always asked everyone that I met 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 stop chasing all the NEW commissions and focus on building a strong book of business.  If you put each and every customer and contact in a database that you can stay connected to week after week, month after month.

If you’re an agent who wants an easy, comfortable, effective way to stay in touch, visit www.TheProfitableSalesAgent.com and sign up for our weekly newsletters, training, social media tips, and agent tools. They weekly newsletters are perfect for staying connected in a way that positions you as a resource people can trust. They are filled with lots of great messages, tips for homeowners, and calls to action. If you’re a broker who wants to help your agents get on the fast track to successfully staying in touch, invite them to do the same. In fact, register in the next 45 days and take advantage of our 4th quarter special! Use promo code 50OFF any agent membership and save 50%!

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 no idea what to say.  Here’s an idea: 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.

Start communicating effectively today!  Register for www.theprofitablesalesagent.com today with promo code 50OFF and save 50%. 

    

Lead Incubation Strategies for Savvy Agents

Putting Systems in Place for SuccessLeads

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.

The True Value of Agent-to-Agent Referrals

An Interview with Top Agent Keith GroganKeith Grogan

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,

www.facebook.com/KeithGrogan.TheSellTeam, www.twitter.com/SELLTEAMwww.sellteam.com.

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! 

7 Top Character Traits of Successful Agents

What Characteristics to Adopt Before the New YearLucky seven

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! 

FSBO Myth-Busters

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 fsbo signthere 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:

  • Understanding and performing paperwork: 18%
  • Getting the right price: 13%
  • Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 12%
  • Helping buyer obtain financing: 3%
  • Attracting potential buyers: 3%
  • Selling within the planned length of time: 7%
  • Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 6%

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. 

Are You a Farmer or a Hunter?

Wise Agents Are BOTHtpsa farmer or hunter

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…

Good luck!

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! 

Put SERVICE Over Sales

Always Be Able To Answer the “What Have You Done for Them Lately” Question
SALES and service

Providing service for clients and customers is more than just a job for most real estate professionals, it is their passion.  What happens though when the economy shifts, resources diminish and your ability to measure your return on investment for those services becomes hazy at best?  So, how do you effectively meet their needs while maintaining your momentum in the marketplace?  Let’s investigate a few!

Service smarter–not more.  Put a spin on the old work smarter, not harder philosophy, and begin first by fully understanding where you are – or aren’t in terms of time management, financial resources, business planning and customer database. Separate the wants from the needs and then analyze what is possible so that you can service smarter, not more.  For example you don’t need to escort every co-broke showing of your listing, and you don’t need to personally visit each seller each week.  What you do need is to find ways to deliver expected communication not just in a timely manner, but at a time that makes sense for you and your business day.  Spending three hours in the middle of what should be a productive work day explaining what ads were placed, how many hits you had on a website or what agents have shown each listing would be a bad example of effective time management – right?  This is where putting systems and schedules into place makes your life simpler and your results so much more predictable.  It is also where under-promising and over-delivering is a make-sense strategy for your busy life.

Information overload.  You know sometimes what WE think people need to know and what people ACTUALLY need to know is very often light years apart.  Your customers want to be informed to be sure-but do they need to know EVERYTHING you know, EVERY week?  Probably not.  A good way to be effective, keep clients in the loop and have a system that prompts you to do just that is email!  Start with a matrix of baseline communication needs with your clients.  In other words, ask, “What do you need to know each week Mr. and Mrs. Seller, to feel comfortable knowing that we are on the job and working towards our mutual goal of getting your house sold?”  Now, here is a tip:  Listen to their answer!  You would be surprised at how many just need reassurance that you are on the job without needed a laundry list of the actual tasks.  Now, being the forward thinking agent you are – and because you have already read this article – you are prepared to tell your new listing clients that you have an email system in place that will email them the answers they are looking for each week.  You can make a reoccurring reminder alarm in your Outlook that will remind you each Thursday evening for example to send an email to these clients.  Better still, choose a 1-2 hour window of time one evening or early morning each week to send email updates to all of your clients.  Your clients will see your systems in place approach as professional and organized and you will better stay on task with a set time and date each week and keep your productive hours free.

Open House Blitz.  Walter Sanford once shared a great strategy that I have dubbed the Open House Blitz.  The premise is that you set up all your listings with a window of 15-20 minutes for an open house in the span of just a few hours.  You invite a mortgage professional along to help pre-qualify and you advertise your Blitz with a schedule of home tours, a map in your homes guides or paper and send out flyers the neighborhoods you will be in, and he suggested a yard sign with the schedule/map for each house as well.  An excitement grows as you move from house-to-house-to-house.  What will start with one or two possible lookers can end up being quite the caravan.

Imagine the FSBO down the street from your listing when you pull up with a line of cars ready to see each property.  (The savvy agent will have made contact before hand to let the FSBO know that there is a chance they will have a group of people coming by for a tour of homes and while they fully understand the FSBO’s desire to sell on their own, would they consider setting up a one time agreement for any buyers they might bring by in exchange for making their home a special stop on the tour?)  For a FSBO struggling to understand the nuances of market changes and how to encourage traffic, this might be a real eye-opener.  It’s different, it can be fun, and you have effectively cut down your need to hold multiple open houses on multiple weekends – clearing your schedule for revenue-producing activities or much needed time with family and friends!

Build a Better Base.  What is the biggest dynamic in relationship-building?  The care and nurturing of the people in them.  How do you build a business that grows year by year, provides you with repeatable, sustainable success in sales, closings and referrals and becomes the book of business so valuable that you can sell it for top dollar when the time comes for you to take a step back and retire?  Have you even thought that far in advance?  What will your exit strategy be?  Will you simply walk away?  Each month – every month – you contact the people in your sphere of influence. Create a ‘touch” via direct mail, email, walking the neighborhoods, social media – or all of the above.  Be present in your community. Deliver the information people are looking for.  And at least every three months, connect face to face or voice to voice with the VIPs that are on your list.  Make it habit, a routine and a must do – at a time each day that works for you.  As Floyd Wickman once said, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care” – and you don’t get more service oriented than making people feel cared about.

Like every other segment of your business, now is the time to really look at your systems, budget and time management as it pertains to the care and servicing of your clients.  Find those things that work for you and lose that which doesn’t.  Remember to put people first and add solutions that will streamline and simplify your life, and you will indeed be singing a happier tune!

As always, we wish you happy listing!  Bookmark our blog at www.theprofitablesalesagent.com.  We’ll always do our best to deliver smart strategies that can help you build a strong business.