Four Easy Listing Tools to Use This April

How to Help You Soar Past the CompetitionCompetition

By Real Estate Coach Judy LaDeur

April is the month to set yourself apart from the competition in the marketplace! The decision as to who to list with can be a daunting one for many sellers. Every agent will offer the basics, but the best agents have discovered that the easiest way to knock out the competition is to offer something that other agents do not offer, and that sellers want!

What do sellers want? They want to sell their home faster and for more money! For the month of April, we will feature a different tool or technique to give you the “leading edge” over your competition each week such as…

  • Pre-Listing book
  • Staging Tips
  • Solid Marketing Plan
  • Photography Tips

We’ve placed these tools and the collateral in your platform for your agents to use. We will also give you the tools that you need to compete.

The Profitable Sales Agent is a marketing platform filled with tools, tips and weekly e-newsletters, designed to keep you positioned with your clients and customers for life.  Each week you get a newsletter with valuable info for your clients, motivational quotes, social media tools, DIY tips and an action step for you, the agent, to stay ahead of your competition.  We also host an agent webinar each month in which we feature top agents from all over the world who are crushing it in their markets to share what they are doing differently.

A recent NAR survey shows that 86% of buyers and sellers would use their agent again IF they could remember who they are, or could remember where they work! The #1 way to dramatically increase your income, this year and every year, is to stay positioned with those who already trust you and the service you deliver.  It could not be easier with this newsletter which can be sent via email to your clients, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.  You can also post the info to your social media page, or use it in your listing presentation.

Fire up your marketing today.  Sign up for all these powerful tools and more  at and use code 25OFF to receive 25% off your subscription. No contract, no obligation, you can stop anytime you do not see the value of this incredible program. 

Making Safety a Priority

Expert Advice from a Superstar Sales ProfessionalBarb

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  or my website: Also, everything social! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram. You’ll find the links are on my website.

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!

Creating Clients for LIFE

From First Contact to CLOSECLIENT FOR LIFE

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 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!



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.

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! 

Brain Food…

What are YOU Reading That Can Help You and Your Business GROW? Library

While it is indeed the age of information and words, MP3s, Kindles, iPads, e-books, smartphones, streaming video and more are at our fingertips and downloadable 24/7 via that incredible internet, there is to me, still something to be said for curling up for a 20 minutes to an hour a day with a good old fashioned book.

I know, I know – lives are busy, going warp speed in a thousand directions and mine is no different. Believe me, there is tremendous merit to audiobooks that we can listen to on the go, but there is great satisfaction in building a library of your own that you can tap into and reference whenever possible for strengthening your skills, improving your mind or igniting your spirit.

So, whether you’re cracking the spine of a new hardback or downloading a new eBook on your iPhone,  as we head into the new year, I wanted to take the time to share with you just some of the book treasures we’ve found over the years and challenge you to start or add to a library all your own!

§ Good to Great by Jim Collins – Great for mastering the premise “Be the Best in the world at ONE thing.”

§ Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer – Terrific for short snippets, great ideas and reference-his e-zine Sales Caffeine is pretty good for daily jolt as well.

§ How to Become a Rainmaker by Jeffrey J. Fox – Learning to dollarize is a vital tool in our industry – Jeffrey Fox teaches it well.

§ Purple Cow by Seth Godin – You’ll find valuable Lessons in effective marketing.

§ Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life by Larry Winget – We all loved this book. It’s as edgy as its title but drives home some must-learn points.

§ Be Our Guest by the Disney Institute – You have to hand it to those folks at Disney – when it comes to customer service – they have it down. Lots to learn here!

§ Swim With the Sharks Without Getting Eaten Alive by Harvey Mackay – An oldie but a goodie when it comes to classic life and business lessons.

§ Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi – Some great ideas on the power of social and business networking.

§ The Power of an Hour by Dave Lakhani – Time management guru Lakhani explains how to put some muscle into your time management and make those minutes count!

§ Hug Your Customers by Jack Mitchell – We liked this book so much, it became the theme for one of our corporate meetings! Spotlights the power of extraordinary customer service in any industry.

§ The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino – Truly one of my favorite all-time books. I re-read it often and what’s funny is that I have asked countless industry “icons” to name a favorite book throughout the years – almost all of them count this at the top of their list.

§ Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – Another classic, must-read for anyone who wants to live abundantly and build a better life and business.

§ How to Become a Marketing Superstar by Jeffrey J. Fox – You have to love Fox’s books for their quick read and great references.

§ Better Than Good by Zig Zigler – Zig’s insight is always a welcome gift as he shares the power of a positive attitude in this game of life.

§ Winning by Jack and Suzy Welch – Delivers a solid career’s worth of this legendary leader’s management wisdom.

§ Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden – Extraordinary Coach John Wooden shares tremendously valuable insight on what it means to win with integrity in ANY game.

§ Built to Last by Jim Collins – Much like Good to Great, Collins shares the successful habits and visions of some of the greatest companies of all time.

§ Shift by Gary Keller – Keller shares what it takes to not just be a successful real estate agent, but how to truly treat your business as a business and effectively grow it without limitations.

§ Satisfaction by Chris Denove and James D. Power IV – A true spotlight on how listening to the voice of the customer can make – or break a company and career.

§ The Spellbinder’s Gift by Og Mandino – This well crafted contemporary parable by Mandino offers tremendous inspiration and wonderful reminders on how to live a better (happier) life.

§ The Age of Speed by Vince Poscente – This offers lessons on how to thrive in a world that runs at lightning speed.

§ Juggling Elephants by Jones Loflin and Todd Musig – A great read for all of us who sometimes feel we need to get our “act” together in the three-ring circus we call life.

§ The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn – Sanborn teaches us through the true story of Fred – the mail carrier – how going the extra mile and taking the extra steps for our customers can turn an ordinary career into an extraordinary one.

§ Blink by Malcolm Gladwell – Fascinating book that illuminates how we can re-train our minds to instantly pull vital information from life’s moments.

§ The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – definitely not the easiest book you’ll ever read, but if you can work your way through each of the “habits” and make them a part of your life and career, you’ll far exceed any goals in front of you!

§ 10 Ways to STAND OUT From the Crowd by Connie Podesta – This insightful book is filled with the practices and tools you need to always make sure you’re invaluable!

I do hope you will enjoy the lessons, laughter and genuine knowledge builders found within the pages of these book recommendations. It has been a fun journey to discover new books, new authors and new additions to my growing library of books for business. I do make sure there is room on the shelves for recreational reading as well, so you’ll find James Patterson, Sue Grafton and Patricia Cornwell books all tucked on the shelves next to the books above! After all, “work hard, play hard” can be a good motto for this aspect of life too!

So go and read your mind and expand your personal library for success. I would love your recommendations for our Book of the Month club! Feel free to add yours in the comments!

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  We’ll always do our best to deliver smart strategies that can help you build a strong business. 

Back to School (And Back to Basics!)


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:

  • Ask Questions. Truly one of the best skills of any salesperson, practicing the art of asking the RIGHT questions (those that are engaging, compelling and about the other person) is a must.
  • Listen more than speak. My mom always said that we were given two ears and one mouth in that proportion for a reason! Listening has become a lost art with many people but it is the key to information gathering, showing respect and displaying genuine interest.
  • Lighten up! It’s okay to smile, to laugh and to be warm—after all think of the alternative!
  • Look around you. Whether you’re in a home or someone’s office you’ll find clues to their interests, family, accomplishments. All of which are a great springboard for conversation.
  • Do your homework. If possible, learn as much about your customer or client before you meet to give yourself a head start on getting to know them!

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.

 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  We’ll always do our best to ensure your “homework” is a great experience!