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.