Cover image of Agents in Action
(47)
Business
Education
Careers
Self-Improvement

Agents in Action

Updated 10 days ago

Business
Education
Careers
Self-Improvement
Read more

The Agents in Action podcast provides education, inspiration and strategies for real estate agents to take action.Each episode is drawn from a collection of lessons, mistakes, and scripts developed by Todd Smith, all shared with no spin. Whether you are just beginning your real estate career or a seasoned veteran, you will learn how to take action. With Agents in Action, Todd Smith and host Jody Maberry will share exactly what it will take to win at a high level in Real Estate.

Read more

The Agents in Action podcast provides education, inspiration and strategies for real estate agents to take action.Each episode is drawn from a collection of lessons, mistakes, and scripts developed by Todd Smith, all shared with no spin. Whether you are just beginning your real estate career or a seasoned veteran, you will learn how to take action. With Agents in Action, Todd Smith and host Jody Maberry will share exactly what it will take to win at a high level in Real Estate.

iTunes Ratings

47 Ratings
Average Ratings
42
0
3
1
1

34 things

By Supadodostainremova - Jun 29 2017
Read more
Great podcast. Preparing me for my journey as a new agent. Thanks guys

GREAT INFO!!

By g_welch - Feb 07 2017
Read more
Great podcast, simple and straight forward with no sales pitch.. Just great content.

iTunes Ratings

47 Ratings
Average Ratings
42
0
3
1
1

34 things

By Supadodostainremova - Jun 29 2017
Read more
Great podcast. Preparing me for my journey as a new agent. Thanks guys

GREAT INFO!!

By g_welch - Feb 07 2017
Read more
Great podcast, simple and straight forward with no sales pitch.. Just great content.
Cover image of Agents in Action

Agents in Action

Latest release on Mar 03, 2017

Read more

The Agents in Action podcast provides education, inspiration and strategies for real estate agents to take action.Each episode is drawn from a collection of lessons, mistakes, and scripts developed by Todd Smith, all shared with no spin. Whether you are just beginning your real estate career or a seasoned veteran, you will learn how to take action. With Agents in Action, Todd Smith and host Jody Maberry will share exactly what it will take to win at a high level in Real Estate.

Rank #1: Lead Generation - Five Steps for Success

Podcast cover
Read more

How often do you ever hear -  “ You have to lead generate” and “You have to make calls”?

Step back and put things into perspective. Let’s address the details behind these comments.  I want to bring some awareness, help break this down for you and I trust the end result will be you feel empowered and have some clarity.

Usually, this is an open-ended conversation - it’s a broad subject “lead generation” or “prospecting” I’ve found, since it’s such a broad topic - almost like when we say the universe - that’s a big space - in fact how big is it exactly?  No one really knows.  So, when we say “you have to lead generate - make so many calls each day etc.  It can easily become overwhelming.  As a result, we tend to shut down and become paralyzed with fear and the unknown. So let’s go over a few basic steps that should help you accomplish your goals.

5 Steps to setting up a lead generation plan of action -

Step 1 - Establish your 12-month production goals - How many homes or units are you going to sell?

  1. You have to know what you’re shooting for or you’ll miss the target every time. If you don’t know what this number is, a simple way to begin this process is to divide the 12-month income goal by your average sales price.  Ex: 100K / 7.5K would be roughly 13 - 14 sales in a 12 month period. Clarity equals power and lack of it leads to drifting and frustration. As simple as this sounds, I would say at least 50% of the agents I have met over the years aren’t really crystal clear about this first step.

Step 2 - Based on your goal, how many lead generation systems do you need to use to achieve your goal?

  1. I notice a few things going on - either we don’t have any real specific plans and are just wandering through the day - or - we have wandering eyes and start something while keeping an eye on what someone else is doing and jump around from one approach to the next.  Key:  Determine what works for you - put your blinders on and go to work.
  2. EX: Goal- 12 maybe 1, Goal 18-24 maybe 2, Goal 30-40, maybe 3 … and so on. Recognize the idea is to go small and remain focused on the approach(s) you’ve decided to master … and stick to it. You only need to have enough streams of income to accomplish the end goal.
  3. I want to stress here, you don’t need to do 10 things, information overload - it’s typically 1-2 maybe 3 systems done really well and you’re making a great income.

Step 3 - Identify the various ways you can lead generate?

Which approaches do you see yourself doing or appeal to you? Here are a few different ways you can prospect for business:

Some ways to lead generate - not all of them - just some to consider.  

  • *Your Database Referrals- sphere of influence and past clients
  • Knocking on Doors
  • *For Sale By Owners
  • *Expired Listings
  • Internet Leads
  • Business to Business
  • Networking events/organizations
  • Social Media
  • Open Houses
  • *Just Listed/Just Sold calls or doors

Step 4 - Create an action plan - and get going.  

  1. Learn everything you can about the process. Benchmark for results, find other agents that have had success in that area and model what they’ve done, read articles or blogs, watch a  video or attend training events that go into further details on the subject.
  2. Learn and develop scripts about the technique you can use when engaging this group.- Don’t forget to practice, practice, practice. I can’t stress this enough!
  3. Add it to your schedule. What time of day, what days of the week are you going to focus on this new system? Include your numbers, how many contacts each week?
  4. Speaking of systems, what systems do you need to create to support the activities?  For ex, follow up systems so you don’t miss converting any leads you generate, or drip campaigns to maintain and nurture leads.
  5. Track your numbers, this will bring some predictability to what you do in the future and give you something to measure now. I recommend tracking  - attempts, live contacts, appointments set, contracts signed that will lead to closings. Having an understanding of these numbers will - allow you to know exactly what activity will lead to results - and - give you  feedback for areas to improve.

Step 5 - Create an environment of accountability.

  1. Tell the world about your goals.  (Humbly) Confess what you’re intending to do.
  2. Find at least 3 accountability partners. This can be family, friends, co-workers, broker/manager, coach. If you have kids, they can really be a great accountability partner.
  3. Find people that will not only support/encourage, people that will confront you too. People you respect or want the respect from are good accountability partners. People you won’t want to let down.  Often we will do for someone else more than we will do for ourselves.

Last point -

Use the KISS strategy.  

Have a plan and work it - remember to give yourself a fair shot at winning - this is going to take a full 90-day cycle to really see results begin to show up on a more regular basis.  You’ll have some wins along the way, just keep this in perspective and don’t break the chain.

Nov 16 2015

16mins

Play

Rank #2: 16 Income Producing Habits Part 1

Podcast cover
Read more

1.The Habit of Lead Generation - The key to all choices.  When you have the ability to create leads, you have given yourself the ability to choose who you work with, where you work and when you work.

2.The Habit of Speaking Up and Asking For Business - We’ve all felt it before, the opportunity is staring us in the face to speak up, and we hesitate and miss the opportunity.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  The answer is no if you don’t ask so you may as well ask!  The 2015 NAR profile of buyers and sellers says 88% of people would refer their agent...and less than 8% of agents ask!OH/RR

3.The Habit of Closing One More Time Than You Are Comfortable - My experience is many agents don’t even close once.  The research shows that it can take up to 7 attempts on your part before your prospect makes a decision to work with you. Every attempt gets you closer to a yes.  You never know unless you do it.

4.The Habit of Staying Organized With My Lead Follow up -  80% of sales require five follow-up calls and over half of the time, agents give up after one attempt.  The key here, don’t leave follow up open ended.  ALWAYS establish the next point of contact before ending any conversation.  Example...

5.The Habit of Practicing and Role-Play - Professional athletes, actors/actresses, entertainers, emergency personnel, medical professionals, marching bands, even children in a school play - they all practice and dedicate countless hours to being ready to perform at the highest level. Unfortunately, it’s been my personal experience that maybe 1 -2 % of all agents practice their presentations or scripts on a regular basis.  

6.The Habit of Following A Schedule - I like to think of your schedule like your GPS or compass that provides a direct path to your goals.  Don’t think of a schedule like a punishment or restrictive, it’s your guide, stick to it and trust it. Brings peace and certainty. (Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.)

7.The Habit of Listening/Reading Positive Materials - I can’t stress the importance of this one enough.  We have two main sources that are continuously attempting to creep in and disrupt our mindset...the media with all the wonderful supposed news it reports and our own self-talk which isn’t typically helpful. We want to purposefully brainwash ourselves with positive information to offset the other.

8.The Habit of Pre-Qualifying 100% of your Appointments, 100% Of The Time - When you do this, you will see immediate benefits. It saves time, your conversion rate will increase, you will be more profitable and most of all you will experience less frustration that keeps you in a more consistent and productive mindset.

Dec 28 2015

17mins

Play

Rank #3: Five Statistics Every Realtor Should Know

Podcast cover
Read more

How important it is to know your market statistics and position yourself as the goto expert and trusted resource in your marketplace?Fact: I would venture to say 97-98% (or even more) of the

Fact: I would venture to say 97-98% (or even more) of the agent's industry-wide DO NOT know the market #s. Have you ever had someone ask you “how’s the market”?  What do you say? How effective is your response? What message does it convey about you, your knowledge and professionalism/expertise? Typically, when someone asks this type of question, as a whole, many of us respond in 1 of 100 different ways.  Why? Unfortunately, for the large majority of agents, they’re NOT prepared and haven’t rehearsed how to respond effectively to one of the most commonly asked questions of our friends, acquaintances or when we come into contact with the general public. Of course, there're several opportunities to put this into practice, and we’ll cover a few of them today.

What’s interesting (and somewhat surprising) is the vast majority of agents have some kind of response, however, do they REALLY know what is going on in the market? What I mean is what they’re saying information they own? Or, a combination of bits and pieces of information being picked up here and there...consciously, or even unconsciously? Ask yourself, when you answer this question is what you say coming from what you’ve taken in from EXTERNAL sources (what you've taken in from the outside) or is it INTERNAL sources (from your own doing, effort and research)? After 1000’s of coaching conversations with agents, I know this is (for whatever reason) something that, in general, our industry could become more proficient in. Today I thought we’d talk about the importance of really owning your numbers, what stats are the key ones to be aware of and having a firm grasp on exactly what is going on in your market, being the true expert in your area and a trusted adviser. I realize for some agents, knowing your market statistics comes more naturally as it’s more inline with the personality style you lead with.  While others, it may not be something that comes easily, it requires you to get out of your comfort zone and be more analytical. Either way, no matter what your personality may be, if you want to be an expert, we’re required to have this knowledge.

What #’s are to track?  I would start with the following, of course; you can track others if you wish...these are the ones I have focused on and have allowed me to have a clear understanding of what was going on at all times.

This includes:

  1. Total Inventory - The cities you service, could be certain subdivisions.

As an example, look at the large city as whole, for me that would be Dallas/Fort Worth. Then maybe go more specific to the county(s) you service. Then the city(s) you specialize in and as granular as the specific neighborhoods you specialize in. It just depends on how informed you want to be.

  1. New Pending Sales - MOM and YOY.

  2. Homes sold/closed sales MOM and YOY.

  3. All new listings brought to market MOM and YOY.

  4. Homes that have expired/canceled Mom and YOY.

When I say MOM, an example would be last month 78 homes sold, this month 59 homes sold.  That would mean closed sales were down approximately 25% month over month.  OR last month total inventory was 6450, this month total inventory is 6675 which tell us inventory has increased roughly 3.5%. Year over year is the same thing, just taking into consideration what happened last year at this time of the year. Of course, you can look at these #s over whatever period of time you need to based on what you’re attempting to determine.  Knowing MOM and YOY allows you to keep up with trends and shifts in the market in real time, vs. after the fact.   Bonus: What the current absorption rate is for the area. 18 sales last six mo, that’s three sales each month, currently, have 12 active listings = four months of inventory. What does the inventory tell you about the market?

5 Ways To Use  Market Statistics To Your Advantage:

  1. You won’t trip over words anymore or be caught off guard.-

    -Never find yourself grasping for what to say, feeling awkward when someone is asking “so how’s the market.”

    -You’ll demonstrate your professionalism and be perceived as the go-to expert.

  1. No longer be susceptible to the buzz around the office or what the media is reporting.

    -We have to watch out for SNIOP’s.  Susceptible negative influences other people.

    -Often times we’re picking up on other people’s comments around our offices or in the news.  If you don’t know what the actual market numbers are, then it leaves you wondering what is reality. Wondering doesn't serve us well and brings on uncertainty and unnecessary anxiety. Pull your #’s regularly and put an end to this.

  1. If you’re newer in the business, it will immediately give you credibility.

    -We’ve all been there, we’re newer in the business and feeling a little insecure about our overall knowledge. (even seasoned agents have these feelings) Nothing boost confidence more than tracking you market stats and closely watching trends.

    -This is a sure way to disguise your lack of time in real estate because no one would sense you’re newer to the business when you can carry on a higher level conversation that includes so many precise details about the market conditions.

    -I’ll add it can’t hurt any anyone, no matter how long you’ve been in the business.

  1. Great content to use while prospecting, at your open house or door knocking.

    -People know when you’re they’re talking to a professional. Think back the last time you were looking to hire someone...you could clearly know just by speaking to them if they were on their game or left you wondering.

    -Keeping current with these statistics allows you to have the edge when someone makes a statement about something to do with the market. In the past, you may of let it go, brushed it off, or found yourself backed into a corner stumbling for what to say next.  Now, knowing your numbers, you will be able to respond appropriately, take a stand or make your point with fact and no emotion or misinformation.

  1. Give yourself absolute confidence when pricing a new listing, writing an offer for a buyer or during negotiations.

    -Again, it comes back to doubt or certainty.

    -Pricing is everything when taking a listing. It allows you to know when you can push the limits or need to be more conservative. The numbers tell a story & show you the best path and strategy to use.

    -Use this to determine how you make an initial offer when working with a buyer.

    -Give yourself and your client the edge when negotiating a deal. I’d bet you the other agent doesn’t have the knowledge you will be bringing to the negotiation table.  Use it to your advantage.

Oct 07 2016

20mins

Play

Rank #4: Three Tips to Create Urgency With Buyers

Podcast cover
Read more

Tip #1 - Conduct a Consultation - For some reason, I have observed over my
career - going back to 1991...most real estate agents have always
approached working with buyers differently than with a seller.
 With a seller, we make an appointment, go out to meet the
seller at their home and have a meeting - or - we refer to this as
a listing presentation.  However, (and I say for whatever
reason) our industry as a whole doesn’t approach the buyer lead the
same way. Why is that?  Is it just a matter of watching what
others have done and doing the same as what everyone else has seen
people do?  It reminds me of the story…

A young girl was watching her mother bake a ham for a family
gathering and noticed her mom cutting off the ends before placing
it in the oven.

“Mom, why do you cut the ends
off before baking the ham?” she asked. “Hmmm…I think it helps soak
up the juices while it’s baking.  I’m actually not sure,
though. That’s just the way your grandma always did it, so I’ve
just always cut them off. Why don’t you call grandma and ask
her?”

So, the little girl phoned her
grandma and asked “Grandma, mom is making a ham and cut off the
ends before placing it in the oven. She said that it’s probably to
help soak up the juices but wasn’t sure. She said you’d know
because she learned how to cook from you.”

“That’s true. I do cut off the
ends of the ham before baking. But I’m actually not sure why
either. I learned how to cook from my mom. You should ask
her.”

So, the inquisitive little girl
called her great-grandmother and asked “Great grandma, mom, and
grandma said they learned how to cook a ham from watching you. Do
you cut off the ends of the ham to help it soak up the
juices?”

The great grandmother chuckled.
 “Oh, no sweetie.  I just never had a pan big enough to
hold a whole ham, so I always had to cut off the ends to make it
fit.”

The story of the ham is not new,
and has been told numerous different ways, but it is a great
example of the critical
thinking errors
we make
every day.  When we do things “because that’s what we’ve
always done” we fail to seek opportunities for improvement. We fail
to see the
assumptions
we make
every day out of habit and routine. When we just keep cutting off
the ends of the ham, we fail to innovate.

“No problem can be solved from
the same level of consciousness that created it.”  - Albert
Einstein

All that to say, just because
that is what may be “common” is it the most effective?  I
understood and did this myself in the earlier days of my career.
 Since then, I have learned that (for me and I found to help
me be successful) was to treat the first step with the buyer, no
different from the seller.  Have a consultation, get face to
face and see what’s really going on.  When you do this, it
sets up the rest of the process to go forward with fewer issues and
a more fluid manner.

At the consultation be sure to do the
following:

  1. Present you plan of
    action -  (POA) for
    the buyer.  This is the equivalent of a listing presentation
    for the seller.  What are the steps you will take as you
    represent the buyer? This builds value and emphasizes your
    professionalism.
  2. Use a questionnaire
    Have a well thought out
    “questionnaire” that you can use to perform an in-depth needs
    analysis. When you “wing it” you risk missing important details
    that can come back to haunt you later.
  3. Get commitment
    - Are you willing to work for free?
     I don’t think that is your plan, and yet it happens all the
    time.  People go forward working with a buyer and everyone
    “feels” good about everything….until...they find a home and
    opportunity they can’t pass up with another agent.  - It’s an
    extreme example and yet effective.  Would you get married to
    someone who says “ok you can marry me, however, I don’t have to be
    married to you”? Of course not!  My experience and suggestion
    here is it’s just fair - it’s an exchange of commitments - your
    time and expertise to the buyer - and your buyer showing loyalty to
    you for your time and expertise.  It’s call fair and
    reasonable!  When you demonstrate value, show the benefits the
    buyer receives, they will sign a buyer rep agreement with you just
    as a seller that sees the same value and signs your listing
    agreement.
  4. Establish time lines and set
    expectations - The big
    takeaway from this step is to be EXPLICITLY clear on when the buyer
    will be ready to get the keys to their new home?  It’s not
    enough to have an “idea”. We have to know for sure.  Also,
    know WHY this is important to the buyer?  What happens if that
    date is missed?  Exhaustively find out what the motivation is.
    Once you find out the timelines, you can then determine if you move
    forward, slow down or wait till a later date. Next, you can use the
    “formula” to determine what to do next, and this allows the buyer
    to clearly understand what has to happen to meet their goals.
     

Tip #2 - Use The Formula - This is something I came up with awhile back.
It’s something I figured out as a result of being in that difficult
and very precarious situation when you have a buyer that wants to
buy a home, it’s just not for say several months down the road.
 You don’t want to lose the lead, and you also don’t want to
waste time showing homes and know the buyer isn’t in a position to
perform. What do you do?  I can tell you what most agents are
doing, they getting caught in this trap of showing homes
reluctantly and against your better judgment. This is always
frustrating!  I was in this situation so much I finally came
up with the “formula” here is how it works. By the way, it won’t
work 100% of the time; nothing works 100% of the time, however,
done consistently; it will work in your favor over time.

  1. Establish a timeline
    - How many days there are from
    today, until they are ready to move in. Let’s say for this example
    it’s 75 days or 10 weeks. Sounds like a lot of time right?
     
  2. Ask
    the buyer “are you aware of how many days on average it takes to
    close a sale once you find your home of choice?” (Doesn’t matter
    what they say)  Typically, you will hear 30 or 45 days.
     
  3. Regardless, we confirm or agree and use 45 days
    as an example. Take (in this case) 75 days and subtract 45 days for
    the closing period.  This leaves us 30 days to identify and
    get a contract on a home. All of a sudden, the buyer’s mindset
    changes as they don’t have 75 days anymore, they have 30.
     This brings some perspective and creates urgency.
     
  4. Next,
    we explain “ok, so we have 30 days to find your new home and get a
    successful contract in place”  Unless you let me know
    otherwise, that is the timeline I am working towards to make happen
    for you.  A CLEARLY DEFINED OBJECTIVE! How many buyers would
    you like to have ready to buy a home in 30 days?  Same example
    - in this case, buyer ready to move in 60 days...less 45 to close,
    all of a sudden we have two weeks!  
  5. If
    your buyer begins to lose focus or enthusiasm, you can remind them
    (tactfully) about the time frames to help keep things on
    track.

Let’s look at the opposite scenario, the buyer says they
want to look at homes and aren’t able to buy for five months. What
do you do then?

  1. Establish how many days there are from today,
    until they are ready to move in. Let’s say for this example it’s
    150 days or 5 months.  
  2. Ask
    the buyer “are you aware of how many days on average it takes to
    close on a sale once you find your home of choice?” (Doesn’t matter
    what they say)  Typically, you will hear 30 or 45 days.
     
  3. Regardless, we confirm or agree and use 45 days
    as an example. Take (in this case) 150 days and subtract 45 days
    for the closing period.  This leaves us 105 days to identify
    and get a contract on a home.
  4. We
    can have the following conversation with the buyer.
  5. “I
    want to help you...you have a few options...if we find your
    “perfect” home, we’d have to find a seller willing to wait 100 days
    to close, and 60 days is considered to be a longer than the typical
    time frame. Also, you will usually not be able to negotiate
    favorable terms since the offer isn’t as attractive to the seller.
    It also can bring up some challenges for your financing, locking in
    and fluctuation in rates. (seller market - will be looked over in
    multiple offers) So, you have a few choices…
  1. You
    can wait until you get a bit closer to your timeframe and start the
    buying process then. OR
  2. If
    you can, move up the date to close the gap and be within the
    typical closing time period.

It’s up to you...what would you
prefer?  (either way, it works to your favor)

With some practice, you can
learn how to deliver this in a sincere manner.  It is what it
is - having a conversation like this has helped me numerous times
work through these two situations that are bound to come up often
when working with buyers. The key is really making it about them
and showing your support for their circumstances, not that you
aren’t interested in showing them homes.

Tip #3 - Showing Property Best
Practices  

Show them how the food is cooked in the
kitchen:

  1. Pull
    all properties that match your buyer’s criteria.
  2. Tell
    them how many you found.
  3. Explain to them how many you ruled out due to
    location (train track, traffic street, etc.) or didn’t meet
    condition expectations, significantly overpriced, etc.
     
  4. This
    leaves the net total of possible matches.
  5. Remove doubt - Doing this helps the buyer
    realize that what you’ve presented is the entire market available
    to them at this moment, based on their criteria. Also, this removes
    that “what if there is something we haven’t seen yet” thought
    process. We have to let our buyer into the research process and
    allow them to be a part of what you have done to prepare for them.
     Usually, we just present them homes - it’s like putting a
    plate in front of someone and saying “eat” and not asking if they
    are even hungry.

Get your buyer used to hearing “would you like to make
an offer on this home” -
The idea here is that we don’t want this to sound foreign to the
buyers we work with.  We also don’t want to come across
obnoxious; there is a balance here.  When you ask this
question, you get to learn what is going on in your client’s mind.
 Open dialogue allows you to be on the same page and encourage
the process forward based on that feedback.  When we don’t
talk, we don’t know what is taking place and end up dragging out
the process.

Play the Beat It game with your buyers -
 This is a fun way to
help you and your buyer rule in or out homes and keep focused.
 Here’s how it works.  You show a home, on your way out
the door, ask them to rate the home on a 1-10 scale, 10 the
highest.  Let’s say they rate it a 6. (as a side note, two
great follow up questions are 1. Ask them “what was it about the
home that makes it a 6 in your mind? 2nd - What would have to
happen to make it a 10? This tells you how they are evaluating
their decision-making process.)  You go to the next home on
your route and again, on the way out the door, ask how does this
one rate on a 1-10 scale?  They say an 8, then this means this
one “beat” the last one.  This home is in 1st place, forget
about that last home, let’s see if we can “beat it”. You go on to
house #3, ask the same question … they rate it a 7...so you
say...that means house #2 is still the one to beat, let’s forget
this one and so on. As an example, if you were to show 5 or 6 homes
that day, you all know which one is the home in 1st place.
 This sets up a simple way to ask at the end of the tour the
following “well, of the six homes we saw today, home #2 was your
favorite home...would you like to make an offer and see what we can
do on that one?”  My experience is agents just show and show
and show some more homes and never make an attempt to get the buyer
to make a buying decision. Lastly, if we don’t do this then all the
homes begin to blur together, and the buyers can easily get
overwhelmed and shut down.

May 02 2016

22mins

Play

Rank #5: Part 1 of 2 - The $40,000 For Sale By Owner System

Podcast cover
Read more

A Behind The Scenes Look At The $40,000 For Sale By Owner System. 

89 percent of sellers sold with the assistance of a real estate agent, up slightly from 88 percent the last three years, and only 8 percent (down from 9 percent) were FSBO sales. The share is the lowest since this data collection started in 1981.

  • Did not want to pay commission fee: 48%

  • Sold it to a relative / friend / neighbor: 21%

  • Buyers contacted seller directly: 18%

  • Did not want to deal with an agent: 6%

  • Agent was unable to sell home: 5%

  • Seller has real estate license: 1%

  • Could not find agent to handle transaction: 1%

  • Other: * less than 1%

Source: 2015 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, (National Association of REALTORS® - Research, 2015).

The Success Formula 

Meet 2 by owners every 30 days = 24 year

50% don’t work out for one of many reasons; this leaves 12 you eventually make a presentation to.

Of the 12 remaining, convert 60% - which is 7 of the 12.

Of the 7, six close. Let’s even plan for one falling through; it can happen. 

$250,000 x 3% = $7500

$7500 x 6 = $45,000 Gross Commission Income (GCI) (This is one stream of income) This is in addition of your other streams of income.

Places to find by owners 

  • Driving around - showing property, going on listing appointments, previewing property. These are all opportunities to find by owner opportunities as you’re out in the streets.

  • Friends that are driving through neighborhood jot down addresses and phone numbers.

  • Online - Craigslist, FSBO specific websites. Research your local publications.

Nov 11 2016

23mins

Play

Rank #6: 16 Income Producing Habits Part 2

Podcast cover
Read more
You can find the first 8 Income Producing Habits here
 
9. The Habit of Tracking Your Numbers - What I mean here is knowing the following.  How many calls are required to book one appointment? What % of your leads are converting to appointments? How many appointments are required to get a contract signed? How many signed contracts end up in a closed sale?  Knowing these will empower you with the knowledge and provide a  predictable outcome of your activity. Others would be knowing the market statistics in your market area.  New listings taken, active listings, pending sales, closed sales, expired listings.  This not only allows you to be an expert, it allows you to KNOW what the market is doing vs. wondering, hearing what someone else thinks or the media is reporting.
 
10. The Habit of Regularly Reviewing Your Goals - Setting goals is great, often, once set that’s it.  In this high-speed world, we can easily lose sight of the very lives we intend to experience. Creating a habit to review your goals regularly will keep you focused and aware of the big picture. How often? It depends how committed you are to what you say you want to see happen.  I would suggest, at a minimum, once a day...it will make a difference.  Keep this in front of you and a constant reminder of your purpose. Remember, the quote - what we focus on expands.
 
11. The Habit of Reading Your Affirmations - This ties well into the last point, very few people do affirmations, or is that really true?  I’ve always said, we all do affirmations daily...the question is, are we even aware we’re doing them? Our self-talk is a form of affirmations.  In many cases, we’re not even aware of these thoughts on a conscious level.  Research suggests we have between 50-70K thoughts each day.  The reason doing affirmations as suggested is to make sure we’re directing our minds to focus on what we want to see more of in our lives, improve overall health (mentally and physically) while maintaining a state of gratitude and well being. If you aren’t doing this now, why not give it a shot? It certainly can only bring good in your direction. Like anything, it's about forming a habit of doing this regularly.
 
12. The Habit of Practicing Gratitude - It is so easy to forget to celebrate the “small” things in our lives we’re really grateful for.  After all, “it’s the small things that make a big difference.”  Studies show that taking a few minutes each day to be in a state of gratitude have several benefits:  A few examples were stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure; Higher levels of positive emotions; More joy, optimism, and happiness; Acting with more generosity and compassion; Feeling less lonely and isolated were all benefits of having an attitude of gratitude.
 
13. The Habit of Writing In A Journal - A life worth living is a life worth recording.  How cool would it be to go back and read the story of your life 10 or 20 years from now?  It’s also a way to leave a legacy to your kids and family for generations to come.  I like to point out writing in a journal can help you when you begin anything new or working towards a goal.  For example, if you are new to the business or have been in the business for many years...at the beginning of anything we typically don’t see many results.  However, when you jot down your daily wins it can help you keep things in perspective; that you’re making progress when you may not see tangible results early on.
 
14. The Habit of Staying Properly Hydrated - We always hear about drinking enough water.  This is one I definitely didn’t do well for many years.  Now, since I am getting younger, I have made it a point to carry a bottle of water with me everywhere I go.  The real estate business puts great demands on our bodies; I can tell you from my personal experience. If nothing more, get in your daily water intake and give yourself what is needed to sustain the energy and mental clarity required to achieve your goals.  Often we don’t realize how dehydration is affecting us on a daily basis.
 
15. The Habit of Attending A Training Event Every 3-6 Months - There is something magical that happens when we take time out to get away, detach from the daily routine and open our minds to learning.  It has been a huge part of my career, and I want to encourage you to allocate for this when establishing your budget for the year.  When we attend events, not only do we become inspired and recharge ourselves to take our business to the next level; we also gain a new  perspective and grow both personally and professionally. It’s like going to the concert or watching it on TV.  Being there is a completely different experience.
 
16. The Habit of Pushing Through Fear/Resistance -  We all can feel this taking place.  Our body tenses up, and we feel the butterflies in our stomach.  We usually aren’t having a positive self-talk and worry sets in.  Here’s what I want to suggest, the next time you feel this happening; instead of moving away, going around it or backing off...step directing into it and face it head on.  Just do it!  Face the fear and do it anyway.  Paying attention to these feelings can be an ideal opportunity to push forward, win more often and realize breakthroughs you’ve wanted to see take place.

Jan 11 2016

19mins

Play

Rank #7: #1 Strategy to Convert More Listings

Podcast cover
Read more

Over the years, through focused preparation and hours and hours (and even more hours) of practice...I was able to have a fairly high listing presentation to listings taken ratio.  Most agents will have an average of a 25% closing rate, better than average would be 50%, and the top agents would be converting upwards of 70-80% of the appointments they go on.  What is interesting here is if you take...say...10 appointments and each one is going to payout $6000 CGI, the difference between having average skills and above average skills is an additional $18,000 for the top listing agent - for the same amount of time! Repeat this a handful of times over the course of a year and you can see how you’re leaving, at least, $100,000 on the table - or putting in your pocket!

Here're six benefits you can have when you commit to pre-qualifying 100% of your listing appointments, 100% of the time.

1. Flushes out what's really going on - I like to use this example when I am teaching agents about pre-qualifying the seller.  First, let’s think about what process a doctor follows leading up to a surgical procedure.  Typically, the patient is asked a series of questions; various tests may be run, and we’re told not to eat/drink anything, in most cases after a certain time the day before the surgery.  WHY?  To prevent you from dying or having serious complications.  The doctor is “flushing out” what is going on with the current state of your health. This is exactly what we’re doing when we pre-qualify the seller.  We are asking a series of questions to understand what is going on - the things that are obvious and those things that aren’t as obvious. We’re doing the same thing the doctor is with an intention to take into consideration all factors to allow us to determine how to move forward, if we’re moving forward and what issue may come into play. Simply put, we’re getting prepared for surgery - in this case; it’s not life/death, and it is in most cases the largest financial transaction the seller is trusting you to take them through successfully.

Imagine this - what would it be like to go to a doctor and they don’t don’t ask any questions? They don’t order any lab work and just say “ok, see you in the morning” what would you do?  We’d question what’s going on right? Here’s the thing, the seller doesn’t know any better and when we’re not following this process (knowingly or not) we taking them down a similar path.

Over the years when I teach agents how to do this I often hear things like “what if they get mad that you’re asking questions” or “what if they don’t have the time” here’s what I say, number 1, that in itself is telling you something and number 2 who’s in charge here? You’re the doctor and know what’s best for your patient to get their desired outcome.

2. Gives you leverage to close the sale - Exactly! How many times do you go to a listing appointment and attempt to close for the signature and find it difficult? Have other things come up that hadn’t come up to that point that leaves you wondering what to say?  Maybe all of a sudden the seller starts backpedaling on you with comments like “well, I can just keep the house” or “if we can’t ____ then I guess we will just not sell the house” if you haven’t come across this yet, it’s a matter of time until you do.  What is key to remember here is when you pre-qualify at a high level, you essentially are (as we said a moment ago) FLUSHING everything out which doesn’t give the seller anywhere to “hide”: so to say.  You asked the questions, have all the information, and now that is what you can use as leverage to close for the signature. Jody, let’s look at it this way...imagine you have a large boulder sitting before you...it weighs approximately 100 pounds - with no tools - I ask you to move it forward about 10 feet. What would you say? Exactly, that would be quite a challenge.  Now let’s say I gave you a stick that was about 3 inches in diameter and 7 feet long and I said “go ahead and wedge that in between the ground and boulder and move it forward” what would happen? (snap)  Correct, what I want you to recognize is the stick was the information you normally have going out to list a home - some and not all there was to know.  Now let’s do this...I am going to give you a rod made out of steel, same thing, 3 inches in diameter and 7 feet long. What do you think may happen when you wedge that between the ground and the boulder? (could get it to move forward with less resistance? Yes...) The reason is that you have more in depth information and as a result of more “leverage” to move the process along.  It’s a fact that it’s next to impossible to close for the signature if we don’t have the leverage to work with. If you find yourself having this come up, check in with yourself and ask "am I getting all the information I can possibly get to be in a position to close the listings I go on?"

3. Helps you determine personality style - By going through your pre-qualifying script, not only doing you get to build rapport before you arrive - you have an opportunity to get to know the seller better.  With some practice, you will be able to pick up on behavioral traits and or tendencies show up during the conversation. If you don’t pre-qualify and just get on and off the phone quickly, you are missing out on valuable information that your competition could be taking advantage of (I was) which gives them a competitive edge over you. To really do this a high level you want to have some level of awareness of the most common personality styles.  If we use the DISC, D, I, S, C system you’re likely to be able to zero in on a few things that come up which will help you determine how to communicate with the seller in the most effective manner. Some simple examples of this may be if you determine the seller is really to the point/bottom line oriented and showing low emotions you are most likely seeing the D or dominant personality showing up. If you happen to pick up on the seller tends to talk a lot, fast and with a lot of enthusiasm, this suggests the characteristics of the I personality. Let’s say you notice the seller is calm, steady and very polite and agreeable; you are probably dealing with someone that leans more to the S style. Finally, in conversation you notice the seller comes across in a more deliberate, precise methodical manner, still low on emotion - this would suggest tendencies of a C personality style. We can also pick up on these tendencies based on one's occupation. D - Leadership/managers, I - People-oriented jobs like outside sales or teachers, S - supportive roles like nurses or administrative assistants and C’s would typically hold engineering jobs, pilots or pharmacist.  Again, all this to suggest you are getting more quality information by going through a pre-qualification process, having more in-depth dialogue with each listing appointment you go out on - to have the most favorable outcome.

4. Separates you from your competition & Demonstrates your professionalism - Many times after getting the listing contract signed, as I was heading out the door I would often ask the seller this question “what specifically was it that caused you to go ahead and list with me?”  I heard the same comments over and over again. One that came up almost every time was “I like you over the phone - you took the time to get to know what we were looking to do and asked a lot of questions and showed you cared/were interested in us, not just the sale” they’d go on to say “the other agents we spoke to were just interested in getting an appointment and were off the phone once we set up a time to meet.”  After hearing this over and over it was evident that I was beginning to win the listing on that first call during the pre-qualification process.  If we step back and compare a homeowner hiring an agent and a person looking to get their taxes done or finding the right attorney to represent them, one common denominator is present in all cases - the professional being hired is going to have questions they have to go through to know exactly how to proceed.  For whatever reason, in RE, we hear someone wants to list their home, and we get laser focused in setting the appointment and in the majority of cases that is all.  If you want to differentiate yourself from your competition, following an effective pre-qualification process will show the seller you are the true pro!

5. Take more listings on the first appt - Here’s a question to consider - of all the listing appointments you go on, how many are you getting signed/closed on the first appointment? If it’s less than 80%, you likely have room to improve your approach. It's a fact that your odds significantly DECREASE to get the listing if you leave he house without a signed listing agreement. The more information you have walking in the front door, the more you increase your odds of getting the listing agreement signed on the spot.  You either are in “discovery” while at the meeting with the seller, OR you can strategically use what you have flushed out in the PQ process to move the seller down a path to a buying decision to hire you.  We all base our decisions on two primary factors; they are pain and pleasure. It’s our desire to move AWAY from pain and move TOWARDS pleasure. It’s been proven we will do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure.  So, I realize this is a more advanced strategy and yet, if you are at the top of your game or have plans to be there soon, this type of knowledge is going to have to come into play.  What we want to notice is as we’ve taken the seller though the PQ process, taken detailed notes and have uncovered the underlying issues or goals the seller has, you now can use this to get the seller to commit to working with you.  How? By using pain and pleasure to influence them to list with you. If you don’t PQ, you don’t have the information and therefore, can’t do this effectively.6. Protects your mindset - How could PQ the seller protect your mindset?  Good question - here’s how.  Have you ever gone out on a listing appointment, not gotten the listing and ended up driving home or back to office feeling lousy? I have!  With these emotions comes some great questions/self-talk too...like..why did I ever get in this business?  This isn’t for me; maybe I need to get a real job?  OR you may have some really empowering thoughts like this - I’ll never be successful.   Will I ever catch a break...how am I going make my car payment.  You get what I am saying, not getting the listing can take it’s toll on you mentally and emotionally.  Now, let me stress there may be several factors that have lead to this outcome and just because you took the seller through a solid PQ process doesn’t guarantee you will take the listing.  There may be other areas of your presentation that need improvement - that isn’t what I am saying here.  What I want to emphasize is this - if the seller isn’t qualified, no one would get the listing - they don’t qualify.  The top agents in the business would get the same result. When you do a thorough PQ, you may have been able to uncover information and decided not to go on the appointment after all. This would have been much less of a blow to your mindset than all the time and effort made to go on an unqualified appointment. This doesn't encourage us to stick to our daily schedules, make our contacts each day and be out there proactively looking for the next sale. If someone happened to get the listing, it’s likely to be at the wrong price, not staged correctly or other variables that would prevent it from selling.  Here’s the point - if you are going out on unqualified appointments, leaving empty-handed and find yourself in this vicious circle of beating yourself up and having doubt set in - you can avoid this by committing to a PQ process before accepting the appointment.  PQ upfront will allow you to avoid falling into these self-defeating situations.

Apr 18 2016

21mins

Play

Rank #8: A Formula for Success

Podcast cover
Read more

A Formula For  S.U.C.C.E.S.S - Breaking down the word “Success” - characteristics for success in Real Estate:

Systems -  A set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized method. There are many ways an agent can approach selling Real Estate. Something I wish I’d known early in my career was this principle,  “moving from E to P.” E, for entrepreneurial, by our nature, and the mere fact we’re in the Real Estate business we have an entrepreneurial spirit about us. This is an important factor that drives our success.  Specifically, when it comes to being in “E” mode, we’re talking about doing what comes naturally. We jump out of bed each morning with a positive spirit ready to take on the day (or in some cases the world) going hard, pushing forward with that “I can make it happen” mindset. In “E” mode we often find ourselves being “reactive”  to what comes our way vs. “responsive.”  We often are proud of the fact that we’re charging hard in “E” mode, sharing with those around us how we’re burning the candle at both ends until the inevitable happens - we hit the wall and burn out!  I actually was the President of that club many times over the years - if you know what I mean. Being in “E” mode to eventually will lead you to hit a ceiling of achievement and ultimately disappointment.

My intention in sharing this with you is to help prevent you having to experience this inevitable “burnout” and introduce you to “P” The Purposeful Approach. Moving towards “P” is doing what comes unnaturally. We do this with focus, models and systems that can help lead you to a breakthrough. Approaching business with an “on purpose” approach allows you to have more control, predictable outcomes and saves energy by avoiding repetitious tasks that drain you unnecessarily and rob you of your time. So, be purposeful with your approach, take a step back and ask yourself what opportunities you have to make your business operate more smoothly? Is it a person? A Tool? or creating a new system to bring some semblance of order to your already busy life.

Unwavering - Steady, Unshakable, Determined - Persevering; tenacity. All of this as it relates your dreams, purpose or BIG why. I am convinced that at the end of the day, it’s this characteristic that is the foundation for everything else we’re doing in our lives.  Without this, it’s likely you will find yourself falling short, lacking drive, almost drifting through the day - and many times frustrated with how you’re progressing.  Having absolute clarity about your purpose is the fuel that fires your engines and keeps you going when obstacles show up and either take you off course and derail us, (when we haven't’ defined this unwavering passion for your goals) OR simply pose a very temporary slow down as you immediately tap into your “WHY” and push through or around the obstacle that’s standing in your path.  This is by far the key force behind what you do, work to bring even more clarity to it, blow it up...and make it even more vivid in your mind than ever before.  It should actually be something you can’t stop talking about, and you should actually be able to feel it - obsess in in! It needs to move you emotionally when you are really connected to it at it’s highest level.  

Coachable - When we are coachable, we capable of being easily taught and trained to do something better, and are looking for ways to improve at all times. Being coachable also means you recognize you don’t know everything and are eager to discover all there is to learn still. It takes a person that isn’t caught up in “being” right or worried about uncovering areas of weakness, which I like to say are just areas of “opportunity.”  When we come across an area we have a lot of opportunities, it’s also suggesting we’re knocking on the door of a breakthrough.  Being coachable also means being comfortable, with being vulnerable. Adopting a mindset that “it’s ok, I don’t have to know everything or do everything perfectly” will help you relax and understand that the only way to really get to be the “best” at something is by paying the dues along the way.  Making mistakes and learning from them is the best gift experience can share with you.  Unfortunately, we’ve all gotten accustomed to being concerned with the judgment of others and overly consumed with having to “look good” for fear of looking a bad.  Who can you turn to in your circles that can be a mentor, offer direction and support,  in a safe environment that will allow you to open up and really get down to the core of what’s working or needs to change so you can, not only achieve you goals, yet do it in a shorter time frame.  Life’s short...go get it done. 

Consistent - We need to stop and realize we are being consistent at all times. The questions I want to ask you is... are you aware of what you are being consistent with?  For example, one obvious area of our business we could suggest we’re talking about being consistent with - our lead generation habit - it comes down to having a higher awareness in the areas of our business where we are being consistent, or not. I have worked with enough agents all across the country to know that often, a very common trap, that we find ourselves in is being consistently, inconsistent with the very daily activities necessary to meet, or ideally exceed our goals.  Pay attention to what is showing up consistently, is it moving you closer to your goals/objectives or are you moving farther away?  I’d like to suggest this ties  back to the “U” in success, the unwavering drive you have in pursuit of your dreams, goals and purpose in your life.  There is a direct correlation between our ability to be consistent and the size and clarity of our dreams that drive us and fuel our engines. If you are having a struggle with finding the “fuel” I want to encourage you to find someone to help you figure it out, talk to about it and make it a priority.  Without it selling Real Estate is going to be a “chore” or a “job” instead of a journey!

Evolving - To develop gradually.  Are you? Are you developing?  The not so obvious answer is yes, everyone is evolving; the question is, are you evolving on purpose or by default?  We have the opportunity to “evolve” in many areas, for example, our mindset - how are you improving your mindset on a daily/weekly basis? What are you reading, listening to or studying? What about our skills? How are you evolving your skills set? Are you currently working on an area of your business?  If not, what is an area you would like to see improve that comes right to the top of your mind? If not already, add practice into your schedule - you can practice scripts, presentations, handling objections and the list goes on and on.  Take a script and handwrite it out 2-3 times a day for 30 days. That will surely help you learn the words.  I would also suggest you find someone at your company that has shown up as a focused “learning based” agent and invite them to establish a role-play schedule, so you have live feedback to test your skills and approach.  The bottom line here is if we’re not growing, we’re just existing, which I don’t believe anyone has set a goal to just “exist”. I learned many years ago the concept of CANEI - constant and never ending improvement.  Evolving is a process, commit to it and keep growing forward.

Skilled - Having the training, knowledge, and experience that is needed to do something. Rate yourself in these areas. Communication, scripts, listing presentation, buyer presentation, pre-qualifying process, objections, follow-up, converting leads. closing, pricing, knowledge of the various personality styles...to name a few.  How would you rate yourself 1-10, (10 is high) in these areas of your business? Be honest, remember, if we don’t know where we are, how can we begin to take a step towards where we want to be? The challenge is most people will avoid really taking inventory of where they stand. When we do this we’re bound to be off track from the step one since we didn’t start in the right place to begin with - then wonder why it’s not working!

Go ahead, rate each category - add to this list,  or create your own. By the way no one should be a 10, this means we’ve arrived and have no room for improvement.  That’s not possible because we all know the biggest room in life is the room for improvement.  After rating yourself, ask this question...what would it take to make it a 9 (or 10?)  Then ask this, who can help me? A great way to approach this is to ask the focusing question from the book The ONE Thing. (As it relates to the area you have identified to improve) - What is the ONE thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary? Ex: Following a schedule. What is the ONE thing I  can do - when it comes to following my schedule - such by doing it, everything else would be easier or unnecessary? It’s a great way to get to the heart of the matter and a focus to take action on.

Simplify - to make (something) easier to do or understand. It's the K.I.S.S principle, keep it simple salesperson!  The world we live in today is full information competing for our attention. We have so much being thrown at us and what’s worse is... we think we can keep taking more and more on... without something eventually breaking.  As an example, in 2015 we had over 300 movies released (closer to 332) Let’s look at video games, I came across information that reported we saw just under 600 new videos games come into the market in 2015.  According to Wordpress, they noted that over 56 million blog posts in just January 2016 alone! It’s no wonder we can find ourselves feeling like we work and work and work... and when we take a step back, we often look around and noticed we've made little or no progress and feel overwhelmed. It's the proverbial hamster wheel syndrome. We all know someone who has had an extraordinary amount of success and may ask, how they did it? They got a focus and put their blinders on.

To go big, you need to go small. Less is more!  I heard it said this way recently, instead of going a mile wide and an inch deep - go an inch wide and a mile deep.

Feb 22 2016

20mins

Play

Rank #9: Six Areas to Dominate Customer Service

Podcast cover
Read more

Are You An Eagle or A Duck?

No one can make you serve customers well….that’s because great service is a choice.

One man, Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey.

He handed my friend a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.’ Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said: Wally’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment…This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’ My friend said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’ Wally smiled and said, ‘No problem.. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice…’ Almost stuttering, Harvey said, ‘I’ll take a Diet Coke.’ Handing him his drink, Wally said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.’

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play if you’d like to listen to the radio.’

And as if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

‘Tell me, Wally,’ my amazed friend asked the driver, ‘Have you always served customers like this?’ Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. ‘No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard a personal growth expert on the radio one day.

He had just written a book and said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, ‘Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’

‘That hit me right between the eyes,’ said Wally. ‘Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.’

‘I take it that has paid off for you,’ Harvey said.

‘It sure has,’ Wally replied. ‘My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don’t sit at cab stands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it, and I take a piece of the action.’

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I’ve probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two that I know of took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

Customer Service 101 - 6 areas to dominate as an Real Estate Eagle. With 1.2 to 1.3 million Real Estate Agents in the industry, how are you differentiating yourself from the ducks on the real estate pond?

1.Your Skills - Communication - can clearly articulate what you need to convey to another party. The other part of communication is accurately receiving information, not making assumptions/jumping to conclusions. People - works well with others - a pleasing personality. Versatility - someone who has the ability to adapt to many and ever changing environments/situations, Problem Solving - the ability to think through issues that arise and find ways to effectively and efficiently resolve them in a timely manner, Pricing - our ability to objectively assess value and do so in a manner that would be consistent with the trends and current market conditions, Negotiating - know when to speak and when to listen. Has the ability to listen for cues and can zero in on opportunities that work in your favor.  This is just a short list and gives us an idea of the complexity and range of the skills our clients are looking for in an agent - that is an “eagle” agent.

 2.Your Attitude/Mindset - Where’s your focus? Do you typically find fault with things or are you looking for solutions? Are we focused on being learning based or caught up in the media and daily drama going on in the world? Are you living in fear and worry or are you empowered and optimistic about the future?  Why do I mention these?  They ALL come into play when we’re going about our daily routines and interacting with buyers, sellers, other agents and vendors in your market.  It’s how we show up to our listing appointments and at our buyer consultations.  Ducks are quacking about how all the reasons they’re unable to hit their goals and the eagles are making things happen in spite of the market and any personal challenges they're facing.  

3.Your Work Ethic - Being an Eagle means outperforming your competition with your work ethic.  It’s how you show up and do your job. Being an eagle means you go the extra mile, not cutting corners and looking for the easy way out of things. Being thorough and paying attention to detail. It’s also the little things like being accessible and responsive.  I learned many years ago and have made it a philosophy to live by - it goes like this - we often come to a fork in the road, one has a sign posted “the hard road” the other “the easy road” and...when we take the easy road it always gets harder and when we select the hard road, it typically ends up being easier. That said, it’s unlikely anything worth doing will be easy. Having a solid work ethic also means you stick with things and don’t give up.  I think a major contributing factor to being successful is just staying the course.  When you stop and start and stop and start, moving forward is slow if even at all. Think about it, what would happen if we drove like that? We’d get nowhere fast while burning a tank of gas.

4.Your Compassion - Ducks are self-absorbed and out for numero uno, themselves. Eagles rely on their leadership training and influence to look for what's best for everyone. Eagles think Win-Win or no deal.  We need to remember that moving ranks up there as one of the top most stressful events that takes place in our lives. When we step back and realize we’re not getting our clients at their very best.  We have the opportunity to show our compassion, patience and be supportive in the process. Always remembering to remain the calming force in our transactions, focused on solutions, not the challenge. Eagles do this by putting others needs ahead of theirs.

5.Follow-up/Follow Through - It’s amazing isn’t it, when we come across someone that actually follows through on what they said they’d do we’re taken back and impressed.  It’s a sad commentary that it takes so little to stand out in today’s business world.  Eagles keep their word and their commitments.  Even if they don’t have an answer, they will call and tell you they don’t have an answer. Ducks go out of their way to avoid responsibility, aren’t organized and haven’t the moral conscious or regard for other people's feelings and needs. Be an eagle, just do what you say you will do and that in itself will cause you to win more often and dominate your market.

6.Your Overall Professionalism - the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well. Eagles are professionals, they take the high road and do what’s right instead of being concerned with being “right”. This means taking all aspects into consideration, including representing the entire industry and its image. A true professional is a class act and respected by not only their clients, also by their peers. I say it often that agents need to remember that we’re not working against each other in the business.  Yes, we are representing our clients and need to do so at the highest level. In doing so, keeping top of mind to work with and through the agent on the other side of the transaction to get all parties on the same page, or at least as close as possible, in a professional and respectful manner.

Mar 07 2016

18mins

Play

Rank #10: Managing Your Time in Real Estate

Podcast cover
Read more

Managing your time in the real estate business.  

First, this is something people struggle with in general, not just Realtors.  However, in the world of real estate sales, it appears to be magnified even more as it’s a commission only business.  If you’re being paid hourly or salary and mismanage time, for the most part, it's become accepted. Of course, it’s a contributing factor to the lack of productivity, yet, for the most part, things go forward.  As a Realtor, you have a much shorter fuse before you find yourself out of time, money or both. As a commission only, independent contractor this should very well be your #1 priority.

Talk to us about your experience with having a schedule to follow, maybe what you did and any suggestions you may have for our agents in action.

When we think about having a schedule, we often have some amount of resistance to this process.  Often, we feel it’s will be restricting and cause conflict with the discipline necessary to follow a structured schedule.  I know this because it’s what I used to think myself until I changed how I looked at my schedule.  Dr. Wayne Dyer has often said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  So true! Try it, take a step back and be open to other ways to apply meaning to things that take place in life.  Instead of seeing your schedule as something that is “hard” to follow or stick to or we resist by saying things like…”I left corporate America and got into real estate so I would be able to have more flexibility in my day…(as a side note, that way of thinking is a quick way to find yourself, back, working a corporate job) I want to suggest doing what I did years ago. Going forward, I want to recommend you look at your schedule like a GPS. It tells you how to get from one place to the next.

What did people do back in the CA gold rush days in the late 1840’s - early 1850’s? We’ve all seen them, the maps with the dotted lines that eventually lead to gold and their riches. I know it may be a silly way of looking at it, yet when you imagine you have a big X on your map (these represent your goals/dreams, the things you’re most passionate about) and you follow a dotted line (which represents the daily tasks to complete along the way to reach your destination - your goals) you are now connecting in your mind...‘when I follow this process (schedule) it is leading you, closer and closer, with each step you take to accomplishing the goals you I have set out to achieve. Isn’t that better than all of the other negative emotions we typically have when we have attempted to follow a schedule in the past?  Trust your schedule and be thankful for it...it is a tried and true system for you to strike your goldmine!

Bottom line on this, we do it every day, when we don’t know how to get somewhere and need directions, we rely on a map, GPS or some kind of system to help us get to our destination.  I trust this is making sense and I am getting through to you - following your schedule is the KEY to getting to where you want to go. It’s your friend, not the enemy.

Let’s look at some tips from Todd of ways he’s learned over the years to help manage his time and follow a schedule for success.  

Start your day at the same time each day - Treat your business as if it was a “real” job. What would this mean? That you’re accountable for your actions, production, showing up on time, leaving when your “shift” is done (not early) you need to conduct yourself in a manner that wouldn’t get you fired. What was interesting is how often I noticed the agents in my coaching schedule that were having success, were the ones that came from a previous job/career that had a very structured day and they carried it over and treated their real estate business the very same way. Simple, have some kind of consistency in when you begin working each day.

Establish a consistent morning routine - If you’re having a challenge managing your day, focus on mastering your morning routine. Tell your clients and family you're on an appt until noon each day. As I would take on a new client, I would let them know how I operated and what I would be doing throughout the day. (Of course, we need to know this to be able to do this) This doesn’t only demonstrate your professionalism; it sets proper expectations for how to communicate with you. The morning routine is 8a - Noon. Nothing, unless it’s a true emergency can get in the way. A true emergency life or health matters, someone’s safety, is at risk or major issue with a child.  It’s something to think about in advance, how will you define what can cross this line?  If you don’t get really clear, you will notice distractions somehow finding a way to pop up.  

No drama zone - Easier sometimes said than done.  Drama is the #1 productivity killer. Are you constantly in crisis mode? Are you reacting to life or responding? Why? If you’re willing to take a step back, you may be able to get a clear picture what’s causing this.  Sometimes, we do this to ourselves and don’t know how else to behave. It eats up precious time and zaps your energy. It also will drive people away from you.  Sellers/Buyers can see the drama coming a mile away and won’t have any interest working with you.

Watch out for technology traps - We need to realize that things like our phone, emails or text messages or worse, Facebook, Twitter and the rest of them … if you haven’t noticed, are consuming our lives. These tools are either working for you, or against you.  When you are focused on your lead generation time, (a Realtors ONE Thing, staying in the 20% activities that bring you results) don’t allow technology to get in your way.  If you were on a listing appointment, sitting with the seller at their kitchen table, would you stop in the middle of the presentation and check email, respond to a text or answer your phone?  Of course not, yet for some reason we don’t treat our appointment (time block to lead generate) the same way and wonder why we’re not going on more listing appointments and closing more deals  Simply put, these tools can be great assets to you or robbing your time and ability to accomplish your goals. Be honest, to some degree technology is distracting us, some more than others. What is it costing you?  

Track your time, every hour for three days - This isn’t for anyone, only if you’re really ready for a change. If you really are serious about making improvement with your time management skills, you have to take a look in the mirror and get really honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to see what’s really happening.  If you want to something to change, I encourage you to take inventory of exactly what you did each hour of your work day for three days in a row. Don’t sugar coat it, leave something out or go easy on yourself.  Be 100% transparent and write it down. At the end of the 3rd day, you will have an opportunity to review exactly what you’re doing with your time.  I’ve done this several times and can be an eye opener if you will follow through and of course, honestly note what you’ve done with your time.

Color code your day - After you’ve tracked your time, you can now go back and issue a specific color to the various activities you’ve noted.  You can pick any colors you wish. I recommend taking a highlighter, let's say one that is yellow, orange and green.

Green: Highlight everything in green when you did something that was an income producing activity. Examples could be lead generation/prospecting, lead follows up calls, going on a listing appointment, showing property or negotiating a contract.  All would be activities that can lead you to income. Obviously, we want to see a lot of green if we want to make a lot of green.

Orange: Highlight everything in orange when you did something income servicing. Examples could be calling your listings with feedback on showings, dropping off a sign, lockbox, or making a flyer, inputting a listing in the MLS etc.

Yellow: Highlight those things you could have delegated to someone else. When you really examine this, you didn’t have to be the one to complete that task.  When we can get some leverage on our time, we can free ourselves up to get more “green time” on our calendar.  What is your time valued at?  (If you don’t know, figure it out) As a simple baseline calculation, let's say you take two weeks off each year as unpaid vacation time. Then you would be working 50 weeks of the year, and if you work a typical 40 hours a week, you have a total of 2,000 hours of work each year. In this case, you can quickly compute the annual salary by multiplying the hourly wage by 2000. Example: Your hourly pay of $37.50 is then equivalent to an average annual income of $75,000 per year. If you’re making $150K, of course, that’s $75.00 each hour.  My point is this...if your time is worth $40, 50 or $75 per hour, why would you do a task someone you can hire out for $12 an hour? Often, we can find admin type support that is paid at the closing. Don’t jump to conclusions or make assumptions about the terms someone would accept. Keep seeking out the right people to help you get your business moving in along more efficiently.

Check in/out with a co-worker, coach, family member or all of them - I remember, at times I would call someone at a key point in my day to “check in” as a form of accountability. If you are having a hard time getting to the office in the morning, then go ahead and arrange with someone that you will call them at 8:30 am every day  for a week or two, in order to begin making that a new habit. Or, if you want to commit to lead generating for an hour each day, call when you begin and again when you end. If you’re really wanting to play at a high level, go ahead and report out what your results were. ie: calls made, contacts made, appointments set, leads generated, etc.  Don’t hide from doing things that will lead you down the path you wish to be on.  We only have to apply the new discipline as long as it takes to become a habit.  

Begin a 66-day challenge - When we’re looking to change a habit, in this case working on improving the use of our time, keep in mind it will take some time to see the results we’re seeking.  Patience is key!  We often hear about doing something for 21 days, and it’s a habit.  That may be the case for some, I have studied this (being a certified trainer on The ONE Thing Book), and there is research out there to suggest it can be as little as 18 days and as many as 261 days. The authors tell about a researcher that found 66 days to be what is referred to as the point of automatically.  This means the new behavior is at the point where the individual no longer has to exhibit energy for the desired behavior to occur...it occurs naturally or “automatically.”  Pick something (recommend one thing) you want to see change and the goal is to do that for 66 consecutive instances.  Most months have 20-21 work days M-F.  If you were to do this Monday through Friday, it would be just about three months to complete.  Each day you execute the new activity, you get to check off one day, then two, three and so on...the goal is you can’t break the cycle. The days must be consecutive, don’t break the chain or you have to begin over at day 1.  This should be a fun way to install a new habit into your life.  Make a game of it. What you’ll notice is once you get past day 4 or 5, you begin to “protect” the momentum you’re building and don’t want to have to start over.  Something as simple, yet challenging as a 66-day challenge can really begin to set you up for great things to come.

Oct 28 2016

25mins

Play

Rank #11: The Twenty Percent Sercret

Podcast cover
Read more

Today we’re going to talk about staying focused on your 20%. The 80/20 principle.  

Time is The Great Equalizer

Q - We all know or have heard of someone who has had extraordinary success. How do they do more,  achieve more, earn more, have more?

A - They get to the heart of things...They go small.

“Going small” is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do.  It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.

What exactly is this 20% secret?  

We have found that every job or role in business, has a measurable way of tracking performance. To determine this, we ask three questions. 1. How do you gauge success in your job or business? 2. What are the things/activities that contribute to that success? 3. Out of those things/activities, which is the priority item? Meaning, if you didn't do that activity at all, you would essentially see your business fail or lose your job? This concept comes from the Italian philosopher named Vilfredo Pareto, who was born in 1848-1923. Pareto was studying the Italian economy and realized that 80 percent financial wealth in Italy was controlled by 20% of the population. Then, he looked at real estate and noticed 80 percent of the real estate was controlled by just 20 percent of the population.

What’s interesting is, this shows up everywhere in our lives - it is a principle as true as the law of gravity! Pareto’s Principle, it turns out, is as real as the law of gravity, and yet most people fail to see it’s significance. It’s not just a theory—it is a provable, predictable certainty of nature and one of the greatest productivity truths ever discovered. Richard Koch, in his book The 80/20 Principle, defined it about as well as anyone: “The 80/20 Principle asserts that a minority of causes, inputs, or effort usually lead to a majority of the results, outputs, or rewards.” In other words, in the world of success, things aren’t equal. A few causes create most of the results.

Is Less really more? - Pareto points us in a very clear direction: the majority of what you want will come from the minority of what you do. Extraordinary results are disproportionately created by fewer actions than most realize. Pareto’s great insight was that not everything matters equally; some things matter more than others — a lot more. What amazes me is that often, people don’t accept this like they do the law of gravity. Here’s a great example of what I am talking about.  If I took you to the top of a 20 story building and asked you to step off the building - with no protective gear, would you? No. You accept the law of gravity completely. Someone people don’t live the 80/20 principle the same way. I understand Pareto isn’t a new concept to everyone. What I don’t understand is why most people don’t like it, follow it or make a point of following it. Why is this? Likely due to the fact it’s not commonly talked about, taught and trusted to work.  

Trusted to work? What does that mean? We have become so accustomed to living in “chaos” and sadly have (even if not consciously) accepted it as a way of life.  When in fact, it doesn’t have to be the case.  How do we do this? First, we have to raise our awareness.  Once this is done, we can get a clear focus on what truly matters, put the blinders on and get into action doing The ONE Thing, the right thing, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary. You have only so much time and energy, so when you spread yourself out, you end up spread thin.   You want your achievements to add up, but that actually takes subtraction, not addition. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects!

How can we practice the less is more strategy - Ask - What is your ONE Thing in business? In other words, what is your 20% activity that yields 80% of your results? Do you know what your 20% is? To figure this out, as it relates to your business, we’ll focus on your role as a Realtor, what is the ONE THING you know is the MOST important activity, that will make everything easier OR unnecessary? I would suggest this is the habit of lead generation.  For a Realtor, there are many opportunities to be pulled in numerous directions.  That’s the trap we must A.) be aware of and B.) consciously avoid falling into the 80% activities that, fill up our day and make us feel “busy” and yet prevent us from being “productive.” This is why so many people find themselves working hard, making a sincere effort to  achieve and year after year coming up short of our goals and frustrated.  

Give Yourself The Gift of Leverage - Overcome, overwhelm.  There’s no doubt, we all have many “things” that need to be done.  Here’s the million dollar question to ask yourself  “Is this in my 20%?” One common issue I find comes into play with many people I have coached/trained is they find themselves in this position because they are unwilling to let others help them.  Simply put, they have some control issues to move beyond.  I’ve been there myself, when I finally accepted and for that matter realized, I have a skills set that doesn’t encompass everything, and other people have stronger skills in the areas where mine we’re not as strong, I learned to trust and let go. It’s about building a team of people around you. It’s fair that anyone, that feels that everything that has to be done, must be done by themselves are going to feel overwhelmed quite often.  In order to grow, you have to let go. Do what you do best, what your role calls for and delegate everything else. We can do this through the leverage of a transaction coordinator, listing coordinator, or the support of a virtual assistant. If you drink water without a water filter, then you are the waterfilter.  It’s no different in business, if you don’t find people to assist you, then you are the assistant.  Successful agents don’t do what assistants do, and successful assistants don’t do what successful Realtors do.  I would be willing to bet, based on my experience working with 1000’s of agents across the country, you feel overwhelmed because you are doing everything yourself, working on growing your business and you can’t keep up with everything. No one could! In fact, we’re also stunning the growth of our business when we use this approach. Give yourself the gift of leverage, have more time and increase your production.

Final thought - I just want to repeat this ...You have only so much time and energy, so when you spread yourself out, you end up spread thin.   You want your achievements to add up, but that actually takes subtraction, not addition. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects! Find your 20% activity, trust it and watch your results skyrocket!  Remember, 90 day cycles!

We had an amazing event a few weeks ago...I mentioned the CRLS course I was offering.  We SOLD out and the agents that attended were amazing!  They came ready to play all in, had great energy and it was a hugely successful event.  I will be in Grapevine TX coming up on June 28/29 offering the CRLS Course - you can go to www.crlsdesignation.com to get all the details.  Our venue can only hold 50, so get registered asap as this will sell out too.  

Jun 01 2016

17mins

Play

Rank #12: The 90 Day Productivity Cycle

Podcast cover
Read more

Your real estate business is built 90 days at a time. Have you ever felt like you were legitimately working and wondered why you aren't getting anywhere? Frustrated with your ability to get things rolling? 

First, it's not your fault. It's likely no one has ever explained how the cycles in the real estate business work and what it is going to require of you to get traction and some business rolling. I like to use the example of a plane upon take off.  If the plane doesn’t have a long enough runway and is unable to get enough speed, it won’t be able to have enough momentum to get lift and take off.  The plane requires a certain amount of energy being generated from its engines (thrust) to keep it ascending, eventually, reaching its cruising altitude. This is where the plane requires less energy or thrust to maintain flight; you could say the plane has momentum now.  The most energy the plane exerted was getting the plane from a standstill to its cruising altitude. (This is no different for us in real estate.)  We have the same process to go through the plane does. Often, the key difference is when a plane takes off, the pilots have taken into consideration many variables before they attempt this process.  Things like the length of the runway, load (or weight of the plane), fuel on board, weather, the altitude of the airport and a list of many other items. When we “take off” (as Realtors, the majority of the time) we don’t have as well organized plan and as a result, find ourselves not getting off the ground, often, we feeling like we’re on a hamster wheel going in circles and grow increasingly more frustrated. What we find is after a few honest attempts without any measurable success, our enthusiasm diminishes, and we lose the passion we once had to grow our business. If this sounds familiar, it’s not entirely your fault.  It’s likely no one has explained how you “take off” in the real estate business...this can be accomplished using 90-day cycles.

What is a 90-day cycle? Consistently taking action on your desired activity for at least 90 days straight. Keep in mind we're focusing on real estate related activities here. However, this could be applied to anything in your life. Ground Rules: 90 consecutive days of staying engaged in the activity(s) you've made a commitment to. Monday thru Friday or days you designate to be working days. Here’s the reason so few can complete a cycle...if you miss one day, you start over at day 1. The purpose of this is to create a habit around the behavior and build momentum in your business leading to increased production and income.

What have you observed over the years?: What we see showing up in our businesses today is usually a result of what action we've taken, or not taken in the last 90 days. Who we are right now is who we've been up to this point...not necessarily who we are at the moment. It’s simply showing up in our present. So, if you're happy with what's showing up, continue with what you've been doing. Should you want to change anything, it's important to remember that what you do (or don't do) today is going to show up in the next 90 days. Understanding the process is key to maintaining a good mindset and awareness of what's taking place in your business.

Also - many agents begin pulling back towards the end of the 3rd qtr.  This leads to a slow 4th qtr, and when the new year rolls around, agents begin getting back to work. However, since the business is built in these 90-day cycles, many of them lose taking advantage of the 1st quarter...results typically show up as spring begins.  This means if this is you...you are losing as much as six months of production.  You can check this by looking at your goals … are you consistently coming up short or possibly getting halfway to your goals?  If so, this is predictable based on your work cycles, consistency or inconsistency.

7 Steps to completing a 90 Day Cycle

1. Be ridiculously clear about the why behind the cycle. This will be your leverage when doubt creeps in. A strong understanding of your purpose behind the effort will serve as your foundation to build upon. Your ability to complete the cycle is either made here or will reveal where the hole will show up when you hit some resistance. I like to say we must have an unwavering commitment to what’s driving us.  Let’s be honest; it’s not always fun...sometimes we’re having to exhibit self-discipline, do things that take us out of our comfort zone.  Sometimes, let’s face it...we just aren’t in the mood to do whatever it is we know is required of us to move our business forward. This is why defining this is so important.

2. Put your goal for the 90-day cycle in writing. It’s not enough to just have it “in mind.” Be very specific, allow yourself to be detailed in your description. This is not the time to go through the motions or cut corners. Go deep, be thorough. Studies show people with written goals are more likely to accomplish their goals... In fact, research shows us your odds of achieving your goals as much as double when you just write them down. If you want to go all in, in addition to writing down the benefits you will have to enjoy once you complete this 90-day cycle, go ahead and find some pictures that bring it to life even more vividly.  It may take you an extra 30- 45 minutes to do this and will be well worth it.  Place these pictures directly in front of you as a daily reminder of what you are getting closer and closer to realizing this lifestyle.  Hey, don't play small here, this is your life!!

3. Find your support team and accountability partners. Those that are for you. Family - Let them know what you are setting out to do and ask for their support. Explain to them how they also benefit from what you are doing, get their buy in. If they don’t jump on-board right away, don’t be discouraged.  This is just their way of guarding their emotions against any potential disappointment should you not follow through.  In time, with your consistency, the results will show up, and you will have your family right there cheering you on to the 90th day, and beyond!  Close friends - Co-workers that will be positive and get behind you and want to see you succeed. Broker, Manager, productivity coach, staff, etc.

4. Create affirmations around what you're looking to accomplish.

Affirmations are written in positive and present tense. An affirmation can work as it has the ability to program your mind into believing the stated message. This is because the mind doesn't know the difference between what is real or fantasy. As an example, if your goal for the 90-day cycle is to lead generate 1 or 2 hours each day for 90 straight days you could have an affirmation like this: I enjoy generating leads on a daily basis.  I love to make phone calls and connect with people about RE on a daily basis. I feel empowered when I follow my daily time block to lead generate.  Keep this in mind, if intentionally saying affirmations seems “cheesy” to you - do know you are saying them anyway.  As we go through our day saying negative things (consciously/unconsciously) you are doing affirmations anyway.  The difference is they are doing your mindset harm and many times not even when you are aware of it. It can’t hurt anything, just go ahead and do the affirmations and in time, you will notice when you don’t do it you will notice something seems off, and you will miss do this.

5. Identify the activity(s) Use the focusing question to help guide you. 1. What is the one thing I can do to grow my business (in a ninety-day cycle) such by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?   2. Time block for the activity.  30 min? 1 hour? 1.5 hours? 2 hours or more? Start somewhere...Chinese proverb...the journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step.  Just take action! The important thing is to get started and stay the course.  Put it on your calendar, if you don’t have one, now is a great time to start using one. Keep it simple, don’t get bogged down with all the details, just note it in your calendar and then do it. Winning in real estate is a marathon, not a sprint. Less is more over time.  There is a saying, time on task beats talent every time.

6. Track your progress, keep it real. As we discussed in previous episodes, accountability is about being transparent about activities to a third party. Have a log of the work you've completed. Remember, it's not about measuring the immediate return on your efforts. DON’T BE TOO QUICK TO KEEP SCORE. It's a matter of staying engaged in the activities, doing them at a high level and increasing your proficiency daily. Again, keep this simple...just have some kind of plan in place to track your progress.

7. Have a way to reward yourself along the way. How can you do this?  Make a game of it, have some fun.  Keeping in mind if you were to do this M-F for 90 days, that would be just over four months with the weekend's taken into account. Yes, that’s a good chunk of time and why you will see results. You can equate this length of time to the length of a runway a plane needs to get enough speed (or momentum) to get lift and take off. The 90-day cycle is our runway for us to “take off” and soar to new heights. Do one full cycle, stick to it and you will be on the way to your next level in your business

Jul 11 2016

24mins

Play

Rank #13: 14 Negotiating Tips Part 2

Podcast cover
Read more

14 Negotiation Tips - 7 Don’ts 

  1. Don’t use force, threats, fear tactics or burn bridges with any party to the transaction - If you’re planning on having long-term success, your reputation and how you conduct business is also a factor that will come into play now and in the years ahead.  It’s critical to keep in mind that we have a lot more at stake than just getting a  deal done at all costs.  It’s so easy to find ourselves falling into a trap of manipulation when pushing to make a deal come together. Negotiating isn’t always really what we see depicted on TV or in the movies. A top negotiator not only has a clear objective to get his/her clients goals met, but they also have a good understanding of what goals the other party is attempting to accomplish.  Let’s be clear that successful negotiating doesn’t always mean we get everything we want, it means we get the majority of the terms in our favor, and we often overlook pointing this out to our clients.  Setting this expectation will in itself help you close more business. If we have 100% on the table, and at a minimum, get 60-65% in our favor, the scales have tipped in our direction.  Ideally, you can get even more...70-80% or more. It’s about getting the edge to be in favor of your clients. 
  2. Don’t make it a “right” fight - I love the saying you can be right or you can be rich and often you aren’t going to have both. Often we approach the other party like the “enemy” or opposition - that we’re working “against” this person or group.  I want to suggest you view the other agent as your allies, how you treat them, your tone of voice and most importantly, how they perceive you are coming across is going to work for or against you. If we break it down, using a home negotiation as an example, both parties want what the other party has - the buyer wants the seller’s home, and the seller wants the buyer’s money.  So, there’s a common variable both parties want, and now it’s a matter of bringing them together to make this exchange with terms both can live with. I didn’t say we are ecstatic about.  If we approach the negotiation with an attitude “it’s my way or the highway” you’re bound to lose each and every time. Both parties have a perspective of what is “right” for them, and a sharp negotiator will work to get both parties as close to that objective as possible.
  3. Don’t make up stories or twist the facts - Hello!  I know this one should be a given and yet when we’re pressed to make a deal happen, and our focus is on our commission, we’re vulnerable to possibly going down this path. We’ve all heard the saying “the truth always comes out in the wash” and I am a big fan of that statement...it does!  Another piece of advice I was raised with was “if you tell the truth, you never need to remember what you said”. Isn’t that the truth (no pun intended).  I know it goes against what can be more prevalent, I would rather shoot straight and not get the deal than have to walk around with the guilt and clouds over my head wondering when all the crooked business will come knocking at my door. When we all take the high road, we’re not only helping ourselves, we’re helping our industry as a whole while building up our image as professionals.
  4. Don’t fold on your standards.  Being motivated is one thing, acting desperate is another - It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment, I know what it’s like to be working hard to bring a negotiation together and have a large commission just inches away from being put under contract.  I’ve always said the only thing motivation and desperation have in common is they both end in “tion”.  What I am suggesting here is we don’t allow or confuse our motivation to make a sale happen with our emotional and financial needs that can so easily creep into the equation.  I was coached years ago that my money (commission) wasn’t what funded deals. We should never be more motivated than the parties to the transaction.  The moment a buyer or seller senses any weakness about your negotiation skills, that you may be just a bit too hungry,  they will attempt to prey on your weakness.  I believe we need to take a stand for ourselves, maintain our professionalism and not fall into the trap of making the ends meet to bring a deal together.  It’s the old saying when you give an inch - people will take a foot. Again, all this goes back to where we’re coming from...abundance or scarcity.  When we have a steady routine of lead generation, we can have confidence that we’re not going to go without and hold firm, not fold on our standards and let the parties work through to a resolution.
  5. Don’t put your own needs ahead of your clients - For most of us, selling real estate is a vehicle that can allow us incomes we’d only dreamed of in the past. I have helped many agents get started in the business and from this experience, I can safely say that the large majority haven’t been accustomed to $5000 - $10000 - $15000 checks all at once. It's so exciting to anticipate the money before we've actually earned it.  This can especially show up when we’re living month to month, in between deals, or quickly running out of savings.  This is where our integrity really shows up. I like this analogy when you squeeze an orange, what do you get?  Orange juice of course.  It’s the same thing with people. We we’re squeezed, what’s inside comes out. I don’t think it would come as a shock that since I started in 1991, I have experienced some ups and downs financially.  Being commission only can be quite a journey  Here’s what I’ve learned. People are VERY perceptive to the energy we put off.  If even for a moment, we’re out to sell a home because we NEED it to pay our bills, people will pick up on that and be put off. Again, no matter how hard, we have to think “come from contribution” and put our clients needs top of the list.  One of my favorite speakers Zig Ziglar taught me many years ago, “If you help enough people get what they want, you inevitably can’t help getting what you want.”
  6. Don’t forget you get more bees with honey than vinegar -  We’ve all heard “it’s the small things that make a big difference” it’s so true in life and especially true when approaching negotiations.  It’s important to remember we’re establishing an impression - good, bad or otherwise well before we submit and offer to negotiate.  For example, when we’re representing a buyer how we fair at the end of a negotiation starts as early as setting up the appointment to show the property.  Once shown...have your provided professional and timely feedback? When I say feedback, I am not talking about statements like “my buyer didn’t care for the floorplan” we owe to the seller and listing agent to take an extra minute and give specific and constructive feedback. We need to realize that our actions are either bringing us closer to our goals or moving us further away.  Having a successful outcome and winning more negotiations sometimes has nothing to do with our offer at all.  We need to be mindful of our attitudes when interacting with the other agent(s).  Especially when in a competitive market and one with multiple offers this can be a deal maker or breaker.  If we remember we’re not only submitting an offer on the behalf of our clients, we’re also presenting our attitude to the listing agent and seller.  When the listing agent has several offers to work with, you need to remember that part of getting your deal through is not only based on the terms of your offer, it’s how we conduct ourselves too.  Of course, when in a buyer’s market, this would be the opposite, the listing agent needs to be mindful that their are many other homes for that buyer to approach.  I say we just be nice … period, it’s just a matter of following the golden rule.
  7. Don’t use texting and emails as your main means of communication - Oh, don’t get me started!  This is a real pet peeve of mine.  I am a bit old school when it comes to this one.  In the early days of my career, I used to actually present my offers to the seller face to face.  We’d have our buyer’s waiting by the phone or in many cases outside in their car anxiously awaiting the to hear if their offer was accepted or received a counter offer. I am not sure this is exactly how it all came about, I can recall back in early to mid 90’s, we had a recession and the banks got more into the real estate business.  We went from customarily doing business face to face - sitting down and negotiating in person to hearing this “just fax it” offers began getting faxed over to the listing agent to be presented to the seller.  This obviously changed the entire negotiation process as we knew it.  Of course, today, it’s not “fax it” - most markets in the US now have offers sent via email and electronic signature.  Technology is wonderful, and we have to remember at the end of the day, we’re in a high tech high touch business. When we study communication, we know that 55% is body language, 38% is tonality, and 7% is the words we choose.  As a society, it’s a concern how we’ve moved away from good old fashioned “meetings in person” to less “talking on the phone” and for the most part text or email as the prefered means of communication.  It’s no wonder we have the growing amount of misunderstandings in human interaction. We cut out a whopping 93% in communication when we text or email - no body language or tone exists.  If you want to have a higher level of success, think about going back to the fundamentals - face to face whenever possible - phone call next - and as a last resort emails and texting.  Right now, it’s texting/email, then maybe a phone call, and as a last resort face to face meetings.

Feb 08 2016

19mins

Play

Rank #14: How to Hold a Proactive and Productive Open House

Podcast cover
Read more

In real estate, there are several ways to generate leads...some more effective than others.  All approaches will usually fall into two categories.  They are either proactive or passive at their basis.  Proactive is defined as a person, policy, or action creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened. Passive is defined as accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance. So, clearly, we are going to have more influence over the results when we’re proactive in our activities. This would be a good time to take a look at what you’ve been doing to generate leads and determine which category most of your prospecting efforts fall within.  What we often discover is many of the approaches we’re using are passive, thus contributing to slow responses and lower quality leads.

Let’s first look at some of the passive ways leads could be generated. They would be sitting open houses, talking up calls or sometimes referred to as floor time, buying internet leads, or running ads in various types of media. Keep in mind these are easily identified as we are usually waiting for something to happen and do not have any control over what will happen. This is where many agents find themselves focused.  Some of the proactive approaches would be calling into your database for referrals, calling on for sale by owners, expired listings or knocking on doors. We can clearly see the difference here as all of these examples are direct attempts to identify a motivated candidate to buy or sell real estate.  Obviously, it’s easy to see why most agents find themselves drawn into the passive activities; they believe it will avoid a lot of rejection and confrontation, true!  Unfortunately, there is a price to be paid either way...take on the rejection (be more proactive) and make money or go the passive route, yes, avoid rejection and in the process income opportunity is lost too. We want to be very aware of how we’re going about generating business, what category we’re spending most of our efforts in and manage our expectations accordingly.

As much as I am not a huge fan of any kind of passive approach to selling real estate, many agents do open houses on a regular basis. Especially when starting out in the business. When I first started, I would do an open house on Saturday and Sunday until I had enough buyers to show all day Saturday (10a 1p and 4p) then I would do one only on Sunday.  So, if agents are going to them, there are some actions that we can take to increase our odds of having a more successful outcome.

Let’s go over the four stages to holding a proactive & productive open house.

Stage 1 - The Selection Process - This matters, do your homework

The 3 L’s - location, location, location. Simple, let’s make sure the home is a desirable listing. Favorable curb appeal - if the house is ugly, people will pull up and drive off, priced properly, buyers’ are educated… and good school districts are a big draw.

While speaking a location, In a perfect world, multiple access points to draw in traffic. Ideally, you will be able to pull from multiple major traffic streets that feed into the neighborhood.

If you don’t have a listing to hold open, maybe check with your manager/broker to see if there is any reason you couldn’t ask an associate in your office or company wide if you could hold their listing open (prospecting :) If you don’t already know who the top agents listing homes are in your office, get to know them and let them know what you are looking to do open houses. Ask keep me in mind when the opportunity presents itself.

Stage 2 - Pre-Open House Activities

Pull all of your sales data and know the area inside and out.  Also, it would be a good idea to know what is going on in the areas surrounding the subject property that would be considering the competition.  The broader your awareness, the higher level conversations you will be able to have when you’re meeting visitors to the open house. This will separate you from your competition as they will recognize you know your stuff - it will be a deeper conversation vs. the other agents skimming the surface and only able to make small talk. Simple idea and yet many of us go through the motions unprepared.

Make it an event - Yes, we want to do all we can to bring attention to the open house. If we are going to hold the open on Sunday, you could use the four days prior to getting the word out.  Other than posting in your MLS and online, it’s very effective to go out starting on Wednesday/Thursday and begin knocking on the doors on the same street and surround few streets announcing the open house and inviting the neighbors to stop by, take a look and keep up with what is going on in their area. Afterall, in most cases, this is the largest investment they have ever made. Saturday’s are great for door knocking. If this is uncomfortable for you, that’s, even more reason to do it. We have to stop kidding ourselves that we’re going to achieve our goals living in our comfort zone.  Feel the fear and do it anyway! That’s the only way I have found to overcome and breakthrough.

While at the door, you can also use these simple questions to potentially generate leads or get your next listing. (Role Play)

Hi, my name is _____ with ABC Realty.  I stopped by today to let you know I am representing your neighbor, Mr.and Mrs.Seller over on

123 Main St. In an effort to get the seller maximum exposure, one thing we’re doing is holding an open house this Sunday, from 1 to 4p. Here’s some information on the home (hand them a flyer) and I wanted to personally invite you to pop by for a few minutes. (They say whatever)

By any chance, who do you know that may be interested in moving into this area? (no one comes to mind, or my sister is looking to move in the neighborhood)

Just curiously, how long have you lived at this address? (Great, wow, really)

Where did you move from?

How did you happen to pick this area?

If were to move, where would you go next? (answer)

When would that be? (This helps flush out a lead for some future date)

This is a very effective way to keep the conversation flowing.  The more you practice these questions, the more ease you will have carrying on a fluid dialogue with the homeowner.  When we do this enough, you will begin to generate leads, add people to your database and close more business.  If you don’t practice, you will find it hard, be intimidated and probably not take the action necessary to win more often. Take the path less will travel, be prepared - go with confidence.

Stage 3 - The Big Day - It’s Showtime

Arrive early - If the open house is set for 1 pm, think I want to be ready to go at 12:40.  Allow yourself 20 minutes to get inside, adjust the A/C or heating (if necessary and with permission) turn on the lights, open window coverings (when it enhancing the view) turn on the TV or radio, get yourself set up with your flyers, computer, sign in materials or whatever you do.  When you show up late, you do all of this rushed, and this causes your level of stress to increase which will take you off your A game when interacting with the people you meet. Why are you doing this open house? To make a great impression and generate business right?  Be early, be relaxed, prepared and ready to go.

Directional signs - As allowed in your community, put up as many directional signs as possible. Be sure to ask for permission if placing a sign in the yard of a neighbor. Knock on the door, ask for permission. (script) If no answer, leave a note on the front door or consider going to the home across the street to ask.  2 or 3 signs isn’t going to cut it.  If you don’t have more signs, borrow some, buy more or consider waiting until you can do this properly. As mentioned earlier, we want to pull traffic from multiple directions to increase potential visitors. I can recall using as many as 12-15 signs when I would do open houses when I got started in the business. Get creative! Yes, it is a pain in the neck...no one ever said success was easy...however it’s a pain somewhere else when you take a Sunday away from family, hanging out with friends or just some time to yourself to have an open house that was a bust and waste of time.

Materials - Have your sales data ready to go.  Will you be handing anything out? This is up to you, however, it is critical to be prepared and ready.  Will you be using any technology to show visitors information?  How will you have people sign in? (Book, tablet, face to face?)  I also always suggest you bring something to work on.  You can use this time to practice your listing presentation, buyer presentation, objections, scripts - anything you can identify as a skill that when developed, will allow you to increase your efficiency and productivity. We don’t want to ever fall into the trap of just sitting at an open house watching TV, wasting time on FB or a game on your phone. If the open house is slow, turn that time into learning time. Remember the saying...the agents the learn more, typically earn more.

Your Approach - Have this worked out ahead of time. After you have done several opens, you will find what your “go to “ style will be to engage the visitors.  Our goal is to, in the shortest time possible be able to decipher a good candidate from a looky loo. Again, with time comes experience and you will be able to pick up on this right away. Have your 3- 5 go to questions internalized so you can break the ice and see what you have to work with.  How will you position yourself to follow up? How will you get accurate contact information to follow up with?  We don’t have time here to get into every detail; I just want to mention a few of the most important things to be mindful of so you can be in a position to convert more business. A great agent and friend many years ago shared with me a question you can ask that is designed to set them up to have to come back to talk to you before leaving the house…”I want to ask a favor, or I want to ask your opinion...as you are looking around, would you please make a mental note of one thing you like the most about the home and one thing you think could be improved...then before you go, let me know what those things were so I could share the feedback with the seller”.  You will find the majority of the time, when you give them an assignment and ask for help, people will want to fulfill their end and report their findings to you. Of course, this allows you to potentially develop some rapport before they head for the front door and generate some new leads

For the over achievers listening...staying open longer (maybe 30-45 minutes) can allow you to catch more visitors since the amount of signs in the area are reduced.

Stage 4 - Post Open House Activities 

Send a handwritten note to any neighbors that may have stopped by.

Follow up on any leads you generated.  As simple as this sounds, this is an area many agents fall short. Learning a strong lead follow up scripts will help your confidence.  I like to use the example of the TV show Survivor. There may be 5- 6 agents following up in the first few days after the OH and a week later no one is.  Stay the course, if for some reason you don’t reach the lead, they don’t call back...don’t read into this.  Just keep checking in every few days, real buyers will appreciate your effort and believe it or not you will be earning their business by doing so. In the end, don’t forget this is a numbers game...do anything enough, be open to tweaking what you do to make it better each time and you will see positive results. Keep in mind; sometimes you will convert the person you are speaking with, or they may just be someone who turns you on to someone else who is in the market. When we have an unstoppable mindset, we will find a way to make things happen.  Sometimes in life we can’t wait for the ship to come in, we must swim out to it!

It goes without saying and of course, is the #1 priority - safety. Not to be an alarmist, it’s just wise to have a heightened awareness when conducting an open house. Always do what you feel comfortable doing. Make sure to let family, friends/co-workers know where you are going to be. Sometimes, agents will sit an open house with a partner, if that works for you then do it.  If you aren’t familiar with things to do or look out for, it’s wise to do your research...read up on and talk to some trusted resources and practice good open house security best practices.

Aug 12 2016

26mins

Play

Rank #15: If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get

Podcast cover
Read more

Whenever we get together for an episode of Agents In Action, I often ask myself “what is it I should share this time?”  I have been devouring several books these past few weeks, and one of them jumped out as the obvious answer for this conversation.  I realized, without one’s ability to do this effectively...especially someone in sales...it can be a long uphill climb that leads to endless frustration.  It’s a great book by Mark Victor Hansen & Jack Canfield called “The Aladdin Factor” The book focuses on a skill that arguably, is the absolute foundation for the results we have, not only in business, life itself.  It’s all about learning how to be “masters of the lamp” as the authors call it...having the ability to...simply put...yet easier said than done...just ask.

As I was reading the book, it hit me between the eyes how this simple idea is so important to be aware of in our lives.  As you know, my focus is always searching for ways to chunk it down to the simplest ways I can help the agents I work with get to that next level.  I trust discussing this will help you gain a new perspective and allow you to make the adjustments in your approach to have more success.  When you think about it...we are asking for one thing or another at one time or another - all the time!  Step back and take notice...how much of our day involves some form of “asking”.  Sometimes, (I would even suggest most of the time) we have a hard time asking in general.  If we do, often it’s not for exactly what we really want to see happen.  Why?  The obvious - fear of judgment, rejection and embarrassment to name a few.  We lack confidence, worry about what someone’s response will be to us fully expressing ourselves.  When we really focus our attention on this, we quickly realize how often this takes place on a daily basis.  What impact is it having on your life and business?  Your family and loved ones? The causes you are behind?  It’s almost as if we’re living in self-imposed prison with bars we can’t necessarily see, and worse, don’t even feel the limitations after we’ve become accustomed to living inside these parameters we’ve set for ourselves.

I'd bet this is the underlying fuel that feeds many agents resistance the essential activity of lead generation. At its core, prospecting/lead generation is “asking”  If you are uncomfortable asking, concerned about all the stories rolling around in your mind, if you’re vulnerable to allowing yourself to become emotional and attached to the outcome...then yes...any kind of “asking” will cause you to pause or avoid what you perceive to be pain...remember, we will do more to avoid pain than gain pleasure.  If this is you, how can you create new associations to lead gen or prospecting?  It’s what we focus on that expands.  Once again, let’s really go back and get connected with our purpose, our passion, and work to reverse these self-defeating habits.

One thing I have always fallen back on is how passionate I have been to have a BIG vision for how I desire my life to be.  Maybe I am lucky or just too foolish to know otherwise...I have always been a HUGE dreamer and allowed myself to buy into the concept of having dreams and that they can come true if you’re willing to take action and do what’s necessary to achieve them.  I just believe it’s possible.  Generally speaking...there’s two groups of people...those that believe all things are possible...and the other that doubts and dwells on why nothing will probably work out anyway.  Something else that has helped me keep healthy mindset is this well-known verse about “Ask and you shall receive” and the other that's so powerful is...ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  Here’s what’s interesting and yet likely overlooked,  even if you don't ask… you still receive.  The difference here is when we don’t “ask” it doesn’t mean we avoid the situation or conflict entirely, we automatically eliminate any possibilities, and we receive nothing...that’s still something.  After years of behaving this way,  we become resolute and no longer recognize this is abnormal… it becomes the norm and as a result...unfortunately,  the majority of people are living quiet lives of despair.

In real estate, we are always involved in asking for something to bring our deals together or create new ones. Let's bring our attention to how much of our daily existence is heavily involved in asking.  Again, why it’s so important to become comfortable with this or you’re going to have stressed all the time. We

Ask for the signed listing or buyer representation agreement.

Ask for a prospect's contact information, phone and email address.

Ask your buyer if they are interested in writing an offer.

Ask to meet at a time that works best for your schedule.

Ask for a price reduction.

Ask your clients to work with terms that may not be optimal for them.

Ask a seller to pay 6% listing fee.

Asking for a different sales price, aka negotiating.

Asking the photographer to meet on Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

Ask the lender to get loan documents in one day early.

Ask the title company or escrow officer to meet a client at a certain time or location.

Ask another agent for a favor your client needs during the transaction.

Ask your broker for a different compensation package.

Ask the inspector to speak with your clients about a finding in the report.

Ask your transaction coordinator to handle a situation differently the next time.

That’s just business...imagine everything that takes place in our personal time.

It’s ongoing and never ending...we have to really learn how to ask for what we want without struggling, and all the anxiety that comes into play or we’re going to avoid it.

Let’s look at some ways you can begin to be “masters of the lamp” as you mentioned the authors teach in the book.

Sure,  Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen give these seven characteristics that people that are “masters of the lamp” posses.  (Go ahead and give yourself a rating 1-10)

1. They know what they want.

2. They believe they are worth receiving it.

3. They believe they can get it.

4. They are passionate about it.

5. They take action in the face of fear.

6. They learn from their experiences.

7. They are persistent.

What are a few actions steps you’d suggest someone can take to become more comfortable with this whole process of just learning how to be “ok” with asking?

  1. Raise your awareness - Get a copy of the book, study it and make it a lifestyle.  They share stories in the book...it’s amazing what can come from just learning how to effectively ask in your life.  What’s neat is it’s not just your life that improves, you can have a positive impact on your community.

  1. Step forward, not around - You know the feeling...that awkwardness in your stomach or the little voice that says “stop...donot go there...you remember what happened last time.” Now, step forward directly into the face of fear and ask.

  1. Be clear - If you’re going to ask, it may as well be for exactly what you want.  There’s no point it is going that far to still come up short of what it is you really wanted to see take place.  Mean what you say and say what you mean. Don’t leave it to assumption - you know that never turns out well.

  1. Detach from the outcome - Ask and let go.  What happens, happens.  We’ve all heard it many times before...focus on what you can control - the asking.  From there, it’s all going to work out as it’s supposed to anyway.  Just ask - that in itself is going to free you up from harboring all the “I wish I would've” in your life.

  1. Practice - Work on making what's uncomfortable, comfortable. Everything worthwhile will require some kind of change, adjustment or tweaking.  That’s a part of the process.  Figure out what works, what didn’t and keep moving forward.  Be sure to keep in mind it’s a process, so, don’t have unrealistic expectations.  Asking doesn’t mean you will get everything you want.  It means you will position yourself to get more of what you do want vs. settling for the self-defeating rejection we’re looking to avoid.

You know, we all have those sayings we take with us as kids into our adult years...one I remember and practice to this day is one I learned as a young kid...that was…” you may aswell ask because if you don’t...the answer is no anyway”  So, if I don’t ask...I said no to myself by not asking, and if I do, there’s a chance I may get a yes.  If you find you do this, stop saying no to yourself and assuming what the outcome will be.  Put it out there!  In the coming days, let’s make a point of being more aware of times we may avoid asking for what we wish to bring into our reality and begin living life more freely.

Sep 23 2016

19mins

Play

Should Seller's Price High to Leave Room to Negotiate?

Podcast cover
Read more

This is a very common misconception sellers have when listing their home for sale. Time on the market is the #1 enemy for a seller. Historically, we know the longer a home sits on the market for sale, the softer the price becomes. In this episode, I want to share one approach that's worked well for me in these situations. Should you decide to incorporate this into your business or not, the main purpose of discussing this is to be sure you have your go to script, plan... whatever you prefer to call it. Our ability to effectively deliver our responses to common objections such as this can be the difference between a listing taken or a listing sold.

Let's list some of the things buyers think when taking into consideration the length of time a home they're interested in buying has been on the market. Of course, it depends on the market conditions, this will be applicable in any market and especially effective in a predominantly seller market or neutral market.

Let's first look at a home that's been listed for just a few days.

Buyer's thoughts:

I need to act fast.

There may be multiple offers.

The seller is less likely to be flexible on the price.

I wonder if any offers have already been submitted.

All set the buyer up to have urgency, take action and make a strong offer.

Now lets list some of the common thoughts that come to mind when a home has been listed for, say, a few months.

Buyer’s thoughts:

Is there anything wrong with it?

I bet we can get a better deal.

I have time to think about it, let’s see some other homes before making a decision.

All of these don’t encourage urgency and leads the buyer to make a lower offer.

Let's set this up. Here's the keys ideas you’ll want to keep in mind:

  1. Know your outcome - the objective is the seller comes to realize that pricing right from the start is the best choice.

  2. With that in mind, learn how to ask questions that will lead them to this decision. Selling is not telling.

  3. If you don’t believe it, neither will they.

The conversation.

Seller: It looks like we need to price it at about $350K, so let’s start a bit higher and leave room for negotiation, let’s start at $365-370K to so the buyer can feel like they got a better deal.

Agent: I can understand why you would feel/think this way. It’s normal, after all when we go to buy something, it’s only natural to want to get a better deal, right?

Seller: Yes

Agent: (Name), if asking a higher price would end up actually causing you to lose money, or in the end walk away with less profit...you would want to know that … wouldn’t you?

Seller: Of course, I am not sure what you mean.

Agent: Let me explain.  Let’s look at this scenario...a buyer looks at your home and they are excited, they want to make an offer.  What do you think is one of the top questions a buyer asks their agent about the listing? They already know the price, the size, beds/baths etc.  What would you think it would be??

(The answer we are looking for is “how long has it been on the market”.  We are handling this like the TV game show The Family Feud.  Allow the seller a few attempts at coming up with the answer themselves, if they’re struggling, praise their effort and let them know the answer we’re looking for.)

Seller: Is there any offers?

Agent: That’s a good guess and yes buyers will ask that, what else?

Seller: How long has the home been listed for sale?

Agent: That’s it! This is the one that is most important...here’s why.  Let’s look at 2 scenarios…A The buyer asks their agent “how long hasit been on the market” and their agent says “2 days” what do you think the buyer’s mindset is likely to be?

Seller: Well, I would imagine they’d be thinking they need to make an offer quickly.

Agent: What else?

Seller: Ummm. They better make a strong offer because it just came on the market.

Agent: Yes! That’s exactly what we want them to think, correct?

Seller: Yes, that’s right.

Agent: Ok, let’s look at scenario B. The buyer asks their agent “how long has it been on the market” and their agent says “62 days” what do you think the buyer’s mindset is likely to be?

Seller: What’s wrong with it?

Agent: What else?

Seller: I am going to get a better deal.

Agent: What else?

Seller: Why didn’t anyone buy it yet?

Agent: Exactly...so...this is what I am talking about when I mentioned if you knew that asking more to leave room to negotiate could actually end up costing you money, not making you money...and you want to maximize your profit, right?

Seller: That’s right.

Agent: So, (name) what is the most dominant thought you want your buyer prospects to have? A. I better make an offer now and make it a strong offer because if I don’t someone else will...OR B. “Let me think about it..if I do end up making an offer I am going to come in low to see how good of a deal I can get.”

What thought do you want them to hold on to? A or B?

Seller: A

Agent: You’re right, I would pick A as well.  So...based on that...what is the best price... based on the facts that will cause a buyer to choose to make an offer on your home vs. the competition?

Seller: I guess we better price closer to the mid $50’s...let’s go with $355K

Now, this isn’t going to work perfectly or every time  I have found this to be a very effective way to help the seller self-discover how to make the right decision and price it right the first time.  The key here isn’t taking my words exactly as I said them and try to be me…(unless that works for you). The idea is to grasp the concept of this conversation, practice it at first by reading it...then try doing this with notes in hand and attempt not to look at your notes if possible and eventually run through the scenario freely from memory.  Always keep in mind we need deliver this as if it was the first time you’ve ever said it won’t be as effective.

Mar 03 2017

18mins

Play

Three Lies Robbing Your Productivity

Podcast cover
Read more

I am noticing a pattern that keeps showing up lately during conversations I am having with many agents.  Since this seems to be so prevalent, I thought we could talk about it today as it’s likely something many of our great agents in action are experiencing.  Even though a simple, and even a common topic, it’s one that is (in many cases) costing you $10,000’s and even $100’000’s in lost income opportunity.  Ultimately, this shows up in our lives many ways.  Sometimes, it’s having more month than money left at the end of each month...day to day lifestyle choices, it poses restrictions on us to give to others,  not taking much needed (well deserved) vacations and so many others.  What is this villain? It’s our ability to know what to do with our time each day and some long-standing myths or lies that are encouraging this to continue.  I thought we could really dissect what I believe is the underlying cause behind this.

The Three lies robbing your productivity.

Lie #1 Everything Matters Equally

All things do not matter equally. Not tasks, not possessions and even people matter equally. Not everything matters equally, and success isn’t a game won by whoever does the most. That is exactly how most people play it on a daily basis. THE SIMPLE TRUTH IS THE PERSON WHO IS MOST  FOCUS WINS EVERY TIME. They are better because of time on task. It’s time on task over time.  Achievers always work from a clear sense of priority. Instead of a to-do list, we all need a success list - a list that is purposefully created around extraordinary results. So, go small, go extreme, say no, and don’t get trapped in the check off game. The check-off game never produces a winner. Sometimes it’s the first thing you do; sometimes it’s the only thing you do. Regardless, doing the most important thing is always the most important thing.

Lie # 2 Multi-Tasking

What’s ironic is employers often advertise to find self-proclaimed multi-taskers.

A thought: Multi-Tasking is probably one of the biggest lies out there. If doing the most important thing is the most important thing, why would you try to do anything else at the same time?

4000 - The number of conscious thoughts on an average day.  Most people have an interruption of thought. (Every 14 seconds.)

43 - Average number of interruptions in the workplace daily. (Every 11 min)

28% - Loss of efficiency due to those distractions.

End result: In a five-day work week, you are losing more than one full day of production due to distractions. We wonder why we’re stressed out and not getting ahead as fast as we feel we should based on the time we’re putting in. You have only so much time and energy, so when you spread yourself out, you end up spread thin. You want your achievements to add up, but that actually takes subtraction, not addition. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects!

Lie #3: A Disciplined Life

When we buy into the lie that everything matters equally, we end up multi-tasking because there is just too much to do, and when multi-tasking doesn’t work, we end up saying things like “ I just need more discipline in my life.” The trick to success is to choose the right habit and bring just enough discipline to establish it. How much discipline is required to build a new habit? We suggest 66 days, you can force yourself to get to 21 days, 66 days takes commitment.  Don’t be a disciplined person. Be a person of power habits and use selected discipline to develop them. Build one habit at a time and stick with the discipline long enough for it to become routine. Remember, it’s not just one thing, it’s ONE Thing at a time.

Don't miss the Premier Real Estate Academy webinar to help you explode your real estate business. Sign Up HERE

Feb 10 2017

20mins

Play

Four Ways to Boost Confidence When Pricing Properties

Podcast cover
Read more

Four Ways To Boost Confidence When Pricing Property

Typically, when preparing for a listing appointment, most agents will leave their pricing research to a desk review over their computer.  If you want to outperform your competition and at the same time...dramatically boost your confidence, go the extra mile and consider implementing these steps to maximize your confidence and accuracy.

1. Preview property every 10-14 days to give yourself a stronger knowledge of your local market, and it will give you more confidence in pricing during the listing presentation.

  1. The more real estate you see, the more familiar you will become and have a keen sense of what a home’s value actually is. No more guessing or wondering.

  2. Gives you the edge over your competition as you will have the ability to reference properties for sale or that have sold, carry a higher level of conversation with both your sellers and buyers and clearly demonstrate your expertise of the market place.  A great disguise for new agents or agent that don’t really know an area as well as others.

       3.  Over achievers, you can mix in some door knocking while you’re out there.

2. Arrive early to the subject property neighborhood and preview your competition before you go on the listing appointment.  This will help you better understand exactly how your listing will compare to the others and allow you to have certainty when discussing price and proper positioning in the market.

  1. Go the extra mile, get inside and take notes on the condition, updates or lack of. Is the home dark, bright what direction does it face? Were there any odors that won’t be detected by just looking at pictures, how was the yard size, privacy or lack thereof.  All these things can only be discovered by viewing the home in person. Pictures can only tell us so much; a site inspection shows it all.

  2. Gives you absolute certainty when it comes to comparing the condition of the subject property.

  3. Doing this will eliminate any doubt when the seller should comment about their home having this or that compared to those that are for sale.

3. Drive the comps including similar properties that are pending or closed status.  Consider only looking at closed sales going back 90 days whenever possible as this best represents current market conditions.  It’s critical to know where the properties are located in proximity to the subject property. Are the others on/back to traffic streets, train tracks or some other type physical objection?

  1. Remember, you are the expert.  It’s not only the professional expectation to be fully aware of the details surrounds the sales directly impacting your potential seller, it’s what the seller expects of you … and sets you up for a timely sale.

  1. You can use this knowledge to confidently make references to other properties during the pricing or CMA portion of your presentation.  This demonstrates your familiarity with the neighborhood which sellers will pick up on. They’ll know if you aren’t familiar too. The more prepared you are, the more easily you can carry on a fluid conversation with the seller about what is taking place in the neighborhood.

  1. Nothing feels better than being prepared and knowing you are ready.  Do what others won’t, go that extra mile and do your homework.  You will find yourself more relaxed able to focus on getting the listing contract signed instead of worrying about what may be brought up or said next. Don't forget the 5 P's - prior, planning, prevents, poor performance.

4. Having an overall knowledge of your market statistics to create the highest impact. NO ONE CAN ARGUE WITH FACTS. Not the seller, buyer, agents or lenders. Set a reminder in your weekly calendar, make it a routine and do this.

It’s across the board, the majority of the agents don’t really have a firm grasp on market statistics in the areas they specialize in.  If we’re the expert, then we’d be sure to know exactly what is going on in the marketplace. Here are some numbers to be tracking, these include:

A.    Total inventory  (Subdivision, city, county, entire metropolitan area, or all of them.                               

B.    New Pending sales the past 30 days

C.    Homes sold/closed in the last 30 days

D.    Homes listed for sale in the last 30 days

E.    Homes that expired/cxl in the past 30 days

F.    How many months of inventory are currently available? Supply demand.

  1. Eliminates being subject to what “others” may be saying about the market.  This includes the media, other agents at your office and the general public. Be careful, if you don’t take ownership of the information available to you, someone else will do it for you.

  2. It’s the difference between wondering and knowing. Statistics are unemotional. If you’re looking for a way to bring certainty about what really is taking place in the market, knowing your market statistics will do that for you.

  3. You will notice you’re able to carry on a “higher level” conversation when working with your buyers, sellers or and anyone else you may happen to be having a conversation with about real estate.

Jan 27 2017

17mins

Play

Personality Styles 101

Podcast cover
Read more

Personality Styles 101 - Today we’re going to discuss the D.I.S.C personality styles and how to use this system to have more influence with anyone you are speaking with, resulting in a higher level of communication and ultimately, developing these skills will be an asset to close more business or, increase your overall effectiveness when putting deals together.

It’s was something I learned early in my career...probably 20+ years ago now. What’s interesting is I use what I have learned probably on a daily basis, if not several times a week. Knowing first who we are and then, to identifying the traits in others has been invaluable over my career.  Remember the saying, people that are like each other tend to like each other and birds of a feather, flock together...it’s really true they’re not just “sayings” they are a fact of life. As Realtors, having a solid understanding of the various personality styles, and how to approach each of them, will be an asset and contribute to your success.

A good portion of our success stems from our ability to effectively communicate with others.  When we stop to think about it, it’s not just our ability to present our listing presentation to a seller or a buyer our value proposition. It’s more than just this. It’s handling negotiations or comes into play when converting leads into appointments.  It’s knowing HOW to present our value proposition, HOW to negotiate or HOW to convert leads into appointments based on WHO we’re speaking with that is the key to our success or, lack thereof.

Knowing who we’re speaking to, and what their preferred communications style is will either build up or break down the relationships we are working to form and dealing with on a regular basis. Knowing how to to do this, having a trained eye, what to look for and a trained ear, what to listen for will serve you well over the course of your career.

Let’s take an example from each...starting with what to look for.  At our core, all of us are either more task oriented or people oriented.  This also shows up in areas we may not really be aware of. For example, how people select the clothes they wear.  If you saw someone that was wearing clothing that was bright or had a busy pattern, (if you’re paying attention and have an awareness about this) we could conclude that they are likely to be more “people” oriented.  When you see someone dress more conservatively, solid “safe” colors, a more reserved look, you could conclude they are more “task” oriented.  Remember, these are just clues and initial indicators.

What we’re looking for here are speech patterns you may pick up on. Is the person you’re in conversation with talk fast or slow? Is their tone louder, or soft spoken? Are they higher energy or more methodical in the way they communicate? Both will be an indicator of the personality style you are dealing with. Again, when you have familiarized yourself with these patterns and with a good amount of practice, you will begin to see how you can use all of this to have a higher level of influence.

So, let’s take a closer look now at what the characteristics of the D.I.S.C styles.

The DISC is a behavior assessment tool based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston, which centers on four different behavioral traits, which today are called: dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance. This theory was then developed into a behavioral assessment tool by industrial psychologist Walter Vernon Clarke. There are many different versions of the questionnaire and assessment. Some date back to the 1940s while others are more recent.  Marston, after conducting research on human emotions, published his findings in his 1928 book called Emotions of Normal People. The DISC approach suggests people’s personalities fall into four categories. We all have some of each of the four in our make-up, while two of the four are most dominant. Let’s review the most common characteristics of each style. There are four main personality styles...we lead with usually 2 and have some of all 4.

The D Style

What are the general characteristics of the D Personality Style?

The “D” 3 -5 % - The D Personality Style tends to be direct and decisive, sometimes described as dominant. They would prefer to lead than follow and tend towards leadership and management positions. They tend to have high self-confidence and are risk-takers and problem solvers, which enables others to look to them for decisions and direction. They tend to be self-starters.

What is the greatest fear of D Personality Types?

The D Personality Type will crave to be in control of the situation and therefore fears the idea of being taken advantage of by others.

What to remember to do when working with D Personality Types?

When working with a D, be direct, to the point, and brief. Focus on tangible points and talk about "what" instead of "how." Focus on business instead of social topics and try to be results oriented. Make suggestions for how to achieve the goal instead of talking about why it won't work. Try to thinking like a D, be confident and focus on problem-solving.

What to remember not to do when working with the D Personality Type?

When working with a D, it's important not to focus too much on the problems, the negative points, and the small details. They are big picture thinkers and may perceive you as negative. When speaking, try to speak confidently. Avoid repeating yourself or rambling. Don't make generalizations and make statements without support. Focus on the topic and do not be too sociable, they want to get right to the point.

Types of jobs these people may have for employment - CEO/Management, Trial Attorney

What are the general characteristics of the I Personality Style? (People) “I” 25%

The I Personality Style is not afraid to be the center of attention - Influencer. They are enthusiastic, optimistic, talkative, persuasive, impulsive and emotional. This Personality Type will trust others naturally, truly enjoys being around others, and functions best when around people and working in teams.

What is the greatest fear of I Personality Types?

Since acceptance and approval by others are the main desire of I Personality Types, Rejection is their biggest fear.

What to remember to do when working with I Personality Types?

When working with an I Personality Type, it's important to build rapport and be friendly. Approach Give them plenty of opportunities to verbalize their ideas, as they usually have very creative thoughts and are great problem solvers. Because they have so many ideas and enjoy discussing them, it may take some planning for them to turn their verbal ideas into action. It helps to write details and follow up to see they’ve followed through. They are great motivators of others.

What to remember not to do when working with an I Personality Type?

Don't eliminate social time, as this is a very motivating factor for them. Don't do all the talking or strictly tell them what to do, you'll miss the opportunity to hear about their ideas and creative solutions to problems. Don't react to them in a way that makes them feel rejected, this is a great fear of theirs and will result in them feeling insecure.

Types of jobs these people may have for employment - Sales reps entertainment industry, public relations.

What are the general characteristics of the S Personality Style? (People) 45%

The S Personality Type is known for being steady, stable, and predictable. They are even-tempered, friendly, sympathetic with others, and very generous with loved ones. The S is understanding and listens well. Preferring close, personal relationships, the S is very opened with loved ones, but can also be possessive at times and hold them close.

What is the greatest fear of S Personality Types?

Because the S strives for stability and a feeling of peace and safety, they fear the loss of security through change.

What to remember to do when working with S Personality Types?

When working with S Personality Types, be personable and build rapport. The sooner they feel comfortable with you, the sooner they will open up to you, especially if they see genuine interest in them as a person.  If instituting change, be patient with them, explain your reasoning, and give them time to adjust. It will make them uncomfortable at first.

What to remember not to do when working with an S Personality Type?

When working with an S Personality Type, it's important to be kind and patient. Avoid being confrontational, using strong tone or body language, being overly aggressive, pushy, or demanding. They avoid confrontation and will recoil if approached in this way.

Types of jobs these people may have for employment - Nurse/Social Worker, Admin Assistant. Amazing in support roles.

What are the general characteristics of the C DISC Styles? (Task) The “C” 25%

The C DISC Styles are accurate, precise, detail-oriented, and conscientious. They think very analytically and systematically and make decisions carefully with plenty of research and information to back it up. The C has very high standards for both themselves and others. Because they focus on the details and see what many other styles do not, they tend to be good problem solvers and very creative people.

What is the greatest fear of C DISC Styles? Because C Personality Types take great pride in being accurate and correct, they fear criticism. What to remember to do when working with C Personality Types?

When working with a C Personality Style, it's best to be prepared. Do your research and prepare your case in advance. Pay attention to the details because this is what the C focuses on. When you can support a statement or idea with accurate data or examples, it will be beneficial.  Be systematic and logical in your thinking and planning and specific when agreeing or disagreeing. When disagreeing, work with facts instead of people examples. Be patient, persistent, and diplomatic and remember that they fear criticism.

What to remember not to do when working with an C Personality Type?

Do not speak in broad generalizations with no specifics, use details and explanations when possible. Try not to answer questions too vaguely or casually, as they need information and details to make sense of new plans and decisions. Do not criticize the work they've already done as they take great pride in their work. If you do need to criticize, be specific with your examples and be diplomatic. Avoid being confrontational as they will not respond well to this and will close off.

Types of jobs these people may have for employment - Engineer, Scientist, CPA, Pilot

Take aways…Do’s Be curious, know there is always more to the “story”. Talk in their style, meet them where they’re at. When you mirror their style you will begin to notice you’re more influential, thus a more effective communicator.

Don’ts: React should they approach something in a manner you’d approach another way.Make them wrong for being themselves. Force your style on them; it won’t work.

Jan 13 2017

25mins

Play

The Top 5 Ways Money is Leaking Out of Your Business

Podcast cover
Read more

Most Realtor's suffer from the same money leaks in their business and do not even know it.  

This episode of Agents in Action recap of the most common money leaks or “gaps” I noticed among the agents I have been coaching or met at speaking events this year. It was interesting to me to see these same patterns repeating themselves across the board. It was so consistent, that I wanted to go through these with you so you can take a look at what you’re currently doing in your business.  If you can, grab a pen and paper so you can write a few things down as we go through a few exercises during this episode. 

You have gaps that are allowing money to leak out of your business. Imagine this scenario; The Bank Manager calls and has some news to share with you…Think about who you currently bank with...you get a call from the branch manager, and he/she says...I needed to alert you to something that we noticed when we came in this morning...it must have happened overnight.  It appears you have a leak in your account.  Money is leaking out of your account, and we are making every attempt to stop it. However, nothing has worked yet.

What would you do?  You would probably get to the bank right away to withdraw your money and stop the money leak. 

It wouldn’t be anything we’d just “get to” when we had a chance.  It would be urgent.

 So let’s use that example and look how it relates to our business. When is the last time you took a close look at your business and did an audit for money leaks it may be experiencing?  For this purpose, we will define a money leak as lost opportunity income in one or many locations in your business, that when stopped, would significantly increase your income and overall profitability. So, I thought I would bring these up today so you can take a look at your business, where they may be money leaking, how much, and with a new awareness, begin to take steps on some or all of these areas and put an end to the thousands and thousands of dollars being lost every month.   These are the top 5 areas I noticed agents are losing the most money. As we go through them together, remember to have a pen and paper ready so you can determine what might be leaking from your business each month, and over the course of the year.   Lacking clearly defined goals/objectives - I would say of all the agents I’ve come in contact with, only 10-15% (being a bit generous too) of them have clearly defined, time-bound, measurable goals that they are REALLY excited about and that are in writing.  That’s very important that they are in writing. We can’t overlook the power that comes from being connected to our life purpose and having clarity here is absolute power!  It’s time we get back to this basic success principle of having goals and dreams that fuel our engines each day to go out and make it happen.  Without them, we often find ourselves “drifting” through each day that passes and end up living quiet lives of desperation. For this one, I want to suggest you ask yourself, how many sales are you missing out on each year stemming from a lack of powerful, compelling goals that you haven’t yet clearly established...don’t forget in writing. Take that number and multiply it by your average commission check and that will be the “money leak” for this one area.  By the way, be brutally honest when coming up with these numbers.  

Lead Follow Up - This money leak comes from our inability to organized, we’re unsure what to say and how long to stay the course when tracking and following up with our leads. If we take an honest look at how we’re following up with our leads, the majority of us wouldn’t say we’re losing business because we’re calling them too much...it’s because we don’t call them enough and worse, many times we don’t ever call.  This is contributing to a tremendous amount of lost opportunity income.  Over the years, both in my personal real estate practice and my observation when coaching agents, the vast majority of your appointments will come as a result of your lead follow up calls, not the initial call made with the prospect.  It’s like an assembly line, suspects, prospects, leads, appointments, close sales.  So, if you don’t have as many appointments as you’re hoping for, it may not just be needing to kick up your lead generation, it’s also directly tied to your ability to effectively follow up with you leads, remain organized and have the perseverance to stick to it. You need to be “sticky.”

In 25 years in the real estate business, here is one of the biggest things you’ve learned about lead follow-up;

We never know what is going on in people's lives. I’ve learned not to let someone’s lack of response stop me from following up.  Instead of assuming the worst, it’s possible to catch someone preoccupied with other things.You will be amazed how much business you will convert by remaining “professionally persistent” stay organized and stay the course; it will pay off for you.  

Pre-Qualifying - Almost no one is doing this...and if they were, it was being done inconsistently and without a real plan to do it intentionally each time. All we are talking about is having a series of predetermined questions you are going ask of every seller and buyer before you agree to set an appointment to meet up.  It’s something I made a standard in my business many years ago. I didn’t always, so I understand why an agent may not be doing this right now.  If they “pass” your standards test (if you will) you move forward and if they don’t you move on.  What doesn't make sense is why once you know better, why anyone would continue going out to meet with prospects without first making sure they’re qualified, or let’s be frank about it, that it’s worth your time to meet with this particular buyer or seller.  To that point, there’s part of the issue...we don’t value our time enough, know exactly what our time is worth and would rather fill that time with movement instead of making sure we’re achieving. Don’t mistake movement for achievement. How many transactions can you estimate are being lost each year due to not working with the right people or spinning your wheels?  That takes you out of the game to find the right prospects. Write it down... 

Practice - Role Playing/Accountability - Again, this was one of the areas as an industry we are (for whatever reason) falling short of what is necessary to be able to have any sort of consistency of success.  I’ve mentioned it before; we need to approach our business no different that other professionals that work an ongoing basis to improve their skills, systems and approach to various situations that present themselves regularly.  I want to suggest we look at ourselves as just as a professional athlete would.  We don’t play, for example, baseball, basketball or golf...our sport is “real estate sales” that’s how we make a living.  When we adopt a similar approach to taking steps each day/week as an athletes do to master their skills, we will find our incomes increasing, efficiency growing and overall quality of life improving.  Take a close look at what you are now doing when it comes to practicing and role-playing.  How many sales could you estimate you’ve had “leak” out of your business because you aren’t preparing to win often enough? Write down a number now. 

Post Close systems - I noticed that roughly 75% of the agents had little to no communication or system to stay in touch with clients after the closing. What I am talking about here is just have a plan in place (in writing...not top of mind) that lays out how you are going to maintain the existing relationship so you can retain your client and also earn their referrals.  We all work so hard to acquire the client and then, something odd happens...we’ve spoken with them multiple times a week, often over a period of several months and then “poof” we close the deal and all communication comes to a halt.  I will be the first one to tell you I was guilty of this myself, not because I didn’t care or didn’t want to continue speaking with them.  It was two reasons, I was too focused on the next sale AND didn’t really have someone who came along and pointed out what it was costing me until it had already cost me A LOT of money.  $100’s of thousands of dollars.  In hindsight, many years ago...had I understood that if I had better post close systems in place I would have earned even more referrals and not had to be as focused or concerned about where the next sale was going to come from, I’d been able to have saved a lot of time and not had to work as hard.  So looking back over your time in real estate, how many sales can you estimate are being lost each year due to not having a solid post close system in place? 

Take your the total of the projected L.O.I (lost opportunity income) the transactions and multiply that by your average commission. (10 x 6K = 60K) 15 x $8,000= $120K) I just had an event this week where one agent had $60K, one was $120K and another at $138K) That is life changing money!  Now, this is important; this isn’t meant to depress you...actually, the opposite.  When we realize how with a new awareness around these parts of our business (and others), we have a tremendous opportunity for growth. 

What are some ways agents can work on fixing these money leaks?

 Action Step #1  Determine which you want to work on first. Pick one, sit down and think through a plan you want to implement to stop that leak. 1-3-5 Goal, priority, strategy. Keeping in mind when you do, the money that you will now have coming in vs. the lost opportunity income. Taking that one step further, connect the newly realized opportunity with the result and all the benefits that will also show up in your life. Never underestimate the power of your WHY.  This is the fuel that will keep you moving forward in the absence of immediate tangible results.  The stronger the connection, the better. In fact, I’d even say getting it to the level of PASSION!  This is when it actually moves you emotionally/spiritually. Once you get one dialed in, then select the next most important and repeat the process until you have done all the areas or those you want to address.  Keep in mind; your biggest opportunities may not be listed in these top 5, that’s fine, figure out which it is and take action.   Step #2 - Identify who you can get to help you in the process.  At your office, a broker, manager or productivity coach, an associate...someone who you can turn to for guidance, accountability and can be a sounding board for you to run ideas past. I think you would agree, when all is said and done, no one succeeds alone. Surround yourself with support and it wouldn’t hurt to get someone to be accountable to as well. :)   Step #3 - Time block for this new activity and make it happen.  I recommend you strongly consider using the 66-day challenge tool from the ONE Thing book to use as your leverage to make sure you successfully develop this new habit.

Dec 16 2016

21mins

Play

Part 2 of 2 - Mastering FSBO Preview Appointments

Podcast cover
Read more

At The Preview Appointment - 

Objective - Gain access, establish a relationship with &  continue to qualify the seller. 

The Tour:  While walking through the property, take notes on the home’s features and benefits.  In a casual, yet deliberate manner, ask questions to determine what the situation is with this particular lead. 

Greeting: Introduce yourself, hand them a business card and thank them for having you over to take a look at the house. (Notice, I say house a lot, not home. Why? Home is emotional, a house is not). Also, assure them you won’t be long which should send a message that you aren’t going to overstay your time and push them into listing w/you. 

Create a casual conversation as you tour the house: Ask we walk through the house, I have a list of questions to ask you, do you mind if I take some notes? (They always will say ok, sure that’s fine)  This allows you to relax, just read your questions and take notes...they gave you permission). 

Remind me, how many bedrooms/bathrooms? Square footage? Lot size? Year built? (get the answering/talking easy common questions) 

Can you point out what you’ve done to improve the property since you’ve owned it? 

So, when you sell the house, where are you moving to? Or You said when you sell the house you’re moving to ...correct?  (How’d you happen to pick that area?) 

If a buyer was looking to close in 30 days, would that pose any challenges for you? 

Have you been successful selling other houses of yours in the past? I am always curious...what caused you to sell the house yourself vs. hiring a professional, like myself? 

So, how’d you determine your sales price? (sourcing, valid or not) Zillow vs. CMA.

Are you prepared to adjust your price down when working with a buyer? 

I’m sure it won’t happen, if the house didn’t sell, what would you do? Would that be a problem? (must be sure to say this with the right tone of voice) 

You know, this is really a nice property...are you sure you don’t just want to keep it? (giving it back to them tells you about their commitment to sell. Do they go along with it or immediately give it back to you?) 

Before You Go - After gathering the general information, make your way back towards the front door. Before leaving, stop and ask…”Mr. Or Mrs. Seller, I have to ask...I know you’re planning to sell your home by owner.  However, if you actually felt you could sell for more money, a quicker sale with less hassles/liability and meet your timelines by hiring a powerful agent like myself...would you at least be open to considering it?

(find out where they’re at, this will help flush out where they really stand) 

How much time would you take before you would consider hiring someone, like myself for the job of selling your home? (Get a timeline to work towards) Two weeks, 30 days. 

So, just to be sure I am understanding correctly...if you’re not able to (and I am sure you will) sell the house in 30 days, you’d then at least be open to having a meeting to discuss solutions and a fresh approach I can bring to the table to help you get to

Follow-Up - Well, thank you for having me over to preview your house.  I will keep it in mind and see if any of the buyer leads we have could be a match.  In the meantime, I will check in with you ...say...maybe once every 5-7-10 days to see if you were successful in selling the house. (explain the only way you can keep accurate status of the house is to keep in touch with them. Time frame to f/u based on motivation/market conditions. 

Now, do your follow up moving closer to that timeline established.  Each call ask “I know you mentioned 30 days and its been so far...are you sure you don’t want to just go ahead and meet now? This way I can help you get to _ by ____. LA/January. 

Don’t forget it takes practice -

I can’t stress it enough...P,P,P,P,P.

Write the entry script out by hand 2-3 times per day.

Chant the script out loud as fast as you can, 4-5 times a day.

Roleplay at least 2-3 times a day, with the script in hand. You can do this as long as you are comfortable since you are always on the phone and the person selling their home can’t see you.

Keys To Success:

Be willing to struggle a bit, before you become great:

  • Like anything, it’s a process, and we have to accept being uncomfortable for a short time until we become comfortable.

  • Everyone has to start somewhere; it’s a process we must be ok with and go through.

  • The sooner you go through it, the sooner it is over.  Just do it. 

Keep everything in perspective:

  • Remember the goal for the year.

  • At times you may feel like it’s not working. Don’t forget; this example is 6 sales over a 12 month period.  That means 359 days you didn’t have a sale from this source and that can mess with your head. Yet, you hit your goal! 

Follow up, follow up, follow up - consistency is key with this source of leads.

  • Our goal is to call at the very moment they throw in the towel.

  • Don’t ever give up, until the y list or sell (and you confirm it) You will prove yourself through being consistent in your approach. 

Draw a line in the sand and keep the process moving along.

  • Ask “How much time are you planning to sell yourself before considering the option of hiring a professional, like myself/me for the job of selling your home? OR

  • What would have to happen for you to consider hiring a powerful agent, (like me) for the job of selling your home? (The first question is time-based, and the other is condition based)

  • They say “30 days” that is the timeline you are now moving towards.

  • Don’t ever give up, the longer you hang in there, the higher odds you will have for conversion.

Nov 25 2016

21mins

Play

Part 1 of 2 - The $40,000 For Sale By Owner System

Podcast cover
Read more

A Behind The Scenes Look At The $40,000 For Sale By Owner System. 

89 percent of sellers sold with the assistance of a real estate agent, up slightly from 88 percent the last three years, and only 8 percent (down from 9 percent) were FSBO sales. The share is the lowest since this data collection started in 1981.

  • Did not want to pay commission fee: 48%

  • Sold it to a relative / friend / neighbor: 21%

  • Buyers contacted seller directly: 18%

  • Did not want to deal with an agent: 6%

  • Agent was unable to sell home: 5%

  • Seller has real estate license: 1%

  • Could not find agent to handle transaction: 1%

  • Other: * less than 1%

Source: 2015 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, (National Association of REALTORS® - Research, 2015).

The Success Formula 

Meet 2 by owners every 30 days = 24 year

50% don’t work out for one of many reasons; this leaves 12 you eventually make a presentation to.

Of the 12 remaining, convert 60% - which is 7 of the 12.

Of the 7, six close. Let’s even plan for one falling through; it can happen. 

$250,000 x 3% = $7500

$7500 x 6 = $45,000 Gross Commission Income (GCI) (This is one stream of income) This is in addition of your other streams of income.

Places to find by owners 

  • Driving around - showing property, going on listing appointments, previewing property. These are all opportunities to find by owner opportunities as you’re out in the streets.

  • Friends that are driving through neighborhood jot down addresses and phone numbers.

  • Online - Craigslist, FSBO specific websites. Research your local publications.

Nov 11 2016

23mins

Play

Managing Your Time in Real Estate

Podcast cover
Read more

Managing your time in the real estate business.  

First, this is something people struggle with in general, not just Realtors.  However, in the world of real estate sales, it appears to be magnified even more as it’s a commission only business.  If you’re being paid hourly or salary and mismanage time, for the most part, it's become accepted. Of course, it’s a contributing factor to the lack of productivity, yet, for the most part, things go forward.  As a Realtor, you have a much shorter fuse before you find yourself out of time, money or both. As a commission only, independent contractor this should very well be your #1 priority.

Talk to us about your experience with having a schedule to follow, maybe what you did and any suggestions you may have for our agents in action.

When we think about having a schedule, we often have some amount of resistance to this process.  Often, we feel it’s will be restricting and cause conflict with the discipline necessary to follow a structured schedule.  I know this because it’s what I used to think myself until I changed how I looked at my schedule.  Dr. Wayne Dyer has often said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  So true! Try it, take a step back and be open to other ways to apply meaning to things that take place in life.  Instead of seeing your schedule as something that is “hard” to follow or stick to or we resist by saying things like…”I left corporate America and got into real estate so I would be able to have more flexibility in my day…(as a side note, that way of thinking is a quick way to find yourself, back, working a corporate job) I want to suggest doing what I did years ago. Going forward, I want to recommend you look at your schedule like a GPS. It tells you how to get from one place to the next.

What did people do back in the CA gold rush days in the late 1840’s - early 1850’s? We’ve all seen them, the maps with the dotted lines that eventually lead to gold and their riches. I know it may be a silly way of looking at it, yet when you imagine you have a big X on your map (these represent your goals/dreams, the things you’re most passionate about) and you follow a dotted line (which represents the daily tasks to complete along the way to reach your destination - your goals) you are now connecting in your mind...‘when I follow this process (schedule) it is leading you, closer and closer, with each step you take to accomplishing the goals you I have set out to achieve. Isn’t that better than all of the other negative emotions we typically have when we have attempted to follow a schedule in the past?  Trust your schedule and be thankful for it...it is a tried and true system for you to strike your goldmine!

Bottom line on this, we do it every day, when we don’t know how to get somewhere and need directions, we rely on a map, GPS or some kind of system to help us get to our destination.  I trust this is making sense and I am getting through to you - following your schedule is the KEY to getting to where you want to go. It’s your friend, not the enemy.

Let’s look at some tips from Todd of ways he’s learned over the years to help manage his time and follow a schedule for success.  

Start your day at the same time each day - Treat your business as if it was a “real” job. What would this mean? That you’re accountable for your actions, production, showing up on time, leaving when your “shift” is done (not early) you need to conduct yourself in a manner that wouldn’t get you fired. What was interesting is how often I noticed the agents in my coaching schedule that were having success, were the ones that came from a previous job/career that had a very structured day and they carried it over and treated their real estate business the very same way. Simple, have some kind of consistency in when you begin working each day.

Establish a consistent morning routine - If you’re having a challenge managing your day, focus on mastering your morning routine. Tell your clients and family you're on an appt until noon each day. As I would take on a new client, I would let them know how I operated and what I would be doing throughout the day. (Of course, we need to know this to be able to do this) This doesn’t only demonstrate your professionalism; it sets proper expectations for how to communicate with you. The morning routine is 8a - Noon. Nothing, unless it’s a true emergency can get in the way. A true emergency life or health matters, someone’s safety, is at risk or major issue with a child.  It’s something to think about in advance, how will you define what can cross this line?  If you don’t get really clear, you will notice distractions somehow finding a way to pop up.  

No drama zone - Easier sometimes said than done.  Drama is the #1 productivity killer. Are you constantly in crisis mode? Are you reacting to life or responding? Why? If you’re willing to take a step back, you may be able to get a clear picture what’s causing this.  Sometimes, we do this to ourselves and don’t know how else to behave. It eats up precious time and zaps your energy. It also will drive people away from you.  Sellers/Buyers can see the drama coming a mile away and won’t have any interest working with you.

Watch out for technology traps - We need to realize that things like our phone, emails or text messages or worse, Facebook, Twitter and the rest of them … if you haven’t noticed, are consuming our lives. These tools are either working for you, or against you.  When you are focused on your lead generation time, (a Realtors ONE Thing, staying in the 20% activities that bring you results) don’t allow technology to get in your way.  If you were on a listing appointment, sitting with the seller at their kitchen table, would you stop in the middle of the presentation and check email, respond to a text or answer your phone?  Of course not, yet for some reason we don’t treat our appointment (time block to lead generate) the same way and wonder why we’re not going on more listing appointments and closing more deals  Simply put, these tools can be great assets to you or robbing your time and ability to accomplish your goals. Be honest, to some degree technology is distracting us, some more than others. What is it costing you?  

Track your time, every hour for three days - This isn’t for anyone, only if you’re really ready for a change. If you really are serious about making improvement with your time management skills, you have to take a look in the mirror and get really honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to see what’s really happening.  If you want to something to change, I encourage you to take inventory of exactly what you did each hour of your work day for three days in a row. Don’t sugar coat it, leave something out or go easy on yourself.  Be 100% transparent and write it down. At the end of the 3rd day, you will have an opportunity to review exactly what you’re doing with your time.  I’ve done this several times and can be an eye opener if you will follow through and of course, honestly note what you’ve done with your time.

Color code your day - After you’ve tracked your time, you can now go back and issue a specific color to the various activities you’ve noted.  You can pick any colors you wish. I recommend taking a highlighter, let's say one that is yellow, orange and green.

Green: Highlight everything in green when you did something that was an income producing activity. Examples could be lead generation/prospecting, lead follows up calls, going on a listing appointment, showing property or negotiating a contract.  All would be activities that can lead you to income. Obviously, we want to see a lot of green if we want to make a lot of green.

Orange: Highlight everything in orange when you did something income servicing. Examples could be calling your listings with feedback on showings, dropping off a sign, lockbox, or making a flyer, inputting a listing in the MLS etc.

Yellow: Highlight those things you could have delegated to someone else. When you really examine this, you didn’t have to be the one to complete that task.  When we can get some leverage on our time, we can free ourselves up to get more “green time” on our calendar.  What is your time valued at?  (If you don’t know, figure it out) As a simple baseline calculation, let's say you take two weeks off each year as unpaid vacation time. Then you would be working 50 weeks of the year, and if you work a typical 40 hours a week, you have a total of 2,000 hours of work each year. In this case, you can quickly compute the annual salary by multiplying the hourly wage by 2000. Example: Your hourly pay of $37.50 is then equivalent to an average annual income of $75,000 per year. If you’re making $150K, of course, that’s $75.00 each hour.  My point is this...if your time is worth $40, 50 or $75 per hour, why would you do a task someone you can hire out for $12 an hour? Often, we can find admin type support that is paid at the closing. Don’t jump to conclusions or make assumptions about the terms someone would accept. Keep seeking out the right people to help you get your business moving in along more efficiently.

Check in/out with a co-worker, coach, family member or all of them - I remember, at times I would call someone at a key point in my day to “check in” as a form of accountability. If you are having a hard time getting to the office in the morning, then go ahead and arrange with someone that you will call them at 8:30 am every day  for a week or two, in order to begin making that a new habit. Or, if you want to commit to lead generating for an hour each day, call when you begin and again when you end. If you’re really wanting to play at a high level, go ahead and report out what your results were. ie: calls made, contacts made, appointments set, leads generated, etc.  Don’t hide from doing things that will lead you down the path you wish to be on.  We only have to apply the new discipline as long as it takes to become a habit.  

Begin a 66-day challenge - When we’re looking to change a habit, in this case working on improving the use of our time, keep in mind it will take some time to see the results we’re seeking.  Patience is key!  We often hear about doing something for 21 days, and it’s a habit.  That may be the case for some, I have studied this (being a certified trainer on The ONE Thing Book), and there is research out there to suggest it can be as little as 18 days and as many as 261 days. The authors tell about a researcher that found 66 days to be what is referred to as the point of automatically.  This means the new behavior is at the point where the individual no longer has to exhibit energy for the desired behavior to occur...it occurs naturally or “automatically.”  Pick something (recommend one thing) you want to see change and the goal is to do that for 66 consecutive instances.  Most months have 20-21 work days M-F.  If you were to do this Monday through Friday, it would be just about three months to complete.  Each day you execute the new activity, you get to check off one day, then two, three and so on...the goal is you can’t break the cycle. The days must be consecutive, don’t break the chain or you have to begin over at day 1.  This should be a fun way to install a new habit into your life.  Make a game of it. What you’ll notice is once you get past day 4 or 5, you begin to “protect” the momentum you’re building and don’t want to have to start over.  Something as simple, yet challenging as a 66-day challenge can really begin to set you up for great things to come.

Oct 28 2016

25mins

Play

Five Statistics Every Realtor Should Know

Podcast cover
Read more

How important it is to know your market statistics and position yourself as the goto expert and trusted resource in your marketplace?Fact: I would venture to say 97-98% (or even more) of the

Fact: I would venture to say 97-98% (or even more) of the agent's industry-wide DO NOT know the market #s. Have you ever had someone ask you “how’s the market”?  What do you say? How effective is your response? What message does it convey about you, your knowledge and professionalism/expertise? Typically, when someone asks this type of question, as a whole, many of us respond in 1 of 100 different ways.  Why? Unfortunately, for the large majority of agents, they’re NOT prepared and haven’t rehearsed how to respond effectively to one of the most commonly asked questions of our friends, acquaintances or when we come into contact with the general public. Of course, there're several opportunities to put this into practice, and we’ll cover a few of them today.

What’s interesting (and somewhat surprising) is the vast majority of agents have some kind of response, however, do they REALLY know what is going on in the market? What I mean is what they’re saying information they own? Or, a combination of bits and pieces of information being picked up here and there...consciously, or even unconsciously? Ask yourself, when you answer this question is what you say coming from what you’ve taken in from EXTERNAL sources (what you've taken in from the outside) or is it INTERNAL sources (from your own doing, effort and research)? After 1000’s of coaching conversations with agents, I know this is (for whatever reason) something that, in general, our industry could become more proficient in. Today I thought we’d talk about the importance of really owning your numbers, what stats are the key ones to be aware of and having a firm grasp on exactly what is going on in your market, being the true expert in your area and a trusted adviser. I realize for some agents, knowing your market statistics comes more naturally as it’s more inline with the personality style you lead with.  While others, it may not be something that comes easily, it requires you to get out of your comfort zone and be more analytical. Either way, no matter what your personality may be, if you want to be an expert, we’re required to have this knowledge.

What #’s are to track?  I would start with the following, of course; you can track others if you wish...these are the ones I have focused on and have allowed me to have a clear understanding of what was going on at all times.

This includes:

  1. Total Inventory - The cities you service, could be certain subdivisions.

As an example, look at the large city as whole, for me that would be Dallas/Fort Worth. Then maybe go more specific to the county(s) you service. Then the city(s) you specialize in and as granular as the specific neighborhoods you specialize in. It just depends on how informed you want to be.

  1. New Pending Sales - MOM and YOY.

  2. Homes sold/closed sales MOM and YOY.

  3. All new listings brought to market MOM and YOY.

  4. Homes that have expired/canceled Mom and YOY.

When I say MOM, an example would be last month 78 homes sold, this month 59 homes sold.  That would mean closed sales were down approximately 25% month over month.  OR last month total inventory was 6450, this month total inventory is 6675 which tell us inventory has increased roughly 3.5%. Year over year is the same thing, just taking into consideration what happened last year at this time of the year. Of course, you can look at these #s over whatever period of time you need to based on what you’re attempting to determine.  Knowing MOM and YOY allows you to keep up with trends and shifts in the market in real time, vs. after the fact.   Bonus: What the current absorption rate is for the area. 18 sales last six mo, that’s three sales each month, currently, have 12 active listings = four months of inventory. What does the inventory tell you about the market?

5 Ways To Use  Market Statistics To Your Advantage:

  1. You won’t trip over words anymore or be caught off guard.-

    -Never find yourself grasping for what to say, feeling awkward when someone is asking “so how’s the market.”

    -You’ll demonstrate your professionalism and be perceived as the go-to expert.

  1. No longer be susceptible to the buzz around the office or what the media is reporting.

    -We have to watch out for SNIOP’s.  Susceptible negative influences other people.

    -Often times we’re picking up on other people’s comments around our offices or in the news.  If you don’t know what the actual market numbers are, then it leaves you wondering what is reality. Wondering doesn't serve us well and brings on uncertainty and unnecessary anxiety. Pull your #’s regularly and put an end to this.

  1. If you’re newer in the business, it will immediately give you credibility.

    -We’ve all been there, we’re newer in the business and feeling a little insecure about our overall knowledge. (even seasoned agents have these feelings) Nothing boost confidence more than tracking you market stats and closely watching trends.

    -This is a sure way to disguise your lack of time in real estate because no one would sense you’re newer to the business when you can carry on a higher level conversation that includes so many precise details about the market conditions.

    -I’ll add it can’t hurt any anyone, no matter how long you’ve been in the business.

  1. Great content to use while prospecting, at your open house or door knocking.

    -People know when you’re they’re talking to a professional. Think back the last time you were looking to hire someone...you could clearly know just by speaking to them if they were on their game or left you wondering.

    -Keeping current with these statistics allows you to have the edge when someone makes a statement about something to do with the market. In the past, you may of let it go, brushed it off, or found yourself backed into a corner stumbling for what to say next.  Now, knowing your numbers, you will be able to respond appropriately, take a stand or make your point with fact and no emotion or misinformation.

  1. Give yourself absolute confidence when pricing a new listing, writing an offer for a buyer or during negotiations.

    -Again, it comes back to doubt or certainty.

    -Pricing is everything when taking a listing. It allows you to know when you can push the limits or need to be more conservative. The numbers tell a story & show you the best path and strategy to use.

    -Use this to determine how you make an initial offer when working with a buyer.

    -Give yourself and your client the edge when negotiating a deal. I’d bet you the other agent doesn’t have the knowledge you will be bringing to the negotiation table.  Use it to your advantage.

Oct 07 2016

20mins

Play

If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get

Podcast cover
Read more

Whenever we get together for an episode of Agents In Action, I often ask myself “what is it I should share this time?”  I have been devouring several books these past few weeks, and one of them jumped out as the obvious answer for this conversation.  I realized, without one’s ability to do this effectively...especially someone in sales...it can be a long uphill climb that leads to endless frustration.  It’s a great book by Mark Victor Hansen & Jack Canfield called “The Aladdin Factor” The book focuses on a skill that arguably, is the absolute foundation for the results we have, not only in business, life itself.  It’s all about learning how to be “masters of the lamp” as the authors call it...having the ability to...simply put...yet easier said than done...just ask.

As I was reading the book, it hit me between the eyes how this simple idea is so important to be aware of in our lives.  As you know, my focus is always searching for ways to chunk it down to the simplest ways I can help the agents I work with get to that next level.  I trust discussing this will help you gain a new perspective and allow you to make the adjustments in your approach to have more success.  When you think about it...we are asking for one thing or another at one time or another - all the time!  Step back and take notice...how much of our day involves some form of “asking”.  Sometimes, (I would even suggest most of the time) we have a hard time asking in general.  If we do, often it’s not for exactly what we really want to see happen.  Why?  The obvious - fear of judgment, rejection and embarrassment to name a few.  We lack confidence, worry about what someone’s response will be to us fully expressing ourselves.  When we really focus our attention on this, we quickly realize how often this takes place on a daily basis.  What impact is it having on your life and business?  Your family and loved ones? The causes you are behind?  It’s almost as if we’re living in self-imposed prison with bars we can’t necessarily see, and worse, don’t even feel the limitations after we’ve become accustomed to living inside these parameters we’ve set for ourselves.

I'd bet this is the underlying fuel that feeds many agents resistance the essential activity of lead generation. At its core, prospecting/lead generation is “asking”  If you are uncomfortable asking, concerned about all the stories rolling around in your mind, if you’re vulnerable to allowing yourself to become emotional and attached to the outcome...then yes...any kind of “asking” will cause you to pause or avoid what you perceive to be pain...remember, we will do more to avoid pain than gain pleasure.  If this is you, how can you create new associations to lead gen or prospecting?  It’s what we focus on that expands.  Once again, let’s really go back and get connected with our purpose, our passion, and work to reverse these self-defeating habits.

One thing I have always fallen back on is how passionate I have been to have a BIG vision for how I desire my life to be.  Maybe I am lucky or just too foolish to know otherwise...I have always been a HUGE dreamer and allowed myself to buy into the concept of having dreams and that they can come true if you’re willing to take action and do what’s necessary to achieve them.  I just believe it’s possible.  Generally speaking...there’s two groups of people...those that believe all things are possible...and the other that doubts and dwells on why nothing will probably work out anyway.  Something else that has helped me keep healthy mindset is this well-known verse about “Ask and you shall receive” and the other that's so powerful is...ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  Here’s what’s interesting and yet likely overlooked,  even if you don't ask… you still receive.  The difference here is when we don’t “ask” it doesn’t mean we avoid the situation or conflict entirely, we automatically eliminate any possibilities, and we receive nothing...that’s still something.  After years of behaving this way,  we become resolute and no longer recognize this is abnormal… it becomes the norm and as a result...unfortunately,  the majority of people are living quiet lives of despair.

In real estate, we are always involved in asking for something to bring our deals together or create new ones. Let's bring our attention to how much of our daily existence is heavily involved in asking.  Again, why it’s so important to become comfortable with this or you’re going to have stressed all the time. We

Ask for the signed listing or buyer representation agreement.

Ask for a prospect's contact information, phone and email address.

Ask your buyer if they are interested in writing an offer.

Ask to meet at a time that works best for your schedule.

Ask for a price reduction.

Ask your clients to work with terms that may not be optimal for them.

Ask a seller to pay 6% listing fee.

Asking for a different sales price, aka negotiating.

Asking the photographer to meet on Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

Ask the lender to get loan documents in one day early.

Ask the title company or escrow officer to meet a client at a certain time or location.

Ask another agent for a favor your client needs during the transaction.

Ask your broker for a different compensation package.

Ask the inspector to speak with your clients about a finding in the report.

Ask your transaction coordinator to handle a situation differently the next time.

That’s just business...imagine everything that takes place in our personal time.

It’s ongoing and never ending...we have to really learn how to ask for what we want without struggling, and all the anxiety that comes into play or we’re going to avoid it.

Let’s look at some ways you can begin to be “masters of the lamp” as you mentioned the authors teach in the book.

Sure,  Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen give these seven characteristics that people that are “masters of the lamp” posses.  (Go ahead and give yourself a rating 1-10)

1. They know what they want.

2. They believe they are worth receiving it.

3. They believe they can get it.

4. They are passionate about it.

5. They take action in the face of fear.

6. They learn from their experiences.

7. They are persistent.

What are a few actions steps you’d suggest someone can take to become more comfortable with this whole process of just learning how to be “ok” with asking?

  1. Raise your awareness - Get a copy of the book, study it and make it a lifestyle.  They share stories in the book...it’s amazing what can come from just learning how to effectively ask in your life.  What’s neat is it’s not just your life that improves, you can have a positive impact on your community.

  1. Step forward, not around - You know the feeling...that awkwardness in your stomach or the little voice that says “stop...donot go there...you remember what happened last time.” Now, step forward directly into the face of fear and ask.

  1. Be clear - If you’re going to ask, it may as well be for exactly what you want.  There’s no point it is going that far to still come up short of what it is you really wanted to see take place.  Mean what you say and say what you mean. Don’t leave it to assumption - you know that never turns out well.

  1. Detach from the outcome - Ask and let go.  What happens, happens.  We’ve all heard it many times before...focus on what you can control - the asking.  From there, it’s all going to work out as it’s supposed to anyway.  Just ask - that in itself is going to free you up from harboring all the “I wish I would've” in your life.

  1. Practice - Work on making what's uncomfortable, comfortable. Everything worthwhile will require some kind of change, adjustment or tweaking.  That’s a part of the process.  Figure out what works, what didn’t and keep moving forward.  Be sure to keep in mind it’s a process, so, don’t have unrealistic expectations.  Asking doesn’t mean you will get everything you want.  It means you will position yourself to get more of what you do want vs. settling for the self-defeating rejection we’re looking to avoid.

You know, we all have those sayings we take with us as kids into our adult years...one I remember and practice to this day is one I learned as a young kid...that was…” you may aswell ask because if you don’t...the answer is no anyway”  So, if I don’t ask...I said no to myself by not asking, and if I do, there’s a chance I may get a yes.  If you find you do this, stop saying no to yourself and assuming what the outcome will be.  Put it out there!  In the coming days, let’s make a point of being more aware of times we may avoid asking for what we wish to bring into our reality and begin living life more freely.

Sep 23 2016

19mins

Play

The New Year Starts Now

Podcast cover
Read more

Let’s start with a great saying a long time mentor of mine; Dr. Wayne Dyer has said so well. "Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change." From now on...in business,  Oct 1 is the start of a New Year. Think regarding a 15-month business plan.  Of course, everything you do will be a part of this year's overall production, it will also be a part of next year’s production volume. That’s the main point of this conversation we will be having. I just want to stress the importance of the decisions that are going to be made here in the coming weeks and the massive impact it can have on your goals.  Your decision will take you closer to, or take you farther away from them.  Stay engaged, take off the holidays, enjoy the season ahead...just don’t take off the next 2-3 months...just the actual days the holidays fall on. As we get closer and closer to the end of the year, this is a great time to get all the “things” done you haven’t had time to do; it’s a part of running a solid business.  I encourage you not to get complacent and brush off the small details...after all, it’s the small things that make a BIG difference.

Accept the fact that you may have to 2X or 3X your efforts.

A strong mindset is always a key ingredient to having a successful business.  Now, as we are coming out of the summer and head into the last quarter of the year, it is exceptionally important to manage our energy, stay focused and in action. Some parts of the year require more work at certain times of the year.  An example is CPA’s.  They know they are going work longer hours during tax season than other times of the year.  Or retail sales, during the holidays they are open extended hours. Professional athletes play during a season and follow a different schedule the rest of the year.  Florists are going to see more workload during Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. These are just a few examples of other businesses that adapt to the time of the year to accomplish their goals. It’s just the way it goes.

For whatever reason, I have seen a trend (and it’s well known) that the closer to the end of October, the large majority of Real Estate Agents begin to pull back and “check out” until early January.  That’s 2+ months.  However, it’s not just two months; it's costing you 5!  The two months you literally took off - PLUS the 2-3 months (or more) it can take to ramp up your business and get a momentum going again. What we do today, in most cases doesn't show up today...it pays off later...several weeks to months later. As business owners, we’re not paid hourly.  We wonder how it is we fall short of our goals each year...this is one huge contributing factor.

Build a deep pipeline for 2017.

What’s the saying “build the well before you need the water.”  We’ve said many times during this show the importance of the 5 P's - prior, planning, prevents poor performance. While the majority of agents across the country will begin to pull back, that leaves you more opportunity to capture business. I’d like to suggest you go back and look at your markets statistical data for the months of October, November, and December. Go back the last 2 or 3 years, what does the information tell you? You will notice business is taking place; you may as well get your share.  Look closely at how many homes were listed and sold. When you do this you will notice there may be some seasonality occurring, however, it’s likely not as “slow” as you’d think. It’s critical that you do your own research and see it with your own eyes.  If you don’t, you will become subject to what the media reports are saying or the buzz going around in your office. When you take an hour to sit down and see it for yourself, you know for sure vs. hearsay, rumor or someone else’s opinion.  What I want you to take away from this research is that of all the sales that took place, tell yourself there’s no reason you can’t get your share.  How many is that you want? Based on my experience working closely with many agents, closing 3-5 more deals in the last few months of the year can make as significant difference in your finances. That can equate to $25K to $50K+ depending on the average sales prices in your market.  WORST case, you generate leads, which when properly nurtured will convert into closed contracts in the first quarter of next year. There’s nothing better than having great momentum to start the year off with! You can only win, just stay in action.

Set yourself up for your best year ever.

When you step back and look at your goals for the year, are you over achieving? If you are, congratulations! Or despite your efforts, find yourself coming up short, year after year? Of course, there are likely many factors contributing to this. One of them is likely the fact that you’re unaware how letting yourself fall into the trap that it’s “OK” to pull back at the end of the year is affecting your business. If that is a part of your business plan, then that’s an entirely different conversation.  What we’re talking about here is treating your business like a real business. Afterall, how many businesses can we think of the just stop showing up for the last 2 or 2.5 months of the year??  Why in the real estate business is it so common?  Many factors come into play, let’s look at a few of them so you can be sure to avoid them.  First, it’s our mindset in the industry.  There is a good percentage of agents/managers/brokers and owners that have bought into the limiting belief that “the market always slows down around the holidays” “No one wants to buy/sell during the holidays.”  Sure, I am not naive and live in la la land.  Of course, seasonality is a real thing, what I am saying is we need to stop making it an excuse and our reasoning to justify not showing up.  We only contribute to this with our inactivity and thus perpetuate this seasonality even more.  As we just discussed, all businesses are subject to seasonality, it’s not that it doesn’t happen, it’s what you do about it. This is why it’s so important to pull you market data, evaluate and come up with your action plan.  Imagine this...you own an ice cream store, during the winter months, when people aren’t going to think “let’s go get a nice cold ice cream”  do you just not open for business? No of course, not, you would have to approach business differently during that time of the year.  So, now that you understand “mailing it in” the last few months of the year also impacts the first quarter of the following year, you now can (maybe for the first time) position yourself to avoid missing 3-5 months of your business being off track and never really knew what was going on at the core of the issue.

It’s very common that when I am speaking with agents how few actually have a business plan to follow.  No wonder a lot of agents feel lost and constantly unsure of what to do...or do next.  It’s not enough to have it in your head either; it must be in writing and something you often review and tweak as needed.  Goals have four parts; they have to be clear, written, specific, and measurable.  So, now that we’re aware of this and how it is contributing to coming up short of our goals each year, what will you do about it?  It starts with a decision to put the blinders on and go after it.  Don’t forget to bring the right attitude, approach and expectations into the 4th quarter. You’re going to need all 3 to keep moving forward when you may be faced with more delayed gratification than during the spring or summer.

It makes for a tougher road when we go at things alone.

Let’s face it, when we step out and go after anything bigger than we’ve done before or venture into new experiences in our lives, it’s always nice to have supportive people around us.  Who is this for you at home? At work? We need to be open about what we’re setting out to accomplish and with our ego checked at the door, candidly share with our support team how they can help you stay engaged, focused and in action!  Check in with your manager/broker, production coach at your office and those agents that are also seeking similar goals to maintain the accountability we all can benefit from.  If you find yourself resisting this, realize you’re probably a decision away from having that break through you and I both know you want to experience. There is no failure, just feedback.

Are you practicing your scripts? Role-playing your presentations several times a week?  Pick the one that is your biggest opportunity for growth and dedicate the next few weeks to becoming more proficient with this one area of your business.  Doing this and layering in a new part every so often will help you build strong skills set and help you convert more business...with less stress!

Sep 09 2016

19mins

Play

Creating Magic for Realtors

Podcast cover
Read more
Lee Cockerell was the Executive Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World for ten years. Lee knows what it takes to create magic. You don't have to be at Disney World to create magic. Lee joins the Agents in Action podcast to discuss how Realtors can create magic.   In this episode, we examine the most important and influential keys to accomplishing your goals.  It is the strength of your connection to your dreams, purpose, and meaning of your life, which in turn, is the fuel that causes us to take action.  This is the difference maker between someone who will persevere when faced with adversity or fold under pressure, withdrawal and give up.  The majority of people today have stopped dreaming big, therefore, haven't a great amount of hope for their future. As an example...when I meet an agent, and they share something they are facing a challenge the first thing that comes to my mind is why are they doing this? When we know why we can then figure out how. The “why” is the leverage to step outside the comfort zone.  Without a clear sense of “why,”  a lot of agents don’t engage in the activities necessary to live out their dreams. As we all know, Walt Disney is arguably the biggest dreamer and visionary of all time.   Here are the key characteristics you need to tap into to accomplish your goals and dreams.

D - Realtors that accomplish their dreams are effective in dealing with distractions.

R - Realtors that accomplish their dreams are resilient.

E - Realtors that accomplish their dreams are enthusiastic.

A - Realtors that accomplish their dreams take action.

M- Realtors that accomplish their dreams maintain a strong mindset.

Look at the characteristics and do an honest assessment of yourself in these five areas?  Are you doing all five at the highest level?  It’s important to remember there’s nothing wrong with realizing there are areas to improve, we aren’t perfect, and all have room to improve.  The biggest room in life is the room for improvement.  Take an honest inventory and where you notice areas to improve, take action and develop that characteristic. Life's a journey, not a destination.

If you enjoyed this conversation with Lee, you would love his podcast, Creating Disney Magic

Aug 26 2016

36mins

Play

How to Hold a Proactive and Productive Open House

Podcast cover
Read more

In real estate, there are several ways to generate leads...some more effective than others.  All approaches will usually fall into two categories.  They are either proactive or passive at their basis.  Proactive is defined as a person, policy, or action creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened. Passive is defined as accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance. So, clearly, we are going to have more influence over the results when we’re proactive in our activities. This would be a good time to take a look at what you’ve been doing to generate leads and determine which category most of your prospecting efforts fall within.  What we often discover is many of the approaches we’re using are passive, thus contributing to slow responses and lower quality leads.

Let’s first look at some of the passive ways leads could be generated. They would be sitting open houses, talking up calls or sometimes referred to as floor time, buying internet leads, or running ads in various types of media. Keep in mind these are easily identified as we are usually waiting for something to happen and do not have any control over what will happen. This is where many agents find themselves focused.  Some of the proactive approaches would be calling into your database for referrals, calling on for sale by owners, expired listings or knocking on doors. We can clearly see the difference here as all of these examples are direct attempts to identify a motivated candidate to buy or sell real estate.  Obviously, it’s easy to see why most agents find themselves drawn into the passive activities; they believe it will avoid a lot of rejection and confrontation, true!  Unfortunately, there is a price to be paid either way...take on the rejection (be more proactive) and make money or go the passive route, yes, avoid rejection and in the process income opportunity is lost too. We want to be very aware of how we’re going about generating business, what category we’re spending most of our efforts in and manage our expectations accordingly.

As much as I am not a huge fan of any kind of passive approach to selling real estate, many agents do open houses on a regular basis. Especially when starting out in the business. When I first started, I would do an open house on Saturday and Sunday until I had enough buyers to show all day Saturday (10a 1p and 4p) then I would do one only on Sunday.  So, if agents are going to them, there are some actions that we can take to increase our odds of having a more successful outcome.

Let’s go over the four stages to holding a proactive & productive open house.

Stage 1 - The Selection Process - This matters, do your homework

The 3 L’s - location, location, location. Simple, let’s make sure the home is a desirable listing. Favorable curb appeal - if the house is ugly, people will pull up and drive off, priced properly, buyers’ are educated… and good school districts are a big draw.

While speaking a location, In a perfect world, multiple access points to draw in traffic. Ideally, you will be able to pull from multiple major traffic streets that feed into the neighborhood.

If you don’t have a listing to hold open, maybe check with your manager/broker to see if there is any reason you couldn’t ask an associate in your office or company wide if you could hold their listing open (prospecting :) If you don’t already know who the top agents listing homes are in your office, get to know them and let them know what you are looking to do open houses. Ask keep me in mind when the opportunity presents itself.

Stage 2 - Pre-Open House Activities

Pull all of your sales data and know the area inside and out.  Also, it would be a good idea to know what is going on in the areas surrounding the subject property that would be considering the competition.  The broader your awareness, the higher level conversations you will be able to have when you’re meeting visitors to the open house. This will separate you from your competition as they will recognize you know your stuff - it will be a deeper conversation vs. the other agents skimming the surface and only able to make small talk. Simple idea and yet many of us go through the motions unprepared.

Make it an event - Yes, we want to do all we can to bring attention to the open house. If we are going to hold the open on Sunday, you could use the four days prior to getting the word out.  Other than posting in your MLS and online, it’s very effective to go out starting on Wednesday/Thursday and begin knocking on the doors on the same street and surround few streets announcing the open house and inviting the neighbors to stop by, take a look and keep up with what is going on in their area. Afterall, in most cases, this is the largest investment they have ever made. Saturday’s are great for door knocking. If this is uncomfortable for you, that’s, even more reason to do it. We have to stop kidding ourselves that we’re going to achieve our goals living in our comfort zone.  Feel the fear and do it anyway! That’s the only way I have found to overcome and breakthrough.

While at the door, you can also use these simple questions to potentially generate leads or get your next listing. (Role Play)

Hi, my name is _____ with ABC Realty.  I stopped by today to let you know I am representing your neighbor, Mr.and Mrs.Seller over on

123 Main St. In an effort to get the seller maximum exposure, one thing we’re doing is holding an open house this Sunday, from 1 to 4p. Here’s some information on the home (hand them a flyer) and I wanted to personally invite you to pop by for a few minutes. (They say whatever)

By any chance, who do you know that may be interested in moving into this area? (no one comes to mind, or my sister is looking to move in the neighborhood)

Just curiously, how long have you lived at this address? (Great, wow, really)

Where did you move from?

How did you happen to pick this area?

If were to move, where would you go next? (answer)

When would that be? (This helps flush out a lead for some future date)

This is a very effective way to keep the conversation flowing.  The more you practice these questions, the more ease you will have carrying on a fluid dialogue with the homeowner.  When we do this enough, you will begin to generate leads, add people to your database and close more business.  If you don’t practice, you will find it hard, be intimidated and probably not take the action necessary to win more often. Take the path less will travel, be prepared - go with confidence.

Stage 3 - The Big Day - It’s Showtime

Arrive early - If the open house is set for 1 pm, think I want to be ready to go at 12:40.  Allow yourself 20 minutes to get inside, adjust the A/C or heating (if necessary and with permission) turn on the lights, open window coverings (when it enhancing the view) turn on the TV or radio, get yourself set up with your flyers, computer, sign in materials or whatever you do.  When you show up late, you do all of this rushed, and this causes your level of stress to increase which will take you off your A game when interacting with the people you meet. Why are you doing this open house? To make a great impression and generate business right?  Be early, be relaxed, prepared and ready to go.

Directional signs - As allowed in your community, put up as many directional signs as possible. Be sure to ask for permission if placing a sign in the yard of a neighbor. Knock on the door, ask for permission. (script) If no answer, leave a note on the front door or consider going to the home across the street to ask.  2 or 3 signs isn’t going to cut it.  If you don’t have more signs, borrow some, buy more or consider waiting until you can do this properly. As mentioned earlier, we want to pull traffic from multiple directions to increase potential visitors. I can recall using as many as 12-15 signs when I would do open houses when I got started in the business. Get creative! Yes, it is a pain in the neck...no one ever said success was easy...however it’s a pain somewhere else when you take a Sunday away from family, hanging out with friends or just some time to yourself to have an open house that was a bust and waste of time.

Materials - Have your sales data ready to go.  Will you be handing anything out? This is up to you, however, it is critical to be prepared and ready.  Will you be using any technology to show visitors information?  How will you have people sign in? (Book, tablet, face to face?)  I also always suggest you bring something to work on.  You can use this time to practice your listing presentation, buyer presentation, objections, scripts - anything you can identify as a skill that when developed, will allow you to increase your efficiency and productivity. We don’t want to ever fall into the trap of just sitting at an open house watching TV, wasting time on FB or a game on your phone. If the open house is slow, turn that time into learning time. Remember the saying...the agents the learn more, typically earn more.

Your Approach - Have this worked out ahead of time. After you have done several opens, you will find what your “go to “ style will be to engage the visitors.  Our goal is to, in the shortest time possible be able to decipher a good candidate from a looky loo. Again, with time comes experience and you will be able to pick up on this right away. Have your 3- 5 go to questions internalized so you can break the ice and see what you have to work with.  How will you position yourself to follow up? How will you get accurate contact information to follow up with?  We don’t have time here to get into every detail; I just want to mention a few of the most important things to be mindful of so you can be in a position to convert more business. A great agent and friend many years ago shared with me a question you can ask that is designed to set them up to have to come back to talk to you before leaving the house…”I want to ask a favor, or I want to ask your opinion...as you are looking around, would you please make a mental note of one thing you like the most about the home and one thing you think could be improved...then before you go, let me know what those things were so I could share the feedback with the seller”.  You will find the majority of the time, when you give them an assignment and ask for help, people will want to fulfill their end and report their findings to you. Of course, this allows you to potentially develop some rapport before they head for the front door and generate some new leads

For the over achievers listening...staying open longer (maybe 30-45 minutes) can allow you to catch more visitors since the amount of signs in the area are reduced.

Stage 4 - Post Open House Activities 

Send a handwritten note to any neighbors that may have stopped by.

Follow up on any leads you generated.  As simple as this sounds, this is an area many agents fall short. Learning a strong lead follow up scripts will help your confidence.  I like to use the example of the TV show Survivor. There may be 5- 6 agents following up in the first few days after the OH and a week later no one is.  Stay the course, if for some reason you don’t reach the lead, they don’t call back...don’t read into this.  Just keep checking in every few days, real buyers will appreciate your effort and believe it or not you will be earning their business by doing so. In the end, don’t forget this is a numbers game...do anything enough, be open to tweaking what you do to make it better each time and you will see positive results. Keep in mind; sometimes you will convert the person you are speaking with, or they may just be someone who turns you on to someone else who is in the market. When we have an unstoppable mindset, we will find a way to make things happen.  Sometimes in life we can’t wait for the ship to come in, we must swim out to it!

It goes without saying and of course, is the #1 priority - safety. Not to be an alarmist, it’s just wise to have a heightened awareness when conducting an open house. Always do what you feel comfortable doing. Make sure to let family, friends/co-workers know where you are going to be. Sometimes, agents will sit an open house with a partner, if that works for you then do it.  If you aren’t familiar with things to do or look out for, it’s wise to do your research...read up on and talk to some trusted resources and practice good open house security best practices.

Aug 12 2016

26mins

Play

Ten Tips for Working With Objections

Podcast cover
Read more

Ten Tips When Working With Objections                              

1.    Remember, there is a direct connection between the amount of objections you receive and the strength and quality of your presentation.

  1. A strong, convincing presentation eliminates doubt and encourages interest in hiring you.  How convincing are you? Do you have work to do in this area? Or, maybe you could consider turning it down a notch in this area? If you were the seller, would you be compelled to hire you?

  2. People love to buy, give them something they’ll be comfortable “buying” into.

  3. An efficient presentation will inform/educate while answering questions the seller has in mind that don’t have to be brought up in the form of objections.

2.    An objection is a question in the mind of the customer that remains unanswered … answer their questions.

  1. Point being, sometimes we take a simple objection and blow it up to be a 50-foot monster.

  2. Our ability to remain calm will come from knowing what to say - practice more. There is NO excuse for not knowing what to say other than not making a point of practicing and being prepared to win.

  3. Just realize there is more information the seller needs, give them more info. People make decisions differently.  Some personality styles need more information; some need less.  C’s are going to be slow to make a decision as their #1 fear is making a mistake.  Where D’s will tend to make decisions quickly.

  4. Don’t become frustrated with objections, rather focus on coming from contribution, remain calm, patient, and their questions while being true to your standards.

3.    You don’t have to have a lot of different answers to the objections that you receive. You just need two or three responses to the most common ones you hear.

  1. Accept that their is a learning curve, it isn’t going to happen overnight.

  2. To learn the answers, take one objection per week and write out two or three ways of handling it, practice it and role play it until it is committed to memory.

  3. Once you learn how to respond, it will remain with over your entire career.

  4. Most agents overlook this tip; it’s just like riding a bike...you never forget how.

4.    A condition is a statement of fact that you can do nothing about … move on.

  1. Do you know how to identify the difference between an objection and a condition?

  2. Not even the best agents in the industry can overcome a condition.

  3. It’s important to be careful not to beat yourself up, or second guess your ability to when working with objections...be sure you weren’t attempting to overcome a condition.

  4. An example of a condition: we’d list with you, but we are waiting for the probate to be finalized in court.  OR I’d list with you, but my Mom’s asked me to work with her best friend.  Objection:  I like you, and we’d like to list with you, but the other agent offered to take a reduced commission.  OR I will give you the listing, but I will only sign a listing for 30 days. It’s our ability to know how to identify one from the other and being prepared to respond to the most common objections.

5.    “Thinking it over” is not an objection. It is the smoke screen for what is really concerning the seller. Question them … find out if it is commission, price, etc.

  1. Attempt to flush out what’s on the seller’s mind by asking…”tell me more about that” ok…”I want to be sure I understand, what exactly do you mean?”

  2. Often talking things out can clarify what may have been a simple misunderstanding.  Assumptions often break down communication.

  3. Keep in mind the seller may not be receiving or absorbing all the information you are sharing with them.  They may have had their guard up during your presentation and not processed everything you’ve said.

6. When handling objections, always agree, always smile, always nod your head and never argue.

  1. Remember not to argue because it puts the prospect on the defense and makes it more difficult to get the contract signed.  There’s a saying “a person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.”

  2. This is where we need to be really careful to control our emotions, facial features and tone of voice. 55% of communication is your body language.

  3. Instead of becoming frustrated or fearful,  put yourself in the seller’s shoes and seek to understand where they are coming from.  They don’t do this on a daily basis like you do and may need someone like yourself to come along and fill in the gaps with solid and accurate information.  Have the heart of a teacher.

7. Keep the toughest objections and answers that you receive posted in your prospecting area … so that you have an immediate response.

  1. They can’t see you or that you are reading them.

  2. Learn how to read them to sound conversational vs. like you are reading a script

  3. This is a great way to reduce stress and allow you to remain focused.

8. In most cases, they won’t ask you a question or give you an objection if they weren’t considering working with you.

  1. This is a good sign, don’t panic and work through it. Use the following to buy yourself time if needed “I appreciate you bringing that up if you would, can you tell me more about exactly what you’re saying?”

  2. Re-frame this to now be a buying sign instead of a problem.

  3. Remember to respond to the objection and then close for commitment. Handle and ask for a commitment.  It’s ok if it feels a little uncomfortable, that’s normal.

9. There are only so many objections, determine which ones are most common in your market and have your best responses committed to memory.

  1. Since 1991 I haven’t come across many “new ones.”

  2. If you were to make a list of ALL the top objections you could possibly think of, you would likely have a less than 10. It’s probably closer to 6-7 very common ones that come up over and over again.

  3. Stop reacting, start responding.  Make a point of learning how you are going to go about these on the list.  Since we have found the list doesn’t change, anyone (with the desire) is no more than a few months away from having a better handle on this part of their business for the rest of your career.

10. The only way to build confidence when handling objections is through consistent practice.  If you aren’t practicing, why not?

  1. Be nice to yourself...if you don’t have this area of your business mastered, it is only because you haven’t made it a priority and applied the discipline. Not because you can’t learn what to say, or how to respond.

  2. Understand the cost of not knowing how to work with objections. If your average check is $7500 and you miss just one listing a month because of your inability to effectively handle objections, you’re losing $90K each year.

  3. It’s twofold, one in missing opportunities when on appointments. Second, you're possibly (on an unconscious level) not going after new business to avoid being put in situations that make you uncomfortable and avoiding dealing with objections.

Know the difference between working in your business and on your business. An example of working in your business may be when you are actually on the listing appointment of showing property.  An example of working on your business would be writing out the objections, figuring out your response, role-play and practicing 15-20 minutes each day.  Make sure to put this in your schedule and don’t overlook the importance of practicing.

Jul 29 2016

21mins

Play

The 90 Day Productivity Cycle

Podcast cover
Read more

Your real estate business is built 90 days at a time. Have you ever felt like you were legitimately working and wondered why you aren't getting anywhere? Frustrated with your ability to get things rolling? 

First, it's not your fault. It's likely no one has ever explained how the cycles in the real estate business work and what it is going to require of you to get traction and some business rolling. I like to use the example of a plane upon take off.  If the plane doesn’t have a long enough runway and is unable to get enough speed, it won’t be able to have enough momentum to get lift and take off.  The plane requires a certain amount of energy being generated from its engines (thrust) to keep it ascending, eventually, reaching its cruising altitude. This is where the plane requires less energy or thrust to maintain flight; you could say the plane has momentum now.  The most energy the plane exerted was getting the plane from a standstill to its cruising altitude. (This is no different for us in real estate.)  We have the same process to go through the plane does. Often, the key difference is when a plane takes off, the pilots have taken into consideration many variables before they attempt this process.  Things like the length of the runway, load (or weight of the plane), fuel on board, weather, the altitude of the airport and a list of many other items. When we “take off” (as Realtors, the majority of the time) we don’t have as well organized plan and as a result, find ourselves not getting off the ground, often, we feeling like we’re on a hamster wheel going in circles and grow increasingly more frustrated. What we find is after a few honest attempts without any measurable success, our enthusiasm diminishes, and we lose the passion we once had to grow our business. If this sounds familiar, it’s not entirely your fault.  It’s likely no one has explained how you “take off” in the real estate business...this can be accomplished using 90-day cycles.

What is a 90-day cycle? Consistently taking action on your desired activity for at least 90 days straight. Keep in mind we're focusing on real estate related activities here. However, this could be applied to anything in your life. Ground Rules: 90 consecutive days of staying engaged in the activity(s) you've made a commitment to. Monday thru Friday or days you designate to be working days. Here’s the reason so few can complete a cycle...if you miss one day, you start over at day 1. The purpose of this is to create a habit around the behavior and build momentum in your business leading to increased production and income.

What have you observed over the years?: What we see showing up in our businesses today is usually a result of what action we've taken, or not taken in the last 90 days. Who we are right now is who we've been up to this point...not necessarily who we are at the moment. It’s simply showing up in our present. So, if you're happy with what's showing up, continue with what you've been doing. Should you want to change anything, it's important to remember that what you do (or don't do) today is going to show up in the next 90 days. Understanding the process is key to maintaining a good mindset and awareness of what's taking place in your business.

Also - many agents begin pulling back towards the end of the 3rd qtr.  This leads to a slow 4th qtr, and when the new year rolls around, agents begin getting back to work. However, since the business is built in these 90-day cycles, many of them lose taking advantage of the 1st quarter...results typically show up as spring begins.  This means if this is you...you are losing as much as six months of production.  You can check this by looking at your goals … are you consistently coming up short or possibly getting halfway to your goals?  If so, this is predictable based on your work cycles, consistency or inconsistency.

7 Steps to completing a 90 Day Cycle

1. Be ridiculously clear about the why behind the cycle. This will be your leverage when doubt creeps in. A strong understanding of your purpose behind the effort will serve as your foundation to build upon. Your ability to complete the cycle is either made here or will reveal where the hole will show up when you hit some resistance. I like to say we must have an unwavering commitment to what’s driving us.  Let’s be honest; it’s not always fun...sometimes we’re having to exhibit self-discipline, do things that take us out of our comfort zone.  Sometimes, let’s face it...we just aren’t in the mood to do whatever it is we know is required of us to move our business forward. This is why defining this is so important.

2. Put your goal for the 90-day cycle in writing. It’s not enough to just have it “in mind.” Be very specific, allow yourself to be detailed in your description. This is not the time to go through the motions or cut corners. Go deep, be thorough. Studies show people with written goals are more likely to accomplish their goals... In fact, research shows us your odds of achieving your goals as much as double when you just write them down. If you want to go all in, in addition to writing down the benefits you will have to enjoy once you complete this 90-day cycle, go ahead and find some pictures that bring it to life even more vividly.  It may take you an extra 30- 45 minutes to do this and will be well worth it.  Place these pictures directly in front of you as a daily reminder of what you are getting closer and closer to realizing this lifestyle.  Hey, don't play small here, this is your life!!

3. Find your support team and accountability partners. Those that are for you. Family - Let them know what you are setting out to do and ask for their support. Explain to them how they also benefit from what you are doing, get their buy in. If they don’t jump on-board right away, don’t be discouraged.  This is just their way of guarding their emotions against any potential disappointment should you not follow through.  In time, with your consistency, the results will show up, and you will have your family right there cheering you on to the 90th day, and beyond!  Close friends - Co-workers that will be positive and get behind you and want to see you succeed. Broker, Manager, productivity coach, staff, etc.

4. Create affirmations around what you're looking to accomplish.

Affirmations are written in positive and present tense. An affirmation can work as it has the ability to program your mind into believing the stated message. This is because the mind doesn't know the difference between what is real or fantasy. As an example, if your goal for the 90-day cycle is to lead generate 1 or 2 hours each day for 90 straight days you could have an affirmation like this: I enjoy generating leads on a daily basis.  I love to make phone calls and connect with people about RE on a daily basis. I feel empowered when I follow my daily time block to lead generate.  Keep this in mind, if intentionally saying affirmations seems “cheesy” to you - do know you are saying them anyway.  As we go through our day saying negative things (consciously/unconsciously) you are doing affirmations anyway.  The difference is they are doing your mindset harm and many times not even when you are aware of it. It can’t hurt anything, just go ahead and do the affirmations and in time, you will notice when you don’t do it you will notice something seems off, and you will miss do this.

5. Identify the activity(s) Use the focusing question to help guide you. 1. What is the one thing I can do to grow my business (in a ninety-day cycle) such by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?   2. Time block for the activity.  30 min? 1 hour? 1.5 hours? 2 hours or more? Start somewhere...Chinese proverb...the journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step.  Just take action! The important thing is to get started and stay the course.  Put it on your calendar, if you don’t have one, now is a great time to start using one. Keep it simple, don’t get bogged down with all the details, just note it in your calendar and then do it. Winning in real estate is a marathon, not a sprint. Less is more over time.  There is a saying, time on task beats talent every time.

6. Track your progress, keep it real. As we discussed in previous episodes, accountability is about being transparent about activities to a third party. Have a log of the work you've completed. Remember, it's not about measuring the immediate return on your efforts. DON’T BE TOO QUICK TO KEEP SCORE. It's a matter of staying engaged in the activities, doing them at a high level and increasing your proficiency daily. Again, keep this simple...just have some kind of plan in place to track your progress.

7. Have a way to reward yourself along the way. How can you do this?  Make a game of it, have some fun.  Keeping in mind if you were to do this M-F for 90 days, that would be just over four months with the weekend's taken into account. Yes, that’s a good chunk of time and why you will see results. You can equate this length of time to the length of a runway a plane needs to get enough speed (or momentum) to get lift and take off. The 90-day cycle is our runway for us to “take off” and soar to new heights. Do one full cycle, stick to it and you will be on the way to your next level in your business

Jul 11 2016

24mins

Play

How to Use the Accountability Cycle

Podcast cover
Read more

We discussed in the last episode the key to realizing high levels of achievement was having a clear understanding of what your 20% is related to your job/business. Those activities, that if not done consistently would eventually lead to you going out of business or losing your job. These are the core responsibilities that require your attention and consistent execution. Now that we’ve talked about (and will be working on) identifying these key areas, the next step is to set ourselves up to win by weaving in an ample amount of vitamin A with your 20%.  As I reflected on the last episode, I realized the importance to raise our awareness around this as they both tie into one another...and...typically, one without the other prevents maximum results.  Many of us may be aware of our 20% and yet lack accountability OR tend to have an accountable approach to their daily lives and lack clarity on that 20% activity is to lead to 80% of your results.

Vitamin A is for Accountability.  We’ve all heard about the importance of accountability and yet, when we all do an honest assessment of our lifestyle,  find very little evidence of having solid, effective accountability in our daily lives.  Defined: The opportunity for an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept full responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.

“Accountability is the glue that ties commitments to results.”

“It is easy to blame others when things are broken...the hard part is recognizing the role you played in it all.”

“Either you make yourself accountable, or you will be made accountable by your circumstances.”

I’d like to look at this two ways...we hear about “being accountable” and  “some who is accountable”.  I think being accountable is an outside-in approach. Meaning, you are doing this for someone else,  its external & often not fully sold out or on board - often with some level resentment.  When we talk about someone that is “accountable” I see this as in inside out approach.  You’ve decided, accepted, and on your own terms chose to be accountable to whatever task, project or goal that is in front of you.  

This is typically when you have a clear picture of the end result, the benefits of taking such action. In the end, the person that comes from an “I am accountable” frame of mind. These people live the accountability lifestyle and take this approach in all things they do

Let’s look at the five stages of the accountability cycle:

Now let’s look at the opposite, what are the five stages of the victim approach...

What can someone do we avoid a victim mentality?  

The research is very clear on this - be open to accountability.

EX: The effect accountability has on goal setting - Individuals that don’t write down their goals rarely if ever accomplish them.

Individuals with written goals were 39.5% more likely to succeed.

Individuals with written goals and weekly accountability were 76.7% more likely to succeed. That doubles your odds of meeting or exceeding your goals!!

The 11th commandment: Thou Shall Not Kid Thy Self

Accountability isn’t optional -  We can fall to into the trap of thinking accountability is optional.  Meaning, if we don’t “intentionally” decide to accept accountability into our lives we are somehow avoiding it and therefore, it doesn’t exist. We all have a choice; we can allow accountability to find us by default or we can take it head on by choice.  Many years ago I was listening to an audio program; they were talking about the “hard road and the easy road”.  That when we think we’re avoiding what is “tough” or “hard” by taking the easier road, we’ve essentially avoided facing whatever this may be.  When in reality, taking the hard road in most cases gets easier, and the easy road gets harder.  We all know people that live their lives by tackling things head on, facing whatever comes their way and have an “if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me” attitude.  We also know people that constantly are looking for loopholes to get out to doing what’s necessary, and ways to beat the system.  Here’s the bottom line, what I came to realize years ago...the only way out is through.  When we are willing to face the work, obstacles or whatever may come our way, just put our heads down, blinders on and get on with it, knowing the results will be worth the effort - knowing the shortcut is to go through and not around what may be challenging us.

5  tips to establish and incorporate accountability into your business/life.

  1. Accept you can accomplish what we set out to do - in less time when we adopt living the accountable lifestyle.  Do so on purpose or by default.

  2. It’s a fact; we are more likely to stay the course if we have an accountability partner(s) that are willing to take a stand with us for what we’ve set out to accomplish.

  3. Establish accountability standards and boundaries upfront and review regularly.

  4. Be Creative - have some fun with this.  

  5. Always be looking for new accountability partners. Turnover can be high, don’t let this discourage you

Jun 20 2016

24mins

Play

The Twenty Percent Sercret

Podcast cover
Read more

Today we’re going to talk about staying focused on your 20%. The 80/20 principle.  

Time is The Great Equalizer

Q - We all know or have heard of someone who has had extraordinary success. How do they do more,  achieve more, earn more, have more?

A - They get to the heart of things...They go small.

“Going small” is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do.  It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.

What exactly is this 20% secret?  

We have found that every job or role in business, has a measurable way of tracking performance. To determine this, we ask three questions. 1. How do you gauge success in your job or business? 2. What are the things/activities that contribute to that success? 3. Out of those things/activities, which is the priority item? Meaning, if you didn't do that activity at all, you would essentially see your business fail or lose your job? This concept comes from the Italian philosopher named Vilfredo Pareto, who was born in 1848-1923. Pareto was studying the Italian economy and realized that 80 percent financial wealth in Italy was controlled by 20% of the population. Then, he looked at real estate and noticed 80 percent of the real estate was controlled by just 20 percent of the population.

What’s interesting is, this shows up everywhere in our lives - it is a principle as true as the law of gravity! Pareto’s Principle, it turns out, is as real as the law of gravity, and yet most people fail to see it’s significance. It’s not just a theory—it is a provable, predictable certainty of nature and one of the greatest productivity truths ever discovered. Richard Koch, in his book The 80/20 Principle, defined it about as well as anyone: “The 80/20 Principle asserts that a minority of causes, inputs, or effort usually lead to a majority of the results, outputs, or rewards.” In other words, in the world of success, things aren’t equal. A few causes create most of the results.

Is Less really more? - Pareto points us in a very clear direction: the majority of what you want will come from the minority of what you do. Extraordinary results are disproportionately created by fewer actions than most realize. Pareto’s great insight was that not everything matters equally; some things matter more than others — a lot more. What amazes me is that often, people don’t accept this like they do the law of gravity. Here’s a great example of what I am talking about.  If I took you to the top of a 20 story building and asked you to step off the building - with no protective gear, would you? No. You accept the law of gravity completely. Someone people don’t live the 80/20 principle the same way. I understand Pareto isn’t a new concept to everyone. What I don’t understand is why most people don’t like it, follow it or make a point of following it. Why is this? Likely due to the fact it’s not commonly talked about, taught and trusted to work.  

Trusted to work? What does that mean? We have become so accustomed to living in “chaos” and sadly have (even if not consciously) accepted it as a way of life.  When in fact, it doesn’t have to be the case.  How do we do this? First, we have to raise our awareness.  Once this is done, we can get a clear focus on what truly matters, put the blinders on and get into action doing The ONE Thing, the right thing, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary. You have only so much time and energy, so when you spread yourself out, you end up spread thin.   You want your achievements to add up, but that actually takes subtraction, not addition. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects!

How can we practice the less is more strategy - Ask - What is your ONE Thing in business? In other words, what is your 20% activity that yields 80% of your results? Do you know what your 20% is? To figure this out, as it relates to your business, we’ll focus on your role as a Realtor, what is the ONE THING you know is the MOST important activity, that will make everything easier OR unnecessary? I would suggest this is the habit of lead generation.  For a Realtor, there are many opportunities to be pulled in numerous directions.  That’s the trap we must A.) be aware of and B.) consciously avoid falling into the 80% activities that, fill up our day and make us feel “busy” and yet prevent us from being “productive.” This is why so many people find themselves working hard, making a sincere effort to  achieve and year after year coming up short of our goals and frustrated.  

Give Yourself The Gift of Leverage - Overcome, overwhelm.  There’s no doubt, we all have many “things” that need to be done.  Here’s the million dollar question to ask yourself  “Is this in my 20%?” One common issue I find comes into play with many people I have coached/trained is they find themselves in this position because they are unwilling to let others help them.  Simply put, they have some control issues to move beyond.  I’ve been there myself, when I finally accepted and for that matter realized, I have a skills set that doesn’t encompass everything, and other people have stronger skills in the areas where mine we’re not as strong, I learned to trust and let go. It’s about building a team of people around you. It’s fair that anyone, that feels that everything that has to be done, must be done by themselves are going to feel overwhelmed quite often.  In order to grow, you have to let go. Do what you do best, what your role calls for and delegate everything else. We can do this through the leverage of a transaction coordinator, listing coordinator, or the support of a virtual assistant. If you drink water without a water filter, then you are the waterfilter.  It’s no different in business, if you don’t find people to assist you, then you are the assistant.  Successful agents don’t do what assistants do, and successful assistants don’t do what successful Realtors do.  I would be willing to bet, based on my experience working with 1000’s of agents across the country, you feel overwhelmed because you are doing everything yourself, working on growing your business and you can’t keep up with everything. No one could! In fact, we’re also stunning the growth of our business when we use this approach. Give yourself the gift of leverage, have more time and increase your production.

Final thought - I just want to repeat this ...You have only so much time and energy, so when you spread yourself out, you end up spread thin.   You want your achievements to add up, but that actually takes subtraction, not addition. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects! Find your 20% activity, trust it and watch your results skyrocket!  Remember, 90 day cycles!

We had an amazing event a few weeks ago...I mentioned the CRLS course I was offering.  We SOLD out and the agents that attended were amazing!  They came ready to play all in, had great energy and it was a hugely successful event.  I will be in Grapevine TX coming up on June 28/29 offering the CRLS Course - you can go to www.crlsdesignation.com to get all the details.  Our venue can only hold 50, so get registered asap as this will sell out too.  

Jun 01 2016

17mins

Play

Creating a Winning Pre Appointment Routine

Podcast cover
Read more

How effective is your pre-appointment routine?

I like to call this phase of the listing process “showtime.”

Do you have a specific process you follow each time you get ready to head out to a listing presentation? If you don’t, this means you are either winging it each time or haven’t yet been introduced to this strategy as an effective way to prepare for your listing appointments...of course, you could also be choosing not to follow any sort of process or routine which I wouldn’t recommend. Remember the very important and meaningful 5Ps? Prior, planning, prevents, poor, performance.

Speaking of performance, a great example is Olympic athletes. How much goes into their preparation? How many years of preparation? How many hours each and everyday?  In most cases this goes on for 4-8 years!  All that to make the team and when it comes to actual performing time, that can vary from a few minutes to a few hours...and 4-8 years to get to this moment.  Also, what about the difference between winning the gold or silver? That can come down to literally hundredths of a second.  Still, even if you win the gold with this microscopic amount of time, you’re still the gold medal winner and the best in the world!  Now, I am not suggesting you need to take 4-8 years to get ready for your appointment; I am saying that as this relates to your business, getting the listing is equivalent to the gold medal. In real estate, the agent that gets the listing is the gold medal winner, there is no silver medal in real estate...second place is just the person who didn’t get the listing.  This is why we are going to go over some ideas to help you get ready, because like I said, it’s showtime!  This is just one example; we can look at so many other industries where how you prepare is critical to getting the outcome you desire. It’s been my experience since we’re in an industry where we have a broad training base, and we’re independent contractors, there may or may not be resources you’ve been introduced to aid in your success compared to a corporate environment where there are strict guidelines and standards that must be followed. We all know the saying, people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.

Creating a pre-appointment routine: Here are six ideas when approaching how you may go about your pre-appointment routine.

1. Prepare your mind to win - Focused, Protect your mindset; don’t handle problems while driving over to the appointment. Again, what is that commission when you list this home you’re going out to?  Avg commission $_____Let’s use $7500 as an example, this is a $250K sale at 3% commission.  Most of us can relate to this number.

Approach it like an athlete preparing for the big game, A doctor heading into surgery, a pilot getting ready the flight? You get the idea; all these people have a process they’re preparing for.

Do some affirmations - bringing you mind to a peak state of performance. I’ve heard many comments that doing affirmations doesn’t work, really? We have to realize that we’re doing them anyway, so they may as well be positive. Research says we all have between 40,000 and 70,000 thoughts each day; most we’re not even conscious of.  If we’re not purposely sending a positive message to ourselves, the odds are you’re planting negative seeds...worse you don’t even know it’s taking place.

I would even suggest doing a minute of visualization - see the appt play out in your favor.  Just before you get out of your car, pull around the corner in a safe place and close your eyes. See yourself walking up the driveway, meeting the seller, sitting down at the table; everyone is getting along as you make your presentation, see them agreeing to the right price and signing your listing agreement.  I was watching the golf a few weeks ago; I noticed one of the PGA Tour golfers Jason Day visualizes his next shot before he approaches the ball.  Your mind doesn’t know the difference between which is real or not. It can’t hurt to do things on purpose to help you have that competitive edge.

2. Practice -  Yes, in this case specifically your presentation, reviewing objection strategies, specifically those that came out in the pre-qualify process.  We talked about this in episode #20. Running through possible scenarios that may occur - price or commission? Thinking through how you will handle this or that should it come up.  When you do this, you are making it more familiar to your mind so when/if it happens it’s not foreign and causes you any additional stress. Again, this is why it is so important you consistently have a standard that you pre-qualify 100% of your listing appointments, 100% of the time.  If you skip this step, you take away the opportunity and benefit of being able to practice and do these runs through in your mind.  Practicing ahead of your appointment will allow you to handle various scenarios in a more calm, controlled and effective manner.

3. Looking and dressing professionally. Are you in rapport here? As obvious as this concept is, it’s one often overlooked or handled incorrectly. The first question is ask yourself, who are you meeting? Think about what is “typical and normal” for them when it comes to work attire? What is their normal environment at work - this is how you need to show up. If you have a meeting with someone that is used to business/professional, dress accordingly. If you are meeting someone you know would wear more casual clothes to work, you can too. That said, I would still be sure to demonstrate some professionalism - no jeans, unless of course maybe you are meeting someone that owns a ranch or a working farm as an example.  I think you get the idea. If you are wondering how you would know this, that’s a fair question.  It happens when you are going through your pre-qualifying process.  It’s so easy to weave in a question that would allow you to discover what type of work the sellers do for a living. It’s not uncommon as you are learning more about where or why a seller is relocating that it would be more than acceptable to ask “so what do you do for a living” or “what line of work are you in”? You can justify asking as this may/may not play into the sale of their home, timing and where they are going. Ask! When in doubt, it’s best to be overdressed than under-dressed. We only get one chance to make a first impression right? Remember, people that are like each other, tend to like each other.

4. All materials ready to go: (911 kit in trunk)

Even with all the technology at our fingertips - systems can go down, the internet can be down I suggest always having a paper copy of whatever you may need to be fully functional. Not being prepared could be a $5000, $10000+ fine or more!  I have a copy of every possible contract, addendum or disclosure in a file in my trunk. You just never know, and it’s better to be safe than sorry!

5. Listen to something that inspires you on your way to the appointment.

What’s your favorite music? Do you have a favorite motivational speaker?

Go ahead and crank your favorite song or musician as you’re en route to your appt.  Don’t deal with issues with other deals - inspections - appraisals - anything that can interfere with keeping you in a peak state of mind.

Unless it’s literally a life/death or safety issue, don’t deal with any personal issues (disclaimer - unless it’s a true emergency life/death) and in that case, you would likely not be going on the appointment anyway, you would be calling to reschedule.  Question, how many listing appointments do you go on in a month? Or over a year? For most agents, this is not a common occurrence. This is why it’s important to have a solid pre-appointment routine. Go ahead and find what works for you, I like to find a great song and blast that on my way to the appointment, music is my go to mechanism. Here’s the key, be yourself, don’t hold back and do whatever you need to do (of course as long as it’s legal, moral and ethical) to feel your best and be in that peak place mentally.

6. Be early to the neighborhood – Nothing is worse than showing up to your listing appointment stressed out. Traffic, a wrong turn, an accident on your route, all can happen without your permission! I want you to have these words in mind “calm, cool & collected.” I am calm, cool and collected when I arrive to my listing presentations.  A great affirmation. I like to go either around the corner and pull over somewhere safe, or, you can usually find a convenience store/gas station at the closest nearby major intersection. Of course, always being aware of your surroundings. There’s something that just is assuring to know that you are a few minutes from the house, early and have a chance to do any last minute preparations.

(Preview when necessary) take notes, make up the page with notes. Certainty vs. doubt. Newer agents - this is a huge tip to overcome your lack of experience. How many times are you at a listing appointment where the seller makes a comment about another home being nicer or some feature or condition, and you really aren’t sure if they’re right or not?  When you have personally been inside and driven your comps, you put yourself in a position to have certainty and eliminate doubt. You now can respond accordingly in a professional manner. Able to take a stance when the seller may make a statement about something i.e.,- they have a nicer home, or they have a better kitchen or another home doesn’t have granite is accurate or be wondering and a loss for words.

Demonstrates to be the expert. (remember the edge between gold and silver medals.)

Show up with more confidence.

Show up with more detailed information than your competition.

When you have seen the homes with your own eyes - you can respond with certainty

Give these ideas some thought, come up with your own - rate yourself on this step 1-10. 6? What steps can I take to get to an 8?

May 16 2016

22mins

Play

Three Tips to Create Urgency With Buyers

Podcast cover
Read more

Tip #1 - Conduct a Consultation - For some reason, I have observed over my
career - going back to 1991...most real estate agents have always
approached working with buyers differently than with a seller.
 With a seller, we make an appointment, go out to meet the
seller at their home and have a meeting - or - we refer to this as
a listing presentation.  However, (and I say for whatever
reason) our industry as a whole doesn’t approach the buyer lead the
same way. Why is that?  Is it just a matter of watching what
others have done and doing the same as what everyone else has seen
people do?  It reminds me of the story…

A young girl was watching her mother bake a ham for a family
gathering and noticed her mom cutting off the ends before placing
it in the oven.

“Mom, why do you cut the ends
off before baking the ham?” she asked. “Hmmm…I think it helps soak
up the juices while it’s baking.  I’m actually not sure,
though. That’s just the way your grandma always did it, so I’ve
just always cut them off. Why don’t you call grandma and ask
her?”

So, the little girl phoned her
grandma and asked “Grandma, mom is making a ham and cut off the
ends before placing it in the oven. She said that it’s probably to
help soak up the juices but wasn’t sure. She said you’d know
because she learned how to cook from you.”

“That’s true. I do cut off the
ends of the ham before baking. But I’m actually not sure why
either. I learned how to cook from my mom. You should ask
her.”

So, the inquisitive little girl
called her great-grandmother and asked “Great grandma, mom, and
grandma said they learned how to cook a ham from watching you. Do
you cut off the ends of the ham to help it soak up the
juices?”

The great grandmother chuckled.
 “Oh, no sweetie.  I just never had a pan big enough to
hold a whole ham, so I always had to cut off the ends to make it
fit.”

The story of the ham is not new,
and has been told numerous different ways, but it is a great
example of the critical
thinking errors
we make
every day.  When we do things “because that’s what we’ve
always done” we fail to seek opportunities for improvement. We fail
to see the
assumptions
we make
every day out of habit and routine. When we just keep cutting off
the ends of the ham, we fail to innovate.

“No problem can be solved from
the same level of consciousness that created it.”  - Albert
Einstein

All that to say, just because
that is what may be “common” is it the most effective?  I
understood and did this myself in the earlier days of my career.
 Since then, I have learned that (for me and I found to help
me be successful) was to treat the first step with the buyer, no
different from the seller.  Have a consultation, get face to
face and see what’s really going on.  When you do this, it
sets up the rest of the process to go forward with fewer issues and
a more fluid manner.

At the consultation be sure to do the
following:

  1. Present you plan of
    action -  (POA) for
    the buyer.  This is the equivalent of a listing presentation
    for the seller.  What are the steps you will take as you
    represent the buyer? This builds value and emphasizes your
    professionalism.
  2. Use a questionnaire
    Have a well thought out
    “questionnaire” that you can use to perform an in-depth needs
    analysis. When you “wing it” you risk missing important details
    that can come back to haunt you later.
  3. Get commitment
    - Are you willing to work for free?
     I don’t think that is your plan, and yet it happens all the
    time.  People go forward working with a buyer and everyone
    “feels” good about everything….until...they find a home and
    opportunity they can’t pass up with another agent.  - It’s an
    extreme example and yet effective.  Would you get married to
    someone who says “ok you can marry me, however, I don’t have to be
    married to you”? Of course not!  My experience and suggestion
    here is it’s just fair - it’s an exchange of commitments - your
    time and expertise to the buyer - and your buyer showing loyalty to
    you for your time and expertise.  It’s call fair and
    reasonable!  When you demonstrate value, show the benefits the
    buyer receives, they will sign a buyer rep agreement with you just
    as a seller that sees the same value and signs your listing
    agreement.
  4. Establish time lines and set
    expectations - The big
    takeaway from this step is to be EXPLICITLY clear on when the buyer
    will be ready to get the keys to their new home?  It’s not
    enough to have an “idea”. We have to know for sure.  Also,
    know WHY this is important to the buyer?  What happens if that
    date is missed?  Exhaustively find out what the motivation is.
    Once you find out the timelines, you can then determine if you move
    forward, slow down or wait till a later date. Next, you can use the
    “formula” to determine what to do next, and this allows the buyer
    to clearly understand what has to happen to meet their goals.
     

Tip #2 - Use The Formula - This is something I came up with awhile back.
It’s something I figured out as a result of being in that difficult
and very precarious situation when you have a buyer that wants to
buy a home, it’s just not for say several months down the road.
 You don’t want to lose the lead, and you also don’t want to
waste time showing homes and know the buyer isn’t in a position to
perform. What do you do?  I can tell you what most agents are
doing, they getting caught in this trap of showing homes
reluctantly and against your better judgment. This is always
frustrating!  I was in this situation so much I finally came
up with the “formula” here is how it works. By the way, it won’t
work 100% of the time; nothing works 100% of the time, however,
done consistently; it will work in your favor over time.

  1. Establish a timeline
    - How many days there are from
    today, until they are ready to move in. Let’s say for this example
    it’s 75 days or 10 weeks. Sounds like a lot of time right?
     
  2. Ask
    the buyer “are you aware of how many days on average it takes to
    close a sale once you find your home of choice?” (Doesn’t matter
    what they say)  Typically, you will hear 30 or 45 days.
     
  3. Regardless, we confirm or agree and use 45 days
    as an example. Take (in this case) 75 days and subtract 45 days for
    the closing period.  This leaves us 30 days to identify and
    get a contract on a home. All of a sudden, the buyer’s mindset
    changes as they don’t have 75 days anymore, they have 30.
     This brings some perspective and creates urgency.
     
  4. Next,
    we explain “ok, so we have 30 days to find your new home and get a
    successful contract in place”  Unless you let me know
    otherwise, that is the timeline I am working towards to make happen
    for you.  A CLEARLY DEFINED OBJECTIVE! How many buyers would
    you like to have ready to buy a home in 30 days?  Same example
    - in this case, buyer ready to move in 60 days...less 45 to close,
    all of a sudden we have two weeks!  
  5. If
    your buyer begins to lose focus or enthusiasm, you can remind them
    (tactfully) about the time frames to help keep things on
    track.

Let’s look at the opposite scenario, the buyer says they
want to look at homes and aren’t able to buy for five months. What
do you do then?

  1. Establish how many days there are from today,
    until they are ready to move in. Let’s say for this example it’s
    150 days or 5 months.  
  2. Ask
    the buyer “are you aware of how many days on average it takes to
    close on a sale once you find your home of choice?” (Doesn’t matter
    what they say)  Typically, you will hear 30 or 45 days.
     
  3. Regardless, we confirm or agree and use 45 days
    as an example. Take (in this case) 150 days and subtract 45 days
    for the closing period.  This leaves us 105 days to identify
    and get a contract on a home.
  4. We
    can have the following conversation with the buyer.
  5. “I
    want to help you...you have a few options...if we find your
    “perfect” home, we’d have to find a seller willing to wait 100 days
    to close, and 60 days is considered to be a longer than the typical
    time frame. Also, you will usually not be able to negotiate
    favorable terms since the offer isn’t as attractive to the seller.
    It also can bring up some challenges for your financing, locking in
    and fluctuation in rates. (seller market - will be looked over in
    multiple offers) So, you have a few choices…
  1. You
    can wait until you get a bit closer to your timeframe and start the
    buying process then. OR
  2. If
    you can, move up the date to close the gap and be within the
    typical closing time period.

It’s up to you...what would you
prefer?  (either way, it works to your favor)

With some practice, you can
learn how to deliver this in a sincere manner.  It is what it
is - having a conversation like this has helped me numerous times
work through these two situations that are bound to come up often
when working with buyers. The key is really making it about them
and showing your support for their circumstances, not that you
aren’t interested in showing them homes.

Tip #3 - Showing Property Best
Practices  

Show them how the food is cooked in the
kitchen:

  1. Pull
    all properties that match your buyer’s criteria.
  2. Tell
    them how many you found.
  3. Explain to them how many you ruled out due to
    location (train track, traffic street, etc.) or didn’t meet
    condition expectations, significantly overpriced, etc.
     
  4. This
    leaves the net total of possible matches.
  5. Remove doubt - Doing this helps the buyer
    realize that what you’ve presented is the entire market available
    to them at this moment, based on their criteria. Also, this removes
    that “what if there is something we haven’t seen yet” thought
    process. We have to let our buyer into the research process and
    allow them to be a part of what you have done to prepare for them.
     Usually, we just present them homes - it’s like putting a
    plate in front of someone and saying “eat” and not asking if they
    are even hungry.

Get your buyer used to hearing “would you like to make
an offer on this home” -
The idea here is that we don’t want this to sound foreign to the
buyers we work with.  We also don’t want to come across
obnoxious; there is a balance here.  When you ask this
question, you get to learn what is going on in your client’s mind.
 Open dialogue allows you to be on the same page and encourage
the process forward based on that feedback.  When we don’t
talk, we don’t know what is taking place and end up dragging out
the process.

Play the Beat It game with your buyers -
 This is a fun way to
help you and your buyer rule in or out homes and keep focused.
 Here’s how it works.  You show a home, on your way out
the door, ask them to rate the home on a 1-10 scale, 10 the
highest.  Let’s say they rate it a 6. (as a side note, two
great follow up questions are 1. Ask them “what was it about the
home that makes it a 6 in your mind? 2nd - What would have to
happen to make it a 10? This tells you how they are evaluating
their decision-making process.)  You go to the next home on
your route and again, on the way out the door, ask how does this
one rate on a 1-10 scale?  They say an 8, then this means this
one “beat” the last one.  This home is in 1st place, forget
about that last home, let’s see if we can “beat it”. You go on to
house #3, ask the same question … they rate it a 7...so you
say...that means house #2 is still the one to beat, let’s forget
this one and so on. As an example, if you were to show 5 or 6 homes
that day, you all know which one is the home in 1st place.
 This sets up a simple way to ask at the end of the tour the
following “well, of the six homes we saw today, home #2 was your
favorite home...would you like to make an offer and see what we can
do on that one?”  My experience is agents just show and show
and show some more homes and never make an attempt to get the buyer
to make a buying decision. Lastly, if we don’t do this then all the
homes begin to blur together, and the buyers can easily get
overwhelmed and shut down.

May 02 2016

22mins

Play

#1 Strategy to Convert More Listings

Podcast cover
Read more

Over the years, through focused preparation and hours and hours (and even more hours) of practice...I was able to have a fairly high listing presentation to listings taken ratio.  Most agents will have an average of a 25% closing rate, better than average would be 50%, and the top agents would be converting upwards of 70-80% of the appointments they go on.  What is interesting here is if you take...say...10 appointments and each one is going to payout $6000 CGI, the difference between having average skills and above average skills is an additional $18,000 for the top listing agent - for the same amount of time! Repeat this a handful of times over the course of a year and you can see how you’re leaving, at least, $100,000 on the table - or putting in your pocket!

Here're six benefits you can have when you commit to pre-qualifying 100% of your listing appointments, 100% of the time.

1. Flushes out what's really going on - I like to use this example when I am teaching agents about pre-qualifying the seller.  First, let’s think about what process a doctor follows leading up to a surgical procedure.  Typically, the patient is asked a series of questions; various tests may be run, and we’re told not to eat/drink anything, in most cases after a certain time the day before the surgery.  WHY?  To prevent you from dying or having serious complications.  The doctor is “flushing out” what is going on with the current state of your health. This is exactly what we’re doing when we pre-qualify the seller.  We are asking a series of questions to understand what is going on - the things that are obvious and those things that aren’t as obvious. We’re doing the same thing the doctor is with an intention to take into consideration all factors to allow us to determine how to move forward, if we’re moving forward and what issue may come into play. Simply put, we’re getting prepared for surgery - in this case; it’s not life/death, and it is in most cases the largest financial transaction the seller is trusting you to take them through successfully.

Imagine this - what would it be like to go to a doctor and they don’t don’t ask any questions? They don’t order any lab work and just say “ok, see you in the morning” what would you do?  We’d question what’s going on right? Here’s the thing, the seller doesn’t know any better and when we’re not following this process (knowingly or not) we taking them down a similar path.

Over the years when I teach agents how to do this I often hear things like “what if they get mad that you’re asking questions” or “what if they don’t have the time” here’s what I say, number 1, that in itself is telling you something and number 2 who’s in charge here? You’re the doctor and know what’s best for your patient to get their desired outcome.

2. Gives you leverage to close the sale - Exactly! How many times do you go to a listing appointment and attempt to close for the signature and find it difficult? Have other things come up that hadn’t come up to that point that leaves you wondering what to say?  Maybe all of a sudden the seller starts backpedaling on you with comments like “well, I can just keep the house” or “if we can’t ____ then I guess we will just not sell the house” if you haven’t come across this yet, it’s a matter of time until you do.  What is key to remember here is when you pre-qualify at a high level, you essentially are (as we said a moment ago) FLUSHING everything out which doesn’t give the seller anywhere to “hide”: so to say.  You asked the questions, have all the information, and now that is what you can use as leverage to close for the signature. Jody, let’s look at it this way...imagine you have a large boulder sitting before you...it weighs approximately 100 pounds - with no tools - I ask you to move it forward about 10 feet. What would you say? Exactly, that would be quite a challenge.  Now let’s say I gave you a stick that was about 3 inches in diameter and 7 feet long and I said “go ahead and wedge that in between the ground and boulder and move it forward” what would happen? (snap)  Correct, what I want you to recognize is the stick was the information you normally have going out to list a home - some and not all there was to know.  Now let’s do this...I am going to give you a rod made out of steel, same thing, 3 inches in diameter and 7 feet long. What do you think may happen when you wedge that between the ground and the boulder? (could get it to move forward with less resistance? Yes...) The reason is that you have more in depth information and as a result of more “leverage” to move the process along.  It’s a fact that it’s next to impossible to close for the signature if we don’t have the leverage to work with. If you find yourself having this come up, check in with yourself and ask "am I getting all the information I can possibly get to be in a position to close the listings I go on?"

3. Helps you determine personality style - By going through your pre-qualifying script, not only doing you get to build rapport before you arrive - you have an opportunity to get to know the seller better.  With some practice, you will be able to pick up on behavioral traits and or tendencies show up during the conversation. If you don’t pre-qualify and just get on and off the phone quickly, you are missing out on valuable information that your competition could be taking advantage of (I was) which gives them a competitive edge over you. To really do this a high level you want to have some level of awareness of the most common personality styles.  If we use the DISC, D, I, S, C system you’re likely to be able to zero in on a few things that come up which will help you determine how to communicate with the seller in the most effective manner. Some simple examples of this may be if you determine the seller is really to the point/bottom line oriented and showing low emotions you are most likely seeing the D or dominant personality showing up. If you happen to pick up on the seller tends to talk a lot, fast and with a lot of enthusiasm, this suggests the characteristics of the I personality. Let’s say you notice the seller is calm, steady and very polite and agreeable; you are probably dealing with someone that leans more to the S style. Finally, in conversation you notice the seller comes across in a more deliberate, precise methodical manner, still low on emotion - this would suggest tendencies of a C personality style. We can also pick up on these tendencies based on one's occupation. D - Leadership/managers, I - People-oriented jobs like outside sales or teachers, S - supportive roles like nurses or administrative assistants and C’s would typically hold engineering jobs, pilots or pharmacist.  Again, all this to suggest you are getting more quality information by going through a pre-qualification process, having more in-depth dialogue with each listing appointment you go out on - to have the most favorable outcome.

4. Separates you from your competition & Demonstrates your professionalism - Many times after getting the listing contract signed, as I was heading out the door I would often ask the seller this question “what specifically was it that caused you to go ahead and list with me?”  I heard the same comments over and over again. One that came up almost every time was “I like you over the phone - you took the time to get to know what we were looking to do and asked a lot of questions and showed you cared/were interested in us, not just the sale” they’d go on to say “the other agents we spoke to were just interested in getting an appointment and were off the phone once we set up a time to meet.”  After hearing this over and over it was evident that I was beginning to win the listing on that first call during the pre-qualification process.  If we step back and compare a homeowner hiring an agent and a person looking to get their taxes done or finding the right attorney to represent them, one common denominator is present in all cases - the professional being hired is going to have questions they have to go through to know exactly how to proceed.  For whatever reason, in RE, we hear someone wants to list their home, and we get laser focused in setting the appointment and in the majority of cases that is all.  If you want to differentiate yourself from your competition, following an effective pre-qualification process will show the seller you are the true pro!

5. Take more listings on the first appt - Here’s a question to consider - of all the listing appointments you go on, how many are you getting signed/closed on the first appointment? If it’s less than 80%, you likely have room to improve your approach. It's a fact that your odds significantly DECREASE to get the listing if you leave he house without a signed listing agreement. The more information you have walking in the front door, the more you increase your odds of getting the listing agreement signed on the spot.  You either are in “discovery” while at the meeting with the seller, OR you can strategically use what you have flushed out in the PQ process to move the seller down a path to a buying decision to hire you.  We all base our decisions on two primary factors; they are pain and pleasure. It’s our desire to move AWAY from pain and move TOWARDS pleasure. It’s been proven we will do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure.  So, I realize this is a more advanced strategy and yet, if you are at the top of your game or have plans to be there soon, this type of knowledge is going to have to come into play.  What we want to notice is as we’ve taken the seller though the PQ process, taken detailed notes and have uncovered the underlying issues or goals the seller has, you now can use this to get the seller to commit to working with you.  How? By using pain and pleasure to influence them to list with you. If you don’t PQ, you don’t have the information and therefore, can’t do this effectively.6. Protects your mindset - How could PQ the seller protect your mindset?  Good question - here’s how.  Have you ever gone out on a listing appointment, not gotten the listing and ended up driving home or back to office feeling lousy? I have!  With these emotions comes some great questions/self-talk too...like..why did I ever get in this business?  This isn’t for me; maybe I need to get a real job?  OR you may have some really empowering thoughts like this - I’ll never be successful.   Will I ever catch a break...how am I going make my car payment.  You get what I am saying, not getting the listing can take it’s toll on you mentally and emotionally.  Now, let me stress there may be several factors that have lead to this outcome and just because you took the seller through a solid PQ process doesn’t guarantee you will take the listing.  There may be other areas of your presentation that need improvement - that isn’t what I am saying here.  What I want to emphasize is this - if the seller isn’t qualified, no one would get the listing - they don’t qualify.  The top agents in the business would get the same result. When you do a thorough PQ, you may have been able to uncover information and decided not to go on the appointment after all. This would have been much less of a blow to your mindset than all the time and effort made to go on an unqualified appointment. This doesn't encourage us to stick to our daily schedules, make our contacts each day and be out there proactively looking for the next sale. If someone happened to get the listing, it’s likely to be at the wrong price, not staged correctly or other variables that would prevent it from selling.  Here’s the point - if you are going out on unqualified appointments, leaving empty-handed and find yourself in this vicious circle of beating yourself up and having doubt set in - you can avoid this by committing to a PQ process before accepting the appointment.  PQ upfront will allow you to avoid falling into these self-defeating situations.

Apr 18 2016

21mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

47 Ratings
Average Ratings
42
0
3
1
1

34 things

By Supadodostainremova - Jun 29 2017
Read more
Great podcast. Preparing me for my journey as a new agent. Thanks guys

GREAT INFO!!

By g_welch - Feb 07 2017
Read more
Great podcast, simple and straight forward with no sales pitch.. Just great content.