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Business
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Self-Improvement

Agents in Action

Updated 7 days ago

Business
Education
Careers
Self-Improvement
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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

46 Ratings
Average Ratings
41
0
3
1
1

34 things

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

GREAT INFO!!

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

iTunes Ratings

46 Ratings
Average Ratings
41
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.

Listen to:

Cover image of Agents in Action

Agents in Action

Updated 7 days ago

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: Part 2 of 2 - Mastering FSBO Preview Appointments

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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

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Rank #2: Five Statistics Every Realtor Should Know

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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

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Rank #3: Part 1 of 2 - The $40,000 For Sale By Owner System

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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

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Rank #4: The Three Step Prep

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The Three Step Prep is the key to setting up a successful 1st appointment with clients.

Step 1 – The Initial Conversation

Find out the Why, What, Where, and When about their decision to buy/sell their house.

Are you convinced they are motivated to take action?

Step 2 – Pre-Qualify

There are two types of pre-qualification, financially and level of motivation.

You must pre-qualify 100% of the time. Pre-qualification must become a standard if not already.

Step 3 – Set up the Appointment

Offer an alternative close to help set the appointment. Use an open ended question.

Ideally, allow for a few days to get lenders "ok" before you even meet.

Sep 26 2015

19mins

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Rank #5: If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get

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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

Rank #6: Working with Buyers

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How to show less and sell more.

Your First Contact - Making it count with the 4 Ws: Why, Where, What, When

Make them convince you.

Listen for the following;

Clarity - Do they have direction, focus, and specifics in mind.

Urgency - What is the timeframe to work within? Do they have to buy or want to buy?

Open Minded - Are they coachable? Will they follow your lead?

Pre-Qualifying - It is about more than money. 

Financially - Can they meet the lending guidelines to fund the loan?

Motivation - Are they truly motivated to buy a home?

Finances and Motivation must line up. The more time you take having a solid first conversation, the less time it will take you to locate the buyers new home and have your next sale under contract.

Consultation - This is where most agents get off track. 

All parties must have 100% clarity of the desired outcome.

A consultation saves everyone time when showing property and prevents missed opportunity.

If a buyer resists meeting for a consultation, it is a red flag.

A consultation allows you to establish expectations up front.

Value Proposition

A value proposition differentiates you from the competition.

A value proposition gives them a reason to want to hire you.

Ask for a commitment. Getting a buyer commitment in writing up front is no different than working with a seller.

Oct 19 2015

21mins

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Rank #7: Mindset - Attitude, Approach and Expectations

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Your mindset will determine your success. There are three aspects to a winning mindset; attitude, approach, and expectations. 

Attitude

It is the small things that make a HUGE difference. 

95% of your success is attitude; the other 5% is attitude. 

What are you listening to? What are you reading? Who are you hanging around? All of these impact your attitude. 

Approach

Have a plan. 

Remember the five Ps - Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. 

People don't plan to fail; they fail to plan. 

Expectations

Rome wasn't built in a day. You operate on 90 days cycles. Have you  taken enough action, consistently over a period of time to have measurable results?

The 11th commandment - Thou shall not kid thyself. 

Oct 12 2015

18mins

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Rank #8: More Sales Through Lead Follow Up

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Eight Steps to get more sales through lead follow up

1. Have a clearly defined definition of what qualifies as a lead. 

2.Have an established pipeline - Build a list of your top 10 leads.

3.Approach each lead like there are serious, qualified and ready to go.

4.It’s critical to understand the majority of your appointments will come from lead follow-up … not your initial call. 

5. Most agents have too many “leads” which actually works against us.

6. Leads have no value … we must be thinking appointments and contracts.

7. When following up, set it up like an appointment 

8. What is the best follow up system to use? 

Nov 02 2015

21mins

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Rank #9: For Sale By Owners

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For Sale By Owners – Discussion Points and tips to list more FSBO’s

  1. Winning with FSBO’S is 90% mindset and 10% skills.

I’m not discounting that we need to have some skills to get the job done, I am suggesting that it’s what our approach and expectations are that will make us win or have more challenges with the when working with the by owner seller.

  1. Fact: at least 70-80% eventually list with an agent.

If we know that the vast majority eventually list, why not say to yourself it’s going to be with me and in order for that to happen I have to insert myself into the conversation, the odds are in your favor. There are more by owner sellers than most agents have as a goal to sell each year. 

  1. They are only a few things that can happen, they sell, the list or nothing at all. The serious and most qualified ones are most likely to list with an agent.

Our job here is to sift through all of them to find the aces in the deck…or at least the face cards.  The key is to never lose sight that the good ones are there and often we allow the others … the 2’s 3’s 4’s…the less qualified sellers influence us and discourage us.  There are a lot of good people out there that are in need of your services…believe in what you have to offer and the solutions you can bring to them.

  1. Being organized and having consistent lead follow up is everything with this source of seller leads. (The spider web)

I like to say we have to be “sticky” like a stamp.  Another way to visualize this is to think of it like you’ve spun a spider web…nothing gets out of your web (once it’s in there) unless you choose to let it go.  Time on task over time beats talent every time.

  1. Don’t look down on them for trying to sell the home themselves.

This is quickest way to turn someone off and shut us down.  It’s a tactic that I’ve heard many agents over the years use…fear and scare tactics don’t work.  Remember the saying…it goes like this…a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.  Be supportive (sincerely supportive and professional) and follow up until they’re ready to fold.

  1. Pre-qualify first, if they meet your standards then either make an appointment, preview appointment of create a new lead to follow up with.

The point here is to be sure the lead meets your standards.  When I say standards, I am talking about things like…location – within areas you service…price ranges…there may be a point in which you aren’t going to work a lead that’s at a lower price or higher price…this all depends on your experience, market and economic factors.  I always have a standard around people’s attitudes…you have a choice and don’t have to work with unhappy people, negative people that have stinkin thinkin…it’s just a chance to reflect and ask yourself “is this business I want to pursue?”

  1. Don’t get caught up in their story or drama of why they “think” they can’t afford to list with an agent…they can’t afford not to.

First, on this one…ALWAYS listen with respect…I am just suggesting not to buy in to the story or get caught up emotionally.  We have to separate ourselves from their circumstances and understand that at the moment they may not think they can this or that and in the end they will do what they have to do if they really need to move and are unable to sell themselves.  Tell the story – seller NRH – not going to list, has a friend they’d list with and wouldn’t pay full comm.  Not only did I get the listing, I got a full commission. Smoke screens are sometimes sent our way and we have to have a big fan to blow it out.  Point: When the motivation is present, we all do what we have to do. 

  1. The facts are, 85% of all homes in the S. sell in the hands of a Realtor. Statistics show homes that sell with Realtors sell for more money than private party, if not the industry as a whole would go away.

It’s important to keep this in mind…over the years and going back to the beginning of real estate as a profession, our industry represents (depending on the source) 8 to 9 out of every 10 homes that sell.  And for the 1-2 of ten that sell, in many cases wasn’t that a by owner actually found a traditional buyer, there was an arrangement where a neighbor bought the home or a family member etc.  If we have to offer didn’t work to bring homeowners more money, quicker sales with less hassles and reduce their risk/liability our industry would have gone away by now.  This is why it’s so important to be top of our game and continuously be upgrading what we do as real estate professionals.

  1. By owner’s have a process to go through, some are longer than others. The key is being there when they are done going through that process, be persistent with your lead follow up.

We never know where we’re meeting someone in their process … we only find out when we make contact with them…we don’t know if they’re just getting started or have been attempting to sell for months – tired of fielding calls – sitting their open houses – and being tied down to their homes.  The only way to know if to make contact.  Think about human behavior – are most of us by nature the type to stick with things when times are tough OR are do most of us tend to break down and give up? (WAIT).  Exactly – so if we realize that as a society we have that tendency use that to your advantage and stay the course because the odds are they won’t!

Visual – you have a wall in front of you, you can’t climb or jump over it. How do you get to the other side? Take down one brick at a time until you can step over it to the other side. 

  1. Our job is to help them discover they have a problem and then offer the solution.

Again, we don’t want to make them wrong here.  This is a technique you can use to create doubt or curiosity in their minds.  You can do this by asking strategic questions. 

 Curiosity – If I could clearly demonstrate a financial benefit by working with me…you’d at least want to know what is…wouldn’t you?

 If we met and you felt I could get you more money, a quicker sale with less hassle, would you at least consider it? Testing the waters not all fish will bite, that’s ok.

Doubt: Since 85% of all homes sold in the US are represented by RE Agents…I was curious what marketing angles you’re using to tap into the 15%?

RECAP - Conversion Tips

  1. Come from contribution.
  2. Never make them wrong or look down on them.
  3. First present a problem presentation, then go into your listing presentation.
  4. Don’t buy into their story.
  5. Avoid trying to list them over the phone.
  6. Be careful not to share all your strategies before you arrive at the appointment.
  7. Don’t give them tips or write the contract for them or offer them any tools you.

Follow up is everything, especially when working with this group of sellers.

Oct 26 2015

24mins

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Rank #10: Managing Your Time in Real Estate

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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 New Year Starts Now

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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

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Rank #12: Creating Magic for Realtors

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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

Rank #13: How to Hold a Proactive and Productive Open House

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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

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Rank #14: Ten Tips for Working With Objections

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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

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Rank #15: The 90 Day Productivity Cycle

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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

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