POSITION YOURSELF AS THE GUIDE, NOT THE HERO
How about a check-up plan to start off the New Year? If I could start my entire real estate career over again from scratch, I would position myself as 'The Guide' and not 'The Hero,' so I'm asking you to do the same. I firmly believe this is the best way to do business -- to look at everybody else as 'The Hero.' This orientation changes everything in your business. If you become a transactional agent, it's easy to fall into the mindset that you are the most important part of the story. That's not true! If you want to master the service industry, it needs to be about the person you're serving!
PRODUCE SIMPLE GUIDES FOR SELLERS & BUYERS
If you're going to guide someone, you need a plan to do it. Don't try to do your guidance on muscle. Your brain only has the capacity to handle just so much, so without the support of a system for you, it can become especially frustrating when things don't go your way. "Cornerstones" are the solution. We're in real estate, so you have to have a solid foundational plan. Produce simple guides for sellers and buyers, and make that your new business card.
HAVE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT REAL ESTATE
Have conversations with people about real estate and be ready with an answer for that universal question, "How's the market?" Learn to use MLS to figure out how the market is doing in a neighborhood where you want to do business (start small). What's selling and for how much? That's the answer to how that local market is doing.
HAVE YOUR SERVICE UPGRADE OFFER READY
Once you test the water temperature and determine that someone is motivated to buy or sell, be ready to upgrade them. Offer them access to the MLS portal, so they can see exactly what you were just explaining to them about the market. Make the offer. If they're motivated to buy or sell in the next 12 months, they'll take you up on it.
INVEST IN THE RELATIONSHIPS WITH WORLD CLASS FOLLOW UP
Once they move from your "lead" column to your "prospect" column, offer world-class follow-up. Give on the right time frame. Show them that you care with meaningful follow-up and they will reward you for it. Listen to them, adjust and help them in that relationship.
THE HOLIDAYS ARE BASED ON THANKFULNESS AND GIVING
When we start with the Thanksgiving holiday in November and the rest which are all based on GIVING, we see these tremendous principles that bring out the best in us: Thankfulness and giving. I've been talking about the business concept of how you should give while expecting nothing in return and at no time of year is that easier than during the holidays.
BEING THANKFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP
Isn't it awesome that you can still give even when it may feel like you don't have much to give? You have the ability to give of your time, love or insight. Everybody's worried about money, but you have other gifts that you can give to others. Help somebody and be thankful for that opportunity. Shovel their snow.
GIVING YOUR HELP & EXPECTING NO BUSINESS IN RETURN
You have to become a true giver to understand the foundational aspects of gratitude. You have to really learn to give while expecting NOTHING in return. You'll go emotionally bankrupt if you expect something in return all the time. Try giving anonymously and just watch the reaction of someone else as they receive your gift -- and expect nothing in return. Their reaction is enough to show you how powerful this concept is. If you see a young couple in a restaurant that looks like they might be struggling, pick up their tab -- and make sure the waitress doesn't tell them it was you. The holidays are a great time to practice giving, because we are already in that mindset.
CARRYING HOLIDAY VALUES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Chasing a trophy can be fulfilling to a certain point (speaking from experience), but then you'll realize at the end that it just wasn't very fulfilling. You're not helping others when you're chasing a trophy for yourself. What imprint did your business leave in the world when you're doing something for yourself? Not much! When others are grateful for the HELP that you've given them in the process, and thankful, that's leaving an imprint. And that's good business.
WHY WE DON'T LIKE COMPLAINERS
Why don't we like complainers to begin with? Because they're complaining about us! "You said it would happen this way, and it didn't!" It's a really simple reason: What they're complaining about is us -- and that hurts. Our natural instinct then is to attack them or complain right back at them. It's no wonder relationships then blow up between agents, buyers and sellers. Complaining is like an attack and everyone tends to get defensive.
COMPLAINERS ARE ACTUALLY CHALLENGING YOUR VALUE
I've been taking a different approach to this for the past couple of years. If someone is complaining, aren't they really just challenging my value? Isn't that fair for people to do? I may assume that I explained something well during the marketing process, but then all of a sudden, something is not going well. If someone ends up complaining, stop and ask whether you are the problem. Are you actually explaining the difficulties of the real estate business coherently? No matter how good your plan to move a property is, it's still all theoretical. Maybe you're not explaining it well enough!
YOUR VALUE IS THE BENEFIT YOU BRING TO COMPLAINERS
Complainers can actually be valuable to your business. They are checking it and they're the ones who are bold enough to speak up if you're not performing at a high level of excellence. You have to keep refining your value based on legitimate complaints. When I really listen to a complainer and take action on their complaints, they really appreciate it! They feel like they're part of a two-way conversation now. If you listen, assess and then adjust based on their complaint, they are sharpening your value for them and subsequently for all your other clients.
THE ADJUSTMENTS TO VALUE SHOULD BE SIMPLE & PRACTICAL
Unless you're a rookie or making wild mistakes for some reason, the adjustments you need to make based on complaints should really be simple and practical. Here are some of the fabulous complaints I've heard over the years about open houses, marketing and other topics -- and why they made my business better in the long run! Making a simple adjustment can help you avoid ever hearing that same complaint again.
VALUE FIRST - GOALS SECOND
It is our inefficiencies in our business that really "kill" us. You don't want to waste enormous amounts of time on inefficiencies as you grow your business. Don't start your planning process with goals. Start with VALUE - then proceed to goals! Many top producers will stumble when you ask them, "What's the value in doing business with you?" To get people to react to your marketing efforts, you have to be able to express value.
WHAT BENEFITS DO YOUR ACTIVITIES PRODUCE, REALLY?
The person on the receiving end of your marketing efforts should receive some benefit - some value from it. Giving away information for free is starting with value. People should glean some value from interacting with you, even if it just provokes thought. There is value in helping the consumer to think properly about the process. You should be geared toward integrating value to others into your efforts BEFORE trying to figure out upcoming goals.
ARE YOU WILLING TO BE VALUABLE WITHOUT WINNING?
Before you go out to express your value to prospects or leads, ask yourself this question: Are you willing to be valuable even when you don't win? Are you willing to be valuable to that other human being, when you go to a listing presentation, for example, without getting what you want? This is a very difficult and high standard to follow, but trust me -- it works. I know it works because I have lived it for the past 6 years. If you're willing to be valuable even without winning, you'll be shocked by how much more business comes your way.
VALUE IS NOT GENERIC & EASILY COPIED
The one thing that cannot be copied is YOU. There's no way to go out there and do a presentation exactly like the next person. When you approach your business from the standpoint of offering value in every situation, no one can do it like you. The value that you provide to others won't be generic because there's no one else like you -- you are the unique element in every interaction.
FOCUS ON ONE METRIC: PROSPECTS!
A lot of people are not successful in real estate, despite being willing. This is because most people don't know how to go to work like a professional. Start by focusing on one metric, or one thing to measure. Prospects are the singular, most-important metric for an agent. Those are the people that eventually become your clients. When prospects are the metric, pros go to work every day asking, "How many prospects do I have?"
CHOOSE THE FASTEST PATH TO PROSPECTS
Take a management beat and think about the fastest path to a prospect. The professional "prospector" is ready to make their core offer when they have conversations about real estate. Be ready when people ask you that global question, "How's the market?" Be a pro in the context of being able to talk about the market. Every neighbor, every acquaintance, every stranger that you visit with in the course of a day should be dazzled with your insights -- because you're ready. Offer to set them up in MLS and get them hooked! Note: The fast path is not easy. Pros know nothing is easy!
BE TRUTHFUL ABOUT THE QUALITY OF YOUR PROSPECTS
You don't need a "gajillion" leads to make it in real estate. The pro knows that you need is a good, quality list of prospects. Remember that prospects can come from anywhere and not just online lead generation. Stop thinking that that is the only lane. It's dangerous! Put your list of quality prospects in the back end of MLS.
GIVE TO YOUR PROSPECTS EACH DAY - STICK TO THE PLAN!
Remember that what you do for your prospects is vital. The worst thing you can do is turn a lead into a prospect, enter them your database or MLS, and then fall asleep on them. "I was snoring and they went dark!" The pro understands that he has to give his prospects some love each and every day. Pros follow up and GIVE three times more than they ask for. The professional agent understands that prospects are real people. Give-Give-Give then Ask!
WHAT IS EMPATHY?
Empathy is more than just sympathizing with someone. It means you can feel what someone else feels. Empathy is easy if you share a similar experience with someone, but what if that's not the case -- especially in the context of business? Realtors are dealing with home buyers and sellers who are often REALLY emotional about the process. People sometimes move because of divorce, a death in the family and a variety of other very emotional experiences. It's important to try to be empathetic with these clients.
HOW EMPATHY CHANGES YOUR POSITIONING
Why not start from a position of empathy? Because when you take a position of empathy, it becomes easier for YOU as well. Take a beat before you call a lead and think, "I'm going to feel for this person." It's so simple to be empathetic with a lead or prospect's thinking, what's the harm in doing it? You might get beat up during a cold call, but the chances are less likely if you have empathy for their situation. In fact, you can even turn a call that's going poorly around, simply by being understanding of what that person is going through. It doesn't cost you anything to be empathetic.
EMPATHETIC CARING LINES UP WITH GIVE-GIVE-GIVE ASK
Empathetic caring lines up perfectly with what we talked about on the previous episode, the Give-Give-Give Ask formula. Start with empathy, give them what they want, provide them with a lot free information that they need and don't expect anything in return. Instead of being confrontational and working to overcome objections, be empathetic. Give-Give-Give Ask, and expect nothing in return. That is really effective.
TRUSTING THAT EMPATHY IS A VALID BUSINESS MODEL
My systematic approach is to always and constantly be giving. It works. You can trust that empathy is a valid business model. When you 'feel' the pain of a buyer or seller, you position yourself to be tuned into their needs instead of your own.
GIVE, GIVE, GIVE, ASK!
We all tend to fall into a "taker's mentality" and forget to ask what the buyers and sellers really want. It makes sense to be a self-preservationist in business, but we forget to give them (buyers and sellers) what they want to make our business more successful. "Give, give, give, ask." The concept is to be a giver. It's difficult to succeed in real estate if you don't wake up thinking, "What can I give to others?" A mentality of scarcity is a dangerous place to live. It fuels anxiety until those negative feelings become your boss -- you suddenly find that you work for them instead of for your buyers and sellers. Giving is the way out. Trust the concept of giving. Make giving your overall strategy.
WHAT DO THEY ACTUALLY WANT?
What should you give them? Well, what do they actually want? The buyer or seller has a problem that they often can't articulate. Your job is to be the guide, so that they can be the "hero" in their own story. Zillow puts out a mathematical "guesstimate" of what someone's home is worth. Genius! That's information given away, that sellers actually want. On the buyer's side, they want pictures of properties for sale. Let that sink in. Give people MLS access, which you already have, to go above and beyond.
ADD YOUR INSIGHTS TO BUILD TRUST
You're not Goliath, but you can still compete with these major real estate companies by adding MLS access PLUS your individual insights. All of a sudden, when you have buyers and sellers in your portal, your insights are what will really start to build trust. You can give insightful information with that give, give, give attitude.
CREATE A COMPETITION-LESS VACUUM
What's really going on with this process? Your ability to follow this process -- give, add insights, build trust, share your strategies -- you are creating a competition-less vacuum. You are the realtor that builds trust and pushes the competition away. By giving, giving and more giving, you build a protected funnel where buyers and sellers won't even want to think about talking to any of your competitors. Give, give and give some more!
WHY "NAMING" THE MARKET IS DANGEROUS
Don't pigeonhole yourself into a mindset where "the tail wags the dog." Don't fall into the trap where people outside the industry claim that "It's a buyer's market!" or "It's a seller's market!" It's dangerous to think this way, because as a real estate agent -- you are a businessperson. In order to grow your business, you'll need buyers and sellers. Don't convince yourself that one is missing! You must focus on both to responsibly grow your business. Don't neglect buyers OR sellers just because of what someone else is saying. As long as there's a sale, a buyer AND a seller showed up, right?
IS THERE REALLY A SHIFT IN POWER?
You need to think intelligently about what it means if there is a change in the marketplace (from "seller's market" to "buyer's market" or vice versa). Right now -- October of 2018 if you're reading this -- there's definitely a shift in power going on. The marketplace is cooling and there's been a big jump in inventory. Markets bring prices up and then they bring them down. It's Capitalism 101. Telling a seller that it's a "buyer's market" makes them feel like they've lost power. Don't do this! Show them the metric to price their property correctly, so that they can regain that power.
HOW ANY SELLER PROPERLY PREPARED HAS LEVERAGE
Focus on sellers first. You need an inventory to sell in order to have a business. Your job is simply to be the guide to the seller, so their property is priced correctly to sell -- no matter what the market is doing! Show them that people who are successfully selling their properties are being strategic. They're getting good guidance from good agents like you.
FOR AGENTS, IT'S ALWAYS A BUYER'S AND SELLER'S MARKET
You are a market-maker. You are a business owner. Like it or not, you are an independent contractor who owns a business. There are two major lanes in our business: Buyer and Seller. If you can be healthily invested in both of those lanes, you won't allow the buyer's-vs.-seller's market conversation to wag you around. You need to give proper guidance to both buyers and sellers -- period!
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING - IT'S A SUPPLEMENT TO YOUR FACE-TO-FACE EFFORTS
Real estate is ultimately a face-to-face type of business. Only in rare exceptions will someone list their property with you if they haven't met you in person. With that in mind, all of your social media marketing should be designed to SUPPLEMENT your face-to-face efforts, or bring you one step closer to that first face-to-face meeting with someone. Instead of running to social media and "drowning" in it, remember why you're doing it: To get face-to-face with sellers and buyers.
WHICH PLATFORM GIVES YOU THE BEST TRACTION FOR LISTINGS?
Social media platforms are fabulous for talking about listings. The purpose of this is to get more face-to-face meetings with potential sellers, tell them what your strategy is and hopefully, help them list and sell their house. Choose a platform and then STUDY it to figure out how it really works. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are all great areas to market your listings. Get on Facebook and give property information away, give insider tips, then give some more. Be social until your ability to reach people accelerates. (And don't forget it's about LISTINGS!)
DIGITIZING JUST LISTED, JUST SOLD, OPEN HOUSE, MARKET UPDATES & TIPS
The strategic approach now is to digitize the correct things - Just Listed, Just Sold and so on. Get something up about listings and use video. The platforms love video and the consumers love video. Cut yourself a nice 59-second video, upload it and you're done. Even turning still pictures into a short video is incredibly easy; upload them to social and then get them up on your website.
BECOME THE LOCAL REAL ESTATE EXPERT IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD!
When you know an area that you really want to do business in, become the local real estate expert in that digital neighborhood. Become a "local celebrity" by sharing your knowledge with people. If you have friends or VIPs in that neighborhood who you can interview about the market, the neighborhood and what's happening, people love that. Your social media strategy will start to skyrocket if you follow the steps in order and give people what they want.
THIS IS A 'LISTINGS FIRST' BUSINESS
If I have no inventory for my buyers to buy, where does that put me? This is a "Listings First" business! If you're going to have any kind of business in real estate, you must have listings. Inventory is always abundant, but unless there's zero inventory (which I've never seen), there are listings out there if you're paying attention.
HOW TO FEATURE YOUR LISTINGS
Most people who ask you to list their property are going to ask you, "How are you going to market my listing?" A lot of people undersell the importance of the MLS. So, you'll do that at a minimum -- but if you want to be unique, you need to know how to feature that person's listing. Most businesses are first vetted online these days, so how does your business look online? What does a potential listing client see when they visit your site? You need a good website to feature your listings and to show potential clients that you have a place for their listing.
LISTINGS MARKETING CHECKLIST: JUST LISTED, JUST SOLD, OPEN HOUSE
Market your listings. Don't just put them on your website to please the seller, because you want to move this property! Start with a listings marketing checklist that's two-dimensional. Take pictures of the property, put them on a "Just Listed" postcard and send them around the area -- and drive people to your listings-based website with the postcards. Use the "Just Listed" on your social media channels. Then, roll into open houses, and so on. Produce video content and get it uploaded to Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
TRUSTING THE POWER OF CONTENT CONSUMPTION VIA SOCIAL CHANNELS
How many videos did you watch this week? How long were you on your phone watching videos that interested you? You're not unique in that -- everybody's doing it. Get on those social media channels with your content and your listings, and you will be shocked. You must trust in the power of content consumption via social channels. It's stunning how many people will eventually say, "I saw you all over social media!"
FIND PROSPECTS BY TARGETING SMART LISTS
If you run an intentional real estate business, you need to be taking clear action steps to go get contact information for new leads. There are many choices! Is social media marketing the place to start? It can be if your strategy is to target smart lists. Your marketing strategy might encompass your sphere of influence (immediate acquaintances, past clients, etc.), community and real estate agents (if you're marketing to agents). That makes up three "smart" lists to target your marketing strategies to. Clean up your lists before taking them to social media to create lookalike audiences or other lists.
MATCH YOUR MESSAGE
You don't have the same messaging for everyone if the context is a little different. You have a professional approach to real estate that makes you unique. You have to give away your best "What To Do" guidance to the people you're targeting. "Here I am, I have a plan and I want to give it away to you." Target your smart lists with something that empowers them.
CHOOSE THE MEDIUM
Ask the question, "Is this the ideal medium upon which I can reach my ideal client or my avatar?" Your underlying message has to be about giving a plan away, but then you really have to consider the medium. Observe, for example, how you would use YouTube. If you want market properties there, is it easy to consume, is it interesting, does it work best on that medium? Messaging is different on Facebook, Instagram, iTunes and other platforms where you may be marketing. What about direct mail? Choose the medium wisely so you don't have to spend crazy amounts of money.
MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM TO TAKE ACTION
If someone is on Instagram and wants to find out more about you, at least put a link in your bio! No matter what medium you choose for marketing to those smart lists, make it as easy as possible for the viewers or listeners to take the next step -- whether that's clicking a link, sending you an email, or picking up the phone and calling you.
GREAT, YOU HAVE A PROSPECT - NOW WHAT?
You're out at an event of some sort and you meet someone new. Lo and behold, you start talking about real estate. You started to get lost in the conversation but did manage to ask the big question, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how motivated are you to sell?" and they said, "10!" Congratulations! You have a prospect! Now what? How do you give that person the white-glove treatment that they deserve? After all, the prospect is the lifeblood of your future business. A list of prospects in your exclusive database is the one thing that provides consistency and stability in this business. So, what do you do with a prospect?
THE MLS CLUB IS STILL VALUABLE
What about the MLS? You pay for backdoor access to the MLS club -- the realtors' private club where we have access to all of the listings. We pay for that. And because of the way technologies have evolved, MLS's now have the ability to automatically send properties to people. Even though the MLS is now available to the public via the web, we are still the insiders of the MLS club. If a prospect comes along, put that information in their hands with the MLS access that comes with your membership.
UPGRADE YOUR PROSPECT TO ACCESS WITH INSIGHT
Tell your prospect you can give them access to the properties they want to know about. Your prospects' club is very much related to your MLS club. When you create a prospect, you're actually telling them that you'll upgrade their access. You can put more data in there that is in alignment with what the prospect wants -- whether they're a buyer or a seller. If they decide to go with you as the realtor, not only do they get the MLS access, but they get it with your insight.
FOLLOW UP IN AN INDIVIDUALIZED WAY
Knowing a prospect's timeline and their motivation to sell allows you to strategically follow up with them. Here's where your "7 Steps to Sell" or "6 Steps to Buying" information becomes important again as you move them from the prospect club to the client club.
“Always push to determine truly whether or not a contact should be consider a prospect worthy of follow up by asking the right question."
WHAT IS A PROSPECT?
We spend a lot of time in our mastermind class figuring how all the aspects of the real estate business work. A few years ago, everyone was excited because consumers were all going online -- so going online worked effectively to drive business. That worked for a while, but then the market was all over the place as the biggest companies were building apps, the market was flooded with new technologies and so forth. Now we need something else. So, as we explore the question of prospecting, we have to ask, "What is a prospect?" A prospect is a contact who is going to buy or sell property in the next 12 months or so.
THERE IS A CRITICAL MOMENT WHEN PROSPECTING
Real estate scripts are a huge aspect of this business. When you're going through your script (or flying by the seat of your pants, whichever method you use), the goal is to figure out whether they can become a prospect of yours. That critical moment when prospecting is when you say to a lead, "I'm so-and-so from this company and I'm calling because..." That "because" is critical. It tells the lead that there is something in this for them.
THE ULTIMATE PROSPECTING QUESTION
If they get past the "because" and start talking, the conversation can really wander off into the poppy fields, figuratively. There needs to be an ultimate, cut to the chase question so that we will know whether or not there's an opportunity. We can't tell you where to fit the question into the conversation, but you must ask them, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to sell or buy in the next year?" If you don't know the answer to that question, you don't whether the person is even a prospect. An 8 to 10 is worth following up with.
3 LAYERS OF PROSPECT TO FOLLOW UP
The three layers to follow-up: 1) Upgrade them using MLS access. 2) Give them what they need -- your strategies. 3) And lastly, call or visit a prospect based on a rate of frequency that makes sense.
THE THREE AVATARS
If you could have Henry Ford in your mastermind group and you could ask him how to build your business, he'd probably recommend an assembly line. There are three assembly lines in the real estate business. Sellers are the first and most important assembly line, because they control the inventory in this business. Buyers and agents are the other two. (Hint: Your "assembly line" is really a marketing module.)
NEW PROSPECTS VERSUS YOUR CURRENT AUDIENCES
Once you get used to sharing your information products ("7 Steps to Selling Your Home" or whatever your product is) with your current audiences -- people you know -- you can start thinking about where to obtain new prospects. Not just referrals, but NEW new prospects. What would go after the most prospects with the least amount of resources available? Most would agree that getting on the phone and calling folks, or to put it another way, the most immediate direct contact method. The answer is not to jump on the internet first. Speed to their face! Get to them as fast as possible as you build your funnel system.
FOCUS ON FEWER DISPOSITIONS
Reduce the number of dispositions that you're dealing with in order to hone your funnel. Don't try to be a master of everything. Just do a couple of things and do them well. You know there is business there, so choose the most direct contact method for one or two dispositions. The shotgun approach or "jack of all trades" approach -- whatever you want to call it -- will only reduce the effectiveness of your real estate funnel.
CHOOSE THE MOST DIRECT CONTACT METHODS FIRST
Door knocking and open houses should be your first methods of getting directly to customers. If you bristle at the thought of that, go to the next shortest method which can allow you to contact a lot more people in a short amount of time: Call people! Tell them you have some information to share -- for free -- if they decide to buy or sell. Teach them the steps to buying or selling to round out your funnel.
THEY ARE THE HEROES OF THE STORY
If you share the same vision as me (helping others), this is a really important point to realize: You are not the hero of the story in the context of real estate. The buyer or seller you're helping is the hero. If you're going to help the hero, then you have to know what your role is.
YOU ARE THE GUIDE
We have the backdrop to the story. There's a setting -- a home is for sale. Someone is selling, someone is buying. There's tension, as in every good "story." The hero needs to sell his or her house, and doesn't know where to start. Then you enter the picture as the humble guide. What does the guide have in this story? A plan! Do you have a plan? Do you know it, own it, breathe it and live it in every real estate transaction? Be extremely intentional about "chunking up" the steps, breaking them down into their individual parts and mapping them out, so you "own" your real estate plan.
YOUR PLAN IS WHAT THEY NEED
You don't need to go into extreme detail to let the hero know every step in the process. But you should have enough ready off the top of your head to let them know, "I am a good guide with a good plan." Whether we move forward from that moment, I leave a positive footprint and give the hero guidance in the form of a plan. This what to do. If the hero is going to take the journey without me, at least they have the productized (printed) plan in hand.
STICKING WITH YOUR PLAN EMPOWERS THEM & EMPOWERED PEOPLE BECOME RAVING FANS!
The ones who really appreciate the plan will immediately start to "lean in." Now you can start to make your asks and build trust with the client/hero. Here's the big reveal, though. Sticking to your plan is empowering and it makes people feel really good about themselves. You empower them to make the decision with confidence. It's incredibly empowering to people when they feel like they helped create the plan to sell or purchase their home. If you follow it through and stick with them -- right through the closing -- those empowered people will become raving fans of yours and will drive more business to you.
RECOGNIZE YOUR FEAR AS A REAL THREAT!
Even for the best in the real estate business, fear can still creep up as you're trying to grow, learn and do better. It happens to everyone. Fear casts doubt on what you're doing or on your ability to do so. What if I try to expand and it doesn't work? What if I try to move into luxury and it doesn't work?
MASTER THE NOT SO OBVIOUS BASICS
Our fears are not really that complicated. Fear largely comes from worrying about being embarrassed. That's what it comes down to for most people: Not being properly prepared for a big moment and being embarrassed in front of others. That's it! If you master the basics and also the "not so obvious" basics, you'll eliminate a lot of those opportunities to feel embarrassment as a real estate agent. Mastering the basics is a way to eliminate a lot of your fears.
PRODUCTIZE YOUR CORE STRATEGIES & OWN THEM
You have to own the discussion about a core strategy. Why? Because there is so much information that if you start getting worried about being embarrassed, you can flood people with information. If you really want to demonstrate professionalism and magnetize the business towards you, you can empower the person you're talking to with that core discussion. Give someone a condensed version of your core strategy and you'll be amazed at the response. Your excitement at delivering a productized outline will encourage prospects to follow up with a bigger presentation. Owning your strategies also helps you to calm down whenever someone shows interest, so you won't confuse them.
LET THE CORE MATERIALS PERMEATE YOUR ENTIRE BUSINESS
Is the help you're offering strategic, professional and clear? Whether you make a sale or not, did you empower that person to better understand the order of things? That's what a core strategy is all about. Productize your core strategies and print them out - that helps you own it and physically deliver it to someone. Once they're productized, you can let them permeate your entire business. You've mastered the basics, productized your strategy -- and then it's time to expand to Facebook, video and other platforms.
YOUR PERSONAL PRIMARY AIM
You have to be very clear in life as to what your personal primary aim is. Napoleon Hill dedicated 20 years of his life to studying the most successful people and made some tremendous distinctions. One of the things he gets into is the chief primary aim. My personal aim from many years ago was that I wanted to be a person for others. What does that mean? Any time I can help someone in any context I see clearly how it benefits them and as a result, I've evolved into a better person. Living for your personal primary aim is a great feeling.
YOUR VISION FOR A BUSINESS THAT SERVES YOUR PRIMARY AIM
If you go into your business every day, there are all sorts of mechanical things you must learn how to do. Is that the right script? Is this the best-looking business card? Even if you master all of the mechanical processes, something can still feel "off" or unfulfilled at the end of every day if your business is not serving your primary aim.
CHOOSING THE PLATFORM OF REAL ESTATE
I arrived in the career of real estate via a roundabout way, unexpectedly. My previous career wasn't fulfilling because I couldn't directly see how I was being a person for others. When I chose real estate, I could see the human beings I was serving. As I was helping people through the process of buying a home, which is often one of the largest financial commitments of their life, I could really see how I was serving their needs. Real estate became incredibly fulfilling to me as a result.
THE THREE TYPES OF AVATARS TO SERVE
There are three types of people (avatars) that I want to serve and they are: People who need help selling their property; buyers; and other agents. This business is driven by sellers who have inventory. The amount of buyers is growing in the internet age due to lead generation companies pulling them off the web. And other agents are naturally the people you can help, network with, mastermind with and more.
TOO MUCH OBSESSION OVER METRICS
Metrics, or measurements, are important. However, most metrics that we look at are lagging indicators -- meaning they're looking back in history and showing us what happened. There are not so many leading metrics in our business that can forecast or show us trends. There's too much discussion over metrics anyway. Why? Where are you in your business right now, in terms of seeing it as a conversion process that is predicated at the core of it? Let's just talk about measuring conversations.
WHAT'S AT THE CORE OF SUCCESS?
Conversations are at the core of your success, whether they occur by text, email, phone or face-to-face. The conversations that you and every member of your team have each week are the most important part of this! This may sound obvious, but you really have to be conscious of when you're having conversations about buying or selling real estate with someone who is interested in... drumroll, please... buying or selling real estate. In a conversion module context, look at the disposition of a contact changing. You'll have conversations with leads; you don't know anything about their timing, so the purpose of the conversation is to determine, "Is there real interest?" The next part of conversion is when they become a prospect. Next is clients. You have to go through all those dispositions with conversations.
HOW MANY CONVERSATIONS LEAD TO PROSPECTS?
When you ask yourself, "How many conversations did I have?" you also want to give it context. Did you really have conversations that led to the act of prospecting? Did you create a contact who is going to continue talking about buying or selling with you? This is foundational. You must be leading prospects right up to the bleeding edge of where they're going to become your client.
DID YOU UPGRADE THE INFORMATION & BOOK LONG-TERM FOLLOW-UP?
As someone moves along the process to becoming your prospect, you want to be able to upgrade them with information. The conversation will generally be going from 'What to Do' to 'How to Do It.' So, did you upgrade the information AND book long-term follow-up? Remember that people desperately need conversation with you! The real estate business is complex and people need to talk to you as the expert who can guide them through it. How long were you with each prospect from inception to the closing of the conversation?
WHAT DO THEY FIND WHEN THEY GOOGLE YOU?
When you pass someone a business card and they are even remotely interested in you, what's the first thing they're going to do? You'd better believe they're going to "Google" you. They might also check out Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites to find out more about you. This is simply how we live now in the Digital Age. If we find someone interesting, we research them because it's easy to do. The big question for you as a real estate agent is, are they going to find you the way that you want them to find you? We should all be paying more attention to our internet footprint. Google yourself to find out where you're at.
WHO YOU ARE HAS NO COMPETITION
Here's a really important point: There is no competition for YOU. The way that you say or do things -- you're it! The way that you take someone through the real estate process that we all follow is wildly unique... and the wildcard is YOU. Lead generation is starting to atrophy because people in the internet age are getting tired of engaging people in two dimensions. When someone Google's you, they don't really want to read text about you (two-dimensional); they'd like to find a video to learn more about you (three-dimensional).
HOW TO TELL YOUR STORY
Get over being camera-shy and tell the world about yourself. A video engages people much better than a textual "About Us" page on your website. Doing videos about yourself will repel some people; they won't like you for some reason. That's a good thing! It acts as a filtering system. People who see your videos and like you will follow up. Learn to use proper storytelling techniques to create effective videos.
FULFILLMENT BEGINS THE RELATIONSHIP CORRECTLY
Your video should say hello quickly, state the problem and introduce yourself as the guide for the ideal client's real estate journey. Let them know about your simple, FREE plan to bring their stress level down. The fulfillment of giving something away after you've got their attention is incredibly powerful and it begins the relationship correctly. Give them empowering information to validate what you just shared with them! When they Google you, does it bring them to an About page with a compelling video that showcases the unique YOU?
GIVE AWAY YOUR BEST INFORMATION - WHAT TO DO?
The "Internet Age" has forced us to begin giving away information. The days of having proprietary control over information -- especially in the real estate business -- ended back in the 1990s. So, really: Give away your best stuff for free. What are we giving away? You're giving away your best information, which includes what to do. What really makes you unique in an ocean of real estate agents? Be unique by truly being a "giver." Figure out the best "What to Do" information for a buyer, seller and realtor and give it away. No, really. Give it away! In the long run, this will attract far more back to you than you could ever generate by hoarding your best stuff or saving it for top clients.
OFFER AN UPGRADE OF INFORMATION
Copy the formulaic approach that you've probably seen on the internet many times. When your free information leads to a conversation and it's going well, offer an upgrade. Say you've just given away a free buyer-seller-agent course and the conversation is advancing, offer the upgrade. Information on properties that have already sold is incredibly powerful. Whereas "For Sale" listings may or may not be priced correctly, when a deal goes through you have solid information. Give a buyer access to Sold listings in their price range -- and they'll know what that amount of money successfully bought. Upgrading their access to these listings provides them with powerful information -- again, for free.
ADD YOUR INSIGHTS FOR POSITIONING
Here's the key spot: Positioning. This gets back to how you are unique. "Here's what I think this means for you." Offer them your expertise and insights, and this will make you wildly unique. Share trends and personal insights to them. Did you see what's happening? If you'll be helpful with your insight in this manner, they'll begin to trust you.
CREATE MORE COMPETITION-LESS BUSINESS
Track this in your CRM to build a pipeline of prospects. Strangely enough, the more that you give away for free in this manner, the less competition you'll find yourself facing. Turn yourself into the go-to resource for buyers and sellers. The less you give away, the less unique you will be in an abundance of realtors.
In this week's special episode, I talk with Mike Cerrone - a veteran real estate agent in Colorado for over 20 years. Mike is the host of SUCCESS CALLS on the Master Mind Agent Network where interviews the top real estate agents in the nation who sell up to 50, 100, 200, and even 300+ homes per year. These amazing agents share their success secrets strategies and systems.
Now this coming July 13 - July 19, Mike brought together 21 of the world’s most influential real estate coaches and trainers and asked each of them to dive deep into their proven strategies and practical approaches to take your career to the next level... FOR FREE called Agent Success Summit.
“Focus On Building A Business That’s Always Flowing Not Stopping & Starting”
THE ENDING FIRST - THE ULTIMATE GOAL: HAPPY PAST CLIENTS
Are you treating your real estate agency as a business, rather than a transactional hobby? Be intentional and set a "North Star" goal of happy past clients. You should want to create "raving fans" - incredibly happy people who you have served in the course of carrying out your real estate agency's business. Start with that end goal in mind!
IDEAL CUSTOMER - DEFINE THEM CLEARLY
If raw materials aren't coming in at one end of your assembly line, there's nothing to manufacture at the output end of the business, right? You want to treat your real estate business as a manufacturing plant, in which you manufacture relationships. With that in mind, what is your "raw material?" It's that ideal customer! Who is that ideal contact, sometimes referred to as an avatar in the real estate industry? There's nothing wrong with building relationships with the types of people you like. If you start with a clear avatar in mind, your marketing becomes much easier.
STOP HOARDING - LEADS VS. PROSPECTS & RELATIONSHIPS
If you don't define your ideal customer in the beginning, you will inevitably end up hoarding leads. If your CRM is loaded with leads going nowhere, then you know exactly what this means! If you stop hoarding, you'll start looking at leads who are ideal customers and therefore, most likely to become prospects who you can build a relationship with. Prospects are people who give your business what it desperately needs to keep the flow going, which is a steady stream of relationships that are building. Compare that to a list of leads in a piece of software -- and it becomes priceless!
WARNING - THE TRANSACTIONAL TRAP
Chasing and hoarding leads can sometimes generate short-term profits, but that is setting your real estate business up for failure. What happens if a recession hits and you suddenly find the tail wagging the dog? This is the main reason why you want to set up a business that flows and continues going strong, regardless of external circumstances such as a recession.
DOCUMENTING - LAYING OUT THE MANUAL STEPS
The real estate business is extremely complicated! This complexity is why the average agent only sells about three sites in an entire year. When it comes to documenting, you need to lay out all of the manual steps, from going out and finding someone, then listing their property for sale and so on. As we tell our Realty Classroom students all the time, you can't just do this on muscle -- you must sit down and document every single thing that you do in a transaction. Document it on checklists: What happens from the very minute you meet someone until the minute they become a "past client." Rookies: Shadow someone and take copious notes!
SEPARATING - MANAGERIAL VS. VISUAL & TECHNICAL
There are three types of personality in everyone's mindset: The Managerial, which does the separating; the Visual, which is the entrepreneur; and the Technical, which is the person actually doing the work of manufacturing the real estate sales. The Visual personality gets it - they see the vision of a successful business - and then they get excited and let the Technical take over and start going through the steps. Don't neglect the Manager, which is a mistake most of us make! Let the Manager separate all of the tasks out first.
MODULATING - CREATING WORK FLOW FOR MODULES
As you separate your tasks out, you'll want them to go into the appropriate modules. For example, all of your marketing steps from word of mouth, to friends and family, and so on, belongs in a Marketing Module or checklist. Let your Manager personality apply structure to your modules to maximize success. As you organize your micro-steps from the Documenting phase, put on your managerial hat to assign everything to its appropriate place. Once you go through this process, you'll be able to ask - every time - which module or checklist goes with this lead, prospect or client? The goal is to be able to shepherd someone through the modules from the point where you don't know them (marketing) all the way through until they're in your past client community.
DELEGATING - PLUGGING IN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
When you look at all of the work that has been done, guess what happens next? The modules and checklists will work to leverage you so can expand and grow. Selling more will tax your time management, which means you're going to need someone else to help you step up. We now live in the land of independent contractors -- use them! With a modulated, managed system, you can delegate tasks like marketing to your trusted network of contractors.
AWARENESS -- YOUR BUSINESS IS A MANIFESTATION OF HOW YOU THINK
How do we take a step back and look at our business in a way that makes us more aware of what's going on, so we can grow the business? Many of us in real estate have a dream of running our own business and being our own boss -- That's our "North Star." Your business is a manifestation of how you think and more specifically, it's a manifestation of your own self-image. Becoming aware of this concept is the first step toward developing a growth mindset versus a survival mindset where our own contentment holds us back.
MANAGED -- WHY YOU MUST CONSCIOUSLY MANAGE YOUR BUSINESS
As an example of this concept, think about how you treat new agents who join your business versus how you treat past clients. Is your language different when you talk about these different -- but equally important -- aspects of your business? A change in your language can be a defensive manifestation of one of your weak spots! Example: Do you light up when you talk about new agents and become more gruff when talking about past clients? Consciously managing your business like this can help you find areas where you have a "fixed" mindset versus a "growth" mindset. This is why it's important to find a mastermind group, a coach or a partner to work through this with you.
HUMANIZE -- WHY A MANAGED BUSINESS IS MORE HUMANIZED
Would you treat any of your clients or peers badly if you realized you were doing it? Pause to ask yourself about the Golden Rule, "Am I treating people the way I want to be treated?" We all have the capacity to empathize, but we default away from that. Why do we do this? Because we become comfortable in the fixed mindset of survival. To step out of this mindset in your business, "cheat toward the human" by giving while expecting nothing in return. Try regularly giving an anonymous gift to see how empowering that is!
GROWTH MINDSET -- YOU MIGHT BE STUCK CONTRACTING
There's a danger in the mindset that you have to do X number of transactions. This mindset can block out humanity and prevent you from considering a new vision or a new way of doing business. When you fixate on transactions, you don't see the big shift that's happening right now. A growth mindset in business means being open to change and growth.