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!