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.
OBSERVE -- HOW YOUR BUSINESS PRODUCES RESULTS
Observe your own business to see what's working correctly for you. In other words, what's producing results? If you're a rookie and don't have enough of a track record to answer this question yet, observe a top producer to see what they're doing that produces results. What you will usually find when you observe someone successful is that they are following a systematic approach. What is the routine -- the systematic approach -- of the person getting the results you want? If you are a high producer and you're getting results but haven't ever analyzed your systematic approach, observe what you do now so you can get a handle on it.
MEMORIALIZE -- MIND MAP OUT YOUR PROCESS
Sit down and mind map out your systems and processes. Even if you are following someone else's system, you have to begin to memorialize what it is that you're doing. Mind map out your process for different modules, such as Marketing, Conversion, Closing, Past Client/Community Follow-up and Expansion. You can't become a manager of these processes unless you're memorializing them! Mind-mapping your process into a flow chart allows you to identify areas where you can make your business better.
CALENDAR -- BLOCK THE TIME TO DO THE TASKS
Once you mind map your process, what do you have? A system that you can follow every time! Once you have the systems, though, you have to calendar them. Put your boots on and go to work. You must block the time to do the tasks. If you calendar time for your health and fitness, or your hobbies, why wouldn't you calendar time for your marketing as an example? Calendar your time like it's a job in order to build discipline into your system.
LEVERAGE -- DELEGATE YOUR MICRO TASKS
You can start to leverage your system to your advantage now by delegating your micro tasks. Look back at your mind map and analyze how to best spend your time. Who is helping with your social media posts? Who is helping to develop your marketing pieces? Are you doing it all? If the answer is yes, then it's time to start delegating! Utilize independent contractors to take care of your micro tasks and watch your business grow.
HOW THE SOURCE OF THE BUSINESS AFFECTS OUR THINKING
Why do so many people turn into "no-shows" when it comes time for an appointment with you? They leave a message or just vanish! What was the genesis of that lead or conversation? Example: An online lead who is looking for a home evaluation is very different from a seller who was referred to you by someone who has already done business with you. There is a strategic process that you're going to be using with every buyer and seller, but the context of how that person arrived with you is everything! The one unknown variable -- every time -- is their individualism. How they came to your world is what really matters to you, if you want to connect with them.
WHY WE LET UP ON A STRATEGIC APPROACH
We sometimes abandon our approach (to our own detriment) when we know a person was referred to us. We think, "I can let up on my strategic approach because the lead is Kevin's friend. Kevin loves us, so I can just have a casual conversation with this lead!" Don't get comfortable just because you know the source of a lead, because it can throw everything out of order. When you get off of your strategic approach, you can confuse the lead and lose them!
WHY NOT FOLLOWING A STRATEGY IS SELFISH
When you don't follow a strategy, you sound selfish. Jumping off of the strategy, such as skipping over the big "WHY" with the lead, makes us sound selfish. Once you know their "why", you can get into a deeper discussion about what happens next. If you try to cut to the chase and skip over the reasons why they came to you, you can leave the lead reeling and confused. Determining their "WHY" humanizes the process so you're not jumping ahead in the process.
RECONNECT TO THE HUMANISTIC APPROACH OF A CONCIERGE BRINGS MORE OF WHAT YOU WANT
As you get better at sales, you get comfortable and that is a double-edged sword. Don't fall into the trap of over-confidence that leads you to abandon the strategy. Always be learning and reconnect to the humanistic approach first. The process is about the lead. Be their concierge -- treat every lead the same and it will bring better results across the board.
In this episode, We'll Cover: What Happens When We Cheat To Comfortable
What Is A Content Driven Business
Content marketing is certainly nothing new for any business and has been around since the beginning of strategic marketing and selling. Ultimately, a buyer will not make a buying decision without the opportunity to "do the homework" and in order to do so, they must be provided with content that informs them enough to make a favorable decision. Therefore, a content driven business model is critical if you're looking to bring stability and predictability to your real estate agent business. When a consumer, especially a Digital Age consumer, happens upon a well organized content driven business model, they sense the professionalism and are drawn in further.
What Is Core/Evergreen/Foundational Content
While most real estate agents are enthusiastic about learning how to produce content about their neighborhood specialties and listings, most are completely void of being able to produce a core piece of content that thoroughly explains their Unique Selling Proposition. In the real estate agent business, we as agents are tasked with guiding consumers through one of the single largest financial and emotional transactions that they'll ever make in a lifetime, yet the majority of not-so-strategic training evolves around lead capture and scripted appointment conversion. That's fine and we certainly believe those are parts of the real estate agent business, but ultimately you need content that answers the questions, "why should I choose you and your guidance?" If you can't clearly articulate your answer, then you'll be losing plenty of business.
How To Obtain A Deep Understanding Of Your Core Content Offer
Once you've developed core content for your sellers, buyers and agents it's ok to start with a high level or simplified explanation. We prefer to use simple infographics to explain our strategy and the infographic itself becomes an easy to consume and carry away piece of content in and of itself. However, the major caveat is to not rest on your laurels of a too simple explanation and begin to dig into a deeper understanding of why your offer works and why it matters to the consumer. Consider this pursuit of a deeper understanding as the "process" of becoming better at explaining your core offer. Don't confuse this with getting more complicated or a discussion, rather a more passionate and believable version.
How To Use Social Media & Direct Mail For Marketing Core Content
Once you have your core content in place, you must not stray from sharing it through any and all mediums that make sense for your business plan. We suggest that you first consider bulking up your social media platforms with a steady cadence of this core content, supplemented by an offline delivery though brochures and direct mail as well. By focusing on a regular delivery of your core content (i.e. weekly online, monthly/quarterly online) you'll avoid overwhelming yourself or your followers with an overflow of random, varied content that while leaving your audience entertained, confuses them to the point that they have no clear call to action if they want to use your services. Too many agents forget the outcome they so desire; we're not in the entertainment business! Use your core content to sell your services.
The Tension Between Being Scripted Versus Free Wheeling
In the real estate coaching and training world, there has forever been the debate between those that believe the only way to success is by strictly following scripts versus those that believe that you must strive to build rapport and personal relationship. I've never understood why there needs to be a debate at all because both are not only necessary but also natural components of any real estate sale. Those that follow scripts, inevitably and naturally begin to make adjustments that drift towards listening to rapport building, while those that are successful at building rapport are following a repeated pattern like a script.
How A Formulaic Outline Helps Your Focus
Therefore, with either approach, you're following a formulaic outline. Before you rail against this statement take a beat and think about anything that we do in life; we typically follow routines whether or not you are doing so consciously or subconsciously. However, in a business context, if you want to scale your business, you must begin to extract your process into a written formula. The primary reason for writing down an outline or checklist-based process is so that you can gain more leverage over your time. The more precise the process, the less time is taken to execute. Furthermore, if you want to add people, it's exponentially more effective if you can teach them your formulas rather than hope they will bring you a great effort.
Why You Should Discover & Rediscover What's Motivating Your Prospect
Once you have outlined your formula that you'll follow to help sellers and buyers, you should have yourself an overview of the process that simple enough to explain and be understood. However, the most critical starting point for any great formula is to ensure that there's a step that focuses on discovering what is motivating your seller or buyer. Asking the simple question, "Why are you making this move?" set's you up to help your prospect stay focused on why your formula gives them the best chance to achieve their goals. Simply put, it takes the pressure off of you to oversell your plan and stick to your formula in the way that they can achieve their goal.
How To Move Towards A Clear Closing
Once your plan is in place, you must remember the reason that you're following a formulaic approach. The simple reason is that you want the prospect to come to their own conclusion that you are the right person for the job. However, many agents that follow a script too strictly often don't allow the prospect to fully express themselves and often push too hard for the outcome only to lose the opportunity. Others that push for rapport too hard also run the risk of not listening enough and fall off track only to forget to close. Ultimately, you must remember to ask for the deal once you have fully listened and ensured them that your formula is a safe and sure direction.
In this episode, we started by talking about marketing and how the definition of marketing is actually quite fluid and sometimes confusing. The textbook definition of marketing is the process of communicating, delivering and exchanges goods and services that have value to a group of consumers. This is a bulky definition that may not have much real meaning to the average real estate agent, who generally understands marketing to be the process of generating leads. However, marketing in real estate does not stop with lead generation — marketing is a cycle that begins with lead generation continues onto conversion and leads to repeated contact with past clients.
Now, with a better understanding of marketing in the real estate industry, we moved onto how to make your market. While the MLS compiles all the listings in the area, you cannot consider this to be your market. You need to make your own market by promoting and marketing individual listings in both traditional and modern ways. We talked about the importance of holding open houses as well as promoting listings on websites and social networking sites.
We then discussed the fact that you can't just promote your listing and hope that you find the right buyer. You need to place your listing in a position which generates feedback, that you can then translate to your sellers. We know it's tricky to deal with sellers who have an emotional attachment to their home, but it's up to you to remind them of the reasons they want to make this move in the first place. You need to find that sweet spot in the middle, in which you can make your market while also delivering your sellers the results they crave.
Last week, I was invited to speak at Miranda Real Estate Group in Albany, New York. The owner Willie Miranda is a great friend of mine. We met a long time ago when we were young and trying to become top producers in the marketplace. We even have the same mentor and he actually encouraged me to learn the systematic approach to this business.
One of the reasons why I want to share you his story is because he started from the bottom - literally. They are immigrants from Puerto Rico to New York in the Bronx area and came from nothing. I can still remember the story where they used to sleep on the floor. Another story that I remember was when he and his assistant were cleaning his office and there was a little heater that was about to be thrown away. He told his assistant not to throw it away because that heater was the one that kept him warm from the begging when he has nothing.
Another thing that connected us is we're both open-minded to how the real estate agency business works. Willie always looks at all the coaching materials available and he never traps himself into a belief system where that is the only way to success. That's why he never misses when it comes to recent trends in the business because he is always willing to embrace new ideas and try different things.
Another fascinating trait of Willie is his culture of sharing. During my talk at Albany, Willie not only invited his people but also even opened the door to other agents in the marketplace - even the competitors. Think about his willingness to give away his best resources in a true sharing and caring manner. This culture helped his business from the bottom to rise up now with 87 agents in various locations earning millions.
Willie did not stop his culture of sharing. In fact, he even took it further by writing a book called “How Not To Get Your Ass Kicked In The Real Estate Business”.
To summarize the key point: “Be Open Minded And Always Be Sharing Like Willie Miranda”
The first thing we did was to take an inventory and ask: "Last year, where did your business really come from?" It was an eye-opening experience because this particular group of top producers actually gets most of its business from influencer marketing to past clients versus the perception that much of it had come from Internet lead sources.
The next thing I asked the group was whether or not they liked the type of business that they had done in the past year. Most members really enjoyed the influencer marketing to past clients and their sphere of influence both on and offline. Although some were very good at converting Internet leads, most didn't enjoy the grind. When all was covered, we determined that Internet leads, although an important part of any top producer's book of business, should be re-weighted allowing for more low tech marketing efforts.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was how unclear most of the group was on how to articulate a clear message through their marketing. It's such a can of worms that I didn't tackle it in full here, however, I will suffice to say I'm hammering them all to start with the simple message that is founded on, "I have a plan for that."
The last thing we tackled was the reality of our marketing budget and how that calls for the discipline to not overspend on every great idea. The challenge for any entrepreneurial real estate agent is to control yourself when you begin to know what's possible because you get excited and want to try everything believing that you're missing out and behind in the race. My best advice is to take a step back and understand that your first step should be to focus on mastering the basics. Ultimately, the smartest real estate marketers stick to a plan that best serves smart growth and they don't worry about what other agents are doing.
To summarize the key point: “What Works Best In Reality Is The Best Place To Direct Your Marketing”
Any business owner's anxiety is being able to keep their business flowing. In the real estate agency business, we may have great deals in the pipeline but there's always something in the back of our minds - where will the next deals come from?
First, you have to market yourself to your sphere of influence. A lot of coaches will tell you that you have to out and tell all your friends and family members that you are now a realtor or a real estate agent. In that case, that's great! but, you also don't want to be the agitating folk who shoves it to your friends and relatives.
However, it is not enough to market yourself to your friends and family. If you want to get the business sustainable over time, you need to do business with people you don't know as well. It's not as easy as marketing your self to your sphere of influence, so you have to be strategic. You have to define your market niche - who they are and where are they? Narrow down the marketplace.
After defining your market niche, you may ask what will make you unique in the market that you're trying to target? You have a strategic plan. Get to our Free Sales Training Call every Friday at 1:00 PM EDT and hear me going thru the 7-Step Plan for Sellers and 6-Point Plan for Buyers.
Then based on what you can afford to do, choose what medium can you deliver your message. You may do social media, door to door, whatever you may think applicable! Be extremely frugal and strategic at the same time - it's about being resourceful! One great opportunity to create conversation is by doing an open house. In today's digital age, you might be surprised but a lot of buyers are still running around on their own looking at properties to figure out what they like. If you're the one that's there to introduce them to the property, then that's great. However, you can also pitch your plan in case the property doesn't fit their liking.
The last point is to build a follow-up plan to convert all of your leads. You can give them the feed from MLS or if it's a seller, give them a list of properties relevant to them. It's a very powerful concierge-style approach that constantly gives information to your leads.
To summarize the key point: "Conversations with people that you know and don't know will give you a steady flow"
As we dig deeper into understanding how the real estate agency business really works, we'll break down how to find real money in your marketplace.
First, you have to know where do you want to compete. As others would say, it's about narrowing down your niche until it becomes painful. In looking for a place to compete, look for where there's probably at least 600 sales in that geography. That's the bare minimum area within which you'll market your services. It doesn't mean you won't go outside of it but this is trying to be strategic about marketing your brand inside a viable market area that produces enough sales where you can expect to get a reasonable portion of that business.
The next step is to go to MLS or Multiple Listing Service and pull a list of all the production done by all of the individual agents. This will give you a great overview of your area and the averages. Focus on the average sale price because that's going to be the cornerstone when you move away from average production into a top producing production mindset.
You also need to pay attention to the true top producers - the people who have the balance between the number of transactions and are also hitting massive numbers when it comes to the production and gross GCI. This is where the money is!
You also have to know how much these top producers are really selling in your marketplace. If you're on a broker, ask them to provide this because this is integral to your business plan. You have to have a clear goal on what is average in your marketplace and what is top producing rather than just making up numbers. However, you have to still be realistic about who they are, what they are, and how much they are selling. Then you can begin to study them.
Lastly, pay attention to the fact that you're after an average or above sale price and figure out what are the techniques that the top producers are using you know in a good way. It's okay to study success. That's what people do all the time - find someone who already got to the top and start to mimic a lot of their actions. Then as you learn more, you begin to innovate and put in your own spin of their actions.
To summarize the key point: “Know the truth about your marketplace and chase the best that it offers”
As a guy who started in this business with only 2000 business cards and a work ethic, it agitates me hearing people complain a lot about what wasn't working for them. I never stopped taking 100% responsibility for what happens or doesn't happen to me in my business.
Let's break down why people don't take 100% responsibility beyond work ethic and how to get rid of it.
First, if oftentimes starts with intellectual insecurity. When we don't have what we want in our real estate agency business and we have these expectations but don't know what to do, all of a sudden we don't know how smart we are. We throw away our resourcefulness and panic when we're under pressure or faced with something not going our way. Stop blaming someone or something because of a setback. It is your job figure out how it works.
To get rid of intellectual insecurity, we should define the best opportunity. For me, the best opportunity in the real estate agency business despite the trend of the digital age where people are all over social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, is still face to face conversation with someone who is thinking of buying or selling a real estate. The digital world is just a part of the grand scheme of things in this business but nothing beats being in a room with somebody and having a conversation. Do whatever you define as your best opportunity to have a conversation that leads them into a meeting.
Next is knowing what to say. It's very clear to anyone in my Elite Mastermind that we follow simple plans. For example, in our Buy Side Plan, it's so simple - there are only 6 points. Be prepared, take 100% responsibility and state the obvious: educate them about how the buying or selling process works and why you can do the best job organizing it for them. That's it.
Lastly, you have to do all of these yourself because nobody's coming for you. The market will never magically fill you with sales and high GCIs. The reason why I'm here to help you by giving you free information is that in this business, you need a plan and you have to get out there.
When I'm coaching agents, I always ask them what do they need help with. When setting a goal, I noticed that people are stating overly round numbers. During a call, somebody said $400,000. Yes, it's doable, but I want to know where the agent is at now and where did that number come from.
The thing is, I worry when people give me those targets because round numbers tend to be general statements. When you are setting a goal that's too general, you're not programming the subconscious mind to be very specific. It sounds sexy and interesting to put a very big number on the board and say "that's my big, hairy, audacious goal!" but don't just make up numbers for the sake of having one. So be very specific and do some little math. You can look at the average sales in the area, see what the average agent does, and set your goals from there. Be at least get beyond the average and shoot to become a top producer but be realistic about it.
Another thing that I noticed that a lot of people are setting goals in a negative lens. That lens, according to Dr. Maxwell Maltz of The New Psycho-Cybernetics is your self-image. I ask a lot of new agents where they want to be and they were in a very enthusiastic. But, the next thing that comes out from them is negative talk. How would you ever get off if that's your mindset?
That's why we should clean our self-image lens and stick to the simple plan. I suggest you follow our plans here at The Realty Classroom: 7 Steps to Listing Success, 6 Steps to helping a buyer, and you're well on your way.
To summarize the key point: “Clean Up Your Self-Image Lens & Stick To The Plan”
This week I traveled to Miami to attend what turned out to be a better-than-expected conference by Gary Vaynerchuk called Agent 2021. For those who don't know Gary, he is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of VaynerMedia, but I've known about him even before that when he hosted one of the first and most successful shows on social media platforms called Wine Library TV, which helped him grow his family's business into a $50+ million business.
The most important insight that he shared is that it's still very early in the Digital Age and opportunity abounds on all social channels. Newcomers tend to be intimidated by "influencers" who have been in the social sphere for a long time now with an enormous resume of content. Bottom line: there's always room for new quality content and most people lack the discipline to produce on a regular basis. Furthermore, the cost of exposure ranges from free to low cost as major brands have yet to fully enter the arena and drive up the cost!
I am also in agreement with the emphasis that was placed on personal branding. In the pre-Digital Age, you had to spend a lot of money to brand yourself on billboards, T.V., radio and just about every major media outlet just to get your name out there. But in today's world, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn are the Modern Age's equivalent of the major networks such as A.B.C., N.B.C. and C.B.S. The best part is that there are no gatekeepers to get approved by or gigantic budgets required!
Although the access is simple and free to low cost, I do recognize that there's a "content paralysis" where a lot of you get stuck about what type of content to put out. In the real estate context, you already have content. You can talk about how you would take someone through the buying and selling process and supplement that by doing a monthly market summary by simply pulling the statistics from M.L.S. and discussing the trends in your marketplace. In addition, you should be publicly discussing your listings and their features and the lifestyle benefits that they offer. In short, the content is right in front of you! It's all about injecting yourself. Start recording and talk about these topics and push them out into your social platforms.
However, the most important concept I took away from the #Agent2021 was to ensure that you engage with your audience. It's one thing to get content out there and it's another thing to engage people in and around that relevant content. Talk to them and answer their questions because all of these social media platforms are only viable when we engage each other. However, don't push! Be genuine and help people. When you engage in an authentic way, you magnetize people into the conversation where you build meaningful relationships that bear true fruit.
If there was a key word for me this week it was "agency". Although many business models, including real estate, are under great pressure to change, the concept of agency is alive and well. A top-shelf real estate agency owner or real estate agent is more responsible than ever for lifting up agents and consumers by providing effective solutions to Digital Age problems by giving structure and guidance in a new context. When you embrace the concept that we are in the "agency" business, you begin to see yourself as the problem solver that the World needs more than ever.
To summarize the key point: “Go all in on understanding these social platforms. They are not going away."
The greatest challenge that real estate agent's face is time management.
However, before painting this problem with such a broad brush, agents should first determine the core of the problem. Is the challenge that 1. They don't know what to do with their time or 2. They are running out of time trying to keep up with what they have to do.
Quite the dilemma. However, the solution starts by considering which of your mindsets is controlling you.
Simply put, how can you "manage" anything without a manager's mindset. As I contemplate the concept of a manager's mindset, I'm always drawn back to Michael Gerber's E-myth where I first recognized that the Manager was indeed a persona unique from the Technician or Sales persona.
It's natural for a Sales persona to assume that you can manage a better business through the mindset of a Technician where your focus is on the present and performing the hands-on work of the business. However, a manager's mindset is that of a planner who takes the company's strategic vision and plots tactical action plans to accomplish that vision in a certain period of time.
After considering this for many years, I've chunked up what I believe is the manager's modules of concentration: Marketing Module, Conversion Module, Closing Module, and Past Client Module.
Once you consider that these modules are the time managed blocks that produce the outcome of a happy client, only then will you be able to organize the tactics that will properly consume your time. Therefore, for each module, there must be clear, tactical plans that should be put in place in order to effectively manage time.
You must memorialize your tactical plans in your CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) in order to ensure that your time to execute these actions is clearly blocked. For example, when are you actually going to manage your time to make lead, prospect, and client calls?
Once you get into a rhythm of completing task plans within allotted time frames, it's important to measure your results against the plan. You should constantly measure your results to check if your managed time plan is working in order to make refinements along the way to ensure that you reach your financial goal.
To summarize the key point: “Learn how to see time management from a manager's perspective.”
P.S. If you feel like you're getting nowhere, ask me questions, post comments, and I will help you make those "guided missile" adjustments so that your time management plan is always on track.
Learning to speak conversational real estate is very important in the real estate agent business. On our weekly live sales training calls for our Mastermind Members in The Realty Classroom, we have highlighted the importance of the context of the inside sales call.
By focusing on a quick and simple introduction: “Hi I’m Danny Griffin from The Griffin Realty Group” you’ll give the lead an orientation as to who you are and what your business is about, assuming the word real estate or some variation is included.
The next beat is to tell the lead why you’re calling them. There are many examples depending on their context. For example: “I noticed that you expired on the MLS” or “I noticed that you came into our website searching for properties.”
At this point, they know who you are and what you know about them.
The next step is to discuss the struggle they’re facing, also referred to as agitating the pain, which they may or may not realize they’re suffering from. The reason for bringing the tension to the forefront is so that you’re able to more effectively offer your solution.
The final beat of our introduction is what we’ve done, sent or will do immediately to help them. While you might ask permission to do so first, we have found that it’s best practice to send helpful information regardless of their willingness to accept it; unless of course we discover that our help has no relevance. For example, a probate lead, the administrator of an estate, informs us that there is no real estate to sell.
It’s critical to emphasize that there is no need to be confrontational.
As you go through your conversations with leads, you will experience a lot of rejection simply because people as consumers are conditioned to quickly say “NO” because they’re agitated, frustrated or simply hate being sold. Also, the people at the other end of the telephone line don’t know you so they are naturally not willing to open up.
This is precisely where it’s critical to cross over from a more scripted introduction to a conversation and the best way to do so is by asking a question that allows them to vent about their frustration.
For example, when speaking to an expired lead, after telling them we sent our 7 Step Plan in the mail, we ask them, “why do you think it didn’t sell?”
Now, once they open up and enter the conversation, there will be many different emotionally charged responses that won’t follow anybody’s script to the letter. Over time you’ll see a pattern in the types of objections you’ll have to overcome however, the key is to be ready to interject with a strong understanding of the market within which you’re working.
Practice by truly answering the question, “How’s the market?”
By simply studying the market statistics and trends that are readily available in MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and discussing those meaningful specifics during your call, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a true professional and mastering conversational real estate.
To summarize the key point: “Learn To Speak Conversational Real Estate.”
Each week in The Realty Classroom, we conduct a live sales training session for our Mastermind Members and their teams. Although we incessantly practice inside sales role play, we recognize that agents experience a higher level of challenge when dealing with real leads and hearing their aggressive and sometimes negative reactions on the other end of the telephone line.
One of the things we picked up on was the "tone" of one caller and how it could tell us how to behave. The seconds that it takes for a lead to say "hello" can offer a clue as to the mood you're encountering. It's amazing how simply being a good listener can set you up for a greater chance at inside sales success. When you hear the one and match yours, you're demonstrating an act of empathy which helps you navigate your opening script.
I also want to point out that you must have a clean 3 beat script down who you are, why you're calling, and what you're offering. The simple point is that you have seconds to cut to the chase and tell them why you're interrupting their life.
Finishing your opening with a relevant, provocative question will allow them to vent and give you clues as to how you might personalize your solution for them. For example, in the context of an expired lead, it's likely that they are agitated and frustrated and may feel the need to rough you up.
The key point is that when they start to vent or even attack you, you shouldn't pull back, rather lean in a bit by being confident in the strategies that you're offering to help them overcome. By doing so, you'll at least achieve a clear outcome and determine whether or not there will be an opportunity for follow up.
To summarize the key point: “Learn to diffuse the negative emotions of a lead by leaning in to confidently express your plan to help them"