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Archive for lead generation

Oct
15

5 More Recruiting Mistakes to Avoid

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In an earlier post, we explored 5 of the 10 biggest mistakes I’ve seen real estate recruiters make–and, admittedly, I’ve made. After all, I started like most of you–here’s your desk, here’s your phone……you know the drill…

By the way, I put a picture of a coach reading off a layer, because that’s certainly a mistake we make in management! (Or, you could interpret it as me yelling at you to avoid these mistakes….)

So, here’s the rest of my list. What did I leave out? Why are we selecting so many who fail to make it in real estate?

6. Recruiting agents without the necessary skills or motivation to be
successful

There are the agents that fall over at the first objection (and there are many, even though they tell us they’re tenacious!) We keep beating our heads against stone walls recruiting agents who are deficient in the two skill sets we say are most important to real state success: technical (computer) skills and sales skills. We hire them, and then we pour thousands of dollars down a black hole trying to train them to do the things they won’t or can’t do.

Why not hire agents who already have technical and sales skills? In my program, The Complete Recruiter, I ask managers to make a list of the skills and qualities they feel are critical in the agents they hire. Please do that. Then, create questions that bring out whether an agent has the skills and qualities you need.

7. Talking too much in the interview process

Well, it’s not really an interview process to most managers. It’s actually a talk marathon, where the manager talks to the would-be agent until the agent gets tired and agrees (or not) to join the company. That’s what dozens of agents have described as their “recruiting interview”.

What are you doing while the interviewee is talking? Asking questions and listening. What are you listening for? Whether or not that interviewee has the necessary amounts of the skills and qualities you want. How do you assure you’ve got the complete story? Probe around that one idea until you’re completely assured that the interviewee has sufficient strength of that trait or skill. The Complete Recruiter has lots of tips on mastering sales skills for recruiting. This is just one of them.

8. Selling all the features and benefits of the company in the same way to each recruit

That’s simply because the manager didn’t ask good questions at the beginning of the process. If he had, he would’ve discovered what needs the agent wanted met. Then, he would’ve designed his presentation to meet those needs.

9. No recruiting plan

A few years ago I was the head writer for the CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) People Management course. This course includes recruiting, selecting, training, and motivating agents for high productivity. I was excited to teach the course the first time, and was thrilled that there were about sixty managers in the course. I found that most of them had been in the business over ten years.

I wanted to create something where they could share recruiting experiences and a wins, so I decided to do a little contest for best recruiting campaign. I introduced the contest the first morning, and waited for the entries. There were none. At the beginning of the second day I asked the students if it was a dumb contest, or what seemed to be the barriers. They told me that none of them had a recruiting plan, much less a campaign! How could you implement your recruiting moves without a plan of action? We pound into our agents heads the idea of business plans. Yet, we dona’t have plans for the most important of all our activities–recruiting. If you’re among the 95% of managers who don’t have a plan, I’ve provided a simple, straightforward method of planning in The Complete Recruiter.

10. No system for agent follow-up

You’ve interviewed the agent. The agent doesn’t join that day. Now, what happens? In most companies–nothing! You need a contact management system. You need a contact plan. You need materials, and you need strategy. Finally, you need someone to run that plan. Hire a competent assistant and let that assistant engage your plan. This agent follow-up is really a part of your overall recruiting plan. You expect your agents to do it, and you need to do this, too, with your potential recruits. Remember, follow up until they buy or die!

It doesn’t take a masterful recruiter to win all the awards. All it really takes is determination and persistence. And, when you look at the few managers who actively recruit, you know that merely taking a stab at in a consistent manner will win you many recruits. Start now!

CompleteRecruiterHow is your Recruiting Plan Working?

Well, shall we be honest? You probably don’t have a plan. At least, that’s my experience in training and coaching thousands of owners and managers. If you don’t have a plan, how do you know what to do each day to find, select, and recruit those you really want? How do you measure how you’re doing? The Complete Recruiter has it all: the plan, the dialogues, the systems. Get it this month at a blazingly good price, too! Find out more here.

This month, I’m focusing on recruiting and selecting.

Isn’tt it amazing the number of things a new manager is supposed to be able to do from day one, even though he or she isn’t trained to do those tasks? Take recruiting, for example. As As a new manager, I was expected to lead generate, get appointments, ask great questions, and select agents who would be successful. But, did I have the skills to perform those tasks with competence? You can bet not!

Even though I was a top-producing agent, I didn’tt take the time to think through, and didn’t know how to, apply the sales skills I had used to attain high sales volume to the recruiting tasks at hand. So, I, like thousands of other new managers, just did it allby ear! Along the way, I had some wins and lots of losses. Through my observations of myself and others, Ia’ve created a list of ten top mistakes, so that you can avoid the pitfalls I and others without training have fallen into.

In this blog, we’ll look at the first five. Also, I’ll add some advice I learned from all those mistakes!

1. Charge ahead to hire

It should occur to us that we need to sit in a quiet place and think about the kind of people we want to hire before we dive in. But, we are so thrilled that someone is in front of us that it doesn’t occur to us that they bring with them their values and ethics. So, if we haven’t thought out our values, our beliefs, and our perspectives first, we run the risk of hiring people who will then dictate what the company values become. Before you start interviewing, decide what you will and what you won’t stand for. Write out your values and your beliefs. Then, when you interview, check to be sure that agent carries those same values and beliefs into your office. Someone’s got to be the leader, and it better be you!

2. Recruiting to old-style management strategies

I know, I know. Just go make those calls and you will get some recruits. Yes, that’s true. But, wouldn’t it be better if you built a company that stood apart from the others because of its attractors? The greatest attractors today to a company are twofold:

Values: Does the company have values and beliefs that the agent can live by and agree with?

Focused on success of its agents: Does the company focus its energy on the success of the agents or on itself/

If you are still trying to recruit to an old-style dictatorship, or, if you’ve given up leadership. Find out what participative management is all about. Find out how to build a team. Figure out how to help each agent reach his/her goals. Now, you’re on the right track. Re-tool your business structure so you’re attractive to the entrepreneur of today and tomorrow.

3. Trying to recruit on the company features

“Our company is the largest around.” Well, guess what? If you’re a branch manager, and all your branch managers say the same thing, you’re not going to differentiate yourself that way! You must make yourself a magnet. What about your background provides a benefit to a new agent? To an experienced agent? For example, I was a musical performer and teacher. That taught me performance skills, and how to teach others performance skills. You can see the benefits to agents. I’m able to help an agent reach his goals through greater skills.

4. Not differentiating the feature from all the other companies that have the same thing

“We have a great training program.” So says every company out there. What’s so great about your program? You’d better be able to tell ’em and show ’em. For example: “Our training program has a 90% rate in our agents making a sale in the first thirty days they’re with us.” No one else in the area has success figures like that. Here’s the brochure about our program. It spells out the comprehensive five-step program for new agents. Do you want a program that assures you make money fast?

5. Trying to attract agents through price wars

We in the real estate industry just love to hire agents through the bidding wars. We either provide a lower desk fee, better commission splits, or more trinkets and trash. Guess what? That’s the chicken’s way out. In reality, price is never the best recruiter. But, if you don’t have a great company organization, if you don’t help agents meet their goals, you’re going to have to compete on price. It’s all you’ve got. Now, work hard to provide real value. After all, consumers pay 10% more for products and services they believe are of quality.

Recommendation: Read Drive–The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink. The motivators have changed, but no one has told real estate professionals!

So far, what have I left out?

Get The Insights You Need to Hire with Confidence

You work so hard to gain those interviews. But, do you have planned interview process that assures you pick winners? (And assures the candidates are impressed with you….) Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, with new information about what desired agents of today are looking for, is a guide to create your unique attractors, how to put together a powerful presentation, and a completely new video showing exactly how to craft the best ‘crystal ball’ type of questions. Learn more here.

Are Your Agents Still Selling with These Two Ineffective Strategies? Do you need to put new strategies in your training and coaching?

Florida Realtor just interviewed me for an article on the sales strategies that agents are still using–but that don’t work. I thought that was such a great topic that I want to share them with you here. So, these blogs will each explore 2 habits. This is great for agents  and managers to think about, because these habits and strategies can wreck your results!

My first two strategies were no database or contact management and using a ‘love ’em and leave ’em mentality. The next two ‘no-no’s were not customizing your presentations–or just ‘going verbal’, and not qualifying your leads.

The last two are:

  1. Thinking ‘training’ is just for ‘newbies’
  2. Little or no proactive lead generation

Who’s Training For?

Often, when I ask an agent about training, they said “I’ve gone through the company new agent training program. I’ve been trained.” Sure. That’s like saying, I took one piano lesson so now I can play a Beethoven sonata. Not quite…..Or, almost as bad: As agents become more ‘seasoned’, they get new technical information, but don’t take classes in presenting, sales techniques, or management. In other words, they’re not growing as professionals.

Managers: What training do you offer your agents to keep them growing after your new agent training? What training do you offer the seasoned agent to ‘push them back’ to growth and excitement?

Little or No Proactive Lead Generation

No, I don’t mean ‘sit and wait’ for a lead–like from floor time, or leads from your manager, or relo leads–or those lead generation  companies.Ii mean ‘you go out and get the lead’. That’s your insurance plan, and it will protect you when times get tougher (and they will).

Managers: Do you help your agents build in a lead generation plan into their business plans? Do you help them be accountable to the plan? To measure the plan?

What are your ‘old strategies’ that you see agents doing that they need to dr

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Managers: Do you help your agents build in a lead generation plan into their business plans? Do you help them be accountable to the plan? To measure the plan?

What are your ‘old strategies’ that you see agents doing that they need to drop now?

Polish your presentation skills: three quick, effective tips to make all the difference in your impact.

Managers, trainers, salespeople, and even a�?real peoplea�� present frequently in front of one–to hundreds of people. Unfortunately, most presenters (yes, you become a presenter when youa��re selling!), arena��t trained with the best presentation tools. Instead, they just a�?wing ita��. So, we in the audience (or your clients) are frequently bored silly. It doesna��t have to be that way. Take a look at the three tipsa��tips Ia��ve learned first as a musician, then as a speaker, in front of hundreds of people. These tips will make your next time in front of a few a��or manya��enjoyable, memorable, and equally enjoyable for your audience or client.

Three Powerful Presentera��s Tips

Death by Lecture

  1. Don’t lecture for more than 10 minutes. Adults just don’t have that long an attention span (too much on our minds!). Change it up. Use various “alternative delivery methods”–methods to teach other than lecture. In myA�Instructor Development WorkshopA�course, I help students learn these teaching methods by modeling them so they can observe me teaching. Then, we de-brief on what we did. Finally, each student teaches a short module using creative methods, and the rest of the students provide feedback. (We really only learn when we do something).A�DoingA�greatly increases confidence–and competence.

Question: If youa��re in sales or management: Are you talking through your listing or recruiting presentation because you know a lot? How long will it take until the person in front of you gets a�?glassy eyesa��?

Do Something Else Before You Talk too Much

2. When you want to change adults’ perceptions, beliefs, or knowledge, don’t just start talking to them.A�You may be setting up an adversarial relationshipa��and youa��re too predictable! You may just cause them to shrink more into their beliefs, and to defend those beliefs (have you observed students who live to argue with the instructor?)

How to tackle the ‘old belief’ challenge:

Prepare students or your clients to learn something new. For example: Use a ‘true-false’ or ‘multiple choice’ to start the presentation, or to check learning. I do this in myA�Instructor Development Workshop courseA�in the middle, and ask students how they would have answered at the beginning of the course–and then contrast that with their new perceptions and learning. It creates lots of ‘ahas’ with them, and further cements their learning experience.

Tip: If youa��re in sales: Use a fun true-false survey for sellers to use prior to meeting you. It can have lots of fallacies and misinformation, and will set up your presentation to help sellers get the real facts and make the best decision for them.

Quit Relying on the ‘Screen’ to Talk for YOU!!!

3. Don’t just read from the PowerPoint on the screenA�(and, just as onerous, provide the student with the PowerPoint as the “outline”.) If an instructor does that, I feel I want to just take that outline and leave. I can read, thank you! Too many presenters/trainers rely on PowerPoint to do the teaching. Instead, invest in a a�?pointera�� that allows you to make the screen blank. Remember: YOU are the presenter, not your Powerpoint!

Tip: If youa��re in sales or management: Dona��t just drone on from your presentation manual. (thata��s your Powerpoint in this instance.) Instead, Use questions, handouts, pauses, and summaries to give your presentation contour and interest.

Use that Right Brain of Yours

Effective presenting is much more than just talking. It should be creative. Use all the “attention strategies” at your disposal (that means to get them into your repertoire).

Suggestions to get creative:

Use props, stories, various audio-visual aids, and handouts to control the audience “contour”. I learned this as a musician playing for dancing. You direct how you want the audience to dance by the music you pick, and you ‘contour’ the whole experience (slower to faster, then back to slow). As a great instructor/ facilitator/presenter, you can direct your audience (clients) in an awesome learning experience. It just depends on the skills you bring to the table.

Tip: Adapt your creativity to your presentation to clients. They’ll appreciate your innovative approach and you’ll become memorable–not just another voice!

Ita��s Worth the Effort

A�Most presenters/trainers arena��t in it for the big bucks (where are those big bucks, again?). Theya��re in it to assist others. Gaining and practicing presentation skills helps us give back better. The bonus: Deep appreciation from our audience or your client. Wea��ve even been known to change lives for the better! No amount of money can provide that sense of accomplishment.

Carla’s next innovativeA�Instructor Development WorkshopA�is coming up May 22-23, 2018 in Bellevue. Washington.A�Click hereA�for specifics.

Resources to Present More EffectivelyA�

Take a look at Carla’s comprehensive training resource,A�The Ultimate Real Estate Trainera��s Guide,A�and her presentation resource,A�Knock Their Socks Off: Skills to Make Your Best Presentation Ever.A�A�See all her coaching and training resources atA�www.carlacross.com.

Here are benefits and downsides of joining a team–from a new agent’s perspective. As you read below, ask yourself, “How well do my leaders of teams meet the criteria? How well are they leading their teams? Is it a benefit for one of my new agents to join a particular team?

This blog is excerpted from my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.A�A�

I wrote this eBook to save prospective agents and managers time during the interview/selecction process. Here’s an excerpt from the eBook, where I discuss teams–the good and the negatives–for new agents.

Joining a TeamA�

As you interview, you may be invited to join an office team. That means youa��ll be essentially working for a a�?rainmakera��, a lead agent who generates a�?leadsa�� for those on his team. Of course, those leads cost money, and the rainmaker takes about half the income from the team member for the lead generation and other services.

Teaming helps agents obtain leads as they start up business. While agents earn the most in commission dollars when they generate their leads themselves, a new agent may need to pay for someone elsea��s lead generation to begin to develop business. There is a downside to this approach, howA�ever. Agents can become complacent and sit and wait for leads. They wona��t generatea��until they get tired of paying for someone elsea��s leads.

A�Positives: You may be able to jump-start your career with leads given to you.

A�What to Watch For

  • Sit in on her team meeting to see how she manages the team.
  • Find out if and how the rainA�maker will train you.
  • Find out how much turnover there has been on the team.
  • Find out whether you can sell and list houses outside the teama��and how much the rainmaker would charge you if you did.
  • Read the contract the rainmaker asks you to sign and be sure you understand the consequences of your involvement.
  • Evaluate how good a leader that rainmaker is. Some rainmakers are great salespeople, but lousy leaders, and so their team never a�?jellsa��.

Generate your Own Leads, too?

Most team leaders ultimately expect their team members to generate their own leads, in addition to team leads. If you cana��t meet the rainmakera��s expectations, you are terminated. Be willing and ready to take the responsibilities of team member seriously.

Are You Helping Candidates Make the Best Business Decision for Them?

If you’re interviewing tons of prospective agents, you’re spending lots of time at it. Why not let Carla answer some of the most important new agent questions–and free you up to do a real interview? Check outA�my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.A�

You’ll save lots of interview time and help the winners choose you!

agent with buyers with sold houseAre your agents leaving their best source of business $$$$ on the table? Most agents are. They’re missing their ‘goldmine’ business.

Whata��s a a�?goldmine businessa��? I think ita��s a business that results from at least 50% referrals. Why? Because referrals

  1. Cost less
  2. Are wonderful people to work with
  3. Make you feel good!

Unfortunately, agents do not a�?minea�� this potential goldmine of business. According to the latest National Association of Realtorsa�� survey, only 18%A�of agentsa�� business came from referrals last year! And, a full 21%A�of agents said they got NO referral business!

Managers: Have you helped your agents track and analyze best sources of business?A�

QuestionsA�to Ask Your Agents

Do you know how many of your sales and listings sold came from referrals in 2018?
Whata��s your goal for referral business in 2018?
How important are referrals to you?

I hope youa��ve done your business plan for 2018. (If not, see my program, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning, for full business planning templates and guidance).

Two Best Strategies

1, Take every opportunity to recognize those who have helped you in your career. For example: Do you provide a closing gift? If not, what do your clients think of you? (That you just took the money and ran?)

2. Thank your referral sources profuselya��at the time of the referral, not at closing. And, create ways to say a�?thanksa�� for the smallest positive action! Why? You want others to think of you in a positive light. You want your communications to be effusive in your generous thank you mentality!

Big idea: Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated!

Finally: Do your agents have a referral plan? Brain storm with your fellow agents about how they create more referrals. Of course, ask for them. But, better than merely asking, show that you are thankful for your clientsa�� support in all your actions. Youa��ll create a much stronger A�business AND youa��ll find your business much more pleasant and rewarding.

Free giveaway: Need ideas on how to ‘thank’ your referral sources? Grab my Idea Fest: 42 Ideas to Put Into your Business Plan. Click here to get it.

Are we still operating as though it was 1979?

I’m writing an article about how real estate has changed for a prominent real estate magazine. Here is the first part of that article, which will be continued in the next two blogs. As I write the article, I am actually stunned as I think about the number of habits we have carried over from 1979 (even though they didn’t work real well then and they sure don’t work now.)

Agents Were Hired to Sell and ‘Service’ Listings

a�?Sell, sell, sell!a�? Ia��ll never forget the cry of the vice-president of our company yelling that at the end of an all-company meeting. When I started in real estate, about four decades ago (wow!), a company wanteda��and expecteda��agents to sell houses. Thata��s it. The company would take care of the advertising to gain leads, business plan, financesa��and charge 50% of the commissions for doing it. Does that sound onerous to you? Well, to us, entering the business, it sounded great! After all, what did we know about how to marketing to find business, how to spend our marketing dollars, how to think longer-term about our careers? No. What we thought about was that we would probably see some nice listings that day, and wea��d go home and try to find a buyer for that listing.

How Agents a�?Lead Generateda��

Well, they didna��t really lead generate themselves. They waited for the company to spend money to get prospective buyers and sellers to call them. Herea��s how it was done:

  1. The company placed ads in newspapers. Agents were assigned a�?floor timea�� to answer these inquiries. The listing agent didna��t get the calls. Unfortunately, many times agents were new, and/or hadna��t seen the homes. But, the company a�?solda�� the opportunitya��and agents complained that there were few a�?qualifieda�� calls. Fortunately (?), sellers didn’t realize how these calls were handled–and they weren’t told anything about call handling during the listing presentation. They were just ecstatic that their home would be advertised!

Managers: Are you training your agents to tell the truth about what advertising/open houses do? Are you training your agents NOT to rely on these methods to get houses sold?

Contrarian view: As I write this, I’ll tell you how I bucked the practices of the day, because I found these practices to set up win-lose situations. Most agents sat and waited for a lead to come to them. But, since I knew 2 people when we moved to Seattle, I was afraid to a�?sit and waita��. Fortunately, I had a manager who told me to a�?go talk to peoplea��. So, I dida��for sale by owners, expired listings, farminga��you name it, I did it (without any training–I just read articles and bugged agents!) I did proactive lead generating way before it was a�?ina�� to doa��and was named in the top 10 agents in my 400 agent company my 2nd year in the business (boy, was I surprised!).

2. Open houses: The office assigned agents to hold homes open (especially new homes). Most of the time, these werena��t the listing agents. Instead, the listing agents promised the builders that someone would hold the home open every Saturday and Sunday. So, agents (especially newer agents) were assigned these a�?opportunitiesa��a��even though the home may be on a lane in the woodsa��.

Contrarian view: When I becameA� manager, I taught our agents never to promise open houses if the house wasna��t situated in a high traffic area. Why? Ita��s unfair to sellers AND agents. Also, we kept statistics on A�how often a buyer walked in a bought the home (very, very seldoma��in a normal market).

Managers: Do you keep statistics on how buyers find the home they bought? And what happens in open houses? Train your agents to educate sellers and buyers on why open houses are held and the results of them.

Big question

Managers: Are you still encouraging a ‘sit and wait’ attitude by the systems you use in your office (assigning floor time and/or open houses)? I don’t mean that these are not means to find buyers. But, buyers’ habits have changed and I’m afraid these systems and agents haven’t changed with them. Are you still operating in 1979?

bus plan 9One More Opportunity to Get My Business Planning Resources at Deep Discounts

Thought you’d get it done but it’s still on your ‘to do’ list? I want to help! So, I’ve extended my discounts on my online business planning resources through Jan. 31.

Managers: Frustrated because you can’t get your agents to plan? Problems solved! I’ve put my exclusive planning pages online–plus webinars to help you get through that plan fast. Don’t wait another year for business success. See more here.

Special discounts through Jan. 31: Purchase the agent’s planning resource, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning for agents, A�and save $20 (regularly $99). Use coupon code agent bus plan.

Managers: I’ll teach your agents how to plan, too! Included in your Manager’s Package!

Purchase the manager’s planning resource, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning for Managers, A�with all office/company planning documents and save $50. Use coupon code manager bus plan.

Offer ends Jan. 31: Big discounts on these programs–use the coupon codes below to order.

Ready to order? Click below:

Beyond the Basics of Business planning for ManagersA�– regularly $249, now $199 with coupon code managerA�bus planA�

Beyond the Basics of Business Planning for AgentsA�A�–regularly $99, now $79 with coupon codeA�agent bus plan

Remember, this special offer expires Jan. 31, so, order now and get your business plan ready for 2018.

PS: I’ve got dozens of ideas on how you can refine your systems for tomorrow’s real estate practices–not yesterday’s….

shaking hands over computerIs technology your greatest challenge as a leader?A� I just saw an advertisement for a large franchise convention. The focus will be on technology. Okay. But, what about you leaders? What are your big concerns? I’ll bet they are NOT technology. They are

1. Finding great candidates — not just anybody

2. New agents joining–getting them successful quickly; reducing turnover

3. Creating a ‘team’ atmosphere that serves as a magnet for retention

In fact, I’m afraid that most companies are focused on yesterday’s challenges. If technology were still actually the #1 focus, our agents would all be doing well, and eager to embrace technology to support those efforts. The company challenge would be just to either provide that technology or the training to use it.* That’s not the case. Companies have plenty of technology resources or access to them. It’s just that agents reject using these resources! Why? They aren’t committed to their businesses. Or, they don’t know how to use the technology. That’s a leadership training opportunity.

*If I were to look at the convention speakers, would I find someone who was working with leadership to help them counsel and consult each agent to his tech plan? To provide a calendar with tech training customized to each office needs? Without these ‘on the ground’ actions, talk about tech is pretty worthless!

Technology: A Crutch, or a Support?

If agents see technology as a crutch, or an excuse NOT to lead generate, they will look to technology to solve their income problems. Tech experts say that less than 2% of all tech leads turn into sales. But, do agents think that? No. They think that each tech lead is a guaranteed sale. They think it’s easy to convert that lead. When they find out it’s not easy and that there’s such a low conversion rate, they give up fast. Franchises have failed nationally that relied on technology to provide leads to agents. Unfortunately, those agents were sold that the company leads would guarantee them a handsome income. So, they had inflated expectations about the quality of leads. And, according to the franchise owners, the agents wouldn’t follow up on most of the leads!

Getting the Cart before the Horse

So, focusing on technology intimates that it will be the solution to a manager’ owners challenge: To get more production from his/her agents. Technology will not do that. Technology will provide support for lead generation. Technology will make it easy to track those leads and constantly communicate. But, that means there still has to be a caring, communicating human being driving that technology–the responsible agent.

Leaders: What do you think are the biggest challenges managers face today in real estate offices?A� How does tech fit in?

training up stepsThis blog addresses another one of the 10 trends I’ve identified in the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

This trend addresses segmentation: It’s no longer effective to market the same way to everyone. And, it’s no longer okay to try to appeal to all client segments. Even if you choose 3-5 segments, you must learn to speak to each in its own language.

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from this book. As a manager, read the thoughts on segmentation and ask yourself, “Am I teaching my agents how to identify their best markets? Am I helping them segment and market to that segment?”

{Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.}

Now: Four Distinct Segmentations of Buyers

As a new agent, I know youa��re just concerned about finding someone who wants to purchase or sell a home! Yet, leta��s think past just that. There are now four distinct segmentations of buyers (meaning those who want to buy our services of buying or selling a home). As you think about these distinct groups, ask yourself, a�?How do I have to adjust my selling style, my technology, my communication, and my expectations for each of these distinct groups? Which groups will I naturally relate to?a�?

  1. Traditionalsa��those older baby-boomers who are retiring
  2. Baby-boomersa��getting ready for retirement, these folks make up the second largest buying population and have the greatest assets
  3. Gen-Xa��these folks have purchased first homes, but because of the housing bust, hadna��t been able to move up
  4. Millennialsa��(Gen Y) first-time home buyers, typically looking for affordable housing, such as condos, co-ops, and so on

In the National Association of Realtorsa�� 2015 report, Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends, Gen Y (millennials) comprises the largest share of home buyers, at 32%. This trend will continue, as their large numbers combined with improving personal financial conditions will enable these buyers to move the market. Gen X has the largest share of first-time sellers at 68%. Read this report to see buyer and selling habits of these various a�?targeta�� (segmented) markets, and choose your markets carefully.

  • Positives: If you are able to adjust in the areas mentioned here, you can relate and sell to more people. To be successful, you must be flexible and sensitive to these differing needs and desires.
  • Watch out for: Dona��t try to lump all these needs into one. The average real estate agent is in his 50s; the average buyer is in his 30s. Also, minorities will account for many more clients in the future, yet minorities are a small part of the real estate community. In many areas, buyers are frequently more tech-savvy than agents (thata��s generally true in the Seattle area, where I live, because of MicrosoftA� and related businesses). Also, agents tend to work the market as theya��ve known it. They are relating to the past, rather than accessing trends and working the market theya��re given. Be sure to stay updated on where the market is going (your manager is a great source of this information).

* Big Idea: One size fits all is no longer applicable to real estate sales. Agents must specialize in each of the niches they want to serve.

shaking hands over computerTrend: Consumers are choosing agents differently. This is trend # 9 of 10 trends I’ve identified as very important for new agents to recognize. These trends are from my new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from this book.

{Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.}

Also: Check the end of this blog for your free ‘end of sale’ survey to capture and keep more loyal clients.

How Consumer Habits have Changed

Traditionally, consumers either stumbled upon an agent (e.g., going into an open house) or got a referral from a friend. Although thata��s still true, consumers have another powerful method to choose an agent: the Internet. Increasingly, consumers are looking at evaluations on Internet sites such as Zillow or LinkedIn to find out what other clients thought about that agent. Take a look yourself. Some of the evaluations are wonderful. Some are stunningly awful. And all are very public! There are even specific agent-rating sites such as www.realestateratingz.com and www.incredibleagents.com. Also, take a look at Zillow, which has agent ratings now. Bank of America and USAA are also getting into the game. You must work for long-term customer engagement and great ratings to sustain your real estate business. This will continue as a trend, and, I believe, change the way consumers choose and keep their agents!

* Big Idea: It costs six to nine times more to get a new client than to keep an existing client. Retention is king, and reputation is key.

{In the book, I’ve given positives and ‘watch fors’ to agents so they have great judgment on how to use these trends.}

  • Positives: It will be great for those competent, caring agents who really take care of their clients. It is easier now for potential clients to get feedback from third-party sources, clients just like them.
  • Watch out for: Doing a next kind of business, where you dona��t care what happens after the sale. The client has recourse now, of the most expensive kinda��a poor review!

Tip: Always use a a�?after salea�� survey to find out what your clients thought of your service. If youa��d like a sample survey form, click here.

Managers: Have you read your agents’ clients’ feedback online? Make it a regular habit!

Up and Running_5e largerAre You Using the Best Start-Up Plan for your New Agents?

Does your plan have the detailed, prioritized checklists needed to assure a great start? Does it have built-in inspiration and motivation? Does it have dozens of tips to control the attitude? If not, you need Up and Running in 30 Days. Just out in its 5th edition, it’s the most successful book for new real estate agents ever!

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.