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Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

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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.

What’s a ‘goldmine business’? I think it’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 ‘mine’ this potential goldmine of business. According to the latest National Association of Realtors’ survey, only 18% of agents’ business came from referrals last year! And, a full 21% of agents said they got NO referral business!

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

Questions to Ask Your Agents

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

I hope you’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 profusely—at the time of the referral, not at closing. And, create ways to say ‘thanks’ 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 clients’ support in all your actions. You’ll create a much stronger  business AND you’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.

head in the sand a salespersonDropping 1979 practices: Get into today’s and tomorrow’s real estate world!

This blog series is taken from an article I just wrote on the history and future for real estate. But, it’s not just a look from afar. It’s an actual history of how we agents operated and how companies encouraged how we practiced real estate. But, as real estate has changed, have agents (and companies) changed their approach to real estate sales? Here’s the second blog entry.

Get to Know and Stay In Contact with Former Clients?  Why?

As you can see from my descriptions so far of how real estate was practiced when I started in the 70’s , the emphasis was not on client satisfaction.  No one taught us to interview buyers prior to hauling them around to see homes (yes, we called it ‘hauls’) or form relationships with them! No one trained us to interview sellers for needs before we ‘sold’ the seller on our services (and we basically sold company features and benefits, not what an individual agent would do for the client). No one taught us that it was important or that we were to keep clients over time. In fact, it seemed to be a ‘next’ business (find a new buyer or seller). The company took the responsibility to keep track of the clients.(And, of course, the company’s attitude was that they ‘owned’ the client).

Time warp check: Do you know agents who still don’t start client relationships with and in-depth interview process, so the client needs are discovered and met? 

Because the company was spending money on advertising, the agents assumed clients would remember the agent and perhaps come back of their own accord.

Problem: The clients remembered the company but didn’t remember the agent! Agents seemed interchangeable (and you know they’re not!).

Time warp check: Do you know agents who still don’t keep in close contact with their best source of business—those they just ‘sold’?

Dependent on the Company for Success—or our Own Efforts?

Stephen Covey, in his wonderful book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, relates three phases of a person’s growth: Dependent, Independent, and Interdependent. As kids, we’re certainly reliant on our parents for everything—we’re dependent. Then, as teen-agers, we get to drive, and, voila….we become (or like to think we become) independent (and we think we know it all). Finally, as we mature, we find that going it alone is tougher than teaming with others—that we actually don’t know everything—and that others’ support, love, and consideration are supremely important to human beings. The same can be said of the evolution of companies—and, in fact, real estate companies.

The Dependent Company was Dominant

Above, I’ve described my early experience in a company as ‘dependent’. We relied on the company to create the brand, create the business, schedule our time, take care of the business side of things, and even track and re-communicate with the client.

Time warp check: Do you know agents that still operate without a business plan or a budget, relying on the company plan to suffice?

In the next blog, I’ll discuss the continuing evolution of real estate. And, I’ll relate to how many agents are still practicing–not stepping up their business to compete now. And, unwittingly, companies are encouraging these old practices through their branding and practices.

Plan_Act_CelebrateOne 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,  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,  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 Managers — regularly $249, now $199 with coupon code manager bus plan 

Beyond the Basics of Business Planning for Agents  –regularly $99, now $79 with coupon code 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….

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

“Sell, sell, sell!” I’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 wanted—and expected—agents to sell houses. That’s it. The company would take care of the advertising to gain leads, business plan, finances—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 we’d go home and try to find a buyer for that listing.

How Agents ‘Lead Generated’

Well, they didn’t really lead generate themselves. They waited for the company to spend money to get prospective buyers and sellers to call them. Here’s how it was done:

  1. The company placed ads in newspapers. Agents were assigned ‘floor time’ to answer these inquiries. The listing agent didn’t get the calls. Unfortunately, many times agents were new, and/or hadn’t seen the homes. But, the company ‘sold’ the opportunity—and agents complained that there were few ‘qualified’ 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 ‘sit and wait’. Fortunately, I had a manager who told me to ‘go talk to people’. So, I did—for sale by owners, expired listings, farming—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 ‘in’ to do—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 weren’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 ‘opportunities’—even though the home may be on a lane in the woods….

Contrarian view: When I became  manager, I taught our agents never to promise open houses if the house wasn’t situated in a high traffic area. Why? It’s unfair to sellers AND agents. Also, we kept statistics on  how often a buyer walked in a bought the home (very, very seldom—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,  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,  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 Managers — regularly $249, now $199 with coupon code manager bus plan 

Beyond the Basics of Business Planning for Agents  –regularly $99, now $79 with coupon code 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….

trainer at board

Why don’t you have a training calendar? Here’s how to get one now.

This month, we’re focusing on training. Why? Because you can recruit your heart out, but, if you’re not developing each agent to his/her potential, you’re not retaining! (and you have a revolving door……)

Guest Author, by Senior Coach Jodi Sipes

Authored by one of our Senior Career Coaches, Jodi Sipes, M. A., this blog shows you how to create a training calendar you’re proud of. Jodi’s advanced education in adult learning, plus her years of experience creating and implementing exceptional training for new agents, gives her a unique perspective. Here are invaluable tips as you take action to control your income in these shifting markets. You’ll make your training an awesome recruiting tool, while making it effortless to implement training week after week.

Why bother to create your year’s training calendar? With managers running in 50 directions at once, time management is a huge issue. Designing a training calendar allows managers to get their systems under control. It allows managers to delegate some training duties. Outcomes: More production, more profits, and better retention!

Your First Step in Creating that Calendar: Get the Rhythm

Before you try to create that calendar, consider the rhythm of your year. When do you hire the most agents, when is the market busiest, what seasonal issues do you want to address? For example, you’ll want to decide when is a good time to focus on listings, what issues come up at tax time, etc? This will give you a good over-view of how to plan your education and training.

Your Second Step: Decide the Major Issues You want to Train To

Now, it’s time to decide this:

If there were one thing my agents could do better that would raise productivity more than any other single thing, what would that be?

Answer that question, and you’ll get the major issues handled in that calendar. For example: If you have an office with many new people, you probably have fewer listings than you’d like. Or, your listings may be sitting in your shifting market. So, a major part of your calendar will be high-activity training to the listing process, focusing on getting marketable listings. A major mistake managers make in creating calendars is to merely drop in whatever they think agents would like! Don’t do that. You’re in control, and you need to train to the outcomes you need—and should expect.

Your Third Step: Make a System for New Agents

If you are hiring brand-new agents you will then need to schedule for them:

• Recruiting/hiring group informational events
• Orientation (Office equipment, your brokerage procedures, meet affiliates, etc.)
• New agent education (how to fill in forms, how to complete quarterly taxes, etc.–this should be in sync with MLS and Realtor Association training) At Carla Cross Seminars, Inc., we call this “Technical Training”.
• New agent start-up plan/coaching sequence so they go to work the first week. Our start-up plan and coaching companion is Up and Running in 30 Days.
• New agent skills training and practice/support sessions (how to answer objections, qualify buyers and sellers, etc.) Our complete training/coaching high accountability system for this is Advantage 2.0.

To assure you’ve covered the right bases, ask yourself about your desired outcome: What do you want your new agents to know, and be able to do in their first year?

Your Fourth Step: Make a System for your Experienced Agents

Here are some of the training issues you will want to consider:

• Sequence of business-building training (taking them to the next level)
• Yearly planning and Goals (this should be done in November of the prior year)
• Keeping them up-to-date on the law and technical issues (required classes, new forms, legal issues, new developments like more condos in the area or re-zoning)
• Life-style enhancement (time management, hiring an assistant, etc.)
• Train the Trainer class and opportunities to teach if they enjoy giving back to others (this is a great retention tool)

I know–it’s a big commitment. But, when you have your training systems fully in place, and you start measuring results, you’ll see the fruits of this labor.

Click here to grab my sample new agent training calendar.

 

logoWhy Not Make It Easy On Yourself: Up and Running is Done for You!

It takes me a year+ to write a training program, and I’ve done it several times! How long will it take you to write a program? Why reinvent the wheel? It’s enough to expect you to coach those in a program, not write it, and teach it in addition! Check out my comprehensive, high accountability, training/coaching program for agents under 2 years in the business. If you want to get them started fast, and are willing to coach them to the program, you’ll love the results. See it here.

shaking hands over computer

Presenters: Is there a webinar in your future?

This month, I featuring training.

Is a webinar in your future? Everybody and their brother are doing webinars. I am doing a ‘live’ Instructor Development Workshop, and there is interest in webinars each time I do this course. So, I thought I’d write a blog

about them. Here goes. Enjoy!

Should you become a webinar ‘maven’? If you’re a

  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Team leader
  • Salesperson

you may want to consider the ‘delivery method’ of a webinar. What can a webinar do for you? It can

  • Inform
  • Introduce
  • Sell
  • Increase your image

What can’t a webinar do? It can’t

Change people’s behavior (it’s not training. It’s education). Webinars are not the magic training bullet we’ve wished for. There are limited objectives you can accomplish by doing a webinar. (We’ll investigate this more later).

Of course, the upside of a webinar is that

  • People don’t have to travel to get to the ‘event’
  • It’s very cost-effective
  • It puts you in front of new audiences
  • You can make it ‘evergreen’ (record it and share it)

Some Basic Choices to Make Before You Start

  1. Your vehicle

Which company will you use to deliver your webinar? There are over 100 companies today offering some type of ‘screen sharing’. They range from free to $100+ a month. The free versions companies tout are for a limited number of viewers (usually 5-10). After that, figure on paying for the services. Among the most popular services are GoTo Meeting, WebEx, and BrightTalk. Whatever you choose, pick a service that will be easy for you! Getting caught in the technicalities while you are trying to be a sparkling presenter is death by webinar.

  1. What’s your message?

Decide on your topic. Is it something that would lend itself to a webinar? To find out, study webinars you’ve attended. Do some seem too wishy-washy to have been worth your time? Are some so full of facts and figures you snooze off?

Now, decide on your objectives. In other words, start with the end in mind. To write your objectives, start with this sentence,

As a result of this webinar, attendees will____________________________. Examples of objectives for a business planning webinar could be:

  • Understand the ‘flow’ of the strategic business planning process
  • Be able to differentiate between a vision and a mission statement
  • Be able to pinpoint 3 areas of concern about their business from the previous year

After I’ve written my objectives, I know the basic structure of my webinar. I can prioritize those objectives and start arranging my webinar in the right presentation order.

Your Topic: Overview or Detailed?

Is your topic an overview, or is it more detailed? Decide on the scope of your topic, and your objectives, before going further.

Common webinar mistake: Either being so ‘global’ there is little information, or being so detailed you lose the audience in facts and figures.

After deciding on your desired delivery company, and drafting your topic and objectives, you’re ready for the next step. In the next blog, we’ll discuss best presentation methods–and common presentation mistakes.

A Resource for You

To get more information on creating courses with objectives, see The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide. Not only for real estate presenters, this guide provides a step-by-step process for putting together a presentation (not just webinars), and dozens of presentation tips.

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 you’re just concerned about finding someone who wants to purchase or sell a home! Yet, let’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, “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?”

  1. Traditionals—those older baby-boomers who are retiring
  2. Baby-boomers—getting ready for retirement, these folks make up the second largest buying population and have the greatest assets
  3. Gen-X—these folks have purchased first homes, but because of the housing bust, hadn’t been able to move up
  4. Millennials—(Gen Y) first-time home buyers, typically looking for affordable housing, such as condos, co-ops, and so on

In the National Association of Realtors’ 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 ‘target’ (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: Don’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 (that’s generally true in the Seattle area, where I live, because of Microsoft® and related businesses). Also, agents tend to work the market as they’ve known it. They are relating to the past, rather than accessing trends and working the market they’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 that’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 don’t care what happens after the sale. The client has recourse now, of the most expensive kind—a poor review!

Tip: Always use a ‘after sale’ survey to find out what your clients thought of your service. If you’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.

 

shaking hands over computerClient relationship management: When do your agents start–and how can you help them capture and keep clients from day one?

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from my new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

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

Client Relationship Management Supports Great Time Management

One of the biggest benefits of Up and Running in 30 Days is gaining strategies to conquer time management—prioritization and organization. A new agent starts with little concept of what’s important—so everything becomes important—or everything becomes unimportant! Their priorities get skewed because of bad training, hiding in low-impact activities, or really not knowing what’s important. So, time management becomes an agent’s biggest challenge—whether that agent is in the business three days or thirty years.

The Biggest Key to Effective Time Management

One of the biggest ways to constantly move ahead is to organize your contacts and leads into a database from day one. Yet, very few new agents do this. Why?

  1. They don’t think it’s important for them now (they don’t realize that every person they meet could be a gold mine—if they track that person, constantly communicate with that person, and show that they care more than a commission!)
  2. They don’t think they can afford a client relationship management. Yet, almost everyone has Outlook on their computers. Or, title companies over free contact management. There really is no excuse for not utilizing some type of electronic organization from day one!

For this 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, I asked successful first year agents and leaders of teams what they felt contributed to an agent’s success—and what detracted. When I asked those agent and team leader contributors what technology is important to incorporate, here’s what they said:

“CRM and lead management tools”—Diane Honeycutt

“A really good and easy-to-use CRM”—Cerise Paton

“A good CRM”—Chris Cross. Yet, Chris has told me that, when he teaches a new agent course, only about 10% of those new agents are populating even a database, although, their assignment is to populate it aggressively.

According to Gary Richter, having a CRM is critical to his success: “For me having a CRM to track my leads and contacts is absolutely critical. I live in that database daily.”

Picture this: You meet a potential client, and a competing agent like Gary meets that potential client, too,  The other agent (Gary) consistently followed up and kept in touch—and you didn’t. Who would finally earn that commission from that client? Don’t lose out because you are trying to operate without a CRM—and have a haphazard follow-up marketing plan!

So, don’t be like the majority of new agents (and even seasoned agents!): Start using a database, or better yet, a CRM your first week in the business.

 Bottom Line: You’ll Make More Money!

A recent study by Active Rain (a popular real estate blog and tech information center), showed that agents who spent more money on contact relationship management (CRM) made significantly more money. It just makes sense. Agents who capture their leads via a database and then keep in touch with them via contact management software assure they keep their names in front of their potential clients, and are able to management and help many more clients. Agents who try to organize their clients via pieces of scrap paper and remember to call them once in awhile are woefully inadequate when it comes to staying in meaningful contact with their potential clients. Which agent would you prefer working with, as a client? An agent who regularly contacted you and kept you abreast of the market, or one who either never called you or contacted you irregularly?

So, the big lesson here is to organize all your contacts into a database, or better yet, client relationship management—from day one! Which CRM should you use? Don’t dither around! Choose one and start. You can always expert your contacts to a more robust program later.

Note: I got lots of recommendations on CRMs from my tech experts for Up and Running in 30 Days. I have made an extensive Resources section in this 5th edition of Up and Running  to list all the resources, including all types of technology, training, and support resources.

Managers: Using Up and Running with its extensive resources will save you so much time–and your agents will thank you forever!

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.

 

man and woman at tableDo your agents try to ‘tell’ their clients everything, or do they show them with credibility and evidence? If you’re not teaching your agents to ‘back up their mouths’ with the credibility of visuals (3rd party sources, statistics, graphs, etc.), you’re not helping them create trust and rapport with their clients!

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from my new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

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

Here’s one about the credibility/visual issue:

This week, I’ve asked you to start organizing your seller and buyer visual presentations. Why? Because I want to give you every bit of support, every bit of guidance, every bit of added edge I can to ensure you convert leads to customers and clients. Creating visual systems does five things for you:

  1. It makes you look credible and professional—we believe what we see, not what we hear.
  2. It is a self-teaching tool—you’ll learn how to counter those objections and how to present to buyers and sellers 100 percent faster with these tools than without them.
  3. You’ll learn how to best organize your presentation to flow smoothly.
  4. You’ll learn the visuals that best counter the common objections.
  5. It is a great confidence-building tool—you will never feel like you’re out on a limb without the answers to sellers’ and buyers’ questions.

Trying to give a professional presentation without the visuals is like trying to play a Mozart sonata just by listening to it. Trust me—as a musician. It can’t be done. Not only is it very difficult to remember what you wanted to say to a buyer or seller when you’re under stress, it just isn’t nearly effective for you. I know because I’ve had agents do listing presentations in class for other agents with visuals and without them. The agents without visuals were voted worse presenters and not as credible as those with visuals!

You’re Going to See and Hear the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

When you talk to agents in your office about presentations and objections, you are going to be amazed. Some of the information you get will be very good. Some will be very outdated. Some will be outright wrong or bad. What may be stunning to you is the lack of substantiation for what agents tell you. Even though we’ve been teaching agents for years to “put your visuals where your mouth is,” most agents just think they can talk people into anything!

* Big Idea: Put your visuals where your mouth is.

Up and Running_5e larger

Are 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.

 

 

shaking hands over computerDearborn Education Company just released my 5th edition (!) of Up and Running in 30 Days. This book is literally the new agent’s business start-up plan. In addition, I’ve provided lots of training and advice to assure new agents know what to do and how to do it.

One of the updates in this edition is the technology new agents really need—and what they don’t need, so they don’t waste their previous dollars!

What My Technology Experts Told Me

Use technology to support your dynamic business. The easiest way to organize the names of prospects and clients is on a computer. If you’re not in the technology world now—jump in. You’ll need technology to do the following (these are not my priorities, just a list):

Technology Recommendations from Up and Running

Use technology to support your dynamic business. The easiest way to organize the names of prospects and clients is on a computer. If you’re not in the technology world now—jump in. You’ll need technology to do the following (these are not my priorities, just a list):

  1. Work from wherever you are with a laptop so you can find properties, do market analysis, and create presentations anywhere, anytime
  2. Organize your prospects, clients, and affiliates (such as mortgage lenders) in a database (if you’re not extremely computer literate, start with Microsoft Outlook, which almost everyone already has on their computers)
  3. Organize your follow-up programs for specific target markets via  client relationship management (CRM)
  4. Capture and follow up on your Internet leads with Internet lead follow-­up technology designed for that purpose
  5. Measure your progress to your goals with specific software
  6. Keep in contact with your customers via cell phone and pager (you will find it truly amazing how few agents return phone calls)
  7. Carry your contacts (database), schedule, and so on with you on a personal digital assistant
  8. Create a personal Web site and/or blog that promotes you and/or provides your prospects and clients access to information they value, such as updates on their property, marketing, or transaction progress
  9. Take pictures with a digital camera and add them to your Web site or your flyers
  10. Invest in a video flip camera so you can promote yourself and your listings via video
  11. Budget for your expenses, track expenses, and create, implement, and analyze your profit and loss statements with financial software (such as QuickBooks, Quicken, or Mint)

Note: See the References and Resources section in UP and Running in 30 Days  for resources for these valuable tools. And, the reference section offers dozens of references for other software, training, etc.

Get Advice Before You Invest

These references include only a few of the technologies agents use in business. Before you buy anything, interview three technology-savvy, high-producing agents in your office and identify the technologies they consider important. Don’t expect your real estate company to provide them, although seasoned agents within your organization may be willing to provide direction on the best use of technology. Also, see your manager for advice on the most up-to-date technology you need to perform.

Caveat: Don’t run around buying every marketing program and tech tool from vendors. As Gary Richter, one of the newer, successful agents quoted in my book, advises: “There are many different programs and systems that vendors will try to sell to you as a new agent. Many overlap in capabilities. Pick one that works for you and stick with it.”

Up and Running_5e largerTake a look at what’s new in Up and Running in 30 Days:  updates in 5th edition. This invaluable book is only $32.95 plus shipping, and has been used by thousands of new agents to launch successful careers. Order here.

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