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Archive for Marketing

Here are secrets to fill your classroom with enthusiastic attendees–and gain raving fans!

Having trouble getting them to training? Authored by one of our Senior Career Coaches, Jodi Sipes, M. A., this blog shows you how to market your training to attract your agents and get them excited as students! Jodia��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. Youa��ll make your training an awesome recruiting tool, while making it effortless to implement training week after week.

Dona��t be Dull! Set up Themes to Pique the Curiosity and Up the Attendance

Dona��t just list the topics you are going to present. Create themes. For example: Listing month! New Year Planning! Spotlight on Buyers! Now that you have the over view of training and components put together, make sure that they compliment and support each other. For instance, when you are coachingA�new agents with the Up and Running in Real Estate program, you should have supplementary training/practice days in your office. This is also a great place for experienced agents to grow as trainersa��plus, their time will be saved, as they will teach everyone at once, instead of having a bunch of new agents knocking on their door with questions all the time.

Get Creative! Give it a Provocative Title

Dona��t just list the topic. (How exciting is ‘All about Listing’…..) Instead, get creative. Make the topic interesting, even provocative. Put a new a�?spina�� on the topic. For ideas, read the names of programs given at your state and national conventions. Some of the topic names are really creative!

Give it a Double Punch for Double Learning

Dona��t just teach the curriculum. Find ways to expand that subject from all the angles. For example: When you have a new agent training section on listing presentations you should have a top Realtor from your office give a demonstration on an effective listing presentation or an effective CMA. When you work with Buyera��s presentations, have a lender come explain the issues and requirements Buyera��s face. Lead follow up and business planning create a good time for software vendors to show their programs. Marketing sections offer an opportunity for affiliates to show how they can support agents, and for vendors to show how their products can support agents. These supplementary classes are great for all agents of all levels.

Alternate Formal with Casual for the Unexpected

Ita��s also great to incorporate casual (brown-bag luncha��agent a�?Rapa�? session) support groups to encourage agents to share their ideas and frustrations. This creates a a�?teamworka�? feel to your office, and helps agents through current challenges. When the manager shows up at these for the first part, agents can get their questions answered in a format that answers these for many agentsa��saving the manager time!

One of your Biggest Problems Solved: Getting them to Attend Enthusiastically

Here are 3 surefire ways to get your agents to attenda��and get recruits to attend, too!

1)A�Leverage Affiliates
Title representatives, mortgage brokers, escrow companies, home inspectors, and others can support your training calendar by adding lunches and other incentives to improve attendance. The best benefit is that this is a win for everyone, and forges bonds between agents and affiliates. The benefit for the affiliate: they get in front of your agents and get to know thema��building trust. The benefit for the agents: they get hands-on training from people who are a�?out there doing it now,a�? and they get to know a variety of affiliates so they can decide if they would like to do business with them.

2)A�Create Positive Expectations for their Accomplishments
For new agents, create a booklet that details all the classes you expect them to attend in their first year. You can use this to set mutual expectations at the time of hiring. Check off each class as they complete it, and celebrate their growth! Everyone should celebrate when they get their first listings and sales, too. The booklet helps them keep it all straight, and is a tool for you to keep track of their progress, as well.

3)A�Be Lavish in your Recognition/Improved Performance
Have drawings or special prizes and recognition at meetings for the agents who grow to a new level through the office training. Use their testimonials when you market the classes to your agents. When an agent admires the performance of another, they will want to model what they do.

Remember that putting together world-class training is a process, and will not be all you want it to be right away. It takes planning, support from your agents and affiliates, and time to catch on and develop. You can grow and improve each year!

Support for your Training

We are here to support your agent development systems. Talk to us about coaching you in developing world class training. Youa��ll go further faster, and have time to do all the other management duties you know you should be doing!

Can You Join Me for my Innovative Instructor Development Workshop?

Why not polish your presentation, teaching, and facilitation skills, gain 15 clock hours, and have a great time at it? I’d love to work with you to do all these things. Click here for more information and registration. See you May 22!

P. S. New–We also put creative teaching methods into YOUR course–while you’re in class.

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.

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?A� 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. A�No one taught us to interview buyers prior to hauling them around to see homes (yes, we called it a�?haulsa��) or form relationships with them! No one trained us to interview sellers for needs before we a�?solda�� 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 a�?nexta�� business (find a new buyer or seller). The company took the responsibility to keep track of the clients.(And, of course, the companya��s attitude was that they a�?owneda�� the client).

Time warp check: Do you know agents who still dona��t start client relationships with and in-depth interview process, so the client needs are discovered and met?A�

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 didna��t remember the agent! Agents seemed interchangeable (and you know theya��re not!).

Time warp check: Do you know agents who still dona��t keep in close contact with their best source of businessa��those they just a�?solda��?

Dependent on the Company for Successa��or our Own Efforts?

Stephen Covey, in his wonderful book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, relates three phases of a persona��s growth: Dependent, Independent, and Interdependent. As kids, wea��re certainly reliant on our parents for everythinga��wea��re dependent. Then, as teen-agers, we get to drive, and, voilaa��.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 othersa��that we actually dona��t know everythinga��and that othersa�� support, love, and consideration are supremely important to human beings. The same can be said of the evolution of companiesa��and, in fact, real estate companies.

The Dependent Company was Dominant

Above, Ia��ve described my early experience in a company as a�?dependenta��. 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 moreA�here.

Special discounts through Jan. 31: Purchase the agent’s planning resource,A�Beyond the Basics of Business PlanningA�for agents, A�and save $20 (regularly $99). Use coupon codeA�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,A�Beyond the Basics of Business Planning for Managers, A�with all office/company planning documents and save $50. Use coupon codeA�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….

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….

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 youa��re proud of. Jodia��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. Youa��ll make your training an awesome recruiting tool, while making it effortless to implement training week after week.

Why bother to create your yeara��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, youa��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, ita��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 youa��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 youa��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! Dona��t do that. Youa��re in control, and you need to train to the outcomes you needa��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:

a�? Recruiting/hiring group informational events
a�? Orientation (Office equipment, your brokerage procedures, meet affiliates, etc.)
a�? 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 a�?Technical Traininga�?.
a�? 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.
a�? 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 youa��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:

a�? Sequence of business-building training (taking them to the next level)
a�? Yearly planning and Goals (this should be done in November of the prior year)
a�? 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)
a�? Life-style enhancement (time management, hiring an assistant, etc.)
a�? 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,A�training/coaching programA�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 itA�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 a�?livea��A�Instructor Development Workshop, and there isA�interest in webinars each time I do this course. So, I thought Ia��d write a blog

about them. Here goes. Enjoy!

Should you become a webinar a�?mavena��? If youa��re a

  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Team leader
  • Salesperson

you may want to consider the a�?delivery methoda�� of a webinar. What can a webinar do for you? It can

  • Inform
  • Introduce
  • Sell
  • Increase your image

WhatA�cana��tA�a webinar do? It cana��t

Change peoplea��s behaviorA�(ita��s not training. Ita��s education). Webinars are not the magic training bullet wea��ve wished for. There are limited objectives you can accomplish by doing a webinar. (Wea��ll investigate this more later).

Of course, the upside of a webinar is that

  • People dona��t have to travel to get to the a�?eventa��
  • Ita��s very cost-effective
  • It puts you in front of new audiences
  • You can make it a�?evergreena�� (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 a�?screen sharinga��. 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. Whata��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, attendeesA�will____________________________. Examples of objectives for a business planning webinar could be:

  • Understand the a�?flowa�� 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 Ia��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 a�?globala�� 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, seeA�The Ultimate Real Estate Trainera��s Guide.A�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 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.

 

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 managementa��prioritization and organization. A new agent starts with little concept of whata��s importanta��so everything becomes importanta��or everything becomes unimportant! Their priorities get skewed because of bad training, hiding in low-impact activities, or really not knowing whata��s important. So, time management becomes an agenta��s biggest challengea��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 dona��t think ita��s important for them now (they dona��t realize that every person they meet could be a gold minea��if they track that person, constantly communicate with that person, and show that they care more than a commission!)
  2. They dona��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 agenta��s successa��and what detracted. When I asked those agent and team leader contributors what technology is important to incorporate, herea��s what they said:

a�?CRM and lead management toolsa�?a��Diane Honeycutt

a�?A really good and easy-to-use CRMa�?a��Cerise Paton

a�?A good CRMa�?a��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: a�?For me having a CRM to track my leads and contacts is absolutely critical. I live in that database daily.a�?

Picture this: You meet a potential client, and a competing agent like Gary meets that potential client, too,A� The other agent (Gary) consistently followed up and kept in toucha��and you didna��t. Who would finally earn that commission from that client? Dona��t lose out because you are trying to operate without a CRMa��and have a haphazard follow-up marketing plan!

So, dona��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.

A�Bottom Line: Youa��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 managementa��from day one! Which CRM should you use? Dona��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 RunningA� 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, Ia��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 professionala��we believe what we see, not what we hear.
  2. It is a self-teaching toola��youa��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. Youa��ll learn how to best organize your presentation to flow smoothly.
  4. Youa��ll learn the visuals that best counter the common objections.
  5. It is a great confidence-building toola��you will never feel like youa��re out on a limb without the answers to sellersa�� and buyersa�� questions.

Trying to give a professional presentation without the visuals is like trying to play a Mozart sonata just by listening to it. Trust mea��as a musician. It cana��t be done. Not only is it very difficult to remember what you wanted to say to a buyer or seller when youa��re under stress, it just isna��t nearly effective for you. I know because Ia��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!

Youa��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 wea��ve been teaching agents for years to a�?put your visuals where your mouth is,a�? 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.