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Archive for systems

In the last blog, I named 3 things that bad hiring costs you.

There are some of those line items that are hard to quantify–but are very real. If you’ve ever hired an agent who lied to you or others, or undermined you, or talked behind your back in the kichen–you know there are very real costs to your culture.

Another real but hard to quanitify cost: Have you ever had good agents leave because they weren’t challenged? Because they felt you were hiring poor agents, and dragging down everyone’s production? If that only cost you one productive agent, it’s a lot!

What are your numbers? What does it cost you for an agent who failed? Have you ever figured it out? Let me know. As a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor, I would ask managers this question. Generally, they figured the cost of a bad hire was $10,000-$30,000. What’s yours?

eBook Cover(2)
Grab Your Selection Blueprint and Gain a System

Are you wasting time interviewing those who fail? Do you want to have a systematic method of selection (just as you tell your agents to use with sellers and buyers!).  Or, do you need some guidance to figure out those you don’t want? Get Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners and make better hiring decisions.

Ready to use and immediately downloadable!

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?

What? Here are MORE strategies that don’t work anymore.

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 managers to think about, because these habits and strategies can wreck your training–or make it effective!

My first two strategies were no database or contact management and using a ‘love ’em and leave ’em mentality. Now, here are those next two ‘no-no’s.

  1. Not qualifying your buyer or seller

You’d think that agents would learn and use qualifying methods because they’re always challenged by ‘time management’. But, no. For some reason, many agents still believe that any client is a good client. So, they waste hundreds of hours either hauling non-buyers around–or listing properties that won’t sell. Even in this hot market! I know, this market is generally very forgiving. But, it always won’t be that way!

Managers: How are you teaching your agents to qualify buyers and sellers? Do you have them role play their qualifying procedures? Do you have them identify knockout factors and establish standards for working with buyers and sellers?  (If you want great ‘courses’ for these things, check out Your Complete Buyer’s Agent Toolkit and Your Complete Power Listing System. They’re resources with all the background and documents agents need to do great qualifying interviews. And, they’ll provide you comprehensive courses in those subjects, too).

2.  Not using a visual presentation for buyers and sellers

This goes with #1. I separated them, though, because both need to happen so the agents fully informs the client and finds out if the client is ‘for real’.

 And, most people are visual learners. Finally, agents (and generally salespeople) are not deemed the most trustworthy people on the planet (just perception, not truth!). Usually visual substantiation and 3rd party endorsements and statistics add immeasuable credibility.

Managers: Do you work with your agents to create visual presentations with real substantiation for their claims (like, ‘our listings sell faster’). Do you help each agent create their personalized presentations to spotlight that agent, or do you rely on general company overviews (won’t work anymore!).

Resources: If you want great ‘courses’ for these things, check out Your Complete Buyer’s Agent Toolkit and Your Complete Power Listing System. They’re resources with all the background and documents and visual presentations agents need to do great qualifying interviews. And, they’ll provide you comprehensive courses in those subjects, too).

What do you think are habits and strategies that agents are still using that just won’t propel them forward in today’s competitive environment?

 

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….

30137_flying_by_the_seat_of_your_pants_andy_watsons_comedy_in_progress1Are your agents systematized in their businesses–or are they flying ‘by the seat of their pants’?

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.}

In this latest edition of Up and Running, I’ve identified 10 real estate trends that most critically affect how agents do business. Here’s trend #4: Systematization.

Why Systematize with Technology

To be more effective, you need to a�?duplicate and delegate.a�? The trend today is for agents to move faster and better by systematizing what they do and using technology to do it.

The First Step: Create Checklists and Processes

The first step is to create checklists and processes for everything you do. These become your systems. For you new agents, take full advantage of every checklist and presentation your company offersa��and those here in Up and Running in 30 Days . Youa��ll save hundreds of hours of time and energy, because these resources are the result of expertsa�� work. Your clients want to know that you have systems so that you provide a high quality of work every time.

* Big Idea: Ita��s much easier to refine a ready-made system than to create one from scratch.

Your Second Step: Add the right Technology

Your second job is to find some technology to support these processes. Your company may have already done that research work for you. It is amazing to me the number of agents who do not take advantage of the technology their company has paid for in research, development, or partnering costs. For example, one large franchise had partnered with a lead follow-A�up company to ensure that their agents had a simple, effective method to follow their Internet leads. The franchise spent thousands of dollars and hours researching companies to ensure that they chose a company in the agentsa�� best interests. They negotiated a great price for their agents, too. However, only about half of the agents in that franchise took advantage of the thousands upon thousands of dollars their company spent to create that partner agreement. I just cana��t see any reason not to take advantage of such a great opportunitya��unless the agent just didna��t care to be successful!

In this newest edition of Up and Running, I have a comprehensive References/Resources section. Ia��ve asked experts in the real estate field to name their favorite technology and Ia��ve provided their recommendations to you.

Gary Richter, one of my agent contributors, advises: a�?Get off your computer and go out into the areas. Focus on business-producing activities.a�? {and use technology as a support}

* Big Idea: Use the technology and systems your company has invested in for your convenience.

Pros and Cons of Systematization with Technology

  • Positives: Youa��re going into the industry as it has matured in its choices for needed technology. It will be easier for you to choose those that are important to your career success.
  • Watch out for: Invest quickly enough, but dona��t invest in gimmicks. Also, dona��t let yourself think that if you have all the technology toys, youa��ll be successful.

* Big Idea: Duplicate and delegate.

So, here are my questions to you: Have your agents started organizing their businesses with checklists and processes? Have theyA� taken advantage of your company’s resources? Are they starting with the technology they offer to you?

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.

do itHow good is your agents’ start-up plan? (Or, do they have a start-up plan?!)

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.}

You know what your training will do for you. So I hope you are convinced you also need to implement a business start-up plan to put all that information in perspective. But watch outa��there are more poor ones than good ones out there. As a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor for 12 years, I taught thousands of owners and managers nationally. I saw plenty of poor plans managers shared with me. (These were the plans they were giving their agents, too.)

Commonalities of Poor Plans

  • They are laundry lists of busywork activities interspersed with activities that actually make you money, so the agent doesna��t get any evaluative perspective to self-manage.
  • They do not prioritize lead-generating activities, so the agent thinks all types of lead generation have equal payoffs.
  • They do not have methods of setting goals, keeping track of results, and analyzing results to make changes quickly. (Up and Running provides sales ratios so you learn how many specific actions it takes to get the results you want.)
  • They do incorrectly prioritize actions. For example, as a high priority, they direct the new agent to a�?see all the inventorya�? before doing anything else. The rationale is that ita��s very important to see all the inventory to build a knowledge base. It is important, but only as it relates to working with buyers and sellers. (Ita��s the means, not the end.) But new agents dona��t want to do the high-rejection, high-risk activities such as talking to people. So they gladly see all the inventory until it becomes their job descriptions!
  • They do include plenty of a�?busyworka�? as equal priority to lead generatinga��such as a broker having an agent visit a title company to learn how it operates. This keeps the agent busy and out of the brokera��s hair! Also, the new agent loves the broker for a while, because the broker isna��t asking the new agent to do those high-rejection activitiesa��those activities that lead to a sale!

Bottom line: No would-be successful agent in his right mind would continue doing this type of plan any longer than he had to, because the successful agent recognizes the plan is a poor one.

* Big Idea: Be very critical before you commit to any start-up plan. It is prioritizing your mind! The start-up plan you may love because it keeps you out of sales activities isna��t the plan that is going to love you back (get you the sales you want). What you do every day becomes your job description.

An Effective Start-Up Plan

Here are the six attributes of an effective business start-up plan:

  1. Does not give equal weight to all activities
  2. Provides an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized first because they lead to a sale (in Up and Running, these are called a�?business-producinga�? activities)
  3. Includes an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized seconda��and explaining why (In Up and Running, these are called a�?business-supportinga�? activities)
  4. Provides a road map for a continuing plan (remember that a�?plan for lifea�??)
  5. Builds in the a�?whya�? of the plan structure, so you learn to self-manage
  6. Has a method to measure and make adjustments in your plan as you progress
  7. Has a coaching component, so someone can coach you effectively to the plan

Managers/trainers: How well did your start-up plan score? Why not try using a proven plan that gets much better results faster? You’ll increase your retention and your profits!

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.

 

 

coachingAre you helping your agents be accountable? Did you think it was even your job?

I’ve just published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

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

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book. I’ve included the important principle of accountability, to help you help your agents follow through and see real results fast.

Why the Best Business Plans Don’t Work

Youa��ve heard it before. Business people make fancy, multi-page, even excellent business plans, and then fail. Why? Because making the plan doesna��t ensure success. Doing the plan does. (You wouldna��t expect that if you studied the life of Mozart you could automatically play a Mozart sonata, would you?)

*Big Idea: No success is realized without action.

If action brings about success, then why dona��t people get into action?

Because ita��s human nature not to! So what is the missing ingredient you need, besides a great start-up plan and action-oriented training so you have the skills to implement the plan? You need someone to be accountable to. Study after study shows that we attain our goals when we are accountable, regularly, short-term, to someone. Thata��s because we human beings tend to work on time frames and schedules. (Do you really get your taxes done by April 15 because you love doing them?) Those studies prove we work best on deadlines. We work best when we have a heavy workload. We work best when we have high expectations of ourselves, and we have someonea��our coacha��who shares those high expectations. (I know all this from being a pianist from age four, and having the privilege of being taught by exceptional piano coaches.)

* Big Idea: People succeed not because they have a plan. They succeed because they get into action and are accountable to the plan.

Keeping the priorities straight without a coach is very difficult to do.

I know what youa��re going to tell me. Youa��re goal-oriented. Youa��re a self-starter. You dona��t need a coach. Thata��s what most new agents say, and over 50 percent of them fail their first year in the business! Unless you have already attained high performance in music, sports, and the like, how would you realize that you cana��t achieve those high levels of performance without a coach?

* Big Idea: The habits you form your first month in the business greatly influence your career successa��forever.

Most agents have never been in a field that requires such a high degree of self-direction and the mastery of many skills to succeed. So they dona��t know how easy it will be to get priorities all backwards! They also dona��t realize how difficult it is to change a bad habit. If you want to be a great pianist, youa��d find a great teacher, wouldna��t you? So, look at starting your real estate career just like you would look at becoming a great pianist or golfer. You need someone to be accountable to. You need a trained, committed coach, so you have deadlines, expectations, someone to help you keep those priorities straight, and someone cheer leading and believing in you.

* Big Idea: No one succeeds alone.

Owners, managers, coaches and trainers: How have you built in accountability for your programs? Do you teach a class and hope the agents take action, or do you follow up with an accountability session to check results?

Up and Running_5e largerDo You Provide Your Agents with a Proven Start-Up Plan with Accountability Built In?

Up and Running in 30 DaysA� has lots of up-to-the-minute updates. Plus, a proven, prioritized business start-up plan with inspiration, motivation, accountability, and action items built in. You can coach to the start-up plan, and see great results fast from your agents.

Check it out!

 

bus-plan-11How good is your start-up business plan for your new agents?

I’ve just published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

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

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book.

Managers: Check these lists against the start-up plan you use to launch your new agents (and re-launch your seasoned agents). {You DO have a proven start-up plan, don’t you?}

Critical Analysis: How Good Is That Start-Up Plan?

You know what your training will do for you. So I hope you {the new agents} are convinced you also need to implement a business start-up plan to put all that information in perspective. But watch outa��there are more poor ones than good ones out there. As a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor for 12 years, I taught thousands of owners and managers nationally. I saw plenty of poor plans managers shared with me. (These were the plans they were giving their agents, too.) Here are some commonalities of them:

  • They are laundry lists of busywork activities interspersed with activities that actually make you money, so the agent doesna��t get any evaluative perspective to self-manage.
  • They do not prioritize lead-generating activities, so the agent thinks all types of lead generation have equal payoffs.
  • They do not have methods of setting goals, keeping track of results, and analyzing results to make changes quickly. (Up and Running provides sales ratios so you learn how many specific actions it takes to get the results you want.)
  • They do incorrectly prioritize actions. For example, as a high priority, they direct the new agent to a�?see all the inventorya�? before doing anything else. The rationale is that ita��s very important to see all the inventory to build a knowledge base. It is important, but only as it relates to working with buyers and sellers. (Ita��s the means, not the end.) But new agents dona��t want to do the high-rejection, high-risk activities such as talking to people. So they gladly see all the inventory until it becomes their job descriptions!
  • They do include plenty of a�?busyworka�? as equal priority to lead generatinga��such as a broker having an agent visit a title company to learn how it operates. This keeps the agent busy and out of the brokera��s hair! Also, the new agent loves the broker for a while, because the broker isna��t asking the new agent to do those high-rejection activitiesa��those activities that lead to a sale!

Bottom line: No would-be successful agent in his right mind would continue doing this type of plan any longer than he had to, because the successful agent recognizes the plan is a poor one.

* Big Idea: Be very critical before you commit to any start-up plan. It is prioritizing your mind! The start-up plan you may love because it keeps you out of sales activities isna��t the plan that is going to love you back (get you the sales you want). What you do every day becomes your job description.

An Effective Start-Up Plan

Here are the six attributes of an effective business start-up plan:

  1. Does not give equal weight to all activities
  2. Provides an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized first because they lead to a sale (in Up and Running, these are called a�?business-producinga�? activities)
  3. Includes an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized seconda��and explaining why (In Up and Running, these are called a�?business-supportinga�? activities)
  4. Provides a road map for a continuing plan (remember that a�?plan for lifea�??)
  5. Builds in the a�?whya�? of the plan structure, so you learn to self-manage
  6. Has a method to measure and make adjustments in your plan as you progress
  7. Has a coaching component, so someone can coach you effectively to the plan

Up and Running_5e largerManagers and trainers: Take a look at the business start-up plan thousands of new agents use successful to launch businesses fast.

little girl with phoneReal estate trend: Lead generation is STILL King!

Dearborn Education Company just published my 5th (!) edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. It has lots of updates, including updates on 10 trends that I think newer agents should recognizea��and know the pros and cons. Herea��s an excerpt from my new edition of the book.

Trend Three: Lead Generation is Still King

In their excellent book, Game Plan: How Real Estate Professionals Can Thrive in an Uncertain Future, authors Steve Murray and Ian Morris also name this trend as one of the top ten for the next five years. In my view, lead generation is always king (I cana��t see how it wouldna��t continue to be a number one trend and priority). But, Murray and Morrisa��s point is that real estate professionals who want to be successful cana��t depend on leads just coming their way. Instead, they must actively go after them. That means creating systems, disciplines, priorities, and goals for capturing, working with, and keeping leadsa��forever. Herea��s what they say:

…contact management, lead cultivation, and customer relationship management systems can and will play a huge role in determining which agents and companies are most successful.

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?A�A�A� In that Inman Select survey I mentioned earlier {in the book}, How to Fix New Agent Onboarding, 47% of respondents stated lead generation is critical in initial training. And, they observed most new agents struggled with lead generation.A� Thata��s why this Up and Running start-up plan is so important to follow to the letter!

Herea��s what Kyle Kovats, that great a��30 under 30a�� nominee, {one of my top agent contributors to the book} said: a�?Get out there and just do it.A� Try different forms of prospecting and see what works. An ounce of action is more powerful than a ton of planning.a�?

Positives: For those of you who intend to be successful in sales, this trend should be a comfort. That means, if you invest in yourself, your work ethic, and your systems, you will be ahead of the pack. In Up and Running in 30 Days, Ia��ve laid out a plan of action for those of you who do intend this success. Ia��m not being facetious here. Some agents are surprised that, in fact, one must lead generate to be successful in this business.

Watch out for: Companies and/or managers who tell you that leads will simply come to youa��or that they will provide them to you . That would include all those reactive (you sit and wait for the lead) lead-generating strategies:

  • The traditional ones, such as open houses and floor time or relocation leads
  • The technologically driven leads, such as software and programs that capture leads for you (they dona��t just sell themselves; you must have an effective capture, engagement, and follow-up program)

Isn’t There an Easier Way?

Unfortunately, interviewers use the a�?we will take care of you and give you leadsa�? strategy to convince new agents to work with them. Then, after the agent is with that office, the agent learns there is no free lunch. Do I mean that you shouldna��t accept various types of leads from others? No. (Just know that you will be paying for that lead).A� But, consider this. If that lead source goes away, what are you left with? You are a first-day agent all over again! The Up and Running program will protect you from that, helping you build your own business so you always rely on yourself, not someone else.

Note: Ita��s very, very important that you capture your leads in a database, or better yet, in a CRM (Client Relationship Management) program from your first week in the business. Why? Because you cana��t remember who those people are, and you certainly cana��t remember how and when to stay in touch with them! Ia��ve provided a list of various databases and CRM programs in Section 14: References and Resources. Ia��m not endorsing any one of them. Ia��m just providing you several to research and to choose. See your manager for recommendations.

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

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.

* Big Idea: To build a strong long-term business, order takers need not apply. To be successful, you must create relationship continuance, no matter your lead-generating sources.

Managers: Do you have a robust, precise lead generating program to start your new agents to success fast?

Up and Running_5e largerClick here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.