Sunday, October 22, 2017

Julie Escobar

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Julie brings more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the real estate and speaking industries. From copy writing to convention management, you will find her consistently seeking out innovative solutions, fresh ideas, as well as creative products and tools for the real estate industry.

Summer ParentRight about now for many of you, the summer season is taking its toll.  Your child has that look.  You know the one that stops you in your tracks and makes parochial school guilt look like amateur hour.  Susie’s mom is making homemade fruit sorbet or watermelon boats, has daily activities schedules and prepared from here until Labor Day and you are trying desperately to keep your head above water in a changing market with way more low tides than high.  Makes a day at the beach is sound pretty appealing to you to given the circumstances – right? First of all, know that you are not alone.  As our economy continues to shift, the percentage of families with two parents working full time grows each year.  So, shake off the Cleaver & Brady Bunch mindset, ours is a different world, and with a few deep breaths, a lot of patience and some very effective time management techniques you can make the most your time at work at home.   Pass on the guilt and prepare a plan to make sure your summer and theirs is all it can be.

1.  Get creative with that calendar!  Now is the time for true focus, whether you are working or playing, you have to be committed to the task at hand.  As independent contractors you have the ability to maximize or minimize your daily work hours when necessary.  Take a look at your summer calendar, plan the weeks you are devoting to family time.  As for your weekly schedule, get creative.  Lengthen some work days so that you feel comfortable shortening others.  Add an hour or two to three of your days and with a little time budgeting, you can eke out another day off!  Change things up a bit, as well.  Swap a Monday or Wednesday workday for a Saturday or Sunday.  This will help when family activities find you at attractions where the lines are longer on the weekend. 

2.  Prioritize.  To do lists are essential to your sanity.  Before each week, and certainly every evening make a list of the top 6-10 priorities for the day. When you are traveling at what seems like the speed of sound instead of experiencing those lazy days of summer, your planner and priority list quickly become your best friend.  You will find that much of the busy work that you encounter each day is truly filler, and if you concentrate on the top income producing activities, you can make the most of your days and free yourself up to spend quality time with your family.  Some top producers even work on a point system.  They divide their goals into monthly activities so that they knew how many contacts they need to make to attend the appointments they need to have to list and sell the property they need to move to close on the desired amount of income.  They numbers are up to you, but break them down in daily increments and strive to hit your number early in the day!  Ready, set…go!

3.  Take the tag team approach.  Yours is not a unique situation.  As you look around your office, neighborhood, school year car-pool candidates, understand that many of your friends in this sphere are in the same boat.  They too need viable alternatives to keep kids occupied.  Create alliances which allow you to share the load and keep the balance.  Find out who has the most time in the mornings to take the morning shift.  For the early birds who are up and at it before the rest of the world wakes and have breezed through the bulk of their workload by 3:00pm may be up for some afternoon game days.  As with anything else in life, two heads are better than one, and when it comes to working parents, many heads, hands and hearts to help each other out equals a network of incredible people all caring for what for most of  us is our TOP priority, our children. 

4.  Delegate.  I don’t know about your house, but summertime at mine means a lot less quiet and a lot more mess.  Just by virtue of eight plus additional hours at home, things can run amok relatively quickly.  While the focus can still be on fun, make sure you are not double or tripling your work load trying to keep up with the clutter alone while balancing work and family.  A weekly chore chart which delegates household responsibilities to spread the wealth, or rather the work, amongst your family members is a great way to keep things under control and keep kids occupied.  Even little ones can pitch in with age appropriate tasks.  Some parents prefer an allowance stipend for helping hands; others prefer rewards such as a trip to the local zoo or amusement park at the end of the week’s accomplishments, or a combination of the two.  Fun markers or beach stickers are a great way to mark off each completed responsibility.  For older teens not yet working, make some days a take your kid to work day and let them help out with filing, mailings or cleaning out desk drawers.  I know agents that have employed their teens to do simple phone surveys which help gather needed data and give young adults a chance to shine as they touch their toes into the world of business.

5.  Homework.  Not for them, for you!  If you do not already have a home office, set up a niche for yourself so that you have a place to organize, create, work on your business plan, make calls, set appointments and generally keep the business wheels spinning in those early morning hours before the sleepyheads in your home wake up.  Take a look at our Master Marketing ScheduleTM for effective marketing ideas for the remainder of the year and set a plan in motion to put systems in place that will work for you, even when you are taking the day off. 

6.  Take it with you.  We are a plugged-in, all-access society.  You are a salesperson with a phone, a laptop, a planner and hopefully a plan.  Double up your days when and where necessary.  So you can’t be in the office today?  You promised your kids a trip to the beach?  What can you do then?  Trade the romance novel for a book on sales skill building or motivational CD.  Bring your BusinessBASETM of clients and weed through your contact sheets to cull the ones you no longer work with and add new facts and touchpoints to the ones you need to contact.  Heck, make your beach trip work for you by having a custom beach umbrella or beach chair made with your logo and contact information.  (Putting the sold sign on the sand castle may be taking it just a BIT too far, but you get the picture!) 

All in all, keep everything in perspective.  Your business provides the foundation for you to take good care of your family, provide for what they need and build a better life.  Make finding the balance so that everyone feels comfortable a family affair.  You will teach your children the importance of hard work, of compromise and the power of a team.  Now, go work a little, play a little, and make some memories along the way this summer.  Enjoy!

Would you like to bring effective, NOW market sales strategies and skill building techniques to your office?  Find out more about our FREE Master Marketing MeetingTM! This fast-paced presentation provides agents with data-mining strategies, how-tos for finding ready, willing and able buyers, corporate marketing solutions, objection-handling techniques, FSBO tools and more. In just 30 short minutes, your agents will discover easy-to-implement tools designed to quickly boost their productivity-and their sales!

Call Julie Escobar at 800.287.5710 or visit www.prospectsplus.com and click on Master Marketing MeetingTM to schedule your FREE workshop today!

SummertimeQuick tips for staying sharp while the heat is on…

By Julie Escobar, ProspectsPLUS! Director of Corporate Marketing

With temperatures rising already in many areas of North America and students and parents settling in for the long summer days, I thought it might be a good idea to offer some handy tips to help today’s agents make the most of their summertime. 

Here are our combined ideas for keeping momentum high while breezing into the second half of the year:

1. Take a CRS course. These accredited courses—most of which only take one or two days to complete—offer a variety of topics and tools to help brokers and agents fine-tune their skills. Visit www.crs.com to find the courses being offered in your area, then plan a few additional “vacation days” to enhance your knowledge—and earn continuing education credits while you’re at it!

2. Revisit your plan. June and July are perfect for walking through that business plan you set in motion back in December. Real estate professionals historically earn more in the first half of the year than in the second so, on average, by now you should be at about 65% of your goals. If you are, wonderful; give yourself a bonus day! If not, this would be a good opportunity to re-evaluate your plan and talk to your manager, a fellow associate (preferably a top producer) and, of course, your family. Your goals and their goals need to coincide for your best chance at success. 

3. Slip in some smart reading. When gathering your library of beach books and magazines, opt for a few on how to be the best you can be at what you do. Re-visit the article Read Your Mind:  What’s in YOUR Library? on RealtyTimes.com for a terrific list of great business books.  Websites of your coaches, national speakers, CRS, NAR and more also feature a variety of recommended reading.

4. Make a list, and check it twice. No, not your holiday list. Summer is a great time to take stock of where you are in terms of health, wealth, relationships and personal growth.  Are you eating right? Are you exercising and fueling your body with the right vitamins and nutrients to promote a long and healthy life? Are you curbing the habits that will shorten your time on Earth and keep you from the people and things that you love the most? Are you investing in yourself and your future by way of savings, investments and career-building opportunities? Are you the best mother, father, sister, brother, child or friend that you can be to those VIPs who have walked this road with you through thick and thin? Ask yourself, “Where am I, and where do I want to be in terms of health, wealth, relationships and growth?” The answers may lead you to re-direct your summer plans to include a health resort, romantic getaway, trip to visit family or a spiritual journey. Take that personal inventory, move forward, and trust that new doors will open for you. 

5. Put some systems on autopilot. MLSmailings.com is a great way to ensure your marketing is in place even while you’re away. A listing sells while you’re at the beach? No problem! Your Just Sold cards will go out automatically. You also can schedule sphere of influence campaigns to ship while you’re whitewater rafting and attend your FSBO conference call by dialing in from your cell phone while sailing in the Gulf of Mexico! Get creative, be inventive, and find solutions and systems that will streamline your business so that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, your business is always in motion. 

6.  Have a Movie Marathon.  I know, you’re already committed to taking the kids to see the summer blockbusters, but why not take a hint from this month’s Master Marketing Newsletter™ and consider renting or buying Door to Door with William H. Macy and Kyra Sedgwick.  This extraordinary film is based on the true story of Bill Porter, a door-to-door salesman with cerebral palsy. It follows Porter’s unbelievable rise to success in the ’50s with humor, humanity, spirit and honesty.
The movie is a tremendous reminder to us all to invite the skills, strategies and fundamentals that allow us to overcome obstacles and accomplish goals into our lives for good.  Pop some corn, settle in, and let us know what you think!
7.  Schedule Some R&R.  Everyone needs a break, especially when times are tough and tensions are high.  Re-calendar your days so that you have some downtime to relax and rejuvenate.  You’ll find yourself springing back better than ever when you return to work!


Stay forward of the competition this summer by implementing some of these simple yet effective ideas. Then rest easy and celebrate with the knowledge that you have the commitment, plans and momentum to make the most of this month, this year and your career while striking a perfect balance between personal, family and professional time. Enjoy!

Find more cost-effective ways to boost production while saving time and money at www.prospectsplus.com. While you’re there, remember to sign up for our FREE Master Marketing Newsletter™ and request your FREE copy of the popular 24-month Master Marketing Schedule™.


Call Julie Escobar at 800.287.5710 or visit www.prospectsplus.com and click on Master Marketing Meeting™ to schedule your FREE workshop today!

UncertaintySix Secrets to Keeping Your Balance, Your Business and Your Humor
 
By Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing, ProspectsPLUS!
 
If you’re like many agents, today’s market has you feeling like a contestant on Survivor, Real Estate! Unfamiliar challenges, uncommon objections and nagging uncertainty can throw you–and your productivity–right off balance.   
 
What you might not realize, however, is that uncertainty can be a good thing. It can force us out of our comfort zones and propel us to get creative, be resourceful and–most important–take action. If you’re ready to loosen the grip of uncertainty on your career, then I invite you to adopt the following six success strategies:    
 
1. Maintain a positive attitude. Attitude is everything. Well, almost everything. A recent Harvard Business School study reported the four key elements for success in life: experience, knowledge, intelligence and attitude.

Think for a moment how you would answer that survey if polled. How would you rate each of those factors in order of importance? Harvard found that experience, knowledge and intelligence comprise only 7% of the elements for success. Leaving attitude to represent a whopping 93%! Imagine that! The most critical facet is the one we have the MOST control over. So take control. Rid yourself of the negative and empower yourself with the positive, and you’ll be well on your way to keeping uncertainty at bay. 
 
2. Over-prepare. What happens when you know for a fact that you are ready for anything? When you’ve done your homework, practiced, drilled, rehearsed, dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” on your to-do list? Over-preparing for your next listing presentation, price reduction, face-to-face meeting or negotiation gives you the confidence and certainty you need to win. Our company president, Jim Morton, always teaches the importance of going the extra mile to be prepared–so prepared that even if someone were to wake you in the middle of the night from a sound sleep to ask if you would be willing to cut your commission, your words and mannerisms would flow naturally and effortlessly–and, of course, your commission would be intact! 
 
3. Know your numbers. There’s never been a more important time to be up to date on statistics. Successful agents–especially in today’s market–are masters of information. They bring to the appointment table all of the ammunition they need to make their point, prove a position, price effectively and help the consumer understand better than anyone else the reality of the local market. Use visuals such as graphs and statistics to chart market changes over the past month, year, two years and more. What does all of this homework afford you over your competitors? Confidence and credentials–two extraordinary essentials for surety and success.
 
4. Stick to a schedule. Without one, it’s too easy to get off track and find yourself in a rut–and nothing can fuel uncertainty quite like a good old-fashioned rut! Put yourself on a clear, concise, tight schedule that includes the all-important must-do prospecting time each day. A precise and practical approach to working ON your business (not just IN your business) will not only make you more productive, but it also will eliminate a great deal of stress. Prioritize your to-do list, being sure to keep “money” activities such as prospecting, presenting and closing on top.
 
5. Master your ABCs. I am reminded of an article by Floyd Wickman that features this idea: In today’s market, you must Always Be Closing. In a market that’s constantly changing, shifting and adjusting, you must help your customers make the decisions that are right for them rather than play the procrastination game. To close is to ask. Ask to list. Ask to accept. Ask to reduce. Ask to buy. Sound simple? It is. Yet most agents today are not asking–which means they’re not closing. Go ahead and ASK!
 
6. Do more. Times have changed. The economy is shifting. These factors are far beyond our control and represent the change we are feeling today. It’s OK, though; it’s the nature of the beast. Nothing lasts–not the good or the bad–but how we react to change certainly plays a large role in whether we barely survive, continue to thrive or find ourselves looking for “a real job.” The not-so-secret secret here is to do more. Be better. Get stronger at your skill sets. Master your dialogues. Do your homework. Start earlier and stay later when you have to. Readjust your calendars. Create more value for your customers. Consistently stay in touch with your sphere of influence.  Commit to learning, fine-tuning and crafting your presentations and your presence. Challenge yourself to step outside of “what you’ve always done,” and seek to go further than you’ve ever gone. 
 
I found an interesting quote by Ilya Prigogine this week: “The future is uncertain, but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity.”   What a great reminder for us to ignite our ingenuity. Tony Robbins tells us that resources don’t control and shape what we do and how well we succeed, resourcefulness does. In other words, it’s not your broker, not your colleagues, not the market and certainly not the new stationery that determines your success or failure. It’s that deep-down emotion that allows you to really want something that powers your resourcefulness to make it happen. 
 
Finally, keep your sense of humor. If you implement the strategies above, you are bound to feel some change, some growing pains and, uh-oh, some uncertainty. Roll with it. Laugh out loud with your friends and your family.  Let your hair down, and gift yourself with the medicinal power of laughter.  Whether you are a “Jack” or a “Jill,” all work and no play makes for a dull life and a sure case of burnout. 
 
I hope you’ve picked up a secret or two that will help you thrive in this market. And by the way, they aren’t REALLY secrets–they’re just reminders–so feel free to NOT keep them to yourself. Share them with the people you care about, the new guy or girl who’s just starting out, that old-timer in the corner who can’t seem to get out of a rut and anyone else who could use a little “shot in the arm.” One of the best ways to create abundance in your life financially, emotionally, spiritually and in your career is to share the wealth. It will boomerang back to you in extraordinary ways. 

For even more ideas on how to thrive in this and ANY market, contact Julie Escobar today at 866.405.3641.

“I used the April Newsletter as a ‘Spring Into Spring’ tool to spark some interest. I sent the newsletter in PDF format via email to my sphere of influence. I received several positive replies about how nice the newsletter was, and 2 people replied to tell me ‘We were just thinking about starting to look.’ We now have appointments scheduled to start looking for homes!

“I think this form of marketing is wonderful for those who are tech savvy and communicate through email. I have also printed these out and used them as part of my handouts at my open houses.”

scaredI know it’s a changing market, and there’s much to worry over, struggle with and think about. But truly, who needs TV’s Fear Factor when you can get a real fright just listening to a few of the agents in the office! Spooky tales of declining markets, terrorizing sellers, freaky FSBOs and the real estate version of Chicken Little’s “The sky is falling!” are almost enough to make you want to hide under the covers until it’s all over!

Choose instead by shaking it off, my friends. Develop a wicked sense of humor, and know that it doesn’t take the supernatural or super sleuthing skills to be a Market Whisperer! What it does take is a passion to succeed, a commitment to consistency, an eye on the trends and the ability to tune out the depressing drone.

Step away from what they say. Have you ever noticed that the ones most caught up in the drama and doom were never really all that productive or successful, even when the market was booming?

The truth is that in any market, there will be homes sold and homes bought and clients who need your expertise and–quite frankly–could use an optimistic self-motivator over the profoundly pessimistic. After all, who would you rather talk to?

Look to those who refuse to get caught up in the chaos and continue to track real results month after month, market after market as your mentors or examples. How do they stay on track regardless of trends? They sustain the right mindset, continuously develop new skill sets and maintain their momentum.

What GOOD happened today? Take some time each day to chronicle your business–and your day. Some of the world’s top motivators recommend keeping a journal as a way of staying on track and maintaining perspective. Don’t be the one to lay your head down at night filled with regret, doubt or fear. Whatever life hands you–good, bad or indifferent–there are lessons to be learned.

Gratitude is an incredible gift we put forth in this world. It blesses those we are grateful for and fills us with warmth. Did you close a deal, list a home, talk to a friend, tell someone you loved them, hug a child, realize a goal, make someone laugh or have an incredible meal today? Look at each day for the good it brings. Count your blessings, large and small, and write them down as a reminder of how full life can be. It will enrich your life more than you can imagine.

Commit for the duration. Don’t be afraid to commit for the long haul. Your ability to see past today’s trouble and recognize tomorrow’s opportunities will give you the traction to be a fierce competitor and provide much-needed peace of mind when the going gets tough.

Consistently staying in touch with your BusinessBASETM or book of business is not a suggestion; rather, it is a must-do for agents who want staying power throughout their careers. Clients are as inundated with market trends as we are, and they need to know that you are there with the answers.

Adopt the “what have you done for them lately” mindset, and make sure that you touch everyone on your VIP list at least monthly. Send them something, call them, see them in person. Mix it up, and make sure they know that you are not a fair-weather agent, but someone who takes your career and your commitment to clients seriously enough to weather whatever comes your way.

Need ideas on what to say and when? Tap into your BusinessBASETM, filled with reasons to call and ways to stay in contact–found in the Lead Masters section of your ProspectsPLUS! software. Or you can download your FREE copy today by visiting www.prospectsplus.com and clicking on BusinessBASETM.

Scare up some new business. First, take the time to reach out to your customers. Segment your database to those who are most likely to need you or refer a friend in the next six months. Look to people who have been in their homes for at least six years, are tops on your list of referring clients or who you know have special circumstances.

Open your conversations by letting them know that you are available to answer any questions they have about today’s changing market. What can you help them with? What do they find most challenging? Let them know that you are there if they need you and are happy to assist their friends and family with questions or concerns, as well. Remember, people don’t care what you know until they know that you care, so show them that you are there for them–always.

Find a new audience. The key to expanding your business is to expand your base. Keep what you have, but add a new avenue. What demographic really interests you? What new segment would you like to tap into? For some it’s new home owners, for others it’s investors, and still others like the feeling of helping hometown heroes such as teachers, firefighters, police and military.

There is a tremendous feeling associated with really loving what you do. Find the people you most love to work with, embrace that challenge, be the best at helping them, and your career will be exciting, challenging and rewarding on more levels than you could possibly count.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Go ahead! Exercise new techniques and reach out to new segments. This market is only scary to agents who are unwilling to take personal responsibility for their success or failure. Those who are accustomed to seeing what is wrong can’t possibly search out what is right. That is not you.

Picture Glinda from the classic Wizard of Oz, asking in that oh-so-high pitch, “Are you a good agent or a bad agent?” Being the BEST agent in your marketplace reminds your clients–beyond a shadow of a doubt–that there is no place like home.

Above all, keep your sense of humor. Each day is an opportunity to share who you are and what you do, and it never hurts to laugh along the way. It’s easy to fall into the drama, but know that happy is the life that is filled with humor. It is a tremendous equalizer known to put people at ease, release tension and forge friendships. In the words of Will Rogers, “We are all here for a spell; get all the good laughs you can.” Don’t buy into the scary; expect the extraordinary instead.

Whether you are part of the Fear Factor crowd or are enjoying the warming weather, keep your wits about you, the time is now to conjure up a few customers. The only thing scarier than a tough market is not having the ability to reach out to the people who matter most to us. Know that we believe in you. You are remarkable, resilient and ready to realize all of your dreams. And we are here to help you every step of the way!

Download our FREE BusinessBASETM system and learn more creative ways to boost production while saving time and money at http://www.prospectsplus.com/.