Friday, April 28, 2017

With Industry Icon Danielle KennedyDanielle Kennedy

By Julie Escobar

It’s not too often you get to interview one of the First Ladies of Real Estate, so I was thrilled to connect with none other than industry pioneer Danielle Kennedy last week to congratulate her on the 30th Anniversary of one of the most timeless real estate books written, How to List and Sell Real Estate.  As always, she’s delightful, strong, passionate and right to the point.  I hope you’ll enjoy her words of wisdom!

Q:  Danielle, how exciting to announce the 30th anniversary of your best-selling book of timeless real estate strategies, How to List and Sell Real Estate.  I remember reading the original ‘back in the day’ — how do you feel about hitting this milestone?

A:  Excited and strong.  Strong, meaning, I am so pleased I wrote the book and made it real.  From DK How to list and sell real estatemy heart.  And very, very practical.  It is not a puff piece.  It is very hard core. I wrote it when I was in the heat of the business.  Floundering all around looking for answers from others when I was the one who had the answers.  I loved houses.  I cared about people. AND I was motivated from within because I had bills to pay and family to support.  The HAVE TO DO IT is a necessary element. That combination for anyone wanting to be successful in this business is the true recipe.  And then layer good behavior into that combination.  Good behavior means you stay focused.  You stay disciplined.  You put in the time to meet and greet people.  It is, after all, a contact sport. If you think it is about the internet, or the most expensive lead generation program you can buy, or who your coach is, you will fail.  Those are in the equation, of course.  But it is up to you to go DO the deed.  And we all know the deed is about consistent prospecting and paying more attention to what the client needs than our own personal selfish issues.  Not always an easy task.

Q:  Your insights and tools are so powerfully relevant to today’s agents, just as much as they were 30, 20, or 10 years ago.  Do you have any favorite chapters agents should earmark?

A:  Yes.  Open House Frenzy.  How Listings Are Sold In The Best And Worst Of Times. Cut To The Chase Qualifying. Negotiating For a Lifetime Customer.  THE WHOLE ENCHILADA.  Read the bloody book.  Especially those doubters.  Those folks that think it is all about social media, technology and burying your head in your smart phone vs. making eye contact with real people. If you do not have people skills you will fail miserably in this business.  This is a manual that deals with proper people skills during every single step of the listing and selling process.

Q:  I’m a big proponent of staying top of mind with your sphere and farm, as I know you are as well.  What do you say to agents who think farming, direct mail, and relationship building are ‘old school’? 

A:  Anyone who thinks farming, direct mail and relationship selling are “old school” should come be a fly on the wall at the offices and homes of the highest paid agents on the planet.  I know them. They take home commissions in the millions.  This is the honest to goodness truth.  And they are all about farming, direct mail and building lifetime referrals.  If agents are criticizing old school, it’s because they know nothing about people skills.  They do not know how to write a letter, speak to someone on the phone or at the door in a neighborhood who has a need to buy or sell.  And sometimes that’s what humans do when they don’t know.  They deny the existence of better ways to do things.  It takes humility to admit one needs help to improve. There is nothing OLD SCHOOL about communicating compassionately, directly, and confidently with people who may need you to serve them.

Q:  If you had one word of advice for agents today, what would it be?

A:  One word of advice: Make it your business to discover the truth about every prospect that gives you the opportunity to work with them. Make sure they are giving you the straight story about what they need and can afford.  If you do not have their trust and they are not honest with you, your life in this business will be chaotic.  That’s why How To List and Sell Real Estate is a book that needs to be in your library.  It is essentially a book which helps you build trust with those you serve.

Q:  Where can people get your amazing book? 

A:  That’s easy!  You can go directly to the publisher and order online, or try Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

Thank you Danielle.  As always, a pleasure to touch base with you.  You’re doing amazing things and I’ve so enjoyed following all your life’s adventures.

If you’d like to learn more about Danielle, you can visit her site at DanielleKennedy.com, and look for her in upcoming film and television productions as well.  She’s added incredible actress to her repertoire in recent years. 

If you’d like to learn more about how to put some of those prospecting lessons to work in your own business, call us today at 866.405.3638 or visit www. Prospectsplus.com. We deliver powerful direct mail, postcard marketing, objection handling, geographic farming and sphere of influence tools to some of the best agents in the business. 

Month-by-Month Watch to Hit Your Goalsinfluence

By Julie Escobar

There’s an old saying, “there’s acres of diamonds” in your book of business.   But only if you’re willing to put in the work to make sure it stays on track.  The key to your sphere of influence is of course, influence.  That relationship you develop where they know you, like you, and trust you. That last one is vital.  In the words of Zig Ziglar, “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”   It’s a great illustration of the importance of staying in front of the folks in your sphere until they are ready, willing, and able to buy or sell and trust you enough to be the one they call when they do.

Each month make an appointment with yourself to review for at least one hour where you are in terms of your book of business.  Ask yourself these four questions:

  1. How many past clients will I contact this month? 
  2. What is my focus? 
  3. Who can I add to my database?
  4. What’s working and what’s not? 

Then take action on your answers.  Top agents don’t worry about chasing their next commission. They know that a strong sphere, connected with month after month, will reap all the leads they want and more!

Here is a reminder of the 10 strategies you should always consider for creating and keeping a results-producing sphere of influence.  

  1. Get it all on ‘record.’  Whatever database management system you choose, be sure that you have entered at the very least the basic information such as name, address, phone number, email address, social media addresses if you have them for every past customer, friend, family member and acquaintance that you can think of.  Sound like a lot of work?  It is – but SO worth it.  And I’m not saying you have to do it yourself.  Delegate it – that way you can stick to what you do best – getting face to face with the folks in your market. Click here to get a copy of our BusinessBASE™. In it you’ll find a list of everyone who should be in your sphere of influence.
  2. Fill in the blanks.  The more RELEVANT you are – the more REFERRALS you’ll receive. So once you’ve got the basics down – take note of more personal information about the people in your database.  What do they do?  Where do they live?  What makes them unique?  What else do you know about them that you can reference?  Who’s in their family?  You know the old saying – the ‘devil is in the details!’ The more you know the easier it will be for you to connect with them on topics that are relevant and important to them.
  3. Clean up old records.  At least twice a year go through your database and cull old contacts, and clean up missed or incorrect information. Connect with your database and let them know that their business is important to you and that you’re just doing a little ‘housekeeping’ so that you can be sure they are always kept in the loop and double check their information.  You can even make them a fair trade offer of a free report or certificate of some kind.
  4. Data mine for ‘like’ minded people.  One of the best things an agent can do is to really take a good long look at what their ‘best customer’ looks like.  Who do you like to work with?  Seniors?  Singles?  First time homebuyers?  Expireds? FSBO’s?  Once you know that – and can determine who you both like to work with and the type of people you have the most successful relationships with – you can data mine to find more of the same.
  5. Add new personal contacts.  As sales professionals we come into contact with new people every day that are potentially great future clients or customers.  Make it a point to add at least one new person per day or 5 per week to your book of business – more depending on how fast you want your business to grow.  Many agents I know make this database building a positive habit by dedicating one hour a week to the health and maintenance of their list.  Every time they meet a new person at the local Starbucks, networking meeting, business event, PTA, restaurant – even the grocery store and have an opportunity to collect a business card or information – that person goes into the ‘book’ and the nurturing begins!  Some of the best agents spend an hour a week sending a personal note or firing off an email just to say what a pleasure it was to meet and if they need anything – just call.  (Making notes on the back of those business cards or in your phone after meeting a new person will help jog your memory for details when you are entering them into your database at a later time.)  Think about 10 people THIS WEEK you could add if you tried:  Teachers, Bankers, Restaurant Owner/Staff, Accountant, Attorney, Landscaper, Gas Station Owner, Grocery Store Manager…the possibilities are endless!  (If you did that EVERY week you’d be adding more than 500 people to your book of business each year!)
  6. Add past lists:  If you’ve sent out Just Listed or Just Sold postcards and have purchased a list of homeowners contact information who received those postcards – be sure not to forget those folks.  You can add them in and start the process of taking them from ‘prospect’ to ‘member’ of your sphere by building those relationships over time.
  7. SHARE with them.  Direct mail is a great way to ‘touch’ your book of business at least once a month.  From powerful sphere of influence postcards with relevant offers to a monthly newsletter packed with valuable content – staying in TOUCH is the key to staying TOP of mind.  We’ll even help you put the right pieces in place to allow you to put your marketing plan in motion and then focus on those personal contacts and the three tasks that are most important in your business:  prospecting, presenting and CLOSING.  Visit our SPECIALS page today to learn more about these options or call our team at 866.405.3638 for help deciding what might work best for you, your list and your budget!
  8. Invite them into the conversation.  Savvy agents are firing up their social media strategies on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest and inviting their community of followers to join in the conversation.  Create a Facebook page for your neighborhood farm and post community information that’s relevant to your buyers and sellers such as school information, local business information, fun facts and more.  Agents are breaking out their iPhones and flip cameras and creating video walking tours of area hotspots, news for the week, reviews of local businesses, types of homes to look for in their area and all kinds of fun and interesting information.  Pinterest has people pinning and posting all about staging ideas, inspirational quotes, homes in the area, community events, blog posts and more.  Use our On the Web Series of postcards to drive your offline traffic to these valuable and engaging sites.
  9. Follow up.  Break your list up into manageable numbers and commit to follow up calls every week.  Most experts recommend scheduling a daily appointment with yourself to prospect.  Don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face connecting as well.  Community events, school functions, networking opportunities and just being active in the community that you service will help keep you visible, allow you a chance to arrange follow up conversations and ask questions, be the resource people need and you will generate referrals in the process! It can be as simple as letting them know that you are there to help anytime.
  10. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  Well you get the idea.  Treating your database as the saleable, valuable resource that it is means not putting it away for 11 months out of the year.  Commit to these ten strategies monthly and your career will thrive – and you won’t have to always be wondering where your next commission will come from.

Need help?  Call us at 866.405.3638.  Our team of marketing professionals can help you put your plan in place for success. 

 

Advice for the New Year from Floyd Wickmanfloydspeaking

by Julie Escobar

‘Tis the Season to ring out the old and bring on the new.  As we head into a new year filled with more opportunity and possibilities than we’ve seen in a long time in our industry, I tapped our good friend and industry icon Floyd Wickman for his take on some top shifts agents can make to increase their competitive edge.  Here’s his sage advice:

SHIFT #1:  Know Your Competition.  If you think about the major sports leagues; baseball, football, hockey, and then think about the most successful teams, you’ll find that they have one thing in common. In order to be successful they view and review videos of their games and those of their competitors. They look for strengths and weaknesses so they’ll know how to defend and compete effectively. It’s the same in the real estate business. You have to know what you’re up against in order to outpace the competition. Here are a few questions that agents will have to answer in order for them to achieve market-share dominance:

  1. Who are your top-ten competitors?
  2. If you lose a listing, to whom do you lose it in most instances?
  3. How many agents do each of your primary competitors have?
  4. What is their average experience level?
  5. What is their annual per person production?
  6. What is the average number of listings in each office?
  7. What is their list-to-sell ratio and list-to-sale time-frame?

There are other questions that agents could ask, and it may be a great exercise BEFORE January for you and your team to take some time and write out all the questions that would help you to know precisely what qualities buyers and sellers are looking for and to understand how you stack up against your competition.

SHIFT #2:  Fill Your Tool Chest with the BEST.   Throughout history all of the great competitors – from armies, to corporations, to world leaders– all got to be the best because they had the essential tools (and even a few extra) needed to do the job better than their opponents. Real estate agents today must have the right tools to battle the highly-skilled competitors they meet much in the same way. In our training programs, we teach agents to have everything they need to control their time, budget, and client meetings.  Objection handling techniques, visuals, stats, dialogues, powerful presentations are some of the tools we help them master and use effectively.  We often recommend your organization, ProspectsPLUS.com for the marketing tools that make all the difference, such as Just Listed/Just Sold postcardsdoor hangersfree reportssphere of influence tools and more.  And of course, these days, agents need to ensure they have social media resources at their fingertips – www.sproutsocial.com is a great tool we’ve found that helps agents save time and effort.  Take a look at your ‘tool chest’ at least once a quarter to make sure you have everything you need, lose what doesn’t work, and add new timely tools as they come to market that help streamline and automate your processes.  Anything you can use that keeps you focused on prospecting, presenting and closing and can systemize the rest—is a valuable asset to your bottom line.

SHIFT #3:  NEVER Stop Learning New Skills: In the more than forty years I’ve been in this business as an agent, manager and trainer, I’ve never seen an era where the necessity for high-sales skills was greater. In our 24/7 world, with the accessibility to communication and information as strong as it is, sellers and buyers are savvier than ever before and have more questions and concerns than ever before. We have to overcome more commission objections, “We want to shop around” objections, pricing, length of the listing, etc. The art of persuasion is in demand and critical in the field if you want to compete successfully. The real proof of this is seen in our training classes. We find that the average experience level of the students is almost four years, whereas, not so long ago, it was two years. It seems clear to me that being able to close the transaction is the difference between thriving and merely surviving in the business.

SHIFT #5:  LOSE What Doesn’t Work:  Too often we hang on to old patterns, old habits, old mindsets and old routines simply because that’s ‘the way it has always been done.’  Our world is moving WAY TOO FAST for that.  Before the first of the year take a good, long look at your daily, weekly and monthly activities.  Write them all down.  What can you lose? What’s costing you time, energy, money that isn’t bringing you a return personally or professionally?  Time to get of them.  Are there people in your life that drag you down?  Fuel the negative?  Cause you more grief and chaos than joy or help?  Then, give yourself permission to take yourself OUT of those relationship equations. Life’s too short to hang around those kind of people.  “Clean house” before the first of the year — you’ll find yourself with a whole lot more momentum and a great running start to January if you do.

SHIFT #4:  Develop a Competitive Attitude: Attitude is everything. It takes a certain mental toughness to be willing to convey to a prospect that you are the best person/company for the job. This mental toughness, added to the facts, tools and skills discussed above, add up to an enthusiastic response to the question, “Why are you the best?” It’s like you are saying, “You know Mr. and Mrs. Seller, there are 1,000 agents in our area. However, for what you want, need and are trying to accomplish, you really only have a choice of three: good, better and best. You see, we are all good. After all, you have to at least be licensed. Some are better than others. But for what you’re trying to accomplish – that is to get the most amount of money for your home, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of inconvenience, it seems to me that there is only one best agent, and what a coincidence that we should be together at this moment.”

There are many ways to answer the question, “Why are you the best?” Here are just a few:

  • “I’m the best because I am new in real estate and I’m not bogged down like those top producers.”
  • “I’m the best because my office is right on the corner. Where do you think the buyers are coming TO?”
  • “I’m the best because my office is clear over on the other side of town. Where do you think the buyers are coming FROM?

You need the mental toughness to be able to enthusiastically convey to the seller this message.

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, if you were going to fly coast-to-coast and you had the choice of flying first class or coach, both at the same price, which would you choose?”   Seller: “First class, of course.”  Agent: “I expected as much. May I ask why?”  Seller: “Because I get more for my money and a more comfortable journey.”  Agent: “If you knew you could get more for your money and a more comfortable journey by choosing me over someone who might be considered coach, I’d be the obvious choice, wouldn’t you agree?”

My advice to you is to become a competitor. Stay nice–but be a competitor. Put people first– but be a competitor. Care about what they care about–but be a competitor. Never verbally knock the competition–but be a competitor.

Well, you get the idea. Good luck and remember we’re here if you need us!

Thanks Floyd Wickman, for always giving us a solid foundation to help agents drive more production, fuel their branding, build their bottom line and COMPETE in our fast-paced world!  If you would like to learn more about Floyd’s training programs for real estate agents, visit: http://floydwickman.com/real-estate-sales/.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you systemize, strategize, and even automate your real estate marketing, visit us online at www.ProspectsPLUS.com, or download our new online Master Marketing Schedule to stay on top of the latest and greatest tools we have available (and the creative content that helps you stay competitive as well!  Here’s to an amazing new year!  

Two Things You Can Do to Predict and Project An Amazing Futurekeys to happiness

By Motivational Sales Trainer Todd Robertson

Picture this:  It’s January 15th of the new year.  You now have 10 good saleable, priced-right listings in your inventory.  You stop by an ATM machine to check your balance and are pleasantly surprised.  You are healthy, strong, feeling amazing all because one day — way back in November you made two decisions.

Who’s ready?   If you are willing to ask for help. If you are willing to push and challenge yourself, I promise you this can be you.

Right now as you read this, there are a couple of variables in your favor.  

1)  The holidays are just around the corner and each year we see about 80% of the nation’s Realtors go into hibernation mode.  Really it’s just another excuse for them not to prospect.

2)  90% of the agents in the nation “wait” for the business as opposed to putting systems in place and go after the business.

If you can get excited and realize these two variables are in your favor and make the following two decisions . . . the above Jan 15th can be yours.

1)  Time Block Prospecting.   If 90% of the agents are waiting for the business and if 80% are doing into hibernation – the scales of success are tilted in your favor if you are ready.  Pick one form of prospecting that you enjoy, that you are great at, and commit each day to a certain time frame – is it 3 hours?  Imagine compounding a great habit like this for one, two even three months.

2)   An exercise program.  All of us know that when we are on some type of exercise program we look better, feel better, have more pride and exude more confidence.  What is fascinating is 80% of people will also slack in this category as well during November and December.   You and I both know that there is still some fear and uncertainty in the minds of buyers and sellers.   And if decision number 2, institute some type of exercise program, will give us more power, more confidence more certainty, in addition to feeling better, sleeping better and being healthier . . .why wouldn’t we?

And if you can make these two things a REALITY? 

Let me then welcome to the new normal.

Want to learn more about Todd Robertson or his Coaching system?  Call him today at 702.683.1967.

If putting a system in place that will allow you to DOMINATE your market and capture 20% market share in the areas of your choice is something you’d also like to be part of your new normal — then stay tuned for our Market Dominator System.  

Want to learn more about putting those tools in place that make prospecting simpler, time-blocking easier and success just a system away?  Visit us online today at www.prospectsplus.com — or call our team at 866.405.3638. 

 

SEND-CALL-SEE Approach to Your Spheresphere of influence

by Julie Escobar

All right, I’ll admit it:  I’m a planner.  I know, I know.  How BORING – right?  But you know after years of hanging around speakers and trainers and industry experts – I do know that success very rarely falls into anyone’s lap.   It’s crafted month after month, and year after year by people who are willing to do the work to get the rewards.  And that?  Is a formula to rally behind – old fashioned or not.  The key to a GREAT sphere of influence is INFLUENCE. You know- the kind where you can CONSISTENTLY count on referrals and business from folks because you’ve taken the time to cultivate a relationship where they get to KNOW you, TRUST you, and TURN TO YOU when they have a real estate question or need. And it doesn’t have to be HARD. Or uber-time consuming. Or super expensive. It just has to be DONE. Over and over, month after month.  The results?  Are BANKABLE.

Helping agents achieve that kind of bankable influence is one of the biggest reasons we brought back the Master Marketing Schedule.  Knowing what to do when just make things a whole lot easier doesn’t it?

Try this…

The Send-Call-See Formula…

SEND something every month or every 21-45 days to your book of business, sphere of influence, database, whatever YOU have labeled your customer and prospect base. Holiday postcards, recipe cards, inspiration cardsneighborhood update cards or newsletters — all are great ways to connect every month and stay in front of your sphere.

CALL everyone in your base at least four times a year.  Don’t stress about it.  I can’t tell you how many agents DON’T pick up the phone just because they’re afraid they won’t know what to say.  Start with “Hello!” Add in your name.  Ask them how they are – let them know the market it changing CONSTANTLY and just see if they have questions.  Be a resource.  A consultant.  People today appreciate that way more than they do a pushy salesperson anyway – so just be on their side and if they say YES, I’d like you to come over (some will!) then give them some time options and lock it down.  See?  That’s not so painful!

SEE everyone in your base at least twice a year.  Whether you do that all at one time at a customer appreciation event or spread it out by walking the neighborhoods, inviting special  clients to lunch, hosting community workshops,  attending neighborhood block parties, setting up shop at the local Starbucks for an hour or so or all of the above – make it a point to get out and about and let people put the face with the name!

Formulas don’t have to be fancy to be right on the money.  Try the Send-Call-See formula and put it to work for you starting this month!

Oh – and if you need help figuring out WHAT to send – our team is more than happy to lend you their expertise!  Call them today at 866.405.3638!  Meanwhile – check out our all new SPECIALS (and great deals) today!  Just click here!