Sunday, June 25, 2017

Empowering Your Life and Career with Two Extraordinary Words

By Julie Escobar

“Thank you.”  Pretty powerful stuff for two tiny little words right? During this season of thanks, it’s important to remember that we don’t need to wait for a holiday to let our gratitude shine through for our family, friends, customers and blessings.

That’s why most successful people I know start and end their day with thanks. Now that’s a powerful way to bookend your day!  Giving thanks for the people, the opportunities and even the challenges — more often than not those are what teach us the most.

Floyd Wickman was the first to introduce me to the phrase, “we get by giving,” twenty-plus years ago when I was a fledgling in this business but it still holds true. (Thanks Floyd!)  Recently too, I had a long conversation with my friend Connie Podesta who is both a motivational speaker and a therapist, on the topic and her thoughts echoed my own.  “It’s easy to get caught up in the drama, the challenges and the negative in today’s world, but for those who keep it in perspective and focus on the relationships and on the people — those are the folks who are not only going to STAND OUT in their industries, but lead happier, healthier lives.”

Here are some ideas for saying thanks to your sphere from some of our valued clients:

Get creative. There are some great ways to show your appreciation above and beyond frequently saying those two important “thank you” words! Pat Tasker with Shorewest Realtors actually got together with three other agents to throw an easy-but-effective Customer Appreciation Movie Night. The cost was affordable, and the results were amazing. “Between the four of us, we had about 150 people attend, everyone was thrilled and splitting the bill between the four of us was really very manageable. The nice part is, even those that didn’t attend felt special just for being invited. It gave us all a reason to connect with our client base in a positive, fun way! The movie theater made it easy. It was $6 a person for the movie, popcorn and drink and all we did was show up early, greet everyone when they came in, took pictures with families and friends, watched the movie and that was it! Easy!”

Movie nights are a great way to get large groups together to say thanks, and it really is extraordinary to see the referrals you will receive afterwards as well because you’ve reached out to your client base, your name is top of mind and they know that you are appreciative and there for them. If movie nights are not your thing, read our blog post: Celebrate Your Customers – Ten Great Ways to Say Thank You.

Talk about mixers; consider this idea from Coach Patti Kouri: “Go into your database and choose a small group of people each month and invite them to lunch. Make the lunch a networking event of sorts and start with the question, ‘How can I help you?’ Before long, you’ll have a whole group of people exploring ways to help each other and all appreciative that you facilitated something that was not just about listing a house or getting a referral but truly helping people. Make a regular habit of this and watch as the law of reciprocity kicks in! Consider calling people individually as well – and ask what you can do for them. How can you help them in their business or endeavor? You’ll find when you approach ‘prospecting’ in this way it:

* Feels better than cold calling
* When you’re giving not asking for something, it’s easier
* You create a natural ‘boomerang’ and invite good things back to you

Keep trying new ways to help your clients. Many agents come from a place of fear, which is really a place where you don’t want to do anything. Take the opposite approach and you’ll find that you immediately and instinctively want to take action.”

I also called on the very talented, very inspiring Karin Hill of Watson Realty Corporation in Florida. As the broker and manager of a great team in the Orlando area, Karin definitely is a think outside the box professional. “We do a lot of community service work here. It’s a wonderful way to build your business while really working for a greater good. At any given time we are involved in several charities. For example, in the past we’ve worked with the Second Harvest Organization on a food drive. They estimate there are roughly 250,000 homeless children in Florida and could use a few helping hands to reach out to them! We put the information on our sign out front, and it’s wonderful to have strangers come into our office with donations. It really lets people know that we are there for the whole community, not to sell them something and they appreciate it. We even have the agents bringing in canned goods to our weekly office meetings!

We’ve organized charity runs, car and motorcycle drives, ‘adopted’ families in need, poker runs and more. It’s a great way for us to work together as a team, stay connected to our community and give back all at the same time!”

All great ideas from great thinkers! Another great way to give back and show your appreciation for your community is to work with your area schools. Most of them are looking for business partners who can help them provide the things they need for the students and staff. It’s a fun way to get to know the teachers, the faculty and the parents and they always appreciate the helping hands so it’s definitely a win-win for everyone! Learn more about this strategy here: Take a Back To School Approach to Prospecting!

So this month, and EVERY month, give thanks for the opportunity before you. As real estate professionals, you are only limited by your own thinking. There are no glass ceilings in this business, no one telling you that your income is capped and your goals are too high. Are there challenges? Most definitely – but challenges make us stronger, push us to try harder, learn more, and fine-tune our skills. Give thanks for those VIPs that make up your book of business and who invited you into their lives and those of their families to help them with one of the biggest decisions of their lives. Treat them well, show them you care and they’ll be a customer for your entire career, sharing their lives, their business and their referrals. Give thanks for your family and friends. They tolerate the often odd hours, pick you up on tough days and celebrate with you during the triumphs. Lastly, give thanks for another day to give back, to work hard, to try again and to make a difference in the world around you.

Here’s a great quote from John Southard to help keep things in perspective: “The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.” That said, know that we appreciate YOU! Thank you for spending a little time with us today reading this article, for being a client, for doing all that you do. What can we do for you? How can we help? We’re just a phone call away. Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season!

Ready to kick your niche marketing into high gear? Visit www.prospectsplus.com or our blog at blog.prospectsplus.com to learn more great ideas for staying top of mind. There you’ll also find valuable training resources, customer tools and more. Call if you need us at 1.866.405.3638.

Oh – and don’t forget about our contest for an iPad!  As our way of saying thanks — we’re giving away a free iPad, iPod and hundreds in postcard mailings!  Learn more here or visit us at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus — tell us your best story about any of our products and you’ll be in the running to win! 

With a little better than 100 days left in the year, top producers are stepping up their game to ensure a great fourth quarter and to hit the new year with more momentum and production than ever. Ready to do the same?

Here are four top-producer tips for staying top of mind – and more importantly – tops in your market by consistently reaching out to your sphere-of-influence and farm areas. What’s in it for you? More client business, more referrals and happier customers who know they can count on you as a resource!

Wish Them Well…with Our Holiday Series

Click Here to See Holiday Series!

Hard to believe the holiday season is already upon us! Sending holiday postcards is a great way to wish your clients well and let them know that you’re thinking of them. They’re perfect for opening that door to a follow up call to thank them for being a valuable client all year round. They’ll feel special, you’ll pick up a lead or two (or more) and you’ll set the stage for a great end of the year! Can’t beat that!

Inspire Them…with Our Inspiration Series

Click Here to See Inspiration Series

Let’s face it – the world we live in today could certainly use a little more inspired thought! Stay in touch with these beautiful and motivating postcards which will remind clients that you are thoughtful, insightful and eager to be there for them in a quickly-changing and often-challenging market.  You never know — this  may be just the thing to make someone’s day!

 

Drive Them to Connect…with Our On-the-Web Series

Click Here to See On the Web Series

We all know content is king in today’s world of internet and social media. How do you get your sphere and customer base to FIND you online? These handy postcards are perfect for doing the trick! Set up a blog or fan page just for your market and fill it with the hyper-local information consumers are hungry for and you’ll not only create a strong fan base—but drive your productivity way up as well as they share you content with friends and family!

Give Them Something to Keep…with Our Recipe Series

Click Here to See Recipe Series

Solve the “what to cook” dilemma for you clients and they’ll keep your cards (and contact information) right where they can get to it for years to come. We have agents who even purchase recipe card holders for their special customers so they have a way to hold on to each postcard in one place! (Quick thinkers!) The recipes are always delicious – and you’ll soon find yourself with customers “hungry” for more!  Look for the terrific holiday recipes!

Get into the Holiday spirit and send out some Holiday postcards today Just Click Here. For help picking the PERFECT CAMPAIGN for you,simply call our marketing team at 1.866.405.3638 today.

SPECIAL SAVINGS: We’ll make it even easier to stay in touch! Use Promo Code: FALL15 to SAVE 15% OFF your order!

Happy Holidays!

Julie

Success Strategies for Savvy Real Estate Professionals with Speaker Todd Robertson

By Julie Escobar

I heard recently that an old friend and dynamic speaker Todd Robertson was stirring up some great things for real estate professionals not far from me so I thought I’d tap him on the shoulder and find out what he was doing to generate such terrific results!

Here’s what I learned…

Q:  Hello my friend – good to chat with you again!  You’ve been busy these days I hear – changing the course of careers and lives in less than a month.  Would you care to share with me a little bit about what you’re doing and why your Real Estate Rehab is making a difference?

A:  Of course!  Great to talk to you as well!  It’s been a lot of fun and we’ve had some exciting results.  After working with agents and conducting seminars for the past 14 years, I’ve certainly learned a few things.  Watching some training programs succeed and many fail, I realized that many were either not attended – because they were too expensive – or not learned from because people have done what we’ve all done a time or two — bought books and tapes and CDs and DVD’s and yet never REALLY followed through.  That’s when I decided to offer up a challenge.

Two years ago after conducting a one day workshop for 85 Realtors, I laid down a dare for everyone in the room.  I said “If everyone in this room was on a call with me every day for the next 21 business days and we broke down everything you learned, and you had to participate and report back via email with your homework and assignments, would you change?  If you could get rid of habits that don’t support either you or your goals and instead put in place strong and productive money making habits—who here would be more productive, make more money – do more business?” Well that day I scared them a little, had them ask themselves some hard questions, realize what could be.  The result?  They loved it and I knew we had something.

Q:  I love the idea of shedding bad habits and unproductive mindsets!  You and talked a little before about internal vs. external motivation and how that plays a role in making those changes.  Can you give me the inside scoop on how agents need both to make the difference in today’s competitive world and some ways they can make that happen?

A:  Sure, great question and so overlooked.  Left to our own initiative, we human beings are lazy by design.   The real estate industry by design has little structure and agents are independent, meaning the reason the whole reason they got into this business, (be their own boss, set their own hours, etc.) could be their demise. Internal motivation means that those professionals hold themselves accountable by keeping their word (to themselves as well as others) and doing what they say they will do.  External motivation is for those agents who need an outside source to keep them on track such as a broker, accountability partner or a coach.  So, for agents who are really eager to hit their goals (consistently and for the long haul) – they’ll have a better chance of success if they make sure they have both of types of motivation in place.

Q:  Very interesting!  On that note of motivation – you’ve certainly had you fair share of powerhouse mentors in your life.  Anthony Robbins, Floyd Wickman, Mike Ferry just to name a few.  How do you infuse what you teach with all that you’ve learned from some of the best minds in the sales business? 

A:  You know, you’re right.  I’ve been very blessed in my life to have some incredible people mentor me along the way.  What that’s taught me is that that people need two things from any coach or speaker. They need to know that you sincerely care about them and want more for them – and two—they need for you to challenge them.  Combine those two things and magic can happen.

Floyd, Tony, Mike – they all said the same thing but in different ways.  They all shared that if they could turn back the clock and do it all over again – they’d think BIGGER thoughts.  I challenge everyone to do the same.  Agents have the choice right now to think BIGGER. To look at this time and market for the opportunities it holds – lower rates, lower prices, less competition and seize those opportunities for success.  Decide right now if you want to embrace this market and get excited about playing at a higher level or if you just want to be like the cork in the river and let it take you where it will.  The successful agent charts their own course.

Q:  Great advice and I love to see sales professionals and entrepreneurs embrace those mentor and protégé relationships in their lives.   Your thoughts? 

A:  It is exciting to see when that happens.  You know, so many people who have accomplished great things are EAGER to help the next in line.  Most that I’ve found are extraordinarily generous and gracious and not only willing to share but happy to play that role in someone else’s life.  It’s a great way to give back – and that feels good all the way around –right?

Really there are two ways to go through life.  School of hard knocks – which costs a ton of time and money or find someone that you like, trust, respect and look up to and ask them to mentor you.  That kind of accelerated learning will not only get you to where you want to go quicker – but you’ll have a much better journey along the way.

Q: Good stuff Todd!  I thought it was very interesting when we spoke about “sourcing” listings so agents can best know where their business is coming for and then WISELY put their time, energy and resources on those areas – can you tell me a little more about that?    

A:  Sure, there are 3 ways an agent can get business   1) Wait for the business – by doing open houses, floor time etc.   2)  Buy the business – running ads, buying radio time, cutting your commission etc. 3) Put systems in place to attract it such as Conference calls to FSBOS, direct response mailings to people facing possible short sales, developing a “Mover and Shaker list” of  small business owners, etc.  Tackling the Just listed and just sold, but not just sending post cards but with real follow-up with phone calls and a personal visit.   This market dictates that if an agent is going to do 30 plus closings in a year, 70+% of their business needs to come from putting systems in place and pro-actively seeking out the business.    We really stress this during the “21 Day sales Challenge” and the agents really love it because they become more profitable and their business becomes more predictable.   That’s a winning combination.

Q:  You and ProspectsPLUS! have a long history – can you tell me why you still believe that their concept of building a viable (and salable) book of business is even MORE important today than it has ever been?

If an agent is serious about dominating and not just surviving in this market they cannot spend any time designing, editing, cutting and pasting marketing materials.   It’s simply not a smart use of their time.  A great agent in this market realizes they need to streamline and just do two things every day – prospect and go on appointments to present.  We all know the number one reason agents fail is that they either hate to prospect or just don’t know how.  What I love about ProspectsPLUS! is it gives them at LEAST 103 new, unique, profitable ways to prospect.   In terms of building a book of business that’s just a smart tool to have.

Q:  I agree!  Any last advice? 

A:  I guess I’d just say that for those agents committed for the long haul and real success – you have to remain a student of the game – and a student of life.  Continuous learning and skill building is a tremendous differentiator.  After all – you know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results-right?  If you want to be the kind of sales professional that’s closing 30, 50 or 100 transactions per year – stands to reason you’re going to have to do some things differently.  We know it’s easy to get stuck, easy to buy in to the news and the negative – but the true student of life knows it’s also easy to keep getting better.  Attend seminars, read great books, fuel your life and your mind with great information and put some accountability vehicles in place to make sure you’re hitting the mark effectively and consistently.

Todd – as always, a pleasure!  Great information on changing gears, mindsets and habits to align yourself with real success strategies!  If you want to learn more about Todd Robertson and his “21 Day Challenge” call them today at 702.683.1767 or visit them online at www.salesrehab.info.   If you want to learn more about ProspectsPLUS! and what systems you can use to grow your book of business contact us at 866.405.3641 or visit www.prospectsplus.com!   Now – go make some great habits work for you!  Good luck!

Top Producer Secrets for Achieving More

by Julie Escobar

“What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  That classic Napoleon Hill concept certainly has withstood the test of time, hasn’t it? Think about the high achievers you know, and take a look at the commonalities that have led those talented sales professionals to the pinnacles of success.

Now, while the sales industry as a whole doesn’t offer up a college degree, you can be sure that studying the principals and practices of super-achievers will earn you higher response rates, productivity, profitability and a career you can be proud of.

So, don your thinking cap and consider these seven elements that you’ll always find at the very core of the very best:

1. They are believers. It’s more than self-confidence; successful people embody the belief that anything is possible. They think expansively rather than seek the closed door of failure.

One of the greatest gifts we have is the ability to open our minds, hearts and lives up to all of the resources within our reach. Mega-producers shift from “I think I can” to “I know I can” each and every day.

As the amazing Walt Disney once said: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Believe that you can; it’s a tremendous place to start.

2. They live in the present. Of course they do. Doesn’t everyone?

Sadly, no. How many people do you know who wallow in the past or are paralyzed by fear of the future — what could or might happen tomorrow?

Top achievers recognize that today is what they have. This minute, this hour is what they can control. They become masters of the moment. They embrace the day, the conversation, the relationship, the business and sometimes even the silence.

It’s amazing how these people with so much to do and so much to accomplish each day seem to do it with ease and joy. Consider how much lighter your load would be if you left the past firmly behind you and the future out in front of you. Don’t you think that would make today much easier to walk through?

3. They work hard. I’m stating the obvious here as a reminder that success doesn’t happen by accident.

Top producers get up earlier, stay later, go the extra mile for their customers and strike the best balance in life — all while counting their blessings rather than complaining. They consider their career part of who they are and what they love — making work a lot less like, well, work.

In today’s market, the “pie” is smaller, which makes the competition for each “piece” tougher. Know that it takes more prospecting, preparation, time management, skill building and closing to stay ahead of the competition. If you want to travel on the high road, you have to be willing to go the extra mile.

Time Management Tactics & the Difference an Hour Makes

By Julie Escobar

Time – as they say is LIFE.  It’s also a powerful stepping stone to success.  Sales professionals eager to get more than just “now” business and instead build a reliable foundation for longevity know one thing for certain – time management – is a MUST do.

On the road to time management master, consider the difference just one hour can make in terms of repeatable, sustainable success in this business. This business, like most sales industries is above all else, a people business, which means if you want to STAY in business, you’ve got to make staying top of mind with your customer base a priority.

What hour you ask? Real estate expert and coach Bernice Ross once shared with me, “Just about every top producer that I know starts their prospecting first thing in the day. They know that of the activities that are closest to the income line for them – prospecting is right there in the top three. Getting those things done first allows them to continually grow and stay connected to their book of business. Secondly, it really gives those agents a sense of control, power and self-accomplishment – and isn’t that the BEST way to start a day?”

Many agents choose to stagger their prospecting time and map out their week in advance, selecting 8:00-9:00am three days a week, and evening hours from 6:00-7:00pm two to three days per week. It’s a good way to maximize their ability to reach prospects and past clients, and for many successful professionals – it’s the smart habit to take a look at their schedule in ADVANCE of the week.  That way everything gets put on the table.  And don’t forget family and personal obligations in that task setting process.  Prospecting time, showings, open houses and listing appointments are all vital – but so are soccer games, recitals, date night and lunch with friends.  With a  nod to wanting to be in this industry for the long haul – it’s the little things that will help you stay on the top of your game, avoid burn out and find that slippery thing called balance we all strive for.

Sherry Chris, CEO for Better Homes and Gardens shared with me in a previous interview that in her experience, top producers generally still can be found sticking close to that old rule of thumb investing about 80% of their time getting face-to-face, on the phone or online sharing with both past and potential clients. “Things have certainly changed in our industry and prospecting has truly taken on a new pace with the advances of social media. It’s definitely developed into a more ‘give before you get’ mode of contact. Whereas our old methods of prospecting meant picking up the phone and offering a service, now we can feed valuable information, fun facts as well as personally connect with our clients.” Sherry, for example, spends roughly 60% of her time building the Better Homes and Gardens brand and shares some valuable tips when it comes to building ‘social capital.’ “To be truly effective you have to successfully balance business information with personal touches, photographs, upcoming events, career milestones, etc. If the only thing you have on your Facebook or Twitter is your listings, you’re missing the boat. Let’s not forget too, that as valuable as social media is in today’s prospecting world, there is still no substitute for getting face-to-face or on the phone with your clients.”

How do you stick to it?