Sunday, August 20, 2017

Inspired Insights from World-Class Real Estate Speaker and Coach Darryl Davis

by Julie Escobar

When you are looking for straight-talk strategies for building not just a business — but a successful book of business, it’s always a good idea to go to someone who not only knows how to help agents succeed at exceptional levels — but one who just tells it like it is.  For that? I reached out to my old friend Darryl Davis. He’s an Darryl Davis 06author, speaker, trainer, coach — and one of the funniest guys you can talk to.  His analogies and ability to weave a story into a message are epic. It’s part of what makes him such an effective speaker – it’s also why I wanted to interview him for this topic!

Q: Hey Darryl, thanks for sharing your insights with us again for this edition.  Our focus this time around is really building a strong business base.  Can you share some thoughts on  that?

A:  Building a business?  You know I’m a FSBO/Expired guy – but when we are talking about building a business foundation?  Know that there are two types of contacts to focus on.

First there is your geographic farm.  These folks don’t know you yet, so it’s your job to help them with that.  For this group, you’ve got to stay in touch monthly.  Your nov-domname, your face, your brand, your results each and every month.  Of course, you guys make that easy for them with products like the…

You’re building trust and establishing yourself as the agent to call.

Secondly, there’s your sphere – or those folks that know your name, face, what you do, and trust you enough to do business with. This breaks into people you haven’t worked with before, (family, friends, acquaintances) and those you have (past sellers or buyers).  For these folks to remember you, remember that you’re in real estate and that well, you know, they should call YOU before the guy down the street when they have a real estate question or need or an amazing referral, you need to stay in touch. I usually recommend at least 4-6 times per year with this crowd with things like:thanksgiving2016v6thumbsstnd

I’ll give you a great tip:  Every single January I’d send a copy of the HUD statement to everyone who has every purchased a home through me in the last year with a note saying, “Congratulations on owning a home! I’ve taken the liberty of making a copy of your HUD statement so you have it handy to give to your
accountant.  Hope things are going great! I’d love to hear from you if you need anything.”  Wow – see you just saved them time and stress and made a contact that personal to them. Win-win-win.communitynewsnovthumbsfront4

For every other client/customer of mine? At the first of the year I would send an updated market analysis to with a note that said something like, “Just as you would check your stock portfolio, 401K, etc., it’s also a good idea to do a check in on the market analysis of your home investment.  As always, I’m here to help if you have any real estate questions or needs!”

Stay top of mind with these folks by sending them something to help them stay connected to you and recognize that you’re there as a resource. And don’t be shy about picking up the phone and saying hello and asking if people need anything a couple times per year.  Or creating opportunities to see them in person.

Q: Darryl, I loved your message in our last magazine where you talked about listing INVENTORY being the name of the game, not just listings. Can you share a little more about that?

A:  What I’ve been teaching is that agents need to look at their business as if they were running a store.  With a store, you’ve got a location, employees, and you’ve got to stock and manage your inventory. So, say you were selling candy?  You must have enough candy on the shelves when customers come in right?  Otherwise people are going to buy their candy somewhere else! So if you’re a real estate agent your inventory is real estate.  I tell agents to make a chart January-December on the bottom andneighborhood update series the numbers 0-20 on the left side.  Next, plot it out. Say your goal is to get four listings per month and build your inventory.  Now you have get four listings in January, but you sell two. You know you need to replace those two, plus get four more for February and so on.  Creating a visual to see whether your graph is going up (the right direction) or down (further from your goals) helps you think like a business person.  And that? Is a big key to success. Because there are a LOT of agents running around with a fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants approach to their real estate career – which is fine if you want to always wonder where your next commission is coming from or if burn out is your thing. But top agents who want to be at this a long time and have a lot to show for it, understand that applying true business practices and mindsets is the win-win they need.

Q: You hit the nail on the head.  One topic that seems to come up a lot with agents is the idea that they just don’t have the time to focus on databases and marketing and details!  What would your advice be in terms of time management?

A:  First, I would tell them to be crystal clear on their priorities.  In real estate, it’s easy to get distracted with things that don’t forward your business.  I’ll tell you a little story. There’s a woman named Rachel Lust who is a Hula Hooper.  If you look her up on YouTube, you’ll see she has hundreds of thousands of views and likes. She did the halftime show for the Chicago Bulls.  She is the most famous person in the world of hula hooping.  She’s got a line of videos, hoops, clothes, you name it.  Do you know what Rachel does for two hours a day, six days a week, no matter what?  Yep. She Hula Hoops.  Why? Because literally NOTHING else matters if she’s not good at her trade.  It’s the same with agents.  If you aren’t prospecting, looking for listing inventory, and taking new listings – the rest doesn’t matter.

I’ll give you another example.  I ran the NYC Marathon. Now here’s what you might not know about me:  I HATE exercise.  Hate it. Five days a week, I had to get up in the morning and run, and one day a week I had to cross train. For five months, I had to do this.  Didn’t want to do it. Didn’t feel like doing it. It was uncomfortable. For me to meet this commitment I made, and log in the two hours of running every day, I had to get up two hours earlier to make it work.  Here’s the thing: I couldn’t fit running into my life, I had to fit my life around the commitment to run.

That’s how you’ve got to look at what it takes to make it at high levels in this business.  You see the agents that say, “I’ll get to prospecting after I check my Facebook, and my emails, and my this or that.” Time management is not the problem there.  Commitment is the problem. Everything you need to do lines up behind the commitment.

Say you’re having a party.  That means there’s cooking, cleaning, preparing all that has to be done. But you’re running late–right? Now you say you’ve got two hours of work to do in just thirty minutes.  Do you do it? YES!  That?  Is a BREAKTHROUGH. Because when you REALLY have to get something done you do it.  Manage your activities, and what dictates those activities is your commitment. People who are passionate about commitment don’t have time management issues. They are focused, clear, and committed.  They don’t just do commitments – they are commitment.

Q:  What additional advice do you have for agents who want to really knock it out of the park this year in real estate?

A:  That one is easy. Systemize your business.  Run it like a business.  Think like Rachel Lust. She has moves that she has absolutely mastered with that Hula Hoop.  Then she masters another, and another. It’s like dancing. If you only know five dance steps – you don’t look so good out there on the floor-right? In real estate there are definitely some dance moves to master. Moves like…

  1. Prospecting
  2. Listing Appointments
  3. Customer Service
  4. Working (playing) with Buyers (I call this a break from real work)
  5. Negotiating offers
  6. Use of metaphors and analogies (these are what set you apart – give you distinction)

All of these moves take commitment, solid commitment. Figure out what you real commitment is. What you really want to accomplish, then let everything else line up behind that goal.  I just caution you to make it more about the people – the lives you help – rather than the money. When you do it right and your passion is for the people you can help, the money comes.

Awesome stuff Darryl. Thanks for sharing.  If you’d like to learn more about Darryl’s training courses and products, please visit www.DarrylSpeaks.com – and read his bio below.

About Darryl Davis

Darryl became a real estate agent at the age of 19 and quickly climbed the ladder to become a top producer, averaging six transactions a month. He became a licensed broker and manager of a new office that became the #1 listing and selling branch within its first 6 months of operation. He’s been named one of the highest-rated speakers at the National Association of REALTORS® convention for the past several years and is the ONLY real estate speaker who is a best-selling author with McGraw-Hill Publishing for his book, How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate. He is the founder of The POWER Program®, a yearlong real estate coaching program that has proven results of agents doubling their income over their previous year. He’s also the creator of the nationally acclaimed three-day program S.U.R.E. Results, where agents generate an average of $33,504.82 over their previous year. And as creator of the nationally recognized term “Next Level®,” Darryl strives to bring his students and attendees to their “Next Level®” of success by training them on how to have more fun and less stress in their business and personal lives. To learn more about Darryl and his training tools and services, visit www.DarrylSpeaks.com, or contact him at 1-800-395-3905.

To learn more about staying in consistent touch with your sphere and farm (as Darryl teaches), visit www.prospectsplus.com, or call our support team at 866.405.3638 today. 

 

Relationship Marketing Insights with REALTOR Maggie Dokic

By Julie Escobar

Through every conceivable type of market, one thing has always held true in our industry:  it’s a people business.  Call it what you will, mdokicsq-1sphere of influence or book of business, it is the process of staying connected and nurturing those relationships that will garner agents the highest potential for new business and referrals year after year and allow them to stay out of the “where is my next commission coming from” cycle.

To talk about why this is so important, I sat down with long-time ProspectsPLUS! Customer Maggie Dokic to find out what she’s learned through the years.

This is an excerpt from our interview:

Q:  Maggie, can you first tell our readers a little about yourself?

A: I’m a broker owner of a small real estate brokerage in Miami. I am technically a “competing” broker but only because I do sell to my own clients, not because I compete with my agents for business. We all lead generate and create our own business.

Q:  You’ve grown your team and your business considerably through the years, what do you think are the key components to building a solid book of business?

A: Fostering relationships with those who know you and staying in touch with past clients. It’s a known fact that it costs considerably more to get one new client than it does to stay in touch with one you already have. It makes financial sense to do so, plus it’s a natural extension of my personality to stay in touch with past clients!

Q: How important is marketing for you in terms of staying competitive and driving new leads?

A: Whether you’re marketing yourself or your brand, it’s important to ALWAYS be marketing. If you’re not?  Someone else is.

Q:  What ProspectsPLUS! marketing tools are you a big fan of and why?

A: I love the Just Listed postcards and how quickly they can be ordered. I’ve also really been wanting to try the new Market Dominator mailing. It looks amazing. I’ve had a challenging year this year due to personal responsibilities which have prevented me from expanding my real estate business. But it’s on my radar and as soon as my schedule settles down a bit, I’ll be looking into it further.md-nov

Q:  How often do you stay in touch with your sphere of influence?

A: On average it’s at least once a month with a scheduled email, but in reality probably more than that because much of my sphere I see in person either at church or personal events. And a large portion of my sphere is also connected on social media such as Facebook so I connect there as well.

Q:  What activities in your marketplace do you do consistently to support your marketing efforts?

A: Facebook ads for our new listings, open houses, and just listed/just sold postcards.  They all work to drive extra traffic to our site and phone calls.

Q:  Do you have a niche that you specialize in?

A: I’m a firm believer that it’s best to be a specialist and not a generalist. It dilutes your efforts if you try to be all things to all people. That said, my only niche is probably geographical in that I won’t go all over the county for business. I prefer to refer it to one of my agents or a colleague if it’s “too far” for me. Also I do not do commercial real estate, although I have agents who do. I personally prefer to concentrate on residential real estate only.

Q:  What advice do you have for fellow agents eager to create a strong foundation and career longevity?luxury cards

A: Real estate is about lead generation. If you don’t generate new business, you can’t expect to make it through the long haul. Pick at least three lead generating systems and stick to them. For example: Just Listed/Just Sold postcards are a great way to market you, your brand, and your listings.  Staying in touch with your sphere should definitely be another must-do.  ProspectsPLUS.com provides a whole spectrum of marketing tools to stay top of mind with your sphere, without breaking the budget.  And once you’ve sent those mailers?  Pick up the PHONE. It’s the least expensive, and most effective thing you can do. It’s a lot easier calling someone you know rather than a FSBO who doesn’t know you and is likely annoyed at all the agents calling her! Not to say FSBOs aren’t a good source of new business – they are!   

I would also say to focus on one thing at a time and don’t be a secret agent. This is Real Estate 101. Reach out to those who know you and like you, and let them know you’re in the business (or remind them you’re still in the business). People prefer to work with someone they know, like and trust and that’s where you gain the upper hand. Make sure your contacts know you are there for them. And be genuine in your approach. My monthly mailings remind them I’m in real estate. My phone calls, texts, Facebook posts and note cards are short, sweet, about building the relationship – and NOT about real estate are always appreciated. When you do all of these things – when they are ready to list or sell or know someone who is, I know they will remember I’m the real estate professional for them.

Q: You’ve also used a lot of Every Door Direct Mail™ while growing your business – what made you make communitynewsnovthumbsfront4that decision?

A: The cost of EDDM made me realize it was a smart business decision. Knowing that I could reach about three times the number of people for the same cost was a no-brainer. We once mailed to 1,002 homes and the day after the mailers were delivered I received my first call from a homeowner considering selling.

Q:  How can readers reach you if they’d like to send a referral your way?

A: We’re available at www.SpecialMiamiHomes.com and info@SpecialMiamiHomes.com.

Thank you so much Maggie.  We appreciation your generosity in sharing your experience!  You’re terrific and we wish you all the very best.

Want to learn more about driving your business forward, staying top of mind, and growing your referral base? Head over to our Master Marketing Schedule for a steady stream of tools, tips, techniques and ideas.

Need help getting started? Contact our team at 866-405-3638.  

 

An Interview with REALTOR Eric Hardy

by Julie Escobar

As we head into holidays and turn our eyes towards the new year ahead, I was eager to get back to some basics by sharing agents stories of best practices for building solid businesses.  Customer care and attention to detail are two factors that are critical keys to success for top performers.  To tackle that topic, I touched base with my old friend and awesome agent Eric Hardy who put customer care on the top of his priority list. Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q: Hey Eric – thanks for sharing with us today.  Before we jump in, can you tell the readers a little about yourself?

A:  Yes, I am 45 years old, married, and a father of two. I have been in the wedding business for over twenty years, and recently decided to go back into real estate after a 15 year break. I currently work for Dennis Eric HardyRealty in Lutz, Florida.

Q: You’ve recently re-entered the real estate game. What do you feel is the most important strategy for fast-tracking a successful first year ahead?

A: A positive attitude, a genuine love for what we do. You have to enjoy your wok because it shows to people when you do, and when you don’t. We get to help people with a major event in their life.

Q: How are you building your sphere of influence and staying top of mind with them?

A:  Nowadays social media is key, and understanding the power of it. Along with keeping in touch with people with even just a simple phone call to see how they are. I always tell everyone what I do for a living. When they think real estate, I want them to think of me.

Q: What advice would you give other new agents for hitting the ground running?

A:  Get as much training and education as you can, knowledge is power. Be humble and listen to advice from jl-cards-2people older and younger. And most importantly put the time in, and try new things till you learn what works best for you. Don’t skip on the traditional marketing tools that work either.  Just Listed and Just Sold postcards always have been a staple in our industry for a reason — they work. They help market you as an agent, your listings, and your business.

Q: Do you belong to a mentor or networking group in which you can share ideas?

A:  I work for a great company. We all sit at a round table once a week and discuss marketing plans, odd questions and different scenario’s agents come across. This way when we see a new situation or issue we are prepared.

Q: You were in the wedding business, are you transitioning those clients and customers into your sphere and do you see a niche market there for yourself as an agent?

A:  Yes, absolutely. Most of my couples once they are married their next major life event is usually buying a home. After working with me on their wedding they see that I am competent, intelligent and easy to work with. I want their home buying experience to be a stress free and fun, the same as planning their wedding. There are bumps in the road you may run into, but we are here to help you through that. And thank you for thanksgiving2016v6thumbsstndletting me be part of your big day, and part of a major event in your life.

Q: How important is servicing and staying connected with your customer base to you?

A: It is crucial. One thing I really liked about the REALTOR that helped me buy my home, is he still keeps in touch. I get an email at least once a month and every holiday, and occasionally see him around town and he is genuinely happy we love our home. I strive to give that level of customer service everyday.  Monthly postcards, phone calls, and social media make it easy to stay in touch in today’s world. Your customer base is going to be your strongest line of referrals. Always take good care of them even when the transaction is completed, stay in touch!

Q: Are you working a geographic farm? If so – what are you doing that’s working?free offer door hanger

A:  For me I work best face to face with people. I love to knock on doors, talk to people in my area. I get into conversations with them, and have even made friends and have gotten to know some really great people. The person in front of you may not be buying or selling, but if they like you they will put you in touch with anyone they know who is. Treat every person with kindness, people always do business with people they like. We are not just trying to find the next “sale” but building a career helping good people.

Q: How can people reach out to you with referrals?

A:  I am always available by phone or email, seven days a week. You can reach me anytime at 813-770-2150 or at Hardysline@verizon.net, if you just have a question I can help you with.

Thanks Eric for your time and your advice for what’s working in your corner of the world! Agents love to learn from other agents. I so appreciate your sharing your experience.

Need help marketing YOUR real estate business?  Contact our team at 866.405.3638 today or visit www.prospectsplus.com. 

For the Next Master Marketing Magazine

by Julie EscobarMasket-Marketing-Magazine-3D (1)

Calling all ProspectsPLUS! Customers!  We’re thrilled to be currently compiling new content for the fifth edition of the Master Marketing Magazine.  We are interested in interviewing five to seven of you to be featured as contributors to share your experience as real estate marketers.  Our magazine goes out to approximately 40,000+ agents and brokers across North America, offering the potential for referrals and exposure.

We are interested in interviewing agents who are…

Any of those things sound like you?  Then reach out to me today for an interview! All chosen contributors will be featured in the January magazine and will receive:

  • $100 ProspectsPLUS.com gift card
  • 10 Magazines to use in your marketing
  • A chance to be featured alongside some of the best coaches and minds in the business
  • Referral opportunities across North America

If you’d like to read the last edition — Experts and Insights online, visit here.  If you’d like to be considered for one of the limited contributor spots, connect with me via email and let’s set a time!

Need more assistance?  Contact our team at 866-405-3638 or visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com. 

Real Estate Agent Success

Insights from the Front Line with Ramona Williams

By Julie Escobar

When it comes to knowing EXACTLY what real estate professionals, and specifically our ProspectsPLUS!
customers want and need to grow their businesses in today’s market, I knew that there was one person who would be perfect to interview. My closest friend and always one of the smartest people in the room, our Director of Business Development, Ramona Williams.  With both an MBA and more thirty years of experience working with real estate agents and brokers, she’s the go-to resource for insights and ideas.

Here’s what we learned:

Q:  You are on the phones with customers every day, where do you think agents are needing the most help in terms of marketing their businesses and their listings?

A:  Consistency – hands down. That’s honestly where most agent’s marketing breaks down.  One and done listing inventory snapshotmarketing doesn’t work, never has and never will.  Secondly, what hurts agents is having no strategy at all.  That’s not a new problem of course. That’s historically where agents fail to grow their businesses, and why so many don’t make it.  Unfortunately, the majority of agents try lots of little things, including whatever the “shiny new idea” is in the office at the moment and never commit to anything consistently.  The result is they end up all over the place in terms of the message they are sending out into their market, and they’ll actually spend considerably more money trying every new thing that comes along than they would if they just put a solid, strategic plan of tested direct marketing that works in place and stuck to it.  Consistently sending branded, direct response marketing every 21-45 days to a sphere and farm is still the best means of driving results in our industry.

Q:  We’re seeing a huge rise in agents using EDDM® as a means to strategically market for less – what is your take on that and what advice do you have for others eager to do the same?

A:  I think Every Door Direct Mail® is a terrific way for agents to cover a large geographic area because of the Dominator April 16lower postage costs.  It makes it really affordable for agents to get back to those basics like working a geographic farm.  What I really like about seeing agents return to geo-farming is that it helps them focus their marketing efforts. For a long while we saw agents just chasing the next deal. They’d follow internet leads wherever they took them – sometimes driving hours to take a listing.  EDDM helps them to find a geographic market area that makes sense for them and literally get in every door. When used consistently, it creates a much more predictive business and income model than constantly chasing new business.  Here’s what else I can tell you – the great agents get that. They know that it’s not only OK to be in control of their marketing and business, it’s a must if you want to create a consistently growing business with commissions and referrals you can count on.  I think so much of the time you see agents who look at the business of real estate as risky to start with or unpredictable because it’s commission based.  So their mindset is that their business is supposed to be all over the place, or unpredictable as well.  Savvy agents know that real estate is a business and can be a very lucrative one if they treat is like it is and work a plan.

Q:  What product do you see the most demand for in today’s market?

A:  I’d say in most areas of the country inventory is still historically low, so agents are looking for any vehicle that can help them get listings.  So we’re seeing a lot of EDDM, Just Listed postcards and Just Sold postcardsjl js cards (which are great for pulling double duty – marketing the listing and the agent), our Market Dominator, Listing Inventory cards, FSBO and Expired tools, and our Neighborhood Update/Free Offer cards. The last take a little more work to input the listing data, but it’s what consumers want to see, and they make direct response offers, so they work.  Again, it’s getting back to taking control of your marketing.

We are also seeing an uptick in agents struggling with pricing listings correctly and that’s where your eBook 21 Ways to Get Your Listing Priced Right the First Time (Despite the Seller’s Objections) is a terrific tool that’s really affordable and filled with the kind of objection handlers agents need today.

Q:  You and I go way back in this business – we won’t say how far!  How do you think the market has changed and what do you think agents can do to best get in front of those changes and be competitive?

A:  You know, surprisingly, it really hasn’t changed all that much.  Our business is and always be cyclical.  What is different, of course, are the amount of technology options agents have and how many different organizations are selling to them.  Many of which are amazing and game-changing solutions for agents, no doubt. It does, however, make it really easy for agents to take their eye off the ball and look for that “magic pill” that will skyrocket them to success.  While that’s understandably tempting, the keys to being the top in your field is the stay focused, build inventory, price listing right, have a strategic plan, and find areas you really enjoy working and stay the course.

Q:  Excellent advice! You work with top producers and high volume teams quite a bit as our Director of Business Development.  What are some factors from a marketing perspective do you think they deploy that allow them to continuously rise to the top?

A:  Much like we just talked about, top teams and top agents don’t roll the dice with their results. They build their businesses exponentially by putting systems in place so things don’t fall through the cracks and understand and implement the power of consistent marketing.  In other words, they don’t wait and they don’t shy away from marketing at high levels.  They prioritize immediate lead generation, but they also have systems that allow them to build their brand and their businesses long term.  They are also typically service-minded professionals.  They take excellent care of their customer base, and communicate effectively and often with their sphere and farm.  That’s smart business.

Q:  Awesome. Any last words of wisdom for the readers?

A:  Well I guess I would say that this is truly a great industry where people can make an excellent, lucrative living that is relatively affordable to get into with a strong return on investment.  I would tell them to be strategic, consistent and be mindful of who you model yourself after.  You and I have both seen, countless times, agents who have been in this business 3, 4, 5 – even 10 years or more in this industry and have never put a sphere of influence database together.  While some may do all right at that, it makes you really wonder where COULD their business be if they had put that basic but so important piece in place? That’s a lot of missed opportunity and money left on the table.  I’d challenge agents to not do the same.  Get back to the basics.  Have a plan. Use strategic, consistent marketing (both in terms of timing and branding) to build your inventory, price them right, follow up, and take care of your book of business and your farm.

As always, you’re a tremendous source of advice for today’s professionals. What’s great for our customers to know is that you’ve done such an amazing job of both training and managing our support and marketing teams that they have incredible skills and insights as well and are wonderfully adept at helping agents and brokers figure out the best plans for them, and helping them strategically implement those plans every day.  Kudos to you for that!  Thanks for sharing!

If you’d like to connect with a member of Ramona’s team, you can call them at 866-405-3638 or email us at pmc@prospectsplus.com.  They are eager to help make your job – and your life a whole lot easier!