Sunday, July 23, 2017

How to Build a Smarter Book of Business

By Julie Escobar

This year, we’ve talked a LOT about data. Big Data. Smart analytic data. Specialty Nielsen Prizm data. Geographic data based on radial search technology.  Demographic data selects such as age, gender, income, and property data.  We’re working hard to ensure that we can be your trusted resource for all of these data sources and then some.

On thing that has to start with you, the agent, however, is your sphere of influence database.  It’s truly the foundation for your business – and it is the difference between always chasing new commissions, or having a reliable, consistent referral base you can count on.  Want to build a business that is strong, sustainable, and competitive and that you can sell when you’re ready to retire?  Start here.  Now.  Long before the end of the year – and you’ll help yourself to get on track to average more transactions per year, every year.

Think about this –if you had 250 people in a database that you consistently stay in touch with and who you develop a RELATIONSHIP with, then who will they call when they have a real estate question, need or referral?  YOU.  If just 10% of those folks listed, sold or referred you per year, what would that mean for your income?

“But building a database is HARD!” (Ever hear that one?)  It doesn’t have to be and it doesn’t have to be done all at once, but what it does need to be is a consistent part of your weekly business habits. NOT having a sphere of influence list is hands-down, the single biggest obstacle to agent success.  Not having a database you can market to will keep you in the not-so-fun cycle of always chasing new business, without the benefit of ever gaining any traction.  And think about this – if data inputting is an issue — there are lots of college kids still home for the summer that would love an opportunity to make a few dollars just for a few days work of inputting your data.

If you knew that statistics show that one in every twelve people in your SOI will either do business with you or refer business to you each year… would you take the time? Would you find out how many people you need in your sphere to hit your goals in the new year? soi-calculator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know YOUR number?  You can calculate your sphere of influence here.

Now, where to start?  Pick a date to work on it and commit.  Open a spreadsheet on your computer or tablet. Or choose an online database management system.  Then ask yourself (and answer) these 30 Questions:

1. What are the names of the members of your family?

2. What are the names of your spouse’s family?

3. What are the names of your “extended” family?

4. What is the name of your best friend?

5. What is the name of your spouse’s best friend?

6. What are the names of your very close friends?

7. What are the names of your spouse’s very close friends?

8. What are the names of your children’s friends’ parents?

9. What are your children’s teachers’ names?

10. What are your children’s coaches’ names?

11. What are your children’s principals’ names?

12. What are your children’s dentists’ names?

13. What are your children’s doctors’ names?

14. What are your children’s optometrists’ names?

15. Who cuts your children’s hair?

16. Who sells you your children’s clothes?

17. Who is on the PTA Board at your children’s school?

18. Who is your children’s Sunday school teacher?

19. Who cuts your hair?

20. Who does your dry cleaning?

21. Who does your pedicures, manicures, facials?

22. Who do you purchase gasoline from?

23. Who services your car(s)?businessbase

24. Who do you buy tires from?

25. Who sold you your current car(s)?

26. Who have you purchased cars from in the past?

27. Who cleans your car(s)?

28. Who is your mailman?

29. Who do you know at your church?

30. Who do you see at the convenience store you most often go to?

Next, add every customer you’ve ever had.  Add the neighbors. Add old business colleagues.  In fact, click here to get a copy of our BusinessBASE™, download it at no cost and read it thoroughly.  On page six you’ll find 150 questions like the ones above that you need to ask yourself to build a sphere of influence list of at least 250 people.   It will also tell you all the fields you will want to set up for each contact such as name, community-newsaddress, email, occupation, etc.

Then take ACTION.  Start a touch marketing campaign to these folks every 21-35 days. A great way to start?  Send our done-for-you newsletters every month. They’re designed to be eye-catching, informational, and are filled with direct response offers that get results.  Or consider a series of postcards such as holidayrecipe postcards, customer appreciation cards, or listing inventory cards that will keep you top of mind, take just minutes to order and send and helps you incubate each person on our new list until you have the opportunity to see or speak to them.customer-app

And DON’T wait until you have all 250 or more in your list to start.  Remember that old saying by Arthur Ashe?   “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Momentum doesn’t just happen. You have to get started somewhere.  If you only get 25-50 people put into your book of business this month. Start sending to them.  Or Make it a goal to just put 100 in this weekend.

Follow up!  The BusinessBASE™  will also share with you a powerful SEND-CALL-SEE approach to following up with your list.  The 20 year value of a client is roughly $49,647.  With that number in mind – how many people do YOU want to put in YOUR book of business?

Get started today!  Click here to download your copy of the BusinessBASE™  and start building your list this month.  Then head over to our Master Marketing Schedule to see how you can stay top of mind with these VIPs all year around. Need help? Call us at 866.405.3638 today or click here to see what other agents are using successfully right now and take advantage of special savings offers.  

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. 

 

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!  

A Formula For Successsuccess

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-right?

Take 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.

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!  

Make it a great one!

The Inside Scoop From Real Estate Professional Linda Alexandroff

By Julie Escobar

With Pinterest taking off like wildfire, I wanted to dive in and do some homework about how top agents are using this tool to bolster their marketing efforts and help create connections and build relationships.  To get the inside scoop on what’s working and how this unique social media platform can be a powerful lead generator, I turned to talented agents and forward thinker Linda Alexandroff to share her experience with us!

Q:  Thanks so much Linda for joining in our conversation about Pinterest.  You’ve been using this platform for a while – can you tell us about your experience and why you decided to integrate Pinterest into your marketing and communication tools?

A: I am a social media junkie and love to incorporate all phases of social media in my marketing plans. Depending on the interest level of clients, I try to hit all of their favorite sites into any plan to market their homes. Pinterest holds a special place in my heart because of the reach it has across demographics. I use it to supplement listings but mainly to demonstrate my interests both in real estate and personally. Typically I will “link” it to my business Facebook page, blog entries, tweets, Google+ and sometimes a link to LinkedIn. By using Pinterest in a thoughtful, connected manner I am able to establish a sphere of influence with wide ranging likes.

Q:  How have you found it has helped your business?

A. New clients, especially younger 21-34 year olds, are very interested in what you think and like. They have no problem striking up an “on-line” conversation with you about what they see you have posted. I believe these posts are a great way to connect with them because it takes very little effort and has a broad impact. I know for sure I would not be able to have conversations with people living across the country but an online presence makes it simple. Nurturing a good on-line relationship has helped me develop trust and referrals.

Q:  What would your advice be to other agents or business professionals about this tool?

A. Embracing technology, especially emerging social media tools like Pinterest, will make you a stronger professional in the eyes of young consumers. We all know that developing a good relationship will pay off in the end. It might start as a referral for a rental, but with consistency and a little effort, eventually it turns into sales and purchases. The 21-34 years old have strong networks of families and friends; keeping up with that segment of the population will definitely increase your presence among them. It may take a few minutes of your time, but LINK everything to each other. If one person finds an interesting post from you on one site they will share it while other people may have different social media favorites and find you on another site. It may seem redundant but it is really the easiest way to stay in touch with the most people. Also make sure all posts appear on your website as a rolling feature.

Q:  How do you keep from letting it steal all your time?  

A. I dedicate an hour, twice a week, to update my social media outlets. Typically, I use my free time in the evening, when I am surfing the net, or checking emails, to update. I do find Pinterest to be especially easy to use. If I see something I like, whether it is a design element, a listing, an open house, a recipe, etc. I use the “Pin It” icon on my computer to easily post it. I also immediately click the Twitter icon on Pinterest to share it among my followers. Frankly, if you spend the initial time linking your sites, the computer does the rest for you.

Q:  Wow Linda – you’ve been terrific to lend your experience and advice on this topic for our readers.  Thank you so much!  Tell me, how can users follow you online so they can learn from an EXPERT?

A. People can connect with me in a number of ways!  Here are my links:  https://www.facebook.com/LindaAlexandroffRealtorAssociate, http://www.coldwellbanker.com/website/LindaAlexandroff , http://pinterest.com/west757/, My Blog: Simply Extraordinary

Terrific!  So here’s to all of you out there who are interested in creating even more diversity in your marketing and are open to new tools and ideas!  Start pinning!  Oh – and while you’re at it – look us up at www.pinterest.com/prospectsplus – we’ll see you online!