Sunday, November 19, 2017

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!

And More Great Advice from Real Estate Veteran Donna Reardon

By Julie Escobar

Staying on track and making a name for yourself in an industry with more twists and turns than the new rollercoaster at Busch Gardens isn’t easy – but neither is it impossible.  How do I know?  I’ve been lucky enough to witness it time and time again.  With some key ingredients, the right people around you and the right mental mindset – anything’s possible!  To connect with some of those ‘must have’ components I lassoed an incredible old friend of mine and a woman who has been practicing some of the best real estate strategies I know for more than twenty years, Donna Reardon.

Here’s some of what she had to share…

Q:  Hey sunshine!  So great to catch up with you!  From old times to new discoveries – I love learning from you!  This week I was exploring some of the components that give agents “sticking power” in this business and of course, you came to mind.  I’m hoping you can share some of your story with the readers and hopefully inspire some to implement some of your timely insights in their own careers!  Before we get started – why don’t you tell everyone a little about yourself?

A:  Hey Julie – wonderful to reconnect with you as well.  It’s been a while!  As for me, I guess you’d start by calling me a  Real Estate mom.  I’ve raised two amazing young men; have a wonderful daughter-in-law which I consider as my own daughter and three of the most adorable grandchildren the world has ever seen!  And I’ve done all that while working as a real estate professional full time for the last 26 years.

I started my career in Real Estate in the mid 1980’s with another national Real Estate brand and was always one of the top agents in my office.  In 1990, I moved my license to a small boutique real estate broker.  I was also a trainer in training for Floyd Wickman’s National program- Sweathogs. In 1993, I was recruited by Prudential Long Island Realty (which is now Prudential Douglas Elliman R.E.) to manage an office in Bayside.  When I took over the office here in Queens, the office ranked 22 out of 24 offices.  Now with approximately 70 offices from Westchester, NYC to Montauk, we have consistently ranked in the top 5 from Queens to Montauk since 1995.  In 2009, we took first place and we took 2nd place in 2010, for all offices from Queens to Montauk.  We have also been the #1 broker in all of Queens for the last several years. While leading a professional team of over 150 agents, I still have time for exercising, swimming, gardening and being part of several charitable organizations. Closest to my heart is being a part of The Sunshine Kids Organization, which helps make dreams come true for children fighting cancer.

Q:  That’s awesome Donna!  You’re a busy gal!  Sounds like you’ve got that juggling time management thing down to a science!  Let’s talk about what you believe are the big top three “DO’s & DON’Ts” for agents in today’s market.  Your thoughts?

A:  Absolutely!

The top three must do (or have) to make it in this business are:

  1. Be passionate and enjoy what you are doing!
  2. Have a clear and defined business plan and treat your real estate career as a real job.
  3. Be flexible and adjust to all new market conditions.

And I think the top three DON’TS are…

Are You Leaving That Question in ANYONE’S Mind in Your Neighborhood Farm Area? 

By Julie Escobar

This month we are going to focus on all the many different ways you can generate listing leads!  One great way – is to brand yourself as the neighborhood specialist!  The goal?  Never to have them ask “Who’s my neighborhood specialist?” again!

In that vein – I wanted to revisit a post from a while back with a little update here and there.  I asked some of my favorite real estate pros their best strategies for becoming the neighborhood specialist and firing up that prospecting pipeline!

In this article I caught up with veteran real estate professionals, Denise Buscemi and Karen Marshall to learn some of their best practices (and throw in a few of our own) for becoming and staying the top “Neighborhood Specialist” in your market area. We’ll also hear from my friend and agent turned social marketing guru Tony Francis.  What’s interesting to note is that our guests have a combined total of 55 years in the industry between them, so it’s safe to say they’ve probably walked in your shoes before, regardless of how long you’ve been in the business. They’re also some of the first to encourage agents of every business tenure to “keep learning, keep marketing and stay focused.”

Size of sphere or farm: How big of a farm or neighborhood should you market? Denise Buscemi, through most of her career kept tabs on a farm of about 5000, but has since pared that down to 2500 which includes her sphere of influence since taking over as managing broker for her Century 21 Sterling office in Port Jefferson Station, New York. She had this to share, “Most of my time is spent recruiting, training and managing now, but I still feel that it’s important to maintain and take care of my client base. I usually recommend new agents start building their farm area to about 250, and experienced, full-time agents should consider working towards maintaining a farm of
at least 1,000.”

Karen Marshall of Keller Williams in Pittsburgh and her team successfully navigate a database of more than 10,000, and uses a system of referral name recognition to effectively communicate with 500-1,000 regularly. In fact, contrary to the woes cried by agents across the nation, Karen has not seen a drop in production and she and her team are celebrating “a fabulous first half of the year.” What’s her secret to success? “Never stop marketing!”

Keep in mind you don’t have to start with a 500, 1,000, 2,000 or more – you just have to start! After all, as in wise words of Zig Ziglar, “If we don’t start, it’s certain we can’t arrive!”

How to find the right neighborhood or farm area: If you’re new, pick an area that REALLY interests you, dig in and learn about the community, the people, the surrounding businesses and the culture. Then make it your own and then start expanding. If you’ve been in the business for a while now and have NOT yet begun to build and maintain a working database/customer base – let today be the day you start. Too many in our industry leave with nothing to show for it – don’t let that be you!

Mrs. Buscemi recommends that agents target a town or part of a town they want to establish themselves in. “You have to be passionate about it. In order to really be successful, you have to really have a connection and a commitment to that community. I ask my agents to designate 75% of their efforts to the top 10% of that market share, and then blanket the rest for the lower tiered homes. Once you’ve established yourself in that top 10%, then everyone knows your name.”

It’s no surprise that Karen echoed similar sentiments. As with any effective branding effort, becoming the neighborhood specialist means you have to jump in with both feet and commit to being the resource for those consumers who make up your target market. Not just to gain their business, but because you believe you are the best person for the job and able to provide a level of service like no other. You have to be genuine. If you’re not authentic in your purpose, it shows and especially in today’s market, people don’t want, nor do they have to work with people who are less than the real deal.

Little things mean a lot – and add up to big business: I am always thrilled to see agents putting best practices into play, showing true tenacity and taking a walk on the creative side! When it comes to building trust, increasing your image, and really getting to know the community members in your farm, little things really do mean a lot. “In addition to our monthly mailings,” shared Denise, “we also get the kids and actually ‘walk the farm’ about four times a year with a gift, a giveaway or some small token and a chance to meet and talk to people one-on-one. We tape flyers to mailboxes, put flags in the yard for holidays such as Flag Day or Independence Day, and in the summer I like to use the Neighborhood Update flyer from my ProspectsPLUS! software and tape it to those neon colored plastic sand shovels I can get from the novelty store with a note saying, ‘here’s the scoop from your 110% Realtor!’ That ALWAYS gets calls! Some agents use seed packets in the spring for their farms, or trick or treat bags at Halloween. Whatever you do, it’s important to just get out there, have fun, be creative and meet the people!”

Veteran agent turned rocking social media man  Tony Francis had this to say, “My best advice for agents is to look at starting a new farm much like you would if you were opening up a restaurant or a new store. Your job the first few years is to really get noticed and make a name for yourself. It’s then when you have to use bigger ads, contact the homeowners more, and be very visible. For example, put ads in the Homes magazines, featured the properties on Realtor.com, and put ads and information in the community newsletters as well as my monthly mailings to the homeowners. Make sure the magnets are always on the car, and people see me and my brand every day as I’m out and about! I also believe you really have to GET INVOLVED. It goes back to that genuineness. Get involved in the kid’s schools, become a business partner. That’s good for them and for you.  It’s great exposure, and an opportunity to open lines of communication with people.

Holding buyer’s and seller’s workshops is another great way to offer valuable information to your farm area and get tremendous results in return. We used to hold them every two weeks and we’d have around 30 people at each event. We’d convert about 30% of those. Another good idea is to work with those people other agents are unwilling or unable to work with. How many agents do you know that DON’T follow up on open house leads? Offer them $100 for every lead that turns into something. It’s a great way to build your business, and make sure that the customer is getting the service they want and deserve!” Tony took it a step further as well. He jumped in and organized the Trinity Business Association for those people who live and work in his farm area. He’s then created the neighborhood groups on Facebook and really saw his “friendships” grow as he helps everyone stay better connected in his community!

Consider helping out at block parties, community block parties, firework celebrations and more. Send out newsletters that offer ideas and solutions people can use as well as present yourself as the expert they can turn to with current, relevant and timely information each and every month.

Best advice for agents? “Make a plan and commit to the plan,” said Denise. “Then invest a little money in smart tools that help you get where you need to go. It’s really amazing how much you can lose when you STOP doing all these things. I used to maintain 25% of that market area using this program, and I stopped doing all these important things for a while when I took over management. It’s funny, getting back to it now I’ve just picked up ten new listings in the last couple weeks because of it. So, just do it!” Karen shared that sentiment, “Stop talking about what you need to do and just do it! There’s enough business out there for everyone! Invest in yourself and your business. This makes it simple, easy to do and really, you can’t afford NOT to!” Tony added, “Just get involved. Become a member of the association, join the PTA, get out in the neighborhoods, talk to people and start building those relationships. They really will follow you throughout your career!”

Please join me in giving a big THANK YOU to our guest specialists, Denise Buscemi in Port Jefferson Station, NY, Antony Francis in Palm Harbor/Tampa, Florida, and Karen Marshall in the Pittsburgh area! If you’ve got a referral in any of those areas that need EXTRA special attention, these three are the agents to call!

Now get out there and start branding yourself as the turn-to agent in your neighborhood of choice so that next time someone is asked, “Who’s your neighborhood specialist?” They’ll know EXACTLY who to name!

Need more help building your business or making a name for yourself in your niche of choice? Visit www.prospectsplus.com today and tap into a wide spectrum of solutions, resources and training that can help you thrive in today’s market.

You may want to consider our Neighborhood Update Series of postcards to stay in touch with your neighborhood farm month after month!  Use this month’s special PROMO CODE GROW10 to save 10% on your order!

If you wish to learn more about the ProspectsPLUS! Personal Agent Marketing System and what makes it the tool of choice for agents like our guests today, call us at 866.405.3638 or email your questions!