Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Insights from Real Estate Coach Dirk ZellerObjectives Achieved, Setting Goals Concept

For a lot of agents looking to make the most of what’s left of the year, getting the RIGHT coaching advice and strategies to create the RIGHT action plan for success can truly be the difference between making and breaking goals.  To get some words of wisdom, I reached out to Real Estate Champions Coach Dirk Zeller to learn what he’s sharing with agents that has got their production and profitability up, and their minds aligned with what they need to do to finish the year strong.

Here’s what we learned…

Q:  What agents do now is vital to how they finish the year – and even head into the New Year.  What’s your best top tip for agents eager to finish the second half of the year strong?

A: Do I have to give just one?  Because we have so many moving pieces to the real estate market, to the inventory increasing in many markets.  The Fed slowing down and ending the bond buying which will raise interest rates, with more than 41 million internet based leads being created this year up from about 15 million last year.  The agents have a lot more to focus on in this last few months.  Let me share a couple quickly that will create a vast difference.

1)  We are in a 90 day sprint.  Agents have less than 90 days left to the production year.  The real estate year really ends November 30th.  Which means– you have less time than you think.

2)  Call all leads and ask all new leads, “Is your goal to be in by the holiday season?” This will do more to determine timing, urgency, and whether this is a now prospect or a future customer.  Then, walk the fine line forward to build urgency.  “Wow, if you want to be in by Christmas, we need to have you closed on a home by December 15.  It usually takes 45 days to comfortably close a transaction, so we need to be in negotiations with a seller no later than November 1st.  Based on our inventory it likely will take 45 days to search and find the right home.  That means we need to be actively looking and view homes no later than September 15th.  Wow, that’s days away.  Let’s book an appointment to meet.”  I call this the Holiday close.

3)  Whether you make your goal for the year is not will be based on quality of the prospects you are investing your time in.  You have too little time left to make a mistake in investing time into someone that isn’t going to take action, meaning buy or seller.  Your cushion is now gone.  You can mess up in February but you can’t mess up in September.  There isn’t enough time to overcome.

Q:  What do you think has been the biggest change this year in our business and how can agents get in front of that to position themselves to better compete?

A:  The biggest challenge I see is selling value to a consumer that is more emboldened, more ‘do it yourself’. They are searching online more with more frequency and limited loyalty.  Based on the NAR numbers of more than 90%+ people using the internet to search for a home, with more than 80% searching frequently, almost all leads are now internet leads first.  Your best past clients and sphere are going to the internet before they even call you to say I am thinking about selling.  They get caught in Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com or another agent who has good web presence or pay-per-click campaign lead generation system.  This creates competition, public perception of lack of value, and an “I don’t need an agent I can get all I need online” misconception.  How I sell my value has changed because the information and options are out in the open at a higher level.  It also makes the need to consistently touch, communicate, transfer value to your past clients, sphere and forum more important than ever because they won’t automatically come back to use your service.

Q: There are a lot of agents who are still really fearful to pick up the phone and connect with their sphere – any dialogues you can share that will help them break the ice?

A:  The apprehension comes from the lack of contact in the past.  We have some months or years without personal contact, meaning a call.  It also comes from the lack of value we just talked about.  If I have no value “what’s” the purpose for the call?  Let me share two thoughts.  First, if it’s been awhile, call up and have a conversation.  You are calling because you were thinking of them and are wondering how they are doing.  Don’t ask for referrals on the call.  This is where agents get stuck.  They know they should ask for referrals, but they haven’t talked with this person in 3 years.  They know it’s not authentic to call once in 3 years and then at the end say “oh, so by the way…blah, blah, blah”.  Position your value to them. Craft a 30 second script on what’s happening in the marketplace, share with them economic indicators and how that effects real estate.  Express to them that its clear interest rates will be climbing in 6 months.  Have they looked into locking in the lowest possible rate to have their money if this home is a longer term house for them?  The key today is value, value, value!

Q: As you know, we are huge proponents of agents staying in CONSISTENT touch with their sphere and farm, what’s your advice in terms staying top of mind?

A:  Julie, you said the key word to success…CONSISTENT.  Whether you are trying to lose weight, increase your business, or create wealth, the secret sauce is consistency.  Most people are not consistent enough to let the law of averages create the win for them.  They need help in being consistent and that is true in all areas of their business and life.  The law of averages connects with the compounding effect of consistency to create a greater return and a compounded return over time.  Let me illustrate in money terms.  If you put $3.83 a day away from the time you turned 20 until age 65 and received high single digit interest rate return by age 65 you would be a millionaire.  The only hard part is doing it every day for 45 years…the rest is easy.  Would you trade a vanilla latte a day for a million bucks?  To be consistent in marketing you need someone that can create and send the pieces of marketing that have value to your client base or focus base.  You can’t do it alone because as an agent you get busy and it doesn’t get done.

Q:  Exactly!  That’s why we keep creating new ways for people to connect – so they don’t have to!  Any words of wisdom to help agents get on track and stay there?

A:  Because consistency in market and in actions is so important, do they have a system, strategy or person to help them?  That could be your spouse, significant other, brother, or a colleague, a mentor or coach.  If you aren’t consistent it’s likely that won’t miraculously change overnight unless you get some level of help.  Some of your audience, Julie, are thinking, “You’re right, Dirk, this is an issue and one I have had for some time”.  If you are thinking that, it’s likely you won’t fix this on your own.  You have known about it, have tried different alterations to fix it but it’s still an issue.  Look for help.  If you are saying, “Ok, Dirk, you got me, you’re right”, at least contact us so we can see if there might be a fit for us to provide help and value.

Q:  If agents want to learn more about your training systems, where is the best place for them to go?

A:  There are a number of ways to reach us.  They can go to our website at www.RealEstateChampions.com, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RealEstateChampions.  Probably the best is to call our office at 541-388-8833, or 877-732-4676.  One of our Success Consultants can invest a few minutes with you to better diagnose your challenges and help you create some solutions for you and your business.

Awesome stuff, Dirk! Thanks so much for sharing your time and strategies!  As always, our team is here to help you as well with powerful tools to help you get and stay connected, positioned, and top of mind in your market CONSISTENTLY.  Just reach out to us at 866.405.3638 or visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com. Be sure to visit our Specials Page as well to see what’s new this month and get the latest budget-saving promo codes.

Savvy Agents Choose the Right Continuity Program for Their Market

By Julie Escobar

One thing is a certainly a constant in our world – and that is that people are creatures of HABIT.  re news mayThey want predictability, comfortable decisions and easy choices – especially when it comes to who they CHOOSE to do business with.  And with a market where competition is fierce and marketing dollars tightened, savvy agents are making smart choices of their own in terms of the continuity systems and tools they are using to engage their sphere of influence or geographic farm consistently, month-after-month.

Top-of-mind awareness doesn’t just happen-right?  (Wouldn’t THAT be fantastic?)  Instead, it’s something we have to work at.  But the truth is, top salespeople know that to make the most of their talents and skills and earn top dollar – they should be doing what THEY do BEST – LISTING and SELLING homes.  Getting face-to-face and voice-to-voice with buyers and sellers.  NOT necessarily writing and designing mailers, schlepping down to the post office themselves.  But the marketing HAS to be done.  The brand awareness has to be built and the influence has to be developed and earned in that sphere.

Why?  Statistics show that 90% of real estate buyers and sellers come from the following:re news april

  • 48% choose someone they already know (the relationship has been built)
  • 24% choose an agent based on a referral or word of mouth
  • 12% from a listing call or for sale sign
  • 6% from open houses

So if you’re NOT building that relationship – you will be battling it out with the other agents for that leftover 10%.  (And that’s just no fun – and low rewards!)  So let’s look at a system that’s easy, manageable, doesn’t take a boatload of your time and gets your sphere or farm engaged – what do you say?

ProspectsPLUS! has been a leader in helping agents serve up the right messages to their right market segments at the right time – and that includes writing some of the best-read newsletters in the industry.   And our newsletters are filled with timely information, eye-catching real estate infographics, fun facts to share, and engaging direct response offers —  so that agents just like you can, in just a matter of minutes, use these powerful continuity tools to stay in touch CONSISTENTLY with that VERY IMPORTANT 90%!

What makes our newsletters the tool of choice for so many agents?

  • They’re done for you.  While every newsletter is COMPLETELY EDITABLE – in other words – re news april dominatoryou can change anything you want in terms of copy.  You can add your own spin, market statistics, personal note or invoke your own personality but when time is of the essence and you just want to get it checked off the list – you’ve got a template that’s ready-made with everything you need to capture your customer’s attention.
  • They’re compelling.  We put in the time, effort, energy and RESEARCH to create newsletters that get READ.  Interesting headlines.  Topics that are timely.  Articles that enter the conversations going on in the minds and households of consumers today.  Fun facts people can share with friends or online in the social media platforms.  News they need to know.
  • They’re DIRECT RESPONSE.  Meaning all throughout the newsletters, you’re giving customers or potential customers persuasive reasons to contact YOU.  They offer items of VALUE.  Engage them with smart questions that invite people to call you for answers.
  • Space for sponsorship.  Many agents use the ‘editorial’ section on page two of their newsletters to feature a sponsor such as a title rep, mortgage lender or real estate attorney.  This allows them to spotlight a trusted resource – and either share in the cost of the monthly newsletter – or in many cases- get them paid for completely by the sponsor.  That’s a win-win-win for everyone.  The sponsor gets recognition and builds a relationship with a trusted REALTOR, the agent gets their marketing paid for and has the ability to CONSISTENTLY reach out to the sphere or farm and the consumers get information that’s engaging, timely and of interest!
  • They’re AFFORDABLE.  You’ll find all of ProspectsPLUS! tools and solutions always competitively priced and newsletters are no exception.  Sign up for your FREE account online and you can preview our pricing matrix based on quantity and shipping options.  Just visit us online today.
  • They’re EASY.  Who has time for frustration in today’s world?  Once you’ve created an account, added your personal information and photos – the rest is a piece of cake.  With all the content already done for you – it couldn’t be simpler.  And if you’d like a helpful hand to walk you through the process or help you decide – contact our team at 866.405.3638 today. They’re always eager to assist!
  • You have OPTIONS.  Our newsletters come with three different options.  First, our Done-for-you – which can be downloaded as a pdf and printed yourself, shipped to you, or mailed for you. Secondly, you could take advantage of the Every Door Direct Mail® version and save big on postal costs!  And lastly. for those eager to DOMINATE  a market, our Market Dominator System™.  Learn the difference between all three options here! 

If you’re in the market for a continuity program that makes your job easier, your production and market share INCREASE and that’s easy on your budget – check out our newsletters today.    We’ve even added a step-by-step video for you so you can see for yourself how easy it is!

Oh – and here’s a tip for ADDING to your sphere — ever work with investors?  Or in property management? It’s easy to find the names and addresses of non-owner occupied luxury properties. Simply use the MapMyMail system and choose the non-owner-occupied data select! Watch the video here.

Happy marketing and remember – we’re here if you need us!  Just call our team today at 866.405.3638.  Google

With Industry Icon Danielle KennedyDanielle Kennedy

By Julie Escobar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q:  Where can people get your amazing book? 

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

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

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

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

An Experienced Nod for Newslettersreal estate newsletters

By Julie Escobar

When it comes to direct marketing, you can’t beat the reputation of Dan Kennedy.  He’s been around the block – in fact, I’m fairly sure he’s BUILT a few of the blocks. That’s why it was awesome to see his piece last week on the power of newsletters and how they have not, as some bloggers would suggest, “met their demise”.  Mr. Kennedy, and many of his followers have earned their stripes by building solid, long-lasting relationships — most using his direct-response materials.

After 20 years in the direct mail and real estate marketing industry, we couldn’t agree more.  Our clients have been using newsletters to stay top-of-mind with their sphere and geographic farm areas and love the results they get in return.  While many in our business have taken direct mail completely OFF their marketing menu, you’ve got to love the power of doing something DIFFERENT to get yourself noticed (and remembered!)

Today’s consumers are hungry for new, timely, and on-target information.  They want resources they can trust and hyper-local information that is important to them, their family and the decisions facing them in today’s market.  And the agent that delivers that?  Not just ONCE, but time and time again?  Will be the agent that wins in the end.  We know that delivering quality content month after month is tough to do for busy agents.  Top agents spend (and should) their valuable time face-to-face and voice-to-voice with sellers and buyers.  That’s what is closest to their revenue line, and what they are best at.  Compiling, collating and disseminating content is time consuming and for many, frustrating.  We get it.  That’s why we’ve always said, “creating is hard, but clicking is easy!”  We develop the content month after month that gets agents noticed.  And we don’t leave out the details!

Adding eye-catching real estate infographics, industry-relevant articles, call-provoking direct response offers, and warm, client-friendly commentary are just some of what make our newsletters such a success for agents.  We also include the ability to completely edit any of the pieces and add in local stats and information to really personalize for those agents that CHOOSE to add their own creative touches.  It couldn’t be easier.

So for those that say newsletters are a thing of the past, we beg to differ.  When you combine real content, real resources, real top-of-mind awareness, and real consultative communication with the people in your sphere and farm CONSISTENTLY?  You’re more than ‘sending a newsletter.’  You’re building a referral base that will take you throughout your career.

And for those who REALLY want to DOMINATE in their marketplace, we’ve got a system that delivers MORE than just a newsletter that gets you both in the door and drives market share for less!  Learn more!

Want to learn more?  View all of our newsletter templates here or contact our office today at 866.405,3638 to find out how we can help you start reaching out to the referral market you may be missing today!