Saturday, December 16, 2017

It’s ALL in the preparation!Holiday Gift
By Julia Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing

From marketing and meal making to everything in-between, surviving the mad holiday dash while maintaining your momentum (and sanity) requires the same common sense and careful planning needed before a big feast, a houseful of company or the exam of a lifetime. It’s ALL in the preparation!

1. Find your center. That might sound like a lot of new-age hot air to some, but there is real power in finding and keeping your focus when your world is spinning at lightning speed. Knowing who you are and where you are going gives you the energy you need to succeed and keeps you grounded as you put one foot in front of the other each day. A good way to start is to begin each morning with positive affirmations of your goals and life and an open journal page on which to write your daily to-do list. No time, you say? Turn that clock back an extra 15 to 20 minutes, and make the time. Success in this industry and in this market requires balance, dedication and fearless focus. Find your center, and you might just be pleasantly surprised to feel your energy increase, your momentum build and your quality of life improve beyond your dreams.

2. Have a plan. Ready, set, go! Grab your calendar, your kids and your significant other, and plot your course before the holidays arrive so that you can carve out a healthy balance of fun and work–and even capture a few precious moments for yourself! Take a look at your travel schedule, school calendars, office events and customer needs, and carefully block out your time in advance–including some well-deserved “you” time so that you can regroup and reenergize each week in an effort to be your personal best.

Holiday_TableSix Strategies for Maximizing Your Market
By Julie Escobar, Corporate Marketing Director

Setting the table for a successful new year means starting early for savvy real estate professionals.  While much of the competition falls into cruise control, plan holiday parties or simply wait for the economic shift to suit their style, top producers turn up the heat to sweep the market share in their absence. 

1. Prospect, Promote and Prosper.  In changing markets, many agents stop advertising, re-direct their marketing dollars to the year ahead and put their prospecting in park until after the holidays.  Stay forward of the competition by continuing to market yourself with creative, consistent, targeted marketing.
 

2. Spread the Holiday Cheer.  Make the most of this opportunity to reach out to your client base with face-to-face visits.  Choose fifty or so of your top prospects and make plans to visit them.  What may seem like a lot of time, can really be broken down into 10 or so contacts per week.  Would that be worth a sale or two?  Sure it would.  Make the calls.  Shake hands, bring a card and thank these very important people for their contribution to your career.  For those really special clients, bring along a treat for their family table and you’ll find yourself more than their REALTOR® you become a friend.   

3. Clean Out Your Client Base.  Most agents wait until January to truly wade through their client base.  Getting an early start means momentum as you head into the New Year when most are still putting away party hats and streamers.  If you don’t currently have a means of tracking your clients, visit our site, www.prospectsplus.com for a free BusinessBASE™ client management system.  Getting to know your prospects, their families, their needs and their personalities will help you build long term, solid relationships that bring you current listings and sales as well as referrals that will build your book of business throughout your career.
 

4. Live and Learn.  What a tremendous time to be a professional salesperson.  Never before in history has education, skill-building and growth as an agent or as a person been more simple or accessible.  How fortunate we are to have internet, 24/7 that allows us to tap in, download, read, discuss and explore ways to improve our life skills personally and professionally.  Make it a goal this quarter and coming year to consistently fine tune who you are and what you do. 
 

Keeping company with industry leaders such as Michael Saunders and Company, John L. Scott Real Estate, Koenig & Strey, GMAC, Prudential Douglas Elliman and more, ProspectsPLUS! has published its corporate video on InmanStories.com. “We are thrilled to share the story of who we are, our foundation and our commitment with an industry that we are so passionate about,” said Jim Morton, President of ProspectsPLUS! “This is a tremendous opportunity to give brokers and agents a peek inside our dynamic organization and corporate team.” We invite you to take a look for yourself!

ProspectsPLUS! just got into the blogging business!  Subscribe today and join Corporate Marketing Director Julie Escobar as she shares new articles, stories, tips and tools each week!

Here you will find guest columnists, industry experts, tough market strategies, links to free downloads and resources and more.  We also invite you to add your comments, and let us know what you need to build your book of business or take your career to the next level.

So if you are ready — We are set to GO!

FSBOs looking for help will participate in conference calls—if they
can phone in anonymously!

by Mike O’Boyle, National Speaker, Regional Director

Want a creative way to work For Sale By Owners without the worries of do-notcall violations? The FSBO conference call is a powerful guerilla-marketing tool that will put you in touch with a lot of prospects.

According to the Texas Profi le of Homebuyers and Sellers, 16% of sellers in 2004 sold their home without using an agent—up from 11% in 2003, and higher than the national average of 14%. This survey also found that challenges for FSBOs include selling within the time planned, preparing the home for sale, attracting buyers, understanding paperwork, and getting the price right. Clearly, many people who sell their home on their own could benefi t from your help.

Knowing that a large number of FSBOs will eventually list their homes for sale with a real estate agent, why not try a rejection-free approach that will literally get FSBOs to call you? This is a creative, easy, cost-effective, and painless strategy that will get your phone to ring and increase your listing inventory. A word of caution: This tool isn’t for everyone. But if you are the type of person who believes in the magic of creating a relationship first and making the sale later, you’ll love this!

How can I get FSBOs to call me?
Contact your local telephone company or look in the yellow pages under conference call and fi nd out how to set up a conference call. There are many companies offering conference-call technology. You will receive a special phone number and instructions, which probably will include a password for folks calling into the conference call.

Create and print fliers letting FSBOs know that they can participate in a free, anonymous 30-minute conference call each week to help them sell their homes. Let them know what day and time to call and any instructions they need to join the conference call. Try not to pick a time and day of the week that confl ict with a popular TV series or major sporting events. Distribute your fliers/invitations to as many FSBOs as you can fi nd—the more the better. You can also place the fl iers on local bulletin boards in your area. Grocery stores, home-improvement stores, and shopping centers are all great places to start (and all places where FSBOs often advertise their homes). You can even search the Internet for FSBOs by going to Google and searching on the phrase for sale by owner and the name of your city. (For the best results, put for sale by owner in quotes and the name of your city outside the quotes.) Several Web sites will show up where FSBOs are advertising their homes for sale. You will be surprised how many of these Web sites actually display the FSBO e-mail addresses right on the site!

Now, for zero cost you can e-mail your fl ier directly to FSBOs with an invitation to participate in your free For Sale By Owner conference call each week. (Make sure that your e-mail subject line contains ADV:, you include your return e-mail address and postal address, have a means to unsubscribe, and comply with all other state and federal e-mail rules.

Your flier should let FSBOs know that they can talk with other people selling their homes on their own, and they can talk with you, one of the area’s top real estate professionals (or however you brand yourself).

What will you talk about?
Your job during this call is simply to carry the conversation. Thank your callers for joining in and let them know you are available for private consultation if they’d like to call you directly. Have a prepared list of subjects you plan to talk about and a list of sample questions they may want to discuss.

Offer free advice on what they can do in the next few days to help sell their home. Here are just a few examples of free information you can offer the participants of your call:

  • Selecting the right price to attract the most buyers
  • Making the right improvements to avoid wasting money on unnecessary, unprofitable projects
  • Advertising tips, so you don’t waste money
  • Preparing your home for a good showing
  • Holding a great open house
  • Qualifying buyers to separate them from lookers.

Now, imagine you were a caller. What would you ask? What would you want to know about selling your home?

  • What kind of financing alternatives may be offered
  • What to do when a buyer wants to make an offer
  • How to counteroffer without jeopardizing the sale
  • How to negotiate effectively for a better offer
  • Who to contact to help close the sale.

You can also invite guest speakers, such as loan officers, home inspectors, or real estate attorneys to discuss specific topics relating to the sale of a home. You can ask your guest speakers to pay for the cost of the call that week in exchange for the opportunity to market their services to home sellers.

Think about this example—even if a FSBO does sell his home on his own, the buyer will need a loan from somebody. If the buyer is not pre-qualified, and the FSBO can politely recommend the loan officer from the call for immediate pre-qualification, that certainly would be worthwhile for that mortgage professional. It also would be worthwhile for the FSBO, who does not have to waste time on unqualified buyers.

Throughout the conference call, offer free services. A price analysis, an equity analysis, or a FSBO first aid kit usually works well. What’s in a FSBO first aid kit? You can include information or advice to help the sellers sell their property, like a marketing plan, home-staging advice, negotiating tips, etc. These items may encourage the FSBO to invite you to show them how you can sell homes quickly and for top-dollar.

Finally, wrap up your call by asking the participants to call back and report their results to you and discuss new topics next week. This is a great way to build FSBO confidence and eventually gain their business.

Will FSBOs call in?
You bet they will, and here’s why:

  • It’s free
  • It’s anonymous
  • It’s more comfortable to them than meeting face to face with a real estate agent
  • Anybody with a touch-tone phone can call in from any location.

In fact, you can moderate the conference call from the comfort of your own home while you’re wearing pajamas and eating your favorite ice cream.

This is a definite “give before you get” proposition, so be patient. If you expect immediate results, you will be disappointed. Often, there will be a few people on the line who will not talk. After a couple of calls, most people will feel more comfortable and will chime in. It’s a beautiful thing when FSBOs begin sharing their horror stories of “an open house gone bad” with first-time callers.

Keep in mind that while some For Sale By Owners may successfully sell their homes on their own, many will decide to list with an agent. Your value proposition in exchange for offering this free service is that you are simply asking that should the time come when they do decide to list, you hope they will think of you. If they do sell on their own, perhaps you can help them with the purchase of their new home.

Remember to ask everyone on your calls for referrals.

Could this strategy be worth an extra listing (or two or three) per month to you? Set up the call, invite as many FSBOs as you can, and find out.

Mike O’Boyle is regional director with ProspectsPLUS! a personal real estate marketing software company endorsed by CRS. He has trained with industry experts including Floyd Wickman, Dave Beson, and Bill Barrett, and has delivered more than 1,500 talks nationwide helping real estate professionals make more money with proven tools and techniques. You can book him for your event at 972-772-8331, mike.oboyle@prospectsplus.com, or MikeOBoyle.net.