Thursday, March 30, 2017

How to Rise to the Top
Even When You’re Taking Time Off!

by Julie Escobar

“What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  That classic Napoleon Hill concept certainly has withstood the test of time, hasn’t it? Think about the high achievers you know, and take a look at the commonalities that have led those talented sales professionals to the pinnacles of success.

Now, while the sales industry as a whole doesn’t offer up a college degree, you can be sure that studying the principals and practices of super-achievers will earn you higher response rates, productivity, profitability and a career you can be proud of.

So, watch the short film, then don your thinking cap and read below to consider the seven elements that you’ll always find at the very core of the very best:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d2emry4TbU]

1. They are believers. It’s more than self-confidence; successful people embody the belief that anything is possible. They think expansively rather than seek the closed door of failure.

One of the greatest gifts we have is the ability to open our minds, hearts and lives up to all of the resources within our reach. Mega-producers shift from “I think I can” to “I know I can” each and every day.

As the amazing Walt Disney once said: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Believe that you can; it’s a tremendous place to start.

2. They live in the present. Of course they do. Doesn’t everyone?

Sadly, no. How many people do you know who wallow in the past or are paralyzed by fear of the future — what could or might happen tomorrow?

Top achievers recognize that today is what they have. This minute, this hour is what they can control. They become masters of the moment. They embrace the day, the conversation, the relationship, the business and sometimes even the silence.

It’s amazing how these people with so much to do and so much to accomplish each day seem to do it with ease and joy. Consider how much lighter your load would be if you left the past firmly behind you and the future out in front of you. Don’t you think that would make today much easier to walk through?

3. They work hard. I’m stating the obvious here as a reminder that success doesn’t happen by accident.

Top producers get up earlier, stay later, go the extra mile for their customers and strike the best balance in life — all while counting their blessings rather than complaining. They consider their career part of who they are and what they love — making work a lot less like, well, work.

In today’s market, the “pie” is smaller, which makes the competition for each “piece” tougher. Know that it takes more prospecting, preparation, time management, skill building and closing to stay ahead of the competition. If you want to travel on the high road, you have to be willing to go the extra mile.

4.  They consider themselves “works in progress.” Anthony Robbins calls it CANI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement). The great Og Mandino tells us: “Take the attitude of a student: Never be too big to ask questions; never know too much to learn something new.”

Real winners are successful students; they never stop learning. They’re passionate about absorbing everything there is to know about work, life, relationships, balance, etc. They recognize that our world is abundant in resources that can help them learn, master their crafts and expand their horizons. You’ll find many are both mentors and protégés, as ongoing teaching and learning are necessary not only to make it to the top, but also to stay there.

5. They take responsibility.  It’s amazing how much we can accomplish when we take personal responsibility for our actions, successes and failures. Too many people try to look busy, place blame or find reasons why something won’t work rather than doing what it takes to make it to the top.

Leaders accept the challenges before them, step up and learn from their mistakes and don’t wait for success to come knocking at their door.

6. They are resourceful. Top producers think ahead and actively acquire the skills, strategies, tools, techniques and systems they need to keep their edge in any market. They not only create new ways to “build a better mousetrap,” but they also set out to build a better “self.”

They think ahead of the trends and seek out the lessons they need to thrive. Rather than saying, “I don’t know,” winners add the words, “but I will find out.”

Get creative. Explore the resources that are available to you — from libraries and the internet to mentors and mega-producers.

7. They put people first. Successful people think outside of themselves. They understand that their customers are the lifeblood of their business and that the care and keeping of those customers is a top priority.

They also realize that living an exceptional life requires a delicate balance among work, family and self. All work and no play usually makes for someone who ends up alone. They cherish and guard family time with as much fervor as they use in cultivating business relationships.

How do they do this? By using prospecting systems that ensure they stay in touch with their customers every month and putting time-management systems in place to ensure their family time is uninterrupted.

I challenge you to continuously study your profession and hone your skills and knowledge base. Incorporate these elements into your own life and business, and realize that you, too, can conceive, believe and achieve greatness.

Need help?  Call our inside team at 866.405.3638 or visit us at our all new site – www.prospectsplus.com!   Cool people.  Great answers.  Serious systems.

An Interview with Industry Recruiting Icon Judy Ladeur

By Julie Escobar

We’ve covered a lot of fourth quarter strategies this month, but haven’t touched on the topic of recruiting for a while.  This week I thought we’d show all our broker, owner and management team friends a little love with some top tips just for you!  To do that I called my long time friend and extraordinary recruiting expert Judy Ladeur.  She’s been helping brokers grow their businesses, power up their production and recruit new team members since before I met her 20+ years ago!

Here’s what she had to say!

Julie:  Hey Judy!  It’s been a while, but it’s always great talking to you! You’ve been busy these days (as always) helping real estate brokers build better, stronger, more productive teams.  As we dive into this fourth quarter – what are some of the most important things brokers should be doing to ensure a great end of the year and set themselves (and their companies) up for success in 2012? 

Judy:  Hey Julie – great catching up with you too!  Love following everyone on Facebook-don’t you?  To answer your question — For most brokers, instead of jumping in and making calls, they should spend time getting themselves positioned to recruit the best agents, which is more than just making calls and booking interviews. We have spent most of this past year helping brokers understand what a “value proposition” is and what it is not! We have determined that 90% of brokers have no idea what their value proposition is – even though it is the most important element in their recruitment arsenal.  The value proposition is NOT their tools. However their tools determine the value of their value proposition.

What we are teaching brokers to do is to identify their 12-20 most powerful tools and the results that each tool produces. You would be amazed how many brokers do not have a handle on this information.  Knowing the results of the tools you have allows you to share them in a way that educates the agents in your market about the opportunities that you can provide to them as a member of your team.  If you’re not sure where to start, poll your agents.  Ask them the value of the tools that you provide as an organization.  When the agents tell you what your systems mean to their real estate career, that is your value proposition to that agent. It is different for each agent, but these insights can give brokers what they need to figure out a minimum of 12 powerful tools with results that are unique in their market or things that they are doing that others are not doing. It can be a little tedious and it takes a while to complete but it’s well worth it. Next, they need to create visuals for each one as well with the results on them.

For any broker out there who wants a strong 2012, this is a task that they should completed long before the new year begins. Then sharpen their phone and interview skills so they can hit the ground running. We actually have a program here in the first week of December designed to position the broker to hit the ground running on January 1st and to have consistent results all year long.

Julie:  Wow, Judy – that sounds comprehensive.  When you say “tools”- can you give me an example? 

Judy:  Sure, when we bring brokers together for our retreats we ask them, “what are the 12 – 20 things you are doing–or doing better than you competition?”  Surprisingly, many can’t answer that.  Some will say “location,” or “a great broker like me!” That’s great – but really is not going to cut it in today’s world.  Specifically, what is different about you?   Think about it – if your answer is, “Great team” – what do you think your competition is saying?  Theirs is a lousy team?  You have to find the DIFFERENTIATORS.  If you can’t quantify those things in terms of time, money, energy saved, production, etc.–then it goes off list.  Here’s one, “We give agents leads.”  Next we’ll say, “Ok – how many leads year to date have you given out per agent?  What is the conversion rate?  You have to have the ability to bring it down to the numbers.  How about “Training program.”  Ok – what kind of results did the agents get? Many simply say, “I don’t know.”  And that’s fine – it gives them a starting point.  Sometimes they have to go back and track results after the next training, talk to agents who’ve been through it and ask for their results so they can get those numbers.  If they don’t have that information, this fourth quarter is a great time to do that so you can start the new year strong.  Sometimes a broker will tell us, “We have the best agents.” Then we’ll come back to them and ask them to quantify.  For example, according to the MLS, our agents are doing an average of seven transactions more than our nearest competitor.

For a lot of brokers this exercise is a big eye opener.  First it helps them identify more clearly where they are NOW.  And secondly – it forces them to put themselves in the agents’ shoes — sometimes for the first time in years.

Julie:  What’s new in terms of recruiting now that is significantly different than say, how brokers recruited even five years ago?

Judy:  Social media is definitely the biggest change and is bringing great results and a whole new perspective to recruiting. It’s easier now than ever to build relationships and comfortably stay in touch with prospects as well as your own agents.  It’s also much easier to ask for referrals by using social media. Tools like Facebook and LinkedIn are really helping to break down barriers.

Of course in terms of the things brokers want to hear – value proposition may be number one – but social media is a close second!  So many of them are still looking at social media as just a place to post when you’re having a coffee at Starbucks.  For those brokers – it’s time to get on board.  Social media is not going away – and for those that embrace it – it’s a terrific addition to their marketing.  In fact – if you look at agents who are really using it – they are staying in touch with their clients and sphere far more effectively today than they ever have.  Brokers can do the same via a company fan page and their personal page.

Julie:  Oh I can hear the groaning now – can’t you?  Let people into their PERSONAL lives?  I’m sure you’ve got some push back on that one-right?

Judy:  Oh yeah!  While I know it’s outside the comfort zone for a lot of brokers – truthfully, agents want to get to know you – the real you – before they are willing to consider your company as a place to hang their hat.  In fact, Let’s face it – 70% of potential hires are emotional – that means they’ve got to like you!   For the brokers that say “I don’t want to!”  We say, “If you want to hire 40-80 agents next year – you’re going to have to step out of your comfort zone!”  Let people in.  Share a little about who you are – not just what you offer as a company.  On your fan page you can share success stories about what your agents are accomplishing – spotlight their successes.  You can talk about what’s happening in your market area.

On your page – share a great picture of a grandchild, post a little inspirational quote, share a great new restaurant you tried.  These forms of media allow you to reach people you never would have before – to break down barriers and ultimately recruit agents you never would have been able to hire in the past. What’s funny – is that once we teach brokers to embrace social media – it becomes their FAVORITE thing to do!  Why?  Because it means they don’t have to make the phone calls.   We laugh, because we know they’re not going to make those calls anyway!  They SHOULD be on phone daily – but many just don’t create that good habit.  Listen, recruiting is a relationship business – so reaching out in EVERY way you can regularly is the way to build that relationship – and ultimately – build your business.

Julie:  Great stuff Judy!  What tools – both online or offline would you recommend that brokers put in their recruiting plan? 

Judy:  I would say a broker needs to add a Facebook Fan page for their company, lead generation tools, online marketing support and coaching. Most brokers today want to stick with technology – namely:  email.  But our ratios haven’t changed  — we STILL say that only 25% of your recruiting marketing efforts should be email or online.  It’s just too easy to get blocked or not read.  Plus – many times the real nudge that helps bring a recruit in the door is when the spouse or significant other sees the recruiting materials coming in the mail!  I know many brokers who will say it’s too expensive – but we fire back with one recruit will pay for a year of marketing.  It’s time to look at the budgets and make some adjustments.

It’s also important to know what agents are looking for.  A NAR survey four years ago said that agents didn’t care about leads – they were too busy.  Now that’s the number one thing with affordable marketing tools coming in second.

I say just start somewhere.  Send postcards.  Send the top 10-25 recruits “lump mail” – something like a  magnifying glass with a note that reads “time to take a closer look at what we have to offer.”

Julie:  Best success stories of recent months that can inspire brokers to break out of old habits and grow their organizations? 

Judy:  Well I’ve got to say there are two things that are getting great results right now:

  1.  Contacting smaller independent brokers in your market and offering them a chance to roll their company into your company and go back to working as an agent.
  2. Contacting agents who left you when times were good and tell them that you miss them and would love to talk to them again about rejoining your firm.

I mentioned before about knowing your results.  I am coaching a broker whose market position increased this past year through recruiting experienced agents was greater than the entire production of any team in his marketplace for the entire year. When he discovered that, he was amazed. Arming himself with that knowledge has allowed him to hire many of the top producers in his market and he is acquiring another brokerage firm in the neighboring city.

Sharing results like that is a great way to get the attention of brokers and agents and get them on the phone which leads to an interview and potential hire.  Another broker that I am coaching discovered that her agents had a $33 million dollar increase in their sales volume in 2010. By sharing this with other agents in the market, she has piqued the curiosity of area agents eager to know what she is doing to help her agents sell more real estate.  Her office is now full and she is moving to a larger location to continue hiring the best agents she possibly can!

Julie:  Wow!  That’s amazing!  So any predictions for the year ahead?

Judy:  Oh yeah!  I believe that 2012 will be one of the biggest years for smaller companies rolling into bigger companies. 


ProspectsPLUS! is making it simple for eager recruiters to grow their family of associates at a rapid pace.

Working hand-in-hand with the powerhouses at The Real Recruiter, to develop four essential direct response postcards to drive recruiting traffic to their Real Recruiter

They allow brokers to target the productive agents in your market with the value-transference tools and information they are looking for from a broker. The Real Recruiter President Jon Cheplak shared, “Recruiting in today’s market and beyond requires an online initiative driven by an offline (postcard) marketing campaign that is compelling and includes ‘irresistible offers’ that cause the prospect to engage and take action.

This postcard series has been scientifically engineered based on years of Google Analytics and other online data that defines what today’s experienced agent recruit is looking for: tools and information they can use today in their business. Attract the productive agents in your market place with an offline (postcard) marketing program that drives traffic and engagement on your online recruiting website www.therealrecruiter.com websites.  It’s that simple. ”

“I am very excited to see this put to use. Integrating traditional print marketing with The Real Recruiter is going to be a home run for our users!” added the Real Recruiter C.O.O. Chris Weaver.

Take a look today – and if you’ve not yet become taken The Real Recruiter for a test drive yet, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful systems in the business for building your team!  Visit www.therealrecruiter.com now and ask for your free demonstration!

We want to make getting started easier on your wallet! “We’re so excited about helping brokers build their companies – that we’re offering a 10% discount of all first orders through May 31, 2010. Brokers can simply place their order and use special Priority Code REALRECRUITER in the promo code box at checkout,” shared Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing.

So get started using this results-driving series today!

The new postcards are available online now at www.prospectsplus.com/realrecruiter.

Need help getting started or ready to fast-track your recruiting efforts?  Give Julie a call today at 866.405.3641 to discover new solutions and savings for your organization.


HOW ONE OUTSIDE-THE-BOX SYSTEM CAN ADD 150 OR MORE NEW PEOPLE TO YOUR CUSTOMER BASE


By Julie Escobar

I’ll admit it. Years ago, before I joined the team at ProspectsPLUS!, I didn’t know anything about the Corporate Marketing System that is creatively tucked inside the ProspectsPLUS! Personal Real Estate Marketing Software. Five years and a whole lot of happy customers later, I’m a fan, and I’m always thrilled to teach agents just how effective this outside-the-box solution can be. This month we wanted to open the box a little and share with you the inside scoop on what it is, why it works, and how to implement this powerful program in your market area!

What is is: The Corporate Marketing System is an innovative solution for agents looking to add large groups of people to their book of business rather than rely solely on the old “one-by-one” method. It includes a complete, step-by-step manual, scripts, dialogues, collateral pieces and goof-proof tips for becoming the go-to agent for area businesses that have twenty five or more employees.

It’s timely given our current economy as you’ll discover and it allows you to reach people where more than 90% of them are during the day—at work! Let me explain:

How it works: This system usually works best for those agents who are not afraid to get themselves out there and in front of a crowd. It all starts with a letter to the president of human resources directors of your local corporations. The letter explains that you are an area real estate professional eager to help employers meet the needs of their employees in this ever-changing market. It lets them know that you’ll be calling to schedule a meeting to explain the benefits of a unique Real Estate Employee Benefit Supplement which offers eight different real estate services with a value of more than $2,000 to each of their employees at no cost to the company or the employee.

Now in a time and economy where many businesses are dropping traditional benefits programs such as day care, life insurance, dental insurance, etc.—having the ability to offer something to their team that costs them nothing is a usually met with a “when can you come over” response!

STEP ONE:  Create your hit list of area businesses. You can start with your area business directories, online searches or call us for help creating a specialty data list. Your list should include a contact name (either the president/CEO or Human Resource Director), the company name, street address, city, state and zip as well as their phone number. I recommend keeping a spreadsheet in a program like Microsoft Excel so that you can export any information you need for mailings, but also have room for notes such as amount of employees, contact dates, appointment results, etc.

STEP TWO  Send your letter. Here’s an example:

Sample Letter

STEP THREE  Follow up! One week after you’ve sent the letter, you’re going to make your follow up calls. (Don’t groan—I have the scripts straight from the program.)

“Hello, my name is ________ and I am with  YOUR COMPANY  ________. I would like to speak to the person responsible for providing benefits to employees at  COMPANY  ________. Our company offers a free benefit supplement which provides employees such as yours access to eight free real estate services valued at more than $2,000 per employee. There is no cost to you or your employees…”

To learn more about ProspectsPLUS! and how you can ensure that you always have the right message for your market, contact me at 1-866-405-3641 today or visit prospectsplus.com.

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recruiting1by Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing, ProspectsPLUS!

Trying to do everything possible to build your team of real estate professionals in today’s ever-changing market?  You’re not alone!  Recruiting is definitely the name of the game as we fall into the fourth quarter and savvy brokers and managers are pulling out all the stops to gain ground before the new year rolls around. 

Tapping into the online buzz on the subject, I thought it would be fun to enlist the help of one of my new Facebook friends, Real Estate Coach Bob Corcoran to get his spin!  Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

Q.  Hey Bob, thanks for sharing with our readers today!  Certainly the topic of recruiting is the talk of the town these days.  Can you tell us why you believe it’s more important than ever? 

A:  Sure, Julie and I’m happy to be here.  You know, recruiting is not just about filling a desk.  More and more brokers are taking the time to really find the right people and the right fit for their office long term.  They’re using tools such as personality tests, special interview questions, and even exploring their social networking sites to gain a sense of the agents they are hiring.  We coach a lot of teams who are recruiting and one of the top tips we share is how important it is to not only put the money and energy into the hiring of new agents, but the training and RETAINING of those agents.  After all, great splits may get people in the door but it is how they are treated after they’re part of the team that causes them to stay. 

Q:  What are you seeing manager/brokers doing right in today’s market?

A.  Taking the time to hire right and focusing more on the training.  It’s important to see them investing more into their agents and frankly, taking away the reasons they feel they “can’t” sell real estate.  We’re seeing a phenomenal uptick in training – from companies that never provided training, and companies that had steered away from it when the economy got tight.  Smart brokers understand that agents really do want to be held accountable. 

For example, you’re seeing more Accountability Partnerships.  Brokers are even making them mandatory in some offices or with agents at a certain experience level.  today’s agents do want to be held accountability    Another powerful tool is to survey your agents.  Ask them how you can help them, what they want or what they feel they need.  You might be surprised to learn that the number one answer given by agents who are asked what they want most from their broker/company?  More one-on-one time.  They’re looking for help to sell more in less time and be more effective.  What do I recommend to brokers?  If the agents are asking for it – give it to them. 

Q:  What kind of help do you find agents are looking for most, Bob? 

A:  Honestly, accountability is a big one.  Time management, business planning and skill building are right up there as well.  You see a lot of corporate downsizing in this economy, so there are a lot of new agents who are motivated by money and are more business minded, which is good.  As real estate agents, your agents own small businesses, and they should run them as such.  I work with a client in Lawton, Oklahoma who is going to close 90 million in sales this year.  Agents like that are CEOs of their corporations in their communities.  They look at numbers, conversion rates, necessary business tools and prospecting methods.  Your agents need to do the same.   

Q:  Agreed!  So, what do you think are some of the biggest missteps managers are making today? 

A:  Frankly, not giving agents the tools they need.  If any of these characteristics sound like you, now is a good time to re-think your management strategies: 

  • Not surveying the agents to find out how you can improve service
  • Not listening or ignoring your agents
  • Micro-managing
  • Having a dictatorship culture in the office
  • Not “walking the talk”
  • Poor follow through
  • Trying to be everyone’s friend

After all, you don’t need them to love you, but you do need them to respect you.  Make sure you are walking the talk which means say what you mean, mean what you say and follow through. 

Q:  Good advice, Bob.  Let’s talk a little about how managers should build their “hit list” of recruiting prospects. 

A:  Sure.  I think the first thing you have to do is identify the ideal agent for your office.  A good place to start is to ensure you’ve clearly spelled out your company’s core values and mission.  The companies that have clarity here have no trouble attracting and keeping agents. 

Next, look at the demographics of your market place – if your demographics of your market places are 53 year olds with 3.5 kids, a 20 year old is going to have a tough time. 

Next, obviously look at those agents who your associates have had good co-broke experiences with.  Be organized and specific in your approach.   One of the things that we’ve found successful as well is to host a prospecting night for managers at the same time as the agents are making their prospecting calls.  We just did that with a recent client, and helped seven managers generate 28 recruiting appointment in two hours.  How?  They were organized, knew who their target was, they were not using a blind list and they had prepared in advance.  That’s always great advice.  Plan your work, work your plan. 

Q:  Great strategies, Bob.  Any last advice? 

 A:  Absolutely!  Lead by example. 

Thanks Bob for your time and your insight!  If you’re looking for great team solutions or recruiting know-how, be sure to look Bob up at www.corcorancoaching.com!  He’s a terrific resource for fresh, timely tools!

Ready to grow your team of associates and dramatically increase your production?  Visit us today at www.prospectsplus.com/recruiting.  We’re helping savvy brokers across North America implement smart, effective, results-producing systems for recruiting, training and retaining their family of agents.  Call Julie at 1.866.405.3641 today to learn more!