Saturday, December 16, 2017

Get Your Game On! Man drawing a game strategy

By Julie Escobar

Hitting the fall market with all you have and playing to win for the long game means starting early for savvy real estate professionals.  While much of your competition will work hard this month and some of October, many will then fall into cruise control, as the holidays begin to approach. Not you! You’re in it to win it – and here are six strategies you can implement to stay top-of-mind and ahead of the curve through the end of the year — without burnout or breaking the budget.

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.  Start now planning out the rest of your year.  Take your top 50+ clients and make it a point to not only send holiday cards each month from now through January, but also calendar time to reach out to your client base with face-to-face visits.  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, click here to check out our 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.  Ditch the people that you DON’T want to work with, clean out old addresses (both email and snail mail), and update phone records now so that you’ve got a clean start for the first of the year. 

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.  Maybe gift YOURSELF (and in turn your career and financial security) with some skill building courses, great business books and valuable audio downloads this season to help you fine tune your mad skills before the new year rolls in. 

5. Implement Systems for Success.  New agents run on adrenaline, nerve and sheer exhaustive energy.  Experience gives us the insight to set systems in place to plan now for a successful year ahead.  Calendar your direct marketing for the months to come, implement your BusinessBASE™ to insure ongoing, automated contact with your clients, and employ creative campaigns throughout the year that will differentiate you from your competition.  In a shifting market, systems simplify your life, keep you on track and maximize your market share through consistent, results producing planning. They allow you to focus on the revenue based activities that are your strength, prospecting, presenting and closing without expending energy on deciding each day, each week what your course of action should be.

When you are putting your business plan in place for the new year – choose to focus on your core – the customers and clients that know you, like you and trust you – and expand on that core as you move through the year.  Social media not your thing?  Delegate it.  Direct mail too hard to create?  Use ready-to-go and done-for-you solutions to consistently reach your sphere every month such as postcard campaigns and monthly newsletters.   Just Listed & Just Sold marketing too much to task yourself with?  Automate it with MLSmailings and not have to worry about it!  Paperwork getting the best of you?  Hire a Virtual Assistant.  There are some amazing ones out there that are affordable and talented and allow you to focus on what you do best! Next – make it a point to ADD to your core each month.  Can you add 10 new prospects per week to your list?  Absolutely.  Might it be worth an extra deal or three (or more) throughout the year?  DEFINITELY.  

6. Fall in Love With What You Do.  The secret of success is historically based in finding your niche and enjoying every minute of it.  Whatever your passion, whatever demographic of the industry lights your fire, run with it, own it and allow it to empower your prospecting with determination and enthusiasm.  This season, take stock in the incredible opportunity you have to set your own pace, create your own calendar and charter your own course for financial freedom.

Inevitably, there will be down time as the holidays roll in. You’ll have days strung together to re-charge, re-connect and realize your strength as you approach the fourth quarter and the year ahead.  Make it magical.  Take this time to set your sights on new goals, family dreams and incredible new opportunities.  Whether it is a much needed vacation, new family car or boat, include your family’s goals when creating your budget and marketing plan, so they not only know why you are negotiating into the evening and weekends, they support you.  Your goals are their goals.  Their goals are yours.

Balancing success, life and market twists and turns takes practice to be sure.  With the right systems, tools and training, you can and will find your stride.  We’re here if you need us!

For more ideas on how you can continuously impact your market area, visit our website at www.prospectsplus.com and our Master Marketing Schedule page which allows you to drop our action item tips right into your Google, Apple, or Outlook calendars!  If you have questions or need help putting together some systems for your plan – call us at 866.405.3638.  Our marketing team is awesome about helping you find the right solutions for you. 

And while you’re online…please take a moment to like our page on Facebook.  We’re always sharing new ideas, strategies and dialogues with industry experts and terrific real estate professionals just like you!  Click here to see our page!

Time Management Tactics & the Difference an Hour Makes

By Julie Escobar

Time – as they say is LIFE.  It’s also a powerful stepping stone to success.  Sales professionals eager to get more than just “now” business and instead build a reliable foundation for longevity know one thing for certain – time management – is a MUST do.

On the road to time management master, consider the difference just one hour can make in terms of repeatable, sustainable success in this business. This business, like most sales industries is above all else, a people business, which means if you want to STAY in business, you’ve got to make staying top of mind with your customer base a priority.

What hour you ask? Real estate expert and coach Bernice Ross once shared with me, “Just about every top producer that I know starts their prospecting first thing in the day. They know that of the activities that are closest to the income line for them – prospecting is right there in the top three. Getting those things done first allows them to continually grow and stay connected to their book of business. Secondly, it really gives those agents a sense of control, power and self-accomplishment – and isn’t that the BEST way to start a day?”

Many agents choose to stagger their prospecting time and map out their week in advance, selecting 8:00-9:00am three days a week, and evening hours from 6:00-7:00pm two to three days per week. It’s a good way to maximize their ability to reach prospects and past clients, and for many successful professionals – it’s the smart habit to take a look at their schedule in ADVANCE of the week.  That way everything gets put on the table.  And don’t forget family and personal obligations in that task setting process.  Prospecting time, showings, open houses and listing appointments are all vital – but so are soccer games, recitals, date night and lunch with friends.  With a  nod to wanting to be in this industry for the long haul – it’s the little things that will help you stay on the top of your game, avoid burn out and find that slippery thing called balance we all strive for.

Sherry Chris, CEO for Better Homes and Gardens shared with me in a previous interview that in her experience, top producers generally still can be found sticking close to that old rule of thumb investing about 80% of their time getting face-to-face, on the phone or online sharing with both past and potential clients. “Things have certainly changed in our industry and prospecting has truly taken on a new pace with the advances of social media. It’s definitely developed into a more ‘give before you get’ mode of contact. Whereas our old methods of prospecting meant picking up the phone and offering a service, now we can feed valuable information, fun facts as well as personally connect with our clients.” Sherry, for example, spends roughly 60% of her time building the Better Homes and Gardens brand and shares some valuable tips when it comes to building ‘social capital.’ “To be truly effective you have to successfully balance business information with personal touches, photographs, upcoming events, career milestones, etc. If the only thing you have on your Facebook or Twitter is your listings, you’re missing the boat. Let’s not forget too, that as valuable as social media is in today’s prospecting world, there is still no substitute for getting face-to-face or on the phone with your clients.”

How do you stick to it?