Saturday, May 27, 2017

Changing Perspectives, Habits and Heroes for a Better 2008
By Julia Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing

As we ready ourselves to ring in a new year, making a list and checking it twice should be more about learning from the path we’ve traveled over the past year than the jolly old elf’s “naughty or nice” list. What perspectives, habits and heroes have made their mark on who we are and where we’re going? That particular trip can be soothing or scary — depending on the road you’ve traveled — but either way, an important step in getting 2008 off to a great start. Let’s take a look at the past year, toss the old that isn’t working, and bring in the new that can make a positive impact on your career and life.

Keep perspective. Too often, our perspective on life, business, relationships and self-worth can become skewed by the forces around us. Have you ever had a day that was going along fine, even putting a spring in your step, and then — wham — you run into the “black cloud” in your office who wants to expound on the perils of being an entrepreneur, the bleak market decline, the sorry condition of life and what amounts to his or her version of Armageddon? Even people you are close to, friends you love dearly but somehow find themselves in a never-ending drama that you must help them “sort out,” can tap your energy, your productivity and your ability to look at the world with crystal-clear vision. Give yourself a real gift this holiday season by taking an honest look at the people and perspectives in your life.
1. Set boundaries for the energy-robbers and naysayers. Don’t let their experiences cloud yours, and stop tolerating their negative influence. Say no and mean it when you feel their grip on
your day.
2. Put the pains of the past in the past. Life is meant to be a forward journey, so keep moving in that direction. Decide what lessons you can take from old haunts or hurts, and let the rest go. We have no control over what happened before — only over what comes next.
3. Choose faith over fear. Many people allow fear of the future and the unknown — sometimes even fear of success — to lock them into a holding pattern that they are incapable of breaking through. Whatever comes your way, meet it with faith, humor and the knowledge that nothing is permanent. As Og Mandino reminded us in his inspirational Greatest Salesman in the World, “This too shall pass.” As human beings, we are allowed to make mistakes, even expected to on occasion. Don’t be afraid to step forward and try something new.

Honor your healthy habits.  Take a look at your habits over the past 12 months. Which have brought you closer to your goals? Which have hurt more than helped in your quest for health, wealth and peace of mind? Grab a paper and pen, or start tapping on the laptop, and make a list of your personal dos and don’ts to keep handy when you feel yourself straying from the straight and narrow. Take a look at your professional and personal habits, and determine what you can do differently in the year ahead that will bring you more balance and prosperity.
1. Business: Do you have a written business plan? Do you have daily, weekly and monthly goal charts? Are you setting obtainable goals that allow you to stretch your abilities and talents? Do you have a set time to prospect DAILY to ensure a constant stream of new business? Are you investing at least 10% to 15% of your annual income to market yourself and your business? Do you have an exit strategy that will allow you to retire with a salable book of business, or are you just “winging it” each year? Are you reaching the VIPs in your BusinessBASE™ or sphere of influence each and every month to ensure a healthy referral base? Are you working high-priority activities that keep you close to your revenue line and away from the company water cooler? Have you segmented your marketing to become the go-to agent for niche markets that will help you dramatically grow your SOI, make nw friends and upscale your business? Have you put systems in place to automate as much of your marketing as possible, so that you can focus on prospecting, presenting and closing? If you answered “no” to any of the above, then you are short-changing your career and yourself. Take some time this month to put these business musts in place so that you can truly work smarter, not harder, in the coming year.
2. Personal: What are you doing for you? Is exercise part of
your daily/weekly routine? Are you pushing back from the table/coffee/alcohol/nicotine to ensure a longer, healthier life? Do you take the time each day to count your blessings and celebrate victories, both small and large? Do you nurture your own self-esteem and self-worth? It’s OK to be your own biggest fan! Do you surround yourself with positive people, inspiration and influences that promote personal growth? Are you on a continuous quest to learn more and be more than you ever thought possible? Yours is the face you will see in the mirror for all of your days; embrace who you are, what you do and where you are going. Accept your quirks, differences and flaws, and ditch the self-defeating or self-sabotaging habits that can land you in a rut. Believe that you really do have the power to make a difference — in your life and in the lives of those you care about.
Who are your heroes? Remember the old Kung Fu and Karate Kid movies? “Choose wisely” was a recurring theme. When it comes to choosing heroes — those we look up to, emulate and pattern our lives after — choosing wisely is essential. Who do you look up to? For some, motivational gurus such as Anthony Robbins and Zig Ziglar fit the bill. Others choose sports greats such as Tiger Woods, entertainment moguls such as Oprah Winfrey or coaching giants such as John Wooden. Unfortunately, however, some choose heroes based on riches or popularity rather than integrity and character. Think of who you really want to be, then choose heroes who embody those qualities. Wealth is certainly a factor, but compassion, empathy, honor, philanthropy, courage and passion should be, as well. You might be surprised to find that the hero you admire most lies not so much at the helm of a Fortune 00 company, but in a beloved grandparent, a wise and extraordinary child, a sibling or a friend. Choose wisely.

Take the time this month to consider the perspectives, habits and heroes that mold your life, affect your days and help you make every day worthwhile. Imagine walking into a new year with a clearer view, improved work and health habits and the type of mentors and heroes that help build legacies.
We wish you the merriest of holidays and an extraordinary beginning to what really can be your BEST YEAR EVER! For more ideas on how you can continuously impact your market area, visit www.prospectsplus.com. If you have questions or ideas that you would like to share, call Julie toll free at 866.405.3641.

Be the first in the door with Holiday Greeting and 2008 Postcards! 

Fully laminated, addressed, full color and mailed within 48 hours in most cases, you’ll find http://www.postcardsplus.com/holidays  a fast, simple solution for your web-to-print postcard needs!  With just a few quick clicks of the mouse, you can order using your own mailing list, or use purchase a data list from our MarketShare Online tool!  Enjoy!

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Send your best holiday wishes to the VIPs in your sphere of influence and farm areas today, and be first in the mailbox to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Choose from a variety of Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s and other holiday postcards either in your ProspectsPLUS! software or via our PostcardsPLUS! web-to-print site!

Go Calendar Crazy!
Be the first in your area to tap into the year-round top-of-mind marketing found with our 2008 calendar postcards. These beautiful, fully laminated cards are sure to grace refrigerators and bulletin boards in homes across your market!  Send this postcard now with PostcardsPLUS! While you are on our site, please feel free to browse our recipe cards, inspiration series, Just Listed/Just Sold Cards and any number of fast, effective ways to stay in touch with your SOI this month and all throughout the new year! 

Happy Holidays! 

“I have been in the real estate business for not quite two years and bought the ProspectsPLUS! program in April of 2007. I immediately started mailing the “Expired Listing?” brochures. I received a phone call after I mailed just the third brochure. This house had been on the market for 2 years with 2 other agencies. I got the listing and SOLD the house in 28 DAYS! I just closed this sale yesterday, making it the highest commission I have ever received.

“This has created so much talk in the area that I am now getting phone calls from other homeowners needing to sell their houses. When I bought ProspectsPLUS!, I was told that if I would just use it, they would guarantee at least 6 extra sales a year. I’m a true believer, and I know I will far bypass those 6 extra sales this year.”

How to connect with these motivated yet frustrated prospects

By Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing, ProspectsPLUS!

Remember not so long ago when expired listings seemed a thing of the past? While those days might be gone, there is still some good to be found. Expired listings carry quite the silver lining for agents with the right attitude, tools and tenacity.

Our changing economy and shifting market has created the perfect climate for expired listings. More often than not, homeowners have unrealistic ideas on their home’s true market price. Those ideas often lead inexperienced agents to cater to the homeowner’s desire to set a price on the highest end of the market spectrum—and right out of the market to sell the home. 

With the right skills, a few handy tools and a healthy dose of confidence, you could become the go-to agent for expireds in your neck of the woods! The great news is that these prospects can—and should—be part of your daily routine. 

How do you find them? Services such as www.landvoice.com and www.theredx.com compile expired lists and scrub them against the Do Not Call Registry. Both are great organizations with solid reputations.

The easiest method, however, is to check your MLS every morning for the expired listing list. Make this a must-do in your daily routine, and you will soon notice real patterns in your marketplace. Once you recognize the spikes and lulls in your area, you can concentrate your efforts at those times. The first and last few days of the month typically are busiest. 

Consider, too—especially as we head into the holiday season—an exceptionally effective strategy that our ProspectsPLUS! team recently learned from Walter Sanford. During the first three days of January, when every other agent in town was still recovering from the New Year holiday, Walter hired a team to contact every expired in an extended area and lock down a sizable listing inventory to kick off his year! How about that for setting yourself up to be in the right place at the right time? 

How do you approach them? Remember that expireds are often leery of salespeople. They had a goal of selling their home and now find themselves disappointed, sometimes angry and often frustrated. This is a case where attitude really is everything.

Patience, warmth and the ability to bring real solutions to the table will make you the frontrunner for those homeowners who are still eager to get their property sold. If you find some who want to try it on their own for a while, inviting them to participate in a free FSBO conference call each week is a great way to make a friend (and possibly gain a client) in an unobtrusive way. 

How do you convince them? You need real-world marketing tools and skills for these prospects, because they need realistic expectations and a clear understanding of what the market will or will not allow. Visuals, objection handlers, a definitive action plan and a clear communication calendar are must-haves for your listing presentation. A Merchandising Review™ and the Price Pyramid are invaluable tools, as well.

Merchandising Review™. The #1 reason listings expire in this or any market is price. A Merchandising Review™ puts the burden of marketability directly on the seller’s shoulders.
As soon as a property comes up on the MLS expired list, you should contact the seller by telephone and use the Merchandising Review™ as a reason to set an appointment. The following dialogue is a great foot-in-the-door technique:
“Hello, Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss ____________, my name is _______, and I’m with ______. The reason why I’m calling is to see whether you’re still interested in selling your home.
“I know that you must be disappointed that it didn’t sell the first time, but I think I have something that will ensure it never happens to you again. Have you ever heard of a Merchandising Review™?
“Basically, it’s a special tool that I use to do a comprehensive analysis of why your home didn’t sell and determine what needs to be done differently to guarantee that it will sell if you decide to put it back on the market.
“What I’d like to do is set a time when we could sit down together and go over the Merchandising Review™. It takes about 20 to 25 minutes, and there’s absolutely no cost to you. Would Wednesday at 6:15 be good, or would Thursday around 8:30 be better for you?”
During your face-to-face meeting, walk the homeowner through each item, and negotiate the issues that are keeping the property from selling. Once you correct the issues, present your marketing plan. E-mail julie.escobar@prospectsplus.com for a free pdf of our Merchandising Review™.
Price Pyramid. This great tool helps sellers see how pricing their home right can dramatically affect how long it takes to sell and how much money they will see at the closing table. This visual illustrates the difference between market price and investor price and shows how to find a happy medium.
The important thing to remember with expireds—as with any prospecting demographic—is that the agent with the most consistent follow up wins. Try these tools, or visit www.prospectsplus.com and click on Featured Articles and Past Newsletters for a library of resources, including articles about our Expired Conference Call™—a great way to have expireds calling you each week for advice and how-to help.

By developing a friendly relationship in a relaxed environment with these often-motivated sellers, you set yourself apart from the competition, create buzz in the marketplace that you are the go-to agent and provide a service for people who really need your help! Give it a try; you’ll be glad that you did! 

Greetings Gang!  Just months ago we introduced our FREE series of marketing-based webinars for our clients across the nation and they have been met with great reviews, terrific questions and much curiosity about what topics we will cover next! 

I wanted to take the time to share our current calendar of events that will take us through the end of the year and let you know that we have lots more in store for you all in 2008.  We will include additional business planning, management and recruiting topics as well as provide Webinars-On-Demand! 

December 3rd: Unlock the Magic of MLSmailings.comTM
Join our helpful support team members as we walk you through the step-by-step simplicity of automating your marketing with MLSmailings.com. Whether you are creating a QuickCard, uploading a photo, or changing your order, we invite you to laugh and learn with us! Unlock the magic of MLSmailings.com!

December 5th: Planning for Profits in 2008! Presented by Wayne Einhorn
Learn the inside secrets and best solutions in the industry for leveraging a changing market, maximizing your earning potential and creating repeatable, sustainable success. Are you ready for your best year ever? Join Wayne for a step-by-step plan to close out ’07 and have a great ’08!

December 10th: Working with Expireds presented by Mike O’Boyle
More and more as our market normalizes agents find themselves facing expired listings. How can you turn this particular prospect base into a gold mine for your business? Tune in to learn some of the best strategies in the industry for doing just that!

December 17th: ProspectsPLUS! 101 presented by Billy Allen
A beginner’s course on how to fully utilize your ProspectsPLUS! software, including setup and placing your first postcard order.

Click on the Webinar(s) you are interested in above. You can register for multiple Webinars. All Webinars are completely free*! All Webinars start at 1:30pm Eastern Time.  Advance registration is required.  These events are a fun, convenient way to learn and our pleasure to bring to the real estate industry at large.  Interested in learning more?  Bookmark our site:  www.prospectsplus.com/webinars to stay current on upcoming training! 

For those of you who are more article and newsletter oriented, please feel free to browse our library of articles and archive of past newsletters simply by visiting our site www.prospectsplus.com and clicking on Feature Articles and Past Newsletters in the navigation pane to the left. 

As entreprenuers of all kinds – it never hurts to have additional resources at your fingertips.  I believe one of the greatest tools we have now is the ability to learn 24/7.  To be able to listen to your favorite motivational or training speakers at the click of a mouse, discover new technologies, techniques or skill build at whatever time of day or night is convenient for you is exciting. 

There has never been a better time to become the best you that you can be, personally or professionally!  I look forward to participating in that process whenever possible.  Bringing the right tools to the right people is more than just part of our mission statement — it is our passion. 

Let us know if there is ever anything we can do for YOU!