Saturday, November 18, 2017

Leadership for a Changing Industry

Industry leader ProspectsPLUS! is proud to announce its new Management Webinar Series, “Leadership for a Changing Industry” with Dr. Cliff Baird. 

“This series is just the thing for brokers and managers seeking new recruiting solutions for building their organizations in our changing economy,” shared Director of Business Development Ramona Williams. “Clients have begun to realize that the ‘old way’ of doing business and recruiting doesn’t give them the competitive edge it once did. Dr. Baird’s unique blend of wit and wisdom helps managers understand the underlying psychology of recruiting in today’s market.”

The four-part series is scheduled for consecutive Thursdays as follows:

Part One: Answering the Questions   October 23, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. EST
1. How do I find them?
2. How will I know if they are the right fit for my office?
3. How do I position myself to be selective?
4. How do I make my organization attractive to the top agents I want to recruit?
5. How can I be competitive throughout the interview process WITHOUT giving up the company bottom line?

Part Two: Putting Systems in Place   October 30, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. EST
1. Finding the process that works for you
2. The “perfect” interview
3. Implementing essential follow-up practices
4. Long-term management of a continuous lead pool of candidates

Part Three: The Psychology of it All   November 6, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. EST
1. Understanding your agents: why they DO and DON’T do what you want and need
2. Using assessment analysis to discover what makes agents tick
3. Putting assessment results to work for maximum productivity
4. Tapping into individual psychology: recruiting and retaining them

Part Four: Management Fundamentals   November 13, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. EST
1. Now that you have them, what are you going to do with them? 
2. Setting standards and raising the office “bar”
3. Should they stay or should they go? Understanding when it’s time to fire someone
4. Creating and maintaining accountability with top producers
5. Training for a changing industry

“Not only can participants learn during the live events, but they also can view the workshops later as a ‘refresher’ whenever it’s convenient,” shared Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing. “Cliff brings so much value to this new series. He offers fresh ideas and real-world solutions to the challenges today’s managers face. We’re excited to have him and thrilled to once again bring the right tools to the table for our clients and the real estate industry at large.”

“There is no time like RIGHT NOW for brokers to invite innovation, creativity and savvy strategies into their daily business plans,” added Dr. Baird. “The companies that will thrive and lead when this market turns have brokers on the front lines who are putting those systems in place NOW.”

Register for one part of the series today, and you’ll receive our special report titled How to Recruit 10 Agents in 60 Days! Register for all four parts of the series at our special bundled pricing, and you’ll receive the special report PLUS 200 FREE data leads and 100 FREE recruiting postcards.

Visit today for your special offers, free gifts and a chance to learn the fundamental how-tos of building the team that will take you through this market and into the future. 

The first 20 brokers to respond will be invited to participate in a nationally released article on recruiting and management in a changing economy. Email Julie Escobar to find out more!  To learn more about Dr. Baird, this webinar series or how to tap into new solutions for recruiting in today’s market, call Julie today at 800.287.5710!

How the power of suggestion can ruin a good REALTOR®caution

By Roberta Ross, National Speaker

Are you one of those agents who is easily influenced by negative media or the long faces of your depressed colleagues? If so, then this market is much worse than you think.

Why? Because while you spend your time wallowing in the doom and gloom, serious-minded agents are rising to the challenge and capitalizing on the opportunities that today’s market presents—the ones you’re leaving behind.

That’s the bad news. And the really bad news is that when the tides of economic change do turn, those agents will have already developed trusting relationships with their sphere of influence, niche markets and business-to-business networks. They’ll be positioned for expansive growth and unparalleled success while the “Negative Neds and Nellies” of the real estate world remain knee deep in “what’s wrong with the world.” My suggestion? Don’t join them!

The good news is that every change in business and in life brings with it both challenges and opportunities. If you’re ready to turn your “news” into good news in your business, your life and even in your relationships, start by changing one word, one action, one habit each day from negative to positive—and let the real power of suggestion ignite your spirit and improve your production. Do this, and you might just decide that this market is much better than you think.

Here are some ideas to get you going:

• Be the voice of possibility. See possibilities where others see failure. Who would you rather work with: Those who can see through the adversity to find the opportunity, or those who dwell in the darkness claiming it “can’t be done”? Before you deem any challenge impossible, ask yourself, If I were to do this, how would I? Our minds are extraordinary wells of knowledge, ready to answer when asked the right questions. So ask!

• Strength or weakness? Every time you turn on the television, listen to a radio station, view a website or read a book, ask yourself, Does this strengthen my resolve to be successful in real estate, or does it weaken me? Consider, too, everything you consume—food, drink, smoke, etc. Does it add to your life or take from it? If the “checkmark” is in the wrong column for these answers, it’s time to make a change.

• Focus on foundation. Building relationships with your sphere of influence—and continually building your sphere of influence—is the bedrock of a successful career. The buzzword for this is “relationship marketing,” but the benefit is a referral base that will keep you off the income roller coaster and in the black for years to come. I challenge you to get in touch and stay in touch with everyone you know and everyone you meet.

An agent recently shared with me that his own brother listed his $650,000 house with someone else who had just casually mentioned at a picnic the summer before that he had gotten his real estate license. So, whose fault is it that he didn’t get the listing? You got it: the man in the mirror.

Are you staying top of mind with your customers and prospects this week, this month, every month? If not, you’re missing opportunities that are hard to get back! And the side benefit to building such a solid foundation is that when you’re ready to get out of this business, you’ll have a valuable book of business that you can sell and an exit strategy that you can depend on. Check out our free BusinessBASE™ at to start building your “foundation” today.

• Give before you get. This is an oldie but a goodie, as they say, and a great principal in life as well as in marketing. It’s a nice homage to the adage, you reap what you sow.

That said, plant seeds, reach out to others, help where you can, educate those who need information, become a resource people can count on. Our market does offer challenges, but the opportunity here is that there are thousands of consumers searching for answers as to how these changes affect their families. What you can share with them about short sales, foreclosures, tax credits, home prices, home values, equity, investment and more is extraordinary! If you are willing to share your knowledge, experience and expertise, you more than likely will find yourself just the advocate they’ve been searching for! 

Believe that you have the power to create change, in your life and in those around you. Even if you are not yet convinced, just try it—for this week, this month or even this quarter. Focus on the possibilities before you, and hit your emergency brake when those negative thoughts creep into your head.

Remember, the power you give suggestion–and the suggestions you choose–are all up to you. So if you’re ready to see how this market is much better than you think and truly impact your career and the lives of your clients, step up! Channel your inner Napoleon Hill and remember this: What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

I believe. Do you?


Roberta Ross has been in the real estate business for more than 12 years and has been featured in the Pittsburgh Business Times and Tribune Review for her accomplishments in real estate investment. She is noted for her energized, meaningful speaking style and travels nationwide speaking to real estate professionals about marketing and prospecting.

Her unique blend of business and public speaking experience enables her to educate, entertain and motivate real estate professionals to achieve their goals. She believes in working smart and structuring a plan that is effective, efficient and enjoyable! To invite Roberta to teach your associates how to play at the next level or to sharpen your company’s competitive edge, contact her today at 800.287.5710 or visit


Short SaleAn insightful Q&A session with Julie Escobar and Will Weaver

These are challenging times, to be sure. Our economic conditions, market fluctuations and, of course, the extraordinary efforts our media puts forth to fuel the negative all play a part in what has become a “perfect storm” for consumer fear and information. Perhaps none as evident as the market in Detroit, Michigan.

It’s there that I caught up with national speaker and short sale specialist Will Weaver to discuss how that perfect storm affects our ability as a nation to realize the American Dream. Here are a few excerpts from that conversation:

Q: Will, you have an interesting take on what you believe to be the American Dream. Can you share that with our readers?

A: The American Dream means something different for everyone, really. Some would say it’s freedom or the pursuit of happiness, or the ability to work hard and get paid accordingly. Others believe home ownership defines the phrase. I believe it’s all of those things and more. In fact, historian and writer James Truslow Adams coined the phrase “The American Dream” in his 1931 book The Epic of America and shared that it is “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”

Unfortunately, today’s shifting economy has created shortcomings and loss for many consumers who are working hard to live richer, fuller lives yet find themselves losing jobs, family and homes. What’s more unfortunate is that so many feel like they are all alone, with nowhere and no one to turn to for help.

Q: It’s something that affects so many people these days, Will. I know that you and a team of Floyd Wickman trainers specialize in teaching real estate professionals how to really be there for their customers with the information and resources they need to keep their heads above water. What can you share with them here?

A: First of all, get educated so you can educate. So many customers are in the dark as to their legal rights and the options that are available to them. They’re starving for information and an ally they can trust. I urge all real estate professionals to be both for them. A partner and I recently ran a full-page ad in four local papers inviting consumers to a free workshop called What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Foreclosures and Short Sales. The response was tremendous, and the opportunity to really help some folks in need was priceless.

Q: What should agents teach their customers about those two things?

A: What worked for us was starting with a relatively simple format. Our goal was to give them the basics they needed to make the right decisions for their families. It’s always amazing to me to see the “light bulbs” go on for people who realize that there really is hope.

We covered a handful of important topics, including:

• Definition of a short sale
• The Top 10 short sale situations
• Why a short sale is a win
• Short sales vs. foreclosure
• Steps to a short sale
• Three stages of a short sale

Q: Well, then, I guess that begs the next question: “What is the definition of a short sale?”

A: Good question! The “short” in short sale actually refers to the fact that the payoff amount agreed to in the transaction is “shorter” than the mortgage balance on the property. Simply put, there is more owed on the home than it will sell for.

Q: And how about sharing the “Top 10” list with us?

A: I’m happy to! The Top 10 hardship situations are:
1. health issues
2. rate increase (3-5 year ARM expiration)
3. predatory lending/borrowing
4. divorce/separation
5. overextension of credit/number of mortgages
6. job loss or transfer
7. two house payments
8. distressed sellers
9. declining market
10. pre-foreclosures

Q: Short sale is a scary term for those who don’t understand what they are and how they work. Can you tell us why they can be considered a “win” for many of today’s distressed homeowners?

A: Short sales can be a win because they can provide a way to avoid foreclosure and, in many cases, bankruptcy. It’s important to note the differences in terms of the long-term effects on consumer credit. Let’s take a look at short sales vs. foreclosures:


Short Sale

  • negotiated settlement
  • seller’s credit bruised
  • no attorney fees
  • peace of mind
  • buy again in two years
  • liens negotiated

  • court settlement
  • seller’s credit ruined
  • big attorney fees
  • no peace of mind
  • buy again in 10 years
  • all liens exhausted

Q: That sure makes short sales look like a much better option for many. Do you have time to take us through the steps of a short sale?

A: To start, it’s important for consumers to find an advocate–agent they can really trust who will walk them through this often-emotional process. I would say that’s definitely the first step. Here they all are in a nutshell:

1. Talk to a REALTOR®
2. List the property
3. Gather the needed information
4. Complete a hardship package
5. Get an offer accepted

Q: You mentioned three stages earlier. What are you referring to there?

A: There are three stages of foreclosure: pre-foreclosure, foreclosure and post-foreclosure. It is in this initial phase that we can help so many people lessen their credit damage, get out from under a tough situation and move on to the next stage of their lives. That offers great relief.

Q: There’s no doubt a lot of fine print that real estate professionals need to comprehend to be the best resource possible for their clients. Can we visit those in a future article, and can you tell agents how they can reach you to learn how to become the “short sale specialist” in their area?

A: Absolutely. I’m happy to help. There is a lot of fine print. As the old saying goes, “The devil’s in the details!” In our next article, we’ll explore:

 the components of a hardship package
 the benefits to a lender
 why lenders prefer to work with REALTORS®
 the truth about loss mitigation companies
 when a short sale isn’t a good idea
 how commissions are paid

I welcome agent questions and comments via email at I think it’s our job and our responsibility to help protect the American Dream whenever and however we can. I am reminded of a great quote by President Lincoln: “I am a firm believer in people. If given the truth, they can be depended on to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” That’s my passion: to bring people the facts.

Will Weaver has more than 12 years of real estate experience and is a three-time graduate of Floyd’s results-getting training systems. He also is a Floyd Wickman Certified Trainer and Speaker. Will brings an enormous amount of expertise to the field of short sales and truly teaches from experience rather than theory. His work with lenders and sellers in this arena brings him great pride, as he has been able to bring hope to many clients facing tough situations. Will can be reached at 800.910.5351 or You also can discover the step-by-step methods to your own short sale success by visiting, then clicking on Seminars and Coaching.

Julie Escobar is Director of Corporate and Convention Marketing for ProspectsPLUS! and has more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the real estate industry. If you’d like to find new ways to grow your business, generate effective leads and create a long-term referral base, email Julie today at You’ll also find a library of her articles at While you’re there, sign up for a free monthly e-newsletter by clicking on Master Marketing Newsletter™. 


by Julie Escobar

A funny thing happened on the way to writing this article: There was a raffle at my daughter’s school-the kind where you pay a dollar to win a prize, and someone hands you a ticket and says, “Must be present to win!” Well, that phrase stuck with me as I was talking with agents and managers this month, taking the market “pulse” for this newsletter. So many are living outside of the “now”-caught up in past successes, lugging a full set of “baggage” around or so fearful of the future that they are missing the moments.

The right now. Think about your daily conversations with colleagues, friends and neighbors. How many of those talks revolve around the glory days when the market and economy were both booming or the future “what-ifs” that have so many people paralyzed with fear? While we’re ALL guilty of occasionally having a foot in both of those camps, it’s important to note that life and success are often much like a raffle: You must be PRESENT to win!What we lose. When we live in the future or the past, we rob ourselves of the joy and opportunities of what’s happening right now and our friends and family of sharing today’s experience with us. Many get lost in one or the other and find themselves in a “state of quit,” which quickly translates into not being present in the lives of either their customers or their prospecting base. That, of course, translates into missed business opportunities and referrals, which means less sales, which leads to less commissions, which keeps us locked in the fear of failure. Since none of these options sound like a win-win for anyone, why not join me this month in discovering ways we can be more “present?”

  • Get personal. You got it-get one-on-one with yourself. There are a million self-help books out there that focus on living in the now, and if it were so easy, I guess we’d all be gurus-masters of our own fate. Where do you start without feeling like you need to sink knee deep into the metaphysical? Not that a little enlightenment is a bad thing-it’s just a scary leap for most people.  So for those of you wanting to take “baby steps” and begin living in the present, affirmations are a great place to start.   Being grateful for the here and now-and everything and everyone in it-is key. When you find yourself slipping into the past or projecting into the future, it’s always good to be thankful for what you DO have right now. Write and say the daily affirmations that fuel your thoughts, words and actions. Write them in the present tense, and use them as a trigger for staying in the here and now. Examples include, “I’m grateful for my children, their love and their laughter.” “I’m grateful for today’s opportunity to start over, change people’s lives and learn something new.” “I appreciate the loyalty of my customers and the career longevity that they allow me to have.” It’s very difficult to be stressed and grateful at the same time. Focus on your blessings right now, and discover the joys around you that you’ve been too “busy” to see.
  • Practice acceptance. The Serenity Prayer is a powerful tool with life-changing applications. This “foundation” for millions of people worldwide should be a staple for everyone struggling to get through the daily barrage of changes and challenges before them. Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference. Whatever your belief system, there is a reason why this verse has survived generations, has been reprinted in almost every language and is a cornerstone for individuals and groups around the globe. When we truly accept things, we can let them go and move on. Not a bad thing for those of you lugging around steamer trunks full of baggage! Imagine how much more you could accomplish and how much more joy you could experience without all of that weighing you down!Experience it. This is a good one. How many times do you put something off for another hour, another day, another year? Does that make it go away? Of course not; it just adds it to the burgeoning to-do list that sits on your shoulders and keeps you from enjoying the moment. When a problem arises, fix it, deal with it and accept it.
  • Get it over with. Procrastination only puts MORE in the future-and we’re trying to live in the present here, remember? It’s a little like eating the Brussels sprouts first. The rest of the meal is a cake walk!
  • Do unto others. The law of attraction has received a lot of press lately, and with good reason. People are seeking solutions, trying new ideas on for size and hoping to trade in their high-octane stress levels for a better way. Make it a goal today to do something for someone else; we really do get by giving. The more positive you put into the world, the more it returns positive back to you. Why it works, how it works and when it works is a mystery to most. The bottom line, though, is that it DOES work. So give a smile, lend a hand, create an opportunity for someone, teach a lesson, make someone’s day. You might be surprised at how many smiles, hands, opportunities, lessons and great days come back to you in return.
  • Stop, look and listen. What if you took the childhood rule for crossing the street and applied it to your life today? Stop what you’re doing when your children, spouse, friends, colleagues or customers talk to you. Look at them-not just with a glance, but in a way that lets them know that you are truly paying attention. Then really listen to what they have to say. Imagine the impact that small act could have. It could be an opportunity to hear the accomplishment, question or laugh of your child, the affection of your spouse, the advice of a colleague or the referral of a customer. Now picture the impact on any or all of them. Your attention tells them, “I’m important, I’m cared about, and I’m heard.” Those are no small things on the Richter Scale of relationships.
  • Show up. Not just once, but over and over again. Relationships require attention. You can’t bank on what you’ve done in the past or just have faith that they’ll be there in the future. With family and friends, show up daily. Live in the now, and let them know that this day, this hour you are there for them. You might be surprised at how very much is returned to you in terms of joy, passion and energy- all three of which are necessary to accomplish your goals and dreams.
  • Show up for your customers every month, too. They need to see your face, hear your voice, feel your attention at a time when so many of your competitors are focused on “surviving” or finding another job. Yours will be the number they call when they need help or have a referral.

The “send-call-see” system of BusinessBASE can help you consistently show up and build a book of business that takes you through your career, avoiding the up and down roller coaster felt by so many.  It’s already working for thousands! 

Winning the raffle. The great news about living in the now is that you truly do have the ability to create your own “luck.” By applying some of these principals, you increase your odds of success in business, build better relationships and, most important, enjoy a fuller, richer life. So come on, start this month! Be “present” and win!

To download a FREE copy of our time-tested system for staying in touch with the VIPs in your customer base, visit, and click on BusinessBASETM. While you’re there, be sure to register for a free demonstration of our new 3-7-27 Agent Branding System for buyers. Smart marketing never looked so easy!

Getting in the door…and staying there to create “customers for life”

By Julie Escobar

We all know that you only get the chance to make a first impression once – right?  So, now is as good a time as any – or better even – to ask yourself, “What impression are you leaving with your customers or potential customers?”

While I believe strongly in the first impression – I am far more impressed with the second, third and twenty-seventh!  As Dan Kennedy would say, “Everyone shows up once!”  The business, referrals and loyalty are won by those sales professionals willing to show up time after time after time.

How?  That seems to be the big question.  Times are tougher, no doubt, and everyone seems to want to more hit the send button on their email than create, stamp and send direct mail.  It’s easier – right?  Well – yes and no.  Faster?  Again, yes and no.  More effective?  The subject of grand debates!

Email vs. Direct Mail.  While, I’ll grant you that email marketing is cheaper – in fact, in many cases:  free – and a viable, necessary part of your overall marketing strategy, it should not be the ONLY component.  Direct mail still is, according to the Direct Marketing Association, the best method of driving web traffic and target-specific response rates.  With short-run capabilities you’ll find with and other web-to-print solutions, you can send as little as 100 targeted marketing pieces for just $50 for full-color, fully laminated postcards that make an extraordinary first impression.  Now – couple that with the ability to schedule mailings and send them out EVERY month – to your sphere of influence or geographic farm area and you start to deploy the magic of the 3-7-27 Rule of Prospecting. 

Statistics tell us it takes at LEAST three impressions for a consumer to recognize your name, seven to associate your name with your business, and twenty seven for them to like you, know you, trust you enough to do business with them.  So email vs. direct mail?  Truthfully, it’s not – or at least it shouldn’t be an either or proposition.  Take your targeted message, stagger your direct mail with your email and here’s an idea – CALL your prospects or stop and see them every 3-6 months as well and you are well on your way to branding yourself as THEIR real estate or mortgage professional.  Use the Send-Call-See method described in our free, downloadable BusinessBASETM found at

Scale back or push forward?  With talk of economic woes and market twists and turns running rampant – many sales agents find themselves fighting or giving in to the urge to completely scale back.  While it makes sense to look at your business as a whole and carefully measure your return and the necessity of each line item on your budget, what doesn’t make sense is to slip into anonymity by eliminating your marketing dollars.  In fact, Billionaire Bill Bartmann, the 27th Richest Man in the United States and author of Eight Ways to Recession Proof Your Business recommends quite the opposite.  Slash expenses, indeed.  Take the waste and the “fat” out of your monthly and annual expenditures wherever and however possible.  With one exception:  Marketing.  Bill’s advice is to dramatically expand your marketing plan.  Why?  Simple – the time is now to swiftly capture the market share being left on the table by every other industry salesperson that has gone into conservation mode to the point where they no longer have a viable, VISIBLE presence in your market area.  Keeping expenses lean in every other area of your business will allow you to SURVIVE the storms.  Expanding your budget and actions in the arena of marketing will ensure you THRIVE not just today, but be the front-runner when the market does indeed take the turn for the better.

We all know it’s harder and MUCH more expensive to attract NEW customers than it is to keep and nurture our current book of business.  In fact, according to Gary Keller’s books, Millionaire Real Estate Agent, you can expect to do business with one out of ever twelve customers in your sphere of influence per year if you stay in touch with them consistently!  So, what are you waiting for?  Start making a great impression today, then do it again next week, next month, all year around!  Your business – and your bottom line – will thank you for it.

Want to learn more about how to generate the right leads for your business, thrive in ANY economy and make a wonderful first, second and twenty-seventh impression?  Visit today and sign up for our FREE Master Marketing NewsletterTM.  It’s filled with new, innovative and outside the box ideas each and every month!  You may also wish to explore our wide range of web-to-print postcard solutions at  It’s a fast, simple, cost effective way to make a good impression without having to spend a lot of time – or money!  Call me today at 800-287-5710 if I can help in any way!