Tuesday, January 23, 2018

KnowledgeBy Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing, ProspectsPLUS!

In the midst of what often seems to be a media circus regarding the current housing market and economic crisis, I recently had an opportunity to talk with 11 leading real estate experts: Floyd Wickman, Mr. Interview™- Michael Krisa, Bill Barrett, Darryl Davis, Carol Johnson, Mr. Internet®- Michael Russer, Matthew Ferry, Walter Sanford, Dave Beson, Claudia Wicks and Judy Ladeur.

I asked them to share two good things about our industry today; their best advice for brokers and managers; the smartest thing agents can do sooner rather than later; and how they stay motivated during these challenging times. I came away with more than 20 pages of extraordinary real estate knowledge—so much great information that I decided to write an entire article on each of the four topics. This article focuses on the first one.

Here are the 11 answers from our panel of masters.  The topic?  Name the top two good things about our industry today:

1. Industry icon Floyd Wickman: I would have to say—if you look at it from everyone’s point of view—this is the perfect buyer’s market. If you ever wanted to buy, now is the time. Some day that will turn again, so it’s an opportunity just as much as it is an obstacle. I’d say even a pretty good one for a lot of people!

Next, I would have to say that this market is a major adjustment. A 2006 USA Today article was all about how real estate prices were out of whack and overinflated. That was a negative. Now things are coming back down to normal, and perhaps we are just bringing them to where they should be.

2. That Interview Guy™, Michael Krisa: I believe that a challenging market brings out the best in real estate professionals. It forces the good agents to adapt and get creative in their approach to business and marketing. More importantly, it weeds out the weak and part-time agents.

The same is true of real estate industry product and service providers; it puts the value and effectiveness of what they have to offer to the test. Agents will NOT spend precious capital on vaporware and empty promises in tough times. So, in essence, it forces us all to be sharper and deliver more.

3. Real estate and trends expert Bill Barrett: Interest rates are still incredibly low, so it’s a great time to buy—particularly in cities such as Orlando, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sarasota and Miami—where prices went high but now have gone down. There’s tremendous value now for both new construction and inventory; builders will do ANYTHING to sell their homes. The good news is that builders and RELO companies are unemotional; they’ll do whatever it takes to get the properties sold—from improving the condition to lowering the price.

4. Noted speaker Darryl Davis: I’d have to say that we are already starting to see some bottoming out in some markets, which means fewer listings this year than last—same number of sales, but fewer agents. That means more money per agent. Also, FSBOs need us now more than ever, which equals an increase in commissions and more cooperative sellers.

5. Recruiting pioneer Carol Johnson: First-time homebuyers have some opportunities never afforded to them before, so it’s a great time to work with that segment of the market. The second good thing is that investors can pick up on some outstanding opportunities—if they have cash and PATIENCE.

6. Mr. Internet®, Michael Russer: Everyone is scared, which means that the people moving forward will gain market share and have a great advantage. It’s a tremendous opportunity to capture market share lost by those who are leaving and establish yourself in one or more specialties.

During any time of tribulation, there are major problems and major opportunities to solve those problems. Don’t be afraid of it; run toward it! And remember: No thumb sucking allowed!

7. Industry coach Matthew Ferry: Now more than ever, the public is listening to REALTORS® very intently. We are no longer plagued with arrogant sellers who spit in our faces and tell us that we are worthless. The general public is scared and now actually wants to know our thoughts.

Next, all of the “skimmers” are leaving the business. Never in real estate history has overall per-agent production been so low. We will now see a dramatic rise in per-agent production because everyone who got into the business to sell their friends one house is leaving. Serious businesspeople are going to be the only ones left standing. The agents who press on and make it happen in this market are going to have their best years during the economic downturn. At least that’s what my coaching clients are finding. 
 

8. Real estate expert Walter Sanford: I will give you four “good things:” Sellers produce listings, and listings produce buyers. Looking for unique inventory for buyers produces seller leads. Buyers and sellers pay you to look at the inventory that you should be buying. There are trainers that do the business better than you do, and you can copy them. These are all called the “leverage” of real estate sales. That gives you the ability to do the business of three agents by just doing the right activities.

9. Industry icon Dave Beson: People understand homes, and most know that they need us now. Unlike mortgages, or these crazy financial instruments that we don’t even understand the value of, they do know about homes. So a home is worth 15% less? Perhaps, but the flip side of this is the roller coaster of the stock market. With real estate, we’ve got shelter, dreams and tax deductible interest. People need and crave what we sell. While not everyone can get into a home today because of tougher underwriting and such, about 80% can sell or buy. They need us, and that’s good.

Secondly, we can’t be terminated. We can just fade out by not doing more of what we already know we should be doing. Now is the time to determine if you are ready to quit. If you aren’t, then get going! Almost anyone can improve their business if they go to work two hours earlier and plan their day the night before, with a focus on prospecting and lead generation. Stay in the present, and just do your assignment every day.

10. Speaker and trainer Claudia Wicks: Great opportunity for buyers; it’s the best combination of house prices and attractive interest rates we have seen in a long time. That’s a great opportunity for investors and the agents who work with them!
This also is the perfect time for agents to re-tool their business practices. During the downtime, take the opportunity to build a business. When the turnaround comes, you’ll be poised to take advantage of the market.

11. Recruiting guru Judy LaDeur: Consumers can buy homes today that they have never been able to buy—and have instant equity as the market starts to improve.

Next, know that there are two levels of agents in today’s market. One group is making “no money;” the other group is making more money than they ever have. So if you’re willing to work hard and learn how to be creative in this market, there are more opportunities now than ever before.

There you have it… from some of real estate’s top talent—the “real” opportunities are there for the professionals who are willing to tap into them. I strongly urge you to step back from the doomsday news reports and agents who dub themselves “realists” but aren’t doing anything proactive to expand their business—and focus on what you CAN do!

We are extremely fortunate to have these experts in our network of real estate friends. They offer priceless tips, techniques, ideas and insights that we use to create the marketing solutions you need, when you need them.

Stay tuned for the remaining three parts of this series: Leadership Lessons from the Top; The Smartest Thing You Can do to Build Your Business; and Motivated—Me? In the meantime, I’d love to know what YOUR two top things about this market are! Email me today!

ProspectsPLUS! provides the tools and information you need to find and implement the strategies necessary to propel your production in any market. Visit our blog at blog.prospectsplus.com, or discover the many solutions offered online at www.prospectsplus.com. Julie can be reached at julie.escobar@prospectsplus.com or (866) 405-3641.

With the November 7-10 NAR convention quickly approaching, ProspectsPLUS! is gearing up to bring its best and most innovative offerings to Orlando, including their new 3-7-27 Agent Branding System™. The Florida-based company is thrilled to be at the Orange County Convention Center for hands-on demonstrations and information resources designed to help REALTORS® excel in today’s quickly shifting industry.

Highlights at the ProspectsPLUS! booth #1858 include:

1.   3-7-27 Agent Branding System™.  Learn how to effectively become the brand name in your area for First Time Homebuyers!  NAR tells us more than 39% of all buyers in the last year came from this prospecting pool.   Learn how to “own” it today!

2.  MLSmailings.com. This innovative and automated, cutting-edge system with patent-pending technology gives agents fast-track results with little to no effort on their part.  “Just Listed” and “Just Sold” postcards are sent automatically – with no hassle!

3.  ProspectsPLUS! 6.0. This time-tested software gives agents more than 600 marketing pieces to choose from in a matter of minutes. With a guarantee of at least six new commissions in just 12 months, more than 60,000 agents across the United States and Canada utilize this time-saving, production-boosting program to ensure their success in ANY market.

4.  RecruitingPLUS! 6.0. Managers and brokers will find this upgraded program an exciting and viable method for rapidly recruiting both new and experienced agents in any market. With 12 full systems and 65 strategies to choose from, users can implement the ones that best fit their unique recruiting goals. The company is so confident in the program that it guarantees 24 recruiting interviews every 12 weeks.  Enjoy a full demonstration, and pick up a free copy of the Master Recruiting Guide™, which details “How to Recruit 10 Agents in 60 Days” and “Sure-Fire Strategies for Becoming a Top Recruiter.”

5. Data Leader™. Tap into the most extensive and cost-effective system in the industry for data mining for your perfect customer.  Whether you are looking for first time homebuyers, investor or move-up market candidates or wish to be the ‘go-to’ agent for a specific business such as CPAs, Attorneys or Builders, you can find the prospects you need for the niche that best works for you!  Stop by our booth and get your priority code for 100 FREE LEADS! 

Be sure to visit booth #1858 for winning solutions and your FREE Master Recruiting Guide™, 100 FREE LEADS, and hands-on demonstrations of the ProspectsPLUS! suite of products.

You can find more cost-effective ways to boost production while saving time and money at www.prospectsplus.com. While you’re there, remember to sign up for the FREE Master Marketing Newsletter™.

Call Julie Escobar at 866.405.3641 or visit www.prospectsplus.com and invite us in to share some strategies, jump start your production or share today’s best resource for cutting edge technology and marketing solutions!

Short sale specialists have a new marketing resource in www.postcardsplus.com. The simple web-to-print product of industry leader ProspectsPLUS! just debuted a series of eight Short Sale postcards that target distressed homeowners seeking an advocate and agent they can count on.

“We recently worked with Floyd Wickman team trainer Will Weaver to publish an article about how short sales affect our nation’s consumers,” shared Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing. “From that, we crafted marketing materials for agents looking to become the ‘go-to’ resource for homeowners who desperately need a reliable professional they can turn to. Two of the designs are invitations to free consumer workshops—a popular way to deliver information and find prospects at the same time.” 
The new series is available at www.postcardsplus.com/shortsales. Portions of the series also will be available starting this month in ProspectsPLUS! software customers’ SupportPLUS! updates.

The initial eight postcards are: Do You Know Anyone Who…?, Free Workshop, Tough Decisions, What Do You Do When…, Distressed Homeowner?, Short Sale vs. Foreclosure, When Mortgage Pressure is High and Resources are Low and Last Chance to Learn: Free Workshop. Each is designed to capture the interest and garner a response from consumers eager to learn how today’s economy affects THEIR economy.

The PostcardsPLUS! system allows agents to choose a postcard, upload a mailing list and place an order in minutes. At just $80 per hundred for jumbo and $50 per hundred for standard, full-color postcards are printed, addressed, laminated and mailed first class within 48 hours—making being first in the door with this timely information simple, fast and cost effective. As added incentive to put this or any campaign in motion quickly, orders of 250+ postcards will receive the radial mailing list FREE through October 31, with no limit to the number of leads an agent can receive.

“I teach agents to be advocates for today’s distressed homeowners,” shared Mr. Weaver. “They need real information, real resources and real help. These postcards are a great way to effectively market yourself as a true short sale specialist and let consumers know that you are there when they need you.”

“Finding your niche and fine tuning your marketing are key for today’s thriving agents,” added Ms. Escobar. “With marketing dollars few and far between, it makes sense to increase your response rates by matching your message to your market. These postcards help short sale specialists do just that.”

Agents also can find a variety of sphere of influence, farm, seasonal and holiday postcards at www.postcardsplus.com. Customized postcards are available for every major real estate franchise and larger independent organizations across North America.

Want to learn more about inside strategies, upcoming automated product lines and how leveraging the power of direct mail can generate more than $100,000 per client throughout your career? Call Julie Escobar at 866.405.3641 to schedule a FREE Webinar for your office. 

Need more marketing ideas? Sign up for our FREE Master Marketing Newsletter™ to have fresh ideas, innovative tools and smart solutions delivered to your “in box” every month! Visit www.prospectsplus.com today, and click on Master Marketing Newsletter™.

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 www.prospectsplus.com/recruitingschool 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 www.prospectsplus.com 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 www.prospectsplus.com.