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The Smartest Thing You Can Do to Build Your Business

 

The smart ones ask when they don’t know. And sometimes when they do.” Consider these wise words from Malcolm Forbes, a man who clearly knows a thing or two about surviving financial storms.

Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do when we don’t know, are facing adversity or are in over our heads? Heck, isn’t that even what we’re supposed to do to get ahead of the curve during tough times and be positioned for greatness when the tide starts to turn?

I think so, so I did. I asked: “What’s the SMARTEST thing agents can do to build their business in today’s market?” Fortunately for all of us, 11 of the top minds in the industry answered.

Here is what our special guests—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—had to say about the smartest thing you can do to build your business now.

Industry icon Floyd Wickman: Well, I believe that’s a three-part formula. First, work each week (we could stop there and increase production by 38%)… on bringing in saleable listings. That means getting face to face with a seller for a listing or price reduction. Next, get all buyers and lookers into the office to be qualified, and sell them on the benefits of the office like you never have before. Last, sell in-house inventory first!

Mr. Interview™, Michael Krisa: My best advice? First, don’t panic! Look around your town/city/state, and identify the agents who are making the deals. Ask yourself what they are doing to adapt and how you can emulate them. Don’t reinvent the wheel; take momentum from the ones already in forward motion.

Industry icon Dave Beson: Focus on filling the prospect pipeline and improving your presentation so that when you get in front of a “live one,” you will win! If you aren’t pre-planning your day and including an hour or more of prospecting by phone, in person, by letter, by email, by postcard and follow up, then you’re missing the boat. I tell my audiences, “You have to be a missionary for real estate.”

The easiest thing to do is to tell a success story—just one—about a couple who kept their house or a family that WAS ABLE TO BUY because of your help. If you need to share a story with someone in the office, that’s okay. I have a letter that I suggest agents send out to everyone they know. It’s cool to follow up by phone, too, even if it’s just to leave a voice mail! Here it is:

Dear Bob and Mary,

I just reviewed my business for the year and found an amazing surprise: More than 61% of my business was past customers, referrals and repeat business.

Sure, it’s been a challenging time in real estate, but where would I be without the support of important people like you and your friends? Many thanks for telling your friends about me, and me about them.

Be sure to let me know if there is anything I can do to help you or a friend.

All the best,
Your Name

Get in touch, and stay in touch–consistently. That’s key. Real estate and trends expert Bill Barrett: DO NOT CUT BACK ON YOUR BUDGET! Keep in touch with your past customers—meaning ALL of your past buyers and sellers—on a monthly basis. Superstars get 80% to 90% of their business from past customers through continuous prospect ing and marketing. Consider that we’re still on track to sell four million re-sales nation wide this year. Who’s going to sell them? Certainly not the ones who “give up.” Stay in the game. Noted speaker Darryl Davis: I believe the best thing about this market is that we will see a flood of buyers coming out. Sellers who were waiting in the wings to sell their houses and buyers who were sitting in the wings waiting for rock bottom all will start to move as we see our market start to inch up. Remember: The agent with the most listings WINS! If I were to gamble, I would say things will be on the upswing starting this spring. So prepare for the surge of buyers by building your listing inventory NOW ! Recruiting pioneer Carol Johnson: Stay in constant communication with your book of business, customer base and centers of influence. There is a market–people are buying and selling! This is a good time to make a change. It’s also a great time to develop new niche markets. Property condition is para mount right now—properties need to be in good condition, and prices have to be right. Make your listings the most compelling properties on the market!

Get in touch, and stay in touch–consistently. That’s key.

Real estate and trends expert Bill Barrett: DO NOT CUT BACK ON YOUR BUDGET! Keep in touch with your past customers—meaning ALL of your past buyers and sellers—on a monthly basis. Superstars get 80% to 90% of their business from past customers through continuous prospect ing and marketing. Consider that we’re still on track to sell four million re-sales nation wide this year. Who’s going to sell them? Certainly not the ones who “give up.” Stay in the game.

Noted speaker Darryl Davis: I believe the best thing about this market is that we will see a flood of buyers coming out. Sellers who were waiting in the wings to sell their houses and buyers who were sitting in the wings waiting for rock bottom all will start to move as we see our market start to inch up. Remember: The agent with the most listings WINS! If I were to gamble, I would say things will be on the upswing starting this spring. So prepare for the surge of buyers by building your listing inventory NOW!

Recruiting pioneer Carol Johnson: Stay in constant communication with your book of business, customer base and centers of influence. There is a market–people are buying and selling! This is a good time to make a change. It’s also a great time to develop new niche markets. Property condition is para mount right now—properties need to be in good condition, and prices have to be right. Make your listings the most compelling properties on the market!

Mr. Internet®, Michael Russer: I would have to say, launch your e-team. Eteam members specialize and differentiate themselves by targeting a niche. 90% of agents don’t do this, which forces them to compete with everyone. Specialists know that they must always effectively answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” for every client.

Industry coach Matthew Ferry: For agents, I would say that they need to find that faith they had in themselves before. I’m doing a webinar for all of my clients that includes a six-point action plan to help them find the courage and strength to make 2009 their best year yet. It takes honesty— about finances, about whether this industry is the right industry, and about resentment and anger. These mindsets and energies have a very damaging effect on productivity. People know what to do, they just don’t do it. They don’t do it because of hidden negativity in their mindsets. This must be discovered and removed.

For brokers, I would have to tell them to get to the heart of each agent’s passion and purpose. Most people are focused on what doesn’t work about life right now and, consequently, draw from that energy to make decisions. This is very detrimental and will pull you further into a mental breakdown. The key is to discover the future you are committed to and get focused on that. Everyone is operating in relation to the future they are present to. If you are in despair, then you are present to a bleak future. If you are empowered, then you are present to a future that you are looking forward to. Today’s action is a function of the future.

Real estate expert Walter Sanford: Short and simple: “Triple (at least) your current listing inventory.” This positions you to win when the market turns.

Speaker and trainer Claudia Wicks: Learn online market ing and how to use the technology tools consumers are using. You need to have an online presence and, of course, develop a database of prospects. Establish relation – ships with more pros pects than ever before. Collect email addresses; use tech tools to stay in touch auto matically until they are ready to buy and/or sell, and stay in touch with past clients.

According to NAR, many agents have been in the business seven years or less. They have never known this type of market. They do not know what to do to generate business. Agents who have developed a large database of prospects, however, are not struggling. They have a steady stream of business. In this market, you need to get down to basics and build your business. That means gen erating prospects. You can do it by talking to everyone you know and asking for business by networking and letting everyone know it is a great time to buy. You also can do it by creating an online presence and branding yourself by marketing your own web site, blogging, joining social networks, and responding immediately to online re quests for info.

Show up every day, and start working. Stay motivated by doing something nice for someone else, by talking to past clients, and by watching how you talk to yourself and not listening or “buying into” all of the negative talk. You can do it by believing in yourself.

Brokers and managers, the smartest thing YOU can do is provide training and en courage new skill building for your agents. Keep them engaged in productive act ivities such as networking opportunities, open houses involving the entire office or office tour of homes, or showing them how to market their listings online. I’d also suggest having “call nights” where they call past clients to stay in touch. Also provide them with valuable infor mation such as:

which price ranges are selling, list price to sales price, days on market how to handle issues that arise at closing how to work with appraisers to help ascertain value what type of financing is available good news at the office such as new listings, sales and price reductions short sale help foreclosure information how to get a price reduction how to help get a listing in good condition or staged.

Recruiting guru Judy LaDeur: Agents, DO NOT read the newspapers, and please turn the TV off! Agents are glued to TVs and reading papers like never before, just looking for the gloom and doom. I say, “Ignore the press!” There are opportunities in every market, and the agents who are finding them are having a great year in real estate! This is a great time for apartment renters to buy homes. It also is a great time for sellers in a starter price range to move up to their dream home. Price homes correctly, and stage them well. Homes are still selling! If you have listings that are not priced and staged correctly, get rid of them!

Brokers and managers, I’d tell you to first trim the fat! That means look at your costs, and see where you can cut back. You also should look at your agents, and trim a few of those as well. Most brokers right now are carrying agents who need to be out of the business. Those agents drain your office resources and staff.

I’d also tell you that there has never been a better time to recruit! Many agents are un happy and looking for options. The brokers and recruiters we’re coaching right now are having record-breaking recruit ing years because they pick up the phone every day and talk to agents. In this market, if you are not recruiting, you will not survive!

And the last bit of advice is the same advice that I gave the agents. DO NOT read the newspapers, and turn the TV off! We are coaching several brokers who have doubled the size of their office this year by ignoring the press. If anything really bad happens, you will know about it soon enough. All of your friends who are glued to the TV will call and tell you what is going on! So stay focused, and keep moving forward!

Thanks to all of our extraordinary panelists for their extraordinary answers! When it comes to “asking” for help, you’ll find this “dream team” of experts to be a resource you can turn to and rely on every time.

Keep an eye out for the other three parts of this series: Just Two Things…; Leadership Lessons From the Top; and Motivated—Me? Our generous experts shared more than 20 pages of insight, inspiration and information on these vital topics.

By Julie Escobar

2018-05-25T05:05:48+00:00