Whether you have been in the business 70 days or 7 years, I often hear the same questions:
- What do I do now?
- My lead generation is inconsistent!
- How do I get better organized?
- What’s my purpose?
So, here are a few suggestions to consider as you start this week:
First, who do you want to be 90 days from now?
It all starts with deciding what you want to achieve in the next three months. Have you created very clear, specific, measurable, and trackable goals? Are they up and visual as a constant reminder?
My research shows there are three types of goals:
- Outcome goals – I want to be #1
- Performance goals – I’ll run the race in 8 minutes or less
- Process goals – I’ll connect with 10 people a day
Process goals win the day. Over 650 studies in goal achievement show that people who break their goals down to a daily process achieve the goal faster and more consistently.
Action #1: Break your goals down to daily actions
Second, understand where the business comes from.
The National Association of REALTORS® conducted a survey that shows nearly 70% of consumers FIND you from a friend, family, referral or past business relationship. And nearly 70% CHOOSE you based on your perceived reputation, trustworthiness and results. These facts have significant implications for your personal branding and direct response marketing activities.
It’s shocking how many clients I have acquired through the years — just because I made a call or sent a message.
According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5 to 20 percent, but the likelihood of selling to an existing client is 60 to 70 percent. It’s much cheaper and easier to retain a client than to go prospecting for a new one. Studies show 90% of consumers would do business again with their REALTOR® yet only 25% do. Why? Because you suck – no systems in place – at staying in touch and building long term relationships with past clients.
Action #2: Stay in touch at least 4X per year, build relationships and the sales & referrals will follow.
Third, track everything in a database to stay organized
Make it a habit to get contact information from every person you meet. Your goal is to move folks you meet from your outer circle to your inner circle. Create a system – like this.
If you are buying a new car, get the salesperson’s card. Ask your bartender or server for their information when you go out. Every person who gives you their contact information should be placed into your database and contacted – a note; text; card; social media engagement – least 8 times in the first 8 weeks of meeting. This can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet. It should include the following
- Full name
- Email address
- Mobile phone number
- Preferred social media handles
- Your Notes
In your notes section, you will want to write in things like what the potential client is interested in, first and last time you corresponded with them and how you met them. Relationships matter and relationships create referrals in a personal service business like real estate sales.
Action #3: Take one step to get better organized
Fourth, be like Fred.
Fred Shea was a postal carrier from my home state of Colorado. Apart from the fact that he personally welcomed every new resident, he appeared unremarkable. Yet, a book has been written about him and thousands have been taught his “system” to drive purpose in their life and their business.
Fred had a purpose.
Fred demonstrated you don’t need a promotion; you don’t need anything but creativity to reinvent yourself and add value to yourself and others.
Fred the Postman was quite remarkable in attitude with a warmth and sincerity that was apparent immediately. And his dedication to serving his customers made him extraordinary.
Daily Fred put into practice the principles that became the foundation for the best-selling book, The Fred Factor, namely that:
- Everyone makes a difference,
- Success is built on relationships,
- You must create value for others, and;
- Reinvent yourself on a regular basis.
Fred the Postman taught me that by bringing passion into our work and life we can all turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Action #4: Be like Fred!
As we wrap up, I have no control over what you do with this information – nor do I want that control. Yet the gift of what I shared today, has helped me in so many ways, and I trust this gift will help you too. So, until we meet again may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
Bonus Action #5: Accountability… who is your accountability partner?
Do you enjoy the Facebook memories feature as much as I do? Recently a memory came up for me from a time when I was really into the sport of golf… at that time I had hired a “Master PGA professional” as a coach and my handicap dropped in half. Coaching works. The picture I posted was a golf ball inside the cup with the caption: “The main thing… get the ball in the cup in the fewest strokes possible. No need to make it more complicated than that!”
The main thing… get the ball in the cup in the fewest strokes possible.
For me, I learn by analogies… how one thing is just like another. Sports, music, and theater have great analogies for business. This memory reminded me that real estate sales has one main thing too…setting appointments. The more appointments you have in your schedule each week the more successful you will be. The objective of all real estate marketing and prospecting is to create more appointments!
Every time I meet one on one with someone seeking coaching on their real estate practice, I enjoy listening to the stories of why they don’t have time to do the little things they already KNOW will make a difference.
“Mark, I don’t have time to prospect consistently; I don’t have time to eat properly during the day; I don’t have time for a date night with my partner; I don’t have time to work out.” And the list of excuses goes on and on and on. Think about it, the most unprofitable item ever manufactured is an excuse.
So, what does any of this have to do with making more real estate appointments? You see here’s what I know, from working with peak performers and highly successful people all over the world… keystone habits matter. Some habits are more important than others. Keystone habits don’t create a direct cause-and-effect relationship, but they can spark chain reactions that help other good habits take hold. Examples would be exercising… exercising can help you eat better; family dinners can create greater bonds outside of meals; planning your days and time blocking can lead to stronger focus throughout the day.
If you don’t have time for the small things you won’t have time for the big things.
Taking action: Start by making ONE adjustment to your daily routine immediately. You KNOW what it is… write it down right now. Text it to your partner with a commitment and ask them to hold you accountable.
You might struggle a bit the first day, or the second day… yet one day you’ll master it. And then you can add the next keystone habit to your arsenal. You see it’s about keeping the main thing the main thing.
“Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.” ~ Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit
We are on a mission… a mission to create the most productive brokerage network in the world. That requires transformation… I was thinking, wouldn’t it be cool if it was as easy as the type of transformation Clark Kent goes through when he becomes Superman, or when Diana became Wonder Woman?
Here’s what I know, to achieve all of our dreams some type of transformation is required. And unless you are blessed with superpowers, transformations don’t happen in isolation. If you’re stuck, get in a small group. If you’re on track get in a small group. If you’re crushing it I suspect you’re already in a small group. None of us will transform without the power of being in a like-minded mastermind group where you can share, discuss, challenge and get some accountability.
Consider starting or joining a group this week. Don’t know what to discuss? Consider these possible themes:
6 guidelines for business transformation. 1. Let the consumer drive your direction; 2. Decide what type of transformation you need; 3. How to involve your team, vendors and support network; 4. How to say NO to the comfort zone; 5. Being open, listen to others and be prepared to change as conditions dictate and 6. Best practices to never stop… never stop with a continuous improvement mindset (make it better, make it better, always make it better).
The JPAR quarterly review or business planning templates and how you plan to close the year strong, fully prepared for 2019.
Possible Topic About Marketing:
As you think about closing the year strong and starting the year fast I’d ask you to consider content-based marketing.
Content-based marketing is about marketing your real estate services based on the consumers intent to engage.
Marketing to the consumer’s intent is expected to produce a better ROI over more traditional methods, mostly due to specific targeting and higher quality responses.
One idea you could execute would be white papers that you hire out Fiverr or write yourself along with an associated “push and target” distribution campaign to drive leads. Examples:
4 reasons to sell and buy in Flower Mound
6 ways to increase the value of your home in Frisco
7 things I bet your real estate agent never taught you about Austin real estate market
Many social media companies allow you to target a likely seller or buyer by way of geographic area (ex. 10 mile radius from a property), age (ex. 35-50), income (ex. at least $50,000 and less than $80,000), and even credit score (cool, right?). And others like SmartZip offer predictive intent based tools for the modern real estate agent.
So there you have it – at least 3 major topics to get started on in your small group. When will you begin?
In this weeks episode, Cassie Samons from JPAR Justin, Texas shares how she and her three teammates approach the market.
After being solo in real estate, Cassie shares how she recently hired a coach to help her and her young team grow.
Free coaching consult? www.travisrobertson.com/JPAR
“It feels really good to help people.”
-Cassie Samons, JP and Associates REALTORS®
There are 80 working days left in 2018. Depending on how many days you work, how many holidays you celebrate and so on, you have about 80 days to wrap up 2018. 80 days…
How do you want your bank account to look like on January 1st of 2019? Do you want a bigger bank account or a smaller one? I suspect a bigger one… so let’s get to work.
Whatever your goal is, NOW is the time to make that happen. The next 45 to 55 days will be critical for setting yourself up for strong close to 2018 and a fast start to 2019. What you do in the next few days and weeks will determine the size of your bank account on January 1.
Let’s face there are two types of agents today… hobbyists and CEO’s. This blog is not intended for part-time agents or those that work real estate sales as a hobby. For those of you that run your business like a business, those of you that know your daily number and know what it takes to generate one sale… this article is for you.
How many families or investors do you want to serve between now and the end of the year?
How many contacts do you need to make to drive that number? One rule of thumb is 40 to 1.
What systems do you have in place to create the result you desire?
Write down the number of sales you’ve made so far this year.
Write down the source of those sales.
This is your system… a system will produce what a system will produce, nothing less nothing more. If your system is not producing the expected result, it’s time to update your system.
A couple of things to consider
- Decide Now. Decide now how many days you will work, how many days you will be off and how many “flex days” you’ll have between now and the end of the year. Decide if you will create an investor campaign to take advantage of year-end investment buyers. And, decide now how many listings you will earn between now and the end of the year.
- Diversify your lead generation sources. Too many of you rely on ONE maybe TWO lead sources. 4 to 6 sources of business is a minimum standard. Don’t add them all at once, start with one get it working and stable then add another until you reach 4 to 6 sources. In any market, more lead sources will serve you better than fewer lead sources. Relying on 100% of your business with one lead source in a shifting market is a formula for disaster.
- Up your CRM game. At JPAR you have a world class CRM kvCORE as part of our base package. You also have Top Producer and Commissions Inc. at a preferred rate. So, there is no excuse for not having your CRM update date and working for you.
- Delegate. Is it time to find some help? An office or virtual assistant. Your highest and best use is prospecting.; lead generation; going to appointments, and negotiating contracts. Everything else can be delegated. Scared? Get resourceful, many new agents I know are sharing a fractional assistant to split cost yet keep them fully employed.
- Target Market Clarity? Any market rewards the hyperlocal expert. Are you an expert in a community? Are you an expert in a profession like Nurses, FBI agents, CPA’s? It’s probably time to expand your targets and diversify.
- Real Estate Play Book. Complete our JPAR real estate playbook ASAP. It is full of practical ideas you can execute immediately.
So, I’ll leave you today with three more things:
1. Cash… cash is king. Are you building your cash reserves? Reducing bad debt? Investing in marketing? (Hint: You can do all 3.)
2. Knowing what you know now, what immediate adjustments do you need to make?
3. Have you started a small weekly accountability group with like-minded, goal-oriented CEO’s like yourself? If not, what are you waiting for?
How would it feel if you could help 50 families buy, sell or invest in real estate every year?
A system will produce what a system will produce… nothing less, nothing more. So I’m curious, what is your system producing for your business? Are you happy with that result or do you want more? If you want more, read on.
Are Your Systems Producing Reliable Results?
Let me clarify. For some of you reading this blog, losing weight might be an example you can relate to. Losing 10 pounds is a GOAL. Changing the way you eat for life is a SYSTEM. Many of you have a goal of helping 20 or more families buy, sell or invest in real estate this year. That is a GOAL. What systems do you have in place to ensure that outcome?
So let’s review first why you need systems in place. Unless you are a hobbyist in real estate, you’ll need systems for:
- Consistent quality – for you, your clients and your partners.
- Simplifying your workload – like a checklist for a pilot, you don’t have to always guess what needs to be done next
- Saving time – less time wondering what to do and more time doing it
- Highlighting inefficiencies – with the right systems in place you can see what’s working and what’s not
- Growing your business – serve more people, make more money
As a real estate broker and later as a real estate business coach, I’ve seen, reviewed and put into practice virtually every system out there. In my current view of the business, the perfect place to start is with Gary Keller’s three L’s from The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: Leads, Listings, and Leverage.
Next-level agents – those that run their business as a business – implement real estate systems to handle each of the three L’s. Let’s dig in.
Leads are the lifeblood of your real estate practice. Without leads, you have no clients and no deals. Systemizing your lead generation and conversion processes will result in more clients and more successful transactions. One such system is outlined in The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, which outlines a system to move prospects from your outer circle to your inner circle.
In the book, we learn 2 prospecting categories and 11 marketing categories to choose from and implement. Exploring all of them would spread you too thin, yet having a plan to start with one and “add one” each quarter is a solid process to build a strong real estate practice.
Lead systems include:
- Eight by eight – everyone you meet goes into a campaign with the purpose of establishing a relationship. Once a week for 8 weeks you make some type of meaningful contact. Text, follow up call, email, social media direct message, handwritten note. Get creative and systematize it.
- Thirty-Three Touch – everyone you know goes into the 33 touch program. 18 touches via newsletter, cards or drop-offs; 8 thinking of you touches; 3 telephone touches; 2 birthday touches (both partners); 1 touch each for a special holiday. Get creative – old media and new media – and systematize it.
- Twelve Direct – for those people you have not met in your target market area. 12 direct contacts a year. Get creative and systemize it.
Move Prospects From Your Outer To Your Inner Circle.
Your business is just math – depending on market conditions, your skills and results you will need to increase or decrease your formula:
For every 12 people on your “met” contact database – when you follow this system – you can reasonably expect to net 2 sales… either a direct sale or a referral for a sale. Do you want to do 5o sales this year? Then a solid database of 300 people using this system can produce that result.
For every 50 people in your “not met” database you can reasonably expect 1 sale. You want to do 5o sales this year, then you’ll need 2,500 people in your not meet database.
If you want to run an efficient real estate business, focus on gaining more listings, not more buyers.
Listings require less time and allow you more scheduling flexibility… you don’t have to work around the clients’ schedules nearly as much as with buyers. You can also be more confident in your ability to collect payment as a seller’s agent than as a buyer’s agent. We’ve all had buyers cut us out of a deal at one time or another. And even with a buyer’s brokerage agreement, forcing payment of commissions can easily get contentious. It’s a headache you just don’t need.
One of the best resources I’ve run across for a listing system is Hoss Pratt’s book LISTING BOSS
So work with well-qualified, sense-of-urgency buyers, but focus your efforts on earning listings from sellers.
Listings systems include:
- Creating Home Value and Neighborhood Activities campaigns
- Listing presentations: what can you show prospective sellers during your listing presentation that will distinguish yourself from your competition and help your sellers feel comfortable contracting with you?
- Staging: how will you help your sellers stage to sell?
- Property marketing: how will you promote your new listings? In our market, your marketing needs to be like the new home builders.
- Client communication: when and how will you be in touch with your sellers while the property is on the market and under contract?
Leverage is all about finding and utilizing resources to help you scale your business.
Perhaps you could spend more time landing more listings if you hired a transaction coordinator to manage the paperwork for your pending deals. Or you could spend more time on income-generating activities if you hired an assistant to handle the administrative aspects of your practice.
Leverage your resources to help you serve more clients and increase your revenue.
Leverage systems include:
- Assistants: what tasks can you delegate to an assistant (as an employee or even as a freelance virtual assistant)?
- Buyer agents: as your business grows, you may find you need a designated Buyer’s Agent to handle your buyers.
- Automation software: can some of your tasks, like social media posts or email campaigns, be handled by automation software?
- Your CRM… without a solid CRM and CRM process you are not in business you simply have a hobby.
Feeling overwhelmed? Good, that’s the place where all growth begins. Break it down into small chunks and get started today. If you have not read my article Delegate, Automate or Eliminate, now would be a good time.
Need a business coach? Schedule a consult with us today.