By Alexis Craig
The true test of whether or not you own a real business is if you can go on vacation to a place like Fiji—without your cell phone—for two weeks and continue to see your income grow.
If you need to be working everyday in order for your business to grow, then you’re in a bottleneck. You don’t really own a business, and your position is worse than a job. You have none of the security or benefits that a job offers, but all of the downsides: having to be there everyday, working long hours, and zero flexibility for family and other aspects of life.
I’ll never forget when my mentor taught me this lesson. I was just starting out in my real estate career, and this one lesson helped me look for ways to leverage different assets, such as the internet, other sales agents, and money, so that I could produce more results while focusing on the aspects of my business that I love.
One of the quickest ways to grow your business is by effectively leveraging other agents to sell for you. I’m going to explain how to create and implement a sales process that you don’t have to micromanage. This way, your business can grow even if you leave.
@dhester, 2015. Morguefile.com.
Get a Clear Vision
Accomplishing anything starts with clear focus. You have to decide exactly what you want and don’t want out of your business.
Maybe you want to personally sell homes but need someone to handle all of the buyer leads. Maybe you don’t want to sell homes and instead work on other aspects of your business. For me, I don’t want to sell homes. I’d rather work on the marketing and business strategy.
Most agents never take the time to decide what kind of business they want to run. I’m challenging you to think about it. There are no right or wrong answers, but the decision you make will have a huge affect on how you grow your business.
Think about Old Navy vs. Gap. They are different. One is not better than the other, just different with distinct items, pricing, and marketing.
“Nobody can do it better than I can.” This mindset is the biggest barrier to creating a scalable real estate business.
It’s your business, your reputation, and your money on the line, so of course nobody will be able to do it as good as you, right?
I use to think this way, too. But I soon realized that most of my sales team was doing it better than I was because they focused on following a systematic sales process. I, on the other hand, would get distracted, forget to follow up, and push the sale too aggressively because I had a million other things I needed to do.
If you want to outsource your sales process, you have to believe that you can recruit, develop, and lead other agents to sell. The question to ask yourself is, “How can I show clients the value of working with me without me having to be there?”
For example, we send our leads something we call a “shock and awe package” before we ever sit down them so that they can become educated about our business, how we work, and our pricing. Most of the work is done before a sales agent tries to secure a listing contract.
Create a Systematic Sales Plan
Between leads and systems, 99 percent of business problems can be solved.
A sales system will allow you to hire agents and properly incentivize and compensate them even if you don’t have any money because you know exactly what your sales system will generate in revenue and profit.
The problem is that most agents don’t know their sales numbers. They have no idea how many appointments they need, their conversion rates, and their closing rates. You can’t hire a sales agents and expect them to grow your business for you. That’s your job.
Here is the simple seven-step sales process that we follow at Mocha Homes every client.
- Prequalify Every Lead: Before you schedule an appointment, you need to find out if a lead is ready to buy or sell, and if they’re the one who can make the decision. One question you could ask would be, “If we showed you a house today, would you be ready to buy in X days?”—where X is the days on market rate in your market. The answer should be yes.
- Build Rapport: Once you know they’re qualified, begin building a relationship. We do this through our shock and awe package and showing concern for the buyer or home owner.
- Use Discovery Questions: Find out why they’re trying to sell their house. Is it due to a job relocation, a divorce, or retirement? Your solution will depend on the questions you ask.
- Identify Needs: The decision of whether or not to sign a contract with you is made at this stage. It’s about responding and reflecting back what they told you. I call this my “Holding the Mirror Strategy.” You might say, “So, I understand you’re looking to sell your house in the next 30 days because you have to relocate. While you want to sell your house for top-dollar, there is about $5,000 in wiggle room if it’s sold fast enough.”
- Present Solution: At Mocha Homes, we use a standard pre-listing and appointment presentation that can be customized based on the seller’s or buyer’s needs.
- Close the Sale: Simply say something like, “Based on your need to relocate in the next 30 days, I would recommend that we implement a 10-step marketing plan with a video tour, and that we price your home at market-value or slightly below. Does that sound fair? Would you like me to get the contract written up?”
- Objection Handling: A ton of books have been written about this. But if you face objections, it typically means you failed somewhere at the top, particularly in prequalifying your lead.
To make your sales process work, you have to measure everything and collect feedback. This way you can create training programs, create new incentives, or come up with other solutions to improve your sales process.
One of the things I make all of my agents do is fill out a self-assessment sheet after each sales appointment. At the end of the week I look through the self-assessments and our sales number to figure out which direction the business needs to go.
For example, if I notice that conversion are lower, I might look to see if we brought in the wrong leads. If it’s consistently lower, I make look at the sales presentation or a particular sales agent.
There you have it. Remember, the true test of a business is if you can leave for two weeks and it would still grow. Can you do that?
Alexis Craig, founder of Mocha Homes, leads a team of real estate rebels in Lansing, Mich. Connect with her at mochahomes.com or facebook.com/MochaHomes.