By Dave Robison
When I first got into this business, I was immediately struck by the enigma that is a real estate team. No matter how closely teams resemble one another on paper, real estate teams will always vary in terms of production. Take two teams of five agents each, and even though experience level or age or any of those factors may match up perfectly, one team will still produce an average of ten home sales per agent in a given year while the other may only produce five. Now I ask: If you could somehow figure out how this successful team achieved such high sales, would you do it?
What we’re talking about here is almost like body building. What does it take to win a body building contest? Well… I’m not completely sure but I do know that if you’re going to create a high performance body, you better be committed to it and willing to the pay the price. For body builders, that probably means countless hours in the gym and careful monitoring of their food intake. While real estate success may not require you to put down the sweets and hit the weight room, building a high performance team takes just as much drive, dedication and willingness to change. Most agents will never build such a high performance team because they don’t put in the effort that’s required. Growing is not the easiest endeavor; in fact, it’s oftentimes downright uncomfortable. As the saying goes: No pain, no gain.
So what are the obstacles standing in the way of high performance team success? Here are the most common complaints:
- Once I train an agent, he or she will just leave to start on his or her own. Why would I train my competition?
- I know of agents or had an agent who worked with me and left and took some of my clients. Why would I want to risk that again?
- My clients call me because they want to work with me. So wouldn’t it reflect poorly on me if I hand them off to someone else?
- I don’t have enough time to put in this extra work. Don’t you know I’m already busy as it is?
- I don’t have enough money to build a brand or advertise this team. How would we succeed without a big marketing budget?
Many agents use these “excuses” as reasons why they shouldn’t join a team. Well, that’s just good news for you because now you’ve got less competition to worry about. As long as agents don’t want to jump across those hurdles, you will enjoy increased market share. The secret is for you to acknowledge these complaints and push on anyway. (Remember that whole “no pain, no gain” thing I mentioned?) Think of these obstacles as your weight room reps; overcoming each one makes you stronger and more likely to become a high performance team.
This method has worked for my team for the past five years. Last year, we averaged 40 home sales per agent. In our market, that’s more than ten times the average agent sales. The results are real. So how do you increase your sales with the same amount of agents as other teams? You focus on becoming a high performance team, acknowledge the stumbling blocks in your way—like those five common complaints listed above—and keep moving forward regardless. Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
The Average Marketing Scenario
A couple years ago a loan officer asked me a brilliant question that they should have asked themselves before they spent $30,000 on a failed marketing campaign. “Dave, I have had a billboard for the past year on I-15 and I don’t get any calls off of it. What is going on?” I sat there for awhile trying to think of his billboard and I couldn’t remember it. Later that day it hit me. It took me all day to remember it. The loan officer had a prime location with his name and phone number and his company name on it. It said something like “your loan officer” or “call me for a mortgage.”
His marketing wasn’t working. He wasn’t getting any calls. I had that same marketing plan before. I had that same marketing on a moving van for three years. It was typical agent marketing that consists of: name, phone number, and how cool you are — it doesn’t work. I rarely got any calls, and nobody knew who I was. Then, I changed it and my business started to change.
There are two keys to smart marketing:
1. Can people remember you or your marketing?
Have you ever heard that famous statistic that the average home buyer/seller forgets their agent’s name within six months? I tested it out once. I met someone who said they just bought their home four months ago with the president of the Salt Lake Board of REALTORS®. I said, “Ohhh, awesome! What is their name?” Of course I knew their name, but I was wondering if the statistic really worked. They couldn’t remember. They said she is the president and surely I must know who they were talking about. Of course I knew, but how was this person going to recommend her to any of their friends and family?
Now lets talk about the loan officer’s billboard. After I drove by the sign, I couldn’t remember his phone number, name, or website. What a waste of money. His only chance of being remembered would have been if I wrote down his phone number the next time I saw the billboard, and kept it for when I had a need. Fat chance at that.
So what did I do to change my marketing after unsuccessfully advertising on a moving van for three years? it came down to branding. First, I created a scene of a desert in the background with my picture on it, and a Web address: UtahDave.com. Why in the world is there a desert when I’m trying to sell a home? Because every agent has a home on their marketing materials. I wanted it to be different, and the desert scene goes with Utah.
I don’t think the desert is key to your success, it just happened to work for mine. Maybe if I was “AlaskaDave” I might have an igloo instead of a desert. Geico has a Gecko, and the last time I checked they don’t sell geckos. The main thing is finding a special branding or memorable image…just don’t be like everyone else and have a home be your background.
The proof is in the pudding. I just got a listing appointment…and where did the listing come from? Continue reading »
By David Krichmar
And now for Part 2. (Check out part 1 here.)
4. Magnet Sign- “No one has ever called off a car magnet.” Really? Ask around your office — someone has gotten a deal off their magnet sign on their car. Get a nice and easy-to-read magnet for your car. Heck, how else can someone tell you sell real estate when they see you at a traffic light?
5. Name Tags- Yes, trust me, I know. No one has ever said, “You look amazing in that outfit. Now if only you had a tacky looking name tag, the outfit would be complete!!” But just like with magnets, it gives you the easiest and most direct way to make sure everyone knows you sell real estate. Make sure the name tag is direct and easy to read. Heck, make it catchy. Maybe a name tag that just says “Looking to buy a home? Ask me!” How much does a name tag cost? Maybe $15 on the high side?
6. Open House- Again, no one likes them… which gives you an even better opportunity to ask REALTORS® in your office if you can hold an open house for them, for one of their listings. It helps get that REALTOR® more traffic for their listing and it helps you get some new potential buyers. You can also try this approach with smaller home builders.
7. Market to a Professional- Think of a marketing campaign and aim it at a certain professional group. Try to choose a group that has some influence on other people such as CPAs or financial advisors. Or groups that have many coworkers, such as teachers, firefighters, police officers, or HR departments. Then offer them something for free. Some examples are a free home warranty, appraisal, free iPad, or talk about a specific program that is just for them (e.g. tax credit for teachers). Then make a flyer and drop it off at schools, fire houses, offices, etc. These groups are great to market to because if you do a great job they will tell all their friends and coworkers.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, online marketing should still be king. But, there are still other ways to market yourself. If business is slow, or you are new to the real estate business, then this list gives you some inexpensive easy ways to market yourself.
By Stefanie Hahn
What are QR codes? How can they work for my business? This video tutorial offers tips and suggestions for utilizing this hot new marketing tool.
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Malvern, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.