By Jason O’Neil
Referrals, referrals, referrals. We all get them and we all want more. We want referrals from our lenders, our title reps, our barbers, our past clients, and we especially want them from other agents. We love referrals because they are easy leads. They are not faceless Internet leads or the sometimes abrupt sign calls; they are real people who are friends of someone.
Referrals are easy to talk to for two primary reasons: One, they are less guarded because you were referred by someone they trust. Two, you have something or someone in common.
Over the past 12 months, 85 percent of my business has come from referrals. I, too, love referrals.
We track our business sources, but do we track our referrals? When I say track our referrals, I mean the why. Why does someone refer you? What is your referability? High, low, middle? Do you have any idea? Why will some clients run to the top of a mountain and scream your name? And why do others, who have worked with you dozens of times, not feel comfortable referring you to their closest friends or relatives?
Sometimes we aren’t referred because referrals are risky. They really are. If I speak up and say you should work with my accountant because he does great work and you end up not liking him, I look bad. If you love my accountant, well, that was to be expected. If I say nothing or don’t refer an accountant, I likely stay unchanged in your mind’s eye. So there really is a downside risk to referrals. But referring people is fulfilling — it makes people feel good to help other people and to give their opinions.
So, why should people refer you? How do you become more referable?
I think it’s simple: Continue reading »
By Brett Caviness
It can be boring, spending a large amount of your weekends sitting or standing in what are sometimes vacant homes for hours on end. For me, the value is developing strong communication and sales skills. With a degree in communication studies, I still find myself learning and developing techniques to effectively communicate with clients while qualifying them at the same time.
It can be all too easy to greet people at the door and let them wander with the usual, “Let me know if you have any questions.” I have found some specific tactics very useful and lucrative when used during my open homes.
I recently turned common Sunday lookers into buyers in two weeks time. A couple came through one of my Sunday opens, they were pleasant and quiet as they made their way through the home. They said they didn’t have any questions and were on their way out when I began to chat with them. Simple things like, “How long have you been looking? Are you from the area?” These simple questions quickly snowballed into learning about their situation while developing a personal connection with them.
After getting a good feel about what they were looking for, I told them I would do some more searching and set up some showings that might be a good fit for them early in the coming week. They were excited for the work that I was willing to do for them. In two weeks time, 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 Brooke Wolford
You may wondering what science has to do with sales…really what I am referring to is the chemical reaction that happens in your clients brains that ultimately leads them to begin a relationship with you. What mental perception does your client get that triggers a spark?
You can look at the beginning process of a client contacting you for the first time. What initiated their contact with you? There are several levels a client could be at in the process, all stemming from how they initially contacted you.
- They randomly came across your name somewhere, but they really don’t know much about you.
- They came across your name and have done a lot of research on you and are ready to sign a contract with you.
- They were referred by a friend or business partner and may or may not be sold on you yet.
Realistically, you can look into these three things to “get inside their mind.”
The person in #1, it’s still up to you to sell them your services. What you should be doing is researching your competition and finding out what led them to you. You can really figure someone out by their impulse decisions. You can think of it like when someone is standing at a cash register and they end up grabbing something close by the register. Was it just because it was there or was it because they needed it? Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
She’d been courting both of us, and promised that she’d let us know tonight who she chose. I waited patiently by the phone, but finally drove by her house.
That ain’t my sign in her yard.
I thought she was the “one” and that we’d be together forever – well at least the next six months – but she made her choice tonight.
And that ain’t my sign in her yard.
With every apology to country-music star Rhett Atkins and his “That Ain’t My Truck” hit from a few years back, we’ve all been in that same position. Court that potential listing with your pre-listing package, give a dynamite listing presentation, and follow up that’s top notch. Yet, you still find that there is another agent’s sign in the yard.
That initial feeling of betrayal and frustration gives way to the nagging question, “What did I do wrong?” And while you struggle with the question you’ll find a few old-fashioned break-up lines to help you out.
There are Other Fish in the Sea. Amazing how much less you worry about “the one that got away” when you have a net full of other listings to work on. While dating requires matters of the heart, the good news is that generating more listings is simply more prospecting.
It’s Not You, It’s Me. The favorite one of all time. When it comes to your real estate career, remember one thing – you can only control your side of the presentation. Did you do everything that you’ve done for the listings you earned? Did you follow through and make sure it was the best for them? If the seller interviews multiple agents they may have a magic trigger button. They picked the cutest agent, the one that showed up in the nicest car, the fattest one, or whatever it was. You can’t control that, so why bother trying.
So the next time you realize that ain’t your sign in her yard, don’t go getting the blues … just put the chin up and move on.
Toby Boyce, MBA, is a real estate practitioner with Keller Williams Consultants Realty in Westerville, Ohio. Visit his Web site: www.delawareohrealestate.com.
By Laura Rubinchuk
All of the tag lines we hear somehow incorporate the following: Who do you know who’s looking to buy or sell in the next 30 days? Notice we never hear “rent” in those scenarios. Well as REALTORS®, how do you know when to focus your time on a rental, versus a bigger money maker like a buyer or seller? Where do you draw the line?
After a recent experience with a renter where I showed 16 houses and counting, I started to wonder – would my efforts be better focused elsewhere? Am I just donating my time at this point?
I’ve had some wonderful experiences with renters in the past, as I generally do about 6-8 per year (both landlord rep and tenant rep). I’ve had some old renters turn into listings, buyers, and referrals, and then I’ve had some turn into nothing at all. So I tried to come up with a way to evaluate whether to take on a rental client:
1. Is their price range realistic for the market? If they’re looking for a diamond in the rough, I may decide to refer them to an agent who only deals with rentals.
2. Do I have more “A” clients who need my time? I like to devote as much time as necessary to each client to make them feel they’re getting the level of service they require. Taking on too many things will only spread you thin and not make anyone happy.
3. What is their level of commitment to my services? Are they looking at Craigslist too? Would they be willing to pay a retainer fee to assure their commitment to me? Continue reading »