By Brooke Wolford
I recently moved to a new brokerage. It was an amazing change for me and I fell in love with my fellow agents and co-workers at the office. I’m the kind of person who really appreciates all the little things people do for me. I can honestly say that I have never met such a great group of people who are all in one office.
I do, however, have a hard time knowing how to thank people. I got to thinking… How is it possible to explain to someone how much you appreciate them? I wonder if my clients know how much they mean to me, and that I genuinely appreciate that they decided to use me as an agent.
I began to think about the things I do when I say thank you. Whether it’s sending a card, an email, or a phone call, I always thank people somehow. I think to myself, “Is my thank you genuine enough?” I always tell clients thank you face-to-face at some point. This way I know they can see how true my appreciation is. Even after I thank them face-to-face, I still send them a card or email telling them “thank you” again.
I think sometimes the art of saying thank you gets forgotten. If you think that you are owed something or that things will always come your way, you are wrong. You have to remember that in our business, our whole framework for making a buck relies on others. It’s our clients, our brokers, our loan officers, title, office staff, etc. They all have a part in how we become successful. Be thankful. Appreciate the people who help you along the way. Say thank you and really mean it!
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Coldwell Banker Burnet in Woodbury, Minn. Follow her blog at adventuresinrookierealestate.com.
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 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 Cory Brewer
Here is a quick story to inspire my fellow REALTORS® to keep after it (prospecting), even when it feels like a lost cause:
This past winter I volunteered to coach a youth league basketball team at my local Boys & Girls Club. My interest in volunteering was two-fold: 1.) I love basketball and have always wanted to coach, but I don’t have kids yet. I was ready/able to do it this year and there was a coaching spot open. 2.) What better way to forge relationships with potential clients in the community?
The experience was very fulfilling on a personal level for me, and at the end of the season most of the parents told me they will request me as their coach next season. That was the best compliment I could have received. It came as “icing on the cake” when after the season one of those parents told me he’d be checking in with me soon about some real estate related matters. In the back of my mind I was thinking, “Wow, it worked!”
Long story short, he had already been out looking around at open houses on his own and figured it was time to “get serious” so he brought up the subject with me. After following up a couple of times, I didn’t really hear back from him until a few weeks later when he informed me that he’d found a place that he liked during an open house and made an offer with the listing agent. Continue reading »
By James Dunn
Having been in the business for the last six years has been quite an experience. Beginning as a temp and working my way up to being a full-fledged REALTOR® is something I take much pride in (especially in this economy). I have prospered. I should point out that I define prosperity in my life as experiencing balanced growth in personal, professional, and financial arenas. Although money always helps with prosperity, I do not weigh success and prosperity entirely on the amount of money I make (or others, for that matter). I believe growth within one’s self reflects in all areas of life. So as I grow, so do my finances, my career, and my relationships. So congratulations to all of us who have prospered in this time, and here’s to future growth and prosperity.
I have had the luxury of starting from the bottom as a temp and working my way up the real estate ladder. I’ve done my best to remain humble and reserved most of the way. Most of my life I’ve felt a bit awkward talking about myself, so I kept most of my thoughts to myself. Unfortunately that tactic doesn’t get me very far in real estate sales. In the beginning of my career as a self promoting real estate agent, I wasn’t very vocal about who I was and what I did. Obviously that made it a bit harder to generate leads and sales. These days, I get out of my comfort zone and express my opinion in and discuss my career without feeling like a ridiculous infomercial.
I haven’t changed my personality or my character. In fact, nothing about how I present myself has changed. Every part of my exterior pretty much stayed the same. What did change was my mindset. The thoughts I have about my business have changed. I used to worry that if I discussed my company and services that it would be a burden on the conversation. Now I have a much higher value for what I do. I believe I am an asset to anyone I work with. It’s so simple, but that idea eludes so many of us. So my message today is value yourself. Know you’ve got something great to offer, then share it passionately with those around you. When they see your conviction, they’ll know you mean business. Then you’ll do business.
By Jared James
We are only a few days removed from the Navy Seals finally tracking down Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, and while so many are focused on the world reaction, I would like to take a different view as to what this event can teach us as sales people in regards to proper follow-up with prospective clients.
I believe that we have become very much an Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) society that wants immediate gratification or we move on to whatever is next. We are trained as REALTORS® to ask qualifying questions of our prospects with the ultimate goal of determining how serious and qualified they are, but in the back of our minds what we really want to know is if we are wasting our time working with them. Asking qualifying questions is not only smart, it is also good business. But there is a danger in it as well.
Many times if we determine that a prospect is not ready to buy or sell in the next 60 days, we may follow up with them one or two more times, but we end up chasing whatever new prospect comes along and tickles our fancy, thinking it might be a more immediate sale. Take a look at the statistics below and see why this may be an unhealthy practice to adopt for the long-term health of your business.
• 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect
• 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop
• 12% of sales people make more than three contacts
And yet 26.6% of all inquiries result in a sale
This should motivate you. Continue reading »
By Lynn Minnick
I recently found myself thinking about how the changing market has forced us to change, to adapt, to constantly improve on the skills necessary to survive and succeed in this business. Then I realized that as the years have gone by, the cast of characters in my real estate career has also changed. Sure, there were some I was happy to distance myself from, but there are others I’ve been sorry to see go, and other people new to the scene who are influencing the way I view and run my business.
Do you think about how the people you choose to surround yourself with affect your work, your success, your attitude? I believe those people can motivate you, support and help you, slow you down, or suck up your time and energy, among other things.
Since the changes in the mortgage industry and the consequent onslaught of short sales and foreclosures came upon us, I’ve found certain key people (lately it’s been other REALTORS® and attorneys) have been instrumental in helping me navigate my way. Just like knowing the better home inspectors and lenders, septic guys and termite guys, I’m stacking my deck with winning cards and they’re my aces.
It’s in your best interest to cultivate relationships with those who can have a positive influence in your career, but I also believe in give and take…that you get back what you put out there. (Are you the kind of agent who supports other agents in your community by attending their events or broker’s opens and follow up with feedback after showing their listings? Do you serve on committees or volunteer in your community? Believe me, those good relationships you’re building will help you!) Reputation goes a long way in real estate.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably building your social media village too. Are the rules the same? Probably. Are you working with those people in your day to day business? Generally speaking, I’m not, but they are there inspiring me, sharing new ideas and positive attitudes, and for that they are an important part of my village as well.
By Dave Robison
A few years ago I experimented with a very powerful lesson. I was four hours away from home and had a potential seller call me up. Becky explained to me that due to time constraints she could only meet with me at 6 p.m. I wasn’t due home until 8 p.m. I decided to leave early and I told her I would make it work.
After listing her home at that appointment, on my way out the door she said, “Ohh…you didn’t leave early just to come to our appointment did you?” Naturally I wanted to say, “Oh no…I had other things to do as well.” Or many other people say, “Ohh, I do it for all my clients.” Or people say, “Oh, it’s no problem. Don’t worry about it.” Saying any of these actually make you a failure at relationship building. I recognized that this was a moment of relationship building power. It popped in my head because I had been listening to tapes by Robert B Cialdini on Influence. I also recognized that I needed to be honest. How many people say, “Oh, it was no problem; I was planning on coming here anyway.” They basically lied. Your intent for leaving early was the appointment so don’t dodge that. Tell the truth and embrace the moment of power. So I said to her, “ You bet I did.” She started to blush as her eyes grew big with gratitude and she said, “Noooo, you shouldn’t have.” She is a very high “S” personality on the DISC which S personalities don’t like to be a burden on others..they are the peacemakers. I continued, “Of course I did…that’s what we do for each other.” Our relationship grew that day. We had a stronger and closer relationship. It didn’t just make her know I’m committed to her…but it also made me feel great and closer to them.
Now for the cherry on top. The next morning I got a call from her neighbor. Her neighbor recited the exact story to me and said, “I want you to list my house.” I got two high-priced listings in that neighborhood. And I continue to get listings in that neighborhood because after selling those two homes word got around that if you want something sold you need to call Utah Dave. That day, I learned from personal experience that changing one sentence can be the difference between success and failure.
Dave Robison, known as “Utah Dave,” is a broker of Robison & Company Real Estate.
By Chris Nichols
We all remember the New York Times best seller, “Who Moved My Cheese.” Published in 1998, it’s a great book by Spencer Johnson about change in the workplace and in life. A couple days ago I popped into a Borders bookstore, I was drawn in by the 50 percent off signs, as this was one of many stores that was being shut down as part of their bankruptcy. The irony wasn’t lost on me when one of the first books I saw had a cartoon image of a rather large cat on a lazy boy with the title above it, “Who Moved My Mouse!”
We see it all around us, Borders is just one example of a company that didn’t see the change coming as more and more consumers have switched their purchasing habits from actual books to ebooks. We are seeing similar transitions in our very own industry, the cheese has definitely moved, and the cat is trying to find that mouse searching for the cheese!
I’m in San Diego right now at a real estate conference and had the opportunity to listen to Troy Hazard tell the interesting story of the Asian financial crisis that impacted his business in the 1990s. His message was simple, as he asked us only to remember three simple words – “Change or Die.” Troy hit us over the head when he said, “Stop buying in to the dream that things are never going to change. Things ALWAYS change!”
Some key suggestions I took away were:
1. Take responsibility, the first step with most things in life!
2. Stop thinking you don’t have the time. We choose where, when and how we invest our time.
3. Eliminate all the things you can’t change or influence. Don’t worry about what you can’t control. Continue reading »