By Lynn Minnick
This post follows along the same idea as Cory Brewer’s last post about relationships. My office has a new office leader/manager and she recently put together an event that I thought was pretty genius AND helped build relationships.
She asked each of us to provide her with a list of the different real estate service-related vendors we use and would recommend (home inspectors, exterminators, electricians, septic installers, radon guys, landscapers, mold specialists, handymen, home stagers, etc. — all the professionals we turn to on a regular basis in my market.) Then, for a small donation to our company charity, The Sunshine Kids, she offered each of them a table at a vendor fair we hosted. She invited all of the REALTORS® in our town and surrounding towns, and served refreshments.
The event itself was only about two hours long, but it allowed us to meet face-to-face with these professionals, make introductions, and network. I suppose it was kind of like speed dating. Some of the businesses were more experienced with vendor fairs and came prepared with lots of handouts, giveaways, and raffles, while others greeted us with simple business cards and conversations, relying solely on their long-standing reputations.
The event was easy to organize and very well-received. A win-win-win, really, for us, the vendors, and our favorite charity!
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 Chris Nichols
About a week ago, I had a young couple looking to buy their very first home come interview me. I was quite impressed they were actually doing an in-depth interview to find the right agent to represent them in such an important transaction. It was a welcome surprise, and brought back memories of my experience with a consumer focus group that NAR had me observe. Those buyers had realized they hadn’t interviewed potential representation and had simply gone with the first agent they met.
I was really impressed with the preparation that this couple had put in to asking the right questions. We spent almost an hour together and I enjoyed every minute of it. One of their questions was of particular interest to me. They asked me if I was willing to give up some of my commission if they found the home they wanted to buy on their own and I just handled negotiations and contracts. I explained to them that I was not willing to do that. I told them that where I earn every penny of my commission is in the negotiations, the contracts and in protecting them throughout the process.
I continued by explaining that very rarely do I even get involved in the home searching process, that buyers know what they want better than I do and that using the various online tools allow the consumer to do that quickly and easily. I also made the point that someone who didn’t feel their services were worth every penny and would give up some of their commission for the most important aspects of the transaction, probably wouldn’t be the best negotiator on their behalf.
Fast forward a week… Continue reading »
By Brett Caviness
I simply couldn’t wait two more years to graduate college before entering my dream career as a REALTOR®, so I didn’t. I went active as a real estate agent in Cedar Falls Iowa in 2009. Since entering the business, I have worked hard to manage my time. With class, work on campus, activities and friends I was able to make time to schedule showings, and close deals in-between. There are a lot of things I wish I knew before I got into the business; I mean this is hard work! So I made a list of a few things I wish they told me about the real estate world in my weekend classes.
1. A real estate license doesn’t mean sales. Your office doesn’t just hand you over some magic list of names of people ready, willing and able to buy or sell. You have to find them yourself.
2. Even if you are a part time agent, this is a full-time job. I didn’t realize between classes I would be on the phone with clients, offices, the abstract company, lenders and others while reviewing important documents on my Blackberry.
3. Starting a career in real estate is like starting your own company. I have quickly learned to be my own boss, marketing director, web master, public relations manager, and accountant while always working in research and development. Continue reading »
By Amy Steele
I love to take photos. Love. It has been one of my passions and creative outlets since moving up here to paradise (Crestline region of California). I bought a Canon Rebel EOS about a year and a half ago and I have enjoyed taking some great pictures with it.
One day when shooting in sports mode and taking about five frames per second of my son, I went home and noticed that the autofocus wouldn’t work anymore. Gasp and horror — what did I do to break my still new, expensive camera???!!! I fiddled with it for a bit and realized that it was the lens and not the camera. I gently tried to focus it manually while still in autofocus mode and then took some shots. It worked again! Two days later when I went out to shoot again it stopped. It seemed that the autofocus is sticking. So I tried manual mode, which I’d never done before. I hated it. I haven’t ever really learned how to use this fancy camera and relied on autofocus to get my shots quickly.
Well today I was out taking shots of some beautiful ice formations and I had to use manual because the autofocus was sticking again. I realized that I could really get the shot I wanted that autofocus never would have allowed. I could change the field of view much easier and take closer shots than I ever could before. Suddenly I love manual focus.
How does this relate to real estate some of you may be asking? I realized this year that my business has all been on auto. I take advantage of online leads coming to me — people finding me online to be their REALTOR®. I know that I need to be much more proactive to really set myself apart and provide more personal service, not only to clients, but also to potential clients. I have been fortunate to have some pretty fabulous clients who have all become friends and neighbors. What if I showed that to potential clients? Wouldn’t they want to work with someone that was more personal to them and their needs? I say yes.
So my shift is now manually focused. I am providing a more personal touch with the help of some new automated systems that I’m getting into place. I’m working to set myself apart in the mind of my potential clients as the one they couldn’t forget and would love to do business with over my competition. Thanks, camera, for a lesson I’ll not forget.
Amy Steele is a full-time real estate practitioner with Coldwell Banker Sky Ridge Realty in Crestline, Calif. Visit her Web site: www.CrestlineHomeForSale.com.
By Jeremy Williams
After receiving a multitude of sales calls this week from various vendors across the nation, I came up with the new phrase “hocus pocus focus.”
Normally I would hang up the phone with one of these sales representatives after politely saying that I am not interested at this time. But this week I listened to their pitches.
I define “hocus pocus focus” as the ability to conjure and disguise a service, with or without deception, that focuses on our desire as real estate pros to do more business. Who does not want more business? So our human nature to fulfill this desire can lead to making bad financial decisions in our businesses, when we already know in our gut that we are submitting to an illusion. The focus on meeting our needs to do more business is the hook these sales representatives focus on because they know it is hard to reject.
“Hocus Pocus Focus” is dangerous to real estate practitioners, so beware. Here are some things you should listen to very carefully when you are contacted by a sales representative wanting to sell you a service that will “grow your business.”
1. Name dropping: “So and so is using this product in your office and having amazing results.” A lot of these sales representatives work off lists so it is easy to drop a name. Ask the sales representative if you could get their name and number to get back to them after you have followed up with those that are “getting amazing results” from their product. Continue reading »