How Real Estate Agents Must Change Their Way of Doing Business To Keep Up With Today’s Market



Watch on your mobile device >>

Have you ever attempted to have something done where you needed to get multiple bids on the project and then decide which company and/or contractor suited your needs most? Imagine this: one company provides a quote in writing via snail mail in a matter of an entire week. The second firm places a telephone call that ends up in phone tag. The third, draws up a bid, scans and emails it within 60 minutes, then follows up with a text message to let them know when you receive it.

Do you see the difference the above example demonstrates in terms of today’s technologically savvy world versus those that are still working in yesterday’s tune? Gone are the days when a simple phone call would suffice. Snail mail is even more obsolete.

So what can you do, as a real estate agent, to be relevant? To be on the ball, staying at pace with your clients, if not ahead of them?

The answer lies in technology. And more specifically, an iPad. I can’t tell you how often I have said this to my team and other real estate agents that follow my agent training blog. There is nothing more relevant, more useful and more effective – than having an iPad at your fingertips, loaded with useful apps designed to enhance and perfect your business.

As I mentioned in the video above, with just a single example of one of the hundreds of apps available out there, you can “wow!” your clients, help them make effective decisions and do it all while saving time and energy.

So today’s message is a clear one – go out and get your iPad TODAY. You’ll join the ranks of the many top-producing agents that can’t operate without it.

If you’d like to hear how my top buyers’ agents utilize this device, or even if you’d just like to discuss your business goals moving forward – as always, I’m only an email away and am happy to see you through the pinnacle of your success!

Happy New Year and here’s to a great 2013!

Focusing On a Strong Business Plan Now Will Pay Dividends Later



Watch on your mobile device >>

THE FOUR ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF A SOLID BUSINESS PLAN

What would you say if I told you that your competition was asleep? You’d go after the business and grab as much as you could, right?! Well let me tell you that right now, that’s EXACTLY what’s happening. But it’s not what you think.

Rather than countless agents in your very own neighborhoods slacking off on making connections, it’s more a matter of them not really, truly knowing their master plan. And we all know that in business – the master plan is your Business Plan. So while the rest sit back and enjoy the holidays, now’s your chance to home in (literally and figuratively) on how you plan to excel and achieve in the coming year and beyond.

So how can you put together a killer business plan that will knock your sleeping competition right out of the game? Easy. Sit down and put to use my tips that I’ve shared with you here. These very same principles have worked for me, for my father and so many other highly successful, top producing agents.

How To Develop a Plan to Secure a Solid 2013 (and Beyond)

KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN AND WHAT YOU SEEK TO ACHIEVE
The first thing you need to do is identify your vision. Where do you see yourself professionally in the coming year? How do you envision your success and achievements beyond just 2013? In the same way, examine your personal vision; gain an understanding of exactly what motivates you to be in the business. Is it the success that drives you? Or the ability to provide for your family? Is there an inherent goal at hand that you are looking to accomplish?

Figure it all out, put it on paper and process it in your mind. This is what will drive your success now and always.

MASTER AT LEAST FIVE KEY AREAS OF INTEREST
Another very important aspect of success in the real estate (or any business) is the ability to master at least five key areas. With the mountain of things we need to keep track of in our line of work, sometimes this can be a daunting task. So for your business plan, sit down and decide what five areas you would like to excel in and then work to achieve that moving ahead. These are typically pinpoint and precise items rather than broad range concepts. So for example, if you have been considering adopting a neighborhood to geo-farm, or hone your marketing presentation – these would be excellent items for your list.

KNOW WHERE YOU COMING FROM TO BETTER UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU ARE HEADED
Oftentimes, agents neglect to realize that they have been channeling their energies toward efforts that may not be yielding their desired results. Until and unless you take the time to know and understand where your efforts are concentrated, you will not have the clear path needed to forge ahead into even greater success in 2013. So for example if your online lead generation tools have been working better for you than your print advertisements, your business plan will be a great “sounding board” where you can zoom out and see things from a bird’s eye view.

HAVE A FULLBLOWN MARKETING CALENDAR
Marketing is a complex, strategic plan that takes a long time and much foresight to develop and equally as much (if not more) energy and resources to implement. That’s why it’s critical to identify and plan out your marketing strategy. Not only that – it’s important to create a roadmap of the who/what/where/when/why/how of each marketing scheme so you are in control. Don’t forget to set up tracking systems so that you can assess the viability of your systems and tweak them as you go.

~
Remember, you went into this business with a vision. Keep refreshing your vision. Tweak it. Know it and understand it. And if you think something isn’t working well, it probably isn’t and it’s time to “reset” things.

As always, I am committed to your success and cherish the relationship I have with you as your coach. Please never hesitate to email, call or text me if you need anything. In fact, send across your business plan and I’ll take a look at it for you, together working to make your 2013 be your best real estate year ever!

Use a Prospecting Room For Proven Increase in Lead Conversion Rates



Watch on your mobile device >>

The process of making calls and convincing prospective clients that you are the person that they should meet for their real estate needs – is not an easy feat. So the last thing you want is for a lack of concentration to get in the way of your success.

Want to Increase Your Lead Conversion Rates?

One of the easiest and most effective ways to accomplish successful prospecting calls is to establish a unique environment that is dedicated to the task. There is so much more than just talking on the phone that goes into making a quality prospecting call that ends up in an appointment. Not only do we as real estate agents need to establish and build a trust over the phone but also we need to communicate a sense of comfort and ease with the prospect.

Sitting behind a desk, with energy use at a minimum and a lackluster method of communication – it is no wonder that prospecting calls don’t always turn out as we would like them to. But transplant yourself into a fun, bright, open and airy space where there are no other distractions around you and watch the calls fly by with one successful appointment set after the other!

How To Set Up A Good Prospecting Environment?

Believe it or not, it does not have to cost too much. All you need is a room with available wall space, an Internet connection and electrical connection and you can be on your way. One key aspect of a prospecting room that is essential for there to be maximum effectiveness is to leave it as a standing room only set up. While standing, there is a different kind of energy expelled in your voice. Not only will you enjoy the ability to walk around and freely change positions but also you will be able to adjust your energy level according to the conversation.

Another piece is to have a good headset. Once again the freedom involved of being able to talk, walk and move as naturally as possible will be emulated in your voice and come across as confidence and ease. These are exactly the kinds of qualities that prospective buyers and sellers find attractive and are more likely to respond to.
~
Remember, prospecting is the most valuable aspect of our business and you can’t sell a house without an appointment just like you can’t create a relationship without a good rapport. So while you are working hard to keep up with all the latest technologies, bells and whistles that keep popping up in our industry – don’t forget what really matters, face time and staying true to yourself while being in touch with as many prospects as possible! Good luck!

How to Create a QR Code in Less Than Two Minutes (Plus Information You Didn’t Know About These Black & White Squares)



Watch on your mobile device >>

You won’t believe how simple and quick it is to generate a QR code. In fact, a lot of real estate agents don’t even know what a QR code is, let alone how to generate one for one or more of their listings. Here’s one of the industry’s biggest little secrets: As a REALTOR® you already have an account on Realtor.com (assuming you’re a member of your local Board of Realtors). Each listing you post on the MLS will automatically appear on the website as well, linked through the MLS.

Now here’s the best part. The service that allows you to assign a QR code that is unique to your specific listing is absolutely free of charge and it can be tapped into in a matter of seconds. All you have to do is log onto your account on the site, select a listing and that’s it! Beyond that, you will also be able to generate a property-specific flier that will automatically populate the details of your listings plus elements from your profile such as your photograph. That flier is yours to do with what you like – like using it at your open house or distributing it within the neighborhood to alert everyone of the new listing. There are a number of possibilities.

Here are some common questions that come up with QR code technology:

How does QR code technology work?

It stands for “Quick Response” and using the same technology as used in barcodes, these 2-dimensional graphics have the ability to store a large amount of information. They are easily scanned using mobile device apps that allow for quick access through the devices’ camera function.

Why would one want a flier with a QR code on it?

With today’s mobile phones, iPads, and other mobile devices QR codes allow people to “take a website” with them by just scanning the code and moving on. The address and/or information remains on the phone without the need to remember a website URL or note down any details.

What makes this little black and white square so special?

One of the best features of QR codes that works particularly well in the real estate industry is how easy and inexpensive (free!) it is to generate specific barcodes designed to hold a host of information. Also the fact that they are mobile caters to today’s fast-paced world.
~
I invite you to watch the training module demonstrating just how easy it is to create a QR code and flier for your property. And as always, if you have any questions about this or other real estate related matters, I’m happy to help. I continue to be committed to your success!

There is No “I” in the Word “T-E-A-M”



Watch on your mobile device >>

A LOOK AT THE CARBUTTI & CO. TEAM STANDARDS

You’ve all heard the expression “there is no “I” in the word TEAM” but until and unless you have the pleasure of actually experiencing working in a true TEAM environment, there is no telling if you really understand the meaning of it.

Take our example. Until just recently, I had been shoveling new agents with nothing but intense training modules, strategies and tactics – when in actuality what they really needed before they started everything else was the right mindset. A mindset of success, high professional standards and a code of ethics with which to treat each other are essential to a successful team.

In fact, after the eye-opening moment of realizing that our emphasis on our office culture hadn’t been nearly as strong as it should be, we worked together to draft our Realtors Team Standards.

Together with the input of myself and some of the agents on our team, we worked on the bigger picture – our company’s mission statement, our vision, standards of practice and more.

Synergy, accountability, profitability and our legacy are also areas we spent valuable time and energy on. We sat down to establish viable, workable, team strengthening standards that we expect to be followed by each and every one of us.

How does this impact the success of our company? The answer is simple. It creates a sense of oneness that can only come from working in harmony with others on the same boat, pulling for you. A team standard institutes genuine support in one another; support that can only be expected in an environment where one can feel completely safe and comfortable working among their own.

It’s time you ask yourself,
“Am I happy with the team and office culture of my company?”
“Do I walk out of the door every day feeling satisfied with my work and career?”
“Does my team support me and do I give them the same level of support and backing?”
“Are there company standards in place that I can be proud of?”

For some of you, the answers will surprise you.

So if you’re an agent that thrives and survives on the solidity that comes from a strong office culture to go hand in hand with success – contact us today. We think you’ll love working with us on our team.

And for a closer look at our Realtors Team Standards, click on the link to read it in its entirety. As always, feel free to call or shoot me a quick email if you’d like to explore joining our team or even just get some more information about us.

Introducing ... What It Takes To Achieve True Real Estate Success



Watch on your mobile device >>

You might expect any number of reasons that a person is going to be successful in this business of real estate. It could be putting in long hours, relentlessly pursuing every lead until you can’t pursue them anymore, or even just sheer tenacity – and dedication.

But the truth is there is just one word that I can attribute as having the most impact on your success in this business. Attitude.

To illustrate this viewpoint, I’m going to bring in a fantastic example of a brand new agent that has done just that – through her positive, “go get ‘em” attitude she has managed to conquer just about everything a new agent could expect to in the first few weeks and months on this career path.

With her first closing already on her belt as of three weeks ago, Sarah’s next two transactions are expected to close within the next week and another two pendings will likely close by the end of this month. Can you imagine a new agent that will have had five (or more) closed transactions done within the first few months of joining this profession?

I can.

Here’s why. From the moment I met Sarah – I knew she had it in her to hit the ground running in this business. By making solid choices and very good decisions about where and how to place her energies during her start – she ended up the right results. The kind of results you’d expect from someone with the right attitude.

As soon as she started, she took a mental inventory of what would get her business moving from the get-go and she decided that she needed to take the necessary steps to be successful in this business. Now, everybody knows how to be successful in real estate – it’s the part about implementing those methods that sets apart the top-producers from the not-so-top producers. Of course, with Sarah – she took stock of the technology she wanted to implement in her business, quickly learned to expertly use those tools and within a matter of days was able to leverage that to her advantage.

In fact, the technology that Sarah chooses to use in her business every single day is exactly what makes her look as experienced (if not more) than her peers that are far more experienced in terms of years in the profession.

Sarah’s story is just beginning – and I have no doubt in my mind that she will reach many levels of success in her journey. But if you would like to explore how you, too, can be a huge success – then I invite you to contact me. Send me a quick email and I’d be glad to sit down with you to take stock of your real estate business. And most importantly, together with you – evaluate your attitude toward success.

Is the Technology You’re Using For Your Real Estate Business Doing Its Job?



Watch on your mobile device >>

Face it. Your real estate business is just that – a business. That means that everything you do has the sole end purpose of a certain goal that you have established. Now regardless of what your goal is, the truth is that as long as you achieve success no matter what form of investment you make toward business – it’s a worthwhile one.

So speaking about investing, consider this: all things technology related to the real estate industry seem to be useful investments but “useful” is a completely subjective term. In my many years of experience in the business, I can tell you that there have many hits and misses and only after years of learning and going through various experiences have I learned what I know today. Yet I’m still learning.

One thing that I do know a lot about is how to utilize technology effectively in my business. The key word here is effectively. One of the biggest mistakes I see many agents making is to delve into any and all forms of seemingly “high tech” stuff, only to realize too late that their ROI is next to nothing. That’s why I say “If it’s not working, get rid of that technology!”

What do I mean by “working”? Well, it’s simple. What’s the one thing we all want as real estate agents? We want business. And if your technology or technologies of choice are not getting you that business – get rid of it now. If the mechanisms you have put into place do not directly result in meeting viable buyers and sellers, it’s time to rethink that system and go back to the drawing board.

One example of a perfectly working technology is the use of a website service called BombBomb. I’ve been using it for a while and this video marketing service allows me to target specific audiences with my custom videos, giving me the ability to track exactly when and where people are accessing the videos as well as giving me a clear idea as to who I need to be getting in touch with. Because if you have no idea who to follow up with, how can you expect to achieve any results and convert the lead into actual business?
~
If you’d like to have a technology audit done on your business, contact me today. I would be glad to look over what you’re doing, evaluate what might work better and point you to getting the strongest ROI possible through technology. Contact me with a quick email and we’ll set up a time for that – or anything else you may need to help drive your business where you want it to be.

Five Absolutely MUST HAVE iPad Apps for Every Real Estate Agent



Watch on your mobile device >>

There is no question that the real estate industry has changed dramatically during the past 20, 10 or even just 5 years. And there is one reason that points to this major change: technology. Now, you may think you’ve heard all there is to say about technology in our industry but the truth is that it’s an ever-changing world and it’s vital to keep up to date with those changes.

Case in point – today’s coaching session is about using an iPad in your business. If you don’t have an iPad, don’t stop reading this! By the time you hear about some of the phenomenal features and tools that are available through this device – I can bet you will go get one or at least start thinking about it. So without further ado, let me get started.

#1
Cartavi
The single best iPad app out there right now for real estate agents is Cartavi. Designed to create a seamless integration of all your contacts related to a transaction, this unique system allows anyone you invite to a certain task to share documents as needed. For example, you set up a folder for a buyer and when you need the home inspector to send over their report all you have to do is invite them to that folder. They can then add the report in a universally housed folder. The same goes for any and all other professionals in the transaction. Appraisers, mortgage loan officers, stagers, contractors – anyone relevant to your deal.

#2
Docusign
When electronic signatures were signed into law as being acceptable for legal contracts things changed dramatically in real estate. Surprisingly, however, not too many agents engage in the use of this incredible opportunity – they’d rather spend hours driving back and forth chasing signatures with a real pen. But here is the real cool thing about Docusign; it works in conjunction with Cartavi, allowing you to quickly, effortless and seamlessly manage your entire transaction in a way that is convenient for everyone involved – not just you or your client.

#3
Keynote
Designed to create and display absolutely stunning presentations, Keynote is an app that will force you to ask yourself an important question. If you thought you impressed your prospective clients before – think again. Combined with the pinpoint perfection of an iPad’s visual technology, Cartavi presentations knock PowerPoint right out of the ballpark. One of the first things you learn in the real estate business is the need to stand out from the crowd. I guarantee that with a listing presentation (or any other presentation) made using Keynote, you “wow” your clients right into signing an agreement with you.

#4
Open Home Pro
This seemingly inconsequential but very powerful tool is just what you might need to kick your open houses up a notch. Granted, the more technology you employ the less you will even need to conduct open houses – but for those agents that do them, Open Home Pro is an excellent app to use. The way it works is that as people enter the home you are showcasing, you hand them your iPad, warmly introduce yourself and then hand them your (very cool) iPad to register. They will be asked to input their name, contact information and some other things and then a message will pop up asking them to give the iPad back to you. Until recently you could not customize questions on Open Home Pro but just a couple days ago the company updated the app to allow agents to customize questions asked.

#5
Evernote
When I first saw Evernote in action, the possibilities seemed endless to me. And that hasn’t changed one bit. This app is a virtual executive assistant and one-stop filing system, in that it organizes every last piece of information (in multiple formats) all in one neat little notebook (think: folder). You can instantly drop into your notebook the many agreements, emails, amendments & addendums, video and/or voice notes and anything else to do with your transaction. And when you need to access something to do with the file, just open the notebook you need and everything is at your fingertips. You won’t have to go fishing in email for a particular email communication, look through your photos to find the pictures you need or chase a separate program on your computer to access notes from a past meeting with your client. It is all housed in one neat little package and if you integrate all your devices, you can access the same information from each device without going through time-consuming backup processes.  
~
Before I go, I want to mention one vital fact. It’s important to remember that agents are not the only ones that have technology at their beck and call. Consumers do too. In fact, more people now than ever before are turning to technological advances when it comes to engaging in buying or selling a home. So not only is it a good idea to keep up with the times, but it is critical to give the public what it demands.

If you have any questions about how to use the apps I’ve mentioned above, integrate them into your existing systems or want to learn more about how you can leverage these phenomenal tools – contact me today. Nothing pleases me more than to see you succeed!

Database Management is the Most Underutilized Tool in Real Estate



Watch on your mobile device >>

Ever since I’ve been recording and sending out these agent training blogs, I’ve begun to notice a plethora of topics that need attention. One of those things popped up recently as I was tweaking my database.

Just how much are you using your customer database?

Even more important than answering this question is to realize whether or not you really understand how much opportunity actually lies in those names, phone numbers and email addresses.

Without a doubt, I know that most of you will answer with a resounding “YES!” when I ask if you want to increase your business. But tell me this – how many have seriously sat down and looked over your database? The fact is that with a few, very simple, steps you can and will touch upon the lives of each and every one of the names in your database. And by doing so you will automatically invite a whole new world of prospective clients into your business.

Get in Touch and Then Stay In Touch
There’s a good chance that you’ve already done your homework and set up a fairly decent database of some sort. In that database I can probably guess that there are at least a few hundred names (or more, depending on where you are in your career). These are likely names of people that you have worked with, expect to work with, hope to serve in the future or those that may refer you to people in their spheres of influence.

But here’s the thing: What are you doing with those names? How do you know they even remember meeting you the first time? Can you, with absolute certainty, be sure that when it comes time for them to engage in a real estate transaction – that you will be the one they call? The answer to this last question is – no. You cannot be sure. But if you get in touch with them, stay in touch with them and provide them something of value – they will remember you the moment something of importance comes up. 


Give Them Something They Need and They’ll Come Right Back To You
That is what customer relationship management is all about. Now, instead of losing money every month by missing out on the myriad inquiries that could have come through – you can now be enjoying the fruits of your success from being known as the expert in real estate for their area.

Here’s what you do: record two videos each month. These videos should be packed with great content that shares valuable information only an expert real estate agent might share with his or her prospective clients. It can be anything from the latest market statistics, to information on how long a short sale will take or even buying and selling guides. No matter what you send out, the important thing to remember is that you are positioning yourself to being a trusted advisor and an expert in the field. Here’s the best part: when they need someone or something, you are the one they will call. It’s as simple as that.

I know this works first hand because I am a living, breathing example of someone that this has worked for. Take this recent case of a couple that had been receiving my videos for almost nine months. They were not ready at first – and quite honestly, I wasn’t even really thinking of them. But eight and a half months later their circumstances changed and all of a sudden they had decided to move to another state. Who do you think they called to list their home?

Keep in mind that one of the most important things in your business is predictability. Database management is one of the easiest ways to reach out into your sphere of influence and touch lives – yes, literally touch lives – with your sincere commitment to helping them with their real estate needs. Simply add a few dozen new email addresses to your database each month and watch your business grow – on its own accord!


No one more than me wants to see you be successful in this business. That’s why I invite you to contact me if you have any questions about how you can maximize your business and commissions by using this tested, tried and true technique.

Thanks for visiting my blog and I’ll see you next time!

How To Measure Expertise vs. Value When Serving Your Clients



Watch on your mobile device >>

As a real estate agent, have you given much thought to how you can provide your client with value added service? There is one thing about knowing “all” there is to know about buying and selling property – but there is another about being able to connect with your clients on a level that shows you understand and care about their needs.

Transferring Value to Clients Key To Success

Almost anyone can obtain a license to practice real estate transactions – but the difference that makes an agent that is renowned for his or her expertise is their ability to discern the value they bring to the table. One of the most important aspects of providing clients with a service they will continue to refer onward for years is to realize and manage your clients’ expectations. Understanding that your clients’ perception of the value you are giving through your expertise is an essential component of your business’s success. Not only will it do wonders for your own self-worth in the industry, it goes without saying that providing value to your customers will result in your being paid top dollar for your contribution.

Mastering the Art of Standing Apart From the Rest

The real estate community is a surprisingly small one and just like a small town, everyone seems to know each other. Sometimes different agents are vying for the same clients. What can you do to make sure you stand out from the rest and shine brighter than those that are less than committed?  The answer to mastering the art of standing apart from the rest lies in how you conduct your business. Remember that you cannot have result without action and even an imperfect action will yield a great result.

So many agents fail to realize rather than perfection – performance is the key word that will help them to thrive in this business. Make an effort at being relevant, but dare to be different and stay ahead of the pack in the process. Indulge in the newest technology; embrace the latest tools and techniques that are out there designed to help you extend your reach further than ever before. In my case, I was able to increase my business a phenomenal 300% just by engaging in video technology. This is measurable success that continues to drive us to succeed even more! The last thing that should be on your mind is fear. If you fear failing, you might just fail. If you fear falling flat on your face – it might just happen. Instead, follow the words of wisdom that I have gathered from years of practice, guidance from mentors and the sheer act of making downright mistakes.

Expecting the Best From Your Real Estate Career

Treat real estate as a profession not a hobby.
Focus on both leads and listings; that is, buyers and sellers.
Dedicate the time needed to excel.
Never forget that you are an entrepreneur.
Measure and evaluate your performance – consistently.
Set concrete and specific goals that are timed for areas needing improvement.
Concentrate on strengthening your weaknesses rather than focus too much on your strengths.
Be prepared to work weekends if the commitment is necessary.
Establish a 6-months savings cushion as you get started in your real estate career.
Start prospecting clients and don’t stop – ever.
Always be open to clients and opportunities no matter where they may present themselves.
Use a CRM tool to follow up with and manage all of your leads.
Invest in your business and your education.
Consider a real estate coach or mentor to hold you accountable to your goals.
Do the work that no one else wants to do.
Work harder than your competition.
~
At the end of the day, you will succeed – if you put your mind to it, persevere and live the professional life of integrity, service, hard work and commitment. Remember, if you need someone to push you to your limits and hold you accountable – contact me. I relied on a coach to help me stay true to my abilities and I would welcome the opportunity to do the same for you!

The Secret To Capturing All Potential Leads Without Losing Anyone in the Process



Watch on your mobile device >>

Nothing is more important to your business than the people that you work so hard to drive to it. So when you do get interested parties coming to your website, calling your phones, sending emails or even walking right into your place of business – the last thing you want is to lose them. As part of my ongoing commitment and ambition to foster and support success in your professional life, I wanted to share with you one of the most critical aspects of getting, keeping and nurturing new business.

Proficient Qualification

This sounds like a fancy marketing technique – but in all honesty, it is just a matter of classifying your incoming clients to determine where in the process they stand. Old school techniques may have involved simply responding in varied ways or employing different methods for each type of client. But in today’s technology-centric, fast-paced and “now” world, the concept of qualifying your business weighs heavily on systematic approaches that are highly time-sensitive and involve an overall strategy.

Converting Suspects to Prospects

Traditional real estate speak has always entailed the use of the word “prospect” from the get go when referring to a potential client. Though that is the only thing we have ever heard as agents, it is time to evolve into the new way of looking at prospective customers. As I have demonstrated in my video above, the best way to view incoming traffic – regardless of whether the source is through your toll-free number, signage, website or other media – is to consider them a suspect. I use the word “suspect” because until you know exactly what their needs and intentions are regarding real estate, you can only guess as to whether they are a potential client.

I will cover how to transition beyond the initial suspect stage in the next section, but once you have identified a suspect, the next thing you need to do is to qualify them into a prospect. A prospect is someone that not only has the potential to buy or sell property but also has the means to do so. This is when you have put your qualifying system in action and made the determination of what this client is aiming for.

Once the prospect actively makes the decision and is ready to buy or sell, they become a lead. You know this is serious, requires the utmost, immediate attention and will likely yield a sale so this is the stage where you will put forth a stronger effort.

Finally, once the lead materializes into an actual purchase or sale of property, the scenario then changes over to what we all want – a contract.

The ABCs of Generating Leads

Like many unsuccessful agents in the past have realized, there is an art to finding clients. And even though the clients we are talking about here today have been routed to you via your own marketing efforts, you must still do everything in your power to capture their interest and keep it intact. The most effective system that has consistently worked for my agents – and is proven to have worked for me as well – is literally as simple as ABC.

Once you receive communication from a suspect you will want to determine whether they are an A buyer (someone looking to buy in the next 30 days or less), a B buyer (a 30-90 day range) or a C buyer (either unsure or wants to wait at least 90 days or more). How you handle each will vary at each respective stage but before that, you need to put an effective system in place that will allow easy and efficient classification of each incoming inquiry.

On my website you will find the same form that I use to classify incoming suspects’ inquiries. I invite you to look at it, use it, tweak it to your tastes or even make up your own. Regardless of how you devise a system, it is essential that you have a system in place.

If You Snooze, You Stand To Lose

Never underestimate the power of communication and with real estate this could not be truer. Once you have your systematic approach in place it is essential to keep up with it. Maintaining positive cash flow is critical to your business and one of the most effective ways to ensure this is to keep on top of all incoming requests or sign-ups.

Another key aspect of classifying in a way that will help more than hurt your business is to classify your suspects correctly. If you misjudge your clients’ needs by not asking the right questions or failing to recognize what they really need, you stand to lose their interest or worse, their business. An example is thinking that a client is ready to buy next week when in actuality they are just browsing the market, unsure about buying altogether. You could be spending valuable time driving around showing houses to an immediately viable prospect instead.
~
Anyone can be a success in real estate as long as they put in place solid systems that are designed to maximize the resources that the agent is already banking on to grab new business. The difference lies in what you do with that business once it walks through your proverbial door. I hope you find value in the information above and strive to provide much more in the coming weeks and months ahead. I leave you with one last tip for today. One of the best approaches for qualifying potential business is to implement a 7-point conversion method. I’ve made it available on our website and welcome you to take a look.

The Right Way Vs. the Wrong Way For Real Estate Career Success



Watch on your mobile device >>

There must be a reason there are so many real estate agents yet we only see some of those names over and over again.  In fact, I know exactly what the reason is.  Most of the agents that get their license and then get into the real estate world hardly really know what to do with their newfound freedom of an independent career as a Realtor.  The ones that do know what they are doing are the ones whose names we see and hear about repeatedly.

If you find that your career is lagging behind what you would really like it to be, have you asked yourself “What am I doing differently that I can expect different results?”  Here’s a list of some Realtor Do’s and Don’ts – exactly the kind of thing that will separate you from those lurkers and get you back in the game.  Remember – there is always a right way to do real estate and a wrong way.  Which one do you want to be doing?

Advertising Your Business

One way of doing real estate is that you can become a Realtor and hope that anyone wanting to buy or sell a house will know you are qualified to handle the transaction and contact you.   The right way is to openly advertise your business, talents and services.  By sharing with your community that you have taken on this career, you are engaging in active participation with your potential clients instead of passively waiting for them to make the first move.  Think about all the new restaurants, offices or stores you have recently visited or come to know of.  How did you find out about them?  Would you have tried them without some sort of introduction?  Advertising is key and the real estate industry is no different.

Marketing

Just like advertising your name, you need to focus on a solid marketing plan that will get your clients the results they want.   Whether they are buying a home or selling – the key role you will play as a successful Realtor is to get word out and maybe even bring it in.  Lackluster agents are known for putting up a yard sign, maybe holding an open house at the initial listing stage and then reacting to any buyers that come forward.  The right way to do your real estate clients justice is to get out there and practice proactive marketing.  Actively seek out buyers for listings you have.  Know your community so when something suitable comes up for your buyers you know exactly where and when to approach the seller.  Use modern day technological tools to engage the potential buyers of your clients’ homes.  Use video, email marketing and social media.  It’s all out there, ready and waiting for you to use.

Communicating With Your Clientele

Nothing is more frustrating for a person buying (or selling) a home than to contact their agent only to be left with days of no response.  Half-hearted attempts to stay in touch with clients or part-time agents that only work a few days a week are reasons for clients to move elsewhere.   The right way to do it is to demonstrate how you value and respect your clients with quick responses to their calls, emails and inquiries.  If you haven’t heard from clients in a while, call them to see how they are doing and whether they can refer you to anyone else looking to buy or sell a home.
~
Like the agent I mention in my video, nothing comes for nothing.  Design a roadmap.  Develop a plan.  And then implement it.  To help you with this endeavor, contact me for a custom coaching call that will help you see that you can change your career for the better and expect excellent results!

Lead Follow-Up & Conversation Using Video Email Proves Successful For Many Realtors



Watch on your mobile device >>

Traditional marketing methods preach volumes about lead generation but what do you once you have those leads?  Unless they are tapped into they will likely end up as loose ends that result in hundreds – even thousands of dollars wasted at the end of the day.  How can you take those contacts you have spent so much time, energy and resource on to actually turn them into something tangible?

Take Lead Generation and Follow-Up to the Next Level

With video email technology you can reach a surprising number of potential clients in a very easy, streamlined way and one that is increasingly user-friendly both from the business perspective as well as from clients’ point of view.  Keeping with conventional techniques of generating leads is fine but once you have your lists of leads, engage in simple video email communication with them and watch your success rate jump!

In today’s digital age clients still like to see a name and a face and they need to feel that personal connection.  Not only that, with smart phones the technology is there to support eye-to-eye emails – something that will make you stand out from others still relying on phone communication alone.

Getting Started With Communication Technology for Follow-Up

Depending on the level of experience you have working with video and digital technology, it might be a good idea to get started using a great service available online – one of the best forums to begin reaching out to your potential clients: www.eyejot.com.  Their service is available free of cost on a basic level with the option to upgrade to a paying membership that costs just $99 a year.  That is a phenomenal deal considering that the membership fee includes unlimited video emails that can be branded to suit your individual needs.  Whether including a company logo, photograph of you and your staff, or having direct links to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages – it is all possible with this company.  The best part is that the digital format will automatically result in viral marketing of your brand.

For heavier use, another highly recommended website is www.comF5.com.  This company goes the extra mile with a host of marketing solutions including video email and newsletters, database management, complex data tracking as well as email tracking – and a lot more.  Though more expensive at $100 per month, this company definitely offers a sophisticated set of tools to enhance your current marketing plan.
~
Remember as they say: Fortune is in the follow up.  We’re not in the sales business – we’re in the follow up business.  And in today’s day and age, follow up should using nothing but the latest tools and technology so you can focus on the aspects of business that matter most – your clients!

Professional Online Property Marketing; Your Ticket To Being A Real Estate Rock Star



Watch on your mobile device >>

Can anyone really tell a good Realtor from a great one?  Is there any way to truly gauge which agents are the ones that will walk that extra mile for you if needed and which others can shine most when it comes time to sit down at the negotiation table?  The truth is that there is no way to tell any of these things until one has worked with an agent.  So if you are trying to set yourself apart to potential buyers and sellers – how, then do you highlight your strengths and get them to pull in your direction so you can prove your strengths to them?

One of the best marketing strategies for Realtors is the use of professional online property marketing tools.  Not only is this a great way demonstrate that you stand far apart from the typical agent “in it not to win it” but rather just for the commission check – but online marketing tools also end up being the perfect way to boost your clientele’s success in their endeavors.

Real Estate for the 21st Century

In today’s digital age people expect answers in real time, information even faster than real time and they want to know that they are completely connected at all times.  Whether the connection they desire is with their agent, up-to-date listing information on properties they are seeking or real time communication on a home they are selling – using marketing tools is essential.

One of the most highly recommended property marketing websites is ePropertySites.com.  In fact, when you consider the vast range of services they provide for the minimal monthly membership fees (graded for varying levels of services) – any agent that does not avail this incredible service can’t be too serious about their career.

Wide Range of Services Appeals to Buyers and Sellers

Here are just some of the many services the company provides; all at incredibly reasonable monthly membership costs:

Individual property websites
Virtual tours, including high definition panoramic tours
Website chat on all property websites
User-friendly listing searches
Advanced and locally customized property brose and search tools
Website analytics reporting
Generation of QR codes for listings
Text messaging with call capture
Lots, lots more

For a comprehensive list of what is offered by this particular company, visit their features page and you can even watch their unique and innovative marketing video that is sure to convince you to join this or other similar companies.
~
In your quest to become a top-producing agent now, in the coming year and always – this is an amazing marketing strategy that is the 21st century.  Appealing to buyers and sellers of today’s day and age, as an up-to-date real estate agent that uses the technologies that we have available to us, you will definitely succeed in all your endeavors!

How To Stand Out In a Crowd As a True Real Estate Professional



Watch on your mobile device >>

There are two important factors that will impact your level of success as a real estate professional and they are whether you are viewed as a trusted advisor and how relevant your clients perceive you in the industry.

What are some of the ways that agents work to assure their clients of these traits?  Providing real-time communication, accessibility, channeling listing information through the use of the latest technology and engaging in proactive as opposed to reactive marketing method.  These are just a few techniques used by successful Realtors.

Market Data Provides a Factual Basis for Your Advice

As you advise your clients on the myriad areas of their real estate endeavors, such as how to prepare their home for sale, what they can really afford when buying or what price to list their home, be sure to provide factual backing to your advice.  The single best way that agents gain their clients’ trust is by demonstrating that they know what they are talking about. One of the best industry tools out there is market data reporting.

There are a number of market research companies that produce data research reports suited to your needs and these work particularly well in our ever-changing real estate industry.  Clients can view market trends at a glance while homing in on specific areas of interest.

How Does Data Support a Realtor’s Position?

There are many formats that you can obtain when you get a membership with a market data research company.  One such company is Altos Research and one of their market updates is a six-page report that is broken down into various vicinities of a given region.  Presented in a pleasingly professional format, the report shares a week of market trend data pivotal to making key decisions for both you the Realtor and your clients.

With information such as the number of days homes in a particular market have been on the market, median list prices, the number of new property listings and more – an agent can show his or her clients exactly where the advice being dispensed is stemming from.  One of the hardest things for agents to deal with is sharing the harsh truths of a challenged market.  With the help of market data reports, you can corroborate your statements with facts.  You can customize your reports to some degree, depending on which company you choose to work with and if you have enough staff you can even develop your own market data reports.  The key is being able to demonstrate to clients that you are indeed accessing your information from reputable sources.

Underline Your Value As a True Professional

Earn the respect you deserve by supporting your statements with factual data.  One example of doing so is by sharing with your clients information about the market action index.  This is one of the best methods of explaining a very common question asked by many people: “how is the market doing?” The market action index measures the amount of available inventory against what is actually selling in the market.  The resultant value is an indication of whether it is currently a buyer-controlled or seller-controlled environment.
~
When you have professionally sourced data to back your own information clients will continue to give you the respect you deserve as a qualified, reputable and knowledgeable player in the field.  Visit a market data research company website today to see the host of features available to enhance YOUR business and show your clients that you are indeed a relevant and trusted real estate advisor.