Most real estate agents want two things: more money and more time off. The challenge is that they are doing things that (a) are not dollar productive and (b) are time consuming. Add in more regulatory burdens, market shifts, and industry participants which are staffed by people who are incompetent, lazy, and/or stupid and it makes an agent’s goals harder and harder to reach.
Don’t let this gloomy scenario bring you down. Here are four action-oriented things, agents can do right away, which have built empires, created wealth, and sparked business revolutions.
1- Own everything about your business. You are responsible for EVERYTHING even if it’s “not your job”. We live in a world where any question can be answered by a smart phone and still I hear agents get confused about where to find answers. Your broker isn’t calling you back with an answer to that question? Ask Siri the question and read a few of the thousands of answers offered, by other brokers, on Trulia, Google, and Zillow. The lender seems stuck? Call a well-rated lender and get another opinion.
Stop bitching about problems you can’t control and fix them anyway.
You are the captain of your ship. If the crew screws up and the ship runs aground, the captain is fired. Your client doesn’t care about the lender, your broker, your transaction coordinator or the seller/buyer. They want action and they hired you to get it for them. Own everything.
2- Surround yourself with congruent rather than competent people. It’s not enough to have a great lender, proficient escrow officer, and proactive transaction coordinator. You must have people working with you who are on board with your goals. If your goals is to make more money and save more time, you need to focus on dollar productive activities so you want affiliates who have suggested solutions to problems when they call with problems. A lender should call you and say “we ran into a problem but this is how I will fix it”. The escrow officer should be thinking about chasing down your client for signatures rather than emailing you. The TC should call your client before calling you. Competent brokers, TCs, lenders, and escrow companies are basically fungible. Congruent affiliates are something special. Find and keep them.
3- Make marketing your number one priority. I need to repeat this one because it’s the most important one; make marketing your number one priority. The single most important function, to a well-oiled, profit producing brokerage practice is lead generation.
Lead generation has to be the first thing you do in the morning. If you have nothing going on. pick a listing from the MLS and try to sell it to your contacts. For example, find a home in a hot market in your town (in my market, that would be Cardiff-by-the-Sea). Pick one which is fairly new to market. Start by calling people you have sold to in that zip code then work your way out to clients who have bought within 10 miles of that zip code. After that, call everyone you know who lives or works in that zip code then work your way out to people who live and work within ten miles of that zip code. Call them and ask one question:
“Do you know anyone looking to buy a home in XXX? I found a great deal for them if they are.”
Make 25 calls tomorrow and ask that question 15 times and I think you’ll find 1-2 prospective clients. Sure, the home will probably be sold out from under you but you will generate a list of potential buyers for the NEXT hot listing which appears in that zip code. Your contacts won’t hate you for that call because they know that XXX is a “hot market” (especially if they live there). They will probably think that you are an agent who closes deals.
4. Sell smarter and you won’t be selling. It’s not enough to get a name and number from your IDX website– you need so much more information and advantage when you call a potential client. When I receive a referral, or lead, or just a name and phone number from a website, I spend more time researching them than I do on the phone with them. When I finally DO call that name, I usually know what they do for work, where they live, and who our mutual friends are. I research them. Let me give you an example by using fellow Bloodhound (whom I really don’t know):
Assume a San Diego agent called me and said he was going to represent this Bloodhound in a purchase of a Carlsbad home–all I have is a name and phone number. The first thing I do is find the prospect on LinkedIn. Here, I learn where he graduated college and that he served as an Army officer so I’ll be talking about why he should use his VA benefit…. even if he THINKS it isn’t for him. I am going to have a financing comparison ready for him so I can show him the math behind my recommendations. If the prospect knows the PROCESS I use, he is going to trust my recommendations. If I find the prospect on Facebook, I will know that we don’t share the same taste in football teams, probably share the same politics, and do share the same affection for Tarantino movies.
My initial call is going to start like this: “Hi, this is Brian Brady and (agent name) asked me to call you about a loan for a home in Carlsbad. He didn’t tell me that you are VA-eligible, you were in the Army?” As we talk, I’m going to ask him if his commissioning source was ROTC (he will tell me about his college days and I’ll talk NCAA hoops with him). If all goes as I think it will, I’ll tell him about my involvement in San Diego politics and invite him to meet his new Congressman when he moves here. I will close by telling him to open the financing comparison I created for him and review why I like VA better than conventional for a jumbo loan.
I imagine the perfect introductory call, prepare for it, and make my time on the phone with the prospective client count. Preparation = higher closing ratios.
Let’s review these four ideas in reverse: (1) Be prepared for every opportunity to gain a new client so that the call is “perfect” every single time (2) spend most of your time generating new business (3) make sure your affiliates are not only competent but congruent with your goals. and (4) be responsible for your own success.
The market may shift soon and business will SEEM tougher. If you implement these four practices today, 2018 won’t seem as difficult as it is for the other agents in your market.1 comment