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Keys to Success

If you have been in sales for any length of time I am sure that all of you have seen the title “Key To Success” or one very similar to it many times. I don’t profess to know the “Key To Success”, but I have been in sales long enough to know if you are unable to do two things, then it is very unlikely that you will ever achieve real success.

Before I get into what those two things are, I am in no way discounting all the other things that we need to do to succeed. We need to be:

•Accessible
•Follow through
•Return calls quickly
•Have a positive attitude
•Knowledge of our product
•Confidence
And the list could go on and on. As can the list for the tools that are out there to help use succeed, like:

•Contact Management Programs
•Sales Classes
•Computer programs that make our job easier
•The Internet (and all that goes with it)
And again this list could go on and on. But there are two things that no matter how many techie toys you have or classes you attend, or sales approaches you have learned, or any of the above things that I have mentioned, if you are not able to do these two things, the likelihood for success is very, very small, and most likely not at all.

Those two things are “Persistence”, and the ability to “Get Yourself Up When You Fall Down”. A sales person can not give up at the first or second NO that they hear. And more importantly a sales person has to be able to get up when they fail. These two things don’t cost any money, and can’t be taught. These two things have to be part of our nature. That does not mean that we can’t have our own personal pity party every once and a while. But the successful sales person does not party for long. The successful sales person gets up, learns from the failure, and moves on.

These two things may sound simple, but they are the hardest thing to do if they are not part of who you are. In my opinion it is possible to succeed without any of the things I previously mentioned, but if you are not “Persistence”, and don’t have what it takes to “Get Yourself Up When You Fall Down”. than all of the toys, classes, programs, or Internet is not going to get it done for you.

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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Published Articles, Real Estate

 

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Your Reputation Counts

For good or bad, our behavior becomes our reputation. What we do communicates to others who we are. As much as the marketing world wants us to believe we can all spend enough money to define the reputation we want the world to see, it is not that simple.

In high school, one long-ago Fall in Bear Creek, Alabama, a classmate kept telling our basketball coach about all the things he was going to do to prepare for the upcoming season.

Note, it was not what he had done yet (which he could have been doing all summer). Instead, he was essentially bragging about what he was going to do.

Coach Roberts listened calmly, then replied, “Don’t tell me, show me.” That was all he said. Then he turned and strolled away. Coach wanted to see that actions matched the promises. The words alone did not make the case or sell the idea. And too many promises of great effort go unmet.

Of course, you already know actions speak louder than words. I’m guessing my classmate did too, but he still needed a reminder.

LOUDER ACTIONS

However, to expand that concept, I would like to submit that many actions speak much LOUDER than other actions. For instance, which are you known for?

•Posting listings… or marketing and selling listings?

•Blame the economy… or work daily to overcome the economy?
•Blame the homeowner… or lead and manage the property’s sale?
•Monitoring the project… or managing the project?
•Doing whatever the client or colleague asks… or finding out what they really need?
•Closing sales… or helping clients find the right service or product?
•Work that is “good enough”… or work that is really right?
•Learning about the client’s needs and goals as you work on the project … or before you start the project?
•Acting professional… or being professional?
•Great talker… or great “doer?”
•Nice person… or polite, effective professional?
These things are not that different, yet they are very different too. Which do you want to be known for? What do your actions communicate about you?

If your reputation is not what you desire, are you doing anything different to change or improve it? If not, why not?

YOU KNEW THIS, BUT…

I’m guessing I’m not telling you anything you don’t know and have not heard for years. Yet, if this is such common sense, why we do we see so many so-called professionals not follow this common sense approach?

My opinion, for what it is worth, is that this approach takes work. Too many are looking for short-cuts or they are willing to accept someone else’s advice that you can write a check and get a short-cut. Work is a four letter word. It is also an action that creates a great reputation. However, not everyone is interested, even if their reputation suffers and they are trying to cover that issue with slick material and fancy resumes.

Remarkable behavior, over time, builds a strong reputation. Once built, reputations can be difficult to change. That can be good or bad, but either way you are building that reputation every day. Even from inaction.

Be sure you behavior is positive, professional, and so client and company focused it leads people to literally remark to others about the great work and deeds you do. This will communicate your value more than any words!

Posted by Glenn Phillips

 

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What’s a call worth?

I was once told that we are not in the real estate business but we are in the prospecting business. After working in this business for 6 months without income, that fact finally sunk in. After that, my mission was to make at least 10 calls a day to people I didn’t know. That became my only focus. It absolutely worked.

How do you calculate the worth of each call? Simply track all your calls and divide the number of calls you made into your annual income. If you make $75,600 per year and you make 10 calls a day for 21 days a month a call will be worth $30.00. Your mileage may vary. Time to get started.

Not a new idea but very simple and effective.

Allen Stout, Broker

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2011 in Broker remarks, Real Estate

 

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I don’t really have to sell.

When a potential seller says that, I try to gracefully extract myself and run for the hills.

What that means is; “I am not prepared to be reasonable about my price. I probably won’t be willing to do any repairs. I will however, expect my REALTOR to bring prospective buyers to see my overpriced listing often, provide the most impressive marketing materials and in short, work her butt off diligently to sell my home that I just told her I didn’t really HAVE to sell.”

Well, Mr. Seller. I do HAVE to sell your property,…that is if I want to get paid. So, I think I’ll go find a seller who really wants to sell and appreciates all the time, money, experience and effort I’ll expend to make it happen.

“I don’t really HAVE to sell” sits right there next to “I’m not going to give my house away.”

Run, REALTOR run! You don’t want this one

Marian Goetzinger

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Published Articles, Real Estate

 

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Buyers Aren’t Buyers Long!!!

Of late I have heard many agents talking about their buyers or how many buyers they have. First of all, no one owns any buyers. Buyers are free to choose to buy from any agent. Agents may think they have buyers but if they leave the office after or showing appointment that didn’t result in a contract being written, they are ‘on the loose’.

Despite our best efforts to instruct them otherwise, they will call on FSBO’s, call another agent off a sign, (especially if they can’t get a hold of you) or they might drive by an OPEN HOUSE and decide to go in. What harm could that do? This story repeats itself almost daily. I hear lots of whining about disloyal customers or ‘buyers are liars’.

Even car salesmen understand that you rarely get more than on shot at a customer. That’s why they press so hard to sell you something when they have the chance. The point is, most people who are serious buyers aren’t going to last long in this market of abundant inventory, good values, and low interest rates.

The trick is to separate the prospects from the suspects and work with the prospects. This is an important skill to acquire and sometimes the agent needs to know how to downgrade a prospect to a suspect or to the lowest bottom feeder and time waster, ‘the lookyloo’.

I might add that sometimes someone that makes a big deal out of being a cash buyer may have to be downgraded. I have found them to be really difficult.

Allen Stout, Broker

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Real Estate

 

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My Perfect Closing Gift

My perfect Closing Gift is an invitation to a dinner. I know that many agents like giving some gifts. I for one never remember who gave me this or that present. Every time my wife would say «Remember who gave this to us?», I do not know what to say. I suspect I am not the only one. No matter what I bring to my customers, they may not remember it later.

But this is only half of the consideration. Dining with clients is the best time to socialize with them. They just closed on the condo, they are all excited. They are yet virgins and do not know how much they will hate the barking dog next door; those late parties in the unit rented to college students…

For now world is wonderful, and this is my best chance to spend quality time with them. You would be surprised how much you learn about your clients in these couple of hours, and how much they learn about you in this short time. They thought you are a good agent, fine. But they did not know so much interesting things about you, and it is all human stuff… It is all the stuff that creates the bond. You may click on so many levels…

It is not business, everybody is relaxed. It is the best time and it is a crime to exchange it for a gift. Even if they remember who gave it to them, it is just a gift from the agent. Would it bring warm feelings that you might have after spending great time together? You are not just an agent, who spent a token of the commission for this gift, you are a cool guy, a pleasure to talk to PLUS you are a great agent who they trust even more now, and whose name would come to mind when they think about real estate…

People like to share good experience. And when they talk to their friends, and mention that place with great food and atmosphere, and, by the way, our agent took us there, and we had such a great time. If you ever want to buy there, we will give you his card, he is such a good guy, a great agent, you will like him a lot. Seriously…

Make their experience stronger by spending time with them. Not necessarily a dinner, take them on a short boat trip and taste the champagne, but there is nothing better than these extra couple of hours that you spend with your clients.

If I sound as if I am doing it to get more business, I am not. It comes naturally. No, I do not ask them to fill the list with 10 of their friend’s e-mails. I do not even talk about business. If you did a good job, and people are grateful, they will remember you.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Published Articles, Real Estate

 

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Is Classified Advertising Dead?

Published on Friday, February 25, 2011, 2:52 PM Last Update: 8 hour(s) ago by Craig Proctor
Category: All Articles » Marketing and Farming
You’ve probably heard it said that classified advertising is dead or at least dying.

Major newspapers are suffering a decline in the number of subscribers to the daily print editions. These days, with free lead generation vehicles such as Craigslist so readily available, many agents actually believe it’s criminal to spend money on classified ads, especially when the number of readers is declining. Seems logical, right?

Well don’t count on it. I’m still a big believer in classified advertising as a source of good quality leads, especially for those buyers moving to a market and first time buyers. Why? Because it still works. And it is still the least expensive way to generate leads from people ready to buy real estate now. This is especially true if your major newspaper also posts your classified ad on their website. Now that’s the best of both worlds. Over the years, I’ve found that many people moving to our market not only search online, but either subscribe to the major newspaper or buy it on newsstands. And my classified ads are designed to get those buyers to raise their hands and contact you for more information.

The mistake many agents make is looking at their advertising dollars as a fixed expense of their business like rent, but this is the wrong way to look at it. If you ran a $300 ad and it got you $6,000 in business, did the ad really cost you anything? Of course it didn’t – it actually earned you $5,700 (i.e. $6,000 minus $300). If you hadn’t run the ad, this decision actually would have COST you $5,700.

Similarly, if you ran the same ad on Craigslist and you got $2,500 in business, while this would be great, it still wouldn’t be better than paying to run the $300 ad because the paid ad actually returns you more money every time it runs.

You don’t need to become a financial wizard to do this kind of analysis. It’s really very straightforward. The most important thing is that you’re aware of the implications of what you’re doing so you can make informed and financially profitable decisions about the ads you run.

Of course the only way for you to know whether the money (and time) you spend in any of your marketing is costing or profiting your business is to test, so every classified or Craigslist ad you run must have a direct response component to it so you can measure the results via your hotline and/or website.

You should test not just which ads to run, but also where, which days, how often, etc. You have to look at a number of factors together in order to get a full and accurate picture: media cost, # of responses and quality of responses (i.e. how many of the prospects from this ad actually turn into clients.)

There’s no argument that all of you should be taking advantage of the free lead generators, but that’s definitely not all you should be doing. The nature of these free vehicles is that the leads you will generate will not be as qualified – you’ll have to work harder (spend more time) sifting and qualifying them, so to a certain extent it’s a trade off. The bottom line is that you should be both taking advantage of Craigslist AND investing in classified ads.

Remember, not all ads work all the time in all markets. So testing small is critical to maximizing your returns – both in the free and paid vehicles. When you do invest in paid classifieds, remember to ask each of the publications about remnant space. This is space they otherwise cannot sell and they would rather run your ad with some revenue than run unpaid filler. Take your time and investigate your options and you can profitably generate lots of leads no matter where you run.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Published Articles, Real Estate

 

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