Control your list price and you will control your market

You have a great opportunity to reach or surpass your production and income goals. 

Price the listing you agree to accept correctly at the beginning is the key.  If the seller is not motivated enough to sell now, say no to the listing.  This market rewards the 2nd or 3rd Realtor who gets the listing.

  • If each of your listings currently on the books receives a substantial price reduction, you will control the market! 
  • If every new listing taken has built in price reductions agreed to by the seller, you will control the market!  
  • If each new listing you take is taken at your suggested price instead of what the seller wants or decides upon, you will control this market!

This control will produce buyers which will lead to sales and your success.

The following is a good article on the value of pricing correctly.

Don’t forget your center of influence!

As real estate agents we need to be mindful of  how important it is for us to stay in contact with, or to get back in contact with our center of influence. 

Our desire to reach out to new buyers and seller have gotten us into the habit of spending a majority of our time looking for this new business, that we tend to overlook the people that already know and trust us.  Those that we have helped buy or sell a home in the past; customers, friends, and family members, could move up to a much larger home in today’s market at a savings or buy a home and take advantage of the numerous incentives available. 

Pursue your center of influence just as you would pursue new business and you will increase your sales volume.

Pick up the phone and talk with someone about real estate

Would you like to know how you can increase your chances of succeeding in the real estate sales business?  When you are not showing homes or on a listing appointment pick up the phone and call someone this week and talk to them about real estate.  This is one of those simple success tips that the majority of agents never try or accomplish regularly.

  • Call your neighbors and let them know how home values are doing in your neighborhood.
  • Call your family and friends and let them know you are committed to your real estate sales career and need their referrals to help you succeed.
  • Call your past customers and ask them how they are doing.
  • Call former agents you know who were unable to stay in the business.
  • Call expireds, FSBO and renters.

Call someone, anyone and talk about your business with them.  Don’t leave your office or put your cell phone down until you have talked to people about real estate.  Set a goal that you will speak to 5-10-20 people about the real estate market daily and stick to that goal.

Agents fail to use their business card as a marketing tool

Your business card is an important marketing tool

We spend thousands of dollars on marketing and prospecting trying to stay ahead of the competition.  We blog regularly, invest in custom IDX systems, send out monthly direct mail, slap our pictures on bus benches and shopping carts all to find new customers or clients.  These marketing and prospecting efforts are not cheap and require time to create and develop.

All the while we keep tucked safely away in our pockets a simple business tool that if used this regularly, the return would no doubt be much better than any other marketing or prospecting source.

The business card.

Too many agents only hand out their business card to a customer they have met through a different form of marketing or prospecting.  We give our card to our buyers when we first meet them at an open house or when we have them meet us for the first time in office to view houses.  We give our cards to sellers who have called us to list their home immediately upon entering the home as a way to introduce ourselves.

An agent would increase his or her business if they just handed a business card to everyone they meet through the course of a day/week/month, REGULARLY.  Handing out your business card regularly is one of the most effective, inexpensive forms of marketing/prospecting available to any type of sales person and has been successfully used for years.

Real estate sales is about meeting and talking to people.  We meet so many people during our day to day lives that if we only made a habit of handing each and everyone of them a business card it would surely result in more real estate referrals and more real estate closings.

10 cards a day

Try it.  The suggestion we use in my company is for agents to start with passing out 10 cards a day.  When you think of all the people you come across while buying gas, buying bagels for breakfast, at lunch, at the doctor’s office, at the drugstore, at the post office, you will find that handing out 10 cards will not be that hard of a task.

Start passing out cards today and continue to regularly pass them out and you will be on your way to a successful real estate career.

Referrals are a win-win for real estate agents

Referrals are perhaps the easiest way for a real estate agent to earn a commission and yet a good number of agents fail to utilize this side of the business for their benefit.  Here are a few steps that you can take now that will help increase your referral business.

  • Your newsletters, email marketing campaigns, direct mail and property flyers should all include reminders that you are able to assist people with buying and selling real estate globally and are always appreciative of referrals.
  • Network with out of area real estate agents offering to refer business back to them in trade for them referring business to you.
  • Make sure your past customers understand that your business is based on referrals and they can help you reach your goals by letting others know about you and the service you provide.
  • Hand a business card to everyone you meet.  If the drive-thru fast food worker is not ready to buy or sell a house, perhaps they know of someone who is and they will pass your card along to that person.
  • Make sure the FSBO’s in your area are aware that you can introduce them to real estate agents in other areas that are happy to assist them with buying a home after they sell theirs.

If you make it apart of your routine to regularly ask for a referral you will be taking a step that many agents never take.  The one thing we know for certain is if you never ask you will never receive.  Ask for the referral and watch your business grow!

Sales meetings and caravans should be part of a real estate agent’s schedule

Attending weekly office sales meetings and office caravan is
extremely important and needs to be a part of every agent’s weekly 
schedule.  However, as long as there have been sales meetings and 
caravan there have been agents who feel that attending these office 
activities are a complete waste of time.  It is not unusual for 
recruiters to use, as part of their recruitment pitch, the fact that 
their office does have or require caravan and sales meeting attendance.

That is a shame.

Sales meetings offer agents an opportunity to discuss office and company
policy changes and issues.  Information is provided about market
conditions and tips to be successful in any real estate market.  Good 
managers will try and keep the meetings positive, fun and informative.  It is no coincidence
that you will usually find the top sales producing associates of any given
office in attendance at the sales meeting on a weekly basis.  The
tips, insights and observations an agent can pick up from a sales 
meeting are not only beneficial, it can add dollars in your bank account.

Caravan has long been a tool used in part to secure listings and keep
everyone familiar with office inventory.  The constructive feedback from
your fellow associates can be useful when discussing pricing and
marketing with your sellers.   Many agents who regularly attend 
caravan feel that it is a great time to pick the brains of their 
fellow agents for marketing or prospecting gems.

I would encourage every agent to attend and become actively involved 
with your office sales meeting and caravan.  Make an effort to add to 
the conversation or topic being presented.  Provide your manager with 
suggestions or training ideas that you would like to see in upcoming 
meetings.  The more you contribute to your office meeting, the more 
you will take away, and that will help you reach the sales success you 
desire.

Make sure to stay in contact with your sellers

An all to frequent complaint of home sellers is their real estate agent took the listing, placed a sign in their yard and then was never heard from again.

Communication is an important ingredient of making sure a home sells within a reasonable time period and for a fair price. There are several reasons an agent would need to contact and communicate with their seller weekly.

A weekly call to the seller if just to say hello can be reassuring to a homeowner especially in today’s market, knowing the you still have them and their home in mind will help ease the stress associated with such a huge undertaking.

Within the first 1-3 weeks you will want to let the seller know what advertisement and marketing has been started. A seller needs to feel comfortable that your marketing plan is getting into full swing in order to attract a buyer.

Feedback from past viewings of the seller’s home is critical and should be immediately delivered to any homeowner serious about selling their home.

  • What did the potential buyer and/or visiting agents think were the good points of the home?
  • What were the bad points?
  • What did the potential buyer and real estate agent think of the price?
  • Why did the potential buyer not make an offer on the home?

As the listing agent you will want to discuss all feedback, good and bad, with the seller to make sure the seller is aware of how their home is viewed as to pricing and condition by potential buyers.

Open and constant communication between a real estate agent and their customer should be a given.  Developing a plan that keeps open communication between your seller and you will lead to your success.

Real estate floor time questions

If you are an agent who takes advantage of the floor time available in your real estate office you will find that your success rate will be increased by the questions you ask of the customer who calls or walks in more so that the questions you answer for them.  Unsuccessful floor time agents spend the most of their time on floor playing operator or information giver and never ask a single question in return.  The questions you would want to ask of anyone inquiring about real estate would include:

  • Do you have a home to sell?
  • May I ask for your name? your phone number? Your email address?
  • Would you like to speak with one of our lenders to discuss mortgage programs available for you?
  • Can we meet this evening?  This weekend?
  • When do you plan to move?
  • When do you plan to buy?
  • What is it about the home you called in on that you most like?
  • When can we get together to discuss your real estate needs

Successful agents will look for every opportunity to engage the customer, asking for the appointment and trying to meet with them whenever possible.

Three traits of a successful real estate agent

1. They listen.  They listen to their buyers, they listen to their 
sellers, and they listen to their coaches and mentors.  Successful 
real estate agents understand that the ability to listen is a key to 
success

2. Successful agents ask for the deal.  With their direct mail, 
listing flyers, websites, business cards, emails, promotional pieces, 
and in their day-to-day conversations with friends and strangers they 
ask for the deal.

3. They run a business.  Successful agents operate with a written 
business plan.  They have planned what they are going to do daily and 
they stick to it.  Successful agents budget not only their time but 
also their money and can account for where both are spent during the 
course of the year.  They consider wasting time and money as not 
operating their business wisely and put into place steps that prevent 
them from doing either.

How do I know that these are three steps of successful agents?  I see 
agents with these traits succeeding daily in my office and am 
confident that successful agents throughout the country possess these 
same traits.  Your future success depends on your ability to add these 
traits to the manner in which you operate your real estate business.

Are you a real estate agent who farms a neighborhood? How is your crop?

Lots of real estate agents will tell you that they farm specific neighborhoods or sub-divisions in their market areas.  Very few are successful at it.

 A real estate agent who truly understands what is involved with farming understands the work and effort to farm a neighborhood effectively.  To realize a bumper crop of new customers, farming needs to include more than just the occasional planting of seed with bulk mail.  To determine if you are really farming an area effectively, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Would the majority of the people who live in your farm recognize you if they saw you on the street?
  • How many active listings are in your farm area right now?  How many are pending?  How many sold this year?
  • How many of these are your listings or sales?
  • What is the average sales price of a home in your farm area? 
  • When is the last time you called or contacted the people in your farm letting them know what home values are doing in their neighborhood?
  • Who just moved into the area? 
  • Who moved out of the area?
  • When was the last time you attended a homeowner’s association meeting?
  • How many open houses have you held in your farm area during the past 6 months?
  • How many garage sales or rummage sales have been held in your farm area over the past 6 months and who held them?

The process of farming is a tough job but when done correctly the rewards are abundant!  If you are going to take the time to farm and area then you should commit to doing the very best job possible.  Your goal is to be the name everyone in your farm area thinks of when they are ready to buy or sell a home.

photo credit by erjkprunczyk

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