Coaches Corner Newsletter - Issue #982
May 28th, 2020
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Words of a Champion...

There are two key words that lead to success in life.  These words control the successful outcome of your business, marriage, and many other areas of life.  Although you may have incredible talent and skill in life, you will fail if you do not master these two words – and vice versa.  Even if you have only limited talent and skill, you will win if you live by them.  These two words determine your future.  They are attitude and expectation

If you have a positive, forward-looking attitude, you will accomplish great things.  How is your attitude?  Does it need an improvement?  Are you positive and upbeat?  If you have the attitude that every challenge or obstacle leads to new opportunity, success is all but guaranteed.   Thomas Edison was said to have worked on creating the electric light bulb because darkness interfered with his ability to conduct further experiments.  He wanted to be able to work long into the night.  Edison could have moaned about the darkness – though that would not have done any good.  He used his attitude and solved a problem of darkness.  There are thousands of examples in life of how some people took lemons and, with a great attitude, made lemonade. 

Start building your attitude today.  Convince yourself that you are the best Agent anyone could hire.  You have to be convinced yourself before anyone else will be convinced.  The attitude you bring when faced with objections will help you handle them and get the contract signed.  The attitude that you take when you have a problem transaction will make the difference between a closing and a deal falling out. Next week we’ll talk about expectations!

To Your Success,

Dirk Zeller

Become a Champion Performer

Do you have the desire to receive recognition from your peers; to be recognized as one of the top Agents in the country?  If you do, you need to start by taking dead aim daily.  It is the disciplines we do each day that mean the difference between being on top or being part of the crowd. 

Start each day focused on the success of your business.  You want to begin each day by reviewing your business plan.  Focus in on the activities that will lead you to the successful result you have set forth in your plan. Long-term success is built on top of achieving daily performance standards for weeks and months at a time.  If your business plan is not broken down to the daily activities or daily performance standard, you should take the time to do so now.  I call these daily activities “The Disciplines of a Champion”.  We each have activities that, if left undone daily, will cause our business to suffer.

Some of the “Disciplines of a Champion” could be:

  • Prospecting for a specific time period
  • Doing lead follow-up
  • Contacting a certain number of past clients
  • Spending time in personal development
  • Practicing scripts and dialogs

The “Disciplines of a Champion” are quantifiable and trackable.  They consist of a specific amount of time or a specific number that must be achieved.  To have power, the disciplines must set the time frame or the quantity.  It is too easy for us to opt out and not accomplish our goals when we don’t have concrete parameters.

Next, you need to evaluate whether you are ahead or behind for this week.  Then create the strategy to catch up if you are behind or focus on maintaining the current strategy and direction that has kept you on plan or ahead even ahead of schedule.  Too often, we know we are behind and let it go for too long without a change.  You must react and change quickly to catch up.  We often do not raise the level of our intensity or increase our work output until it is too late.  If you get too far behind and are spending tremendous amounts of time inflicting wounds on yourself, change the plan.

Always have a Plan B.  There is no embarrassment in working a Plan B. Often, Plan B is the better plan because you can invest the mistakes you made in Plan A in Plan B.  Edison tried over 10,000 different elements in his light bulb before one worked.  What would have happened had he stopped after Plan A?

Zero in on your area of success.  People are paid very well for the few things they do very well.  That is one of the best things about the field of selling real estate.  There are so many ways to earn an outstanding income.  Do what you do very well.  We coach our clients to develop three to four areas of specialization in the real estate field and work to project their skills in these areas.  Do not be a generalist in a specialized world.  The “jack of all trades” is also the master of none.  You are highly skilled in a few specific areas of real estate sales.  If you have only one or two areas, you need to begin to learn and add another area or two to give yourself balance.  The possibilities are truly endless when you become a specialist.  Here are some ideas of specialization:

  • Expired Listings                
  • Out of Area Owners
  • FSBOs        
  • Relocation
  • Tenant Occupied Properties        
  • REO Bank Owned
  • Multiplexes                       
  • New Construction
  • Investment Property          
  • Empty Nesters
  • 1st Time Home Buyers      
  • Divorce Situations (Prospect Divorce Attorneys)

There is an endless supply of opportunities to let your ability lead you to become the recognized expert in your area in a few categories.  I could list three pages of categories, but you get the idea.

Your success in your real estate career must be built from the ground up.  Pour a solid foundation of daily disciplined goals and activities.  These daily disciplines or “Disciplines of a Champion” will set you on the path to success in your career.  Review and analyze your progress daily.  Do not be afraid to adopt a Plan B if needed.  Create a few areas of specialty.  Decide what you enjoy doing and do well.  Then zero in and take dead aim for the target of being the recognized expert in your area.

To Your Success,

Dirk Zeller

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Proper Listing Pricing Strategies for Any Market

I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard Sellers start pricing discussions with the statement, “We really need to net this amount of money.” The declaration usually goes hand-in-hand with the Seller’s instruction to “Try this price, I don’t want to give it away,” which is usually followed by the caveat, “We can always come down later, but we can never go up.”

If you allow yourself to be swayed by a Seller’s need to start higher than the property should be priced, you set yourself up for a costly error.

No matter whether you’re selling real estate or any other offering, pricing must reflect what the market will bear, not what the Seller needs to net.  Your pricing deliberation should focus only on the value as determined by your CMA.

As an example of the type of situation you want to avoid, I have a friend who had a home for sale where I live in Bend, Oregon. He selected an Agent who clearly demonstrates the “get the listing at any price” mentality. The result: His home was for sale at a price at least $200,000 over market value. Every Agent in town knew it was overpriced.  His Listing Agent knew it too, but he was more interested in the for sale sign than the sold sign.  He was hoping something good would come out of this poorly priced situation.

The only way they would win the bet is if they found a two-suitcase Buyer – a Buyer with one suitcase that is full of money and another suitcase that is full of stupid!  No one would come close to his asking price for a long time to come, if ever.

You can bet his Agent didn’t arrive at a price $200,000 above market value based on research or analysis.  He listened to his client’s pricing input, which was based on what my friend wants to net in order to buy another home for cash, so he has no mortgage.  Does the prospective Buyer of his home care what he needs or wants to net? This is truly a ridiculous approach, but it’s all too common. Most people who want to start high and reduce later are motivated by the need to net a certain amount. The sad thing is the approach is nearly always counter-productive. Aiming too high rarely works.

The only time you can afford a “start high come down later” Seller is in a market environment where prices are rapidly appreciating, and inventory is low. Even then, be sure you’re working with an owner who really wants to sell; otherwise you’re apt to waste time while your client tests the market’s pricing tolerances.

Following are a few scripts you can use with the “start high” crowd of Sellers.

* To learn why the owner wants to sell and what role price plays in the decision, ask: “Mr. Seller, is your motivation to get your home sold greater than your motivation to achieve a certain price?”

This powerful question will unlock the Seller’s motivation vault. Going back to the example I shared previously, my friend’s motivation to obtain an inflated price exceeds his motivation to sell. As an Agent, I’d categorize him not as a Seller, but rather as a home lister or market tester.

* If Sellers are stuck on their own profit motive, work to shift their mindset to a Buyer’s point of view by saying: “When we go out looking for a home for you to buy are you, as the Buyer, going to be concerned with what the Seller needs to net?  Don’t you think that other Buyers are going to feel the same way you do?”

If necessary, add: “Then we can all agree that what a Seller needs to net truthfully has no real connection to the actual market value of the home.”

One caveat: This script works well when housing inventory is normal or when an oversupply creates a Buyer’s market. It is less effective in a Seller’s market where housing inventory is in short supply. The greed of the Sellers in that market drives everything.

Coming in on-the-button

That headline probably tips my hand and reveals my preference, so I’ll just say it clearly: I personally believe on-the-button pricing is the single best pricing strategy – though too few Agents use it.

Most Agents pad listing prices by adding 5% to 10% to a home’s current market value. This strategy is detrimental because even though Sellers realize the overpricing is meant to provide a negotiating allowance, they begin to hope to receive at least some of the padding in their own pockets. They rarely share that fact with their Agent, but it’s a true underlying expectation and a real downside of padding. The upside is that padded listings create a real pricing advantage for homes that come on the market priced at their fair market value.

Homes that are listed at market value stands out from the competition. Compared to all the overpriced options, they strike Buyers as a value. This leads to traffic and a high number of showings by other Agents. It also leads to a high increase in new business opportunities for the Listing Agent, who meets numerous prospective clients as a result of to the home’s ads, signage, and online posting.

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Seven Rules for Lead Follow-Up
  1. Lead follow-up is really a disqualification process.

    My objective should be to disqualify people from doing business with me; to evaluate their probability of conversion against a pre-determined set of standards and criteria.  I have to be willing to let go of poor leads to invest my time to create, secure, and convert good ones.

  2. A “No” is as good as a “Yes”. 

    The truth is there are only three possible responses that a prospect can express.  Those responses are “yes”, “no”, and “maybe”.  The killer time and energy waster is the “maybe”.  We often beat ourselves up when we don’t convert a high enough percentage of maybes.  I would rather get a “no” today than a “maybe”.  In my studies, most low-grade maybes eventually turn into nos.  People need to be able to say “no”, and then we can move on.  A “no” is as good as a “yes” because the uncertainly in both cases is removed.

  3. A low probability prospect is worse than no prospect at all.

    When we have low probability prospects, we work them in hopes of them changing.  When we have no prospects, we go out and search for new ones.  When we seek, we will find.  The part most people forget to do is seek.

  4. Don’t waste your resources on low probability prospects.

    We invest large amounts of time, money, energy, and emotion to work with our leads.  Some leads require more of these resources to convert than others.  The lowest probability prospects are the worst.

  5. Remove the lead and terminate the conversation if you can’t gain movement or commitment from the prospect.

    If we are not moving them closer to a face-to-face appointment, we are losing the game.  If you know that the timing isn’t right to book the appointment now, get off the phone.  If there is some motivation, call them back in a few days or a week and try again.  Being on the phone with someone for twenty minutes to book an appointment is too long.  The longer the call goes beyond five to ten minutes, the lower the chance you will secure the appointment.

  6. Only invest time with high probability prospects.

    The most significant cost in an Agent’s business isn’t the Broker, advertising, marketing, car, or anything else.  It’s the opportunity costs of making an investment of time in the wrong person and not getting paid while you could have found and worked with someone else who would have generated a commission check.  The opportunity cost is the largest cost of all in your business.

  7. When people think that you are willing to take “no” as an answer, they are willing to talk with you.

    Consumers fear being talked into buying something from a salesperson.  They believe that all us Sales Trainers are trying to teach salespeople are verbal judo to pin them to the mat.  The best approach is to let the prospect know up front that it’s ok if they say “no”.  You won’t be offended if the right answer for them is “no”.  Your scripts must be designed to give them the ability to say “no” early in your conversation.

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