Coaches Corner Newsletter - Issue #894
August 16th, 2018
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Words of a Champion...

We are a little more than 90 days from the finish line for 2018.  Most people’s reaction is, “Wait a minute; it’s mid-August, don’t get ahead of yourself, Dirk.”  I hate to break the news to you, but we are down to the sprint lap for listings.  We have about 45-60 days in most markets to take listings that will sell and close in 2018.  For most of us, we need to be in pending around Thanksgiving to insure the close in 2018.  We also need to get the listing before Halloween to insure a sale by Thanksgiving.

Let me give you a couple of steps to finish strong in 2018.

Step 1:  Don’t miss a day of your daily prospecting, no matter what.  That missed time will spell the difference between your success of reaching your goals or falling short.  We have to continue the habit of consistency.

Step 2:  Set a specific goal of the number of listings you need and will take in the next 45-60 days.  We have to have this short-term target.  Share this target with your accountably partner, coach, or mentor.  Tell them how important this goal is to you.  Then with their help, decide how accountable you want to be held to this goal.

Step 3:  In the next 30 days get all your listings to price reduce to the bottom of fair market value.  We often list properties at the top of fair market value.  When the market slows slightly, we end up with overpriced listings that don’t sell.  Often the market will slow in the fall in many markets.  Make sure that you are not caught off guard. We need our current listings to sell in 2018.  Insure they do with price reductions.

Step 4:  Call all your leads in your database and ask for an appointment.  I have had a number of my personal clients do this in the last couple of weeks.  Every one of them who did it set at least 2 listing appointments from it.  You have appointments in your database just call them.

We are committed to running side by side with you to victory.  We are there to finish the race strong.  If there is anything you need from us to finish strong give us a call.  We are committed to your success.

Dirk Zeller

Calculating Your Time's Monetary Value

Time is money, we have all been told. We all gain compensation based on the number of hours we work. We learned that concept when we got our first job as a teenager mowing lawns, bussing or washing dishes, or working at the local fast food joint. That minimum wage job at the time seemed like a lot of money for a kid. As we progressed in life hopefully our hourly value progressed as well.

As real estate agents we are now business owners, commission people, and some are executives with a salary and additional compensation from the net dollars earned by our company. For most people while climbing the ladder of success they have lost touch with their earnings on an hourly basis. They tend to focus on stock options, bonuses, and benefits. Ask an administrative staff person what they earn per hour, they know to the penny. Ask an executive, manager, or salesperson and you get a blank look.

Your hourly rate or hourly value is one of the most important numbers in your life. Some of you might be saying, “Now wait a minute, the money in my bank account is more important, or my net worth,” or even the health-conscious revelers would say, “My cholesterol count is more important.” Some people who are extremely family focused could focus on the number of kids they have or how many years they have been married to their spouse. All those are important numbers to a great degree.

What you are worth per hour translates into your quality of life both now and in the future. The hourly rate enables you to have more options for you and your family. For example, if your hourly rate is in the minimum wage category, the options or odds of you owning your own home, travelling the world, saving for retirement or funding college tuition for your children is severely hampered.

That level of your hourly rate could even affect your overall health because the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables for yourself and your family are much higher than a box of macaroni and cheese. Numerous studies have indicated the lower income earners have more health problems with cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other ailments due to diet and exercise.

A high hourly rate also leads to more time off with family, potentially a higher savings rate, and more experiences with your family (i.e. travel, theatre tickets, sporting events, country club or athletic club memberships, piano or ballet lessons). All these experiences create lasting skills and memories for a family.

Most respected professionals including doctors, dentists, accountants, or attorneys fundamentally sell time for a price. The higher their professional skills and the greater their reputations and success level, the more they are able to increase their hourly rates in order to earn more income. A successful attorney can decide to charge $350 an hour instead of $225. A dentist can decide a gold crown will cost a patient $1200 instead of the former price tag of $900.

For some of us we can’t change our hourly rate that easily by charging more for our services. You can raise your value of each hour invested in business by increasing your productivity. This will raise your hourly rate through commission or increased recognition of value from your boss which results in a raise. To calculate your hourly rate, follow this formula:

Hours Worked per Day X Days Worked per Week X Weeks Worked per Year = Total Hours Worked.

Gross Income divided by Total Hours Worked = Hourly Rate.

The goal for every professional should be to raise your hourly rate. Your hourly rate creates an average of what you earn per hour. The truth is some hours and actions have significantly more value than others.

For example, a salesperson that earns $100,000 for a year’s worth of sales performance that works 2000 hours in the year is worth $50 an hour. The real truth is that some of his hours are much higher than the $50 an hour and many of the hours are less. Through our studies in sales, we have determined that most people in sales spend a good 70% of their time in administration. When doing administration, a salesperson only earns the value of an administrative assistant which is an average of about $15 an hour. The salesperson must be doing something that has high value or a high hourly rate to push the $15 an hour to a $50 average. The answer is that the sales functions of prospecting, lead follow up, and making sales presentations earn far more than $50 an hour and in some cases 10 to 100 times for highly skilled salespeople.

Let’s dig a little further to illustrate my point. I am going to use a real life example from one of our coaching clients in sales. Fred in Seattle, Washington is a solid sales producer who ears $100,000 a year working eight hour a day and makes $50 an hour. Fred’s daily earnings are $400 a day, 8 hours a day X $50 an hour. The challenge is 6 hours are invested in administration at the value of $15 an hour. 6 hours X $15 an hour = $90. He makes $90 of the total $400 for the six hours of administration he does supporting his sales. The remainder of his earnings of $310 comes from the two hours he invests in sales functions for two hours a day. 2 hours X $155 = $310.

Fred has a choice to make $155 an hour or $15 an hour! Until I took Fred through the math of his hourly rate he was like most people. He didn’t know his value and how value is attached to the activities you do. His over investment in administration dropped his hourly value by 310%. Armed with this information, new focus, and our coaching, Fred more than doubled his earnings and hourly rate in the next 6 months.

Your hourly rate is a key indicator of your business success and value in the marketplace. Use your current hourly rate as a benchmark, and then get a goal to double, triple, even quadruple the earnings and value you wring out of each hour.

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I was asked recently what the one skill is that a real estate agent needs in order to be successful.  That was a tough question.  The one skill…I thought about it over and over.  There are so many skills Agents need to be successful.  We have to have good presentation skills, marketing skills, negotiating skills, objection handling skills, technology skills.  Then it hit me.  All those skills pale in contrast to this one:  Persistence.  It is the one skill that will make up for our deficiencies in all the other areas.  It will allow us to win in life no matter what obstacles are placed in front of us.

Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President, said it very well, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.  Geniuses will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” 

It truly is a noble skill to have the ability to move forward when everything around you is collapsing and meeting the challenge head on and grinding through the competition.  We are all professionals, or we aspire to be a professional.  The definition of a professional is someone who does something, even when he doesn’t feel like doing it.  Many of us know what we need to do; yet we don’t do it.  We spend our time looking for the one step that will change our life, rather than using the path of persistence to win.  We look around for the magic answer that will solve all our problems.  Do you realize that over 80% of the late night infomercials are centered on “get rich quick or lose weight instantly”?  We live in a liposuction society where we want abundance-yesterday.  We don’t want to do the diligent, persistent work to achieve success.  My late friend Zig Ziglar has a great line: “Life is like a cafeteria.  First you pay, then you get to eat.”  It’s not a restaurant where you sit down, get served, and get your fill.  When you are full and satisfied, then the bill arrives.  You have to pay before you receive the reward. 

Persistence is crucial to ultimate success in life.  To learn the skill of persistence, you must first learn to persist in the little things.  The first step for mastery of persistence is the ability to decide and have the clarity of decision that you will do it or else.  Start with persistence in your eating habits or workout habits. You could even just select one thing or task you need to do today.  Then make sure you complete it before the end of the day.  Don’t ever end your day before you get it done.

We often select too many things or set the bar too high too early.  This will cause us to fall short, and the negative self-talk will begin.  The journey to run a marathon begins with a walk around the block.  Start with the walk around the block and, in a few days, go twice around.  Then in a week, you can do four times around.  By the end of the month, you will be able to walk a mile.  The process in business is the same.  Start with calling a few past clients or sphere of influence. Call five people a day.  You don’t need to do four hours of prospecting.  That’s like running a marathon without training.  If you managed to actually do it, which would be rare, you would be so sore and tired and spent.  You would be worthless for a week.  Build the skill of persistence. 

The best technique to learn persistence is to just start.   The truth is it’s the start that stops most people.  Just beginning is the biggest barrier for everyone.  Getting your sneakers on and stepping on the treadmill or picking up the phone the first time is never as bad as our mind makes it out to be.  Once you begin, you pick up momentum and that positive self-talk of accomplishment.  My father taught me a saying many years ago.  It is a saying about persistence. It’s a saying that exemplifies his life.

Once a task has begun,
Never leave until it’s done.
Though the task be great or small,
Do it well or not at all.

Persistence is, by far and away, the skill that we need to master.  It is the one skill that guarantees success in both your personal and professional life.  There is no substitute.  Remember, it is the start that stops most people.

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Sales Scripts and Dialogues

The quality of sales skills can dramatically influence income.  At one time we all had tremendous sales skills, and we did not even know it.  We intuitively learned, and perfected, our presentation to the highest level.  We persistently pushed forward and never took, “No!” for an answer without a fight, then we usually wore our opponent down and got the sale.  We had it all going for us, we had it all figured out, and then we stopped.  Most of us stopped being great sales people around ten or eleven years old.  Up until that point we were highly skilled sales people.  Have you ever watched children under ten at the store?  Most are very good sales people.  The highest skilled are the three to six-years-old age group.  They know what they want, and they do not take, “No!” for an answer.  They usually manage to sell their parents on their idea or thought.

They are highly skilled because they know their scripts and dialogues.  They know what to say to get their parents to do what they want.  Agents must also have scripts and dialogues down, to elicit the desired response from the client.  Successful Agents need to have scripts for sellers, and scripts for buyers.  Brokers need scripts for other Agents, and for staff.  The better people define what they are going to say, the more successful in saying it they will be.

Many think having a script is manipulating the sale.  I think creating a script is part of being completely prepared.  Clients who hesitate in a selling situation can be saying that they need a few more facts to make them feel comfortable.  The Agent’s job is to give them the data to help them make the decisions that are best for them.  I view scripting as being able to help the client at the highest level, by accurately communicating in a convincing fashion, the benefits of a particular decision.  To be well scripted is to be prepared to help the client evaluate the situation carefully, by weighing all sides less emotionally.  The telephone solicitors, who sound as if they are reading from a cue card, are not well scripted.  An Agent who is well scripted can give an automatic response to a given situation he has been in before.  He has practiced and prepared for the question, before he gets the opportunity to answer it.  Do people want to have a heart surgeon who is well scripted?  Sure, they do.

Many professionals in other fields are well scripted.  Many professional football teams have the first 25 to 30 plays of the game planned.  Ask the coaches of either the San Francisco 49ers, or the Denver Broncos.  They know exactly which plays they will run.  They will evaluate how the plays work, then continue to use the best ones.  Other well-scripted professionals are the defense attorneys who use the same argument that worked to get their client acquitted last week, the surgeons who look at the x-rays and books to perform the appendectomy for the 500th time, the pilots preparing to land or take off in a 747.  They have all scripted out what they are going to say and do.  You, or I, would not want to be on that plane, in a courtroom, or in an operating room, if those experts were not well scripted.  Real estate Agents need to be at that level of professionalism and knowledge with their scripts.

Agents need scripts for all occasions:

  • Prospecting:  Past clients, expireds, FSBO’s, cold calls, door knocking, apartment renters, and referral clients.
  • Buyers:  Ad calls, sign calls, when it is the right house, qualifying the buyer, commitment to work with you, open houses, and for all objections.
  • Sellers:  Listing presentation, qualifying, price reduction, weekly communication, and for all objections.
  • Other Agents:  Getting them to do their job, create urgency, show your properties, and negotiating.
  • Affiliates:  Send more referrals and take over more functions.

This is a short list of the scripts Agents need to use, to be skilled at the delivery of the information that they need to provide to buyers, sellers, Agents, and affiliates.  To join those successful Agents, you must learn to develop, and deliver, scripts with effectiveness.  If you do, there will be no cap to your income.  The different scripts will not change, nor will the basic questions, problems, objections, and solutions.  Once you learn to effectively cover these areas, you will be unstoppable.  There are not many new objections created by buyers and sellers annually.  If you have learned all the objections, and can deliver your response to the objections well, you will be rewarded.  You may need to make modifications and practice them regularly, but you will not have to go through the process of learning 40 to 50 new scripts and dialogues.  The difference between the amateur and the professional, in all things in life, is the skill and delivery.  Everybody can throw a football, but he cannot throw it like John Elway without dedication and practice.  Elway has perfected his skill with long hard practice.

Professional sales people have perfected their delivery of words.  They have practiced how to overcome all the objections.  They have practiced how they will list a home.  Many of us make new presentations every time we go out.  That would be like Elway drawing the game plan in the dirt in the huddle every time.  How effective would that be?

Do not become sidetracked by the poor salespeople who have poor delivery.  Scripts and dialogues are often knocked because of poor delivery.  Tremendously skilled salespeople are well scripted; you just cannot tell they are speaking from a script.  Constant practice makes the difference.

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