Coaches Corner Newsletter - Issue #979
May 7th, 2020
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Words of a Champion...

When you evaluate performance and people, you can clearly see there are three types.  Where you fit in is based on your decision to join one of the groups.  The first group is people who make things happen.  These people are not afraid to change things up, to go against the grain of the crowd.  They are working in action areas of their life daily to produce results.

In sales terms, they are focused on doing their prospecting or lead generation daily.  They are engaging daily in lead evaluation, lead qualifying, and working to book appointments either face-to-face or over the phone.  This group is working at perfecting their presentation skills to the highest level.  They are forcing activity and productivity to happen daily, weekly, and monthly in their business and life.  They are fixated on actionable items that make their business and life better.

The second group is those who watch things happen.  They are always watching others and how they do things better than they do.  This group is great at watching, but they often fall short in doing!  Doing is better than watching.  We must all watch to learn.  The most effective way to learn is to model others who are successful.  To watch and to achieve understanding of what they do and how they achieve the results that they achieve is advisable.  Modeling can help us avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that caused challenges for someone else.  Once watching is over, action must follow.  Also, we see people watching and saying, “That will never work for me.”  My response to that is . . . how do you know?  Have you tried it for a reasonable timeframe with passion, intensity, focus, and the right attitude?  This is the only way you will know that it doesn’t work.  You have to try it out to know.  Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you are right.”

Other watchers say, “That will never work in my marketplace.  That will never work with my type of clients.”  My response is always – Why, are you selling to Martians?  What works in other markets with other products will work for you; your marketplace is not that different.  There usually will be a few adjustments that need to be tried and changed.  These adjustments are not as important as your ability to implement the techniques that work and track the results, so you can make further adjustments or refinements.  Don’t spend all your time watching.  Get in the game and play.  Take action and move into the category of people who make things happen.  Sometimes, we all need to slow down to speed up.  We need the watching and evaluating time, just don’t grow roots while you are doing it.

The last category of people is those who wake up and say, “What happened?”  “What Happened” people are in significant trouble throughout their career.  “What Happened” people can create a living when things are easy.  When the economy is strong or their market segment is strong, they appear to be doing a reasonable job in their performance.  It’s when the going gets tougher that they wake up one morning and say – what happened?  What actually happened or the change that happened didn’t happen last night.  It happened over time; they just did not realize it.  They are like the frog that enjoyed swimming in the kettle while the heat was slowly turned up.  They just forgot to be aware and jump out before they got cooked.

“What Happened” people need to take a look at themselves, their marketplace, what they are selling, and how they are selling it.  They need to get fully engaged in the prospecting and lead follow-up of their sales business daily.  Often, “What Happened” people will exclaim that it’s not fair that things changed.  Too often, “What Happened” people don’t deal with reality as it truly is.  They desire to deal with reality as they wish it to be.  They need a reality check. 

In the end, your success will be contained in your ability to move out of what happened or watching things happen to making things happen.  Make action your asset.  Resolve today to do something of importance to advance your skills, abilities, knowledge, and attitudes.  Take action now!

To Your Success,

Dirk Zeller

Acquiring the Most Important Skill of All

The single most important skill for a Real Estate Agent is sales-ability.  No matter where you are in your real estate career, decide right now to master the skills of selling in order to fuel your success.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s true, that more than 95% of Agents lack top-level real estate sales skills. The reason I know this is because I coach some of the best and highest-earning Agents in the world, and even they believe their sales skills can use improvement. The difference between them and other Agents is that they realize that sales skills are vital to success and they continuously seek excellence in this area.

To follow their example, make it your priority to develop and constantly improve your sales skills, especially in these areas:

  • Develop sales skills to secure appointments.
  • Develop sales skills to persuade expired and for-sale-by-owner listings to move their properties to your business. This lucrative and largely untouched field.
  • Develop sales skills to make persuasive presentations that result in positive buying decisions. You can do this in every step from pre-qualifying prospects to planning your presentation, perfecting your skills, addressing and overcoming objections, and ending with a logical and successful close.

We are now no longer in the robust market conditions we had experienced in the 90s and early 2000s, where leads were abundant and relatively easy to attract, especially Buyer leads. So, when the market slowed, as it inevitably would, real estate success becomes less automatic. Only great sales skills guarantee that you – instead of some other Agent – will win clients no matter the market conditions. The best Agents make more money in a challenging market than in a robust market.

Regardless of economics, every market contains real estate buyers and sellers. No matter how slow the economy, people need or want to change homes. Babies are born. Managers get transferred. Couples get married. People divorce. And real estate opportunities arise for those with the best sales skills.

The way to build immunity to shifting market conditions is to arm yourself with skills in prospecting, lead follow-up, presentations, objection handling, and closing.

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Buyer Interview

The buyer interview is the first step in the buyer process.  It should happen before you run to the computer to find them the right home.  If you don’t do this first, you may be competing with two or three other Agents for the same buyer.  Why compete when you don’t have to?  Let the other Agents in the marketplace compete and waste their time with disloyal buyers.  Champion Agents only invest their time with people who are loyal and who will buy through them.

The buyer interview is separated into three sections.  The first section is determining their values and needs.  You want to find out what their needs are in a home:  number of bedrooms and bathrooms, layout of the home, etc.  To be able to best fulfill their needs, you will want to obtain all the information about the property they want to own.

Then you will need to find out the values they are attaching to this new home – the “why?” behind the move, the emotions that they are using to make the buying decision.  We all buy things because it appeals to our emotions.  We then rationalize our emotions through logic.  To create long-term satisfied clients, a great salesperson makes sure the buyers’ emotions are met.

You then must understand the benefits they are looking for you to provide.  There are some specific beliefs people have about REALTORS®.  They want you to provide a certain type of service level.  You need to know their expectations of service.

If I were in a buyer interview with someone who wanted me to be available at all times (including nights and weekends), we would have a problem.  I needed to know if my service model of having my staff and myself available only at certain times was acceptable.  I also needed to know why the buyer felt I should be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for him.  If I could not persuade him that we would be able to provide him with the highest quality of assistance, I would disengage the appointment and refer him to another Agent in the office who was willing to provide the service he felt he needed.

In the second section of the buyer interview, we would present the benefits of service.  At this point, we shared with them services that we provided to the buyer.  We had these services in written form for the buyer.  We could then show him the services and benefits he would receive from working with us.  People make decisions in the buying process based on emotion and the benefits they receive.  If you don’t show them their specific benefits, they will not buy. 

Examples of services and benefits:

“We merge your profile with the MLS.  The benefit to you is that you will be one of the first people to see a new home on the market.  Since the best values sell faster then other properties, we feel that it is crucial for you to see the homes first.”

The last service we listed was that the seller actually pays our fee.  The buyer would receive all these services and benefits free of charge.  We would only ask for one thing from him to receive all of these services, which was his commitment to work with us exclusively.

Next comes section three of the buyer interview.  This section I call the client commitment.  You don’t have a client until he has committed to you.  Up until then he is only a prospect.  This section of the buyer interview separates the Champion Agent from the rest.  You must lay it on the line.  He needs to understand that this is your job and how you provide for your family.  You owe it to your spouse and children to work only with people who are 100% committed to working with you.

Since you are providing all these services for no cost to anyone until closing, you have to ensure that a closing will happen.  Draw him in by putting his job in that position.  He wouldn’t work for a month hoping his paycheck wouldn’t bounce at the end of the month.  He would find another job.

You can only provide a high level of service to a few select clients at a time.  You cannot help them all.  Make sure they want to be helped by you.  If they cannot give you a commitment, thank them and refer them to someone else.  Invest your time finding another person who will commit.  It’s all about commitment; either you are or you aren’t.  Champion Agents ask for the commitment, and if they don’t get it, they move onto the next.

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Don't Wait - Create

Don’t passively wait for business and success to come to you.  Proactively create business and make success come to you.  In a good market, too many Agents let the market create all of their success.  For years it was pretty easy nationally to make a very good living selling real estate.  You could have been passive and been okay.  In a declining marketplace, with ever-changing inventory levels and cautious buyers you just can’t wait – you have to create.  You must proactively and consistently prospect for leads.  Most Agents never prospect proactively.  Let’s look at the truth; we mail things out and rarely pick up the phone or get face-to-face with anyone.  Most Agents do lead follow-up, which means they follow-up on leads that came to them.  They use passive techniques to create leads.  We must also proactively create leads and proactively follow-up on our current leads.  I tell Agents all the time, “If you need a boost in your production inventory, call all of your leads, even the longer-term ones.”

The vast majority of a Champion Agent’s new listing inventory in a given month comes from their pipeline of leads.  If you want to change your inventory level of listings, first go to your leads.  Then start to prospect to build up your pipeline. 

Sell prospects on “service presentation” meetings

This is an area we need to improve on.  We rely on sending large quantities of information via e-mail rather than getting face-to-face.  We have to focus on getting face-to-face with all prospects, even if they are six months out.  The way to best determine if the lead is outstanding is the face-to-face meeting.  It’s also the thing that most other Agents they are talking to are not doing.  The tightest connection you can create will be from a face-to-face meeting.  In a service presentation meeting, you are not doing your full listing presentation; you are trying to determine desire, need, ability, and authority.

Prospect, Prospect, Prospect

In this marketplace, more time is needed in prospecting.  It will take:
More dials to = same amount of contacts
More contacts to = same amount of leads
More leads to = same amount of appointments
More appointments to = same amount of contracts
More contracts to = same amount of revenue

It might not be fair – It is what it is

Far too many Agents over the last few years have been totally reliant on one area of business: the “wear it like a badge of honor; I’m a ‘by referral only’ Realtor.”  While I believe referrals are essential to a healthy business, they are not the lifeblood of any successful business.  Relying on 100% of one’s revenue from one source is not a sound business practice.  Even having 80% to 90% of one’s income from one source leaves a business vulnerable to market shifts.

When the public’s consciousness for real estate is at an all-time high, referrals generate significant revenue.  When real estate is not the main topic of conversation at every cocktail party across North America, fewer leads and opportunities are created through referrals.

There is a rude awakening about to happen for a
significant segment of successful Agents.”

Let’s look at a real-world company that had to declare bankruptcy due to their customer mix coming from predominantly one source.  Delphi declared bankruptcy because their biggest customer was General Motors.  More than 60% of their sales are made to General Motors.  Due to the problems at GM and high labor costs, Delphi was forced into bankruptcy.

Many Agents await that same fate because of an eventual drop in referrals.  The time to expand our streams of leads and income is now.  Once most Agents realize the reduction in the number and quality of referrals due to a lower consumer demand and awareness for real estate, it will be too late.  The time to act is now.

Resolve to add one new income stream in the next 90 days.  I caution you to only add one.  The natural tendency is to try a whole bunch.  Focus on adding one with excellence rather than a whole bunch poorly.

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