Real Estate and Retirement

Sep 2, 2018 by

Little known secret: A retirement plan that works well for agents is the Solo 401(k). You can save up to $ 54,000 ($ 60K for agents over 50) a year and deduct it from your taxes.

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Maximize Your Real Estate Team’s Lead Conversion

Aug 27, 2018 by

Opportunities aren’t lost…they go to someone else. Not a phrase I like to be reminded of; however, it is true.  We think we lost the lead, while in reality, that potential client did buy or sell with someone else. Not cool. Making sure your team has an effective system for converting leads and staying in front of potential buyers and sellers will make or break your lead conversion. Follow these lead conversion strategies and implement them into your team’s system for making sure every lead gets followed up on, converted, listed and sold.

  1. Track leads. Every new lead goes into a pipeline, whether you are using a tracking system by paper, spreadsheet or tracking done with your own CRM platform. Keeping an organized list of your leads is paramount. One of the benefits of using a CRM is that you can quickly track notes, follow up calls, send emails, track their stage in the selling process and work via mobile with ease.  Automated, follow up email campaigns for leads that are just starting out are a fantastic way to keep in touch with new clients getting started, and of course, continual follow up by phone is most effective. For your team’s organization, tracking leads and sources of the leads are also most important. Regardless of your system for tracking leads, it all starts with having and following a system to keep all leads in one place for your review, and from this list, your agent’s job is to turn them into an appointment.
  1. Don’t discount a lead, regardless of where they are in the sales process. They may be just starting out or gathering information; that’s fine. You’re not going anywhere. Work with them and provide extreme value and then stay with them. Sure, we would love every lead to start as an “A-level” buyer or listing prospect, but some are, and start out as a B- or C-level. But eventually they will want to move, and you will be the one who maximizes that opportunity—not your competition. So, welcome the leads that aren’t ready to do something right this second. Put them in your pipeline and stay in front of them for months. You will win their business. You are creating future business for yourself, and we all need future business.
  1. Update your pipeline weekly and in your CRM. You must increase the number of potential leads in your pipeline if you want to grow your production and income. Once they are on the list, review the list and see who on your list you can call for an appointment. They may be getting the house ready to market, which is a perfect opportunity for you to add value to the process by telling them you can save them time and money before they make the home improvement list. Call everyone on your list and convert them from a name on your list to an actual showing or listing appointment. You are one step closer to converting them into a sale.
  1. Improve the scripts and marketing material you are using. If you or your team members are not converting leads into appointments, you may need new material, both written and verbal. A new or improved strategy for calling potential clients may be necessary and hiring a coach or going to some sales training would be helpful. If you are the leader, you can create strategies and scripts for your team members to use that will convert these leads into appointments.
  1. Proactive and presumptive closing will get you an appointment. Constant follow up and adding value will create the opportunity to convert the call and lead into an appointment. Create or remind them of the pain they will need to overcome, and then be their solution. Solve their problem and make the close. For example, with an expired or FSBO lead, it would look like this for a strategy:  “I have the formula for why your home isn’t selling, and I would like to share it with you. What’s better for you, Thursday at 5 or Saturday at 10?”—because you’re going to meet with them. They choose between two options and you have an appointment to see the house.
  1. Continue to convert the leads into appointments, sales and closed income. It is so important that you work the leads and add value to the process. The agent that adds the most value gets hired and you can radically differentiate yourself and your unique services by communicating to the lead in such a way that they will meet with you because you are adding value to the process.  Remember you are taking people through the stages of the sales cycle. Work within their timeframe and stay in front of them and you will be the one who gets the business.

Following these lead conversion strategies will ensure you are truly maximizing every lead and aware that they need to go through the stages of the sales process. Keep your pipeline full and keep follow up a daily habit and you will increase your appointments and list and sell more homes. Make sure your mindset is to secure and appointment with the leads on your tracking sheet pipeline and fill your weekly schedule full of buyer and listing appointments.

For a FREE link to our “How to Build a $ 10M Gold Mine Pipeline” webinar, email  Also check out our webinar schedule at

Sherri_Johnson_60x60Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour. For more information, please contact or 844-989-2600 (toll free) or visit

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3 Secrets to Building a Real Estate Team That Won’t Drive You Crazy

Aug 9, 2018 by

Real estate teams are incredible, but they’re not for everyone, according to 18-year real estate veteran Leigh Brown. Brown is a broker/owner of Leigh Brown and Associates with RE/MAX. The 2017 president of CRS, Brown is also a recipient of Lifetime Achievement, Hall of Fame and Circle of Legends recognitions with RE/MAX International.

Building a team will either be a smart idea or a money pit, according to Brown, and you need to know how to make it successful before you start hiring. It’s not just earning big numbers; it’s about the earning the right numbers. The three secrets to building a successful real estate team are:

  • Understand why you’re setting up a team
  • Create a solid foundation (hire the right administrator and agents)
  • Create a true team environment

“I know a team who was doing $ 50 million in volume, but the team leader was only taking home $ 50,000 in sales. That was a money pit situation,” Brown says.

Do your research so you don’t end up in the same situation.

1. Understand Why You’re Setting Up a Team
Is a team the way to go for you? It could be if:

You need better work/life management.
If you feel like you’re going to explode if the phone rings one more time, your work/life balance is probably “out of whack.” You’re burned out. A team can help you restore balance.

You consistently have excess opportunities.
Are you staying busy but still getting calls you can’t get to—or are you so busy you’re not able to give your clients the level of service you want to? A team may help you seize the opportunities you’re missing, and help improve the service to the clients you already have.

Your strength is management, not sales.
You love the field, but what you’re really good at is managing, marketing and lead generation. Part of setting up a team is understanding yourself, your strengths and your skills. As a team leader, you’ll need to be a good manager, or hire one. When you’re putting together a job description for yourself, be honest: What is it you really love to do?

Things to Consider Before Setting Up a Team

Lead Generation
You have to have enough leads coming in to sustain you, as well as your team. As a team leader, you’ll be responsible not only for your income, but the income of others.

Control Freak
Can you control your inner control freak? You need to understand that you’re not going to have a team that does things 100 percent like you do. Understanding that if your team does things “right” 80 percent of the time, you’re ahead of the game. When you allow people to make mistakes, they’ll stop walking on eggshells and start working harder to get things right. Learn to let other people shine and they will.

2. Create a Solid Foundation
Before you hire a team of agents, you need a foundation. That foundation begins with a talented administrator.

However, before you can hire an administrator, you need to run your financial numbers. Look at the number of hours you work per week, including administrative work, email, DocuSign, Dropbox, showing houses and making calls. Now, add up the commission dollars you’ve made and divide that by the hours you’ve worked. What do you earn per hour? What does it cost to hire in your market? How many hours a week will you need them? Five? Ten? Twenty? With those numbers in hand, you’re ready to start building your team, and the first person you need to hire is an assistant.

Before you hire, you must know what you want your assistant to do, so create a detailed job description for the position. Create a checklist of any NRP (non-revenue producing) activities you want your assistant to handle, including paperwork, signs and lockboxes, putting out postcards, inputting people to your CRM and DocuSign requests.

Include “at-bats” (at least one lead generation or referral a month) in the job description. If you don’t ask people to bring you a referral, they won’t. 

Referral Agent
You may not be ready or want to train, hire and manage a buyer agent right away. If so, you can seek out a like-minded agent who is great at closing, but who needs leads.

Expectations are the key here, Brown emphasizes. Know what you will pay them. Have systems in place for tracking leads and closings. Figure out what happens after the closing and what your role with the client is after the closing. Build a relationship on honor and trust with these agents.

Buyer Agent
The job description here is critical. Be very clear when setting and communicating your expectations. You should also take time to figure out what kind of personality you’ll work best with. Look for someone who will balance you, and whom you will balance.

Hiring tips:

  • “Hire the people who are great at what you suck at,” Brown says. “Check with REALTORS® who are not built for sales or who don’t want to put in ‘REALTOR® hours,’ but who want to be in the business.”
  • Pay a little more to get the best people possible. If everyone else is paying $ 10 an hour, you should pay $ 13-$ 15 an hour. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much more for you, but it will create loyalty in your employee. It also shows others you take care of your people.
  • Hire in your local market, not offshore. By hiring locally, you become known as a local employer, and people you hire can also refer people to you.
  • Hire part-time. You can hire someone for 5-10 hours a week and build. If you hire someone who will hustle and generate leads to increase your business and their hours, all the better.
  • Hire for qualities, not task performance. “Attitude matters more than skills,” Brown explains. “Phone skills, handwriting, personality and people skills matter.”
  • Take the DISC personality profile. Take it yourself first, then have them take the DISC personality profile to ensure you balance each other. Pay the $ 29 for the full test, not the free one. It’s more accurate.
  • Take your time hiring. Make hiring a multi-step process so you get the right person.

3. Create a True Team Environment
Once you’ve built a team, how do you stay the course? Start with the details. This includes meetings, goal-setting, team evaluations and individual reviews. Unless your team is one cohesive unit with excellent communication, specific goals and opportunities for everyone involved, your team won’t work.

In a recent webinar, Brown went into extended details about how to structure payment schedules, training, reviews and team-building. Get tips from Brown and watch the full webinar for more detailed steps to ensure you find, hire, train and retain the right people to get the best team members possible.

For more information, please visit

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

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