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The Missing Ingredient to Assure Your Team’s Success in Real Estate

Aug 12, 2019 by

The larger your lead database, the more successful your business will be. We have seen a direct correlation between real estate growth and the size of a lead database. Seems like a no-brainer, right? More leads equals opportunity. In fact, we’ve discovered that teams investing in lead generation efforts experience a compounding growth effect. Over eight years, they typically see growth in production volume by 4x.

So how do you tackle it all and keep up with that treasure trove of a database?

The Time Conundrum
What goes into managing a database?

Say you’ve got 1,000 leads. Maybe 25 percent of those are “nurture” leads you’re reaching out to. You have your eye on a handful of leads that are six months out from being ready to buy. Maybe 25 new leads this week registered on your site, and they’re ready to talk!

On top of that, you have past clients to follow up with, cold leads to circle back with…oh, not to mention the day-to-day of running your business.

Historically, people have turned to technology to make that work easier. But there’s an emerging factor that could be the key to assuring success in real estate: lead support services for agents.

Getting Off the Hamster Wheel
We’ve already highlighted how your lead database impacts your potential for production volume. But now imagine all those leads. An agent has to make the initial engagement. Oftentimes, they have to nurture them for up to a year! They have to constantly engage and re-engage with them. And when they become an active “client,” they have to provide exceptional service.

Don’t have time to nurture leads ’round the clock? Click here to learn about Success Assurance, from BoomTown. 

But, you didn’t get into real estate to chase every new lead, right? To be glued to your phone, at-the-ready to respond at a moment’s notice? No—you got into real estate to make connections, have conversations, solve problems. You got into real estate to sell real estate! But, as we all know, it’s critical that someone chases those leads and that new leads are responded to immediately.

So if you want to squeeze every cent out of your growing database, you have two choices:

  1. Be in 100 places at once.
  2. Invest in the right support.

The Missing Ingredient
Technology can assist with those tasks, but a supporting service, like RealContact for example, would enable agents to focus on the biggest dollar-productive activities: handling clients. This extra “support” takes care of the lead engagement. It manages the lead-nurturing. And when coupled with technology, it accelerates lead conversion.

So when you get a lead at 2:00 a.m. and you’re sound asleep, there’s someone ready to reach out immediately.

Let’s face it: The real estate hustle is real. The more you grind, the more successful you’ll be. But it’s 2019. There’s a way to capitalize without burning out. The way to assure success in real estate is by investing in the right support services that will allow you the time to focus on dollar-productive tasks—to get off the hamster wheel and get back to selling real estate!

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Agent Teams: The Good, the Bad, and the Challenge

Jul 15, 2019 by

This month’s National Association of REALTORS® Power Broker Roundtable discusses real estate teams, and how brokerages are embracing the model.  

Moderator

Jim Imhoff, Chairman, First Weber Real Estate, Madison, Wis., Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations, National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 

Panelists 

Vince Leisey, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate, Omaha, Neb.

Pat Riley, President/CEO, Allen Tate Companies, Charlotte, N.C.

 

Corina Jones, Founder/Broker, Your Home Team, Greenwood, Ind.

 

Jennifer Ames, Broker/License Partner, Ames Group Chicago, Engel & Vӧlkers International Real Estate, Chicago, Ill.

Tim Milam, President, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, Wilmington, N.C.

 

Jim Imhoff: Every brokerage has its rainmakers—the inspired, charismatic, hard-working dynamos who bring more than their share of business to the company. But what happens—and it almost always does happen—when agent superstars decide to team up, move on, take their career to a whole new level? It brings financial concerns, technical issues, space considerations…even concerns that a successful team may decide to strike out on their own. As brokers, we have options: Support the team concept. Advise against it. Maybe make it a centerpiece of the company culture we’ve worked so hard to build. Today, we’ll talk with a few brokers who land on the side of the latter. Let’s begin with you, Vince, because I know you’ve been cited by the TV series “World’s Greatest” as having one of the “World’s Greatest Company Cultures.” 

Vince Leisey: We have, Jim, and we’re proud of that. We want our people to be glad to come to work every day—and whether or not it’s coincidental, teams do make up some 65 percent of our company. I not only embrace the team concept, but in my view, teams are the future of real estate. For one thing, the millennials now coming into the business are all about collaboration and teamwork—and the sharing and mentorship that come with teaming makes every team member stronger. 

Pat Riley: Millennial or not, when I became successful enough to build my own company, I needed people to help me—so I still see any form of partnering as the best of all possible worlds. Every agent has strengths and weaknesses. In teaming, you can specialize, you can mentor or be mentored, you can rise to meet your best potential, and let the company worry about the tools and technology—even the physical workspace. 

Jennifer Ames: That’s something I considered when I was ready to move up after many years as a successful team leader. I wanted new challenges, better control, and the chance to recruit like-minded people and help them build careers. But I chose to do it with an internationally branded company behind me—a premier European company that aligns closely with my values. Our team launched our Chicago office last January, our flagship offices opened officially on June 27, and we’re confident we made the right decision. 

Corina Jones: For us, going out on our own a little over a year ago was an opportunity to take control of our destiny. Building our brand is a commitment to unexcelled customer service, and that’s what we’re all about. And being responsible for our own financial health means recruiting carefully, sharing the load, and ultimately doing more deals. We knew we’d have to struggle, but it was a challenge we welcomed, and we’re looking ahead, not back.

JI: It’s a valid concern for some brokers that successful team leaders will take their teams and fly the nest. So, in our company, we embrace teaming, but we are careful about having contracts in place, and business plans that speak to the “divorce” aspect of teams.

Tom Milam: That works for us, too. It’s like a financial “prenup,” so that everyone knows what happens in the event of a break-up. But look, good teams have an amazing work ethic. They are great mentors. They have a balanced quality of life, because there is always someone to cover for them—which is also a boon for our customers. And while teams may take a higher split, they also close more transactions.

PR: One solution that works for us is “brandchising” our successful teams. The captains continue to build their teams but with our brand behind them. We continue to provide the tools. They pay us a fee. It really is a win-win for all.

VL: It’s vital to have transparency and a lot of idea-sharing between the teams in our organization, so that there’s a balance of lead generators, coaches and less-experienced agents who will grow as a result of their mentorship.

CJ: That’s always been key for a team leader, and it’s one of the things I like best about heading up our own operation. It’s my effort, my perceptions, and my decisions that will establish our brand in the marketplace, with the confidence that the team we build and manage will win us our share of that market.

JA: Of course, it’s all about marketshare, and however you choose to manage your team—within an established brand or as an independent—the bottom line must be more successful agents and an improved customer experience.

TM: There’s no question that teams and team captains add a lot of value to our companies. They also offer a great way for our companies to grow organically. If Vince is right, and he may be, if teaming is the future of a younger real estate workforce, then it’s only a matter of us, as company leaders, figuring how best to make it work.

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

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Elevate Your Team’s Marketing With a 12-Month Plan

Jul 8, 2019 by

The job of a real estate team doesn’t end when the transaction closes. In fact, that is just the beginning. A thriving real estate business depends on two vital components: repeat clients and referrals.

A few years ago, I was contacted by someone in my sphere of influence to help them find an agent to list their house and represent them on a purchase. I knew who had helped them buy the house they were selling—he is a great guy and a solid real estate agent. I inquired with the client as to why they were not using him again, and I quote what his response was: “He was a great guy and we loved working with him, but we can’t remember his name.” His lack of follow-up cost him approximately $ 20,000 in business that should have been his—if he had only nurtured the relationship.

If your team does a good job in the transaction, then you should expect to do business with the client again in the future, but only if you continue to nurture the relationship, which means you must stay in touch—forever!

At minimum, a 12-month marketing plan should include some kind of touch every 21 days, and should also include:

  • Birthdays (phone call, video message or a card in the mail)
  • Relationship anniversary (phone call, video message or a card in the mail)
  • Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents’ Day (phone call, video message or a card in the mail)
  • Home anniversary (include a reminder about their warranty expiring)
  • Market updates on their home values (annually or biannually)
  • Quarterly phone calls followed up with a handwritten card in the mail

In addition, a high-touch relationship marketing plan should also include, at minimum, one client appreciation event per year. It is recommended that you plan 6-8 events throughout the year where you are getting in front of and face-to-face with your top clients and sphere of influence. Some ideas include holiday open houses, movie events, happy hours, Thanksgiving pie giveaways, photos with Santa, sporting events, bowling parties…the list goes on and on.

Lastly, social media has created a unique opportunity for us to elevate our relationships, so pay attention to what people are sharing—they are begging for someone to make them feel seen, heard and appreciated. I will wrap up by sharing one of my favorite quotes from undoubtedly one of the best saleswomen ever, Mary Kay Ash:

“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

Always be looking for ways to connect with your database and you will take your team’s real estate business to a whole new level.

Sarah Michelle Bliss is a coach with Workman Success Systems. She has been in the real estate industry since 1995 and is an original founder at RE/MAX Professionals, where she has been a part of the Nate Martinez Team since 1997. Over the past 20 years, she has taught locally and nationally, and coached and influenced her peers through team management, agent development and training. Bliss is currently the director of Agent Development for RE/MAX Professionals in Glendale, Ariz. For more information, please visit www.workmansuccesssystems.com.

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Teams: Are You Talking About iBuyers?

May 20, 2019 by

It’s no secret that the guy with the “We Buy Ugly Houses” sign has moved from the busy street corner in your town to the screen on your TV, phone and laptop and billboards along the freeways. Like it or not, iBuyers are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Disruptions in the market happen—but the bigger question your team should be asking is, “How do we get in front of this disruptor and still stay in business?” It’s not a simple answer, but it is a starting place. We need to elevate our conversations.

This has two major components: how to work with the iBuyers; and how to still represent your clients.

Most teams look at these companies as competition, or a threat, but perhaps we should be looking at them for what they are: a direct buyer. In the right scenario, an offer from an iBuyer might be the best solution for your client’s immediate needs. Do your homework. Research these types of services in your market and ask questions. Most of them have agent-friendly websites and will cooperate with you, meaning you can still represent your client (and get paid). It warrants repeating: Do your homework. Putting your head in the sand in hopes that iBuyers will just go away is not a profitable solution.

The second component is your client. I see too many teams move on from a sale and never follow up to continue the relationship that was established during the listing and selling process. They are not only leaving future commission dollars on the table; they are losing relationships to the disruptors in the marketplace. If you want to stay vital and profitable, you need to elevate your conversations.

Educate your team’s database, past clients and spheres of influence so they know the facts about selling a home to a direct buyer verses the open market (Multiple Listing Service). Your clients need you to provide them the support and guidance they need to make an informed decision with all the facts presented to them. As a REALTOR®, your job is to watch out for what is in the client’s best interest. Sometimes, that is not about netting the highest dollar amount.

My personal goal as a real estate professional is to be my client’s go-to for all things real estate-related. I want them calling me for a recommendation to anything they need when it comes to their home—which covers a lot of areas in a person’s life. As a REALTOR® and member of a real estate team, you have a unique and privileged opportunity to impact someone’s life in a very positive way that transcends just buying or selling a home. We change people’s lives. Your primary goal should be an intentional focus on creating lifelong relationships that extend to family and friends. It’s the only way to protect your clients from disruptors in the market and keep you in business.

Sarah Michelle Bliss is a coach with Workman Success Systems. She has been in the real estate industry since 1995 and is an original founder at RE/MAX Professionals, where she has been a part of the Nate Martinez Team since 1997. Over the past 20 years, she has taught locally and nationally, and coached and influenced her peers through team management, agent development and training. Bliss is currently the director of Agent Development for RE/MAX Professionals in Glendale, Ariz. For more information, please visit www.workmansuccesssystems.com.

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Building Your Team’s Vision Board

Apr 22, 2019 by

“You become what you think about.” – Napoleon Hill

I’m always surprised by the effects of focus and clarity in making things happen. Some call this the law of attraction and others call it karma. Either way, there is a powerful connection between clarity of a person’s vision, having it represented visually and reviewing it over time to keep them focused. I still remember my very first vision board, and although I haven’t laid eyes on it in years, I can picture it very clearly. I manifested what I created, including the ability to give back to community, taking a family vacation in a warm location, closing 24 transactions that year and buying a new car.

This workshop came out of a desire to connect with my son who was lost. Being a smart, intelligent person with lots of options made him overwhelmed. I asked him to sit down and really think about what he wanted in life, review what was important to him and then start to plan for his future.

We all know someone, including ourselves, who has started something like a weight loss plan or a new gym membership only to slowly get off task and give up altogether. The purpose of setting the vision board is to start by visualizing your and your team’s success and keep yourself and your team members on track.

Identifying Your ‘Why’

“Working hard for something you don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek

A vision board is a way to visualize your team’s success and keep you in the mindset to achieve it. Its purpose is to be displayed where your team members will look at it daily, so that you all internalize the vision and goals. It is very powerful, as it will remind you of your “why.”

Here is the 12-step process for clarifying your goals and developing your vision board. For the purposes of this exercise, we will use both personal and business goals:

  1. List successes in your life so far.
  1. Identify what you want to stop, start or continue.
  1. On a blank piece of paper, brainstorm thoughts, notes and priorities about your ideal life.
  1. Go through the list and start to circle the ones that resonate most strongly with you.
  1. Start to circle and get specific about the ones most important to you.
  1. Organize your goals into the categories below:
  • Family – How much time do you want to spend with family? What are you going to do while you spend time with them? Can you incorporate your family into some work activities?
  • Fun – Is there something you do just for the sake of doing it, that brings you joy? Have you ever wanted to travel? What are your non-work specific goals?
  • Friends – Are there certain people you want to hang out more with? Are you going to surround yourself with people who lift you up? Where can you find these people? How will you know they can help you? Are there people you have lost touch with and want to connect with more?
  • Fitness – Being successful in business means having a strong mind in a strong body. How will you give your body its best chance to support you? What sort of exercise do you want to stop, start or continue? How will you eat? What will you eat? Do you want to attain a certain fitness level? Are there competitions or specific performance goals you want to attain?
  • Faith and/or Beliefs – What are activities that ground you? What will give you inner peace? Is there a way you can give back to society that represents you?
  1. Review your personal life and your business plan for the upcoming year. Use the S.M.A.R.T. Methodology; in other words, make your goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

Now comes the fun part…

  1. Use your vision sheets to guide your search for images that represent your vision (there are no rules on how this is done).
  1. Using magazines, Pinterest, Google or other sources, find visuals, graphics, words and quotes that represent your goals and visions.
  1. Cut out the images and put them on the board.
  1. Once you are happy with the format, glue them in place.
  1. Display your vision board above a work area or space that you all look at continuously. When you or team members are feeling a lack of guidance, disoriented or out of sorts, look to the board to re-orient and refocus yourselves.

Jane Johnston is a team leader and top-producing REALTOR® with the Briar Hill Group at RE/MAX Camosun in Victoria, British Columbia. She’s been in real estate since 2006 and moved to RE/MAX in 2013, where she quickly attained Platinum and Chairman’s Club Awards, as well as the RE/MAX Hall of Fame Award. She’s also an MLS Gold Medal Award Winner in her local real estate board. Johnston and her husband have two teenage kids and she can often be found rowing on the water or speed-skating. 

For more information, please visit www.workmansuccesssystems.com.

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