REAL ESTATE MARKETING AND SALES So you get your real estate license, now what?Congratulations! You have embarked on a path to have as much free time as you want, to spend time with family and friends, vacation wherever you would like and, walk into any store and buy what ever you want. You can now make as much money as you want to make. You no longer have a boss telling you what to do, when to do it or how to do it. You don’t have to worry about cut backs, lay-offs and termination. You choose what time you get up in the morning and how late you work each day. Your level of success is in the control of only one person, YOU! Sound great? So what do you do next? How do you go about gaining all this exciting wealth and prosperity? Once you have your license everyone should beat a path to your door and hand you lots of money right? WRONG!
Getting a real estate license is much like getting a driver’s license. It doesn’t make you a good driver. It takes practice and experience. And the more training you get, the better you become. Following are the steps to total, unstoppable and complete success. They are not complicated; they do not require special experience and education. Anyone who chooses to be successful at this can do so if they follow this simple plan. It is simple, but it is not easy! It takes commitment and diligence. The key is not intensity it’s consistency. It is entirely in your control.
Choices and Goals Why become successful and what exactly does it mean to you? Success comes in all shapes, sizes and ages. For those looking at real estate as a second career, you have just as much a chance as any of the youngsters. You can start any time anywhere. Don’t forget, Ray Kroc (of Mc Donald’s fame) didn’t buy his first hamburger shop until he was 55! The key is to understand what you want and how you are going to get there. Take a moment and answer a few questions. How much money is enough for you? For many, an extra $5,000 per month is more than they ever though possible. For others, they can’t make it out of town for a weekend vacation for that amount. The questions you need to answer are what are your needs and desires? As with any professional script or game plan, writing these goals down makes them real and it gives you a target to start working towards. How much time are you willing and do you have to invest? Much of your initial extra time will be absorbed in understanding how to do the job. Understanding the contract forms, the disclosures, the listing, purchase and sale sequence or whatever steps are taken in whichever field of real estate you choose. Making a colander of your day, week and month all the way out for a three year period of time is a worthwhile exercise to look at your current time commitments and your preferred schedule. When is your family time? When is your personal time? When are the school plays, soccer games, date nights and other current commitments? Make the list and schedule them! Nothing has to be cast in stone, at the same time the soccer games will never be played again and it would be a shame to miss them. Is your family or significant other supportive of your career decision and do they clearly understand what will be involved? Be aware that the dynamics change. If you start working full time, there will be times when the money will not come in at a regular stream, as it does in a nine to five job. You can’t spend your entire commission check celebrating your transactions being completed. Some of your commissions need to be set aside for slow periods and taxes. There may be periods when, for one reason or another, a few key transactions just aren’t closing. Sure there will be big checks, but you will need to budget for your costs and obligations. Following your marketing plan will take care of the majority of the peaks and valleys but they will be there, especially in the beginning. How much do you want to make? Do the math. Put a pencil to paper and determine how much you must make and how much you want to make. Then look at what part of the business you’re going to get into. Talk with other successful people in the market and find out from their personal, in the day to day reality, what it takes to make the kind of income you have decided upon. Selling houses, representing buyers exclusively, originating loans, processing loans, managing property, it doesn’t matter, How many sales or closings or properties does it take to reach your goal. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses It’s appropriate to conduct a personal assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. You can learn to do anything you want the question is how willing are you to do it. If you don’t particularly like dealing with the public you may need to consider something a little more behind the scenes, verses on the front line. There are many, many jobs in real estate. Be honest with yourself and find something that matches your personality. Or, if you want to venture out of your comfort zone, where would you like to go and what mile stones would need to accomplish to get there? Put yourself in surroundings for success Do you need an office environment or are you a self-starter? Do you want to start in a group and then, after you have learned what you want, would you rather work alone? Determining these answers will help you decide on a direction. DON’T JUMP INTO THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY, look around, ask questions, and spend some time at the office or in the company of your prospective fellow agents. If it doesn’t feel good, keep looking. Many new licensees move three or four times in their first year or two in the business before they find an office they are comfortable in. The key is to find an office (if an office is what you feel you need) that is supportive and provides a good mentoring, runner, or education system that meets your needs. Again, if it doesn’t, keep looking. You must have financial reserves or keep your old job Don’t make the mistake of severing your ties (or life-line) and plunge into the water unless you still in your twenties and mom will welcome you home. It takes an average of 30 to 45 days to close most deals. That’s the soonest you will get a commission check, if you had an executed agreement the first day. We’ll discuss ways to hit the ground running in the next few pages but the reality is that you want to have some reserves set aside to cover your expenses. Again, pen to paper is the best way to keep everything clear. It is often a wise choice to ease into the business and have a few closings under your belt before severing the ties with the old source of funds. This could put some physical and time constraints on you for a while but this is much better than the effects of emotional and financial strains of lack of income. Now that we’re in reality mode, let’s get to work on leveling off the peaks and valleys and establishing income security. The most successful actors and athletes have a script or game plan that they rehearse and practice until they have it perfect. It may need to be modified slightly as it all comes together but the success is in the practice and the consistency. Just as it is with actors and athletes, successful real estate people have a plan and they work their plan. The most successful real estate people are “client based” which means they handle the real estate needs of their clients. It is impossible to be an expert at all elements of real estate. You could be awesome at taking listings but weak when it comes to property management. So what do you do if your client needs property management? You introduce them to a quality property manger and you coordinate the agreement. We’ll deal with this later in the session when we talk about your “Dream Team” for now we need to determine where all these clients are going to come from and where a continuous source of clients will be coming from. Referral Marketing The most successful real estate professionals do all or the majority of their business from referrals. A referral client is one that comes to you from another client, associate, acquaintance or friend. “There is know competition for people who know you, like you and trust you” The key is how to develop referral sources and maintain them. The balance of this session will show you exactly what to do and say to develop the types of referrals you want in the shortest period of time.
First, some of the basics: Never sell your family or friends! It’s okay if they ask you for assistance but never offer your services. Never offer to list your friend or relative’s house, never ask if you can help them re-finance their home. Never, never tell a fiend that you could do something better or cheaper than someone else. Why? You don’t want to put your family and friends into the uncomfortable position of saying no to you. One big issue is credibility. Your friends and family know you from your former life; the kid who use to throw rocks or the former employee who brought the bags of coffee and the pens home from work. Don’t feel bad, this goes way back. Even a Prophet isn’t a Prophet in his own back yard, they are just the kid they all knew and watched grow up. Credibility has to be nurtured and earned. It takes time and patience and even then it’s still not a good idea to do transactions with family and friends. That doesn’t mean that you don’t still ask for their help. On the contrary, friends and family can be one of your greatest sources of referrals if they are trained properly. And there is usually no one who would be happier to help you succeed more than family and friends. Develop your plan and stick to it. Marketing yourself takes time. In the beginning your marketing plan must be worked even harder than your education plan. It’s easy to find the answers to technical questions; it’s harder to get a flow of clients to do business with you. When should you get started? Now! Who ya gonna call? Statistics tell us that we each know approximately 250 people. Each of the 250 people we know, know another 250 people. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust, don’t you? This means you already know the people that will help you become totally successful! Plus, they want to help you! All you have to do is let them know what you do and ask them for their help. Do you want the success? Make the list Make a list of everyone you know. Write down their names and phone numbers. If you can’t remember everyone you know ask for help from people you know. Here are some initial examples of categories to list. Friends and family Former co-workers People from groups you are associated with MAKE THE LIST! WRITE IT DOWN! GET READY Just as a professional athlete or an actor practice their plays and rehearse their lines, it is important to know what you want to say when you have the opportunity. We have prepared a script that has worked for everyone that has tried it. It’s simple and gets the point across. To start on your path to success, memorize this script just as it is written. Practice it until it seems natural. Practice it with family and friends and classmates. Say it to yourself in the car, in the shower and every other opportunity until you know it. Say it to at least five new people each day. You can change it in a year if you wish. For now, let this simple script help you open the door to unbelievable success. Say it, say it, say it. EXACTLY WHAT TO SAY THIS IS PHASE ONE of the program. It’s just the introduction but it’s critically important and ties into the next phase of the marketing plan. Hi, I wanted to let you know I’m in the real estate business. I help people buy and sell homes and I need your help. I’d like you to be one of my referral sources. If you hear anyone that could use my services, please ask them if I can give them a call. This is what you might hear: I’d like to have a bigger house; this one is not big enough for us. I wish I had a vacation home. My children are getting ready to start school; I don’t like this school district. My children have all graduated and I would like a smaller house. If you here any of these comments, PLEASE DON’T GIVE THEM MY CARD! Ask them for their phone number and ask if I can give them a call, then call me. How many people do you need to say this to each day, each week and each month? That depends on how much money you want to make. It’s a numbers game, but the numbers change the better you get. You will soon begin to realize who the more effective people are to say this to. It may not work as well if you say it to the grocery store bagger as it would to the minister at church, but after you have said it many, many times you’ll begin to know who is a better referral for you. The more you practice, the better your delivery and the more credible you will sound. This does not have to be people on your list only. But once you have said it to someone, try to get their name, address and phone number to make contact with them the following week as will be discussed in Phase Two.
Who else should you talk to? Who else could be a referral source? The answers are limitless. The more people you say this to, the more business you will get. How much fun do you want to have? The spa broker One individual (let’s call him Joe) who is an expert at referral marketing enjoys the lifestyle he has always wanted. He is independently wealthy and now has real estate holdings that more than cover his living expenses, vacations and toys. His day begins at the local gym where after a work-out he holds court in the whirlpool spa. He discusses current events but it always ends up talking about the local market and housing. Several real estate friends, mortgage officers and others in the real estate business that he has met at the club make it a point to end their work-out in the spa once or twice a week to visit and share ideas. From the gym, Joe meets some friends for breakfast where they have their favorite table informally reserved for them. After breakfast, he checks his projects, most of which are remodeling projects on the homes that he has purchased from his various network sources. He checks in with the contractors then Joe takes their lists of items needed from the local home improvement warehouse stores and delivers it to each job in his pick-up truck. It’s then time to meet other friends for lunch (at another restaurant) again, where they have an informal reservation at a table. After his long lunch, he returns to the job sites and checks on their progress. He then meets with potential buyers or tenants or looks at his next potential purchase. Hours later, you guessed it; Joe is off to drinks and dinner with more friends at yet another restaurant. It’s a good thing he works out as much as he does to stay in shape but he says he has learned to pace himself. Joe said it took him about three years to develop the contacts he has now but he feels he could do it all again in about six months if he was dropped into a new city where he didn’t know any one. The real estate guy for the motorcycle club Another network marketing enthusiast is Greg. Greg is in a motorcycle group; not one of the ones with the tattoos, piercing and grease, more of the pristine fair weather riders who go for weekend rides for coffee and apple pie. Greg loves nothing more than working on his bike in his garage. In addition to his wrenches and ratchets his computer is in the corner and his transaction coordinator is on speed dial. Greg can take a listing or write an offer to purchase in between gapping points and strobe tests. He lets his clients know what documents they need to get together and that someone will be over to pick them up (often on a motorcycle). The next delivery is to the transaction coordinator who follows Greg’s directions to open the escrow, order the appraisal and coordinate the notary to meet the clients and sign documents a couple of weeks later. Greg doesn’t charge as much as many real estate agents but he knows he keeps more money because of his low overhead. All of the bikers from his club and several other clubs use Greg for all of their real estate transactions because they now him, like him and trust him. Most of his business however comes from referrals from these club members who know other people. Is this a businesswoman that’s an athlete or an athlete that does business? Liz is a world class tri athlete. Her training schedule is more rigorous than most professional athletes especially the months leading up to a major competition. Liz didn’t want to get caught up in the sponsorship game so she decided to sponsor all of her events and training herself. Plus, she has a home and a family who provide her moral as well as racing support. Liz meets all of her goals and is able to be completely independent through her real estate sales business. Liz makes it a point to meet as many people as she can at competitions, training sessions and training clinics and keeps detailed records of where she has met them and what events they competed in. This camaraderie for the sport and the understanding that other athletes have in what it takes to compete establishes her credibility as a dependable business woman. Her self promotions and networking bring her more business than she can handle alone. For that reason her husband also works with her on the real estate business, handling many of the day to day details while Liz focuses on training and making new contacts. Pot that one that so what so far as and that’s okay is our head explained and then the lady in black lady that I was and then you this you so is that’s me I okay so this is Network marketing does not have to be hard work; it just has to be worked consistently! What’s your story? What do you like to do? Where do you like to go? Could you start a conversation off by asking “what do you do when you’re not sitting in the spa?” It doesn’t really take as much talent as it does interest in other people. Don’t go into this with the intention to sell them a home or a loan, go in with the idea of establishing a long term source of continuous referrals. When you did the math above, how many referrals would you need each month (that ended up referring you a sale) to get where you want to go? If you come from a position of how you could connect one client with another, it always ends up benefiting you. Your goal is to establish only a dozen or so quality referral sources that consistently send you a client or so each month. Other places to develop referrals The Chamber of Commerce business after hours or business socials The most powerful tool for developing referrals at a business social is to introduce people to each other. It’s a lot of fun and you absolutely don’t have to know anyone before you get there. First, go to the first person you don’t know and introduce yourself. Don’t make this a big deal. Hand them a business card and just say “Hi, I’m Ed, what do you do”? Listen carefully to what they say. At this point your new acquaintance will probably be telling you everything about themselves you ever wanted to know and more. If the conversation ever stalls however, ask some other basic questions like: How long have you been in the area? How do you do your marketing? (Really great question) Where is your office? Who are your customers? How long have you been in business on your own? How did you get into this business? Listen, listen, and listen to all the answers. Find something interesting about this person and figure out who you may know that may be able to do some business with them. Listen carefully; pretend that you will be asked to introduce this person at a business meeting someday. When you feel you can do a very basic introduction, stop the next person that comes along that you don’t know, and simply say “Hi, my name is Ed, do you know John? John is a chiropractor; his office is on Orange Street, what do you do? Listen carefully to what the new person says. Get to the point that you can give an introduction for that person. Ask each how they develop their marketing leads; this always keeps the conversation rolling. Listen carefully and see if any of their techniques would work for your business. Ask simple questions like “what else have you tried?” “which works better for you?” Then, think of a way these two people you have just met could possible do some business together or generate some business interaction. Don’t go crazy with this, it could be as simple as recommending that they get together for lunch or visit each other’s office. The important thing is to help them find a way to learn a little more about each other’s businesses and how they could work together. Take a look at the dynamics of this situation. With little effort you have performed a valuable service. You have helped break the ice between two people and opened the door for them to share referrals. You did that: and they will really appreciate you for it. Here’s where the dynamic part comes in. Tell your new acquaintances that you can see where they may be able to come up with several ways they could work with each other to develop more business. Be sure you have each of their business cards and say “you two keep working on this, and I’m going to come back and check on your progress”, then leave. You will often hear one of them say “wow, this is great, did you pay that guy for this?” The really great part is that both of these people feel anxious, even committed, to be sure to find you a referral! And you didn’t even need to ask! Imagine, helping others to help yourself. Has a nice ring to it. The next step is extremely important. The very next business day, call each of these people and tell them what a pleasure it was to meet them. Ask them how it went with the others they met. If it’s convenient, visit the offices of your potential referral source(s). Learn more about them and their business. The more you know about them, the more the comfortable they will feel with you. Don’t make the mistake of selling your referral source! As a matter of fact it’s almost better to avoid selling your services to a referral source. You want them to want to bring you leads, not feel pressured or awkward when they see you to list their home for sale or re-finance their house. Referrals are like your personal sales force; however, you pay them with kindness, attention and referrals, not cash. This method will work every time you try it. If ever things slow down a little, get back to the basics and attend a business social. Have fun with this.
PUT MEETING PEOPLE INTO PERSPECTIVE