New and Improved!

February 9, 2010

One of my favorite comedians, Brian Regan, does a bit on the “new and improved” concept – he says, “I don’t think you need the word ‘new’.”  If it’s new, it can’t already be improved – and if it’s been improved on the original, it can’t also be new.  I’m not here to argue symantics, but I like how he thinks!

New and Improved!When MyRealtorCoach.com got started, it was designed to reach out to my own Keller Williams Select Realtors in Maryland.  With three locations and many Associates who cannot make it to a particular class or another, I decided a blog format would best help them get easy access to the information from class.  Additionally, I hoped that some of the local Realtors would get a chance to sample our training and want to see what else we have to offer.  This class (GO F.A.R.) is only one of many classes that we teach locally every week, all year long.

The result?  In less than four months, well over 1,000 unique visitors came to this site; and the attached presentations and documents were viewed and downloaded more than 1,500 times.  I hope that each visitor has found something unique and helpful for your business.

As a result, I have decided to continue this blog with added content from more of our classes.  Our training schedule is more robust than ever this year, as we have added more instructors and broadened the scope of our content to address the full range of needs that Realtors are facing in a changed environment – including information on wealth building and financial planning.

If you’re coming back – welcome back to the “improved” MyRealtorCoach.com!

If you’re a first time visitor – welcome to the “new” MyRealtorCoach.com!

If you enjoy the content – PLEASE leave me a comment on the blog post you find most helpful!  Add your own ideas; together we can make 2010 our best year yet!  Stay tuned . . .

Dave


8 Steps from Buyer Lead to Contract

December 6, 2009

IN GO F.A.R. Session 17, we discussed the 8 Steps in your Critical Path for Working With Buyers.  If  a possible Buyer lead asked you “what’s next?” . . . would you have a quick, concise answer for them?

Writing The Offer

  1. Set the appointment for Needs Anlysis
  2.  Set appointment with your preferred Mortgage partner
  3. Send Pre-Buyer Package
  4. Consultation Appointment – Needs Analysis
  5. Set up “Auto-Search” online
  6. Discuss currrent market dynamics for their preferred property types
  7. Tour homes – only homes that meet their Needs Anlysis
  8. Write an offer

Some clients will require extra steps, such as neighborhood review for out-of-area buyers, or costs of home-ownership for first-time buyers, etcetera.

Are there any critical steps you would add to this??


Master The Buyer Process

December 6, 2009

Through the years, I have heard the unfortunate phrase, “buyers are liars.”  It makes me cringe, for several reasons.  Besides the obvious (if you don’t like people, perhaps another career would be a better fit for you?), this phrase often only serves as an advertisement that the Agent didn’t do a good job uncovering the Buyer’s needs and motivation.

Understanding Buyers

Understanding Buyers

Buyer Systems

Guiding and serving the Buyer starts with the first contact and requires systems and scripts to work toward a successful conclusion.  An overview of the process can be found HERE.   As with the Listing System, the Buyer System begins with an information sheet  – view a sample HERE.

Finding Great Lender Partners

Once you have captured the Buyer’s information, the next step is to ensure that they are pre-qualified by a Lender that you can trust.  Any person you refer your customers to should be scrutinized carefully, because their services directly reflect on your own – and they may cost you business, relationships and your reputation.  I recommend that you carefully interview your potential mortgage partners, making sure your businesses are compatible.  Set clear expectations and understand their expectations of you.  Visit their office, if clients may be meeting them there.  Check out their website, loan application packet and get to know their processors.  Don’t hand over your business to “a nice guy” just because he (or she) is willing to pay for your marketing costs or buy lunch once in a while.

Lead (Information) Sheet, Pre-Qualification . . . then Buyer Agency!  If you get the Agency paperwork signed earlier, that’s okay – just not any later than this point!  Any more work you do should have some guarantees attached to it that you will get paid for your services if they result in a purchase.

Needs Analysis

All of this leads up to the key action step – the needs analysis.  My favorite version, created by Keller Williams University, is found HERE.

This process is the most important piece of a successful Buyer’s Agent.  One of my favorite sayings is, “You can spend the time on the front end, or you can spend the time on the back end; either way, you’re going to spend the time.”

The simple question is: would you rather spend two hours up front, really digging into the Buyer’s needs and how they will live in the home, what is their lifestyle, what are their family needs, what are their hobbies and activities . . . or would you rather spend umpteen weekend driving around,visiting homes that they will never buy?

Dig deep, keep asking questions and you will be amazed at how they lead you right to their perfect home.

What methods do YOU use to help shorten the buying cycle??


Creating Your “Lead Receiving” Plan

October 15, 2009

We spend a lot of time talking about our Lead Generating plans.  For any new business, it is critical to generate leads (new clients); but we often forget to build a systematic Lead Receiving plan that will continuously fill our pipeline with future business.  Without this system, you are doomed to live out the up and down, typical business cycle of: generate new business, serve the customer, close the deal, generate new business.  It’s the “feast or famine” cycle, and it’s stressful and draining.  Gary Keller describes this cycle in his book, SHIFT (see image below).  Today’s powerpoint is HERE.

The Lead Generation Cycle (SHIFT at www.millionairesystems.com)

The Lead Generation Cycle (SHIFT at http://www.millionairesystems.com)

Using Systems To Beat The Cycle

Two systems that have been time-tested by today’s most highly successful Realtors are the 12 Direct and 33 Touch.  These were discussed in our last class and we dug into best practices today.

 

Below are some of the Brainstorming ideas we came up with for your 12 Direct Plan:

Don’t forget the myriad of Social Networking tools available to expand your network/database which could also be included.  Well written Tweets, blog posts and Facebook posts will attract “Have Not Mets” to you as well as get shared by your current network to others you may not already know.

For the 33 Touch, the class came up with:

Don’t forget your out of town family and friends, Allied Resources (industry connections) and other Realtors as sources for referrals.  You should use these tools as a touch system for them as well!

 Utilizing Social Media, and Getting Results!

You know the old saying about a tree falling in the woods with no one around to hear it?  The same concept applies for your Social Media attempts in a community of one. 

 Are you on Twitter because someone told you you should be?  What’s your strategy to increase your Buyer and Seller leads by tweeting?  Have you been strategic about who you are following?

 Did you get on Facebook as a networking and business tool . . . only to trade silly comments with the same people you talk with on a regular basis already?

 Are you spending any time writing a blog on real estate?  Who is reading your posts, do you have an audience?  Is there a community there, where the participants are plugged in and getting involved?

 The reason I’m asking is that I frequently talk to Realtors who are “doing” these things, or “have an account” but aren’t sure how it could lead to more business.  Part of that comes from not knowing your target audience, and using a “shotgun” approach to spewing information out into the black hole of cyberspace.

 Experts far beyond my Social Media knowledge and experience constantly tell us that “Content is King.”  Having something to say that is important to your audience is critical.  To know what that is, you have to understand your audience.  If you are blogging to your BMW Fan Club buddies, you have no way of knowing if they are interested in real estate . . . but you know they like Bimmers!  So blog on BMW – build the relationship and attract others who share a common passion.  When it comes time to buy or sell real estate, they will want to work with their knowledgeable friend who happens to also be a Realtor.  The point is:  stick with what you know and aim your content towards the audience you are looking to connect with.

 Last thing . . . I highly recommend reaching out to some key friends in the target group to help you spread the word of your new blog, tweets or fan page.  That third-party endorsement is priceless and it helps you get plugged into a broader audience.

 Unleash the Power of the Mastermind

Okay, let’s hear it . . . what do YOU use to stay connected with your network???  If everybody leaves a comment, we’ll have hundreds of new ideas to choose from!  Information on specific companies helps too!  What’s your best tool?