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??


Active Listing Systems

November 17, 2009

Coming soon!

Guest instructor, Associate Leadership Council Member – George Belleville, led our Active Listings Systems class last week.  George is an expert at creating and implementing systematized processes to maximize efficiency and get results.  The class was extremely informative and a lot of fun . . . all of the systems will be uploaded and posted within one week, along with a course outline and more information.  Stay tuned . . .

Listings

Listing Systems


A Purposeful Approach to Social Networking

October 15, 2009

Been successful, but not as successful as you could be?  Do you have a huge list of ideas just waiting to be implemented?  Do you know what to do . . . you just need to do it?  You have probably been operating on your natural abilities, meeting fair success – and never stretching yourself by adopting new systems that are outside of your natural comfort zone.  Sound familiar? 

We’ve all been there . . . in fact, it’s so common that there have been several book written about it (Good to Great, by Jim Collins; Good is Not Enough, by Keith R. Wyche, etc).  Gary Keller calls it “E to P”, or, “Entrepreneurial to Purposeful.”

Purposeful

Many Realtors utilize their Entrepreneurial abilities – their enthusiasm, their “name badge as conversation starter”, and the tried and true traditional methods of marketing that they have seen other Realtors practice for years.  It’s what they know.

I have seen reasonably few Agents truly focused, in a purposeful and meaningful way, on communicating consistently and effectively with their Sphere of Influence.  Let’s break down a typical Sphere into target groups, using two complimentary methods.

SOI Bulls Eye

The SOI Bulls Eye

Your Sphere of Influence is made up of three groups:

  • Have Mets
  • Inner Circle
  • Advocates

Your Have Mets are comprised of anyone you know, by face or by name, but don’t have relationship with.  Their number’s probably not in your cell phone.  This is likely to be approximately 40% of your SOI.

Your Inner Circle contains Family, Friends, Past Clients, Allied Resources, Co-workers and others that you know more closely than the Have Mets.  It has a wide range of relationship types and is likely 55% of your SOI.

The Advocate group is typically 5% or less of your SOI, but it will generate more than 50% of the referrals you receive every year (when they are treated right).  Advocates have some unique characteristics:

  • an Advocate likes or respects you
  • an Advocate believes in the services you provide
  • an Advocate likes to be “in the know”
  • an Advocate is well placed to provide referrals

In your communication with these 3 groups, the language, approach and style should vary with the audience.

SOI Pie Chart

Break It Down

Within your Inner Circle, you can break the audience down further into the following major groups, as seen in the pie chart:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Past Clients
  • Past Co-workers
  • Neighbors
  • Industry (Allied Resources) & Local Businesses
  • Other Agents

The most balanced and effective Lead Receiving strategy will consider each of these audiences and reach out to them in a way that speaks their language.  If your friend receives a form letter that was also sent to local business owners, they may question your intent.  Conversely, sending a casual note to both family and also neighbors you hardly know may seem a bit forward to the neighbors.

If you have decided to begin a blog, you will need to first consider which of these audiences you are speaking to.  Often you can include several audiences with certain subject matter.  Blogs are meant to be virtual “communities” and can’t be all things to all people.

 “Viral” is a Good Thing?

In the world of Social Networking, “viral” describes the virtual word of mouth that occurs when something is passed from one person to another through social media applications.  If your content is relevant, interesting, funny or wild . . . it will likely find its way in front of thousands of people.  Think about the NAR studies which reveal that the average person will know at least 5 people who will either buy or sell (or both) real estate in the next year.  See below . . .

Friend Leverage

Simple math tells us that a relatively small SOI of 100 people will contain a direct link to an average of 500 Buyers and Sellers each year!  The million-dollar-question has always been “how do I get my SOI to refer me to their 5?”

Social Media just might be your connection to those 500.  Not only can you add many of them directly to your own SOI; your sharable, relevant content will likely get passed along from your friend to their friends . . . making the connection for you.

New Commandments

  1. Thou shalt use Social Media to connect with your SOI
  2. Thou shalt divide your SOI into audiences
  3. Thou shalt create content that is relevant to your target audience
  4. Thou shalt make your content easy to share

What else??  What are YOUR absolute rules to follow in connecting with your SOI??


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?


Million Dollar Business Plan

October 8, 2009

“Plan your work, work your plan”    “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”    “Who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at their door”

Follow your plan to reach success

Follow your plan to reach success

With all of the warnings out there about the importance of planning, why is it that so many Realtors begin their careers and each subsequent year without a specific, measureable, action-focused plan in place?
My guess. . . many people aren’t sure what to include in their plan – where to start. 
 
Session Two – Business Planning and Goals covered the critical areas of a Real Estate business plan, and we boiled it down to number of Listing Appointments and Buyer Appointments needed each week for every individual in class.  We also created our personal Expense plans, as well as our Cost of Sale projections.  The Powerpoint can be found HERE.
To create your own Financial Business Plan, download the calculations sheet HERE and follow the mathmatical signs.  If you are unsure of your conversion ratios, use 85% and 65% as you go down each column (Listings & Buyers) where directed.  More information on this sheet and accompanying documents can be found at www.MillionaireSystems.com.  Once you have your Annual goals, divide by 12 for your Monthly goals and divide again by 4 for Weekly goals.
 
Goal Tracking
Keller Williams Realty provides monthly goal-tracking via our Company Intranet.  Our KW Associates are encouraged to go mykw.kw.com > coaching > goal entry and enter your goals in each of the categories provided.  This information is taken directly from the Financial Business Plan sheet and the web site will compare your goals versus your actuals every month, as well as YTD figures.
 
Time Blocking
Once you know WHAT, you will need to determine WHEN.  The best method for keeping yourself focused on those key activities is Time Blocking.  This method simply allocates a set amount of time in your daily and weekly schedule to work on each of your key activities.
Although there are dozens of activities that are important, I would break it down to 4 main categories.
     1) Plan/Prep Time
     2) Face to Face Time
     3) Education Time
     4) Lead Generation Time
 
Plan/Prep time includes all administrative duties such as data entry, creating presentation packets, maintaining records, etcetera.
Face to Face time is time spent working directly with clients – showing property, listing appointment, price reduction meetings, buyer needs analysis, etcetera.
Education time should be used to take classes (in person or virtual), read up on industry news, preview properties and understand your local market.
Lead Generation time is where you focus on growing your network, communicating with your Sphere Of Influence, prospecting, marketing and follow up.
 
Put it on a calendar
Lead Generation, as the most important activity, should make up 50% of your time allocated to working on your Real Estate business.
Face to Face time should be 20%.
Plan/Prep and Education should be 15% each.
 
For example:  in a 40 hour workweek you would allocate 20 hours for Lead Generation activities, 8 hours for Face to Face time, and 6 hours each to Plan/Prep and Education.  (newer Agents will likely have increased Plan/Prep and Education time and reduced Face to Face time as they build their business)  These are targets to aim for, if your numbers are slightly different it’s probably okay.
Note:  Since we “work to live” rather than “live to work”, make sure you put your personal and family activities on your calendar first!
 
Getting Specific
Now that you have time blocked for generic categories of activities, you should spend time each week (I prefer Monday morning, to get myself focused on the week at hand) allocating specific activites for each time block.  So, for “Education” time you might enter “research single family sales in Farm Area for 3rd Quarter” or “attend Go FAR class.”  Having your calendar filled out with specific activites which are focused on your core business needs will keep the random, unimportant stuff from creeping into your day . . . IF you stick to your schedule.  From time to time changes will need to be made “on the fly” – but remember the golden time blocking rule: “If you erase, you must replace!”
 
How do YOU feel about Time Blocking?  What works best for you and how do you use it to stay focused?
 
Our next session will reveal the key methods of Lead Generation as well as some information that just might shock you!