real estate coaching: Tips for Staying in Touch without Spending a Fortune - 10/26/09 09:31 PM

In America, we have a fascination with the new.  Ask anyone who works for a city trash collection department.  Tree lawns, especially in wealthier suburbs, are covered with usable furniture and working appliances in need of a new knob or some other small repair.  In some cases, it's becomes cheaper to buy new small electrics than repair them.
There's one area where it is definitely not cheaper to go for the new rather than salvage the old.
In a document entitled "Keep Those Customers Coming Back!," the Better Business Bureau stated businesses will spend roughly five times more to obtain … (0 comments)

real estate coaching: Get a Listing from Everyone You Meet - Part 2 - 10/20/09 11:53 PM
A common technique shared with job seekers is to prepare a 30 second commercial about themselves.  When they make a job call or meet someone they know, they are encouraged to work in the commercial as it give more insight them than saying, "Hi, I am John Jones. I have a degree. Please hire me."
As agents, sometimes we list all our credentials on our websites and flyers without really convincing anyone that we are the best agent for the job!
However, as a knowledgeable expert, you embody just what the name implies. You are more than your written credentials.  You … (42 comments)

real estate coaching: A Look at "Contact Us" - Your Most Basic Call to Action - 10/10/09 03:03 PM
This week we've been talking a bit about calls to action you might use to turn casual visitors into active prospects.  One of the most obvious calls to actions is a plain old "Contact Me" page on your website.  Many times you might have linked to this throughout the site, but in any case you want a site visitor to be able to find this page right away when he or she visit your site.  Putting the information in tiny type at the bottom of the page does not do the trick.  Especially these days, when many wonderful online companies are … (4 comments)

real estate coaching: You Are Not an Encyclopedia! - 10/08/09 10:59 PM
Your job description does not include "encyclopedia."  Even if you are a local area expert, intimately familiar with the properties in your town, you probably do not know how many bedrooms the home at 10764 Adams St. has or know the exact dimensions of the lot at 52 Morrison Ave. without looking it up. 
If you handle a lot of property or do a lot of advertising, you or your staff could spend considerable time fielding information calls about property details.
Here is a case where Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology can be a big help to you.  By dialing a hotline number, … (21 comments)

real estate coaching: Make your Case in your Call to Actions - 10/07/09 08:53 PM

Some things speak for themselves. Or do they?  If that were the case, everyone would vote the sameafter a candidate lists his assets. In fact, politics, and political candidates, generate great differences of opinion among people who hear the same thing or read the same thing listed on a campaign flyer.
Around a political campaign, campaign strategists endeavor to change popular thinking about their candidate.  Part of their efforts are to convert the opposed; there comes a point where they focus on winning the undecided.
Keeping that in mind, no TV ad, no print ad, no photocopied flyer omits the … (3 comments)

real estate coaching: There's More Reasons to Buy that the $8,000 Credit - 10/06/09 11:00 PM

If I were a betting man, I'd say that the homeowners tax credit will be extended.  That doesn't mean it will happen, of course, but the tax credit is hardly the only reason to buy a home.  Interest rates on conventional loans are available starting at less than 5%.  That is certainly a long lasting incentive for qualified home buyers. Add that to that the income tax advantages and the general life-enhancing benefits of having a place of your own, home ownership remains a good choice for many.
While the concept of homeownership sometimes sells itself, real estate agents still … (5 comments)

real estate coaching: Straight Talk on Managing Your Leads - 10/02/09 12:31 PM

Consumers (and I) will tell you that most agents have room for improvement when it comes to following up with leads. It honestly boggles my mind. Research clearly shows that consumers work most often with agents who respond first to their inquiries.
Why do some Agents struggle to sell five homes in a year and others sell 100? Two words: Lead Management.
Frankly, getting leads isn't that difficult. You can generate leads all day and night through your website, advertising, word of mouth, yard signs - on and on. The tougher job is managing leads. In fact, converting leads … (3 comments)

real estate coaching: You Can Live an Extraordinary Life When the Evidence Doesn't Support It - 09/29/09 10:17 PM
A fellow coach, Kim Ades, recently gave a seminar with a provocative title: How to Live an Extraordinary Life when the Evidence Doesn't Support It.  Every time I read that title, I find myself structuring a blog.  Maybe all of us coaches think alike and promote a similar brand of positive thinking, but her title sums up my philosophy.
How do most people measure success in life? With money and prosperity? Fame? Children? A nice home and car?  What is it for real estate agents?  Awards from the franchise? Ever increasing sales volume?  Industry designations?  Invitations to speak at conference?  Regard … (2 comments)

real estate coaching: Making Sure Your Customers Are Really Satisfied - 09/28/09 09:16 PM
Have you ever thought of using a satisfaction questionnaire to keep in touch with your clients? According to Businesstown.com, most unhappy customers will not complain directly to the business they are unhappy with. Instead, they will complain to everyone they know while taking their business to a competitor. To counteract this possibility, businesses are increasingly making follow-up calls or sending out satisfaction questionnaires after a sale is made.  If you go to Walgreen's, Red Lobster, or JC Penney's, you will find a number on the receipt to call to complete a customer satisfaction survey.
You might consider sending out a survey … (3 comments)

real estate coaching: A Heartfelt "Thank-You" Paves the Way to Referrals - 09/25/09 08:51 PM
No matter how old you are, you probably remember what happened every time you received birthday gift from Grandma.  Your mother would sit you down with a box of notes and a pen, and tell to you write her a thank you note.   
These days, the computer makes writing "thank you's" easier and email may have even replaced the mailing phase.  The important thing is that the message was delivered, but an actual thank you note, maybe even handwritten, makes the gratitude seem a little truer. 
How often do you get anything handwritten in the mail these days? How about … (4 comments)

real estate coaching: Your Brochure Should Show You're a Problem Solver - 09/23/09 06:31 AM
When you think about spreading the word about your business, a brochure automatically come to mind.  Even though customers may find out about you and your services on the Internet, when people meet you, they like to come away with something more substantial than a business card.
Brochures can give a good "snapshot" of your business. Aside from presenting your logo and your contact information (address, phone/fax number, website, email address) - business card content- the brochure gives you a chance to tell the client what to expect from you.  It usually lists the things you can do, but offers you … (41 comments)

real estate coaching: Make Your Customers Feel They Need You - 09/22/09 08:50 PM
It costs six times as much to get a new customer as to keep a customer you already have. Anonymous Business Sage
I have heard several versions of this quote with different math.  The point is the same.  Marketing for new customers is more is expensive that developing past or current ones. In real estate, people do not buy homes all that frequently, so you can‘t just work old customers for new business from them. However, they might be ongoing sources of referrals between purchases. This is why keeping in touch with past clients can reap benefits for you.
In addition, … (4 comments)

real estate coaching: Driving Your Business While Distracted - 09/14/09 09:42 PM
Personally, I like to talk on my cell phone in the car when I am not in a busy area.  However, some cities and states have recently banned texting while driving and even using you cell phone while driving.  We've all seen examples of where people cut it too close or made a risky turn with their phone in one hand. Yet most of us are double-minded when it comes to banning such distractions.  We say, many drivers can't handle it - I can.  Or, I need these wasted moments on the road to conduct my business...
Cell phones enable high … (5 comments)

real estate coaching: Labor Day: Time to Refocus for a Great 4th Quarter - 09/07/09 05:16 PM
Labor Day marks the end of summer. In many places, this summer was cooler than usual, which makes it harder to believe than usual that it is all over.
In the old days, when real estate was "normal," fall marked the beginning of a slower season.  Many buyers gear their housing purchases to the school schedule.  This year, with the first time homebuyer's credit, part of the target market is families buying their first home.  Eagerness to get the credit may supercede the desire to wait for a school break!  This means a couple busy  fall months for agents.
For agents … (2 comments)

real estate coaching: Developing the Wisdom of Solomon in Crisis Management - Part 3 - 08/24/09 01:27 PM
When our clients have a crisis, we seek a solution.
We want you to notice that we did not use the word answer. An answer often implies that the person with the problem ended up getting exactly what they wanted. We know from experience that this is rarely true. A professional crisis manager looks for ways to create solutions where both parties may have to give some ground to create an agreement they can live with.
How do you find a solution? One way is to simply ask the parties involved. Use this script, "What do you think the solution is? … (0 comments)

real estate coaching: Carpe Diem as Housing Sales Increase - 08/21/09 04:59 PM
Not every piece of economic news is rosy these days but one thing is true: The housing market is starting to show real signs of life.  Sales of existing homes increased 7.2% from June to July, which amounted to an annualized 5.24 million units. Economists had expected a 5.1 million unit increase during this period so the reality is beating the statistics!  For the first time since 11/05 sales were higher than they were in the same month a year ago, when sales were 4.99 million units. 
This means that despite job losses, continuing foreclosures, and still weak housing prices, the … (3 comments)

real estate coaching: Planning Smart in Lean Times Can Lead to Big Rewards - 08/19/09 01:16 PM
These days, many people are cutting overhead to save money and trying to do it all.  Sounds good on paper but this could be a short-sighted approach.
Let's start with a story. I had a client, an agent who had just moved to a new market, who wanted to make a fresh start with the profession. I worked with her to renew her approach to real estate, one that allowed her to see real estate as a business. A vital part of this plan was to get her to realize she couldn't do it all. So before she started, we agreed … (0 comments)

real estate coaching: Plan Ahead to Chart Your Course - 08/17/09 12:15 PM
For the third year in a row, I have been selected to speak at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2009 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, on Friday, November 13 in San Diego from 2:30-4 p.m.
I am honored and truly excited to be asked to be a returning a speaker at this year's NAR conference. This is a great time to be in real estate with interest rates at an all-time low, young, first-time buyers entering the market with the government's buyer credit incentive, and all indications that the market is turning around. Let me help you make 2010 one of … (2 comments)

real estate coaching: Keep Your Staff Happy and Your Business Stable - 08/16/09 04:28 PM
Yesterday we discussed the importance of keeping good staff. Retaining satisfied staff is more cost-effective than hiring and re-orienting new staff.
Salary is often downplayed in surveys of why people change jobs.  If a job is challenging, co-workers are congenial, and management is supportive, few people would change job for just a dollar or two raise - but few people strive to take a salary cut when they move to a new place.   With agents who may want a better commission or ownership, this dynamic might be a bit different if a lot more money is involved.
I'm betting that money and … (5 comments)

real estate coaching: Stop, Don't Shop When It Comes to your Staff - 08/15/09 09:25 PM
Just because it's an employer's market doesn't mean you should be shopping. 
Retaining top talent within an organization is essential. There are costs above and beyond financial costs when key individuals leave a company. Therefore, companies invested in success must include in their success formula a plan to continually "re-recruit" existing employees, whether you're talking about agents, administrative help, or any of the personnel that make a real estate business run smoothly. While salary is often a factor when an employee decides to begin a new position - salary (or commission structure) generally is NOT the reason that employees leave a … (3 comments)

 

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