First off let’s get the negative out of the way by discussing the don’ts in your business approach. Our attitude is a choice. Let’s not complain about the economy, or our real estate production or company. Let’s not wait for things to change. Let’s not wait for our finances, the market, or our marriage to change. The best approach is to create the change by putting our creative thoughts into the challenge and jumpstart the change in our lives.
There are gimmicks out there in the market place for getting ahead fast, easy, no effort but as Thomas Edison said, “Success comes dressed in overalls and looks a lot like work”. Don’t avoid the difficult called prospecting because you are afraid of rejection. Successful people know that out of hard work comes the gratifying joy of accomplishment. The farmer’s adage of “you reap what you sow” also holds true in real estate prospecting.
Don’t give up easily. If you are in your first 2 years of creating your new career whether real estate, mortgage lending, appraisal, home inspection, you are a neophyte. If you were to go back to college and start out a new career, it would take you at least four years or 48 months, so why not give yourself the requisite time of at least 2 years to be established in your new career. I am told we can equate it to working out. We don’t expect to lose all the excess weight we gained through a few months of workouts. It must be continuous and a lifestyle. So is prospecting when you are in the sales profession.
Step #1 in your dynamic approach is to set your personal business goals. You must know your hourly worth based on your projected annual income and expenses. You need to know how many annual units you need to produce. You must know how many personal contacts per day you must make in order to have the numbers work in your favor to complete your business goals.
Step #2 is mastering the fundamentals. In sales the fundamentals are prospecting everyday for a minimum of 2 hrs. When asking successful persons how many hours per day they prospect it ranges from 2-4 hours. Practice makes perfect and negotiating techniques and closing the sale techniques are fundamental to our sales training. I highly recommend using scripts until the response is second nature and always sincerely delivered. Here are the components of a good script:
It must be short so you can remember it.
It should flow with ease, sounding authentic and natural.
It should be “spot on” which would move the client to make a definitive statement to buy, list, and agree to your services. Scripts give the winner confidence. You are ready for most situations as you have practiced them in your mind or with a friend. Therefore, the information flows effortlessly. Scripts help you to avoid a bad first impression since you are not stammering with uncertainty. When practicing with scripts be sure and notice your body language since it is as important as information coming out of your mouth. A partner can observe this for you. You want to come across relaxed, succinct, and educated. I believe practiced scripts also help the salesperson not to make promises, guarantees or mistakes and this helps limit your potential liability. You have been practicing your scripted responses and you are prepared with purposeful answers.
Step #3 to your dynamic success is advertising your name, your business. You must always be visible and top of mind with your clients; in a short time they can forget that you want their business. Professionals in the advertising arena warn against too much “easy advertising” which means impersonal or E-social media forms. They also warn against relying on direct mail pieces that do not have the handwritten “pen” approach. The right combination is e-delivery via facebook, blogs, twitter, email, only 1 time for every 1 time personal touch. Multi-channel marketing is the direction where you incorporate e-delivery, direct mail, and personal or direct marketing. The use of all 3 methods brings the percentages of success from ½% to 10% return.
When advertising always use the words that are proven to work. These hot words are “you, money, health, guarantee, free, easy, quick, and using the client’s name in the advertising”. There is no need to stray as these are proven verbiage to put in any of your media advertising tools and approaches. When advertising you and your business services, the use of a clear, professional picture is mandatory. Don’t undo your image of honesty, trustworthiness, and ethics by posting an unprofessional pose on your social media sites. Have 1 site for friends and 1 site for business and don’t allow the two to meld. With all media tools you are always asking yourself “is this going to bring me business or harm my business?” The best form of advertising is still the most inexpensive, your time. Advertise you and your services by being present for events, volunteer groups, meetings where you are actively participating. Your voice, your image, your credibility is offered to your prospects by your presence. Always ask for their referrals. “I am in real estate, here is my card. If you know of anyone wanting to buy, sell or lease, please give them my card. May I send you my credentials or my personal brochure?”
The 4th step to success is an outcome of the above. Winners are time managers. Prospect, show/sell, close. Those are the three activities an agent should be doing every day. Therefore, if you are not showing or going to a closing, you are prospecting. Don’t allow a successful month distract you from prospecting. Often, when a few months are busy with showing, selling, or closing, agents don’t do the prospecting. It results in loss of gross sales revenue in 30 – 60 days. One must always make time for prospecting to keep the pipeline flowing with business. Another distraction to an agent’s day is e-social media. Keep track of the hours per day you are spending on impersonal activities. Keeping in mind you need both personal and impersonal activities for sales success stories. Hire help for tasks that do not provide a return on business. These tasks being e-blasts, housekeeping chores, mail outs, etc. However, when you are new to the business and the funds are not coming in, you have to do all things in order to save money while you are waiting to make money. This is called, “doing what it takes” for sales success. Time management means realizing your management plan may change from time to time based on your necessary activities. If it’s the end of the day and you haven’t sent out your 3 -5 handwritten notes, you just stay at your desk until you get it done. This means you are “doing what it takes”. It always pays off in dividends.
The last step for dynamic success in your business plan, Step 5, is energizing your career. People want to be around those who are full of enthusiasm, have a positive outlook and make those whom they surround themselves with feel good about their plans, purchases, and goals. When your buyer is ready to build/buy, or that seller is ready to list, you couldn’t be happier for them. Show it, say it with enthusiasm. When a prospect tells you they are going to lease for the next year, you couldn’t be happier to help them find the right house to lease. It makes for a win-win and sales successes for you. Winners consistently do the right thing in the right way and their fine reputation leads to referrals. Winners put energy into their relationships and they are always seeking improvement.
Rita Santamaria is the owner of Champions School of Real Estate. Champions has campuses in Houston near Galleria, West Houston near Hwy 6 and I10, Dallas/Plano, Coppell, Austin/RoundRock, San Antonio and On-line Campus Campus. For more information, www.ChampionsSchool.com; Rita was recently named by Houston Women’s Magazine as in 50 Most Influential Women in Houston; Activerain.com as 25 Most Influential Women in Real Estate;2007 Texas WCR Entrepreneur of the Year.