Engaging on Facebook

I’ve had a number of questions lately about Facebook and how would I recommend an agent “Engage” people on the site. Well, the short answer is “It Depends!” What do you want to accomplish? If you want to post your listings to other agents, then you need to have as many other real estate agents as your friends as you can. If you want to engage your LOR (List of Relationships), where most of your referrals are going to come from, then you need to have them as your friends.

Try this . . . create an A+, A, B and C list in Facebook and categorize your Friends, just like you do in your database. Then, every week, go into the A+ and A Group and look at each of their posts to see if there is anything that you can “comment” on or engage them with. Look for signs like, “My mother is moving to Seattle” – BAM – Engage and get the referral. or signs like, “We’re having a baby” – BAM – larger home needer – Engage and work on the business. Remember that these are your A+ and A groups so they will more than likely refer to you anyway, as long as you care and pay attention to them.

You might also share your new listings with this group and ask if they know of anyone that would be insterested in the listing. Keep it personal and not too generic like most of the direct posts from MLS.

The other thing that I would do is post “something of value” at least every 2 weeks. Maybe a link to an article you’ve read about homeownership, low rates, etc… Or something that is going on in the community that you are involved with to show that you are “giving back”.

Spend the time, but not tooooooooooooooooo much time. It’s easy to get lost in it and then your day is shot.

LOR – A Change Taking Place

In the past we have put a lot of stock in what is termed the “Center of Influence”. Some people use circle or sphere of influence. Well, I’ve been reading the Work by Referral book by Buffini and I’ve decided to change my vocabulary, or atleast the acronym, to LOR (List of Relationships). I think it better describes what we need to continuously do with those who are on our list – Build Relationship.

If you don’t have one, start from scratch. You can use the following to help you develop that list:

  • Friends and Family – These are people who are on your Christmas Card list.
  • Current Clients – This group is often overlooked as a referral source.
  • Past Clients – An easy one, but remember, 82% of people who sold a home said they would work with thier agent again. Let’s not give them a chance to forget us.
  • Groups and Associations – These are you church groups, PTA’s, Hobby groups, teams, etc…
  • Business Associates and Networks – Local Chambers, Contractors, Inspectors, Lenders, etc…

For those who already have a COI, the first step to converting it to an LOR is to evaluate the people that are on it.

Organize your list and group the relationships into 5 categories (A+, A, B, C, D)

  • A+ – These are the people that send you multiple referrals a year.
  • A – People most likely to refer you.
  • B – People who would refer you if they were asked and shown how.
  • C – People who MAY refer to you in the future.
  • D – Difficult and Demanding people. I call this the “Ritual Removal Group”

All of the people in your LOR should fall into one of the above categories. Once you have them all categorized, it is imperative that you verify their information is correct (Address, Phone and Email).

There will be more to the story after Labor Day, so remember to take some time off, but also use your time wisely. It shouldn’t take you more than an hour to come up with you names and categorize them. Then starting Tuesday, start verifying the info.

The Annonymous Client

Have you ever wondered why so many people (into the 90 percentile) who are looking for homes, use the internet? Especially when they can utilize a Realtor and have us do most of the work for them? Crazy isn’t it. Well, we’re salespeople, and one of the stereotypes of a “salesperson” is high pressure sales. Most of us have experieinced it. Some of us like being in that environment, we know how to handle it and navigate our way through it, but most people don’t like it at all. They would rather have the “I’m just looking” approach and then if they have any question, they contact you. Which brings me to… (Dum Dum Duummmmmmmm) – The Internet Lead.

When someone’s looking for homes on the internet, which almost everyone is, they remain anonymous, until they need a question answered. Once they ask a question, we have an opportunity to shine to that potential client. We may not know their financial situation, their motivation for buying, how long they’ve been in the market, or when or if they actually plan on buying, but as professionals, part of our job is to provide information to every possible buyer in the market for our listings. The question is this, if you were in a store “just looking” and had a question about a product that you were thinking of buying and yelled “Can somebody help me? I’ve got a question.” and no one responded, would you move on to the next store where they possibly have a similar product? Would you be frustrated? What if someone heard you and said, “I can help, but I’ll get to you in an hour.” How would you feel then?

What if someone came right up and said, “I can help you with that, answer any questions you may have, AND if you’re interested in anything else in this store or any other, I know all about that as well.” Now how would that make you feel? Would you be more willing to work with that person? I know I would. If that’s how we feel over an item that’s $20 – $100 dollars, then how much more would we have those feelings with a $150,000 purchase.

So, I know Internet leads are tough, they come in at wierd times, and sometimes we don’t know what to say, so we just don’t do anything with them at all. PLEASE, Don’t do that. In a market that is slower than we are used to, it is imperative that we handle these leads different than we have in the past.

I would argue, JUST RESPOND. Answer their questions and follow it up with a question of your own, like “Did you know I can answer any question you may have on any home on the market?” If they like you, you’re in.

Just my thoughts. Please comment on this if you think I’m off base, or right on the money, or if you want some further help with what you might say to an Internet lead.

Incredible Potential – the iPad

OK, I finally was given the opportunity to get my hands on one of the new Apple iPad’s. All I can say is “WOW”! This thing is the real deal. It doesn’t take long before you are tapping, typing, drawing, surfing, reading, watching, etc… like a pro. Alot of people say, “well all it is is an iTouch, only bigger”. That maybe true to some degree, but where the iTouch, and even the iPhone are lacking is the screen size.

I’m so excited about the opportunitites that this tool has for our industry, I am already thinking a million miles an hour.

So here’s what I want you to do… sit back, close your eyes (after you’ve read this), and imagine with me. Imagine a world where all you need to do your real estate is your iPad. Imagine your calendar reminding you that you have a listing presentation. Imagine walking into the sellers house and being able to “hand-write” your notes about the property on your iPad. Imagine quickly opening your listing presentation on your iPad and “flipping” through all that you and Coldwell Banker Select have to offer. Imagine being able to present the listing documents that you can fill-in right on iPad. Imagine closing the deal and having your seller’s sign the documents on your iPad and you emailing them a copy of it right then and there. Imagine those documents being copied to your office admin for processing. Imagine the full-color photos of the properties that you can show your buyers at the tips of your fingers.

Imagine, just imagine the potential.

Is all of that possible right now, NO, but will it be in the future…You Bet.

So, as I try to get this thing figured out, stay tuned.

Do you need some Margin?

In all aspects of our life, we need to have “Margin”. Margin looks and feels different for every person, but it is needed. Margin is what keeps us from having the engines burn out, the plane dive and start into a flat spin that we can’t pull out of. What does margin look like?

In your real estate life, margin may be the time you set aside to learn something you don’t know how to do to make you better. It may be going to a conference and be motivated or inspired. It may simply be having coffee with a past client.

In your personal life, margin may be the time you spend at the lake just “chillin”. It may taking a walk with you son or daughter, playing with your grand kids, taking a long-needed trip, or simply dressing up and going on a date with your spouse.

There are lots of other areas of our lives that we need margin. It is critical.

So for Memorial, take some time to have some Margin in every aspect of your life. Rejuvinate, get inspired, spend time with those you love, and come back ready to take on the world.

Buyer Bonus Event – Are You Ready????

Most of you already know that the Tax Credit to buyers is expiring at midnight this Friday, April 30th. It’s been a nice run and we thank the government for do what they could, although we would have liked it to be more. Anyways, Coldwell Banker National and Coldwell Banker Select, locally, are launching the Buyer Bonus Event that will run for 90 starting May 1. I am pumped about this program because it does a number of things.

  1. All buyers can take advantage of this program, it has no income cap or qualifications needed.
  2. Sellers can take advantage of the huge advertising push from CB National (TV Commercials, internet advertising, website, etc…) and the local advertising by CB Select (Select Living, Newspaper, Internet, Yard Signage, etc…)
  3. According to a Tulsa closing company, 70%+ of closings on resale homes have the seller paying for closing costs and almost 100% of new construction have the same. Sellers can take advantage of what they are more than likely going to see on an offer anyways.
  4. Coldwell Banker is the only company Nationally and Locally that is doing anything to continue to spur the market for buyers and sellers.

Now is the time to act. Inform your sellers about the program. We are recommending that they offer 3%, up to $8,000, towards a buyers closing costs, prepaids, etc… It’s really that simple. It does have to be written in the contract, however, so make sure that anyone who brings an offer is aware of it. There is a listing addendum that you office has that can be used. It’s a one-pager (we all like that). Just go over it with your seller, have them sign the addendum and turn it in. You can fax it to me if you want at (918) 392-3742 and I will take care of it.

Shoot, if you have any questions, just shoot me an email at bryan@cbtulsa.com. This is too important of a program and too important of a time not to have your sellers take advantage of it.

I heard a saying once from a wise (code for old) real estate guru that has resonated with me still today. It goes like this:

“If you REALLY believe that your action today will create a positive impact on your business tomorrow, then what are you waiting for?”

Go Get ‘Em

Buyers and Seller – Do You Know Them?

As it normally happens, I was searching for some data on the web regarding real estate companies and I came across a very interested “QUIZ” about whether I knew the current buyers and/or sellers in the market place. Thinking to myself….”Of course I do. I’ll ace this one.” I decided to give it a try.

Here is the link to the quiz: Realtor.org Quiz

My results were – how do I say this nicely without insulting myself – quite interesting.

I recommend you take the quiz, take a look at your answers and then ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do the results tell me about how I listen to my clients?
  • Am I “in touch” with what’s going on in the market place?
  • If you didn’t score well, What will you do in the future to better understand the needs of your clients?

Going into the quiz, I thought I knew ALL of the answers. If you share your results with me, then I’ll share mine with you. Good Luck. It is an eye-opener.

Time Off???

This last weekend was one that I want to quickly forget. The weather was, well typically Oklahoman – SNOW, my wife was at a retreat with her 2 best friends so I had the 4 kids, AND I was so sick with allergies that it developed into Strep throat. As my throat was screaming and my head pounding, the kids were runing through the house, and my wife was relaxing, I was dragging myself through the sloppy mud, sleet pelting me in the face, just to give the animals thier daily ration of sweet feed and hay. At that moment I had a “Revelation”!!!!

Farmers and Ranchers (even small time wanna-bee’s like me) don’t get a day off! If the weather’s bad, you aren’t feeling well, or the rest of life happens, you still have to do what you have to do to keep crops and animals alive, so you can live. Then I realized, Real Estate Agents don’t get a day off either. YOU still have to take listings, meet people, make appointments, show buyers, prospect, follow-up on leads, run ads, send mailings, etc… even if you’re sick, the weathers bad, or life just happens.

However, unlike a lot of farmers and ranchers, we have technology to helps us with that. Technology will never replace the one-on-one interaction that you must have with clients to become and remain successful in this industry, but it can really help, especially when life happens. As many of you know, I’m a big fan of automation. If I can find a way to “set it and forget it”, then I will.

There are a number of things that Coldwell Banker Select makes available to you that truly are “set it and forget it”.

  1. InTouch Mailing Program – sign up for the automatic InTouch and you never have to place another order again. We take care of it for you. All you have to do is keep those contacts current.
  2. HomeFacts – Leads come directly to you from your Yard Sign Calls, Select Living, Newspaper, etc…
  3. Photographs and Virtual Tours – are automatically created on your listings for you. You don’t have to do it, or even think about it. Man I love that.
  4. Website Syndication – Your listings are automatically posted to the top real estate websites (CBTulsa.com, CBOKC.com, ColdwellBanker.com, Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, AOL Real Estate, Yahoo Real Estate, GoogleBase, etc…) AUTOMATICALLY.
  5. Select Living Magazine – Your ads for the Select Living magazine are automatically created in IQOffice for you and submitted for publication. You can change them, but you don’t have to.

So those are just some of the ways that Coldwell Banker Select tries to help you on those days, when…..it’s cold, your throat is killing you, your spouse is out of town, the kids are running amuck, and you have to wade through the mud to take care of the things that must be taken care of. Don’t dispair! Remember, you’re in Oklahoma, it’s going to be 73 degrees tomorrow. 😉

Who’s looking for you?

Everyday I get phone calls from agents that ask a wide range of questions. Some of them are easy for me to answer, some I have to do some research, and others I have to refer to someone who knows more than me about the subject. Well today I get to ask a couple of questions to you….

(1) Have you ever wondered who is viewing your profile pages? (2) Ever wonder how many people really want to know more about you and your ability to sell real estate? (3) Are you doing anything to set yourself apart from other agents?

Here are the answers that you might have thought in your mind (Not really, Nope, What are you talking about), respectively of course. The answers that you should be thinking are: (1) Heck yeah, but how do I get that info, (2) Yes, but how, and (3) I sure want to.

Perfect, now I can work with that. So here are the numbers…Last month on CBTulsa.com over 48,800 profile pages were looked at, so far this month the number is over 42,000 and we still have 2 weeks to go. Year-to-date there have been over 130,000 profile pages viewed on CBTulsa.com. Those are real numbers and they are really big.

My recommendation is to go to CBTulsa.com and go to your profile page. Do you like it? Does it tell the world what you want them to know about you and your real estate expertise? Now, go look at some other profile pages. I know, I know, but humor me, it really only takes a few minutes. Notice any differences, any SIMILARITIES to yours? The good news is you can change what you see, if you want through IQOffice. Simply login and go to “User Management”, then “My Profile” on the bottom of the left menu. There will be a box that you can type in and change what you want it to say to show on your profile page. You can modify the color, size, and layout with the tools provided.

Take the positives from the profile pages you’ve seen and incorporate them into yours. Tell Your Story. Impress me by sending me an email with the link to it for feedback.

Good Luck and Go Get ’em!