Tip of the Week – Coaching

 

Coaching is a great way to increase your business year over year.  We’ve seen some tremendous results from those agents that commit to a coaching program and stick with it throughout the year.  Coaching can come in a variety of forms, but look generally like this:

  • Meeting with coach on some regular basis (monthly or bi-weekly)
  • Go over the items that you committed to doing the previous time you met.
  • Talk about the results of those activities. What worked, what didn’t and what to improve on.
  • Discuss different ideas on how to increase your business. Your managers are REALLY good at this.
  • Help track your results toward your business goals.
  • Talk about life and things that you need to do to create balance.

See, it’s really not all that bad.  AND, we won’t use the word “accountability” either. 😉  It’s coaching!

Video Tip of the Week

 

 

I get asked all the time, “How do I use Facebook to generate dollars in my real estate business?”.  Well, here’s an idea that is sure to get you some results. Send a personal message to 5 of your “Friends” on Facebook everyday until you’ve gone through all of them.  These “Friends” are people that know you and you would consider part of your COI.  Type a message that goes something like this:

“Hi, sorry I haven’t been in touch with you lately.  I am wanting to grow my real estate business this year and I was wondering if you knew anyone who is looking to buy or sell a home this year? Thanks”

You can copy and paste this message to make it easy on yourself.  Remember to send this as a personal message and NOT a post on someone’s wall.

Let me know in the comments below what you think of this idea, or if you try it and the results.

What experience do you give?

How big of a deal is the experience we give our clients? Yep, it’s a REALLY BIG DEAL! Well, how about the experience that we give the agent that’s on the other side of a transaction that we are working? I would argue that that is a REALLY BIG DEAL also.

I recently was on vacation with my wife (5 days with NO KIDS, that’s huge because we have 6 of them) and I received a call on Sunday evening around 6:30pm from an agent that sold one of my listings. OK, it was really my only listing, but that’s another story.  Our closing date was a couple of weeks out, but this agent was inquiring as to when my sellers would be moving the remaining items out of the garage.  So I think to myself, self? What’s the big deal, we have 2 more weeks before closing!?! What came out was, “well probably sometime later this week”. And then it happened, the dramatic pause in our conversation. The agent said, “I guess my closer hasn’t contacted you, because we are scheduled to close tomorrow at 3pm”.  This single statement by this agent caused my experience level to plummet at a rapid pace.  My first thoughts were: When was I going to be notified by YOU, not your closer? Why didn’t my closer know about it? Did you know that not all of the repairs were completed yet because we still have 2 weeks to go? Did anyone ask if it was OK with my sellers, it’s still their house the last time I checked? (done venting).  Needless to say, I had quite a bit of work to do that evening and the next morning to (1) Get the OK from my Sellers to close it – they were actually thrilled about it, (2) hope that they could clear out the garage by the closing time – which they did, (3) Contact Beck Mechanical to service the HVAC system and Carpenter Home Repair to finish up the other repairs on VERY short notice – these guys rock, (4) bring my closer, Charissa Taylor at Executives Title & Escrow up to speed so she can prepare everything – she is incredible and did it all with a smile, and (5) shuffle all of the repair receipts, payments, etc… so we could actually close and do it all this while I’m in a different state (Did I mention that I love my iPad?).

The EXPERIENCE for my CLIENT:  They got everything moved out, signed the closing documents early (thank you Charissa) and walked away with a little more than they thought because of the early closing. My sellers think I can move mountains for my clients (Ok, small hills.)

My EXPERIENCE:  Even though it turned out OK, I thought it was handled poorly.  There were way too many assumptions made by the other agent and their closer with absolutely NO communication at all.  It made me feel like this was their first real estate transaction (which it wasn’t).

Now I’m sure that the other agents clients had a great experience and that any of the issues that came up were pushed on me as not being prepared (I can’t be positive about this, but it’s possible).  It’s easier for us to give our clients a great experience, even when we drop the ball, because we can push the responsibility and the blame to the other agent, because our clients don’t know any different. But what does that do for our reputation in the real estate industry?

HERE’s THE DEAL – At Coldwell Banker Select, we have partnerships with Executive’s Title & Escrow, Mortgage Closing Services, and AMC Mortgage for a reason, to give our clients the absolute BEST EXPERIENCE they can possibly have when either buying or selling a home.  We have more control when these companies are utilized and we have ZERO control when an outside company is used.  These partnerships also help us look and perform more professional to our counterparts on a transaction.

So when you think about how you are going to provide the very BEST EXPERIENCE to your clients AND to the other agents that you are working with (because both are a BIG DEAL), make sure you have partnerships with companies that can get it done for you EVERY TIME!

Feel free to leave a comment or 3 or 4 on any other similar stories that you may have had (Good or Bad).

What’s in store for 2013?

I get asked all the time about “What’s the latest technology or marketing tool out in the market to help me have a better year in 2013?”.  With the speed that technology changes along with the habits of the public, that’s a VERY difficult question.  There are lots of great devices and software packages out there to use, you just have to take the time to learn them and understand how to apply it to your business.  BUT, the very best tool that a real estate agent can have in regards to technology is an “I’m not scared of that and I’m willing to try it” attitude.

Technology will change in the future! I’m certain of that.  The devices and individual items we either choose to use or not to use will come and go with the times, but our attitudes about how we handle this change is what’s important.  I remember when I started using the Motorola Q phone and I could actually get my email and surf the web (well, an 1/8th of a page at a time).  I got so used to navigating it that I resisted what was happening all around me.  Then, the perfect storm hit, my IT Director needed a replacement “Q”, so I gave him mine and I got an iPhone.  WOW! what a difference.  Not that I now, cant’ live without it, or even that it was life altering, but it allowed me to easily do things that were once difficult and time consuming.  Blogging on a mobile device is one example.

So I don’t think there are going to be any “out of the park” new devices that we can’t live without in 2013, but I think more and more people will have that “Ahh – Haa” moment in 2013 that will get them thinking about technology in a different light.  I also thing that there is no 1 expert in all things tech.  You will see more idea sharing and discussion training in real estate in 2013 than ever before.  For example, it doesn’t do an agent any good (except to impress your client) to do a transaction completely paperless, when the agent on the other end of the transaction doesn’t know how to handle and communicate what to do on their end.  So bringing up the level of use of technology is important for all agents to make your life easier.  So if you know how to use technology in a specific way and rock at it, comment below and we can see about setting up a class for you to teach.

Other than that, comment below and let me know what you want me to help you with this year regarding technology.  I’m still learning too, so let’s make 2013 exciting!

Watch your P’s and Q’s

I wanted to share a story about an experience I had on Facebook.  The political season is over and it really seemed to get heated over different points of view.  If you know me, I won’t shy away from a good debate, but some of the things that were posted were just plain ‘ol nasty.  And you know what your mom used to tell you growing up… “If you’ve got nothing good to say…”.

Well, I think the same thing should apply to what we do and how we interact with our “Friends” on Facebook.  Our opinion is our opinion, but in a lot of cases, it is better for us to keep our opinions to ourselves.  So here’s what goes through my mind when I’m catching up on what’s going on on Facebook.

  1. I am a pretty black and white kind of guy (as most of you know).  There’s not a whole lot of room for fluff with me, although I do have a secret compartment in my brain when I try to jam 10 pounds of fluff in a 5-pound box. A 5-pound compartment is all my “A-type” will let me have.
  2. I am interested in what you have to say about a variety of things, as are most of your “Friends”.  If they weren’t then your status would be hidden, or worse yet, you would be “UN Friended”  Noooooooooooooo.
  3. In business, I like to deal with clients that I feel are going to be a pleasure to work with.  As a client, I like to work with service providers and vendors who I know will be honest and care about helping me grow the business.
  4. To me, character counts in a BIG way.  When you post something about your family, kids, ideas, thoughts, the last party you went to, why you like or don’t like something or someone, etc… it gives me a little glimpse into your character.
  5. I like to do business and help people that have similar character traits as me.

I could be way off base here, but in my very “A-Type” world, I believe that other people feel the same way I do.  So if that’s the case, I want to give this little bit of advice……

“When choosing what to say and post on Facebook, make sure you choose your comments, pictures, rants, etc… that are becoming of your character.  Because they show your character even in the smallest of ways.”

Now, I’m a big fan of using Facebook and social media outlets for business, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.  And if you are in the real estate business where ALL of your friends and their friends are who you want as your clients, you have the distinct privilege of always being “on the clock”.  Remember that people need to trust you before they do business with you.  Don’t give them a reason not to trust you.

There you go.  I would love to get some comments back from you on your thoughts, so let me know.

5 Tech Tips

So I want to make sure that I not only post cool Tech Tools and information on my blog, but also some practical ways to use technology to increase your business right now and into the coming year.  Here are 5 things that you can do right now to help you finish strong in 2012 and set you up for a fantastic 2013.

  1. Ever wonder how you use Facebook to increase your business, today?  Send a personal message to 5 “Friends” a day.  Let them know you are updating their contact information (get their email address).  Also, don’t forget to ask for the referral. See my previous blog post.  Remember, you won’t get the business unless you ask for it
  2. Need an easy, online photo editor?  Try out PicMonkey.com  It allows you to adjust colors, size, rotation, clarity, crop, etc… all in your browser.  It’s fast and easy. 
  3. Set up your Drip Marketing for 2013 during this time of year.  Include an email letter the 2nd week of January thanking all of your COI for the business they sent you in 2012.  See sample letter on IQOffice (or click here).
  4. Spice up your emails in 2013 by using video.  Eyejot.com allows you to use your computer, iPhone, or iPad camera to quickly shoot a message and send it to a client.  It’s a very impactful way to get your message across and your clients will remember you for it.
  5. Learn 1 new thing a week.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the “Tech” that’s available to us.  To the point that we just lock up and don’t do anything about it.  As my kids would say, “Dad, Chillax!”  Take a breath and remove the pressure to do all of it all at once.  Just learn 1 new thing a week about IQOffice, Profiles on Websites, How to run and use Reports, your SMARTphone, iPad, etc…  In a year from now, you’ll be teaching classes on this stuff.

These are just a few tips to put in your tool bag.  Remember, I can share them with you and even train you on them, but I can’t make you use them.  If it’s going to be done, it has to be done by you.  Now GO GET’EM!

Remember to post your comments on my blog.  Thanks

Facebook Idea

I have thought myself and get asked a lot by agents on how to utilize Facebook to get business.  Well, as you know, Facebook is a SOCIAL media and we need to better understand that it’s really not a great place to force feed our business to our “Friends” when they are out there to just be social.  Makes since to me.  So how do we use this “Billion User” system to help us grow our business?

First, you have to remember that Facebook is a perfect place to engage your COI efficiently.  You can post an idea or question and it gets immediately exposed to potentially hundreds of “Friends”.  Also remember that your “Friends” are more likely to engage you, if you engage them.  You have to “Like” a lot and “Comment” on people’s posts.  This will help with your “EdgeRank” on Facebook (Look that term up on Google, you will sound like an expert if you can understand it).

So here’s an idea that anyone can do to better engage your COI.  What if you sent a personal message to 5 of your “Friends” every day on Facebook and said something like:

“Hey! I have been updating my contact info and I would love to have your updated phone number, mailing address, and email. Periodically I will be sending out real estate related material and other things like calendars, Christmas cards etc. because I want to keep in touch and to make sure you have my info to contact me with ANY real estate needs. As you can imagine, the real estate business is hard work and I appreciate your help! And as always, if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call/email me with their name and number and I will follow up and take great care of them. Thanks in advance!”

I’m pretty sure that, with a consistent effort, this will increase your referrals from your COI.

Just a thought.
Remember to post a comment if agree, disagree, or just want to share your thoughts.