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Improving Your Communication Skills as a Realtor®

Communication Skills

Are the kind of Realtor® that people love to work with?

A lot of times, we spend a lot of energy determining what kinds of clients we want to work with. But we don’t always put a lot of focus on becoming the kind of Realtor® that draws in ideal clients.

One key to being an in-demand real estate agent sounds simple, but is harder than it seems.

How do your communication skills stand up? 

What Are the Vital Communication Skills?

If you think returning calls and emails on time is the core of good communication, you’re partly correct. But there’s more to it than that. There are a lot of other skills that are a big deal to your clients.

Communication abilities to cultivate include:

  • Verbal communication, including tone and choosing the right words
  • Written communication, including email and social media
  • Non-verbal communication, such as facial expression and body language
  • Listening skills
  • Empathy and emotional intelligence

If this list surprises you, you’re not alone. Many agents don’t realize that all of these are an essential part of the job – and a big part of why they are (or aren’t) chosen to represent clients.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication isn’t just about returning calls on time, although that’s part of it. It’s also about what you communicate through the words you choose, the tone of voice you have, and how you deliver your message.

There are good time and bad times to deliver news, and knowing the difference will make you someone clients love to work with. It’s also important to have a good “bedside manner,” to borrow a phrase from medicine. Do you calm clients, or are your harsh and rough?

It’s also vital not to ever talk down to clients and make them feel foolish. Even if they have a silly idea, answer them with respect and gently share a better option. You should never be condescending, even though you are the expert.

Written Communication Skills

Expressing yourself in writing is an area many real estate agents struggle with. In writing, things like tone of voice and facial expressions don’t come through, so it can be easy to be misunderstood. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling can also be challenges.

In today’s real estate world, you can’t escape written communication. From social media to email marketing to writing listing descriptions, you simply have to master this skill.

The good news is that you don’t need an advanced degree or an education in literature. In fact, there are quick and easy ways to boost your writing skills every day. Take advantage of every opportunity!

Non-Verbal Communication

Your body language and facial expression say things you would never put into words. You’ve got to be careful when you’re talking to prospect, clients, and colleagues to be very aware of what you’re saying without opening your mouth.

Even a quick roll of the eyes, sigh, or checking of your watch can make someone feel foolish or unimportant. If you’re someone who speaks unpleasantly through your body language, it won’t matter what you actually say. No one will want to work with you!

On the other hand, an open expression, facing the person who’s speaking, and other inviting postures can do a lot to portray empathy. A confident stance can give your listing presentation more authority. You can portray that you are someone who can be trusted without saying a word.

Listening and Emotional Intelligence

Learning to listen, really listen, can be one of the hardest communication skills of all. So often we’re lost in our own thoughts, thinking about what we want to say next, or disinterested in what another person says.

An incredible resource for learning to listen well is the book Just Listen by Mark Goulston M.D. The author shares how simply developing your listening skills can help you get through to everyone about anything!

Emotional intelligence and empathy play a big role in learning to listen as well. You have to honestly care about what someone is saying, and want to help them solve the problem their facing. Whether that means helping a prospect buy or sell a home or helping a colleague with tips for an open house, emotional intelligence makes you someone folks want to work with.

Ready to Communicate?

Of course, you don’t just use communication skills in person – your real estate marketing speaks for you as well! Make sure it’s professional, personalized, and perfect for your brand.

If you’d like help creating postcards, business cards, or other materials, we’re here for you. Contact us today!

Improve Business Productivity: Eliminate Distractions

Business Productivity - No Distractions

The word we’ve been using at Printerbees a lot lately has been MOMENTUM. We want to help agents build momentum and keep it going throughout 2018.

At this time of year, with the Winter Olympics around the corner, the word MOMENTUM makes me think of bobsledding.

You know how they get started on the icy bobsled track? The team stands outside the sled, takes a huge running start, and then all jump in. From there, it’s just about steering and not losing speed along the way.

I think winter is a PERFECT time to get your real estate business up to speed. If you can get a running start now, by spring and summer you’ll be in the “sled”, steering and not losing momentum!

One Big MOMENTUM Killer: Distractions

When a bobsled team navigates the track, there are many twists and turns. If they don’t handle them correctly, they can lose speed, or worse, get turned over and dumped out of the sled.

In the same way, there are twists and turns daily in your business. If you want your spring and summer to be smooth sailing, you need to be prepared for these. You can start practicing now, and by the time the busy season hits, you’ll be more than ready.

The biggest MOMENTUM killer is distractions. Especially in slower times of year, it’s easy to build up the habit of being distracted. There doesn’t seem to be pressing work to do, so why not play one more round of Candy Crush, or check Facebook one more time?

Unfortunately, these distractions will become habits, and when the busy season does hit, you’ll find it hard to focus on your business productivity.

Boost Business Productivity by Killing Distractions

How do you get rid of distractions? They are so tempting!

One thing to start with is understanding why we get distracted in the first place. There are two main reasons – the fear of missing out (FOMO), and the dopamine hit we get when we see a new message or win a game.

Redirecting FOMO

When it comes to FOMO, it’s all about thinking that other people are doing or saying things that you will miss if you focus on work. It’s why we all obsessively check Facebook and email when we should be doing other things. We are afraid we’ll miss something important!

Instead, think about the things you might miss out on if you don’t make your goals. Do you have a vacation planned, or a fun time coming up this weekend? If you aren’t focused on business, you may miss out on these things – you’ll at least miss out on some of the fun because of the guilt you’ll feel.

Redirect the FOMO to be about what you might miss if you don’t focus on your work during work times. This can help you stay focused and away from other distractions!!

Creating Rewards for Productivity

One of the reasons we’re so tempted to play one more short game or check our messages one more time is that completing a task causes our brains to release dopamine, which gives a sense of gratification and enjoyment.

Instead of pretending that’s not true, work with that urge to boost your MOMENTUM and business productivity. Break your work into small tasks and reward yourself – even with just a small sticker – every time you finish.

In this way, the dopamine and gratification will help you move toward your goals, instead of away from them!

Balance Work and Play

Now, I am certainly not advocating “all work and no play.” Instead, think of it more as “work hard, play hard.” During work time, be totally focused by eliminating distractions. Then your fun time will be wide open and guilt-free!

People who are “workaholics” are unfortunately celebrated in American culture. However, it’s not healthy and does not keep your momentum or success going strong in the long run. Those who work but never play face burn out and grow to hate what they do every day.

Instead, balance work and play! Get your farming postcards ordered for spring, set up a calendar for mailing, and then take a break. Go for a walk, stretch, or get away from your desk for a bit.

Then, come back and refresh your business cards with a new photo and reach out to some prospects online. Just keep taking the next small step toward your success.

Your brain will egg you on as you complete each small task, and by the time the busy season hits, your MOMENTUM will be unstoppable!

How do you boost business productivity and eliminate distractions? Share in the comments!

Better Together—The Mastermind Group

Today, we are featuring a guest post from Christel Silver, Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty!

Real Estate Mastermind

The concept of the Mastermind Group was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900’s. In his timeless classic, Think And Grow Rich he wrote about the Mastermind principle as: “A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.”

A mastermind can make a huge difference in your real estate business. Here’s how to set one up, what to share, and an example from my own experience!

How to Set Up a Mastermind Group

The ideal size of the group can be anywhere from 4 and 6 members because if your meetings are 60 to 90 minutes long, everyone should have enough time to talk. You don’t have to be from the same area – you can meet virtually!

It is not a networking group. This group helps one another to achieve success.

It is not about a facilitator coaching each member. It is about sharing with each other and empowering one another. Everyone in the mastermind is unique in skill, experience, and connections. They are interacting and sharing any challenges.

The group decides the agenda.  At the end of each meeting, the topic for the following meeting is discussed.  You challenge each other to set goals and share your accomplishments. The group helps one another in making wise decisions.

In my group we discussed customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Each one of us was searching the Internet and exploring the possibilities and then reported why they liked one over the other at our next meeting.

Yes, you could Google this yourself – but the brainstorming, interaction, discussion and creative thinking would not be available.

The Benefits of a Mastermind Group for Real Estate

The group helps with creative ideas and wise decision-making. Then, as you begin to implement your plan, you bring both success stories and problems to the group and problems are solved through peer brainstorming and collective, creative thinking.

The biggest value of a mastermind group is that in an instant, you have multiple minds using their brainpower to help solve your individual business problems. It’s very much peer-to-peer mentoring and if you are lucky enough to get invited to one, you will most likely see a marked change in yourself and your business.

Whether you are invited to join an existing mastermind group, or start a new group, you’ll love what this group process can help you accomplish!

What to Share at a Meeting

Here are some suggestions to ask your members when holding a meeting for your new group:

  • Share one thing that is currently working really well in your business activities.
  • Share one thing you are struggling with.
  • Share one resource, such as a blog, podcast, service, product that you believe the others in the group would appreciate knowing about.

An Example – My Mastermind Experience

I have been a member of a mastermind group for about 3 1/2 years, and it has shaped my life and my business, besides becoming close friends with the group. We can openly discuss our concerns, successes, and frustrations – without being criticized.

Our members – all CRS’s  (Certified Residential Specialist) are Clark Niblock from Texas, Joanne Fraser and Jeff Dowler from California and Silvia Dukes and myself from Florida.

We have created a real estate agent marketing Think Tank. We get together once a month via a conference call and when possible in person at real estate events we all attend.

Silvia Dukes, our newest member, says “As one of the newer members of the mastermind group, I appreciate the different perspectives every member brings to the group and the topics we discuss. I find it beneficial to know how things are done differently across the country and maybe even apply that knowledge to my own real estate practice.”

Clark Niblock says, “My monthly interaction with these fellow agents inspires, encourages, enlightens, challenges me and keeps me focused. Each of these 5 successful agents come with very different individual and geographic perspectives, professional insights, and career achievements. I absolutely believe this consistent think tank agent interaction facilitates and increases sales performance plus helps me objectively evaluate and quantify the real estate Supermen’s team sales results.”

Joanne Fraser shared, “Even working in totally different market areas with different challenges and real estate procedures, we find common ground to help each other.”

Jeff Dowler says, “Participating in a Mastermind with other top-producing agents from other parts of the country over the last 3 1/2 years has been tremendously rewarding, personally and business-wise. It’s been an excellent learning experience to find out what others are doing as far as marketing, lead generation, pricing, and multiple other business topics, and to try new strategies that are working in our respective markets which are quite diverse. Our Mastermind has blossomed into a very personal forum where we can all share our concerns, frustrations, questions, and ideas to obtain feedback and input from others in a positive, supportive way, without fear of criticism. Not only do we learn new things, but also we learn about ourselves and our personal styles that contribute to our successes and help us improve the real estate industry. Lastly, we have become very good friends who are there to help each other out, whenever needed.”

What about you? Can you benefit from a mastermind? Try starting one in the new year – it’s a great way to set yourself up for success in 2018!

 

Christel Silver is a full-time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. The National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) President appointed her (2010-2014) as the President’s Liaison to Germany, where she grew up and worked at the Justice Department for 17 years prior to coming to this country. Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information visit www.silverhouses.com.

 

We want you to have every chance to succeed and make 2018 the year you break through and reach your goals. Check out the resources we have available today!

5 Small Things Successful Realtors Do Every Day

This post may contain affiliate links. We truly love, use, and recommend the best!

5 Things Successful Realtors Do Daily

Many times, we think of success of something that happens in one big event. We get a killer listing and get an amazing payday. A Realtor® gets coverage in the news, and suddenly they have great visibility and tons of new clients.

The truth is, though, that success is something that happens in little steps every day. The “overnight” achievements that we see are the results of hundreds of small behind-the-scenes actions. Day after day, here are the habits that can bring you the wins you’re looking for.

Consistent Marketing

If you think of marketing as something that only happens when there are major events in your area, or a monthly newsletter to send, you’re missing out.

Marketing happens on dozens of ways. You can:

  • Interact on social media
  • Plan your next farming postcard outreach
  • Set up an automated email series
  • Network with people in your neighborhood
  • Participate in volunteer or committee work

Anything you do to build your brand and develop clients is marketing. But it has to be intentional. Make marketing a daily habit, and you’ll be well on your way to success.

Invest in Professional Growth

When was the last time you read a book or took a class designed to make you a better Realtor®? If it’s been awhile, it’s time to develop a new habit.

If you’ve read the Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents, you know the importance of a morning routine. Part of that morning routine is reading.

Read things that help you develop your mindset. Read things that help you understand your market. Take classes to hone your social media skills, negotiation, and email marketing. Whatever you do, invest in professional growth every day.

Prioritize Tasks & Manage Time

Being productive is a habit. It requires you to focus your time and attention on one thing at a time.

This kind of concentration doesn’t come naturally. It takes practice and a daily routine.

Some habits you can use to build productivity include:

  • Prioritize tasks that bring in leads and clients
  • Time blocking
  • Managing your energy
  • Manage your social media time well

Is managing your time a daily habit? If not, you have a lot more success available to you!

Serve Others

Being of service is not just something we do for our clients. Being of service can be a daily habit, and should be if we want higher levels of accomplishment.

How can you adopt a mindset of service? Look for ways to serve your coworkers. See what you can do to help your friends and relatives. If you pass a stranger who can use help raking their yard, stop and help!

When you focus on service, you’re opening doors of opportunity. Remember not to define it too narrowly. Who can you reach out to today? How can you make serving a daily habit of your life?

Take Care of Yourself

From exercise to proper nutrition, taking care of yourself is the final key habit of success. Every day, you should do something that makes you better, mentally, physically, and emotionally.

If you’re interested in ideas, here are some things I know that help:

  • Meditation
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating healthfully
  • Working out regularly
  • Time in a bubble bath or hot tub
  • Getting a massage

Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. It does, however, need to be part of your daily habits.

Habits help your daily activities take less of your decision-making brain power. When you can create small, positive habits that move your life and business forward, you are unstoppable!

 

How to Be a Better Realtor® Next Year Than You Are Today

Better Realtor This Time Next Year

Sit back for a moment and think about your real estate business. Are you improving? Are you growing? Or are you just barely making it, surviving from moment to moment?

Unless you’re planning to get out of the real estate business soon, it’s important to be a better agent at this time next year than you are today. The question is, what steps can you take to improve your skills? And where can you find the time?

Find the Time to Grow with Routines

There’s an incredible book series called The Miracle Morning, and they’ve produced a book specifically focused on real estate agents. The key with Miracle Morning is that it shows you how to create a routine. Part of the morning routine is taking time to read self-development books and journal the insights you gain.

A routine of any sort allows you to save your mental energy for important decisions in your day. They also create habits that streamline specific parts of your day, which save you time and help you incorporate new practices – like becoming a better Realtor®.

Read Books That Help You Improve

There are so many books you can read that will help you grow and develop as a Realtor®. The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller is a classic and worth reading more than once.

You can also read books that help you focus on mindset, such as The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and Reinventing Yourself by Steve Chandler.

Finally, reading books that help you with the skills you need to be a great agent will also help you grow. Two of my favorites are Just Listen by Mark Goulston and The Go Giver by Bob Burg.

Take Action on What You Learn!

There’s only so much that learning will do for you. What’s vital is to act on what you learn. There are three ways to approach this.

The first way you can act on new insights is to pick one thing every day that you want to bring into your day. It can be an insight you gained in your reading time during your morning routine, something that someone mentioned to you the day before, or anything else you’d like. By taking one new action a day, you can test new ideas and see what works for you.

The second method involves creating new habits. If you have something you’d like to do on a regular basis, work on incorporating it into your life by stacking it with an existing habit. For instance, after you walk into your office every day, do your new action first, before starting with the rest of your day.

Finally, you can focus on trying to be 5% better in one area today than you were yesterday. What can you do to make your marketing calls 5% better? How can your social media outreach be 5% better? How can your farming efforts be 5% better? By becoming just 5% better today than you were yesterday, you can get incredible gains over the course of a year.

 

I’d like to hear from you – what are you doing to be a better agent at this time next year? Head over to the Printerbees Facebook page and let us know!

The Five Best Books for Realtors® in 2017

Best Books for Realtors® in 2017

Real estate agents rarely have time to breathe, much less read. However, you have to find a way, because failing to continue learning and growing is not an option if you want to succeed in real estate.

Often, the slower winter months are a great time to grab a book or two and focus on you – your business, your personal growth, your mindset, and more.

With that in mind, here are some ideas for books you could read this month before the spring and summer season start to heat up!

(This post contains affiliate links, but only because I TRULY believe these books will have a great impact on you!)

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent

I’m going to start right off the bat with one of my favorite books, and one I recommend to agents all the time: The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.

This book is incredible because it combines the reality of real estate with the systems, mindsets, and practices that will get you where you want to go. If you’re focused on making 2017 the year you lift your business to new heights, this book is a must.

Your First Year in Real Estate

Your First Year in Real Estate is a great book if you’re just getting started in real estate, but it’s also a good reminder for veteran Realtors®.

Author Dirk Zeller will help you set important career goals, combine online marketing with traditional print methods, develop essential professional relationships, and more.

If you’re new to the business, or if you’re stuck in a rut, this could be just the boost you need.

The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents

I have a good friend whose life was absolutely transformed by The Miracle Morning. Author Hal Elrod talks about how to actually become and stay a morning person, the morning routine that will start your day on the right foot every time, and how to apply it all to real estate.

If you’re tired of rushing out the door with minutes to spare every day, give yourself the mornings you deserve. Grab The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents, take notes, and start practicing. You’ll be amazed how much your days will change.

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing

If you’re ready to attract a whole new kind of client and grow your business in new ways, The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing is where you start.

Investors buy and sell frequently, and getting a reputation as an investor’s Realtor® can help you have consistent income all year long. Word-of-mouth is powerful in the investment community, so once you’ve built a reputation, you’re in great shape!

Best of all – this book is free!!

2,001 Winning Ads for Real Estate

Do you struggle writing copy for your listings? 2,001 Winning Ads for Real Estate is your ultimate cheat sheet.

Take a look at what has worked for other Realtors® in a huge variety of markets. Each chapter is broken down by location, size, style, terms, and specific features. No matter what houses you’ll be selling this year, they’ll move faster when you know exactly how to advertise them!

Keep in mind that these ads will not work word-for-word with today’s advertising standards, but the book will give you great ideas for timeless ways to describe features and tell the story of a home. Human nature stays the same – people buy for the same reasons they always have.

What Are YOU Going to Read?

Five options give you a bit of variety without being overwhelming. No matter where you are in your career or what you will face this year, one of these books is in a position to make a difference.

So, the only question left is – what book are YOU going to read this month? Let me know in the comments!

How to Be the Realtor® Others Want to Work With

Realtor Others Want to Work With

I ran across an article the other day describing what a home seller should look for in a Realtor®. There were a variety of criteria about how to find a Realtor® who will give you a good experience in selling your home.

It really made me think about how often we, as Realtors®, think about being the Realtor® our clients want to work with. Of course, we all know that most clients don’t interview very many real estate agents before they make a choice. But that doesn’t let us off the hook.

Are you someone a buyer or seller would want to work with? Here are some ways to be sure.

You Still Have Your Fire

Real estate is TOUGH. You lose time with your family, and it can be hard to have anything that resembles a work/life balance. The old saying, “I only work half-days, and I can pick whichever 12 hours I want” really applies.

In addition, there’s a lot of pressure to say “Everything is great!” about your business when it really isn’t. You want to be positive in front of everyone because you never know who might be planning to ask you about selling or buying a home. That false front takes a toll.

Finally, feeling like you have to justify your value every time you make a pitch can get very tiring. You care so much about the outcome, but you have so little control.

All of this makes it easy to lose your passion. However, a real estate agent that’s just going through the motions isn’t someone a buyer or seller wants to work with. Fortunately, there are ways to reignite your fire if it’s going out.

You’re an Expert

It’s much easier to become a real estate agent than it should be, really. By studying the laws and passing an exam, you can put out your shingle. Of course, it takes much more than that to be a quality real estate agent.

To be a Realtor® that stands out, make sure you’re an expert on your target neighborhoods. This doesn’t just mean knowing the market values, it means knowing the events, new stores, school systems, and more.

Find ways to be present in your target area, even if you don’t live there. Volunteer, shop in those areas, walk your dog in target neighborhoods, and join local associations. Be as connected as possible, and be a real expert. It will make you stand out from “book-knowledge” agents and clients will want to work with you.

You Use a Mix of Marketing

Some clients will simply not hire you if you don’t have a website. In fact, without an online presence, a significant portion of your possible customers won’t even find you!

At the same time, don’t overlook the importance of great print marketing, especially Just Listed and Just Sold postcards. There’s less competition in the mailbox than anywhere else right now, and that makes Realtors® who use print marketing really shine!

When you can point to a clear mix of marketing techniques, a potential client will have much more confidence in you as an agent. It will help them understand your value as well as helping them realize that you’re well-prepared to sell their home for top dollar or help them find the home they’ve always dreamed of.

You Have Great References, Online Reviews, and Testimonials

Referrals can be a huge source of business for successful real estate agents, but references, reviews, and testimonials are just as important. If someone hasn’t heard of you before, or has only met you once, why should they believe you’re a quality Realtor®?

Someone who is looking to hire you is likely to research you online before they call. When you have great online reviews and testimonials, they’ll be much more likely to want to work with you. One great idea is to have a happy client do a quick video testimonial right after a deal closes. Their enthusiasm will be contagious!

One thing that’s important is making sure that your reviews and testimonials are recent. If your last great review is a client from three years ago, prospects will wonder if you’ve been in business since! If you make asking for a review part of your process, you’ll make sure that you’ll always have recent testimonies.

You’re Easy to Get Along With

There’s good news and bad news on this one. The good news is that you don’t need to change your personality type in order to be a successful Realtor®. Different types of clients need different types of real estate agents, and no matter what your personality, there are clients who will click with you.

The bad news is that everyone has bad habits that need work in order for them to be truly easy to get along with in a professional transaction. Here are some traits you want to develop to make others more likely to choose you as an agent:

  • Empathy. You don’t have to be emotional or mushy, and you don’t have to ask for a list of your client’s woes. However, you do need to be able to respond empathetically to others even while you move the conversation back to business.
  • Perspective. Think about the transaction from your customer’s point of view. You may buy and sell houses for a living, but if it’s their first home, they’re probably scared. Combine this with empathy, above, and help them feel understood and comfortable.
  • Listening. Are you constantly trying to multi-task, checking your phone while your client is talking to you? Do you feel the need to have an answer for everything, and plan your response while someone is talking? Active listening is a skill few people have. If you develop it, you’ll be great as an agent.
  • Communication. Agents get frustrated about a lack of communication from clients, but it goes the other way too. No matter how busy you are, don’t “ghost” on someone – that is, don’t stop answering messages in a timely manner. Be a great communicator and make sure the client knows what to expect every step of the way.

Being a great agent isn’t easy. However, these five traits help make you the Realtor® others will want to work with. If you can develop them all, you’ll stand head-and-shoulders above your competition!!

If you’re ready to set up your marketing mix with some great print marketing, Printerbees is your go-to source. We have dozens of templates and professional designers who can help you customize anything you need. Contact us today!

How a Realtor® Can Best Manage Time

Realtor Time Management

As a Realtor®, you’re often required to wear many hats. Between marketing and promotion, generating new leads, showing houses and taking the time to follow up with your clients, sometimes it can feel like your job is never ending.

And this is especially true when you’re not managing your time properly.

But…what can you do about it?

Are there any tried and true time management methods out there for Realtors®?

The answer is most definitely yes – and here are some of my favorite time management tips.

Use Time Blocking for Scheduling

At the beginning of your week, take the time to not only create a loose schedule but actually assign specific blocks of time for everything that you need to get done. For example, maybe you need to be spending 5 hours a week on marketing efforts. In order to accommodate that, try scheduling out an hour-long chunk of time each day (from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. for example) and commit to only working on marketing-related tasks during that hour each day. Or, if you’d rather work on marketing for a longer period of time, dedicate one 5 hour block of time once a week, on Tuesday afternoons for example, and stick to that. The key is to be consistent and stay committed to your schedule.

Designate Time for Lead Generation

However you choose to spend your time, there’s no denying that lead generation is one of the most important things you’ll do to help your business grow. But as a Realtor® with a busy schedule, it’s easy to put off this off in favor of easier tasks – even when you know you shouldn’t be putting it off. So in order to combat this, set aside an hour every day to focus solely on lead generation tactics – whether that be cold calling, reaching out to past clients, following up with warm leads, replying to email leads or however else you generate leads. Stay focused during that hour and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by other tasks. Leads are the lifeblood of your business, so you need to make sure you’re dedicating proper time for generating them!

Only Answer Emails and Voicemails During Certain Times

Going along with the concept of time blocking, set aside time each day to check emails and listen to voicemails instead of doing so dozens of times throughout the day – something that is sure to distract you from whatever task you were supposed to be working on. If you’re worried about people thinking that you are ignoring them, try setting an autoresponder on your emails and a personalized message on your voicemail letting people know that you will be responding to emails and/or phone calls at 10am, noon, and 3pm, or wherever you want to set your office hours. It may take a little getting used to, but doing this will help you stay focused and get more accomplished in the long run.

Plan Marketing Strategies out in Advance

Instead of constantly having to come up with new marketing strategies and print new marketing materials, try setting aside some time at the beginning of each quarter to plan things out for the coming months. Then, once you have a plan in place, do the necessary things to keep the plan running in advance – like ordering all of your print marketing materials and writing out your blog posts and advertisements. Planning ahead will help you stay focused and on track and also free up time later on to work on additional tasks and projects.

Take a Break from Being a Realtor® from Time to Time

Between evening home showings and weekend open houses, as a Realtor®, your schedule can be a little crazy at times, making time management even more important. With the often sporadic hours, be sure that you’re taking enough time to rest and recharge with family and friends by always scheduling a day off during the week. You need this to keep yourself functioning at the level required for your chosen career, so don’t skimp! And if you have all of your time scheduled out for the week, taking a day to rest won’t cut into the items on your to-do list anyway – they can wait for their scheduled time.

Time management isn’t difficult, but it does take a little practice to get the hang of it. Try implementing some of these tips today and watch how quickly your time management skills improve!

How Easy Are You to Do Business With?

Realtor Easy to Do Business With

Realtors® have many stories about nightmare clients. Clients who say they want to buy right away, but then want to see 24 houses over 2 months and still can’t decide. Buyers who claim to be in great financial shape but then can’t get approved for financing. Sellers who insist on pricing using a Zestimate rather than real market conditions.

But the truth is, buyers and sellers have their own horror stories. They often struggle to work with US, and tell their friends and family about how terrible it is to try to deal with a Realtor®. Why? Because sometimes, Realtors® make a key mistake – they fail to communicate well with clients. As a result, buyers and sellers have expectations that aren’t met, are dissatisfied with their experience, and spread bad press about real estate agents. Here’s how not to be “that Realtor®”.

Set Expectations Up Front

We do real estate transactions every day, but the reality is that almost all of our clients do a real estate transaction once every 5 – 20 years. The industry changes tremendously in that amount of time, and buyers and sellers rarely know what to expect. As a professional agent, our first job is to lay out the process for clients and help them know what to expect, when the waiting times will be, and what the average timeframe is for each part of the process.

You should also share your normal working hours and when the best time is to reach you, along with any days or times you won’t be available at all. When you lay out the process very clearly, and then make sure your client doesn’t have questions, you avoid a lot of heartache down the road. Your client doesn’t have unrealistic expectations, and you have your boundaries. If your client starts to stray outside the lines, you can reign them in by reminding them of the expectations you laid out at the beginning.

Communicate Regularly Regarding Progress

Buying or selling a home is a really big deal to real estate customers, and they get very nervous when they feel their Realtor® has “disappeared” or hasn’t given an update in a while. They may or may not understand how many other clients you are serving, but regardless, they deserve regular reassurance. A simple email or phone call – five minutes at most – can help clients understand if you’re still waiting for someone, or where the process is at the moment.

This doesn’t mean you’ll never have a client who pesters you. However, it will take the anxiety off of your normal clients, who will have more faith in you because you are giving them regular updates on the process. You’ll also build more rapport, which will be a great asset when you ask them for referrals.

Stay in Touch After the Transaction

No one likes to feel like a number, and sometimes Realtors® give buyers or sellers that impression by simply vanishing after a transaction has finished. While it’s true that you have active clients that need more of your time, there’s no reason you can’t check in with your former buyers and sellers occasionally. An automated email system can help a lot with that, as can holiday postcards or other marketing mailings.

If you follow these steps, you’ll never be the Realtor® everyone warns their friends about. It doesn’t mean you’ll never have another difficult client – there’s always someone out there with crazy ideas about real estate. But, it does mean that your normal buyers and sellers won’t become problem clients. When you set expectations, give frequent updates, and keep in touch after the sale, you’ll be doing your part to make our industry look great.

How do you keep communication flowing with your clients? Share in the comments!

The Importance of a Mentor for Every Realtor®

Mentors for Realtors

A mentor – someone who is further along than we are, able to give us an outside perspective, and helps bring out our best – is an essential part of every real estate career. Obviously, new Realtors® who are just starting out should find someone who can show them the ropes, cheer for them, and support them if they struggle.

But a mentor is just as important for a seasoned veteran in the industry. If you want to achieve high levels of excellence, more than simple hard work is required. You need someone who can inspire you to reach higher, help you learn advanced strategies, and more.

Finding a mentor can be a challenge. Fortunately, a simple shift in thinking can help you see mentors where previously you thought there wasn’t anyone – and can help keep you from desperate “please help me!” outreaches to disinterested superstars.

Starting Out – A Mentor for the First Steps

As a new Realtor®, you have a lot of resources available to you. In fact, you may have so many you don’t know quite what to do! You will definitely be advised to “find a mentor”, but you probably don’t know how to go about it. If you have a great brokerage, they may assign someone to you. However, that doesn’t always happen.

The first step to finding a mentor is to think about folks who are just a little bit ahead of you. Not the rock stars, who will likely be too busy to offer a real mentorship – in fact, they’ll probably try to sell you a course or seminar instead. Instead, look for someone you already know – someone in their third year, or someone who does well in your brokerage, and strike up a friendship.

The key to the relationship is not to immediately ask for mentorship. Instead, be helpful to that person. Ask them questions (but not constantly). Find ways to create a win-win relationship. As the friendship develops, you’ll find yourself learning things from them automatically. Over time, you may be able to ask for a formal mentorship, but you may find that you learn a lot without ever doing that. They simply become a wise friend you can rely on.

As a Veteran – Even LeBron James and Serena Williams Have Coaches

As you become more seasoned in the real estate business, you may find that you drift away from asking for help. In some ways this is simply the result of learning the ropes, but other times it becomes a prideful attitude – you feel like you know it all. Or, you may simply feel awkward asking questions because, after so many years, you think you shouldn’t need anyone to lean on anymore. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Everyone in real estate can learn more. There are always more farming methods, list-building ideas, technology tips, and objection-handling scripts to learn. Even more, you need people who can help you keep going when you get discouraged and frustrated, and who can help you see things from an outside perspective. The very, very best in every sport all have coaches. Why? Because they can still learn! Because they need someone who will ask more of them then they ask of themselves. Because they want to become even better than they are today.

As a veteran Realtor®, you probably have a lot of relationships in the industry already. You may not think of these people as mentors, but the truth is, they could be. Just as your most memorable mentors when you were younger were probably people like a teacher, older relative, or sibling, your current mentorships start with already-existing relationships. You don’t need to find a guru – instead, start to focus on and invest in the fruitful relationships you already have.

Everyone needs a mentor – even a superstar. Keep in mind that great mentorships start with existing relationships. Look around at who you know that inspires you, and start to spend more time with them. You don’t even have to have a formal mentorship arrangement to benefit. Just spend time, help them, and listen. You’ll learn a lot, and then one day you’ll be in a position to teach someone else.

Do you have a mentor? Why or why not? Share in the comments!