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Archive for Systems for Real Estate

How to Get Consistent Referrals Month After Month

Consistent Referrals Month After Month

Now that the busy summer buying season is slowing down, focusing on getting new leads is more important than ever. It’s no secret that referrals are one of the most important sources of new leads for Realtors®. What may be more unclear is how to get referrals consistently, month after month.

The vast majority of consumers are willing to give a referral right after a transaction. How you ask, and how you follow up on your request, will make all the difference in actually getting those referrals.

Have Value Discussions

Value discussions are times when you sit down with your client and check in to ensure that they are getting the value they are looking for from working with you.

Many times as Realtors® we assume that if we do our real estate job, the customer will automatically be happy. But unfortunately, we’re missing the fact that each customer has different expectations.

Instead, sit down periodically with your clients and ask them if they have any concerns, and then ask them what they love about working with you. When you get them thinking about you in this way, they are much more likely to share that with others.

As an example, a manager asked Louisiana financial advisors to schedule 12 value discussions with clients in a six-week timeframe. The 14 advisors who did so generated 132 referrals from those discussions alone. It’s powerful!

Make Asking for Referrals Part of the System

You almost certainly have certain processes you follow in your business. For instance, you might gather certain information about someone before showing them a property or prequalify a new buyer before showing them a dozen homes.

You can set up referral requests to be part of your system as well. Make it part of the checklist – after closing, contact the customer to ask for a referral.

When you make it part of a system, you’ll be much more likely to do it 100% of the time. And that means you won’t leave money on the table by forgetting to ask.

Ask Multiple Ways

People are busy. They don’t always see a specific request, and even if they see it they don’t always respond the first time.

When you ask in multiple ways, you make it easier for the customer to say “yes” and actually refer someone to you. So, send an email, and then follow up with a postcard. Finally, when you deliver your closing gift, ask in person.

By using three different methods to ask, you’ll be not only reminding them of your request, you’ll be giving them three different opportunities to answer in different ways. No matter how they are comfortable communicating, you’ll hit it!

Give a Specific Context

Too many Realtors® ask very generically, “Do you know anyone who needs a Realtor®?” Many times, even if they do, your customers will say no.

Why?

Because it’s out of context! You’re asking them to think of the whole universe of people they know and figure out who might need a Realtor®. Instead, make it very easy:

“Do you know anyone that you work with who has talked about moving lately?”

Now, they have context. They can think about folks they talk to at work and think about who has discussed moving. You’re much, much more likely to get a yes.

Obviously, you can choose the context that makes the most sense to your client. If they don’t work, ask about their parenting group, or church, or whatever type of community they are most active in.

Getting consistent referrals month after month isn’t rocket science. It’s a matter of talking about the value you provide, asking for referrals 100% of the time, and using different methods of communication. Finally, ensure you give your clients a specific context.

Get started today – order postcards to ask for referrals. Add that to email and in-person requests, and your referrals will be consistent and profitable!

How to 10X Your Production in the New Year

Multiply Realtor Production

As winter comes upon us, most Realtors® are facing the slowest time of their year. In a way, it’s nice to have time to spend with family during the holidays, but for many Realtors® it’s nerve-wracking as you wonder how the bills will get paid through the end of the year. But what if you didn’t have to worry? What if you already had enough in the bank to easily weather the slow season?

As we approach a new year, it’s natural to start thinking about new goals, new approaches, and new strategies. Here are some ideas that you can use to 10X your real estate production in 2016.

Focus Ruthlessly on the 20%

The Pareto Principle states that 20% of your activities create 80% of your results. The first step to 10X your production next year is to be ruthless about focusing on that 20%. During this slow season, write down the things that really help you hit your lead gen and appointment goals. Then, brainstorm ways to outsource or delegate everything else.

This may seem unrealistic, until you realize that hiring a VA can get you the help you need very affordably. A VA can go through your email for you and only forward you the important ones, which keeps you from getting sidetracked on meaningless things. You can also block social media on your computer during the work day, and use a written schedule to block out time for your lead producing activities.

The bottom line is that every hour you lose to candy crush, cat videos, and meaningless emails is an hour of business building you can never get back. Focus ruthlessly on the 20% of valuable activities, and cut everything else out. You’ll be amazed how much your business will grow.

Use a Written Schedule

I’m as guilty as anyone of having “shiny object syndrome”. However, when you want to 10X your production, you need to stay on track. A written schedule can do that for you. Only schedule time for things that build your business, not for goofing off or non-valuable activities.

The first step to using a written schedule is to set written goals for yourself. If you 10X your production this year, how many leads does that equal? How many appointments? Then, break those numbers down into 10 months – not 12, because you want to really zero in on activity during busy months and leave space for slower times. Then, set weekly goals based on those monthly numbers.

Once you have your weekly goals, build your daily to do list with those daily goals in mind. How many contacts do you need to get your daily lead number? How will you achieve that? With a focused schedule each day, you’ll be making daily progress toward reaching your 10X production goals.

Choose a CRM and Work Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with folks in less time than calls and door knocking. By having multiple databases, you can keep up with each group in a personalized way. Automation is key here – be sure to use a system that allows automated follow-up, because typing 50 emails a day is NOT value-added.

My favorite system, as you may know if you have read many of my blog posts, is Infusionsoft. It allows amazing customization and segmentation, and I’ve gone from following up with 70% of my leads to getting 100% without fail. That has done wonders for my business, and I know it would yours as well.

If you already have another CRM, though, just use it. Make use of the tools you already have, segment your database, and follow up regularly. I suggest having three groups: sphere of influence, new leads, and other agents. Each of these groups would require a different follow-up structure – set it up to be automated, and you’ll rarely have to mess with it!

Create Systems for EVERYTHING

The last piece of advice for 10X your production next year is to create systems for everything. When you have a system, it allows you to hire help without having to lose tons of time training people in order to maintain your quality. Anything you do can be documented and made into a system. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • What’s the process a new lead goes through? Regardless of source, you can make sure all of your leads get high quality service.
  • What’s your process for preparing for a listing appointment?
  • What’s your process for onboarding a new buyer client?
  • What’s your process for onboarding a new seller client?
  • What’s your process for following up after a sale?

As you sit down to do this, it may seem overwhelming because so much you do needs to be systematized. However, this is really an amazing opportunity, because every system you create helps you save time, energy, and money while growing your business. Systems are an essential key to creating any significant production growth, especially when you grow enough that you need to hire additional staff.

Deciding to 10X your production next year seems audacious, but by following these four simple steps, you can definitely achieve it. Focus ruthlessly on the essential 20%, create a written daily schedule based on your goals, work your CRM and email marketing, and create systems for everything. During the slow season, make a plan – and next year, rock that plan!

Which of these tips would mean the most in your business? Share in the comments!  

How Realtors® Can Create Systems for Success

Realtor Systems for Success

None of us have enough time or mental energy to think carefully through every decision we make. Some decisions are worth a lot of thought – like whether or not to invest $1000 into your marketing. Some decisions are not – like whether to wear the red shirt or the blue one. Knowing the difference is a key to success.

You may be thinking that I’m being silly – no one wastes time on what color their shirt should be. (Oh, but we do…) But I’m making a broader point. Having appropriate systems is essential for success. Systems that automate what can be automated and leave you time – and energy – for the places that your personal touch matters.

Here are some specific ways that Realtors® can create systems for success.

Have a Daily and Weekly Routine

It can’t be emphasized enough how important routine is when it comes to handling the mundane portions of your life. When you go to bed, when you get up, how you prepare your family in the morning, and much more can be made easier when you develop a routine.

When you have a routine, you know that certain things are going to happen without fail. You don’t have to think about it, and you can easily tell others that specific times are booked. Some of the things to include in your routine could be:

  • Going to bed at the same time every night, and getting up at the same time every morning. This routine alone will give you tons of energy and help your body be ready for the day’s challenges.
  • Preparing for the week on Sunday night, and preparing for each day the night before. Whether you lay out clothes, check for key appointments, or prepare your breakfast or lunch ahead, you’re positioning yourself for a much more successful day.
  • Realtors® seem to always be on the go, and yet we rarely get real exercise. Scheduling specific time in the calendar for exercise is a key part of success – it will keep you healthier, help you burn off stress, and improve your focus.
  • As Realtors®, we don’t get vacation days very often. But we can schedule specific downtime into our days and weeks. Put it on the calendar and protect it as strongly as a client appointment. You need to refresh in order to be your best.

Use Technology That Solves Specific Problems as Part of Your System

It’s easy to buy technology that promises to make you better, faster, and more efficient, but do you have a specific problem that you’re solving? Does it fit into your existing work system? If not, the money is better used elsewhere.

When you buy technology, be clear on what problem it’s solving and exactly how – and when – you’ll implement it. Add the technology to your existing systems. When you have a clear goal and plan, you’ll be much more likely to reap the rewards of your investment.

Too many Realtors® spend a lot of money on tools to become more effective, and then never implement the tools. Obviously, this won’t make anyone more successful. Technology is an amazing boon to the real estate industry, but only if it’s the right technology for your specific practice and way of doing business. Invest wisely, and then implement promptly!

Automate Lead Follow-up

Speaking of technology… the tools we have available that allow us to do personalized, automated follow-up are unbelievable. As you know, I personally use Infusionsoft and have seen my lead follow-up reach 100% and my business growth explode as a result. I invite you to give it a try yourself.  But even if you don’t use Infusionsoft, you need to create a system to automate lead follow-up.

Remember that follow-up can be automated without being impersonal. A referral from a friend shouldn’t be treated the same way as a lead from the internet, but both can be automated. It’s just a matter of personalizing your system in the right way, and using different email campaigns for different types of leads.

You can’t afford to have leads fall through – a fail-safe system will make sure that you stay in contact with everyone you meet, whether it was yesterday or three years ago. You never know when someone will be ready to buy or sell.

Systems are an amazing way to reduce the drain of certain types of decision making. You can create routines and habits that make your daily and weekly tasks easy to execute. You can adopt specific technologies that fit your work systems. And you can automate your lead follow-up to make sure you’re not leaving any money on the table. These systems will help set you up for tremendous success.

What systems do you use that contribute to your success? Share in the comments!