Clueless Negotiating

I recently saw a press release about a “new eBay-style platform which allows vendors to bypass agents” being launched by non-bank lender inTouch. The release said that the service was designed to deliver transparency and allow vendors to avoid paying agents’ fees.

Sounds fair enough: I don’t mind competition, and I especially respect good competition.

The founder of inTouch, Mr Paul Ryan, was quoted as saying that one of the great frustrations for vendors and buyers was the lack of transparency around the sales process. Their solution was a “vendor assisted” platform they call “Live Offer“.

A later quote attributed to Mr Ryan said: “Live Offer allows the vendor to see offers from real buyers and buyers know what other buyers are offering“. Continue reading Clueless Negotiating

Are You Doing Your Best

Are you doing your best? A good way to determine this is to look at your TARGETS and your progress toward achieving them.

Your targets should stretch you and they should be based on reality, not fanciful thinking about what you hope to get. Not only should you know how many listings, sales and asking price adjustments you will achieve in the month, you should also have a plan showing where your results will come from. As the result of this plan you will reach, or exceed, your targets.

Is this true of you?

Do you consistently reach or exceed your targets? By comparing your results against your targets, you will quickly see how committed you are. Committed people reach target. And goal-orientated people set targets that stretch them.

Goals, Targets, and then Plans is the three-step process that will almost guarantee that you will consistently reach challenging, yet realistic, targets.

I do not know of many, if any, people who manage to stay focused in the long term without undergoing this process, through which they gain a clear understanding of what they want from their careers and how they intend to achieve it.

Continue reading Are You Doing Your Best

Cut To The Chase

 We’ve just booked Rob Redenbach to present his seminar Straight Talkin’ Teams at our Winners Circle Workshops next month. The reason we engaged Rob is that we want to encourage within our team members a culture of straight talk – ‘cutting to the chase’ – in all communication.

Salespeople who waffle confuse clients and lose business. Salespeople who waffle to their colleagues lose respect. Have you ever noticed how some people say five sentences when a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ would have sufficed? Some people speak a lot but say little. You cannot afford to have team members like that.

Allow me if you will to teach you some words from a unique language that I call ‘Salesperson-ese’.

English question: “What have you got on today?”

Salesperson-ese answer: “Ahhhhhh”.

Continue reading Cut To The Chase

A Leadership Handicap

One of the biggest handicaps we face as leaders is that many of us are really salespeople. We think like good salespeople. Good salespeople, that is.

A good salesperson wants an instant result. It gives you a ‘high’. This is where a lot of us go wrong – we don’t knuckle down and take care of the hard management and leadership tasks that are necessary to our long-term success. We want results NOW.

I know how you feel. It’s like going to a nursery and being told a shrub grows to ten feet fairly quickly. How quickly you ask. Seven years – that long! “How much for one that’s already ten feet tall? I’ll have that one!

Being a good leader is a balancing act. You have to get results now and, at the same time, lay the foundations for your future success.

I’ll give you one example: Spotter Ads. In our Real Estate Agency Management Program we advise leaders to place regular advertisements in their local papers advertising for home owners who may wish to sell to buyers we have on our books. We give specific examples of buyers and describe the type of properties they are looking for.

Continue reading A Leadership Handicap

High, But Not Out Of Sight

Goal setting needs to be done properly if it is going to work. Statistics show that only five percent of people set goals. Those five percent earn more than the ninety-five percent of people who don’t set goals.

Many people believe they have goals, not written down, but ‘in their heads’. This is nonsense. Goals in the head are dreams, not goals. People who refuse to write their goals clearly, with deadlines for their achievement, are copping out. Because their goals are not written down, there is no evidence that they did not achieve them. This is a perfect excuse: nobody will know they failed.

The problem with this method is that it sets you up for massive frustration. When you think you want something and then don’t achieve it, frustration at not getting what you ‘want’ becomes strong and is a negative emotion to carry around with you.

It’s far better to decide what you want, calculate the income required to earn what you want, calculate targets that will bring that income, and formulate plans to reach those targets. From the moment you do this you will feel happier, with a sense of purpose.

Continue reading High, But Not Out Of Sight

The Most Important Journey

Set Smart GoalsLife: it’s the most important journey you can embark upon. Have you mapped out where you want to go during your life’s journey? People spend more time planning their holidays than they spend planning their lives, which explains why so many people drift through their lives, accomplishing very little, complaining how tough life is. Isn’t your life infinitely more important than any holiday you might take? Devote the most earnest effort toward planning your life’s journey and set for yourself worthwhile goals. As we approach the final quarter of 2012,  this is a great opportunity to plan the remainder of your year,  to finish the year with a flurry of results, and to set yourself up for a great 2013.  Set SMART goals.  Set them today. Instead of living with a series of things you might ‘wanna’ accomplish, take time to think about what you truly want from your life. Continue reading The Most Important Journey

Money In The Bank

Database - Money in the bank

What most real estate agents refer to as Marketing is really nothing more than Advertising. Advertising is just one small component of the large umbrella that is Marketing.

Agents place ads on websites, in newspapers, they erect signs, they place leaflets in letterboxes, but all of these are advertising. What other MARKETING do they do? Not much really.

I see agents place ads in newspapers, sit in open houses, and watch as ‘buyers’ wander through the ‘open’.  At the end of the open, they close that property, travel to the next one, open that and… guess what?… many of the same people attend the next open house.

Do you see what is happening here? The agency paid for two advertisements – one for each property opened for inspection – and many of the same people attended both opens.  Continue reading Money In The Bank

Group Your Tasks

Group Your Tasks

A few years ago, my wife bought four-flat pack wardrobes, which needed assembly. These times are not exact, but roughly it took me forty-five minutes to assemble the first wardrobe. The second took around thirty-five minutes, the third around twenty-five, and I finished the fourth in under twenty. The more I repeated the same task, the quicker I got. This is the advantage in grouping your tasks. The more you do of the one type of task, the more efficient you become.

We recommend to leaders that, when they conduct first interviews with prospective salespeople, they conduct at least fifteen on the one day. We caution them against having two interviews on one day, one on another, spreading their interviews over several days.

Leaders that conduct all their interviews on the one day report that by around the third interview they are ‘warmed up’ and much more capable of spotting that potential winner. By grouping this task, they get better at it as the day progresses. Continue reading Group Your Tasks

Expenses and Results

Results before noonOver the years many leaders have said, “My team loves me. They would die for me.”  This was said when the office’s month-to-date results were pathetic. Your team does not have to die for you, but is it too much for you to expect it to sell for you?

Expenses are incurred by a business daily. You cannot ring your landlord and say, “My business is closed for twelve hours each day. Therefore I will pay only half the rent.” While this concept is laughable, there are many offices that, in spite of the fact they accrue Expenses on a daily basis, fail to accrue Results daily.

Commit to one listing result per day. Any office can achieve this. Once this result standard has become a habit, the next stage is to make a sale each day. If you have the stock, this too is possible.

Continue reading Expenses and Results

Meeting Future and Immediate Sellers

How to become a ‘stand out’ with Potential and Existing Sellers.

Two questions that I always include in our sales program, Winning Ways – Real Estate Sales  are “Who wants to sell?” This leads to the second question, “Which property can I list today?”  These questions remind us how important it is to prospect with a clear purpose, to focus on the result we are after, and not the activity itself.

If you find yourself getting plenty of future sellers but nobody who is selling now,  you would do well to remember those two questions.
Before going too far, let’s recap the first question again because it is important. It says, “Who wants to sell?” It does NOT say, “Who tells me they want to sell?” Try this quick quiz:

What, in your opinion, is the purpose of a prospecting call?
  1. To find somebody who says, “Yes, I want to sell now“, or
  2. To find somebody who SHOULD sell, regardless of whether the client agrees with this or not?

Continue reading Meeting Future and Immediate Sellers

Whose Bright Idea Is This?

I recently attended in Sydney a leadership seminar presented by Professor John Adair. He was the first person ever to be awarded a chair in Leadership Studies by any university anywhere in the world. I thought he’d be worth listening to. He was. But only thirty-nine other people agreed. There was hardly anyone in the audience.

Late last year I attended in Brisbane a seminar presented by John Maxwell, in my opinion one of the best speakers and writers on the subject of leadership. I thought that he, too, would be worth listening to. I was right. Again, however, the audience numbers were low – under one hundred. There should have been thousands of leaders and would-be leaders at this seminar.

My experience, and from the experience of other training companies, indicates that Sydney appears to have the lowest regard for training, followed closely by Brisbane, but the numbers at both seminars in Melbourne wasn’t much better.

Over the past seven years I have volunteered my time on an industry advisory body. I hear about industry attitudes toward training from several training organisations and institutions. All lament that training appears to be held in low regard.

Continue reading Whose Bright Idea Is This?

The Cost of a Cheque

When you write a cheque, you would do well to remember that money is about to leave your bank account. Before signing it, ask yourself, “What is this expense for?” If the cheque you are writing isn’t directly contributing to profit, chances are that you should seriously consider never agreeing to this type of expense ever again.

Things like rent, telephone, postage, insurance, stationery and electricity are must-have items and little scrutinisation of these costs is necessary. Other expenses such as sign erection, window cleaning, advertising, leases, entertainment, gadgets; etc, should be viewed with suspicion and traced back to see if they truly lead to income and profit.

Most agency owners would love to have that extra sale a month, one that they could ‘;squirrel away’ into a profit account, which is just for themselves. If you examine your expenses closely you might just get the equivalent income from the slashing of unnecessary expenses. Continue reading The Cost of a Cheque

Habits Of The ‘Greats’

Habits are a foundation of success.

As you progress through your sales career, your results will improve as you replace bad habits with good habits.

I’m a great believer that being a salesperson who operates at the mediocre level is much harder work than working towards Greatness. I also believe it’s a lot more stressful.

Think about it:

What habits would you foster if you were the greatest salesperson in the world?

  • Would you set GOALS to help you focus?

Winners don’t ‘wing it’. They set goals, carefully calculating what TARGETS they need to achieve if they are to reach those goals.

Continue reading Habits Of The ‘Greats’

Controlling the Results Cycle

Out of the total population of salespeople – regardless of the product or service they sell – the largest majority do not produce consistent and high results. The results of most salespeople are cyclical.
Although salespeople blame their market, their area, their leader, team, product, service, unethical competitors, cheaper fees charged by their competitors – you name it, and most leaders will tell you they’ve heard them all – this cycle has more to do with failure to do the right activities than it does external sources.
The Results Cycle can be controlled. Consistent and high results can be achieved.
Continue reading Controlling the Results Cycle

Break Even EARLY

How much focus do you give your Break Even Point (BEP)? How many sales does your office need to break even each month? This is a figure you MUST know. Once you know your BEP you can focus on:

  1. Reducing it – get your BEP as low as possible;
  2. Reaching it – by the 7th of each month. Break even early.

Some leaders say, “I can’t manage to break even by the 20th, let alone the 7th“, and they are right. This mission is doomed before it starts. It begins the moment they utter those fatal words, “I can’t…

Many years ago we used to say that office’s should break even by the 20th of the month. We changed it to the 7th. At the time there were very few offices regularly breaking even by the 7th. Those leaders who succeeded at regularly breaking even by the new day did so because they had a leader’s mindset: they focused on breaking even sooner rather than later.

Continue reading Break Even EARLY

Ask For A Reference

There is an old marketing saying that says:

“Don’t tell people how good you are. Get happy clients to tell people how good you are”.

References from happy clients improve the success rate of your advertising.

No doubt you know this. So how many references (testimonials) did YOU get last month? Would I be right in saying that you obtained very few?

Salespeople forget to ask for references. I don’t know whether it’s lack of foresight or just plain forgetfulness, but no matter the reason, failure to ask for a reference costs you, and your agency, serious money.

Continue reading Ask For A Reference

Complaints – Crisis or Opportunity?

Even winners upset people from time to time. Winners speak to scores of people in a working week. The Law of Averages works for and against them. When you speak with many potential clients, you are going to meet some who are a delight. With others you won’t get along. Perhaps you just caught these people on a bad day, or perhaps they aren’t very nice people, but when you speak with lots of people the chances of offending are higher.
Whether it is with potential sellers, and winners constantly look out for new business, buyers, or existing sellers, winners know that somebody is going to be unhappy occasionally. When handled correctly, however, complaints are an opportunity, not a crisis.

How to Handle Complaints

Here are the steps a winner used to handle a complaint from a seller whose property had not sold.
Hear them out. Don’t interrupt. Ever. Show the client that you are listening by saying such things as, “You’ve got a point there,” but let the clients say all that they want to say. This could take a while, so be prepared to stay silent for as long as it takes for the clients to say what they want to say.

Personal Accountability

“Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

William Shakespeare’s words in Julius Caesarspeak of personal accountability. We are where we are in life because of decisions we have made in the past. And we can make a better life tomorrow by making better choices today. Personal accountability – I love it.
When I think of people like Helen Keller, I have to try hard to think of any reason why a person cannot overcome adversity and become whatever he or she wants to become.
Blind, deaf and dumb, Helen Keller had no way of communicating with the outside world. Inside her head worked a fine brain, with no way of articulating its thoughts. All that changed on 3 March 1887 when Helen met a teacher, Anne Sullivan Macy. With patience, love and, always, strict discipline, Anne Macy worked with Helen Keller, teaching her to communicate, thus enabling Helen to unlock the huge potential stored within. Helen Keller later called March 3 her “Soul’s birthday.”

What is a Real Result?

Our When you examine the activities that salespeople routinely work on, you have to wonder whether they understand
exactly what a real result is. best leaders NEVER allow their offices to close unless the agency has at least one real result for the day. These leaders understand that they incur expenses every day, therefore they must achieve one real result a day.

As leaders, we must help our people recognise what constitutes a result, what actions are necessary to achieve those results, and then follow up to make sure they are doing those actions. All activities in a salesperson’s day should lead directly a real result.
Continue reading What is a Real Result?

Who’s Running Your Agency?


One reason real estate agencies don’t do as well as they should is that they are run by salespeople. It’s what is called the dilemma of salespeople at the top.

When an office’s leader is a person who loves making sales, you often find such people too busy doing what they love to spend time tracking where the income goes. This is a recipe for disaster. There is no point, no point at all, in making lots of sales unless you keep a good proportion of the sales income. It’s like setting sail in a leaky ship – sooner or later you’re going to sink.

Continue reading Who’s Running Your Agency?