Ask any person how important their reputation is to them. Nobody will say their reputation doesn’t matter.
Sure, some say, “I don’t care what other people think of me” – but that’s usually to justify being rude or insensitive. If these people care that little about their reputation, they probably can’t be trusted.
In life, your reputation matters. A poor reputation can cost you good relationships, happiness and fulfillment. In business, a poor reputation can cost you repeat business and income.
Salespeople who treat clients badly believe that there are plenty more clients where they came from. What does it matter if you inflate the likely selling prices of sellers’ properties to win a listing? It matters a lot if you want to do business with those clients or their friends in the future.
What does it matter if you lower an estimated selling price to attract buyers? There are plenty more where they came from. Perhaps in sellers’ markets there are, but buyers become sellers one day and if you want to be their listing agent when they do sell, your reputation matters. It matters a lot.
In the 20th century, it was said that if you leave a client angry, they will tell 10-15 other people. That was last century, but it’s different now in the age of social media. Upset a client these days and they could tell thousands of people in minutes, depending on their social media following.
Pre-social media, a bad review was passed around by word of mouth. A bad review on Google or a similar platform can haunt you for years.
Reputation matters and in the age of social media it matters more.
Be careful with what you promise. Deliver what you promise. Be reliable. Do what you said you would do, when you said you would do it.
It’s a matter of integrity. It’s a matter of reputation.
And reputation matters.
In a sellers’ market, where you sell almost every property you list, the last thing you want to do is run low on listings. List more and you will sell more – we all know that – but many agents are low on stock. If you are one of those salespeople, what are you doing about it?
To get more listings, there are four areas salespeople should focus on.
Now is not the time to empty your prospect pipeline. When we prospect, we find some people who are ready to sell now, and others who say they plan to sell in the future.
Constant prospecting in healthy numbers (40 homeowners or more spoken to each day) keeps your prospect pipeline full.
In his book, Fanatical Prospecting, sales expert Jeb Blount discusses the importance of the 30-Day Rule. This rule states that the prospecting you do in this 30-day period will pay off over the next 90 days.
Jeb says that this is a simple, yet powerful, universal rule that we ignore at our peril. Set aside prospecting because of the “I’m too busy” excuse and you won’t be busy when you run out of listings!
As with prospecting, consistent direct mail is another essential element for a constant flow of listings.
Whether you are responsible for generating listings through your own marketing efforts, or whether your company takes care of the marketing, you will get more incoming responses from your print marketing if you personally sign at least 50 letters per day (1,000 per month) and follow up to ensure that they are delivered.
Don’t wait for this to happen – talk to your leader and get direct mail underway, or arrange it yourself if you are responsible for your own marketing. Either way, do it!
As with direct mail, leaflets still generate business if delivered in large numbers and with consistency.
A word of warning: salespeople should not deliver leaflets. Pay walkers to deliver leaflets – doing so is below a salesperson’s pay grade.
Salespeople should be talking with potential sellers and with buyers, not dropping leaflets into letterboxes. That said, it must be done consistently, or you will become invisible in the marketplace.
Diligent follow-up is essential to getting the most from your listing leads.
Leads are time consuming and expensive to generate. Without good follow-up, leads lost to the opposition far outweigh the cost of marketing.
In the days of outstanding CRM software, there is no excuse for allowing any lead to slip through the cracks.
Whether it’s prospecting or marketing, consistency in your lead generation activity will provide you with a constant flow of listings, which will increase your sales and income. But only if you constantly follow up all leads.
Speak to more people, and you will list more and sell more. Don’t drop the lead generation ball and you WILL list more. You’ll enjoy a higher income too.
Agents who discount their fees believe they must do so to win the business, but is this true?
Others reducing their fee is not a legitimate reason to discount your fee. This thinking indicates that your business is being driven by your competitors’ actions and not by yours. It’s a defeatist attitude.
You can get full fee, but you may need to change your thinking and modify your listing presentation.
Firstly, look at the ethics of discounting your fee.
Salespeople who charge full fee to the nice person who doesn’t question the fee, and then discount the fee to somebody who pushes for a discount, aren’t ethical. To charge different rates for the same service is not ethical. I hope you agree.
The key way to stop yourself from discounting is to take fee off the table. If discounting your fee isn’t an option, you must improve your presentation and Value Chain to prove to clients that you are worth the fee you charge.
The Value Chain you present to clients is linked to the fee you achieve. If you look the same as your competitors, recommend similar sales methods, and market the same way as your competitors (like premium advertising), you have nothing to justify a higher fee.
What do you do better than your competitors? How will it benefit sellers? Can you prove it?
If you are seen as the more attractive option to sellers, they will pay you more. A step closer to full fees is proving your worth, proving your Value Chain.
Here’s a fun fact: Agents with the highest skill get the highest fees.
You can be one of them. Take fee off the table. Then study Sales. Study real estate. Get better and you’ll get better fees. If discounting isn’t an option, you will present more effectively, more passionately, and you will receive your full fee.
One more point to consider is credibility. When you discount your fee, you can lose the respect of the very clients you are trying to list. How are you going to get the best price for them when you can’t get the best fee for yourself? They might not say it, but they’re often thinking it. You lose more than money when you discount!
Take fee off the table and you will get higher fees. Improve your skill and you will not lose as many listings as you think.
We hear a lot about Time Management. I talk about it sometimes, but in reality Time Management is the wrong term. If you think you can manage time, good luck.
The fact is you can’t manage time. An hour is 60 minutes. You can’t manage 60 minutes to become 90 minutes. An hour is an hour no matter how much ‘managing’ you do. And, all of us have the same 1,440 minutes in our day. You will never get more. Give up trying to manage time.
We don’t manage time: we manage ourselves within the time we have available.
Who would have thought that many real estate businesses would have had bumper sales numbers despite the COVID-19 pandemic? But this was the case for many real estate agencies, and for many real estate salespeople.
It is predicted that 2021 will be even better than 2020. That appears true as we enter the second quarter of 2021.
But is it so for you? Are your results booming? Is your career?
Many years ago, somebody said to me, “If you can’t make money during a boom, get out of the industry” but that is a bit harsh. Many salespeople receive just a little typical industry training. Frankly, it doesn’t work, and it doesn’t encourage repeat business.
Although you can sell everything you list, there is massive competition for listings. If you haven’t been taught effective methods for finding new clients, and then listing them when you give a listing presentation, you will do it tough.
But there is an answer:
Is the thought of an increase in your monthly targets daunting? If your leader told you that it’s time for you to list 8 properties a month, would you resist?
Most salespeople would resist because they look at the entire figure. Eight listings a month sounds a lot.
Funny, but it’s all relative. I remember times when salespeople listed between 10-15 properties a month without fail. As selling fees increased, listing numbers decreased. This tells me that most of the battle is in our heads. We imagine things to be tougher than they are.
I know one winner who said that right from the beginning of her career she expected to list 8 properties per month. She said,
A salesperson in Adelaide was doing it tough. For two years he struggled and could barely make enough to cover his bills.
I admired him for persevering but secretly wondered how long he would last before he pursued another career.
But something changed. I spoke with him earlier today and he sounded like a new man. What was he doing differently?
An essential ingredient to saleable listings
Happy New Year!
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many salespeople were saying that they were selling everything they listed.
I have said on many occasions that clear goals are an essential element in achieving consistent results.
No doubt, many of you began 2020 with clear goals. Then along came COVID-19 and perhaps your goals went out the window. And if you didn