The last 50 listings won by the office tell you more about the way that business wins than anything else. The 80:20 rule identifies that 80% of your results, come from 20% of your activities. So what are the 20% of the activities that get the result? And is what you're being told to do, consistent with how the business has won it's last 50 listings?
When you first start out, it's easy to feel confused, trapped and swamped, with a million ideas, strategies and industry dogma thrown your way. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Here's the simple way to cut through for wild success.
1. Leverage off every person you already know.
When I work with brand new people, I get them to write a list of 100 people they already know who own property in an area the office can sell in. The challenge is, in the post-mobile phone era, we've become incredibly lazy, and rarely do budding students complete their homework.
In the new world, I now get people to go to their Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, WeChat, WhatsApp, and mobile phone contact list, and write out every single person who already owns a home, or has someone close to them that does (i.e. parents for the younger ones).
The first job is to find out where they live, down to street level detail. Short of holding a fake wedding to get the addresses (good idea), you then have to take those people and add them to your real estate database. Every agent in the office has to use the same database, for the system to work. Once you've got the minimum data, first name, surname, email address, mobile number and street address, then we can put the power of systems that work, to work.
2. Existing clients of the firm.
It's called the lifetime value of a customer. Every person you meet on average will complete five real estate transactions in their lifetime. The goal is to work with the existing customers that the firm has already had interactions with and ensure the relationship is strong enough for you to win the right to serve, at the exclusion of any others pitching for the business.
In the firm you're in today, there are 100's if not 1000's of clients on that database. Past clients that deserve an annual checkup - just like the dentist does for your teeth, to past market appraisals (where we need to work this dissatisfaction with their current situation) to buyers who have/haven't bought, but already own.
It's important to get the street address for each into your database, so then you can put the systems to work. Plenty of sales reps will tell you they own the data, yet when we work with the clients, they can't even remember the name of the sales rep who sold them the house.
Our extensive research reveals that 70% of random real estate agents surveyed, can't even remember the name of the sales rep they bought their car from. A car purchasing transaction takes 3 hours, the same amount it takes to buy a house. The client didn't choose you, they wanted the house, so you have to work at the relationship once they've bought.
3. Landlords and tenants.
I break these out into a separate category as the industry doesn't see them as existing clients. Rather silos that should never be spoken of in a sales environment. The reality, Landlords live somewhere. When was the last time your agency called every Landlord to offer them a market appraisal on their principal place of residence to give them an idea of what's it's worth so that they can make a better decision for the future?
Think using their untapped equity to renovate, upgrade (buy and sell) or buy an additional investment property (grow the rent roll), sell a property you have listed, or sell a new home (development) you are representing in the market. Second to that are the 1000's of tenancy applications that are received every year, where one simple question opens them right up, do you currently own property locally? If yes, where?
4. Community Connections.
Who in your local community already knows all the people you want to know? Local schools have a list of all the parents that live in the school zone; local cafe owners have a network of loyal locals who they talk to regularly. Get in front of the people who know people and watch your business thrive. I built a relationship with the local pizza restaurant, the owners Danny, Ange and Joe, went on to refer me 11 listings a year and all it took was genuine friendship, being interested in them and having a coffee with them every Friday at 2 pm.
Now that you've got all these lead sources, now what's your intention? How do you strike it lucky, and move from amateur to pro?
There's a 10 step system that makes your business bulletproof, but you have to be prepared to work the long term, not the short-term hits that the industries addicted to.
Social proof is the dominant lead source, and the easiest way to transition is to use a new listing at the beginning of the customer journey.
1. When your business lists a property, search for all the people you already know. Search based on that street and the three surrounding streets. Get good at using search in your database. If you've followed the above steps, you'll have an abundant list of locals to call.
2. Print and call the list. We never want to have to search for the contacts again. Filter it, then call everyone on the list. If you are breaking new ground, the easiest way to get past awkward is to call it out. "Hannah, it's Josh, I just thought I'd give you a quick call, you wouldn't believe what happened at work today! We listed a house around the corner from you at number 25 Smith Street. I'll be there on Saturday 10 am for 30 mins if you wanted to see it or drop in and say hi. By the way, how are things with you? And how's the house? Would it be ok if I let you know when number 25 sells, and what it makes? The secret to that call is to make it super casual, get permission to call them when it sells and seek out dissatisfaction through the simple question 'how's the house?'.
3. Send them a direct mail letter, with a copy of the brochure. Follow through, get it into their hands, so you can drive the fear of missing out. We live in a society where fear drives consumers, use it to your advantage.
4. Take that list to your open home, to see who turns up.
5. Just listed DL to go to 500 houses in the neighbourhood to further layer your marketing, in its reach and frequency.
6. SMS all the people you called and remind them of the open on a Saturday morning.
7. Invite them to the auction, via email, SMS, or direct mail.
8. Set up your auction day, flags, boards and crowd, so people can see you being successful.
9. Call them when the property sells. Let them know the sale price if it can be disclosed, as then what does that make your place worth? 'It's just a little service that we love to provide, where we pop down to yours to give you an idea of what it's worth, so then you can make some better decisions for the future, would that be ok?'. Killer dialogue converts and language matters.
10. Send them a direct mail letter with a summary of what happened during the campaign. Think enquiries, inspections, second appointments, contract requests, offers, number of bids. Also, consider the amount of competitive bidding received, that's the difference between the starting bid and the final bid received.
Now that you have a system, you understand the importance of getting the residential address of every person you know, get to meet or already have met. Then you just work the system, doing it over and over again. If you do that you become highly valuable to past clients, market appraisals, buyers and tenants who already own, landlords, and your network.
You now have a system for success, and all you need is:
1. The desire to do it and not follow industry dogma.
2. Template letter for the just listed and just sold campaign summary letter.
3. A database that has search functionality.
4. Discipline to get the details, use forms like a buyer enquiry form, a tenant application form and a potential landlord enquiry form, to be the source of the triggers that identify locals who own in the area.
5. A mindset, of being coachable.
Become a student of the game, work it lovingly, and everything will change for you.