Archive for the ‘Getting Listings’ Category

Happy New Year?

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Earth made the full trip around the sun.  365 revolutions of the earth.  And we are supposed to “make new decisions” about the time it will take for the earth’s next full trip around?

What was wrong with our old decisions?  Didn’t yours all happen the way you decided?  I know mine sure didn’t.  Not even close.  The sudden changes in the market stood many predictions on their heads.  An awful 1st quarter, a decent 2nd quarter and a mediocre 3rd and 4th quarter for us – we wound up 2013 closing 342 transactions.  But congratulations are not in order – as that is down from our 435 closed transactions for 2012.  Oddly enough, our annual sales volume ($63,973,603.) didn’t suffer, in fact it was up by almost a million dollars – due to prices being higher than in 2012.

So, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We hope it is happy.

Happy = Fun!

Happy = It went like we wanted and planned.

For the record I am planning on doubling the amount of business in 2014 we did in 2013.  I am no longer trying to figure out HOW to generate buyer sides, thanks to finally having that crazy making issue resolved thanks to my Real Estate Webmasters site (www.allphoenixareahomes.com).  So we have added 2 buyer agents (for a total of 6) and hitting 200 closed buyer deals in 2014 is no longer a pipe dream.  That now solved – along with the market shift back to “traditional sellers”, we can once again make lead generation for sellers our primary focus and have our (considerable) marketing dollars have a huge impact (regardless of the now numerous local copycats).  The new radio ad is done.  The new TV ad will be done early this month.  Our staff is fully groomed to provide an even higher quality level of service so the experience our clients have will create more raving fans.

Some of you felt battered in 2013.  I did too.  It is just part of the deal.  If you don’t ever want to get hit, don’t get in the ring.  This is going to be a GREAT year.  Won’t you join me?

We are looking to attract more listings without paying a lot of advertising expense

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Maryland

This was passed along to me by Benn:

We are a small real estate company in Md.  We are trying to expand our clientele do you have any advice on how we can grow our business.  We are looking to attract more listings without paying a lot of advertising expense.  We tried the expired listings but most of the time the homeowner phone number is not listed.

Thanks,

(name deleted)

I’ve deleted your name, so in case you feel insulted by what I am about to tell you – you can feel a little less insulted because no one but you will know who wrote the note above.  Including me.  I couldn’t find you, no matter what I tried.  The very first thing I attempted to do was to find out a little bit about you – what you are doing now.  There are so many different companies who seem to have a similar name – that there was no way for me to land on your web site.  If you even have one.  You didn’t give your name or any contact information when you wrote this and I am going to assume this is somewhat standard operating procedure.

The first problem I see you being up against isn’t the size of your company, because that is irrelevant.  What sort of leaps off the page is you are very out of communication with the world around you.  Do most of the people who live or work within a hundred yards of where you office even know your name or what you do?  If they saw you on the street would many of them even know you sell real estate?  I believe this is your primary barrier to confront and handle: come out of non-existence with the people in your immediate vicinity.  Start there.  Then widen that circle.  Get out and talk to people.  Get rid of (as in completely rid of) the idea that you need permission to approach someone – like you need someone to issue you a license of some sort before you open your mouth.  You didn’t find any phone numbers in the print-out of the expired listings.  So what?  Just give up on expireds?  Maryland is a pretty small state.  You could probably drive across the whole state in a few hours.  You could absolutely drive completely across the town where you live in 90 minutes.  Show up at their door.  Ask them if they still want to sell their home.

You don’t want to pay a lot for advertising for two reasons: you don’t have the money to pay and you wouldn’t know what to put in the ad anyway.  Okay so skip advertising for now.  Prospect.  Learn what people consider valuable just by trial and error.  See enough people and ask enough people what they might be interested in and in very short order (a few hundred people from now) you will know what to say and what not to say when you are talking to a prospective customer.

There are exactly two methods of getting business in our business: marketing or prospecting.  Learn to effectively do one or both of those or leave real estate sales.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, those are the only three choices.  The skill of getting customers is the "important skill" in our business.  For a really bright future make this important thing your important thing.

The Secret to Becoming a Top Listing Agent

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Only the mediocre 

Here are some factual statements:

Most people who enter the real estate business are gone in just a few years.  Most real estate agents, who stay in the business, are not very successful.  To be in the top 1% of all agents in the U.S. would require about 50 – 60 sales a year.  Most agents, who are successful, (50 – 60 sales per year) do not really know why they are successful.  They think they know but they are usually wrong.

Only about 25% – 30% of the top 1% of all agents actually know why they are successful and most of those don’t know it very well.  So success can seem mysterious or elusive.  It needn’t be.  If one were to apply the same exactness to the subject of real estate sales that any well trained engineer would apply to his discipline it wouldn’t seem mysterious at all.

But applying that exactness would mean – really – looking, not listening.  Look at what people do.  Look at how they do it.  Exactly.  Look at what results they get from doing it.  It makes little to no difference what they think is causing their stats to rise.  What is causing their stats to rise?  Anyone who says he (or she) knows why they are successful would be able to teach it – and teach it in such a simple manner that the other person could apply what was being taught and get a similar result.  There would be no special cases, no exceptions.  Not if a scientific approach was being used.  Anyone who knew why they were successful would be able to increase their level of success.  If they could not do that one thing then what they are thinking is the "reason" isn’t the real reason for the success they have had.  That last one is so obvious it is usually missed.  Is there really any "highly successful" person who left real estate sales so they could teach it?  Even one?

There are few subjects on earth (possible exceptions are mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc. – and the other so-called "exact sciences" – that don’t just reek with false data.  The subjects of sales and marketing (those are two different subjects, by the way) have so much asinine, stupid and unworkable gibberish being pawned off as "the way to do things" that it is a minor miracle anyone who actually studies either of those subjects ever succeeds at all.  Just as an example, about 20 years ago it was validated that, in some fields, women who were trained by male sales managers did not do nearly as well as women salespeople who had no sales training of any kind.  Amazing.  The "sales training" had an actual negative value.  This is just one example.  So the thing to do is: LOOK, DON’T LISTEN.  I don’t care what someone says they are doing to bring about sales results (and highly successful real estate sales people will sometimes actually invent things to tell others because it "sounds better" than what they are actually doing).

There was a scale developed many years ago (originator is uncertain) that has been altered (for the worse, in my opinion) from what I learned in 1971.

From the bottom up, the original scale went:

1.  Unconsciously incompetent.  Doesn’t know and doesn’t know he doesn’t know.

2.  Consciously incompetent.  Knows he doesn’t know.  (note that NOT knowing is a step UP!)

3.  Unconsciously competent.  Knows how to do it, but doesn’t really know why it works.

4.  Consciously Competent.  Knows how to do it and knows why it works, so can increase it and validly teach it.

cat in mirror

The secret to becoming a top listing agent?  First become a really crappy listing agent.  Become a really crappy one, then a bit less crappy, and so on.  That is the actual path.  There is no substitute for "stage time".  None.  Fail.  Fail more and go right on doing it.  Having the right attitude is probably more important than any other factor.  A complete willingness to do whatever is necessary and to have the viewpoint that you are going to persist until you have arrived.  Sort of like it mattered.

Odd Times for John

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Odd Times

 

Truth is, I’ve been working on a three-part series that is not complete.  But the following questions from John just went to the front of the line.

 

These are odd times I’m in right now, and I’m not quite sure how to deal with it.

As of the past week, it looks like I’m now on a 10 appointment per week schedule. I am absolutely slammed. I’m behind on pricing 6 properties that I’m supposed to be done with already. I am left with no "on the business" time so all of my projects have been on halt for a couple weeks now, which is unsustainable if I want to keep growing and improving the company.

10 appointments per week was the point that I was hoping to bring on a listing specialist.

But the problem is, we are WAY down on sales. Right now, I’m having cash flow issues, but I expect/hope those to clear up soon. But looking at the big picture, if you’re looking over the last 4 months, our total market volume (and thus the total available income) is down 35% compared to the same period last year. My GCI is nearly identical (within just a couple hundred dollars) between those two time periods. Net profit is 5K better (3K profit compared to 2K loss).

As far as supply and demand, our market is around 12 months of inventory right now when looking over the last 4 months, compared to around 8 months of inventory for the majority of last year (until October).

Right now, I only have 2 open escrows out of 22 total listings, and zero buyer escrows. I’ve been firing sellers left and right and slashing prices, but I still haven’t been able to get back to the 30% of listings in escrow number.

By the way, I picked up a pretty big new lead source… I’m now the "listing partner" for a home builder with nine communities here. Whenever someone wants to build a house on a contingency, the only way that person can do it with refundable earnest money is to list with me. Otherwise, they have to put up 5-7K non-refundable. We went official with this last Wednesday, and I’ve already booked 5 appointments from them. The best part is, I get to charge the full 6% and don’t pay them any referral fees.

Also, the TV ads have been working nearly as well as the radio ads this month.

Any wisdom or suggestions for me?

Thanks!
John

The very first thing is to congratulate you on your excellent performance!  I wish I had been this far along when I was only three years in the business.  Giant plus points are TV & radio ads working well; enough market ethics presence to land a nice builder account; and nicely increased GCI, especially when compared to the market.

Negatives: you are colliding with several different problems, all at the same time.  At 8 – 10 appointments per week you normally would bring on a listing specialist.  To clarify, I have never "brought on a lister", nor would I ever do that.  I always take my most trustworthy buyer specialist and promote them.  This person must be a team player – not "a salesman".  I would never "hire a lister", as it would be a sure-fire way to ruin what you have built.  But that 10 listing appointments a week would have to be a sustainable level, not "I did it for a couple of weeks".  You can stand on your head for a couple of weeks.

The problems:

1. Most listings currently being taken are not selling

2. Zero buyer deals in escrow

3. Overall market has changed enough that "comps" are now meaningless

4. Not enough time left over to work on organizing for the future

The solution(s):  First and most importantly, recognize you need to arrive at the level of knowing you don’t know when it comes to prices.  Most of your current listings are overpriced.  Continuing to do what you are doing and thereby getting even more listings isn’t going to solve anything.  In fact, it will only make the problem worse.  I went through this too as our inventory ballooned.  Handling this issue directly solves problems 1 and 3 and opens the door to handling number 2, as well.  It won’t directly fix number 4 but fixing number 4 isn’t your most urgent problem.  Getting price reductions (as in 2, 3, 4 or 5 on the same listing – until it actually sells) and only taking listings where it has at least a real chance of selling and has a seller who is fully onboard.

The magic formula:  If it is in MLS correctly, on lockbox and not sold it is overpriced.  Again: If it is in MLS correctly, on lockbox and not sold it is overpriced.  There are NO exceptions to this statement.  As in none.  Your statement, "I’ve been firing sellers left and right and slashing prices, but I still haven’t been able to get back to the 30% of listings in escrow number"  is an excellent start in the right direction.  But it is only the start.  Otherwise, your profitability is about to nosedive.  No buyer deals and 2 listings in escrow screams out, "I’VE GOT A QUALITY CONTROL ISSUE".  Price.  Just that one thing will "fix" this.  No other action will.  If you are too short on time – to cope – start screening the sellers much more carefully on the phone so you only physically go to see the truly ready, willing and able. 

Get your open escrow board filling up then – once you have "motion" back in your listing inventory then put your main attention on getting more listings.  Naturally, I fully expect (based on your past performance) that you will revert this scene so rapidly it will even surprise you.

The Seller HAS a Problem and Then BECOMES One

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Marketing

The seller has a problem.  They have a house they want to sell and need to sell it at a certain price.  They hire an agent who takes on the task of selling the home.

"Maybe if you had more open houses?"

"Have you thought about running an ad in the Wall Street Journal?"

"There are a lot of people from California with money because the prices are so high there.  Run an ad in the L.A. Times."

"If you go to (large local employer) you can put a notice on their bulletin board about the house."

This is just a partial list.  The limits of the list are only the limits of the seller’s imagination.  There are hundreds and hundreds of these great ideas for getting the house sold.  Sometimes agents try them all (one at a time, of course).    Usually, the agent notices that it didn’t work.  But for some strange reason this does not prevent the agent from attempting the very same science fair project again at a later time, and surprise: they get the exact same results they did the first time.

Walking through the office about 15 years ago a very nice agent asked me if I would go in with her on running an ad in one of the picture magazines.  She didn’t want to buy the whole page herself and was looking for a couple of other agents to put one of their houses in the ad, in order to defray the cost of the ad.  I asked her why she was running the ad and her answer was, "To make the seller happy".  I asked her if she believed that running an ad in the picture magazine was very likely to sell the house.  Her answer was no, she did not think it would even help sell the house.  I told her I did not ever run ads on homes because they did not make any difference in getting the home sold.  She agreed with me.  But she still ran the ad.

It was easier for her to run that ad than it was to tell her seller the truth.  My answer to sellers on that issue is, "If an ad in the paper or some magazine was going to sell their home they don’t need an agent.  They could just run the ad themselves and save the commission."  That’s the truth.

From Anne:

ok, so if I may start my question asking. My goal is to get seller’s to stop getting so addicted to my marketing efforts and more focused on price. I feel my current listing presentation does a pretty good job (although now after star power I’m going to make it even better) as some are well trained while others act like cocaine addicts and can’t get enough of my open houses and are always calling me with new ideas to get "exposure" to their potential buyer and crap like that. Some of them I flat out tell them no and others I feel so sorry for because they are seriously in trouble if they can’t sell financially. How do I handle this? any thoughts?

Yes.  Get a subjective reality on what does and does not cause houses to sell.  Get rid of all of the little points of "reasonableness" on this subject.  The "unsolvable problem" does not exist in the mind of the seller.  I do understand that it seems like it does.  It exists in your mind.  You do not have certainty that what you are doing is enough.  There is some nagging doubt that there is "something" you aren’t doing that you "ought to do".  This point alone opens the door to all sorts of nonsense (the not very fun kind of nonsense).

If you believed that running those ads or holding those open houses (or whatever "exposure" you or they could dream up) was going to cause the house to sell, you would be doing them.  You wouldn’t need any sales pitch or prodding.  You would just do them.  There are two factors here: what works for you and what you "like" to do.  Open houses can work.  I don’t like them.  Therefore I don’t do them.  This is not a statement that others should not do them or that someone who does not know how to correctly hold a house open should not learn how to do it. 

I believe that if you re-read the first paragraph after your question and wanted a simple answer to what caused a home to sell (assuming the usual is already being done) you will come to realize what you already know: price.

Shift Happens. Read This Book.

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Shift Front Cover

This is the book I am telling all of my friends in the real estate business to get and read.  It is so well researched that those of you who like statistics will be impressed just with some of the stats.  Those who may have hit a rough patch and found their business in a bit of a skid will find it to be just what the doctor ordered.  Those who are already doing just fine will find a very put together write up of what they are already doing.  I haven’t found anyone doing really well who didn’t find something in this book that they could use.  Now.

You can find it at just about any book store.  Here is a link where you can peek inside and buy it online.  You can see some nice excerpts from it here.  And, if you like, watch a ten minute video on YouTube from Gary’s tour.  The book covers the specific twelve tactics that are needed for survival and success.

The better off and more informed you are the more you will discover things you already "sort of knew".  For example, look over this simple illustration showing seasonal sales cycles in any normal year (a small seasonal shift).  It is part of a page in the book.

Seasonal Sales Cycles

The footnote reads, "Based on a study of over a million closed transactions over a five-year period."  To me, this kind of data is priceless.  I would have no way of ever compiling it on my own and no one else (at least no one I know who is sharing with agents) has it to hand to me.

Another one – this one is the Seasonal Income Cycle.  I wish I had known this sort of thing my first 10 years in the business (the ones where I wasn’t keeping track of my own stats to ever be able to see this sort of thing for myself).  The text above the chart is from a page in the book.

Seasonal Income Cycle

Notice how only about a third of all the months are in the "average" range.  What would you do differently if you knew that about 2/3 of the time the income you were physically receiving was not your average?  It was way above or way below.  Would it change anything for you?

One last one.  The book has simple wisdom like this in great abundance.  This is another one that (at least in my opinion) every agent should have a subjective reality on.

The Three Types of Markets

Do well.  Buy "Shift".  Read it.  Get others to read it.

Listings. Listings. Listings. Still.

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Wit & Wisdom

From the Department of Homeland Stupidity comes the newly formed Department of Bailouts.  Is there now a sufficient level of converting the United States into a socialist economy for the New Regime President (aka, Treasury Secretary Paulson) to feel that his work is done?

But the above isn’t my special area of expertise.  Showing fellow agents how to have a truly successful business is what I am known for.  And I find it funny (odd?) when I read something that directly contradicts what I know to be true on that particular subject.  It certainly isn’t the first time I’ve seen, "getting listings is no longer the best way to go" – just the first time I’ve seen it from someone I respect as much as I respect Brian Brady.  He wrote:

Thirty years ago, the mantra “listers last” was all important advice to a new real estate agent.  Today, inventory has been democratized through the IDX search on a website.   Open houses then, are a good time to work on your SEO.  A REALTOR who controls the SERPS rather than the inventory should profit best from this buyer-centric market.

Okay, fine.  But can anyone name even four or five TOP AGENTS who have buyer based businesses?  I personally know a couple of them.  But I don’t know of any top agent who has had a buyer based (as opposed to a listings based) business who did it for 3 – 4 consecutive years.  Can an agent attract buyers via the internet?  Absolutely.  Can it be done at a level so great that the lead agent (rainmaker) hires many many many buyer agents to handle the load?  Again, the answer is a confirmed yes.  However, the web traffic – at that level – isn’t normally achieved through SEO but pay per click.  All of the huge buyer based operations I know of in the U.S. use PPC to attract the traffic.  Not saying SEO doesn’t enter into it but the bulk of it is PPC.

How many of them have done it or will be able to maintain their performance level for even three years?  I can’t say, as it (at least to my knowledge) hasn’t ever been done for that long.  Which is my main point.  Almost all top agents have a listings based business.  I am not saying this because I have a listings based business, I am saying it because that is what I found when I went looking at the profiles and the patterns of top agents.  What I observed is what caused me to decide to take the path I took – become a lister.  I have never seen any confirmed data (vs opinions)that contradicts that.

There is nothing I am writing here that suggests that selling homes to buyers (as we need at least one for every listing!) is bad or should not be done.  Oddly, by accident, I am one of the leading buyer side agents (based on number of sales) in the Phoenix market.  I discovered that odd fact a little over a year ago.  I had been working for years to find out what the "top buyer agents" were doing so I could start doing it too.  Once I realized that I wasn’t way behind everyone else but ahead of most everyone I stopped trying to "discover" what I must already know.  Our buyer sides came about as a result of marketing our listings.  Period.  Just doing the things that should be done to properly market a listing produced buyer deals.  Lots of them.

An interesting post I came across about a month ago was over at the always-worth-reading, Notorious R.O.B.  There was a discussion regarding possible violation of a listing agent’s fiduciary duty to have their listings on Zillow, Trulia, etc.  Seems several different lawyers were of the opinion that it could possibly violate a listing agent’s duty to his seller.  I disagree.  Completely.  From my comments to that post on Rob Hahn’s site:

There will always be plaintiffs and lawyers litigating for various reasons. I can not say any lawsuit over which websites a listing was posted on should not occur. I can say that any lawsuit brought for those reasons is without merit. It would have be based on the (erroneous) premise that inquiries from those various sites actually directly helped or caused a home to sell.

The top national site for traffic is Realtor.com. I currently pay about $4,000 a year to “enhance” my listings. There was a time that every 20 leads from Realtor.com equaled a closed escrow on *a* home. Seldom the one they inquired about. Now, the *only* reason I am on Realtor.com is to be able to say to our sellers that “we feature your home on Realtor.com”. That is the ONLY reason. In the past four years, I have never sold a listing because it was on Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow or any of the other sites. I have sold homes to buyers because we received an email lead because we have a lot of listings on those sites. Big difference.

If you are wanting buyer leads those sites may or may not be good. If you want to “impress” your sellers, they can be very good. If you want to actually sell that house I don’t see that they make *any* difference.

All of my listings are on all of the important sites.  We do receive some inquiries from nearly all of them and some of those inquiries can become actual leads where we make a sale.  I’m not convinced that today’s "internet lead" is much different than the "ad call" of twenty-five years ago.  The best data I had at the time was it took about 400 calls (on the average) regarding a particular home to physically sell that home to that buyer.  If you only have a few listings and sometimes sell one it can seem like it does not take that many.  Get a few thousand and keep track of them and you see a different picture.  If this were not true I suspect that most of us would be out of a job – as most sellers could just run an ad (or today, get "internet leads") and sell their own home.

My main points in this post are:

1. Listings were, are and will continue to be the very best method of having a stable real estate practice.

2. There are huge amounts of fantastic nonsense available from lots of different places regarding what is necessary to sell homes.

3.  People who can’t see clearly will continue to disagree with point # 1 and therefore continue to attempt to sell the nonsense mentioned in point # 2 as essential.

Nonsense.

Are You An Opinion Leader?

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

leadership 

photo credit: www.rishimodi.com

Management is telling people what to do.  Leadership is teaching them how to think.  Opinion leaders tell people what to think.

Despite various surveys indicating how low the general public ranks real estate agents, some agents are highly respected by their clients and peers.  How does that happen? 

To understand how that is accomplished, first let’s look at the concept of influencing the opinions of others.  Various studies have shown that media communication intended to change someone’s buying or voting behavior seldom works directly.  The communication may be directly received by the person it is intended for but is mediated through their social relationships.  There are individuals (depending on the subject) that others consider experts and who are looked to for advice on that particular subject.  There are some people who act as Opinion Leaders – they see themselves and are seen by others as having an influence on others.

In politics and fashion, for example, there are TV shows hosted by people who have very large audiences who watch the show in order to find out what to think.  Yet, Opinion Leadership is not a trait some people have and others don’t.  Every person who has an elevated interest (and thereby knowledge) in an area, can serve as an opinion leader on that subject to those around them.  It is a natural part of everyday personal relationships.

Research suggests that, in the US, opinion leaders constitute roughly one in ten Americans, and that as a group they tend to serve as a leading indicator of popular trends, from public issues to new product adoption to social attitudes.  Many consumers today place more weight on the word-of-mouth insights of their more influential neighbors than on what they hear on TV or read in the newspaper.

Opinion leaders are people whose opinion on a subject/product is influential on the social group they belong to, although they may or may not have an acknowledged authority over them.  Opinion leaders are not necessarily traditional leaders in society, such as politicians and clergy (although they can be). Rather, they are perceived experts in particular domains – which is exactly the position occupied by a successful residential Realtor.  When it comes to correct pricing and effective marketing of homes there isn’t any substitute for a competent Realtor.  Notice I didn’t say real estate company, as it is the individual agent who is looked to (or not) as the expert.  A company may enjoy a wonderful reputation and there are many instances of an individual and his or her company seeming so inseparable that you can’t think of one without the other – but it would always be the individual that is the opinion leader.  One could join the largest, most successful real estate company in the world and this would not automatically cause them to be perceived as an expert.  Conversely, an individual broker could have a one person shop and be regarded as THE go to person in that area if you had a question concerning real estate.  Opinion Leader Realtors are trusted by their clients because the client can see that the agent has their best interests at heart. 

There are many real estate instructors who teach “scripts” on how to handle commission objections.  The seller doesn’t want to pay “X” commission and they are advocating using a “technique”.  Think of someone you trust and go to for services – like a dentist or physician.  Isn’t that trust based largely on the belief that they don’t recommend a service you “need” based only on their desire for money?  (as opposed to they use "really good scripts"  to handle you).

There is a Scale of Motivation, it goes highest to lowest:

Duty
Personal Conviction
Personal Gain
Money

For example, when one is communicating to their clients about a needed price reduction from the viewpoint of personal conviction or duty, rather than “I want the money” – that “Care Factor” on the part of the agent is visible to all but the worst off in the society.  Please don’t think I am advocating earning less or not reaching all of your financial goals, I’m not.  I believe that great agents operate and handle their clients from the level of Personal Conviction or Duty.  They tell their potential sellers the whole truth every time and don’t hold something back because they might not get a commission.  This isn’t so they can be in compliance with the Code of Ethics, but is just the way they think and operate.

In the next year or so a great many agents will be leaving the real estate industry – but they were really on their way out before this latest crash arrived.  And they were primarily motivated by money or personal gain.  Not the highest level of motivation.  Ever.

Will This Post Win The Inman Innovation Award?

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Google Map Football Field
Actual link to Google Maps

What you are looking at is an actual image from Google maps.  If you want to see what others are saying about it, you can find it on various sites.  Is it innovative?  A little bit, maybe.  But in the end, probably not.  Does a Realtor really need to "be innovative" to succeed?  I don’t think so.  There are more and more "out of the box" ideas that are presented to the real estate industry almost every day.  Loads and loads of "new" stuff that is really just more old stuff.  Most of the agents I talk to about various seminars seem to be looking for something new.  Something different.

Out of the box I don’t believe that we need to get out of the box.  I believe most of us need to get all the way in the box.  One reason?  You can not depart from a location you have never arrived at.  You must get all the way in before you could need to work on "getting out".

Our business is really pretty simple.  Get and keep customers is the main issue.  Lead generation (if it is going to matter) is really lead conversion.  If we are looking at the subject of getting and getting rid of listings, here is a concept to look at:

All "problems" in getting listings are either in getting to the table or at the table.  About 70% of all sellers talk to only one agent prior to making their decision to list with them.  About 15% talk to only two agents prior to deciding.  This data alone clearly suggests that the main problem is not at the table but getting to the table.  Get to the table and you are likely to win.  The various ideas for getting to the table (that actually work) all seem to me to be very "low tech".  Very low tech.  Finding out what is really wanted and needed and then providing just that – that sort of thing.

Unless you have a rather amazing list of names in your Rolodex, it will usually be the number of people you can ask to do business with you that will determine the outcome – and your income.

Will someone please let Inman know I am standing by for my prize?

A Talk I Gave to New Agents

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

This was for new John Hall agents and the room was very hot, so I had two big fans going at the same time.  Unfortunately, you can hear the fan noise.  The talk is a bit over 90 minutes total and it has been split into nine parts.  It is in mp3 format and clicking on each of the links will open the file in your computer.

People who have heard me speak many times before said it it was very very good.  Other than the fan noise, I agree with them.

Talk from Russell on July 16th, 2008 part 1

Talk from Russell on July 16th, 2008 part 2

Talk from Russell on July 16th, 2008 part 3

Talk from Russell on July 16th, 2008 part 4

Talk from Russell on July 16th, 2008 part 5

Talk from Russell on July 16th, 2008 part 6

Talk from Russell on July 16th, 2008 part 7

Talk from Russell on July 16th, 2008 part 8

Talk from Russell on July 16th, 2008 part 9

$100,000Agent