Archive for the ‘Ask Denise’ Category

Ask Denise: Open House Tools

May 25, 2011

Q: Denise, I saw the samples you had at the “Unforgettable Open House” class. I can see that having all these materials would be super impressive to visitors, but I’m absolutely overwhelmed at the thought of how much work it would be to figure out how to do everything. I really have no idea how to get started on all this.

A: I’m glad you could attend the live class!  And you’re right – having amazing open house materials definitely is a big component of what I like to call “The Unforgettable Open House”. Don’t worry if you don’t have the skills, or the time, to figure out how to create these materials on your own. If you wish, you can simply purchase the CD of all 37 templates for these materials from us! And thanks for joining me in class.

Ask Denise: Signing in at Open Houses

May 17, 2011

Q: Denise, how do I get visitors to sign in so I can get their contact information?  I’ve tried telling them the seller requires that for security reasons, but I’m getting some pushback from clients … or they use fake names.  Last week someone signed in as Betty Rubble. Help!

A: No one wants to be forced to sign in “for security reasons”. Unless you’re checking IDs at the door, and confirming people are who they say they are, it’s pretty obvious to visitors that security is not the issue.  Here’s a new approach to try:  Instead of demanding that guests sign in, instead allow them to tour the home. While they are there, make an effort at building rapport and showing your expertise. As they are finishing their tour, offer them something of value – such as neighborhood sales data or an analysis of appreciation in the area. Visitors are far more likely to be receptive to sharing at this point during their visit.

Not sure how to frame this up? How about asking a visitor, “Would you like me to send you an appreciation analysis of the neighborhoods in the Claremont area?” I think you’ll be surprised by how many visitors say yes, and happily provide their contact information.

Ask Denise: Keeping up with technology

May 11, 2011

Q: Denise how do I keep up with all the new technology that is out there? I feel so left behind!  

A: Because technology is such an integral part of our business — and our lives — I personally devote a portion of time daily — yes, DAILY — to learning something new, or playing with a new technology. This is often one of my favorite times of the day! Learning new technology can be tough — however many companies who have created amazing technology have also created great learning videos. YouTube can also provide a wealth of information for you to digest. There are so many interesting new tools on the market all the time; keeping up should be a part of your day, not something you only do when you desperately need it! Want to keep up? Get online and start looking around. You’d be surprised at how much fun you’ll actually have.

Ask Denise: Personalized Open House Signs

May 5, 2011

Q: Are personalized open house signs really all that important? My company provides us with very nice signs that we can use.  

A: You absolutely need personalized open house signs! In the sea of open house signage on any given open house day, you will never stand out if you only use your company’s signage. Buyers and sellers tell us over and over again that they want to talk to a real live person when they want information. Be that person, by providing easy to read, personalized signs, with your name and phone number prominently placed. Yes, custom signs cost a little more, but all it takes is one buyer or seller who closes a transaction with you and you’ve more than paid for your personalized signs.

Of course, before you purchase personalized signs be sure that you check with your parent company to ensure you are working within any signage guidelines they may have.

Ask Denise: Working with an Overpriced Listing

April 28, 2011

Q: An extremely overpriced listing in our market just expired and the sellers have contacted me to do a listing presentation for them. Do I even bother to meet with them? They didn’t reduce the price the entire time they were listed before – and I suspect that they will stick to their guns on price even now.   

A: OF COURSE you meet with them. If you can provide these sellers with concrete data and strong compelling visuals to back up your price opinion (you can find details in my April 1, 2011 Zebra Report, Powerful Pricing Tools), you have a great opportunity to help the sellers see the importance of pricing their home right this time around. The right pricing tools are not only critical to helping a seller see where they need to be priced to get a sale; but they will help you give a strong and confident presentation.

Ask Denise: Social Media

April 20, 2011

Q: I know social media is an important marketing component. What percentage of my time should be devoted to social media? 

A: You’re right – social media is a very important part of your overall marketing strategy. It will take you time to ramp up, and time to manage it on a regular basis. However, remember that first and foremost you are a real estate agent — you make money by putting sellers and buyers together, and closing transactions. Recently I’ve been talking to agents who have gotten so caught up in the social media world that they are spending too much of their time posting, tweeting, and reading/commenting on blogs. While you need to pay attention to social media, and you should be involved in the online conversation, I caution you to not get so wrapped up that you start losing clients — and business!

Ask Denise: Time Management

April 14, 2011

Q: I have too much to do every week and am getting behind. How do I manage my time more effectively? I feel like I’m drowning!

A: Any time I hear an agent feel like they’re losing focus I know they’re not doing what I call “the hour of power”. You’ve probably heard me talk about the hour of power before. It’s as simple as this: set aside an hour of time each and every day where you work on projects that will improve your business. During that time you DO NOT call clients, email clients, text clients, or communicate with clients in any way. Instead, tackle those projects that will provide a long-term benefit to your business – such as the development of your website, the creation of a buyer or seller package, or the development of a brochure that describes your services. If possible, have your hour of power at the same time every day, and try to do it in a spot with as few distractions as possible.

Ask Denise: Sharing the Good News

April 7, 2011

Q: We’re starting to see some positive signs in my local market and I want to do something to share the good news with my clients.  Is it better to call, post something online, or send something in the mail?

A: Why not do all three?  Pick up the phone and call those people who have been sitting on the fence all winter.  Tell them what’s happening in your market right now and give them some quick statistics that will pique their interest in either selling their current home, or buying their first home.  Also, put the “proof” (your research) in a piece you can mail … or post it on your website or blog.  It only takes a little bit of good press from an “expert” to help others gain the confidence to get back into the market!

Ask Denise: The Realities of Keeping a Listing on the Market

March 30, 2011

Q: I have a seller who has put her home on the market twice in the past 12 months, then cancelled it each time within 3 months of being listed because she wasn’t getting any offers – let alone a sale. How do I get her to keep her home on the market long enough to find viable buyers in today’s market?

A: First of all, you need to take the time to talk to your seller about the realities of your current market. If the days-on-market number is 6 months, and your seller expects her home to sell in 3 months, she isn’t being very realistic about how long this will take.

Secondly, you need to have a frank discussion about realistic pricing. Your seller’s home will have to be priced very competitively in order to ‘beat the odds’. In fact, she probably needs to be below the ‘now’ price in your market. If she’s not willing to price according to your market and her timeframe, you’re spending your time and energy on a listing that will likely not sell anytime soon.


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