Posts Tagged ‘education’

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.

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Safari is Just Around the Corner!

May 24, 2011

Don’t let the amazing event pass you by!

We’ll be looking at:

  • Where you are in your business.
  • What the last two years have brought … and what the next two years could bring.
  • Your natural work and behavioral styles, and how they dramatically impact your success.
  • The ten essentials for a successful business.
  • How to create an action plan that takes you where you want to be.

Think this is just another real estate seminar?  Think again!  We guarantee you’ve never attended an event quite like this.

Here’s what one agent had to say after our last event:

“This was the most personal and insightful seminar I have ever attended.  Denise has a great gift, and this could be the key to my personal and professional success.”

If you’re ready to take action, enroll in Safari while seats still remain!

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.

The Unforgettable Open House!

May 5, 2011

Join us for our “Unforgettable Open House” event, and we’ll teach you how to design and conduct a truly unforgettable open house experience. You’ll learn the secret “props” needed for success, and how to captivate open house visitors. Discover the art of truly showing a home, rather than simply standing in the kitchen while potential clients walk in (and out!) the door. Hear the simple secret to capturing client contact information, without seeming like a pushy salesperson, “masculine talk” versus “feminine talk”, and much, much more!


We’re offering this amazing opportunity in conjunction with Washington REALTORS® in support of the National Association of REALTORS® Open House Weekend, scheduled for June 4th and 5th. Master all of the insider secrets to a successful open house … then participate in the National Open House Weekend by holding your best open house ever. Public awareness of open houses will be high, and their expectations will be as well. You need to be ready to deliver!

Event details:

Tuesday, May 24
Master Builders Association
335 116th Avenue SE
Bellevue, WA   98004

9:00 – 12:15    OR    1:00 – 4:15

Attend for no cost* … or receive 3.5 clock hours for $35 ($40 at the door).  We’re limiting attendance to this event, so sign-up today!

If you want to create an unforgettable open house experience – one that will generate income for you – you must join us for this memorable class.

RSVP for “The Unforgettable Open House” class, today!

*You must RSVP for this event, even if you are selecting a complimentary ticket.

This event sponsored by:

Kathy Tarabochia
Mortgage Consultant

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!

Where Will Your Business Be Four Weeks From Now?

April 13, 2011

Without intervention, it will probably be exactly where it is today.

Now, if you’re exactly where you want to be … great!

But if you are searching for more success, or you need a jolt of inspiration, you need to join us on Safari to learn how to make business-building changes that will carry your forward.

Are you ready to set aside your belief that “the market” will dictate your success?  (Hint: we are coaching clients who are having their best year EVER!)   Do you love the synergy that comes from a room full of people focused on making a positive change in their business?  Is it just time to plan for a better business – one that you’ll love for years to come?

If you answered yes to any one of these questions, we want to see you at one of our upcoming Safari events.

Need more details?  Click here to learn more!

Powerful Client Communication Tools

April 7, 2011

This is the third article in my series on powerful listing presentations, where we’ll be covering pricing, communication, technology, marketing, and home presentation & photography.

This week I want to discuss powerful client communication tools and how they will enhance your listing presentation.

Many sellers say that one of their biggest frustrations and challenges is agent communication. In my company we often talk with seller focus groups, and communication issues come up over and over again. Here are some of the things that sellers tell us:

  • “Once I signed the listing agreement, I rarely heard from my agent.”
  • “I have no idea what I am paying my agent for – she doesn’t seem to be doing anything to get my house sold!”
  • “I canceled my listing because my agent promised a lot, but delivered very little.”
  • “My neighbor’s house sold and my agent never bothered to take the time to tell me why theirs sold and mine hadn’t even gotten an offer.”

I can’t tell you how many agents still don’t recognize the seriousness of this issue!  Agents lose a lot of business – especially repeat and referral business – simply because they don’t meet a seller’s communication expectations. And it saddens me to know that with just a little planning and effort, this doesn’t have to happen.

First and foremost, find out how your clients feel about communication. Ask what method will be the most comfortable for them. Remember – this is about their preferences, not yours. Just because you’d rather talk on the phone does not mean that everyone else would. Some people are happiest using email. Some prefer the phone. Some only want to talk to you face-to-face. And some want different communication methods, depending on the issue. As an example, I had a client once who didn’t mind phone calls for simple things like a buyer feedback report. But they expected to have face-to-face discussions for anything more serious, including market changes, price reductions, or the new listing down the street.

If you don’t ask how clients prefer to communicate, you are missing the mark. And when that happens, you’re going to lose business.

Beyond knowing how your clients want to communicate, you need to have a communication plan, and accompanying tools, which clearly shows them what you are doing to earn their business (and their trust!). You must show them exactly how you will keep them apprised of important issues like market changes, feedback from other agents and buyers, and what you’re doing to market their home.

Remember when we spoke about “props” in the previous Zebra Report?  In case you need a reminder, props are visual tools that help you articulate your services – and your value!  Props help show your clients that you do take your communication plan seriously, and that you have the tools needed to follow through as promised.

So, what kinds of visual tools do you need?

1. A broker open or office tour report. Many agents have some sort of a comment form that they ask other agents to fill out about a new listing. But very few agents turn those comments into a visual report for their sellers. Sellers want to have something to look at. They won’t remember what you told them on the phone. And if you need to reduce the price or recommend staging in a few weeks, you’ll have data from your colleagues to back you up when talking to your sellers.

2. An ongoing feedback report. This report is based on buyer feedback – which is even more critical than agent feedback. Typically an agent will call a seller if there is feedback on their home. If that feedback is negative feedback, agents will ‘duck’ this discussion altogether. Tell your sellers that having a feedback report for them – based on unedited comments from buyers – will provide both of you with important and relevant information about what buyers are seeing and experiencing, regardless of whether you receive good, bad, or neutral feedback.

3. A pending-to-closing calendar. You must visually reinforce the organizational skills you provide once there is an offer on your seller’s home. Too often agents believe that sellers know what happens from day-to-day or week-to-week during the pending and closing process. However, sellers tell us that is not the case! They do not remember all of the steps even if they’ve sold several homes in the past. Show them what your calendar looks like, and tell them what to expect.

4. A marketing calendar. From writing and placing ads, to posting online, to building flyers or brochures and creating photo galleries and videos – selling a home takes extensive marketing. Do your sellers know exactly what you do, and when you do it? Do you explain to them what needs to happen and in what order it should take place? Providing a calendar (not simply a checklist) reassures them that you are doing everything you can to market their home effectively.

5. A marketing activity report. Even though you provide your sellers with a marketing calendar, you should also provide weekly updates on what you are doing. If you have ever had a seller say, “…you don’t seem to be doing anything to get my house sold…” providing weekly activity reports will answer that concern in a very powerful way. It takes a lot of work to sell a home – let your sellers know that you are working for them.

6. Samples of all of your marketing tools. It goes without saying that sellers expect to see samples of high-quality, professional marketing materials. You must have samples of your flyers and brochure, your open house materials, and your online marketing – including your photo gallery or a video home tour and how your listings appear on websites. You should have a visual representation of every website where you post their listing.

If you create “just listed” postcards, have a sample. If you send out a client newsletter that features your listings, let them see exactly what that looks like.  Consider creating a notebook that includes not only sample newsletters, but a printed copy of your database. When you explain the power of your database in marketing their home, you add another important layer to your listing presentation.

7. An annual client review. Even though your potential sellers won’t receive an annual client review on a home they are selling, they will understand the value when you say “I want to show you my Annual Client Review. Because I am very good at staying in touch with my past clients, they call me at the very beginning of their home search – which means I often have an ongoing list of potential buyers who may find your home the perfect fit.”

8. A homeowner’s book. Here’s a great way to discuss the homeowner’s book with potential sellers: “Imagine you are a buyer who has fallen in love this house. And on the kitchen counter is a notebook that includes all the details – and answers all the questions that you have. Details like home care and warranty records, the most current inspection report, tax and appraisal records. Neighborhood and community information. A homeowner’s book calms their concerns, so that instead of walking away with more questions, they are excited about writing an offer.”

If you find this list daunting, start by simply creating one tool at a time. Before long, you will have an entire set of communication tools at your fingertips … and a much more powerful listing presentation.

When you visually engage sellers with a systematic communication plan, the opportunity to leave the appointment with a listing contract in hand increases dramatically. And when you follow through with your communication plan, you will have solidified a client relationship that will bring you business for many years to come.

Next week I’ll be covering the role technology plays in the listing presentation.  You won’t want to miss it!


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