Posts Tagged ‘Follow-up’

Follow-up and Communication … the Final Keys to a Successful Open House

May 26, 2011

As the fourth and final installment of my open house series, I’m going to share the importance of strong follow-up and communication plans, and why you’ll never achieve the full potential of an open house without them.

Follow-up … or fail!

Quite often one of my clients will call me and say, “I thought I had the best open house! I was so excited afterward! However, nothing has come of it. Not one person has called me back. What happened?”

I’m here to tell you that if you are expecting people to magically call you back, you’re going to be waiting for a very long time. No matter how much they like you, not everyone you meet will call you after that first open house. It’s incumbent upon you to reach out to them! You may need to meet people at several successful open houses before your phone starts to ring. Rome wasn’t built in a day … and neither are relationships with potential clients.

Here are the follow-up actions that need to be part of your open house plan. Some are tried and true … but some may be new to you!

  1. Before you leave your open house, put everything back in order. You’d be surprised how many agents hurry out the door and forget to do this. The seller comes home after the open house, only to find things out of place – or worse yet – hidden away where they can’t find them – and may feel uncomfortable or angry. Remember: you are a guest in their house. Treat your time there as such.
  2. If you were successful in connecting with people who attended your open house and have an email or a phone number, send them a “thank you for coming” email or make a quick phone call. This is not the time to give your sales message!  It is, however, the time for a simple thank-you. If neighbors attended, be sure to contact them as well.
  3. Send a second thank-you when possible, including a message that says something like, “If you didn’t have a chance to sign up for my real estate market update, please give me a call or send me an email and I will be sure to get you that information on a monthly basis.”
  4. Leave the sellers an open house report. If you create this report as part of your open house system and have it preprinted, all you need to do is fill it out just before you leave the open house and put it on the kitchen counter for the sellers to review. Include how many people attended your open house, any comments (both positive and negative) that they made, and your comments about how you feel the open house went. Please be honest here – it’s not fair to only provide positive information, when the reality might be something like “most attendees felt the price was too high.” If they only hear that things are going very well, they will become frustrated quickly if there is no other activity or any offers.
  5. You have yet another opportunity to reach out to people who attended your open house by sending “just pended” or “just sold” postcards at the appropriate times. Keeping people abreast of market activity is another way to stay in touch – and it allows you to articulate your value as a knowledgeable professional.

Communication is critical!

Communication is such a key piece of having a terrific open house, yet so many agents struggle with making guests feel welcome while also trying to establish the beginnings of a business relationship.

There are three key areas I want you to be aware of:

  1. The welcome: Are you a “stand at the front door” agent, or a “sit in the kitchen” agent? What I’m getting at is this: what is your comfort level when people come in the door? I have attended open houses where the agent literally frightened me by opening the front door with such gusto they almost knocked me down! I’ve also attended open houses where the door was already open … and when I walked in the agent was at the kitchen counter using her laptop. She only looked up long enough to say “Hi there.  Come on in and look around.” Finding a balance between the two is a skill that you must learn.
  2. The home tour: Do you like to show people around the house, or would you rather they tour on their own? Some agents are very successful at corralling groups of people and leading an actual tour – others are much more comfortable just letting people wander on their own. Sometimes this depends on the layout or amenities of the house or the seller’s wishes. Regardless of what tour style you choose, you must be comfortable talking not only about the house, the neighborhood, and the current market, but also encouraging people to take a look at all of the display boards and market data that you have provided.
  3. The goodbye: Are guests leaving your open house with a positive lasting impression of you? In talking to hundreds of buyers over the years, the general consensus is that while agents are nice and will say “thanks for stopping by”, buyers rarely feel like they made a connection with the agent. The goodbye is your final chance to make that connection without being pushy. You really need to think about how you want to handle this, based on your personal style.

So remember – you can turn an “ok” open house into a great open house by implementing great follow-up and communication plans.

Don’t forget that the weekend of June 4th and 5th is National Open House Weekend.  Public attendance at open houses this weekend should be high.  Make sure you’re prepared for your best open house ever!


If you joined us for our Unforgettable Open House class this week, thank you! You are on your way to creating your own unforgettable open house during the National Association of REALTORS® Open House Weekend June 4th and 5th.

As our “thank you” to those who came to class AND to those who have been reading through this series, we would like to share a document to add to your open house tools. This is a sample letter you can send out to the neighbors of the open house, offering to put “slow down” signs up due to the increased traffic in the neighborhood. Neighbors love this! This small touch accomplishes several things:

  • It introduces you, the agent.
  • It lets the neighbor know there is an upcoming open house. Remember, people buy neighborhoods…and neighbors are a fantastic way to spread the word about your listing.
  • It shows that you are concerned about the safety of their family.

You would not believe the response agents have received from neighbors so thankful the agent has gone the extra mile in keeping their neighborhood safe.

These safety signs are available in a variety of child safety areas of stores or you can buy them online. This is just one type of sign, but there are others types as well.

This letter is my gift to you. If you use it, I would love to hear what response you receive from the neighbors! Email me what you have heard to denise@thelonesgroup.com.

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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.

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!

Out of Sight = Out of Mind

March 10, 2011

There’s nothing harder than running into a past client and learning that they just bought or sold a home … without you. It wounds your pride, it shakes your confidence, and it hurts your pocketbook. What I’ve learned over many years is that when someone tells me their story, I’m rarely surprised after I hear the full story. Here’s a hint: Out of sight = out of mind.

One of the most important truths in real estate is that you need to stay “top-of-mind” with your clients. You must be confident that when the people you know need real estate services, you are the first person they think of.

People today are busy. They have busy jobs, busy lives, and often they are juggling the activities of several family members – and everyone’s corresponding calendars. When they are ready to buy or sell property, they don’t have time to search for a new agent. If they have one who is already top-of-mind, that’s who they call. People call the agent who is in their mind, at the exact moment they decide to pick up the phone, look a house online, or send an email.

Are you that person?

Agents ask me all the time: “How do I cram one more thing into an already hectic business?”  My answer is simple: You have to.

It’s not your sphere’s job to remember to call you – it’s your responsibility to make sure they call you.

Another question I often get asked is: “What’s the best way to stay top-of-mind?”  My answer is always the same – and a bit frustrating for some agents. There is no magic formula, and there is no one “best” way. The truth is, you have to match your communication format with the way your sphere wants (and sometimes needs) to be communicated with.

Remember this: deciphering their communication code takes a lot of time! But it’s absolutely worth it in the long run.

First look at your database. Then determine the best way to stay top-of-mind with each of them. Is it in person? Is it by mail? Is it by phone? Is it via email? Or are they happiest when they see you at the grocery store?

Here is why this is so frustrating to some agents. It’s hard to put together a follow-up plan – a strategic and effective top-of-mind campaign – when you have so much to consider and not a lot of time to build a plan.

So, what’s the answer? Here are some things to think about.

  1. A great place to start is by thinking about how you are going to communicate. I firmly believe that for most agents whose client base includes a wide variety of age-groups and an even wider variety of communication preferences, a very high-quality, content-rich piece of mail is critical. It’s important that your clients get something they can touch and feel, and that reinforces the fact that you are their best resource for real estate expertise. A high-quality piece also says that they are important to you not only on a professional level, but on a personal level.
  2. Determine your message. Always send real estate-related information. (Note: If you have a sphere that really appreciates the college football schedule you send in August, that’s fine. But I consider that an “extra” mailing piece, not your August top-of-mind piece.) Top-of-mind mail needs to update your sphere on the real estate market. It needs to speak to the trends and news and also provide insight into the market. This piece needs to address the factors that impact your sphere’s ability to make wise real estate investment decisions. For example, you might include important changes to real estate laws. The content needs to include the kind of information that any buyer or seller wants (and needs) to have.

Some agents send a newsletter, and some agents send an oversized postcard. Again, the format should meet the needs of your sphere – which may be different than the format a colleague of yours sends to their sphere. And it should always be designed using YOUR brand. Remember – your sphere may be getting information from other agents in your area. If everything they get looks eerily similar, the reader will think the content is the same too. You have to stand out – and you must provide relevant content.

If you want to make your mailer more personal, consider sending out a quarterly neighborhood review. Collect data on every active, pending and sold listing and provide commentary on what the market is doing right now. One note of caution – do not just send a chart or a graph or a list. You have to also tell your reader what the data means, and why that is important to them as potential sellers and/or buyers. People like to know what’s happening in the real estate industry. They like to be kept up to date so they can feel ‘in the know’.

I often get asked about sending out an online newsletter. My answer is this: If you are very confident that your sphere is best served by an online newsletter, or a blog that you write and they follow, then that’s a good option. However, as I said earlier, most agents have a very diverse sphere. Some folks may not be connected to the online world. Or they are bombarded by email every day and what you send will get deleted along with every other email they aren’t reading. If you have a tech-savvy population within your sphere, by all means customize an online piece just for them.

The bottom line is this:

  • To stay top-of-mind with your sphere, you have to have a strong follow-up plan.
  • To have a strong follow-up plan, you have to take the time to determine exactly who your sphere is, and what your plan looks like.
  • Once you have everything mapped out, make it easy on yourself by setting up a regular schedule that ensures your sphere hears from you each and every month.

Want to go from out of sight and out of mind to top-of-mind? A strong follow-up plan will get you there.

Turn Lost Opportunities Into Realized Opportunities: the Need for a Detailed Communication Plan

January 5, 2011

In the last two Zebra Reports I’ve been talking about the idea of Lost Opportunity and what it means to your business. Lost Opportunity business is business you can have, and it is income you should have. Don’t lose those opportunities simply because you didn’t have a plan to keep them in your pipeline. No more Lost Opportunities in 2011!

What’s the one essential thing that I think you must have?  A communication plan—as part of your overall business plan—that will solidify your relationship with your past, current and potential clients.

Recently, an agent I work with said, “Denise, I have a basic plan to stay in touch, but I never seem to follow it. What am I doing wrong?”  Once we looked at the reasons he wasn’t following it, the answer was right in front of him. He knew he needed a plan, and in the back of his mind he had an idea of what it looked like, but he didn’t’ have any details to guide him.

Most agents have the same problem. They may have a client communication plan in the back of their mind—they may even have it written into a yearly calendar. But if, on any given month, the notation simply says “call sphere”, it is easy to drop the ball. If you don’t know what to say, and if you don’t have details to guide you, your communication plan quickly falls to the bottom of your list. Nobody likes random calls. We don’t like making them; we know others don’t like receiving them. Random calls feel way too much like a ‘sales’ call. You won’t have to make random calls when you have a detailed plan.

Most of us are much better at following a plan. What if, in early January, your communication plan said ‘Call sphere to alert them about the predictions article.” Granted, you have to have your predictions article ready to mail out, but now you have a reason to make a quick call as well. The call sounds like this: “I just sent you my predictions article for the 2011 real estate market. If you have any questions, give me a call. Otherwise, I hope you find my article interesting and helpful.”

If you have to give last-minute thought to what to say, how to say it, or what your message is, the call will simply not be as successful as it might be when you have an actual plan for calling. When you have your plan and the details—even the script, it’s easy.

“Okay,” you say, “but it’s hard to figure out what to send, or what to call about.”

We created the visual chart, below, to make it easy for you to build a communication plan for your entire sphere, including additional communication options for your past andyour potential clients.

Sphere Database

Past Clients

Potential Clients
(buying or selling within the next year)

12  Monthly Real Estate Mailings

X

X

X

Annual Client Review and Client Appreciation Event

X

Weekly Communication

X

  • 12 Monthly Real Estate Mailings – here is an easy formula:
    • Six articles a year. These must be real estate specific.
    • Four quarterly real estate reports specific to your/their market.
    • One annual review
    • One predictions article
  • Weekly Communication for potential clients (less than a year from a transaction) should include market specific data:

Sample items for potential buyers:

  • Appreciation rates in different neighborhoods
  • Home comparison reports for different neighborhoods
  • Video tours of neighborhoods. This is especially important if they are not familiar with all the neighborhoods they might choose from.
  • Listing and sold data

All this information helps buyers begin to learn more about the market, learn where the best values are, and calm the sometimes overwhelming feeling new buyers have.

Sample items for potential sellers:

  • Regular listing, pending and sold reports
  • Days on Market reports
  • List-to-sales-price ratios
  • Inventory numbers

Not-yet-ready-to-sell clients have to get used to what comparable homes are selling for on the open market. This may not be the time in their life where their real estate will sell for what they want. You have to educate them. Be their expert and provide them with honest, accurate data on a very regular basis.

Send one of these at least once a month, and follow up with a phone call or email the other weeks. Yes, you may even count your monthly mailing to your sphere as communication for one of those weeks!:

Using this plan, and building in the details that you need to keep you on track, you will significantly strengthen your relationship with each person in your database and position yourself as their real estate expert.

Let’s recap. Regardless of whom you need to communicate with you must have a consistent, well thought-out weekly, monthly and annual plan that includes all the details you need to make your plan actually work for you. With a strong communication plan, business will come your way more easily!

Do you need more help creating a communication plan?

Join us for our 2011 Safari on January 12th and 13th at the Redmond Marriott Town Center. We’ll help you build your own customized 2011 business plan, including a communication plan that will keep you top-of-mind with everyone in your database and keep a steady flow of business in your pipeline.

I am truly excited about this upcoming Safari as I know everyone is going to walk away with the tools they need to make great strides in their business and systems in 2011. I hope you will join me!

By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI

Lost Opportunities Come from Buyers, too!

January 3, 2011

In last week’s Zebra Report I talked about the concept of Lost Opportunity as it relates to sellers. I discussed the potential business in terms of listings that you may have had taken, but you never saw the actual commission check. I also talked about how to track these sellers, and to look for patterns as to why you are losing those listings to determine where you need help in your business. When you’re working with sellers, the three biggest reasons for Lost Opportunities are having a listing expire, having a seller cancel their listing, or having a listing languish on the market because it is overpriced. Have you found a pattern in your lost listing opportunity? What are your plans to stop that leak of dollars?

Lost Opportunity doesn’t only come from sellers.  Buyers represent another huge Lost Opportunity! Buyers are all over the place. For a lot of agents, buyers are easy business.  Buyers show up, find the perfect house, and think you’re the greatest agent in the world, right? As you know, that’s not always the case.

When I think of Lost Opportunity Buyers, I like to put them into two categories. The Right Now Buyer and the Initially Interested Buyer. Let’s talk about the difference.

Right Now Buyer
You know these buyers.  I described them above. They often come out of the blue and they are ready to buy right now. They may have seen your sign and called you. They may have met you at an open house. They may have been referred to you. They are anxious to find the perfect house, right now.

Most agents do a fantastic job for their Right Now Buyers. They listen to the buyer’s wants and needs, they pull up listing data, they take buyers out to preview properties and before long they are collecting a commission check. The process is pretty easy.

However—Right Now Buyers can be tricky. In their enthusiasm, they may find the perfect house on a Sunday, not want to bother you, and write a contract with the agent holding the open house.  It didn’t even occur to them that they should have called you to represent them. Bam. Lost Opportunity. How many buyers do YOU lose this way? If it’s even one buyer a year, that’s one buyer too many.

Initially Interested Buyer
This is where most agents run headlong into Lost Opportunity. We all know about the Initially Interested Buyer. This buyer starts out by looking at homes online. They drive around neighborhoods and say “Someday we’re going to live in this neighborhood.”  Or, they start a more traditional search by spending Sunday morning looking through the newspaper. They pick up all the real estate magazines. They might go to open houses. (You know these buyers too…the first words out of their mouth are “Oh, we’re just looking.”)

Their first step usually involves a computer, a publication or their car. Then they might call you. The problem is that they’re not always that exciting. And these buyers often don’t actually buy anything for a long time. It could be 6 months. I t could be a year. It could be 18 months! It’s awfully easy to lose interest with the Initially Interested Buyer.

But this group of buyers can be a goldmine for agents who can create a system for keeping those buyers interested in real estate. I like to call it a buyer conveyor belt. For Initially Interested Buyers on your conveyor belt, you must have tools that you can pick from to keep them interested and keep you on their radar. They need information on:

  1. Financing
  2. The overall market
  3. A specific market
  4. General and specific neighborhood information
  5. Appreciation rates
  6. The inspection process
  7. The appraisal  process
  8. The offer
  9. The pending process
  10. The closing process

Notice that I just gave you 10 months of reasons to contact these folks. If you need 6 months more, I’ll bet you can come up with them in about 5 minutes.

In essence, because Initially Interested Buyers are on a longer track, you have to keep your conveyor belt going and you have be patient. But if you can get them excited to work with you, and you can keep that excitement going, you have a great chance of having a pipeline that will turn into Right Now Buyers.

Most agents do well with Right Now Buyers. Most agents don’t do well at all with Initially Interested Buyers.  Take a minute to honestly look at this idea.

Has there been someone that has called you that turned out to be an Initially Interested Buyer? Did you lose interest because their timeframe didn’t fit into your need for business?

I want you to add your Right Now Buyers and Initially Interested Buyers to your Lost Opportunity tracker. Remember…the one I told you to create last week for your sellers.  If you don’t have these folks on your radar, it’s easy to lose track of them.  Don’t give up that commission income! It can add up quickly!

In the coming weeks, I’m going to talk about how to fix your Lost Opportunity list. This list plus your Potential Income Tracker (remember, this is the pipeline of clients who are likely to buy or sell in the next year) are critical parts of your business that—if taken seriously—can really make a huge difference in your bottom line.

Are you ready to make a change?

I have a great way for you to get started. Register right now for our 2011 Safari on January 12 and 13. I guarantee that you will leave Safari knowing exactly what you need to do to keep your Sellers, your Right Now Buyers and your Initially Interested Buyers on your radar. You’ll also spend some quality time taking  a good, long look at your successes and challenges, and your potential for 2011 and beyond.

If you’re serious about getting your business on track in 2011, Safari is the event that will get you there.

By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI

What Are Your “Lost Opportunities” Telling You?

December 17, 2010

We’ve all lost listings … either because the property didn’t sell and the listing expired, or because the seller decided to cancel the listing. It’s not something we like to have happen, but it does, and we move on. There’s always more business just around the corner. Right?

Here’s something to think about, though. How much income are you losing to your expired and canceled listings? I’ll bet it’s a LOT more than you realize. If you added it up, it could be thousands of commission dollars that you have given away.

Here’s something else to think about. It’s not just about the money. It’s also lost future business. It’s lost referral business. Any way you look at it, you simply cannot just ignore it and say, “It’s not a big deal. I have other business.”

There are reasons why agents lose listings. Probably more reasons than I have room to list here. It’s most often an agent issue, rather than a seller issue. But for today, here is my short list. These are the biggies.

1. Pricing. Every time an agent takes an over-priced listing, they run the risk of having that listing languish on the market until the sellers cancel the listing or they simply let it expire. Overpriced listings do not sell. As long as human beings have bought and sold real estate, this has been the case. What makes an agent think that it is different now? Find the confidence to get your sellers to price correctly from the beginning of the listing. From the beginning. Not 30, 60 or 90 days down the road.

2. Client Care. Every seller deserves the right to have exemplary client care. They are paying you thousands of dollars to sell their property. They should expect—and they should receive—amazing client care. They should hear from you every week. They should have market updates and statistics every week. Even if you have nothing to tell them that they don’t already know, they need to hear from you every single week. Don’t drop the ball on this. If they only want to hear from you every 30 days, it’s even easier to get busy and drop the ball. Don’t. Sellers get cranky quickly when they feel like their only communication from you is when you happen to have the time. They lose faith in you. They cancel their listing or let their listing expire and then move on without you.

3. Follow Up. If you say you’re going to do something, then you need to do it. If you say you’re going to call your sellers back about something, call them promptly. If you say, “I’ll get you that information,” get it. If you hear from another agent, or get a sign call, or get an ad call, or get an internet lead … let your sellers know! You may know what’s going on, but they don’t unless you tell them. Follow-up is a huge deal.

So you want to have a serious reality check? Go back at least 3 years. Write down every single listing that you had, that either expired or was canceled by the seller. Write down the approximate net commission you would have earned for each one. That number alone should alarm you. Then, jot down why you think you lost that listing. Be honest with yourself. Once you have your data, look for patterns. This is where the rubber meets the road, folks.

If you’re like most agents, you’ll have listings that were overpriced, listings where you dropped the ball, and listings where no matter what, you could not make your sellers happy. But every one of those listings tells you something. There’s a story. There’s likely a pattern. Figure out what it is, and then figure out how to address each issue so it doesn’t happen again.

Are you pricing-challenged? Are you dropping the client care and follow-up balls? Are you trying to work with sellers when you know that—from your first meeting with them—you will never please them?

Expired and canceled listings should only happen to you once in a very great while. For very good reasons. Every other one is a lost opportunity that has a dollar value attached to it.

If you want those dollars in your bank account, take the concept of Lost Opportunity seriously and do something about it today.

By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI

This Week’s Featured Product: How to Get Started in Real Estate

December 6, 2010

We’ve lowered our prices on several of our downloadable audio products!
Many now just $19!

This week’s featured product:
How to Get Started in Real Estate

If you are even remotely thinking about getting into Real Estate or just gotten into Real Estate you need this CD!

Many people think selling Real Estate is an easy career that simply requires a smile and a good attitude. To be successful in Real Estate you must have a strategic plan and an effective marketing campaign. You also need to make money in the first six months or you are not going to last.

Learn how to jump start your career and get on the right track now.

AUDIO PRODUCTS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD
Select a title to view more information and purchase

How-to Series:
How to Hold a Successful Client Appreciation Event
How to Handle Floor Calls
How to Manage Your Tasks, Not Your Time
How to Build Your Business Using an Assistant
How to Create a Business Plan that will Make You Money
How to Get Started in Real Estate
How to Handle Any Objection
How to Handle Floor Calls
How to Lead Your Office to Unprecedented Success
How to Make Money Now … Not Later

Presentations:
Powerful Listing Presentation Techniques

Lead Generation:
Classes
Networking Groups
Niche Marketing
Blogging for Business
Your Website

Marketing Help:
Successful Closings
Creating a Buyer’s Package
Creating a Seller’s Package

Visit our website for more information!

Ask Denise!

November 30, 2010

Q: “Denise, I’ve been sending out reminders for my Client Appreciation Event, but I haven’t had any response yet. What should I do?”

A: Get on the phone. Sorry, it’s probably not what you want to hear. But you can’t just rely on mail alone. People are very busy—especially at holiday time. If you want people to show up, you need to add the element of voice-to-voice communication. There’s nothing like a warm connection to show people how much you want them to come to your event.

Ask Denise!

November 23, 2010

Q: “Denise, I’ve had a listing on the market forever, but the seller won’t reduce. Should I continue to keep this listing on the market?”

A: Absolutely not. It’s professional negligence to have a listing on the market when you know darn well it won’t sell. What you’re actually doing is inflating the inventory, and that hurts everyone—sellers, buyers and the entire industry. Overpriced listings need to come off the market so real (and realistic) sellers can sell and buyers aren’t wasting their time.


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