All about Selling and the Sales process

“You only call me when you want something.” 

Maintaining client relationships is obviously important to repeat business, but why do many of us do so poorly with keeping in touch?

I was pulling a report to view the analytics of an email campaign and I noticed our bounced email list was fairly large. This is bad for us because we lost out on being able to email them, and it shows that we have not kept in contact with them to know that they have a new email address. Fortunately, this now creates an opportunity for us to reach out and call our past clients and prospects, and gain their new contact information. It also opens the window for a conversation on what they have been up to, and if they have noticed the rise in the Real Estate Market.

Now… For the contact information that is correct in our CRM… How often are we reaching out to them? Also, when we do contact them, are we just trying to sell them something? This reminds me of someone I knew in college. Every now and then I’d send a txt to that “special person”, and they would always txt back “You only txt me when you want something!” <INSERT winking face with deviant smile> I learned a great lesson from this experience: Continuous meaningful contact.

What this means: When you see an article, or photo, or idea, or just think of someone… Let them know. Send a txt, email,  a card, or give them a call. What I have found is I have built better relationships, gained more referrals, and sold more. I didn’t ask for any sales or referrals, but keeping in touch and reminding people of myself kept me on their mind for when they needed Real Estate help.

What this does not mean: Blasting constant emails with the same content to everyone in your database. The key aspect to making this tactic work is personalization. Think about how many unrelevant calls, emails, postcards, and such that you receive. Don’t be one of them. Simple.

If your client feels like a cheap booty call, they’ll respond accordingly. Believe it or not, you’re replaceable. Don’t give people a reason to replace you, give them a reason to want to marry you.


Make It FAB!

Barbie showing property

OMG Ms. Buyer, this property is so for you!. You should buy now!

Many agents may think they are doing a fabulous job at showing properties, and touting all the specifications of a property. However, are the clients really buying it? Probably not.

On your next showing, try making it FAB!

Customers buy benefits, not features. They want to know how much reasonable satisfaction could they gain from the property. Many agents know all the features of a specific property, but never translate the feature into a benefit to the client.

To do this, use the acronym F.A.B:

Feature, Advantage, Benefit

First start by mentioning a feature of the property: “This property features a tankless water heater.” Second, follow-up with the advantage of the feature: “The advantage of a tankless water heater is that it supplies instant, endless hot water.” Finally, the benefit to the client: “The benefit to you is you never have to worry about running out of hot water, while your entire family takes showers to get ready for church on Sundays!” There you have it: Feature, Advantage, Benefit.

Now let’s say you wanted to sell a beachfront home to a client. You list all the features: 300′ of beachfront; massive, 6 car garage; hand-scraped, Brazilian, cherrywood floors; reclaimed stained-glass windows; vintage styled Wolf appliances; and 5,000 gallon, saltwater fish tank. Sounds legit. So what are the benefits? That’s the tricky part. The benefits for each client are going to be different. One client may enjoy the benefit of living in luxury, while the next client may enjoy the benefit of being able to lease the property for a higher price.

To find out what benefits are important to each individual client, you need to listen carefully to what they want. Listen, ask questions, then listen more. Find out what benefits really motive them, then turn all the features into advantages that will benefit their specific needs.

Now go sell something.

Proportional Real Estate Marketing Expenditures

Proportional Real Estate Marketing Expenditures

Marketing for Real Estate should not be one size fits all. Yet, many agents seem to think it is, and that the 3 P’s of Real Estate Marketing always apply to every listing:

  1. Put up a sign,
  2. Put it online, and
  3. Pray

Here is a little secret… Real Estate Marketing is not a fixed expense for every property. If the price of the house and the real estate commission are perfectly elastic (for every increase in the price of the house there is an increase in the price of the commission), then why are marketing costs not weighted the same? I constantly see agents putting forth the same amount of effort and marketing for a $100,000 property as they do for a $1,000,000 property. The reason a commission is a percentage of the sale is for the reason that it takes more effort to sell more expensive properties. Thus, if it takes more effort, it should take more marketing effort as well. Each property is different and should have a marketing strategy created for each listing as they occur. I think it is great that one website syndicates to thousands of other websites, and there is a printed out marketing package that says that exact same thing. However, it takes more than a quick pic with an iPhone and uploading the property to the local MLS.

Before listing a property, ask the potential agent what specifically they are going to do to market your property differently than every other agent available.

“Jack Of All Trades” Should Always Be Followed By “Master Of None”

I’m sure there’s one in every family… An Uncle of the sort that can do just a bit of everything: hang drywall, delete a computer virus, change out an electrical panel, or even jump a dirt-bike over his trailer. But, I’m sure he probably isn’t a contractor, a computer technician, an electrical engineer, or a stunt double for Tom Cruz. He might actually be a door-greeter at the Wal-Mart. Why is it that he never succeeded to top of an industry? Specialization.

When my friend Zachary got his real estate license he quickly hung it with a national firm. On his first day he was filling out his profile page on the company’s website, where he proceeded to checkbox every option available to add to his online profile: First-Time Home Buyers, Luxury, Short Sales, Foreclosures, Mobile Homes, Land, Rentals, New Construction…The list goes on and on. His thought was that if he checked everything he would be found for something, and then make a sale. What he didn’t do was find one field of real estate that he had a passion for and stick with it. I, personally, have always loved luxury real estate. When I got my real estate license that was all I focused on, and it took me a while to get where I was going. However, I had a vision of what I wanted to accomplish and stuck to reaching my goal.

Don’t get me wrong; I can do a bunch of “other stuff”. But when it comes to what I “do”, I only “do” one thing. The benefit is that clients notice when specializations are spread thin, and they will run for the hills. So in the words of Snoop Dogg, “Do wha cha do, cuz dat’s wha cha do.”

The Law of Diminishing Marginal Listings

The Law Diminishing Marginal ListingsOne of my little brothers called me yesterday worried about whether or not he should keep his listing agent. I asked him a few questions, and he finally said, “I just think she’s too busy to list our house.” What?! Is this true? Someone is too busy to make more money? It is true, but not intentional. This is where I have developed a new law; it shall be known as the Law of Diminishing Marginal Listings. Looking at the image of the graph above, we see that the red line represents the number of listings. Additionally, the green line represents the ability to list one more property. The number of listings is increasing at an increasing rate, and will continue to increase into infinity. The green line, however, is increasing at increasing rate up to maximum capacity. After maximum capacity, the ability to list one more property changes the green line to be decreasing at a increasing rate. What does this all mean? Every Real Estate Agent only has the physical and mental ability to handle X number of properties at one time, and efficiently and effectively list/sell their properties. Once an agent reaches maximum capacity they are no longer providing a service; they actually become a disservice, increasingly, to all of their listings.

There may be a mathematical formula to equate the maximum, but there is a different maximum for each and every agent. The best way is for each listing agent to know what his or her maximum is, and make sure not to reach the maximum. Dr. Kimball said it best, “I don’t want you working at 100%. I want you working at 90%.” Why is that? Because people just get burnt out. There is no way for someone to work full speed everyday all day. Not possible. Even if they did, who would want to be around them?

The moral of the story… Ask your agent how many listings they currently have, what do they feel their maximum capacity is, and what can amount of time can they promise to devote to effectively selling your property. If you feel your agent is maxed out, then it may be time to find a fresh face in the game with only a few listings.