Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eat Your Frog

If you are like most people today, you are overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time with which to do it in! 

Everyday you struggle to get caught up, new tasks and responsibilities keep piling up...and because of this, you feel as though you will never get caught up. You may even begin to feel like you will always be behind in some of your tasks and duties no matter what you do.

For this reason, (and perhaps now more than ever before) ...your ability to effectively select your most important task at a given moment of the day and get it completed quickly and efficiently ...may well be the one skill you posses which will have more positive impact on your success than any other!

An average person who develops the habit of setting clear priorities and getting them done quickly will eat the lunch of a "genius" who just talks the talk!

Mark Twain once said "If the first thing you had to do each day was eat a live frog...you could go through the remainder of the day knowing for certain nothing worse will happen to you that day".  

Your "FROG" may not be your biggest, most important task ...it could be the one you dread the most ...A phone call to a Seller who you have neglected to call for weeks ...A call to a Buyer with bad news about a rejected loan ... Or it could be the things you procrastinate on like, prospect calls, writing personal notes, or doing some face to face pop-by visits... any of these tasks could be "your frog".

One more tip...If you really had to eat a live frog ...sitting around all day worrying about it would only raise the level of anxiety and stress.
Eat your frog early and then free up your mind for the rest of the day ...And if you have to eat 2 frogs that day ...Eat the ugliest one first!

Eddie Brown  ©2011 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Putting Your Mouth Where The Money Is...

Putting Your Mouth Where The Money Is!

I am sure you have heard the phrase … “Put your money where your mouth is” …Well I would like to turn that around in hopes it will help you to boost your relationship based referrals.

Putting your mouth where “the money is” pertains to your ability to grow relationships in an effective way which will lead to income producing referrals. I often see associates who have built great relationships but have reluctance and sometimes a downright fear of asking for referrals.

This is a hard thing for a Coach to understand…but an easy challenge to overcome.

If the individual already knows, likes, and trusts you, and also sees you as a professional in the industry,   they usually will be very willing to help you grow your business ... and I am certain they would not view it as an imposition …IF you use the correct dialogue.

SUCH AS: “John, you and I have known each other for a while, and you know I am a REALTOR ... I need to ask a favor of you. I have found the most effective way to grow my business is working by referral, where friends and associates like yourself refer business to me knowing the referee will be well taken care of during and after the transaction…With that in mind…If you knew of someone who was thinking of buying or selling real estate, who would you refer them to? ….Thanks for having confidence in me…Who do you know who is currently thinking of buying or selling and could use my professional assistance?”

See how easy that is? The money is in referrals…The dialogue is in your mouth…so starting today… put your mouth where the money is and start watching the referrals fill your pipeline.

Eddie Brown ©2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

What Happens When You Become "Too Available"?

Are You Too “Available”?

I often see many associates who get sucked into the “interrupt-us all-the-time-us” black-hole when they become too “available” to clients and prospects. The key to long-term success is a constant focus on your business prospecting. Your focus is lost when anyone can break into your schedule at will. You have to padlock your availability into pre-designated times…

A Top Level Producer minimizes their distractions by “booking” their appointments.

REALTORS are the most interrupted professionals in the world. As Professionals we need to better educate our clients to how they may only have access to our time in a controlled manner. I am not suggesting prospects shouldn’t be able to get a hold of us easily ...I am saying you can’t allow the phone, e-mail, other Agents, clients, and other things to become such a distraction where you lose focus on prospecting for new business. A good tip is when you need to be 100% focused …shut down anything which could cause you to be distracted from your time block …(turn off your cell phone, e-mail, office phone, and shut your office door)

Direct your prospects and clients into time slots, or time blocks when you schedule appointments. {Dialogue}: “I have 2pm Monday or 4pm Wednesday …which is better for you”? This is precisely what your dentist, your attorney, and your accountant does. Why not you? The #1 mistake I see with REALTORS time management is most don’t operate through appointments and they end up meeting with clients on the client’s schedule, not their schedule. This instant availability causes you to miss or cancel other important activities like …Prospecting Time, Children’s activities, Time with spouse/partner, or loss of just “Me Time”.

For some reason, REALTORS have a false perception that total and immediate access equates to a higher level of customer service. (I feel this perception is completely false). The most highly respected professionals operate on an appointment-only basis. Immediate access can also send a clear message to prospects and clients that you are not busy. Ben Franklin said, “If you want something done right, ask a busy man to do it.”

Time blocking is one of the most important disciplines you will need to master on your journey to becoming a Top Level Producer. There is a direct connection between your ability to time block and your income. Follow the path and you will be happy to see where it leads you.

Eddie Brown ©2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Use Who You Know To Grow Your Business!

Use “Who You Already Know” To Double Your Income… 
The most commonly neglected referral sources are often your past clients and those people you already know …or your “Book of Business” (B.o.B.).
Your B.o.B. contains people who you know for certain will refer business to you ...or in other words... those who know, like, and trust you...When positioned properly, these people will produce substantial new business for you on a consistent basis.
An aggressive plan to expand and transform your list of names into a B.o.B. should result in a dramatic increase in referrals from your database.
Example: If you currently have 50-100 people in your system, using a pre-planned and systematic approach to prospecting and networking, you should realize an additional 15-20 sales each year derived from this one source; you can clearly see the benefits of mastering this system.
But before you can effectively use this system, your database must be well organized. There are many different database management systems, but the key is to have an action plan for networking and prospecting designed specifically for each class of entry.
The more information you have on each relationship, the more efficient this system will be for you. Make sure to gather as much INTEL as possible on each entry ...then use this information to grow a personal relationship built on care and trust.
First You Must Have the Right Mindset -Before discussing specific ideas to implement, it is important you have a good mindset in place concerning working your past clients and centers of influence. To successfully get huge amounts of referral business, it is imperative you develop strong relationships with these people. Any time they think about real estate, you want them to think of you. You want to quickly develop an association with each relationship so they involuntarily mentally link you to Real Estate.
Everyone has professional people in their life they call upon when necessary; we all have a doctor, a dentist, a lawyer and an accountant. Yet very few people have a person they call “My” REALTOR®. The reason is … most agents rarely take the time to cultivate a deep relationship. So make this your goal, and the result will be lots of loyalty, lots of business and lots of happy past clients.

By following the system below, you can “educate” your list of relationships to always think of you whenever they are involved in a conversation regarding real estate. The idea is, you are not just asking for their referrals, but you are providing great services and benefits to them directly.

1. Call your B.o.B. 4 to 6 times a year. Remember, your objective is to become their resource for everything real estate related. Consider the following flow for your list calls:
First:  Get personal / build rapport (Use F.R.O.G.- Family, Recreation, Occupation, Goals in your conversations)
Second: Discuss their real estate needs (Discover a “need” and help them with it)
Third: Ask for referrals (Who do you know that is thinking of buying of selling in the near future?); it is critical you ask for business.
The length of time you spend on each call will vary based on who you are calling and how often you speak to them. It is normal the first time you call through the list your conversations will be fairly long. This is fine as it is critical you are building rapport and talking about real estate with them.
2. Mail or email something to your B.o.B. every month. -Examples include: Items of Value, Postcards, market updates, newsletters, just- listed cards, just-sold cards and charitable notices. Always refer them to your website. Also, offer them free reports on how to increase the value of their home, how to get rich investing in real estate, how to stage their home, etc. Become their “go-to” person for everything real estate related! 
When considering “Items of Value” make sure it holds value to each individual …the same Item of Value sent to everyone in your B.o.B. will not be seen as “valuable” …know the individual so well that you know what they find valuable.
3. Pick out your best people and label them as "A+" or Advocates. -These are your best clients and your best friends ...people who you know without a doubt will refer you business.
Advocates or A+’s will be the movers and shakers in your community, the business owners, the H.R.  Department Heads, etc… These are the people who know the most other people; they are "connected" and can provide you the most amount of referrals.
Take A+’s to lunch at least once a month and explain how you want to build your business with a referral network …When you say to them, "I need your help,? They respond, "What do you need?"
4. Consider throwing a holiday or client appreciation party. -This is a perfect way to gather your A and A+’s together to thank them for their support and referrals. There are many ways to have a party. You can do a great party in your home or at a local country club. Many agents get creative and do theme parties like casino nights or costume parties. It may cost a lot of money to throw a great party, but the event will easily pay for itself with the referral business it will generate.
5. Consistently send out handwritten notes to your B.o.B.. -In this high technology world of e-mails and form letters, it is important to still maintain a personal touch . A simple way to do this is to send out a handful of handwritten notes each day. Almost every hand written note you send will be read...there is no bigger bang for the buck than a hand written note. Use them and watch your response rate soar!
6. Do "pop- bys" to your database. -A drop by is simply going directly to your list's home or place of business ...the idea is just to stop by and create a face-to-face contact. Say, "I was in the area and thought about you. I figured I would stop by and shake your hand and see you. Spend a few minutes talking and then move on to the next person. You can "map out" where your people are and see many of them in a short period of time.

When contacted regularly and enthusiastically, your past clients and center of influence people will be some of your strongest sources of business. You will be able to consistently obtain quality referrals from these people in any type of market. Focus on providing great service to them, and the business you receive in return will be the foundation of your business.

Eddie Brown ©2011

A Microwave And A Crock Pot Walked Into A Real Estate Office…

I almost don’t know how to write about this subject but I see this issue so often I feel compelled to put something out so you will not fall into the same trap I’ve seen others in.

In the early 1960’s the West Bend Company developed an electric bean cooker called the “Bean Pot”. This early electric slow cooker resembled a crock-pot which rested on a warming tray. In 1971 The Rival Company introduced the more modern era Crock-Pot slow cooker…

As families changed and more women went to work outside the home there came a need for a faster way to cook meals for the family…Enter the Modern Microwave Oven…Few people know the Microwave Oven was actually invented before the crock-pot…14 years before to be exact!

The microwave was discovered accidentally by Dr. Percy Spencer in 1947 while working on a Radar related research project for The Raytheon Corporation. The first microwave dubbed “The Speedy Weenie” was 5 ½ feet tall and weighed 750 pounds… By 1975 the renamed “Radar-Range” was outselling conventional gas ovens in Japan almost 2 to 1…

So what does Crock-Pots and Microwaves have to do with Real Estate?

The crock-pot method of growing your business is the slow and steady growth of your book of business where the Microwave method is the mythical “Get Rich Quick Method”!

Unfortunately I see many Associates perceive Real Estate as a get rich quick business, and in the period of 2000-2007 it became reality for a lucky few. Unfortunately …many have since learned what worked then …seldom does now. There are no easy buttons, elixirs, or magical pills to miraculously transform you into a real estate “millionaire”.

There is a more methodical approach to growing your business needed for today’s market. The formula for Success:
·         First you need daily focus on your prospecting activities to a book of business with long term growth in mind.  
·         Next you will need to broaden your focus slightly creating short term written business plans looking at 2 day, 2 week, and 2 months goals.
·         And lastly, having a Coach or accountability partner to keep you focused and on track will lead you to your success goals.

Winning the day, the week, the month, and the year is the crock-pot approach to business growth in real estate. Slow and steady wins the race.

Hang in there and stay focused on the basics …building relationships based on trust and care.

Eddie Brown ©2011