It is no secret that many markets have slowed down, here are some tips to create more opportunity and maintain the right mindset!
It is no secret that many markets have slowed down, here are some tips to create more opportunity and maintain the right mindset!
Executing on all you need to do is near impossible to do alone and still continue to grow your business. There is a human capacity to what you can accomplish. There comes a time where you need to enlist the help of others – you need to build a team so you can take part of your plan and start delegating activities. Here are some tips to help you build the right team!
There is a limit to what anyone can do alone. For example, for a loan officer, typically when someone funds over five purchase loans a month they begin to get overwhelmed. There are just too many things to do: open houses, putting deals together, working on marketing campaigns, updating their pipeline, hitting their close of escrow dates, trying to manage a database. For real estate agents, I see that their capacity gets challenged once they are closing 2-3 deals per month. Something has to give. Usually lead generation is what is sacrificed first so it is imperative that you either manage your time and priorities better or you consider building a team.
If you don’t have the support for your business, it usually results in a roller coaster of good months and bad months. One month production is up because you’ve spent your time prospecting. The next month business is down because now you’re spending all your time managing the pipeline. Then you shift back to prospecting and the cycle continues. This is why so many in the mortgage and real estate industry are in scarcity mode much of the time.
To build a sustainable business you must constantly be building your pipeline. The primary function for all of us should be creating new business opportunities. When you reach the point where this is no longer possible you must start looking for someone to help you. This usually coincides with good production numbers. Once you reach a certain level you can generally ask for what you need. In my experience the first person you should hire is someone who can manage your pipeline or current deals in contract. This person will help with your files, with communication, with follow-up and database management so you have time to spend prospecting and focusing on gathering new opportunities.
Before I hired my first assistant, I spent time looking at my job. I made a list of all the things I did. At the top of the list I put the things I really enjoyed doing. At the bottom of the list went all the things I hated doing. So when I did hire someone, their job description was already done – they got all the things I hated doing. For most of you that will be the details and follow-up but for others it could be the marketing and prospecting.
As you get beyond the first hire, you’ll want to continually refine what you need. You’ll be able to pass more responsibility to others. Building an effective team allows you to focus on your strengths but it isn’t simply placing a warm body in a seat. Teams are only as good as their leaders. Leaders are only good if they have a clear vision – they know what activities and results need to be measured, they know what needs to be accomplished, and they’ve provided the team with a roadmap on how to get there. Leaders have built the foundation for their business and they communicate it.
Being a visionary isn’t the only requirement of a leader. You also must be able to manage people. You should set guidelines and measure performance. You must deal with personnel issues. If you’re not a leader in this sense of the word, if you identify that your strengths are in opportunity creation and not day-to-day supervision, then hire someone who has the leadership skills to get things done. It should be someone you respect, will be willing to listen to, and has the ability to hold others accountable.
Make sure that you hire the right people. Vet them ahead of time. Ask them what their goals are. Don’t hire anyone you think won’t be with you for more than two to three years. You won’t even start to see any benefit from the hire until about six months in after you’ve spent time training and investing in them. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned is building teams are:
You will not be able to take your business to the next level without letting go of something and building a team. Just be prepared and have a good business plan to share with them so everyone knows what part they play in the team’s success.
The truth is you probably have a lot of missed opportunity in your database and peer group. We make so many assumptions like if anyone needs anything they will come back to me. This assumption is flawed and proven to be wrong. Only about 20% of people go back to their lender for a subsequent loan and according to NAR’s Profile of Home buyers and sellers only 55% of sellers used the same agent to list as they did to buy their home. We must make changes to how we connect with our database if we want to maximize opportunity. Your limiting belief that I don’t want to bother people must be changed to I add value every time I connect with people which will lead me to future opportunity:
I add value every time I connect with people which will lead me to future opportunity.
Here are some tips to create more opportunity:
I recommend that you start prospecting more within your database and people you have connected with in the past. More leads may not be the answer…it may be go deeper with people you already know!
Written by Suzie Wilson
Most home sales do not come about as a result of an open house. In fact, only 7 percent of home sales result from holding one. So why should you put yourself to all that trouble? The answer is money. A successful open house can mean the difference between a house that sells quickly, above offer and one that languishes on the market for weeks. A home that shows well can generate a bidding war. Here are a few helpful suggestions on getting the most out of your home with a successful open house.
Put your best foot forward
If you’re going to be showing your house, you want it to look its best. Pay special attention to the exterior. You’ll never get another chance to make a first impression. Curb appeal is half the battle, as you want to make the buyers stop their car in their tracks. It doesn’t matter if your interior is top-notch if no one makes their way indoors to see it. So, clean up the outside and give your house a fresh coat of paint. Spruce up the lawn and power wash the driveway. Install new exterior bulbs, so your house looks great at night and put out some colorful annuals for a cheap and cheerful welcome in the daytime.
Create the illusion of perfection
Your buyers probably won’t have a lot of imagination. When they look at your home they may not be envisioning all the ways they can make it their own, so you’ll have to do that for them. Start by maximizing your space; eliminate clutter and personal items. You may need to rent a storage unit for the duration. Try to make your home attractive to as many people as possible. This is not the time to flaunt your personal style. Go traditional. Repaint interiors in muted neutral tones that coordinate with a wide variety of furnishings. If you decide to remodel in advance of open house day, the best places to get a return on your investment are the kitchen and the bathroom.
Even if you’re selling the home “as -is,” it doesn’t hurt to invest in new towels and accessories to make these rooms feel more modern. You may even want to hire a professional stager to arrange your furniture aesthetically. You want to make your house into a model home. Today’s buyers have access 24/7 to images of beautiful homes on television and the internet, and you are competing with those lofty expectations. Your home is a stage set, and you want your buyers to be able to see their lives unfolding happily within these walls.
The next step is photography. Work with your realtor to arrange someone who can show your home in all its glory. Most buyers will research your home online before they see it in person, so make sure everything they see makes them want to see more. You can arrange to have 360-degree photo tours online, so that the buyer can experience “walking through” your home from the comfort of theirs.
Set up a strong web presence, noting all the pertinent information about your home. Find out the ages of all systems and appliances. Make note of any recent updates or remodeling you have done. Remember, you’re selling the fantasy of living in your house, so play up all of its advantages. Is it in a great school district? Close to shops and public transportation? Whatever its strengths, you’ll want to let the buyers know about them.
Get the word out
If you do not advertise, the world doesn’t beat a path to your door. Make sure your realtor is posting your pending open house to multiple social media channels and the MLS. Tell all your neighbors and friends. You might even want to send out invitations. The neighbor may not want to buy your house, but he might want to tell his son about it. Put out signs leading from major intersections, directing traffic to the open house. The more highly visible signs pointing the way, the better. One lonely balloon on a sign on a street corner isn’t going to cut it. You want the buyers following the trail like eager beavers on a scavenger hunt. Their reward is your fantastic house.
On the day of the open house, you’ll want to stay at a discreet distance, but be within easy reach of communication: keep your phone turned on. A prospective buyer may need to know the depth of your well, or the height of your crawlspace. Make sure the environment is as welcoming as possible, with plenty of light and warmth. Take any pets to the sitter for the day, and make sure the house smells amazing. Fragrances and smells have a powerful impact on our emotions; your house will seem more inviting if it smells of baked goods, for example. These can do double duty; bake some cookies and offer snacks during your open house. Put out iced tea and lemonade. Happy people are more likely to make offers, hungry or thirsty people are likely to rush through and leave.
Do you want to take summers off like you did when you were a kid? There are days I sure wish I could.
It is no surprise that most people lose some of their discipline and motivation throughout the summer. Whether you have kids at home or not, most of us crave more freedom. The weather is better, the sun is out, and our clients are always on vacation! With social media, we now also get to see everyone else having fun while we are trying to remain focused at work. Because we grew up with summers off we are programmed to want that freedom. It is imperative that you don’t lose momentum and sabotage your goals and plans though. This will allow you to take even more time off throughout the year and even retire earlier. Here are some tips to help you remain focused:
We can all have fun and be successful simultaneously. It takes intention and work but it is possible!
It has never been more important to work on who you are being then in a market like this. It is easier to check out then to push through your fears or worry. I highly recommend that you schedule in at least 30 minutes a day right now on personal growth to ensure you can handle the competition that exists right now and remain focused.
Take a listen to my latest interview on Mortgage Marketing Expert and gain some tips that have helped me through! Whether you are in Real Estate, Sales or Mortgage building a foundation to sustainable success is critical. Assess where you are now and build a new plan to ensure you have more predictability and consistency for your future!
Staying confident, and in abundance, when business is down is tricky. Abundance is an absolute belief or mentality that there will always be enough for you. It trusts that no matter what the circumstances, you will feel happy and successful. Abundance knows that you can adapt, work harder, or grow more to counteract any changes that may occur. It is also detached from outcomes. If the results of business are down, it doesn’t stress or worry. This mindset allows you to focus on gratitude, not fear.
When things are rolling and deals are closing it is easy to feel your life is abundant. However, if your prospects are down or not converting, it is just as easy to drop into scarcity. Scarcity is a mindset that most people have been programmed to have by society. It believes there is not enough, and if someone wins, someone loses. Scarcity envies others or makes excuses for why your business is off. It will complain, blame, and eventually drop you into self-pity; a state from which it is hard to recover.
So how can you stay in abundance when business is off? Use these tips and start cultivating more success now.
There are many other things that will help you stay in abundance, but getting the right mindset, increasing opportunity in your business, and ensuring your model is predictable are the foundations to set you up for life!
I could write an entire book around branding but for ease let’s just think of it as your promise to your customers that you will deliver something different and highly desirable if they work with you. These are the things that you do better than your competition or things you do that your competition does not. This is also referred to as your Unique Value Proposition. To be of value, you must deliver on your promises consistently at every point of contact with the customer, time after time. While you will of course help all the opportunities that come your way, it is best to build your business and brand around your ideal clients. In fact, your marketing plan should be designed to target as many of them as possible. Every day you are speaking with clients and helping them, you are building your brand.
What Is A Brand?
Your brand is not just your logo or your look. It is the way customers or referral sources view you. Online testimonials are one of the best indicators of who you are and what you provide that is outstanding. When a prospective client researches you they want to find “social” validation that you are who you say you are. You must focus on building the right perception of your brand in the marketplace. If your service is a secret between you and your clients, then you aren’t building your brand and you are missing opportunities. That’s why you need to include asking for testimonials as a part of your Database System to ensure you are positively building your brand every day.
It doesn’t take a huge investment in marketing, but it does take some introspection and making a non-negotiable decision about how you want to be perceived. More clients are using the internet to find out about you before they choose to do business with you. Every post you make or testimonial you receive is accessible, so be mindful of what you post. It’s also true that every conversation you have is building your brand so keep anything negative or judgmental to yourself. I get a kick out of loan officers and Realtors® that fire clients on social media or brag about it. This behavior will diminish your brand and cause others to see you poorly.
Your brand is based on the perception of others not how you see yourself. You should constantly ask for feedback on what you can do better or improve. In addition to talking with your clients, conduct a semi-annual review with your referral partners and solicit their feedback. Sometimes your clients will tell them, rather than you, where you could have done better. Commit to making quick changes to correct any deficiencies.
Help For Building Your Brand
If your current system can’t automate brand building, choose a company like Reach 150 or Social Survey that can help build your brand for you. They will send out the testimonial requests on your behalf and then use those to remarket your services to other prospects. They can also share the testimonials on social media which enables your database and natural sphere of influence to also see the brand you are creating.
Even if you think you have a negative brand now because you had a few bad transactions or lost a few referral partners, you can change it. Perfection is unattainable 100% of the time but we can become committed to getting better and better. Make a decision today that you will remain committed to building a better brand for yourself.
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not enough to have a business plan. You must create a non-negotiable activity plan that will have you taking the actions you need to take to make the business plan a reality. You must be 100% committed to accomplishing the activities – that is why they are non-negotiable. In addition to scheduling time daily to do these things you should also be tracking your results and conversion rates. As markets change, these numbers can change. Asking your manager or a coach to hold you accountable will help ensure you do the things you should be doing even when you don’t feel like doing them—discipline not motivation.
Weekly Status Reporting
I recommend using a weekly report so you can make adjustments quickly if you aren’t getting the results you need. If you fall short one week just add those activities to the following week. Always do a mid-week check on Wednesday at noon to see where you are. You may need to kick up your activity levels if you have fallen behind. (A sample weekly report is available on this website.)
You also need to make quick adjustments if clients or referral partners cancel. You will want to replace those meetings as soon as possible rather than just telling yourself it is not your fault.
The only person who suffers when you don’t do these things is you. The reason the activities are non-negotiable is that everyone is good at making excuses and then complaining that we don’t have enough business. You are the one that made your goals and plan so having the discipline to follow through is key. Some of the items you will want to do daily are to return all calls and emails timely. Even if you don’t have the time to spend with the person at that moment, calling and setting up another time to talk will help you. Clients and referral sources will move on quickly if you aren’t responsive. Also ensure that your voicemail is never full. A full voicemail can make individuals feel you are too busy for their business. Remember, everyone wants to believe they will be getting your undivided attention.
As you get busy, you may want to adopt a more professional approach. Offering appointment times rather than trying to offer a solution from your car as you’re driving down the highway will guarantee you don’t miss anything. I recommend booking appointments 90 minutes apart so you always have time for fires and call backs in between.
Assessing Your Daily State
If you aren’t executing daily it is likely YOU are the reason you aren’t and you will need to work more on your mindset. Your week should allow time to be creative about your business. This will give you energy and ignite more passion for what you are doing. Leave some time to research new ideas or to meet new people so you can learn how they created success.
By now you should have identified how you sabotage your own success. If you haven’t, go back and read January’s blog regarding sabotage management. Whether you are triggered or encounter other challenges, you have to remain focused on the end result you want to achieve. Assessing your state daily will help you make adjustments quickly. This is a burn out business where we can rapidly get into a funk. Remaining aware of how your state affects your ability to execute will guide you to seek help faster. We all have people in our life that can inspire us or get us out of a funk. Don’t delay in seeking out help. You want to have more good days than bad days.
And don’t beat yourself up if you do have a bad day. Don’t focus on it… just move on. Make a commitment to getting back to your plan the next day and give yourself a break. Use the sabotage management plan to ensure that if you do get in a funk you know how to get yourself out. If you get triggered use the four step process and get back to business as soon as you can.