Every few months I get together with some other real estate moms here in the area to chat about the market, find out what is working and gain insights on the things that we are struggling with. We had a meeting yesterday and it was just great! There were so many awesome ideas and insights that I thought I would share them here.
~ The topic of referrals came up and a few of the agents had recently put an article in their newsletters about how to refer someone, ie having your client send you an email with the other persons information so that you can contact them to say hello rather than just having your client giving out your name and hoping for the best. In addition to this, the agents are holding a contest and in the next six weeks everyone that gives them a referral is entered into a drawing. One gal is doing a night at the Salish Lodge, a VERY nice hotel in our area, with 2 massages. The Salish is a very nice and very expensive place, but they have packages available at Costco at almost half the normal rate so it is cost effective for the agent and a special treat for her client. She has received 3 referrals in the last week!
~ Joey is holding her first housewarming party for her clients. She sent out the invitations, is doing the food and had some really cute party favors that she brought to show us. We are all excited to hear how it went the next time we get together!
What Are You Listening Too?
~ Diane and I are listening to Jackie Leavenworth who is a CRS instructor and goes by the name of the Real Estate Whisperer. She has some great CD’s that are very much along the lines of the Ninja philosophy and gives just a slightly different twist on some topics. You can find her things on the CRS website or at www.coachjackie.com. Stephanie is listening to the CD recordings of the various agents that have spoken at the Ninja retreats and loves their different inputs. These are available at www.ninjaselling.com.
~ Barb as been doing a sneak peek open house for all of her listings with great success. She typically brings a house on the market on Thursday so on Wednesday she hosts an open house for the neighbors and her database and serves wine and cheese. Whenever possible she emails out the invitation using a website called Smile box www.smilebox.com. It is similar to Evite, but much easier to use and with many more options.
What Do You Do With Lowball Offers?
~ We talked about what do you do when you got the seller to go with the lower list price only to have buyers come in obnoxiously lower than that? One of the things that has helped me a lot is to set the stage for a seller when we are first discussing price. I tell them that pretty much the only thing I know for sure is that when we get an offer for your house it will not be full price. It is just the nature of the market right now. There are bottom feeders out there that will come in low and not budge, let them go. But there are true buyers out there too and if you can start the dialogs with them by countering the offer allot of times you can get it to a reasonable number for both parties. Sandi mentioned that she had recently had an offer come in really low on a listing and her first response was to want to tell them to take a hike but after getting some counsel from her fellow agents decided to work with the seller to counter the offer and they were able to bring the buyer and seller together after all.
~ Sandi had a great open house tool box that she shared with us. One of the best things in there was her mini clip boards that she uses with a questionnaire that asks the buyer to rate the house and give feedback to the seller. At the bottom of the form is a spot for them to provide their own contact information. She has been very successful with getting people to provide the information and turning some of them into clients.
Tracking The Funnel
~ Stephanie has been using the funnel and really likes it as a way to keep track of her business and see what she has going on. I have been using this for quite a while as well and swear buy it. It keeps not only my active clients top of mind, but those clients that are further out as well so that they do not fall through the cracks. I have had some big wins in the last few months with this because I have continued to reach out to people even though they are not ‘today’ clients and some of them have ended up becoming ‘today’ clients. Sandi is also diligent about tracking her numbers and knows where she is at relative to her goals and what activities she needs to ramp up, such as open houses, if she is behind on her income numbers.
~ We talked about how do you do these to make sure that you are on track. Kelly had a great idea which is to pick one day a month and she takes all of her clients who have house closing anniversaries in that month and does their CMA’s to send out.
How Do You Implement It All?
~ We talked about how do you all of a sudden start doing all of these lunches and calls and CMA’s and the normal day to day business and not only fit it in, but not be exhausted by the end of the week! Admittedly none of us really get it all done in a week. But having the goals keeps us on track and means that we get more done than we would have otherwise. That being said, ramp up slowly and you will not get so overwhelmed and will be more likely to stick with it. Maybe just do 1 lunch a week and 1 CMA and only focus on 25 contacts. Once that gets comfortable then start increasing the numbers. Slowly, but surely you will get there and anything that you do today will have a positive payoff tomorrow.
Different Take On Just Listed Cards
~ Barb is working with another agent who has a different take on Just Listed cards. She laughed because she said that they feel and look so low budget compared to what she was doing before, but that they have been amazingly effective. Part of what is working is there is an 800 number on the card for people to call and get more information. The call in system allows the agents to call capture the buyers information so that they can follow up with them. They are very successful in translating those leads into clients.
We had some great laughs too. We all laughed about the fact that we know signage is important for open houses and yet we all despise the act of putting out the open house signs for whatever reason. Joey took the cake on this one when she told us about putting out a sign under an overpass one day when it was raining and being absolutely drenched by the water that came down from above! I admitted that I have done some great open houses in the past that have brought me clients but now I get so focused on the book that I am reading I am almost annoyed when people come to the house! Certainly not the best business plan. So it is time to change my attitude on that one.
We also talked about the fact that when you are in a commission industry there is always a time when you are doing a lot of work without much reward and income. I found myself getting really frustrated with everything the other day and feeling like I was doing all of this work for nothing. Then I realized that I have a lot of listings coming on the market right now. So I am expending a tremendous amount of time, energy and finances to get them up and running. The reward will be their and it will all be worth it in the end but right now I just need to trust that it will all be okay and keep moving forward.
So there you go, those are the notes from our meeting. I hope that you found something in there to keep you motivated and moving forward. If you would like copies of anything such as the funnel or open house questionnaire just send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, I am happy to forward them on. Website / Open House Invitations: