February 23, 2014

New Way For Residential Real Estate Salespeople to Double Income

Why do 90% of real estate sales agents earn sub standard incomes of less than $70,000 per year?

Is the reason 90% of the top 10% of agents leave the industry because of the long hours required to earn this income?

Why is it that 90% of the public don’t like or trust agents?

Do you think Franchises and Principals are happy overall with the current real estate sales model and commission split arrangement?

My guess is that 90% of franchise groups are happy and many real estate principals are happy with their profits, time investment and the wealth they are building.

So with such enormous dissatisfaction levels from consumers and sales agents how long will it take before our real estate industry improves the experience for these two essential groups that make our industry possible?

It’s my belief that 90% of consumers are dissatisfied because of their experiences with real estate sales agents. Many consumers feel let down from the expectations given to them by agents from both buying and selling view points. But I don’t believe it’s the sales agents fault!

Sales agents are overworked and underpaid. Many real estate sales agents get into real estate with good intentions to help people. Sure they want to earn a good income also, who doesn’t? But the average agent is working 59.76 hours per week and earning less than $70,000 per year (the actual official average is about $46,000 pa.).

What would happen if sales agents were only required to work a normal 40 hour week to consistently produce 3-4 sales per month?

What if sales agents were earning 70-80% of the gross commissions instead of the measly 30-50% currently being paid? After all it’s the sales agents that are doing 70-80% of the most difficult components (skills and effort) of the sales process while the principals and franchise groups do a mere 20-30% of the easiest aspects required.

If the sales agents were earning 70-80% of the commission on 3-4 sales per month with an average gross fee of about $14,000, the sales agent would be earning around $300,000-$400,000 per year (this is what your group certificate should show).

When a bigger percentage of sales agents are earning higher incomes and working less hours, it’s my belief that they would be under far less pressure. That’s obvious right?

Sales agents would be more relaxed when communicating with consumers and far less likely to give consumers false expectations to win listings or get properties sold because they would not be so desperate.

In my opinion it’s these false expectations that leave 90% of consumers with hardened hearts and bitter sour tastes in their mouths when it comes to dealing with estate agents and our beloved real estate industry.

Why not just be upfront and honest with sellers before you sign them up and maintain this honesty with buyers when promoting properties?

Let’s face it, if you have to make a vendor see the realistic value 3 weeks after you signed them up, you have given them false expectations by not informing them of realistic probable value prior to signing with you. This is manipulation, it’s not skill or persuasion. It’s not hard to lie to or mislead good decent people in order to get them to do something for you, especially when you are complimenting them and their property. Many agents will say they gave the accurate price on the paperwork but they know full well they have been taught to operate within the laws and win business while giving inflated verbal price expectations.

I do not believe that sales agents are responsible for what they are learning because majority of new comers do not have the money required to pay for proper training. Most new sales agents take what ever training is provided to them by their principal or franchise group. Most sales agents enter the industry with no experience, ready to learn and absorb as much as they can to succeed?

In many cases sales agents are taught these “tricky” methods by franchise groups and trainers that are endorsed by the principals. Why would such methods be endorsed by franchise groups or principals? Because these groups benefit most from more sales. In my opinion it’s because they want their sales agents to be taught the strategies that will allow the biggest percentage of agents to be able to make the most sales, regardless of the consumers experience.

The main problem here is that it’s not just 90% of consumers having bad experiences, it’s also 90% of sales agents feeling uneasy about these practices (at least to begin with), although it’s the only way many know how to work in order to survive, pay their living expenses and feed themselves.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There are still principals and trainers teaching agents methods that help sales agents win listings and make sales while leaving majority of the consumers and also the sales people with a great experience.

When consumers and sales agents have good experiences, do you think the principals also get a good profit experience? Of course they do.  It just takes a little extra effort to train the sales agents to win business through honest communication and with honest expectations.

In my humble opinion our real estate industry will begin to make real inroads into consumer and sales agent satisfaction levels when the sales agents are given more time-saving support (from the franchises and principals who take such a huge cut of the commissions), and when even average sales people are rewarded with a 60-80% split of the commissions.

I know that franchise groups and many principals are not going to like or agree with this because it means they would lose profits or have to work harder to find and train more sales people to maintain their profit levels but if this is what it will take for our industry to give the public and sales agents a better experience, should we think about, discuss and act upon this?

The principals and franchises who begin making these adjustments will not only survive any upcoming difficult periods but they will surely
thrive by attracting more quality sales people to their organizations and in turn help more consumers, leading to even more sales, higher client satisfaction, higher agent satisfaction (less burnout) and higher profits.

Here’s what real estate sales people should expect from their principal, franchise or groups:

1. A bigger percentage of the commission especially when they find their own listings.

2. More support (tasks that don’t lead directly to a dollar productive result) that reduces the sales agents workload giving the sales agent more time to choose between more listings & sales results or more free personal time.

Franchise groups and principals are not providing sufficient business models or support platforms to be able to pay sales people higher percentages of the commission or remove a bigger percentage of the frustrating day to day trivial tasks that don’t directly contribute to a listing or a sale.

What sort of things?

Before I get into that, let’s agree that between the franchise and the principal, they are taking away 50-70% of the gross commissions the hard working sales agents are bringing in?

OK, now what exactly does a sales agent get in return for this massive tax on their hard earned money?

  • A brand or name
  • A desk
  • A receptionist
  • Admin support to load listings, make changes etc.
  • A trust account to hold buyer deposits
  • An administrator to do settlements on your behalf
  • Listing enquiries (are you really getting many from the office?)
  • A contact management system that only works if you are sitting at the computer in your office

Plus the essential services such as:

  • RP-Data
  • APM
  • Domain.com.au
  • Realestate.com.au

Is there anything else you can think of? If so make a comment at the bottom of this article to let me know.

Now let’s take a look at how much it would cost you to engage your own suppliers to provide these services for you.

Before we list the actual costs, can I ask you a quick question?

I’ll assume you said yes because I cannot possibly hear your response.

Do you think many people list with you (the sales agent) because of your company, your profile, your franchise group or your principal or do you think that majority of people who list and sell with you, like and trust YOU?

Once upon a time when people trusted big companies, they had great value but today loyalty comes down to the person who is sitting in front of the sellers today, not the biggest company.

Your company, your profile and your franchise group may provide some small benefits to you listing vendors but ultimately if the property seller doesn’t like and trust you, will they list and sell with you or your company/ franchise?

Let’s get back to investigating how much it would cost you to arrange your own suppliers to get your listings successfully sold:

Comments and Expenses
A Brand or Name Well we just agreed that this isn’t as important as perhaps it once was, years ago. I know we are made to feel like it is but I can assure you it’s not because when I used to call prospects they would often say “where are you from, I’ve never heard of your company”. And I still earned over $411,000 in my first year.
A Desk and Office You can lease your own office for between $550 to $1,300 per month depending on your location.
A Receptionist Depending on how many calls you have answered by a receptionist these days instead if your mobile, you can hire a professional Australian receptionist for $50-$90 per month.
Admin support to load listings, make changes etc.
You can hire an assistant to do this for $100-$200 per listing.
A trust account to hold buyer deposits Not much
An administrator to do settlements on your behalf Approximately $100 per settlement
Listing enquiries (are you really getting many from the office?) You can generate more listing enquiry in one month than most offices provide in 3-4 months with your own lead generation system.

The investment is less than $3,000 to set up and under $400 a month to run plus what ever level of marketing you want.

A contact management system You can get access to a contact management system for just $200-$400 per month
RP-Data Approx. $270 per month
Approx. $270 per month
Domain.com.au Approx. $400 per month
Approx. $500 per month
Approx. $3,900 per month

You would be looking at fairly low start up expenses under $10,000-$20,000 and monthly expenses of about $3,900.

At first glance, this might seem like a lot but let’s assume you are currently doing just 3 sales per month.

Now if your average gross commission per sale is $14,000 this means you are producing $42,000 in gross commissions per month.

If you are being taxed 60% by your franchise and principal (10% GST, 10% to franchise, 10% marketing Levy, 40% Principal/Office Fee, 30% Sales Agent), this means you are currently giving away $25,200 per month as opposed to $3,900 per month doing it on your own.

The difference to you is $21,300 per month or $255,600 per year that you would get as opposed to giving to your principal and franchise group.

There are new real estate models (Models that completely change the playing field of real estate sales) and support platforms being provided where you can get all the services you currently get plus also get features and benefits like you have never heard of before. Better still, you will be able to get access to this sort of support for a small flat fee.

I am not talking about REMAX type models, work from home models nor One Agency type models that really don’t do much for you at all except give you a name, website, realestate.com.au and domain.com.au access and a few basic sales data services.

I am talking about benefits that help you win more listings to bank more money and remove more of the day to day grunt work that simply doesn’t directly lead to dollar productive results.

Features like:

  • Buyer email enquiries from domain.com.au and realestate.com.au entered into YOUR contact management system for you.
  • Buyer email enquiries from domain.com.au and realestate.com.au answered for you on your behalf so your buyers (also hidden sellers) have amazing service experiences from you.

(most agents don’t even bother returning these email enquiries let alone entering the data into their contact management system. Imagine how many extra listing opportunities would come your way from this sort of service?).

Now I know what you are thinking.  These enquiries rarely have an accurate phone number and the questions asked are usually answered on the property advert anyway, right? How many of these leads do you think could be prospective sellers?

  • Well how would you benefit if your franchise or principal also followed up with these emails to discover their phone numbers and email you with all the contact details and also inform you which ones may be the potential sellers?

Please don’t make the mistake of closing your mind at this point just because you have never heard of these benefits being offered before.

We still have more benefits available from these new real estate offices.

  • How would you like all your contacts managed on your behalf? So they get followed up regardless of what you are doing and reminders get sent to your mobile phone (from the cloud) when your hottest contacts may need a personal call.
  • How much easier would it be for you to receive an email notification when contacts you thought were cold suddenly turn hot? This means less guess work and more productive actions that improve your ratios.

We are not finished with the benefits yet.

  • Your own lead generation system that can produce 30-40 seller contacts every single month with no personal effort prospecting.
  • When you get your listings signed, you just send through the listing agreement, and associated paperwork to admin and they coordinate your marketing team for you, so all you need to do is get the approval from your clients a few days later.
  • A listing presentation on iPad that clearly demonstrates unique benefits you can offer (and your competitors can’t).

This is perhaps the best benefit of the new residential sales platforms becoming available.

  • Sales agents get 100% of the commission less a small flat fee for access to the services mentioned above and much more.

Basically you will likely find yourself earning 2-3 times your current sales income working fewer hours and now enjoying real lifestyle balance, unless you just want to earn a bigger income. At least you will finally have freedom of choice.

How excited are you?

I know, I know. You have heard all sorts of promises and hype over the years. You have probably been in real estate for years and think you’ve seen and heard it all. But what if everything I just revealed to you was true, how excited would you be about work again?

Two to three times the commission splits and less frustrating admin work that doesn’t lead directly to dollar productive results.

This means. You will get more listings, make more sales and earn more money, plus due to the extra time you have freed up you can enjoy more free time with yourself, your family and friends etc. Or you can work more and bank more commissions.

The point is you have a real choice. How are your choices at the moment?

If you would like to find out more about these unique real estate sales platforms and new business models that will help you double or triple your sales income starting today simply click here.

You are really going to love this!

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March 13, 2013

Real estate agents are losing buyers that almost cost one home seller $140,000

Many agents are losing potential buyers with the typical marketing strategies.

It’s not that agents are not advertising enough and not getting the properties they are selling in front of all the possible buyers. The reality is that most agents advertise their properties on high profile real estate websites like www.domain.com.au and www.realestate.com.au and this alone puts a property in front of almost ALL the “Active” buyers in the market.

Many agents also suggest print media campaigns which can expose properties for sale to the “Non-Active” buyers (those not actively looking but living locally and wanting a change).

Most agents are advertising the properties they sell and being noticed by all the same potential buyers that any other agent or even the owners themselves could reach by having professional photos taken and placing advertising with the open times any prospective buyers want to view.

Buyers are lost by agents not following up with EVERY SINGLE buyer who makes an enquiry prior to viewing and by not giving ALL potential buyers a REASON to make an enquiry.

Buyers are busy these days and are often looking for reasons to NOT view a property that may not be suitable rather than just going for a look at everything and wasting their time. Sure many buyers will look at everything for the first few weeks but after 4 weeks many buyers start getting frustrated and miss their personal time to re-charge after being busy at work each week. The average buyer takes 12 to 48 weeks until they find a suitable property and purchase.

Listing Innovations has developed a software system that services buyers on behalf of the agent when the buyers are looking and this new system provides the agent with the buyers contact details (by giving the buyer a reason to ENQUIRE) so the agent can have a conversation with more buyers about your property.

This means the agent has to work harder for a sale but it also means each property gets better exposure to more genuine buyers and this can produce additional buyers that may have been missed with a more traditional approach used by many agents of advertising an open house and letting the buyers decide to inspect or not without the opportunity for the agent to discuss other possible attributes that may suit a prospective buyer and create an additional inspection that may be the one that produces a home seller with their best offer.

A property in Flood St was recently listed with a well known real estate agent not using this exclusive technology and the result was many inspections and the highest offer of $1,500,000 being put forward to the vendor. The agent urged the vendor to accept this offer but they refused as it was well below what the agent promised the vendor they would obtain.

This vendor of Flood St listed their property with another agent using the Listing Innovations new software system (and directly after the first agent spent $6,500 advertising to find a buyer) and the result was that the agent using this software system found an additional 89 buyers (only 3 of which inspected with the first agent) and multiple offers over the $1,500,000 figure achieved by the first agent. The end result was that the vendor in Flood St sold for $1,640,000. This is an incredible $140,000 more than they were being urged to sell for with the first agent.

If you would like to be contacted by an agent using our unique software system or you are an agent who would like to have access this new system, you can contact us via the “Contact us” page on this website.

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June 20, 2011

The Future of the Real Estate Sales Industry – What Are You Going to Do?

Regardless of what you “think” is going to happen in the next 3 to 5 years with the real estate sales market, one thing is for sure, change is almost certain. Based on this belief the only real safe way to protect yourself is to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

You see, if you hope and plan for the best and the worst happens, what do you think will happen to you?

If you plan for the worst and the best happens, what happens to you now?

If you plan for the worst and the worst does happen, provided your plans for the worst were acceptable for you, then will you still be OK through the worst (which always has an end like the recent 10 year drought) and what will happen to you when the tide turns and get’s better again?

Well, we may very well be coming into a very different real estate market.

Despite most agents not wanting to confront the reality of where we are heading as Seth Godin says in his best selling book “Linchpin” those that survive and thrive in any market conditions are those that “see the world as it is and not as you want it to be or how it used to be”.

You notice how I didn’t say a worse market or a bad market?

In my opinion a different market is just that. Different, not better or worse, simply what is.

So when we have the courage to look at the reality we empower ourselves to adapt and position ourselves to maintain our results or prosper, while many (who CHOOSE to see things the way they want to see them) will leave the industry and get defeated by “what happened”.

The real estate agents that have thrived in the past 5-10 years will have one of three responses in the next 3- 5 years:

1. Those that saw things the way it was and made “it happen”

2. Those that saw things the way it was and watched “it happen”

3. Those that saw things the way they wanted to see things and said “what happened”.

OK, let’s take a quick look at the different scenarios of best and worst.

Scenario 1: Best Case Scenario

The real estate prices stay the same (flat) or even rise further and people decide to accept working long hard hours and spend 75-80% of their incomes just to pay the interest on their mortgage. And the number of sales continues to remain constant.

Provided you keep doing what you have done for the previous 2-3 years you will likely get the same outcome as you have experienced in the past 2-3 years.

Scenario 2: Worst Case Scenario

The real estate prices soften (let’s say they just come back 10-18% over the next 3 years, that’s just 3-6% per year) and because of this softening, less buyers have confidence to buy.

Would it be possible that if the prices start to come down, the media is going to do what it does best, and sensationalise it?

Due to this exposure of the property prices softening, is it possible that 20-30% of buyers in the market lose confidence and decide to “hold off” buying until they start to see prices rising again?

Just like many sellers, refuse to “meet the market” now, and say “we’ll just wait till the market starts to rise again”?

Let’s take a look at the sales commissions pool for agents in this worst case scenario.

Let’s use the Australian wide average of property sale commission of $10,000 and for the purpose of this scenario let’s say there were 400 sales in your area the past 12 months (look it up on RP Data, APM, PriceFinder or Red Square etc…) this means there is a potential sales commissions pool of $4,000,000 for all real estate agents that service your area to split up and fight for, right?

If prices fall just 18% over the next 3 years, this means the available commission pool also falls by 18% since most agents earn commissions based on a percentage of the sale price. So the available commission pool will fall to $3,280,000.

Due to the fall in prices bringing a fall in buyer confidence, the number of sales also fall by 30%, so the available sales drop from 400 sales to 280 (some areas have already seen a drop in numbers of sales by 50% since 2008).

Don’t panic (It’s just FEAR in your mind), this is just part of the process of planning for the worst so you don’t have to really panic!

Now this lowering of sales numbers from 400 to 280 means the available pool of commissions is down to $2,296,000 over the next 3 years just over half the commissions pool all the agents have been drinking from.

Now the strong agents have less to worry about than the weaker agents in a tougher market but they still have a lot to lose if the available commissions pool almost halves.

Sales agents getting by on 1-2 sales per month or offices with 3-4 sales people writing 1-2 sales on average per salesperson, you do need to make the biggest changes because one way or another, change is going to happen to you if the worst case scenario happens.

The choice is whether your change is going to be in the real estate sales industry or the next booming industries like health care or funeral sales.

The strong agents, those that average 3-4 sales or more per month can probably weather the storm of a tougher market because they won’t like it, but on average these agents will be able to survive on 1-2 sales per month.

Plus the strong agents also get the added relief that the weak agents will be forced to leave the industry, actually bringing less competition and hence an even greater proportion of commissions per agent.

Don’t freak out on me here, stay with me because I am going to share with you some solutions you have to empower yourself to ensure you not only survive but thrive through the worst ace scenario if and when it happens. Let’s face it you cannot keep breathing in without breathing out just like the real estate market cannot continue to keep going up without coming down.

What are your choices in the worst case scenario of the real estate sales industry if the commissions pool is almost halved over the next 3 years?

1. You  can CHOOSE to change careers now and looks for an industry that is more likely to rise over the coming 3 years and into the future. Industry like health care and funeral sales.

2. You can CHOOSE to improve your skills so you can maintain your existing levels of sales without increasing your input of hours to get the same results.

3. You can CHOOSE to work twice as many hours to speak to double the amount of prospects to get the same levels of results. The average agent already works 59.76 hours per week, can you double this?

4. You can CHOOSE to do a combination of 2 and 3. Can you increase your hours by 50%? 59.76 x 1.5 = 89.64 hours per week or 6 days working 14.94 hours per day!

5. You can CHOOSE to find an environment where you get double your existing commission split. So if you are currently on a 30/70% commission split with your principal or sales team. You negotiate a 60/40% split? If you are currently on a 50/50% split, who is going to win, the sales person or the owner of the business? There are business models now emerging that provide sales agents with a lot more support and service than most traditional office and the sales agents also get much higher percentages of the commission. You can check out more about Oz Combined Realty at http://www.ozcombinedrealty.com.au/agents/ and you can view the Oz Combined Realty info video on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ7GtFucneo&feature=youtu.be

6. You can CHOOSE to find new ways of finding prospect to speak with that do not require more hours of prospecting.

If you currently follow up with open house lists to find listings, maybe you have to speak with 10 or 20 groups before you find a listing appointment. Now if you list 50% of the listing appointments you attend then you have to speak to 20 or 40 groups to find a listing. Now let’s take a conservative average and say that your list to sell ratio is 50%, then you really have to list 2 properties to make a sale. This means you have to speak with 40-80 groups to get a sale if you have enough listings and or inspections from your opens.

If you currently rely on cold prospecting to find sellers. And you were used to finding 1 listing appointment for every 100 people you spoke with. Based on the same numbers above you will have to speak with 400 people to get a sale (if the numbers of sales fall by 30% this means you have to increase this number by 30% to 520 people, let’s just leave this out for the moment).

Do you know how many hours it takes to actually speak with 100 people cold prospecting? Well it depends on your area and the amount of people who are home. It could take anywhere from 6-8 hours if you had nothing else to do, but most sales agents also have vendors to manage and buyer enquires and inspections to handle.

This means a sales person needs to invest 24 to 32 hours just to get one sale and this does not include the time it takes them to handle buyer enquires, manage sellers and finalise the negotiation through to “unconditional”. Let’s add 40 hours to manage 2 listings to get each sale. That’s a total of 64 to 72 hours per sale.

Based on the average commission rate of $10,000 and the average commission split of 40% for sales person and 60% for principal, the sales person get’s $4,000 (before tax is taken out 30% = $1,200 = $2,800 for sales person).

The principal get’s $6,000 with about 30% tax = $4,200. For the sales agent, who does most of the work in a deal, this equates to $43.75 to $38.88 per hour after tax.

But something doesn’t add up here because the average agent is working 59.76 hours per week. Based on these numbers agents should be averaging 3-4 sales per month. 59.76 hours times 4.33 weeks per month = 258.76 hours per month. If it takes only 64 to 72 hours to get a sale, then the average agent should be making 258.76 divided by 64 (hours best case) = 4 sales per month. And worst case 258.76 divided by 72 hours = 3.59 sales per month. But the average agent is only making 1.8 sales per month…..

Looks like we may have an efficiency error. Either sales agents are wasting too much time to accomplish each sale and working too hard or it simply takes longer than we have calculated to create a sale. Maybe we have been too conservative in our estimates of time…

Either way, regardless of what you “Think” is going to happen in the real estate market over the next 3-5 years:

– Are you going to plan for the worst and hope for the best? OR

– Are you going to bury your head in the sand and plan for the best and hope for the best?

Surely you will be better off if you plan for the worst and the best happens? It makes good sense right?

Which ever way you CHOOSE to go, you will encounter change. It’s up to you whether you want to see improvement in change or the worst of change.

My guess is that those that choose to re-invent themselves now will prosper through the upcoming times, good or bad. It will not effect them. Just like itunes has thrived during the record industries demise. Just like Virgin Blue thrived through the collapse of Ansett and just like Toyota has thrived by re-inventing themselves with the “Prius” while many car manufacturers struggled etc, etc…

The point is, you have a CHOICE. You are responsible for what happens to you. Take advantage of this opportunity to change and improve yourself. Those that re-invent are more likely to grow personally also.

I sincerely wish you all the best with what ever you CHOOSE!

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November 10, 2010

Agent goes from desperation to jubilation

An agent that just went out on their own several months ago called me in desperation for help to generate more leads, this was about 10 weeks ago.

This is how finding listing leads should be.

This is how finding listing leads should be.

He was facing a bad situation of possibly going broke fast and was digging up contacts and leads by time consuming cold calling, expensive letterbox flyers and other traditional prospecting methods we are taught.

He was getting about 2-3 contacts and 1 immediate seller for every 100 people he spoke with. The big problem with this strategy when he went out on his own is that he now has even less time than he did as a salesperson in an office with support and admin to help.

So for him to speak with 100 people was taking 2-3 days depending on the amount of other work he had to do, answer phones, paperwork etc…

He ran his first campaign using the lead generation system Listing Innovations set up for him, the same as many agents have asked us to build and he got 52 responses from his first lead generation campaign.

I asked him how it was going and he said “Two listing appointments so far.  I still have a few left to contact so hopefully some still to come.  There are a few others that are not too far away.” A handful were a waste of time and the rest he said are good future sellers that will come on over next 3-24 months.

As you can imaging he wanted to run the campaign again the very next week but I told him to hold off and keep this as a monthly strategy as part of the other strategies he was already doing to find listings and future sellers.

He has just run his second campaign following my advice to the letter and waited 4 weeks until running it again but slightly different.

Real Estate Industry Breakthrough helps agents find listings fast!

Real Estate Industry Breakthrough helps agents find listings fast!

Three days after running his second campaign I asked this agent how it was going and he replied “Yes I am busy returning calls now.  The response has been good.  Roughly I count 39 responses so far.  I have spoken to three immediate sellers so far.  One I am seeing tomorrow.  One is already on the market and another will hopefully be appointed for next week when she feels her house is tidy enough.” Most of the other prospects are future seller contacts that will be selling in 3-24 months.

After seven days the response has grown to over 58 and they are still dribbling in with more listing appointments. I asked him a few days ago how it was going and he said “Two new listings on board this week.  One as a direct result of the latest add.  Have listing appointments every day this week again as a direct result of the add.  I still have to work through the last of the internet download leads ( the ones that I have not been able to get a hold of so far which is half a dozen or so )  I feel I have gotten a better quality of response overall this time and the vast majority of people I have spoken to have gone into contacts for follow up.  So if I can get another couple of listings this week I will be really happy.”

Now the interesting thing here is that had he not been doing these campaigns, he would not have these listing opportunities and he certainly would not have anywhere near the 80 odd future sellers on his contact list.

What’s really interesting here is that for him to find 6 immediate sellers and about 82 future seller contacts on his contact list he would have had to spoken to about 3,000 people cold calling and door knocking.

Now remember it takes most agents about 2-3 days to speak to 100 people. So to get these results he would have had to spend 60 to 90 days cold calling and prospecting, as you can see his decision to use the Listing Innovations lead generation system is proving very lucrative and saving him many long hours slogging it out on the phones.

You may be in sales or operating your own office, either way I am sure you are looking for immediate sellers and future contacts for next months listings and your numbers for finding these people are probably roughly the same ratios with regards to personal prospecting methods.

Now you wouldn’t stop doing the actions you currently do to find listings but you would only do them after you finish following up the warm leads generated by your lead generation system.

So in effect this should be just one strategy of about 9 to 10 other strategies that you implement and do monthly to find now sellers (listings) and future seller contacts. Individually these strategies may not seem that existing but when you have a handful working for you together, the numbers get really interesting.

You may have tried a few campaigns to find listings in the past with average results but I believe we just need to find the right formula for you in your area and there is the possibility of you dominating your area within 6-12 months.

For many of my clients, these campaigns require a few hundred dollars per run and the payoff is huge as you can see from this new members results (see the PS below). My other high end clients who are doing this regularly are getting responses between 19 and 77 on average and yes there have been the odd months where 98 and 124
responses have been achieved but this is not the norm.

If you would like to have your own lead generation system set up, so you can improve your results regardless of the market conditions, I am in the position to help several agents get this going. Call my office on 1300 852 263 and we can discuss what’s involved for you.

Happy selling,

Barry Liddle

P.S. This agents most recent email update:

Two new listings on board this week.  One as a direct result of the latest add.  Have listing appointments every day this week again as a direct result of the add.  I still have to work through the last of the internet download leads ( the ones that I have not been able to get a hold of so far which is half a dozen or so )  I feel I have gotten a better quality of response overall this time and the vast majority of people I have spoken to have gone into contacts for follow up.  So if I can get another couple of listings this week I will be really happy.”

P.P.S. Why are you still reading. This is a no brainer and until you call, there isn’t much for you to think about. You will love this. Number is 1300 852 263.

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August 10, 2010

Powerful and persuasive real estate testimonials

Improving your real estate business is a matter of convincing potential customers that you are worth the risk. The best way of doing this is to use testimonials to generate real estate leads.

The Power of Real Estate Testimonials

Testimonials are very powerful and should be included on your website and real estate marketing material. Testimonials are a personal recommendation for a service and as long as they are genuine they are much more convincing than anything you could possibly say. Whatever your customers say about your services is much more believable than what you say about your own business.

Testimonials are one of the best free real estate marketing methods and are also very effective.

Real Estate Lead Generation

One of the most important parts of an agent’s job is to generate real estate leads. In order to make this possible it’s vital that you satisfy as many of your customers as possible. By ensuring that your clients are satisfied then you stand a much better chance of being able to use testimonials.

You will need to be selective of which testimonials you choose. Sometimes you might get a client who writes a testimonial that’s not as enthusiastic as they could be. You will need to choose the most powerful and persuasive testimonials so that you can get the best from it.

Ask Permission

Many real estate agents are missing out on this important free real estate marketing technique because they are worried about upsetting their clients. It’s actually much easier than most people believe to get testimonials. Simply ask your clients what they liked about your services and then ask if you can write a testimonial with their permission.

This means that your customers won’t feel stressed about deciding what they should write. It also allows you to create accurate but enthusiastic testimonials, which will become a valuable part of your real estate marketing materials.

Testimonials are a fantastic way to make your real estate marketing materials more effective. Start asking your satisfied clients for testimonials today and help turn your business around.

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May 12, 2010

How to get more commission paying results from your real estate systems each day

To earn and bank more money each day, week, month and year from real estate sales you must produce more results (listings and sales).

One way you can achieve this is to work longer hours and maintain your existing habits of how you operate each day. This strategy takes more hours from the other areas of your life outside of work and will eventually lead to burnout, less results and less income over time. Although it will work in the short term.

The alternative is you can find ways to service more people in the time you have available to work.

By looking for solutions to help more people in less time you will find ways to reduce your working hours and earn more money. There are a few ways to go about this.

1. You can improve your skill (real estate sales training, attitude programming and goal setting etc.) so you get more commission earning results from each action or task you undertake.

2. You can improve your real estate systems. Change the way you currently operate, so that you become more productive with the hours you allocate for work each day.

Today we are going to focus on point 2, Improving your real estate systems and how some of the most successful companies and sales people achieve this objective.

In fact Toyota, one of the worlds most successful car manufacturers is always looking for ways to speed up production to make their output more efficient. They call this approach “lean thinking”. Lean thinking is a strategy for obtaining maximum results from less effort.

Brian Tracey from Brian Tracey International, one of the worlds greatest and well known sales trainers says you should find ways to group your daily tasks if you want to get more done in less time. He calls this the “Learning Curve”.

The Learning-curve theory says that, “the more you do of a repetitive task, the faster and easier you will perform each subsequent task of that kind.”

Most real estate agents work re-actively and as a result, most agents only earn $180,000 in commissions each year.

Let’s take a look at a few of the different tasks a real estate sales person has each day:

* prospecting for now sellers and future sellers

* following up existing contacts

* returning calls to buyer inquiries

* showing properties to buyers

* listing appointments

* Paperwork (arguably the least desirable aspect of real estate sales)

Now most real estate sales agents would call back buyer inquiries as they get them or even worse, take the calls as they come in.

What Brian Tracey suggests is that you would allocate two 30 minute blocks of time to returning buyer inquiries. One block at say 11:30am and the other at say 5pm, this ensures you are servicing your prospects in a timely manner.

The reason for bunching tasks is that it takes time to get into a rhythm for doing a certain type of task and when you find yourself starting and stopping you never find that rhythm and doing each task re-actively at different times, takes up more of your limited time.

Now we are going to have a look at the benefit for you of calling back inquiries in blocks of time.

Let’s say your first call takes 4 minutes and you realise after you hang up the phone that you forgot to ask a few critical questions that may have revealed if the prospect was also a possible seller. (We discuss these types of questions in our real estate sales program online called the “Freedom Factor“).

If you don’t group your tasks you go on to do something else and when you have to return another buyer inquiry you have a higher chance of making mistakes again.

If you have blocked your time, the next call you make will be mote effective for both your discovery of finding more business and the buyers needs of feeling helped to find the right property for them. It may even take you less time, perhaps a minute less per call. As you go on calling all 10 buyer inquires in the block period, you are more likely to get this task completed with a higher percentage of results. Due to the concentration and focused action on this one type of task, you will also save yourself about 9 minutes twice a day, saving you 18 minutes just on this one task.

Plus you have the momentum and positive energy of knowing you have become more professional. This helps when dealing with people to instill confidence in your prospect that they are dealing with a pro, which helps you get more accurate answers to the questions you ask.

Another example is to group your buyer inspections.

Rather than leave the office 6 different times a day and return after showing properties, you would be far more efficient if you line up all your inspections one after the other.

Let’s say it takes you 15 minutes to get to your first property to show, 15 minutes to show and 15 minutes to get back to the office.

Once you get back to the office you also have to get back into the concentration mindset of doing your next group of tasks. This could take a further 10 minutes.

So far you have spent 55 minutes on showing this one property and let’s say you have 3 to show. Your time investment for this group of tasks is about 3 hours.

If you organized yourself to group these tasks, you may only have 5 minutes between properties which saves you 20 minutes. Plus you don’t have the 2 extra drives from and to the office saving you a further hour.

Plus you don’t lose another 20 minutes in refocus time.

All up from this one task being grouped for one day you will only spend 1 hour and 40 minutes instead of the 3 hours if done separately. Plus you will also be more effective during your inspections speaking with your real estate prospects.

By bunching your daily tasks, you can see from the 2 examples discussed here you would save 1 hour and 38 minutes in the day. This is enough time to get a listing or at least find another one.

If you want to improve your bank balance and enjoy more time for outside of work to recharge your much needed energy levels you will begin grouping your tasks today.

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April 29, 2010

Prospecting for Real Estate Listings in Seeds of Opportunity – Real Estate Marketing

Here’s a classic story of mother natures seeds of opportunity and how similar it is to success or failure in the profession of real estate sales and in particular prospecting for and real estate follow up to find listings.

Seed of opportunity just like leads

Seeds of opportunity, just like leads

The cultivation (real estate follow up) of opportunities into results (that we can enjoy) is such a similar journey to the enjoyment of fruit after growing it from seeds as you’re about to discover.

A good friend of mine gave me 23 seeds of opportunity for a rare and little known variety of lime, called the “Finger Lime”.

I asked if I should dry the seeds first before trying to germinate them and she said there was no need to dry the seeds out first and that I should just place them on top of some wet cotton balls and keep them moist.

Two weeks passed, I had been keeping the seeds watered daily and some had changed from being white in colour to looking black and lifeless.

At this point I noticed my thoughts began to blame my friend for telling me to put them into the moist cotton balls without drying them out first.

I was feeling frustrated and starting to believe that I had wasted my time watering these seeds for the past 2 weeks. ??You see I thought seeds had to be dried out before beginning the germination process to prevent them from getting mouldy. When my friend (a plant expert) told me that was not necessary, I took her word for it.

I am ultimately still responsible for the way I chose to germinate the seeds. I could have done it my way but I decided to listen to my friends advice.

If I had if done it my way, it would have been harder for me to blame my friend if the seeds did not turn into fruit trees. Maybe I could have blamed it on the quality of the seeds.

The safe option for me was to avoid the responsibility and follow the directions my expert friend had suggested, instead of doing it my own way.

My belief that these seeds would germinate was low after 2 weeks of effort and anticipation, in fact I was just about to throw them out with the belief they were not going to germinate at all.

Something inside of me said, most people give up on the brink of greatness, so I decided to continue watering the seeds each day (similar to real estate follow up), which took belief and persistence.

A further 2 weeks had passed and finally I was beginning to see some of the seeds begin to sprout.?? At first there was just 2 of the 23 seeds then a few days later there were 5, now there are 6.

Of my 23 opportunities (leads) only 6 made it to the first stage of germination. Perhaps the numbers could have been higher if I had dried the seeds first, maybe they would have been worse.

The fact of the matter is that I have just under 20% of my opportunities make it to stage 1.??How many will make it to stage 2 being potted, how many will survive winter and my 2 year old son, how many will bear the rewards if fruit? (This is yet to be discovered but I will keep you posted).

Let’s assume only 4 make it to pots and of them only 2 opportunities bear the fruit rewards. I began with 23 opportunities and less than 10% have produced fruitful rewards. Is it worth it??? Well what do you get if you don’t do anything?

More importantly, how does this have anything to do with selling real estate?

Every person that makes contact with your office (enquiry) is an opportunity for reward (listing).

Some will be ready for rewards sooner than others. The opportunities (enquiries) that call and make first contact with you today ready for reward (ready to list) are harder to convert into rewards (listings) than opportunities that you have nurtured into respectful relationships for weeks, months and years.

Why are the phone-in today sellers harder to list than enquiries you convert into contacts (future sellers)?

The phone-in sellers are harder because they will generally call in 2-4 other agents also and the one who gets the job is the agent the sellers feel most comfortable with.

The sellers you have converted into contacts from other opportunities some two, six or twenty-four months prior become easier to convert to listings and sales because you have had the time to build a relationship to one where they feel more comfortable with you.

Sellers will often still call in other agents when they are ready to list but you have the advantage of them feeling comfortable with you and them not really knowing the other agents.

Now getting back to the opportunities, for every 100 opportunities you get (people to communicate with) let’s say you convert just 20 to stage 1 (which is a future seller contact).

You follow up with these contacts for months, some years and over time, some of your real estate seller contacts‘ motivation will change. ??Some of your contacts will decide not to sell, some will speed up their plans and come onto the market sooner than they said in their last conversation with you. Some of the contacts may even list with another agent without speaking to you.

You may want to quit following up with contacts when this happens but this would be a great mistake.

After you have developed the habit and focus of following up and cultivating your relationships with all your contacts you will begin to notice that you become “luckier”. Not only are you getting the business you were before, which comes from just turning up. You now get extra listings and sales, and this is how the most successful real estate agents get so many more results than everyone else.

In fact, the agent who develops a smart system for their real estate follow up with contacts is likely to achieve more listings and sales than the bottom 80% of agents within their office if all their results were pooled together.

Most agents give up qualifying opportunities into contacts after a few no’s. If they are not qualifying for contact sellers they are not going to have anyone to follow up and soon they will have developed an attitude of blaming someone or something else for their failure. Their failure to convert opportunities into contacts, contacts into listings, listings into sales and finally income into financial independence is the sole responsibility of themselves.

The successful agent does not give up, regardless of their disappointment. Sure they may feel discouraged from time to time but they learn how to speed up the process of getting back to focusing on what they know has to be done to keep their higher than average results pouring in.

If you find yourself saying “these leads are no good” or “my office doesn’t support me” or something else to the tune of blaming, catch yourself out and say “I am responsible for my results and my future and only I can create my success”.

Finding listings in real estate sales is no different than the process of growing seeds to fruit. There is opportunity everywhere, the missing ingredient and what makes all the difference is you and your attitude.

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April 28, 2010

Real estate agent action plan to earn over $360,000 in real estate commissions

The average real estate agent in Australia only earns about $180,000 per year in commissions. Your objective, if you are to defy the averages and earn an extraordinary income from real estate sales is to build up a contact database of future sellers as fast as possible.

If you aim to have 500 future sellers on your database in the next 12 months, you will have sufficient future business to be able to enjoy a more balanced work life balance.

Let’s break down how you can build a database of 500 seller contacts and outline a plan for you to make this your reality.

To build your database by 500 new contacts you need just 10 new contacts added to your database each week taking into account that you holiday for 2 weeks of the year.

To obtain 10 new contacts each week you have many options and here are a few, you can:

1. Cold calling or door knocking 250 people each week (that’s just 50 per day and this means speaking to, not just attempting to speak to).

2. You can go through previous real estate office records of general enquiries, past buyers and sellers, withdrawn listings etc…

3. You can set up your own real estate lead generation system (which less than 5% of agents have) and invest money marketing to prospective real estate sellers both “now” and “future”.

When you get 10 new contacts each week, you will also likely find 2-3 listing appointments and if your present to list ratio is only 50%, you will earn and win 1 to 2 listings per week and about 5 to 6 extra real estate listings each month on average.

This could be you more often!

This could be you more often!

If your list to sell ratio is only 50% you will likely average 2 to 3 real estate sales per month which equates to approximately $30,000 in commissions each month if your average real estate selling commission is $10,000.

This means you would produce about $360,000 for the next 12 month period if you decided to start speaking to 50 new prospects each day starting now. You must also engage enthusiasm, optimism and belief that you can achieve these objectives.

If you coupled these cold and warm prospecting strategies with your own lead generation system you

How much are you losing?

How much are you losing?

could increase these numbers by another 20 to 40% conservatively, providing you market to your prospects correctly and follow up the way we share at our real estate agent seminars. (You might like to keep an eye out for our next seminar, check back to this website often and read our emails so you don’t miss out).

If you couple the actions discussed above with an effective real estate follow up system, research shows us you will also further increase your results a staggering 67%. This could be you earning over $721,000 in commissions per year within the next 24 months, if you start working this plan beginning today.

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April 20, 2010

Why real estate marketing material matters?

When preparing real estate marketing materials, it’s important to be unique so that you stand out from the crowd.

It’s important to give your clients a reason to choose you over your competitors. If you can’t accomplish this then your real estate marketing materials will be a waste of money.

Unique Real Estate Marketing Materials

All businesses need to do some form of promotion to get the word out there about their business. If you simply copy the real estate mailers of every other company then these won’t get read. In order to encourage people to read your real estate marketing materials you need to make them look interesting and unique. Make them look professional so that people know they can trust you.

Caring Real Estate Marketing Materials

When you meet buyers and sellers make sure you don’t only focus on your own achievements. Make them realise that you care about them and the community, mention how you will work with their interests in mind. This will set you apart from all of the other real estate agents.

Solve Problems

You need to show your potential customers that you care about them and that you will be able to solve their problems. It’s a good idea to be specific when targeting these problems. For example you might be looking for homes to sell in which case you could help people to prepare their homes for sale.

Demonstrate that you can solve these problems when you send out your real estate mailers. This way people are willing to contact you in the first case.

Real Estate Marketing Flyers

One of the biggest mistakes that most agents do is produce amateur real estate marketing flyers on their computer at home. It’s important that your real estate marketing materials are professionally produced.

Start promoting your agency and services today so that more people will choose to hire your services. Revamping your real estate marketing materials is just the starting point to improve your business.

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January 13, 2010

When You Buy Real Estate Leads

There are a number of reasons why some real estate agents will hesitate or refrain entirely from purchasing listing leads. These are valid concerns and the way by which list providers address them should reflect in the quality of their leads. Here are some things to consider when you buy real estate leads.

Leads can be old. Quality listing lead providers will make sure that their lists are not rehashed versions of prior leads. They will see to it that the list is current and viable.

Real Estate Listing Leads can be expensive. While true, it should also be pointed out that making sure that the list contains names and contact information that are accurate can be quite costly on the part of the provider. In the end, it is the quality of the lead that really matters. The conversion rate should be the true test of the value of the leads.

Prequalification. There is only so much a listing lead provider can do in the way of prequalifying leads. Once they have ascertained a possible prospect, it is generally better to pass the prospect on to the agent at this point. Once the agent gets notified of the lead, this is the critical moment in terms of converting this prospect into business.

Agent Follow-up Mistakes. Mistake 1; many agents rarely call the leads within 24 hours of receiving them. Mistake 2; if the lead does not respond positively to listing immediately most agents disregard them as “dud” leads. Most leads will not be ready immediately. Selling a property is a process and a long one at that for many people. When an agent gets a lead, the prospect could be 3,6, 12 or even 24 months away from putting their property on the market. From here on the quality of the lead depends on the agent’s skill to follow up. While this sounds harsh, this is the reason 95% of agents don’t get the amount of listings they would like from their leads.

Exclusivity. When an agent decides to buy real estate leads, he does not want to be sharing this list with others. Unfortunately, this is another factor that drives up cost since the provider has no other market, presumably, for the list. Only you. Please note that exclusivity is something that is very hard to ascertain. A good deal of trust is involved in the relationship between a real estate agent and their listing lead provider on this one.

All in all, getting a good list from a reputable provider is important when you buy real estate leads. However, always remember that there is still the matter of converting these leads. A lot still depends on the real estate agent, his/her skill, and how he/she establishes a relationship with the prospective clients.

Also take into consideration that early leads are better than old leads. Some people are not immediately ready to sell or buy, but this does not mean that they won’t be. Savvy agents will not dismiss these leads as bad leads. Rather, they tend to classify those as tremendous opportunities in the future. Think of it as building a profitable pipeline of “coming” business.

At Listing Innovations, we help real estate agents set up their own lead generation systems. When you engage our services, you are assured that the leads you are getting are all yours. You are not giving away your hard-earned money to build someone else’s lead generation system. You have your own system that you could sell with your business and drive its value up even further. You can get onto our notification list if you’re not already on there to be notified of upcoming workshops by going to http://www.listinginnovations.com.au/workshop/

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