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Going To The Next Level Is Easier Than You Think!

By: Walter Sanford

I have loved real estate for 26 years.  A few of them as a "peak and valley" investor and believe me some of those valleys were awfully deep.  I worked most years as one of the top real estate agents in North America and now as a real estate trainer watching new ideas being implemented by my research think tank.  Real estate is easy to love if you just do a few items better than your competitors. You can see business advancements at 20% this year by just concentrating on some of the most profitable areas of our practice. 

The classifications that I have used to plan my new year are lead
generation systems. They are 98% affective listing presentations,
inexpensive customer service that creates raving fans, checklists that
allow my business to go on automatic pilot when I'm crazy busy and net profit destinations that allow me to save for the days when I don't have the energy I have today.  Lately it's been said that technology is going to change the face of real estate, which I believe, is true!

Technology speeds the delivery process and lowers the cost of your sales message.  But before you can implement technology with your systems you have to have a system.  Therefore I propose a simple, 5-step plan that will form the foundation of your real estate production and then once the foundation is built one of the most challenging aspects of real estate is how to deliver your plan faster and cheaper. 

Here is a 5-step foundation that forms the basis of your business plan:

1.    Implementing pre-interview telephone question lists to buyers and sellers prior to appointments to determine their highest needs and then striving to deliver them.  Once these highest needs are discovered, form partnerships with other affiliate industries, "team members" to provide a perception of value unsurpassed by your competition. Third party endorsement letters, one-stop shopping and team approaches to clients' service are more favorites.

2.    Develop checklists for every repeatable action that happens in real estate, i.e. taking a listing, making a buyer presentation, showing properties, doing an open house, completing prospecting techniques or just opening the office in the morning.  This will allow you to have a basis from which to add new ideas from seminars, eliminate things in order to increase net profit and make your business more effective because you just don't have to remember what you did last year that made you a success.  Start today by writing all the steps to your most profitable departments of your business!

3.    Make sure that everyone that is making a living off your business, i.e. your favorite loan representative, home inspection, home warranty, insurance person, title, local attorney and closing officer has a stake in your business.  You need to ask them the question, "What can you do for me this year that will increase my clients satisfaction with the transaction and increase net profit? Furthermore, how can we work together to create more leads?" My favorites are FSBO programs headed up by my lender and inspections being done at the listing with no invoice to my seller until expiration or close.

4.    Have a constant flow of ready, willing and able buyers and sellers through the use of all delivery methods such as, telephone, personal visits, direct mail, e-mail and Internet to the hottest demographic buyers and sellers.  This may sound overwhelming but it is very easy to pick a demographic group that is proven to have a higher incidence of buyers and sellers.  One of my favorites is non-owner occupieds – people who own real estate but don't live in your town have a higher need for information and assistance than local owners do.  These people can be easily contacted with lists of services that they need to manage their investments.  Since these people normally hold these properties for investment their turnover ratio
may be higher and emotions are more based upon business decisions than lifestyle decisions.  This group like all others is prospected through direct mail, email, advertising, Internet, and telephone.

5.    Make sure that your work will have an end date and that you can see a progression in your life every year.  Once of the greatest causes of burnout is the fact that you can work every year in real estate and stay in the same place in your life.  It can be an awfully hard job when you didn't see consistent progressions in your net worth!  Therefore, a savings plan, investment plan, and an exit plan are absolutely necessary.  You must see progressions every year so that you can dig deep and find the energy to compete with today's real estate agents. Prepare your checklists, database, and systems with the thought that someone else may be doing your job some day.

I hope that these main headings for success will trigger some thought as you plan your business for the new millennium. 

Walter Sanford is a top producing real estate agent and speaker who travels the country delivering systems and strategies to top producers for higher productivity and client satisfaction.

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