Will Technology Replace Realtors? No. But Realtors Who Use Technology Wisely Will Replace Those Who Don’t…

The facts don’t lie. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) a shocking 80% of new agents fail within the first two years.

What they don’t tell you is that of the 20% who remain, probably only 20% of those are making a decent six figure income. The rest are scrambling to survive on the crumbs that fall off the table.

I believe there are several factors that contribute to this abysmal success rate. Very poor quality, old-school training offered up by so-called real estate sales training ‘gurus’ flogging their outdated (and outright sleazy) sales scripts etc.  Unrealistic expectations regarding the amount of work it takes to succeed. And poor people skills are just some of the reasons.

But one of the primary reasons for failure today is a lack of understanding of how to use technology to your advantage.

So how do you get a seat at the winners banquet table in 2017?

First of all by understanding that the very definition of realtor has changed dramatically over the past few years thanks to the internet. In order to succeed in today’s world you need to shift your mindset from seeing yourself as a realtor, to seeing yourself as a marketer. And specifically an online marketer. Because that’s where your ideal clients are hanging out and where at least 90% of them begin their search for a home.

Once you grasp that concept, the second step is understanding and applying just a few of the incredible tools at your disposal.

Here are just three of the absolute bare minimum tools you must be using in your business in order to succeed…

  • a lead capturing website which entices visitors to leave their name and email address in exchange for something of value to them
    Business is based on relationships now. The beginning of the relationship begins with your interactive, user friendly website. The relationship is nurtured through timely, ongoing communication with is focused entirely on the needs of the prospect. Long gone are the days when you can simply ‘brag’ about yourself and your track record via your advertising (“everything I touch turns to SOLD!”  (“#1 Agent Since 2014!”) and then show up for a listing appointment with your bag of tricks such as pre-canned sales scripts, pre-scripted comebacks to overcome objections that you’ve memorized and a traditional Listing Presentation.
  • an auto-responder email service which automatically sends out a series of pre-crafted emails designed to nurture your relationship and build trust with your prospects
  • a Contact Management system which records and organizes all of your communications and interactions with your prospects as you move them towards becoming a client through your marketing funnel

The bad news is if you are not employing at least these basic tools in your business, you are doomed to fail. Period.

The good news is…thanks to huge advances in technology all of these tools and services are available in a ‘done for you’ format. All you need to do is invest a relatively small monthly fee and you’re off to the races.

The other good piece of news is, just like in every other industry, if you are the new kid on the block you can easily compete with…and beat…other agents with many more years of experience than you but who are not utilizing technology in their own business.

There’s no reason why a brand new agent, or an agent who wants to take their business success to a whole new level, can’t achieve amazing results in as few as 30 days.

However it’s important to mention that the latest whiz-bang piece of technology will not do the work for you. There are awesome tools at your disposal. But they are exactly that…tools.

YOU still need to put in the work.

But with the right training, tools and a little bit of effort, the sky is the limit!

 

William (Bill) McIntosh is a Luxury Home Broker on the French Riviera, an Author, Trainer & Success Coach.

His book “Top Agent Pro – How To Quickly Become A Top Selling Real Estate Agent In 10 Easy Steps” is for sale on Amazon but for a very limited time you can obtain a copy absolutely FREE.  

To instantly download your Free eBook simply visit: www.topagentpro.com

Just How Scary Can Listing Appointments Be For New Agents?

real estate training, listing blueprint

So just how scared was I going on listing appointments as a new agent?

Well let’s see. On a scale of 1 to 10, #1 feeling super cool and confident and #10 being ‘lost in the forest at night with the ‘Blair Witch’ … I was somewhere around 10.5.

The pressure I felt was tremendous.

First of all, back in the day when I started in the early 80’s it was all about cold calling or “dialing for dollars” as my manager put it. The idea was simple enough. Randomly select 100 people from the phone book and ‘cold call’ them.

The goal was to make at least 100 calls per day and average one listing appointment per every 100 phone calls

Up until then I had no idea how difficult and demoralizing cold calling could be. To have people insult you and slam the phone down on you all day long. It was horrible.

So when I did finally manage to get a listing appointment there was a lot of pressure to make that appointment count!

The other thing that really terrified me was how to actually ask for their business. In other words the mechanics of ‘closing’ the sale for lack of a better term.

The real estate sales trainers/gurus at the time were all teaching these so-called ‘sure fire’ sales scripts.  According to them, these scripts would somehow effortlessly lull sellers into an almost trance-like state from which they would utter those magic words… “yes we absolutely want to list with you” “can we please sign the paperwork right away…” all whilst nodding their heads up and down in perfect unison with yours like mindless ‘bobble-heads’ you’d see in the back of cars.

I know it sounds silly now but that was the state of the training in those days (and sadly still is today in many cases). All those manipulative techniques just felt really slimy and totally uncomfortable to me. It just wasn’t ‘me’.

And then there was the all too familiar pressure to simply make money that we all feel. To provide a decent living for our loved ones. Hell how about just to keep our heads above water!

However looking back now I realize that my biggest stumbling block to success wasn’t the mechanics of getting a listing… but rather it was my mindset towards winning listings.  Specifically, I had a huge amount of self-doubt before I even arrived at the listing appointment.

My self-talk was along the lines of; ‘why should home owners hire me instead of one of dozens of other agents who all have an established, successful track record and I don’t’? Heck even I wouldn’t hire me instead of one of my competitors, so why should they?

(if you are a new agent reading this perhaps you can relate to this because you’re asking yourself the same sorts of questions?)

Then I made a discovery. A simple shift in thinking that changed EVERYTHING for me.

I realized one day that it is impossible for a new agent to compete with established agents based on track records and sales success –  so why even try?

That’s when I started searching for my own personal strengths. The things that made me unique and that I could highlight about myself with sellers without feeling sleazy or ‘salesy’ in any way.

And that’s when I hit gold. Bingo. Jackpot. Ka-ching.

I made my list of things, qualities if you will, that I could easily and confidently offer my sellers that my competitors either couldn’t or didn’t focus on.

My list contained words like: honesty; enthusiasm; integrity; passion; dedication; etc. Then I began weaving these qualities and powerful themes into my conversations with sellers.

What used to be a ho-hum listing presentation much like every other agent’s (minus the experience of course) became my very own Power Listing.

I couldn’t compete on the ‘numbers’ with top agents in my market, but I knew in my heart without a doubt that NO ONE would even come close to working harder, with more integrity or with more enthusiasm to get their home sold than me!

And it worked.

Once I put my new found confidence together with the ‘mechanics’ of a seemless, client focused Power Listing presentation – there was no stopping me.

I consistently beat out the top agents for listings and maintained a success rate of over 80% conversion for signed listings vs listing appointments.

I didn’t realize it at the time but I’ve since learned that there is a whole other level of communication between humans that goes far beyond verbal communication. Many studies have proven this.

People can just sense when you are genuine. They somehow know when you have their best interests at heart and not yours. And this level of communication will blow all the phony, manipulative, memorized sales scripts and objection handling crap out of the water every time.

So. Are you a new agent struggling to compete? Are you battling self-doubt?

If you are… then perhaps it’s time to sit down and create your list?

What are your strengths that you can offer clients that more established agents either can’t or won’t?

Then, once you find your strengths… Be bold. Be confident. And go get ’em!  

Oh and by the way… the best part is once you’re armed with your new found confidence and professional listing presentation, it won’t be long before you too have a traclk record of successful sales to your credit!

 

(BTW I can’t provide you with your inner strengths… but I can help you with my FREEPower Listing Blueprint

It’s a free template of my very own listing presentation I’ve developed over the past 30+ years as a luxury agent and I use it every day to crush my competitors and win multi-million dollar listings and the best part is you can fully customize it for your own business. Just click this LINK to get your very own free copy) 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Wish I Would Have Learned Earlier In My Career…

its not you its meRemember this great line from George in the Seinfeld series when he was breaking up with his girlfriend?

So what does this have to do with one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned? I can sum up the answer in just one word – MARKETING.

Yes one of my biggest lessons I wish I would have learned sooner is that to be a successful agent, especially now in the age of the internet, has a lot more to do with effective marketing, and much less to do with your sales ability.

First let’s be clear about what marketing is vs selling. Simply put marketing is everything you do to get people to contact you. Selling is what you do once you are on the phone or face to face with them.

Your potential clients all bombarded with hundreds of advertising messages every day and breaking through all that ‘noise’ to be noticed is incredibly challenging. In my opinion it is much more challenging than ‘selling’ real estate will ever be!

And that’s where I part company with the vast majority of so-called real estate sales gurus and trainers. Even to this day they are still teaching the same old stuff I was learning as a new agent back in the early 80’s. You know the kind of training I’m talking about… “Learn 101 clever, sure-fire closes to get your clients to buy a home” “Awesome razzle-dazzle scripts for overcoming objections”  etc.

I believe selling real estate is one of the easiest things you could ever sell.  Before selling homes I’ve sold other things like frozen food door to door in the middle of a Toronto blizzard with minus 30 degree Celsius temperatures. And believe me that’s a tough sell! (but how to effectively sell homes without being ‘salesy’ is a whole other subject for another time)

Before I understood the importance of effective marketing I really struggled to make a decent, consistent income. But as soon as I started to study and learn effective marketing concepts and apply them to real estate – BAM! All of a sudden my career turned around and now all these years later I sell multi-million dollar luxury homes to the rich and famous on the French Riviera.

Your 3 main goals in marketing should be;

1. break through all the clutter and get their attention

2. compel them to begin a conversation with you

3. and finally – establish a relationship with them so they can come to know, like and trust you

That’s it. Period. So what’s the best way to achieve this you ask?

It’s a very deep and involved topic and there are effective trainings on the subject but in brief; the most effective marketing strategies are all based on addressing the target audience’s biggest challenge, fear or desire, and offering a compelling solution via your product or service.

Sounds simple but believe me there’s a lot of skill that goes into this mix to get it right. The good news is once you do get it right you will have more high quality leads and prospects than you ever thought possible. Even if you are a new agent!

And that my friends brings us back to… “it’s not you, it’s me”.  The only effective way to get people’s attention and compel them to contact you is by focusing ALL of your marketing/advertising messaging on them. Not us. Them.

However as agents we are all guilty at one time or another of focusing the attention on ourselves. I’ve been totally guilty of this as well! So we put out ads that literally scream – hey look it’s all about ME!

Example; “Joe Blow  #1 Agent 4 Years In A Row”  ” Sally Jones – Everything I touch Turns To Sold!” ” Peter Parker Sells Homes!”  blah blah blah…

The sooner we as agents figure out that people could care less about us and only care about themselvestheir concerns, their challenges and their desires, the sooner we can start speaking ‘their language.’ And that is what will attract them to us versus our competitiors.

So what does all this look like when applied in my business in Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera? By asking my clients “what is your biggest frustration when seeking a holiday home in France?” The answer was always something along the lines of  “getting dragged around by agents showing us homes that did not match our criteria and then flying back home dissapointed and frustrated”

So armed with this information my tag-line is: “I’ll find your dream home in France in just one trip!” With just this one line I’m saying I can help them avoid their biggest fear and achieve their number one desire.

The results? Almost immediately after making the switch I started getting more leads which lead to more showings and resulted in a sale of a $2.4M condo and a commission of over $60k within a month of changing my marketing message.

I now apply this principle in everything I do in my business. For example I totally overhauled my listing presentation and rather than talking about me, the broker etc, I focus on them and delivering the results they want. Once again, my conversion ratio for ‘presentation/listings’ has improved significantly.

By not understanding this principle earlier in my career I’ve no doubt missed out on a lot of sales opportunities. But as they say… better late than never.

So if you aren’t getting all the leads and opportunities you want. If you aren’t making all the money you want. Try looking at your marketing messaging and remember… “it’s about them, not you.” 

by William McIntosh

William McIntosh is a top performing luxury agent on the French Riviera. As well as being an active agent in the business he is passionate about helping other agents succeed and willingly shares his successes and failures.

He is author of the book Top Agent Pro – How To Quickly Become A Top Selling Agent in 10 Easy Steps

If you would like to receive a FREE copy of William’s ‘ready-made listing presentation’ which you can edit and adapt to your business then simply click this link now.

This is the very same listing presentation that he recently used to win a $50,000,000 listing in St-Tropez!

Did you enjoy this post? Would you like to see more posts like this? Please let me know by sharing this post and leaving a comment below! Thanks.  And remember… live large & love fully!

What Real Estate Agents Can Learn From Apple

screenshot-2015-03-01-10-54-09When you are advertising your properties for sale, do you sell the steak or the sizzle?

As agents we tend to focus far too much on the technical details of a home, and not enough on the emotional aspects. It is emotions that sell properties and never the technical details.

For example, no one buys a home because it has a 10 x 15 living room. Instead they imagine all the space they have for their friends and family to enjoy an evening together. Or they picture how much fun the children will have playing on the large floor space. These are all emotional triggers.

So what’s the most effective way to illicit an emotional response to a property ad? Imagery! The more stunning your lead photo is, the more chance a prospective buyer will read the ad, and call.

If Apple can sell an incredibly complex piece of technology using stunning imagery in their advertising, why can’t agents?  With over 90% of potential buyers beginning their search online, great photos are more important then ever. Perhaps yo can even use your new iPhone?

William McIntosh sells luxury homes in Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera, one of the most exciting and competitive luxury markets in the world.