posted by on An Exceptional Agent

Taking a little break from the Confident Rookie Series (which shall return tomorrow)…busy

A lot of agents I’m talking to are seeing a glimmer of hope – that is – they’re busy! The phone is ringing! The email’s jangling! Listing contracts are being signed and buyers are getting approved! Woo hoo!

I always say that when you’re busy and feeling like hot stuff, go look for more. You have momentum, you have MoJo and that’s apparent to everyone you meet. Even if you’re feeling overwhelmed, do more of whatever it is you’ve been doing to generate business, with a smile on your face and gratitude in your heart.

BUT

Don’t lose sight of the fact that since you actually have clients, this is a wonderful opportunity to knock their sox off with your service. The very very very best source of future business is your Satisfied Past Clients, so even before you run off to do “more of what you’re doing that’s working” make sure all these current clients are tickled pink with you. Stay in touch, keep that brochure box full, hold an extra open house. Return phone calls quicker than you have to. Aggressively pursue and deliver feedback.

There’s no better prospecting strategy than taking exceptional care of your current clients! If you’re busy right now, don’t miss this opportunity!

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

skyline

To continue the fun from Monday’s blog where I lectured us on our phone voices, let me offer some more unsolicited feedback…

I get emails from agents all around the country (which I love, keep ‘em coming!). Sometimes I’m so impressed with someone that I want to remember where they work in case I ever need a referral resource* there.

Many of these agents have fancy-schmantzy signatures on their emails, so that’s the first place I look. And you know what? Very rarely is the agent’s market area mentioned. Oh, I understand why, it doesn’t seem like it would be all that important especially since most of your email communication is with people you know who obviously know where you live. But still…

Anyway, if I’m really impressed with someone and have a few minutes to spare, I’ll click on their website link, if provided, to learn more about them. And I tell ya’ – an awful lot of you do not make it clear on your homepage where the heck you sell real estate! Oh, there might be a picture of a skyline (which likely isn’t much help) and I’ve even seen sites with a physical address that DOESN’T INCLUDE THE CITY AND STATE! Phone numbers – yes – and if I’m familiar with the area code, it might mean something to me, but don’t count on it.

If you communicate via email with people outside your market area, you might consider including your city & state in your email signature. And definitely take a look at your website to ensure that it’s awfully darn clear where you sell real estate!

Lecture Over. Happy Friday!

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

You know those twilight zone moments? When you have what you think is a very simple question, but then can’t find a suitable answer anywhere? When you ask the question, you either get a long, complicated answer, or a blank look, as if your question is absurd?frustrate

This was my experience lately with a video project I wanted to do. It was very simple (I thought) – I wanted to create a demo/promo video for my speaking services. I had three hours of material from which to harvest five-to-ten minutes from, so my plan was to go through the three hours and cut out snippets that made me look cute & fun & knowledgeable (and of course, skinny).

I thought I had it figured out, but then ran into a technical roadblock. And another. Something to do with converting the video file I had to something editable. Frankly, I don’t get any joy out of figuring out technical issues, so I called up a video editor I know to ask his advice. I got an earful of techno-jargon, along with all the reasons my (simple?) request was way more complicated than I thought it was.  He then offered me several suggestions (none of which made any sense to me) to resolve my dilemma.

(Okay, what am I missing here??? Everyone I know has a video camera and knows how to YouTube; surely they aren’t all way more technie than I am???)

I got off the phone frustrated and confused and… frustrated and confused. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to sponge off the guy – I was perfectly willing to pay for his assistance once I realized I was probably incapable of handling it myself.

What would have been really cool was if he had said something like “Jennifer, why don’t you just bring me the raw material and I’ll put it in a format you can rough-edit. It’ll cost you $30 (or $50 or $100) – I’m a little backed up right now, so it might have to wait til the end of the month, but let me take care of it for you.

I might have fainted with relief. So maybe it’s good he didn’t say that – I had a lot to do that day.

Anyway, we as real estate agents (and mortgage brokers and home stagers and insurance agents) have the ability to make our clients and prospects faint with relief, too. We know SO MUCH more than they do about what’s happening and truly – much of the time, they don’t want to/need to know the ins & outs of the process. Often they don’t even need to know their options – they just want “it” taken care of without having to learn something new. This is why they hire us. To take control and take care of them.

So, let’s take control and help. No drawn-out excuses or explanations, no lectures on the state of the economy (uh, like it’s a secret?), no long-winded diatribe on the horrors of buying short sales or REOs… there’s plenty of time for those conversations later, at the proper time. But if you want to make a great first impression on your potential new client – just show ‘em your Can-Do attitude – because… you CAN DO!

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

Like most of you, I talk to other real estate agents on the phone pretty regularly. Some in the course of my real estate business, some in the course of my writing, training & speaking career.phone

And I tell ya – there are a lot of unfriendly voices out there.

Within an hour the other day I spoke with two different agents, about two totally different topics. The first was calling me to ask about some Open House signs I had listed on Craigslist. He was distant and dismissive and didn’t seem much interested in having a conversation with me. The second was calling for information on a listing and she was delightful. The kind of voice you’d like to ask to meet you for Happy Hour, and be pretty sure you’d have a wonderful time.

Last week, I participated in a couple of Real Estate Week online seminars in which all participants had the opportunity to chat one-on-one with other participants on the call. The difference among the various voices I was matched up with was striking. Some of the voices were hesitant and unsure; some were bold and somewhat abrasive and a few were warm and inviting. I naturally have fond memories of the warm & inviting voices; not so fond memories of the others.

Hey, I’m the last one to tell someone to change who they are, but it’s a fact that many of your clients and prospects are going to judge you by your phone voice. Of all the real estate agents I’ve spoken with on the phone this week, only two or three of them would have inspired me to pursue a professional relationship with the person, had I been in the market for a real estate agent.

If you can stand it, record some of your phone conversations. Then listen… and see how you feel about both the warmth and confidence of this person (that would be you!). Try to be objective – I know it’s hard – on one hand you hate the sound of your voice, but on the other, it’s tough to admit that perhaps you sound a bit unsure or conversely, brash.

You might also pay closer attention to the people you speak with on the phone, whether they’re in the biz or not. What is your impression of this person? That they’re confident? Competent? Caring? Knowledgeable? Or bored, scared or clueless?

It sounds trite, but if you stand up (or sit up) straight when you talk on the phone, put your shoulders back and smile, your phone voice will improve exponentially.

By the way, I met the afore-mentioned “distant and dismissive” agent in person later in the day, and he was quite pleasant in person. But that phone voice… ugh!

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

pout

Question: “I understand that I won’t always get my friends’ business, but when I don’t, is it reasonable to expect a courtesy call explaining why they hired someone else?”

It’s tough when someone you know entrusts their real estate business to another agent, isn’t it? When you’re new, the disappointment can take days to get over, but even for Old Fogies like me, it’ll still sting for an hour or two.

I believe that it’s best to give your friend the benefit of the doubt and assume that she had a perfectly good reason for her decision not to bring you in on her real estate transaction. Trust in that, swallow your hurt and move on. Don’t risk the friendship (or future business!) by demanding an explanation, complaining to mutual friends or sulking the next time you see her.

It might help you to behave properly if you look at the situation from a purely mercenary perspective. Your friend might become disillusioned with her chosen real estate agent – either during the transaction or afterwards. If it happens “during” and you’ve been pleasantly professional (as opposed to accusingly indignant), you might just find your friend back on your doorstep begging for your help. But even if this doesn’t happen, the agent she chose might have been a major disappointment and you can actually cement your position as your friend’s go-to guy or gal for her future referrals. But I guarantee neither will happen if you pout, whine or fuss about her decision.

I don’t think the general public realizes how hurtful it is when our friends hire someone else – I doubt they even give it much thought. In most cases, it’s not AT ALL personal, so they don’t even think to feel bad about it, or feel they owe you any explanation.

So, does your friend owe you a courtesy call? No. If you get one, dandy (and please don’t make her regret her decision to do so). But if you don’t, please don’t fret. More than an hour, anyway.

RELATED BLOGS

 

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

I’m sure you’ve heard the infamous ABC’s of sales from the scene in Glengarry Glen Ross – when Alec Baldwin is slamming the sales force with a string of memorable quotes starting with “Put down that coffee – coffee is for closers ,” followed by “Get them to sign on the line which is dotted !”

He then points to the chalkboard where he’s written “ABC – A= Always; B= Be; C= Closing.

Always
Be
Closing.

Whatever.

Can you imagine how delightful it would be to be around someone who is Always Closing? Or, to BE that person who is? I suppose it comes naturally to some; but to those to whom it does not, BLECH!

But it occurs to me that the Always Be Closing mantra is a beautiful sentiment if applied in the proper situation.

In our business, a real estate closing is the goal of what we do. Not only because it’s when WE get paid, but it’s also payday for the mortgage broker, the title company, our own broker, the home warranty company, the county tax assessor… all sorts of people and businesses benefit from a real estate closing! Not to mention (duh), the buyers who realize their dreams of home ownership, the investor who will soon be hiring contractors and home stagers and property managers and someday, maybe YOU to sell the home again, and the sellers who can breathe a sigh of relief that they can move on with their lives.  

Yes, a closing is a beautiful thing.

So, I propose that we real estate agents Always Be Closing . No, not sales-pitching everyone to death, but rather – getting our buyers and sellers to the closing table!

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

As a follow-up to yesterday’s blog about high school dating, loyalty and the wonderful world of real estate sales…roses

A few weeks ago, I was watching The Bachelorette (yeah, I know, spare me the eye-rolls) and there was a scenario where the Bachelorette had a one-on-one date with one of the hopeful bachelors. The rules of the game say that if the Bachelorette does not give the guy a rose during the one-on-one date, he has to go home – in other words, he’s been eliminated.

As the bachelor was preparing for his date he said something like “I’m a little nervous about this date; what if there’s no chemistry and she sends me home?

HUH?

Last time I checked, it’s not much fun dating someone with whom you have no chemistry. In fact, it’s pretty darned awful. Even if a guy or gal is the most gorgeous creature on the planet, if there’s no connection, what’s the point? Dating is a two-way street; in the real world, anyway, we evaluate each other during the process and either party is entitled to make the decision to move forward or not. If the answer is “not,” we thank the other person for their time, move on and are grateful we have the freedom to do so!

It’s similar in our business, although when there’s money involved, we can probably put up with a bit more relationship angst! But I often see agents pushing for a listing or a buyer agency agreement — even when they aren’t necessarily the right (wo)man for the job, or they recognize that the buyer or seller is clearly going to be difficult.

I’m sure a lot of it is ego… we want to win that lover or client, even if we suspect it’s a relationship headed for nowhere. And that’s fine – I’m as competitive as anyone and sometimes I just want to WIN, even if the prize isn’t something I actually want.

But when you don’t win – when the other person selects against you, trust that they made the right decision for them. Support that decision and you may end up with a lifelong friend — which is nothing to sneeze at!

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

Email

I just went through my mailing list of several thousand. Well, I didn’t go through all several thousand; just the names of the people who aren’t getting my emails because I’m being blocked by their email server.

Because I just kicked off my Prospecting with Soul Workshop, and it’s a paid program, I wanted to make sure that everyone who signed up is actually GETTING what they’re paying for, which includes daily emails from me.

Well. Guess what I found?

I discovered that one particular email server was blocking my emails far more than any other. Was it @aol? @hotmail? @yahoo?

Nope, although those were certainly well-represented.

By far, the most-blocked email server was… drum roll… @kw.com.

Hey, no disrespect to KW; I’m just passing on information. And it’s not news to me; when a subscriber tells me they aren’t getting my emails, it’s very often an @kw.com email address.

Now, whether or not you hear from me (outside of a program you paid for) may not be of utmost importance to you – I doubt my emails are the highlight of your day.

But I have to wonder who else is being blocked from contacting you? Aren’t you?

And while we’re at it, there’s another category of “undeliverable” emails in my mailing program – email addresses that are “non-existent.” Hundreds of them. And again, most of them are brokerage-specific email addresses (@kw.com, @remax.net, @abcrealty.com, etc.). Yes, I know you hope you’ll stay at your current brokerage firm forever and ever, but what if you don’t? Do you really want your sphere of influence NOT to be able to contact you with an invitation to their next party… or, egads, if they want to hire or refer you?

Please add it to your to-do list to get your very own email address. Like, today. It’s very easy to do, but even if it’s beyond your technical capabilities, it’s well-worth it to pay someone to do it for you. Seriously, you could be losing commission checks this very moment. Or at the very least, not hearing from me anymore! ;-]

If you thought you were on my mailing list, but haven’t heard much from me lately, just ask me if you’re being blocked. I’d be happy to look it up for you and correct that problem when you give me a NEW email address of your very own!

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

Been watching a conversation elsewhere on the web about whether or not to put buyers in your car… as opposed to driving separately. While some of the comments are ridiculously snotty (“They can drive themselves!” or “Let THEM use their own gas!”), the most sincere objection seems to be that putting another warm body in your car creates liability for you.

We hear similar objections all the time to doing things that serve our clients. DON’T attend inspections! DON’T recommend mortgage brokers! Don’t give any advice that might be construed as legal! Don’t put buyers in your car! Blah blah blah.

Basically, in order to CYA to the best of your ability, you should, as one instructor put it – “stand outside and smoke” during most phases of a real estate transaction. To avoid liability, y’know.

Well, shoot, I don’t buy it. My buyers and sellers pay me darn good money to be intimately involved with every facet of their real estate transaction. And I show up. Yes, to inspections. I get on the roof and join the party in the crawlspace. If I don’t know three good inspectors, I recommend only the one or two I like. I write my own addendums that probably border on practicing law. And yes, I put buyers in my car.*

It’s my job. And in my 13 years of doing my job, I can honestly say I’ve been richly rewarded for doing my job and only threatened legally once. By doing my job, I serve my clients, which not only leads to happy clients, but more paychecks for ME ‘cause my deals close!

I know what I’m doing. And I shall do it. Even if I risk being sued. This is a liability-ridden business. If you cain’t take that heat… go find another kitchen to play in.

Judge

*Here’s my opinion on putting buyers in my car:
In 13 years, I can count on one hand (okay, maybe two) the number of times I’ve ridden separately from my buyers. I usually drive, but if my buyer has a car-seat issue, I’ll ride with them. The only times I’ve had a buyer follow me is if we’re meeting at the house and only looking at a few others – then it just seems to make sense.

The time spent driving between houses is great bonding, rapport-building and information-gathering time. I can’t imagine not having that time with my buyers as we’re getting to know each other and figuring out what they want in a house. It also gives me the opportunity to demonstrate my expertise in the area and for them to ask questions which, assuming I can answer (!), builds my credibility.

I’ve shopped for houses in other markets and the agents always drove. I’m trying to imagine them leaving me in my rental car to follow them in an unfamiliar town… and I’m pretty sure I would think they were rude, antisocial, lazy or ashamed of their car. I certainly wouldn’t think MORE of them if they made me drive myself.

That said, if I didn’t feel safe with someone, I probably wouldn’t want them in my car, but neither would I be working with them.

** Nothing written here should be construed as legal advice <grin>

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

I’ve been doing a lot of referring these days. Both of my own leads to other Denver-area agents, and also coordinating agent-to-agent referrals around the country (see below if you wanna play, too!).

I’m seeing some distinct differences in how my referrals are handled by the refer-ee, and I tell ya, the ones who handle them better are far more likely to see more from me than those who don’t!Referral

Remember that the refering agent probably has some concerns about you. He’s worried that you’ll forget you owe him a referral fee. That you’ll make him look bad by treating the client poorly. That you’ll drop the ball with the client and cost the refer-er his referral fee. That you’ll resent paying the referral fee when all is said and done. Stuff like that. Reasonable? Maybe not, but I promise you, it’s going thru his head.

So, if you’d like to ensure that your first referral from an agent isn’t your last – here are some tips…

1.  Be appreciative! I mean, sincerely, enthusiastically, over-the-top appreciative. As if this referral is the most generous thing anyone’s ever done for you.

2.  On the other hand, if you aren’t the right (wo)man for the job, disclose that upfront, and offer the name of someone who is. Your helpfulness will be remembered.

3.  Contact the client right away – duh!

4.  LET THE REFER-ER KNOW YOU CONTACTED THE CLIENT (right away) and share all the juicy details of the conversation (within proper privacy limits, of course).

5.  Tell the refer-er how much you enjoyed talking with the client and thank him or her again for the referral.

6.  Keep the refer-er updated on your activities with the client. Let him know when your listing appointment is scheduled or your first showing takes place. As you make progress toward the closing table, let the refer-er know. Be sure to contact the refer-er as soon as the transaction closes.

7.  DO NOT complain about the client or imply in any way that you’re working harder than you usually do for her (which might be interpreted as the beginnings of referral-fee-resentment).

8.  If it turns out the the client isn’t ready to buy or sell right now, don’t fuss about wasting your time and stay in touch with her, and the refer-ee.

9.  Sign and return the referral agreement immediately. No excuses.

10. And of course, knock yourself out impressing the sox off this referred client. Not only will this bring you future business and referrals from the client, but also from the refer-er.

 

Refer with Confidence~

Speaking of referrals, I just fired up my SWS Referral Network, which is an agent-to-agent referral resource for those who have bought into the Sell with Soul philosophies. It’s been live for a few weeks now and we’ve already placed a dozen or so referrals.

What, exactly, is a “Sell with Soul philosophy”? Ahhhh, glad you asked. Here’s an excerpt of the announcement that went out to my mailing list that should give you an idea:

The SWS message is getting around. That’s sweeeeet. Not only for me (yeah, I’m an ego-maniac), but also for those who believe in that message. That real estate agents should be respectful of their clients instead of insulting to their intelligence. That real estate agents should take care of their current clients before pursuing new ones. That real estate agents should <gasp> know a thing or two about selling real estate before they pursue and accept payment for doing so. 

And, to cap it all off, if real estate agents respect their clients, serve them well and know what the heck they’re doing, they’ll be rewarded with plenty of business for years to come.  

I’ve created a directory of SWS’ers so y’all can happily refer to each other and keep the karma flowing. If you’re interested in being a member of the SWS Referral Network, go here to read more. It’s not a slam-dunk-fill-in-your-name-and-contact-information and you’re in. No, I feel pretty strongly about keeping the network honest, populated only by true SWS’ers who have drunk the Kool-Aid. Yeah, I can discriminate – it’s my network. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything I say, just the most important stuff!

Can I guarantee you a steady stream of business if you join the Network? Nope. You may never see a dime from your participation. So, I’m not charging upfront to join. However, in keeping with our industry’s contingency-based compensation model, I am asking for a 5% piece of the action if an SWS-inspired referral goes to closing. Hope that’s cool with you.   If so, please go ahead and check out the details!

 

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

emailNo, I’m not saying you’re in any danger by using an autoresponder… at least, not (to quote Jack Nicholson) “grave danger, is there any other kind?” But you are definitely in danger of running off perfectly good clients, prospects and referring agents.

I send out newsletters every week or so to several thousand real estate agents around the world. Every time one goes out, I’m slammed with autoresponders. And, my friends, I love y’all, but most of them are awful. I don’t mind the ones that tell me you’re on vacation (have a wonderful time!) or that you’ve experienced a family crisis (hugs) or are at a convention, but many are so bluntly written that I feel an initial shock when reading it. Call me hypersensitive, but when I receive an autoresponded message back that informs me you’re busy and will return my email at such and such a time, I feel a little miffed. Oh, sure, intellectually, I realize it has nothing to do with my importance in your life, but like I said, I always feel a little twinge when I read it. And I tell ya – thousands of my readers don’t have autoresponders, and I’m never emotionally offended by NOT getting an auto-response!

I got one yesterday from someone I’d sent a “real” email to (not a newsletter). It was apparently generated by the person’s SPAM filter and sternly advised me to resend my message so that it would get thru this time. Uh, you’re kidding, right? I’m going to fish through my SENT folder to find the message and resend it? Well, maybe if I have time later, and remember to do it (I haven’t yet).

But the worst one I’ve ever seen came today. Again, from a SPAM filter program:

Hello Jennifer Allan,

This message serves as notification that you will not receive any more courtesy notices from our members for two days. Messages you have sent will remain in a lower priority queue for our member to review at their leisure.

Future messages will be more likely to be viewed if you are on our member’s priority Guest List.

Thank you,
(signed by the guy who received my newsletter)

About this Notice
This courtesy notice is part of a free service to make email more reliable and useful. Boxbe (
www.boxbe.com) uses your existing social network and that of your friends to keep your inbox clean and make sure you receive email from people who matter to you.

Boxbe
Say Goodbye to Email Overload
www.boxbe.com

 

Ouch!!!!!

If you use an autoresponder, why not send yourself an email today and see what it says. If it’s anything other than warm and inviting, change it, or get rid of it. In all likelihood, it’s really not necessary to have at all…

Your thoughts?

 

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

Okay, since you’re back from a splendid (rainy?) holiday weekend, here’s an easy assignment for you to ease back into the groove.

Send yourself an email. If you use an auto-signature, check it out. If there’s a link, does it work? Seriously, lots of ‘em don’t. Is your contact information up-to-date? Everything spelled right? Is there one of those annoying boxes with a red X in the upper right-hand corner (that’s supposed to be a fancy-schmantzy graphic)?

If you’re a SWS follower, is there a Referral-Begging tagline you forgot about? 

I get emails from real estate agents all day (and all night) long and I see these issues often. Don’t give anyone any reason to believe that you’re anything other than an Absolutely Fabulous *RCHB!

Okay, back to work. Have a great week!

ja

 

 

Cool logo, huh? Want your own? Contact Sheryl @ www.evans-studios.com

 

 

 

*RCHB – Reasonably Competent Human Being

posted by on Positive Thoughts for Tough Times

My long-term readers may remember what they’re about to read from one of my very first SWS newsletters.

I wrote it during a time where, in retrospect, I realize was one of the most stressful periods of my life. And while my life is no longer one big stress-fest, I know that many of you are struggling to keep your mood up and your Mojo intact. It’s a tough business we’re in!

***Smile

Here is a simple trick I discovered that does some serious stress mitigation, takes almost no effort… and doesn’t include red wine or little white pills. Thought I’d share it with you in case you might need some help in that area right about now.   

Instead of sighing… I smile.  

Huh?  

When I’m under stress, I find that I sigh a lot. When I get out of bed in the morning, I sigh. As I brew my coffee, I sigh.  As I fire up my computer, I sigh. Y’know… a long, drawn out, woe is me — sigh.  As if the entire world is on my shoulders. Poor, poor, Jennifer.  

But lately, I’ve been trying something different. Instead of sighing, I smile! I probably look like an idiot, but it really doesn’t matter. I smile happily at my coffee pot. I do a little dance on the way to my desk. If I wake up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep, I get out of bed, put on a happy face and watch TV for awhile.  

Okay, so there’s nothing revolutionary about Turning That Frown Upside Down – we all know how important a positive attitude is to our happiness and success.  But yowsa! The power of smiling to myself has really caught me off-guard with the power it gives me over my mood. I just can’t help but feel better when there’s a smile on my face!   Give it a try.

The next time you find yourself getting ready to sigh… smile instead. And let me know if it has the same magic for you!

***

Happy Friday my friends!

 

 

posted by on Positive Thoughts for Tough Times

I have a new mantra. Assume the Best.Happy

This actually comes from my personal life where it’s been sorely needed for, oh, about 43 years now, but I recently started intentionally applying it to my business life (is there really a clear division between the two anyway?)

When someone does something that doesn’t make sense to you – something that irritates, inconveniences, hurts or offends you – do you automatically assume it was intentionally done to irritate, inconvenience, hurt or offend? Do you naturally filter through all the possibilities of why they did “it” and latch onto the one that makes them a bad guy or gal… and conveniently places you in the self-righteous role of victim?

I do, sometimes. Not always, but I can admit, it’s often the first line of defense when I’m confused by someone else’s words or actions. Since I was 13 years old I’ve known the power of the pout, the sulk and the whine to put the other person on the defensive (maybe that’s a female thing!) and although I’d love to say I’ve grown out of it… well… that would be a lie. Unfortunately, variations of pouting, sulking and whining still work in the hands of a master ;-]

But we’re all grown up now and operating in the real world with other imperfect human beings. And maybe it’s time to give those flawed human beings in our lives the benefit of the doubt. Not just because it’s the nice thing to do, but because in most cases, they deserve that benefit!

You know what? The world is not a hostile, dangerous place populated by human beings who wish to harm you. Trust in that reality and I think you’ll find it to be your reality… in life, love AND business!

Assume the Best, baby, Assume the Best…

posted by on Positive Thoughts for Tough Times

Last weekend, we had a free teleseminar show in the SWS Virtual Studio called “Getting UNStuck.” It was co-hosted by me and my good friend Borino, and was about, among other things, regaining your mood and your mojo when this business threatens to get you down. Fun stuff (actually, it was).

During the show, Borino asked for a volunteer from the audience to help him demonstrate a little exercise to help you reset your mood when it’s not what it needs to be. Basically, he put our lovely volunteer (thank you Camille!) into a funk by asking her to recall a recent event that got her down.

He then snapped her out of her funk by abruptly changing the subject and then asking her to recall a recent event that made her happy. She was instructed to take herself back to that moment when she was feeling the happiness – how it felt, sounded, smelled, looked, etc. When she was “there” he asked her to express her happiness in some physical way – for example… the soccer player’s arms-in-the-air dance, Tiger Woods’ fist pump – anything physical that felt natural to her.

Camille confirmed (and we in the audience could hear it in her voice) that her mood improved dramatically and immediately.

Borino explained that the point of the exercise was to help find a physical “anchor” that you can call upon when you’re feeling down. As I understand it (and please correct me if I’m not getting this quite right), DOING that natural physical expression of happiness when you aren’t happy and energized can actually reset your mood so that you ARE happy and energized again.

I, quite cleverly, referred to this physical expression of happiness as your Happy Dance.

Anyway, we in the audience were instructed to do the Happy Dance exercise along with Camille. I, being a co-host and all, declined to participate since obviously I have it all together and don’t need such (as Borino calls it) “airy-fairy” techniques ;-]

FADE OUT

Well, Sunday morning I was feelin’ kinda down. My stomach hurt, my fun plans for the day were threatened and I was behind on a project I really needed to have finished already. BLAH. So, while in the shower deciding whether or not to shave my legs (I didn’t), I decided to give this airy-fairy stuff a try. I did my own little Happy Dance right there in the shower.

Wow. Wow. Holy Moly.

I got a rush of energy I didn’t imagine I had in me. Got out of the shower, turned up the stereo full blast, continued dancing around the house getting ready for my wonderful, fabulous and productive day, scribbled down some ideas for articles and blogs, hugged the dogs, noticed my stomach didn’t hurt anymore and headed out the door to begin my wonderful, fabulous and productive day.

And a wonderful, fabulous, productive day it was.

Do you have a Happy Dance? Okay… 1, 2, 3, GO!

How do you feel now?

 

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Don’t Let Your Bad Mood Lead You to a Bad Decision

posted by on Positive Thoughts for Tough Times

Bad Mood

Two Saturdays ago, we finished up the Winter of Soul (a 12-session teleseminar program about topics of interest to the Sell with Soul crowd) with a show about Getting UNStuck – that is – how to regain your mojo when this business threatens to take you down. My favorite segment of the show was when we talked about how if you’re in a Bad Mood… you’re pretty much toast until you can snap out of it.

What do I mean by that? Well, if you’re feeling down in the dumps about your business, have you noticed that it only seems to get worse? You and your bad mood seem to attract more to be in a bad mood about. It’s an ugly, frustrating, discouraging death spiral. BAH!

But the good news is that the opposite is also true. If you can somehow resuscitate your mood so that you’re feeling chipper again, you and your good mood will attract even more to be in a good mood about!

And more good news, in our business at least, is that it really doesn’t take all that much to turn our day, our week or even our month around. One or two sweet referrals. A great open house. A call from a buyer who found you from your blog. And BAM! You’re feeling sexy, sassy and smart again. 

So what’s my point here?  

My point is that a lot of us (myself included) get all hysterical when things are going wrong and think we have to make a Big Change in order to turn things around. And that Big Change is, well, Big! And maybe scary. Maybe expensive. So, we either do nothing (and sink further into despair) or we make some not-too-well-thought-out Big Change that may be unnecessary and probably won’t work anyway.

Slow down. Don’t make any Big Change decisions out of fear, frustration or desperation. Don’t make any Big Change decisions until you’re … yes… in a good mood.

Does this sound ridiculously simple? Yeah, I know, it is. But think about it – how was your mood the last time you made a crummy decision? I don’t know about you, but I can name a dozen really dumb moves I’ve made in the last few years, all of which were decided upon when I was under stress. Conversely, my best decisions were made when I was feeling sassy, sexy and smart!

So, how do you go about finding your good mood? What will it take to get YOU feeling sassy, sexy and smart?

I dunno.

It’s different for everyone. I know what works for ME and if I can remember to do it when I’m feeling low, I can almost always turn my mood around. And once I’m feeling better, everything else seems to fall into place, which of course improves my mood even more!

Now, I’m not talking about some monumental shift in attitude. Just enough of a shift so that you can smile, laugh and be pleasant to those around you.

Just think about it. What TRULY cheers you up? Think outside the box – go beyond the obvious things like working out or eating chocolate. What REALLY works for you?

Share?

posted by on Positive Thoughts for Tough Times

Queen

We read about Great leaders who have overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve… well… Great things. We hear stories of tippy-top producers who found themselves at some point living in their cars… but today make gazillions of dollars. Closer to (my) home, there are stories like Jack Canfield’s where he had to peddle his idea for the Chicken Soup for the Soul book to dozens of publishers before one bit… and it became one of the best-selling books of all time.

Stories like these are supposed to be inspiring. But can I be brutally honest for a moment? I find them more intimidating than inspiring. Call me humble (ha!), but I’m just not sure I have what it takes to reach such Greatness and prosperity. Besides that, I’ve never lived in my car, which seems to be a pre-requisite for Greatness, although I have run out of gas a few times. Does that count?

I find far more inspiration in mediocrity. When I need to rev myself up to work on a chapter in my next book or prepare for an upcoming speaking gig, I seem to magically stumble upon someone in my industry who does their craft poorly, or at least, without Greatness. Many of whom are quite successful, I might add! Just the other day I was reading a fairly popular book about entrepreneurship (which is the topic of my next book) and was stunned at how superficial and obvious, not to mention poorly edited the material was. I mean, DUH. This stuff comes straight from Old School Self-Promotion 101 — and the book was touted as revolutionary!

Anyway, after reading about half the book, I couldn’t wait to get back to working on mine which I’d backburnered earlier this year. Heck, if this guy’s stuff can be considered “revolutionary,” to what heights might MY stuff climb?!

This approach could easily apply in a real estate career. Sure, there are a handful of real estate practitioners who are Great but the vast majority is, by definition, average. Many, of course, are less-than-average, but darnit, if they don’t do okay!? Frustrating, isn’t it?

Well, take that frustration and be inspired by it. Visit open houses on Sundays and observe how poorly many agents handle them – their signage, their (lack of) knowledge of the home and neighborhood, and their often-uncomfortable rapport-building skills. Eavesdrop on the other agents in your office and hear how unprofessional some of them sound while talking to prospects and clients. Preview listings in your area and notice how poorly they are priced and marketed.  Read through several MLS listings and see how many fields are incomplete and the descriptions dull. As you work your own deals, note how long it takes for other agents to return your calls, and how unfriendly or unprofessional their outgoing voicemail messages are.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

If you, like me, are intimidated by the Great, look to the mediocre for inspiration. You can do better, significantly so, and in today’s world of increasing mediocrity, you might find yourself among the Great!

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

As it happens every year ‘round this time, New Year’s resolutions are being made with a vengeance.

In our world of real estate sales, these resolutions tend to focus on revving up one’s prospecting efforts in hopes of having a Great New Year. Promises to more fully commit to a cold-calling or door-knocking campaign, to more aggressively pursue expired listings and FSBO’s, to formally choose a farm area or finally figure out what SEO really means.

All well and good. I wish you luck with that!

But in addition to all these Numbers Games, I submit the following plan for your consideration…

Rather than attempting to contact 100 people a day in hopes of catching the attention of a few, how about trying to impress just a few every day, in hopes of making a memorable impression on every single one? If you were to impress two people a day, at the end of a year, that’s over 700 people on the planet who think you’re really cool – instead simply sort of recognizing your name from your mass-marketing efforts.

Instead of pestering your sphere of influence once a quarter with requests for referrals (which I promise you are not welcomed with open arms), try reconnecting with the people you know as a friend or acquaintance first – a friend or acquaintance who happens to sell real estate.

Instead of focusing all your time, energy and budget on hunting down new prospects, spend at least half of that time being a kick-a$$ real estate agent for those clients who have already honored you with their business.

It is possible to run a perfectly respectable real estate business without doing ANY formal prospecting other than what I describe above. If the people in your world think you’re a pretty darn cool person AND a terrific real estate agent, they’ll take great care of you throughout your career.

No game-playing required.

 

posted by on Especially for Rookies

Every day, every hour, someone posts a blog on AR or a question on a forum asking “how to” do something.  How to… approach a FSBO? How to… better market a listing? How to… target first time buyers? How to… persuade a seller to reduce his price? Etc. etc. etc.

Good questions, all. Deserving of answers.

However, I believe that in most cases, the answers are within ourselves. Not that I mind being asked (I love sharing my – ahem – brilliance), but a big part of my SWS philosophy is to learn to Trust Your Gut. To know that you CAN (and should) listen to your own instincts and intuitions!

So, that said…

If you were a FSBO, how would you like to be approached by a real estate agent? What would catch your attention? What would turn you on (or more importantly, off)? What would inspire you to want to work with one particular agent over another?

If you were a FTHB, how would you go looking for an agent? Where would you be likely to stumble upon one? What sort of marketing would catch your eye?

If you’re wondering how to sell your difficult listing…. Ask yourself… If I were a buyer, or a buyer’s agent, what would inspire ME to give this listing a chance? Conversely, why might I be avoiding this particular listing? Of all the listings available to show my buyer, what could the listing agent do to convince me I should show THIS one (because remember, as a buyer agent, I only get paid when my buyer buys, so I only wanna show the BEST)?

If you were an upside-down seller, what might your agent do to convince you of the need for a price reduction? How would you like him or her to approach you? What sort of information might be helpful and what attitude would be effective?

When faced with a dilemma that involves another warm body, put yourself in the other fella’s shoes. And act accordingly….

swswww.SellwithSoul.com

posted by on Introverts Are Awesome!

Kicked off the Summer of Soul over the weekend with Susan Haughton‘s interview “Introverts are Salespeople, too!” Good show, great crowd!

Highlights from Saturday’s show include:

1.       An introvert is a much better salesperson when approached, rather than when he does the approaching (when he attracts business rather than pursues it)

2.       An introvert needs to know what she’s doing before she can project a confident attitude (she can’t fake it ‘til she makes it)

3.       Being introverted is not the same as being shy

4.       Introverts can (and should) trust their gut – we have great intuition and a lot of common sense!

5.       Introverts can (and should) stay in their comfort zone when prospecting

#1 – An introvert is a better salesperson when approached, rather than when he approaches. Some might say that this somewhat negates the whole concept of being a salesperson at all – if you’re just sitting around waiting for someone to knock on your door, you’re an order-taker, not a salesperson. Hmmmmm, I don’t think so. In fact, I think that attraction-based marketing is the wave of the future and we introverts might be ahead of the curve! People are tired of being sold, of being pitched, of being pursued. When they need information on a product, they’ll go find it. And the trick is to be THERE when they go looking. We introverts are excellent lead-converters when the lead comes to us – DUE to our personality, not despite it!

#2 – An introvert can’t fake it ‘til she makes it. When an introvert knows what she’s doing, she projects an incredible can-do attitude because, well, she knows she CAN DO. We’re organized, we’re efficient, we’re thoughtful and we’re creative and we know we can get the job done. If we know how to do the job! Therefore, it’s important that those who lean toward the introverted side of the scale focus on building expertise and knowledge before they prospect. If they’re insecure in their abilities, they’ll never leave the office.

That’s enough for today… I’ll pick this up later! Have a wonderful week, my friends!