Posts Tagged ‘Trust Your Gut’

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….

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!

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

As promised, I’m writing a little series of blogs on how I’m coping with this … ahem… more challenging real estate market that my not be going away any time soon. Phooey on affirmations and positive thinking – let’s get to WORK! (okay, so there’s nothing wrong with positive thinking – please continue to do it).

In the past, I’ve written about how it’s just fine to stay in your comfort zone – especially if you’re an introvert. My assertion has been that most of us are just fine the way we are – that we have plenty of skills and talents and wonderfulness about us that we can utilize in our business-building efforts, without doing something new and, well, scary.

Been thinking about this lately, especially with the dramatic decrease in the volume of business up for grabs in this less-than-vibrant real estate market.

When the pickin’s are scarce, sometimes it’s necessary to be a bit more aggressive to get your share of the available pie. Let’s face it; in many markets there simply aren’t that many buyers and sellers out there, so it’s likely gonna take some extra effort to track down the ones who are.

For the Power Prospectors among us (which certainly doesn’t include ME), this is no big deal. In fact, the PP’s might actually enjoy the challenge. But what about us more Reluctant types? Those of us who shudder at the thought of chasing down our prey? Am I advising us to do it anyway? To ignore our fears, our hesitancies, perhaps even our conscience?

Probably, maybe and no.

Ignore your fears? Probably. Your hesitancies? Maybe. Your conscience? NO.

FEAR: Earlier this year I started speaking publicly which terrified me at first, but I got over it and now I LOVE it. I conquered that FEAR by facing it and am a better person for it (and a bit wealthier since now people pay me to speak!).

HESITANCY: I have a HESITANCY of approaching FSBO’s and Expired listings. I worry about making a fool of myself and dread the thought of being rejected, although I believe with all my heart and soul that I can help and might just be the best thing to ever happen to them. To date, my hesitancy to prospect to FSBO’s and Expireds has kept me from doing it. I also HESITATE to spend any money on advertising, farming or web-lead purchase because I don’t believe it’s an effective use of my precious dollars. However, if you think it might work for you, there’s certainly nothing wrong with such promotional activities.

CONSCIENCE: However, my CONSCIENCE will not allow me to do anything that resembles making a nuisance out of myself – that is – pestering my friends or pestering strangers with cold-calls, door-knocks or annoying pleas for referrals. No matter how desperate for business I might find myself, I will not subject other human beings on this planet to that desperation. That good old Golden Rule… don’t do to someone else what you wouldn’t want done to you…(and I tell ya, I despise telemarketers).

So, what’s the punch line?

Well, that it may very well be necessary to step out of our comfort zones in order to survive this real estate market. However, that doesn’t mean we have to abandon all our principles and throw ourselves on the altar of Old School sales philosophies.

When considering a new prospecting technique that you aren’t terribly excited about…check with your gut. If your gut is just nervous because you haven’t done it before, you might want to give that idea a shot. However, if your gut is telling you that it’s wrong, then mark that particular idea off your list!

What are some of your fears & hesitancies that you’re willing to explore? REO’s & Short Sales? Daily blogging? SOI’ing? FSBO’ing? Foreclosure auctions? Open houses? Networking? I’ll share mine if you share yours!

posted by on Prospecting & SOI


Ahhhhhhh… flickering jack-o-lanterns… the changing o’the leaves… the first snowfall… chestnuts roasting on an open fire… and time to order your end-of-year Doo-Dads!

Every year ’round this time, real estate agents open their checkbooks (or, better said, key in their credit card numbers) and spend millions of dollars on calendars and other Doo-Dads designed to be distributed to anyone and everyone who crosses their paths. The goal? Why, to ensure that every human being on the planet knows who they are, what they do and how to reach them, of course!

A worthy goal, indeed.

Even I, staunch opponent of the typical Doo-Dad, am sorely tempted this time of year to spend my few remaining marketing dollars on something of value to throw at my sphere of influence in hopes of drumming up some last minute fourth-quarter business or filling up my pipeline for the spring season.

fly swatterBut sheesh, most Doo-Dads are really silly. C’mon – personalized fly-swatters? Ice-scrapers? Lip balm? Oh, I’m not sayin’ that I won’t use a free fly-swatter, ice-scraper or lip balm, but I can pretty much promise you that such Doo-Dads are NOT going to make me feel obligated to use the person or company whose name graces said Doo-Dad!

That said… I like magnets. Always have. Not just any old magnet, mind you; it has to be cool if it’s gonna go on my fridge. Even more important, it has to be cool if it’s gonna get sent out to my precious sphere of influence.

What do I mean by “cool?” Glad you asked.

A “cool” magnet is one that is 1) extremely clever or attractive, and/or 2) contains truly useful information that the recipient will appreciate and 3) reflects my personality or interests.

What are some examples of UNcool magnets? Oh, how about a plain-jane, vanilla business card magnet? Or a list of kitchen measurements? Or, from someone like me, the sports schedule of the local hockey team? (But if you LOOOOOOOVE hockey, this would be totally cool for you).

If you’re going to spend your hard-earned dollars on Doo-Dads, put your money where your heart is. If something seems a bit silly to you, it probably is. As with every other prospecting method you evaluate, be willing to listen to what your gut has to say on the matter. If your gut seems to be saying “Eh… we can do better,” trust me, you can.

Here’s a link to what I consider to be the ULTIMATE in Doo-Dad-Coolness. Yeah, I had a hand in creating it, so of course I think it’s cool, but I’d love your thoughts as well. And please share your own experiences with Doo-Dads – d’good, d’bad and d’ugly!

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

I’ve struggled for several days on how to write this blog without coming across as mercenary, crass or just plain tacky. And forgive me if I fail in that effort. But I can see a financial silver lining in just about any rainbowsituation. 

A Realtor friend of mine recently tried to adopt a child. It was a painful process, and unfortunately, the adoption failed. My friend has a fanatically loyal circle of friends with whom she’d been communicating the details of the process, asking for their prayers and keeping them updated via an e-newsletter.

My friend announced the failure of the adoption via the newsletter. In that newsletter, she included the following:

There’s a part of me that feels a little foolish for dragging all of you through this — kinda like a woman who tells people too early that she’s pregnant, and then miscarries.  But there’s a much bigger part of me that is overwhelmed with gratitude at the incredible outpouring of love and support that I’ve received from you over the past month, and particularly during the past week.

I’ll let you know if any further developments emerge.  And in the meantime, remember that September 20th date I asked you to save?  [This was to be a party for the little girl.] Go ahead and keep it saved.  It’s time for my annual Clients and Friends Appreciation Picnic, and who better to appreciate than all of you?  Details will emerge soon, but the date will be September 20th.

I’m also going to have a lot of unexpected time on my hands in the coming weeks, and a much-too-quiet house.  So I plan to catch up on all of the lunches, dinners, coffees and cocktails with my friends that I’ve missed over the past month.  So if you live here in town, expect a call from me . . .

Thank you all, so much.  I can’t believe how blessed I am to have such amazing friends. Know that all of you and your intentions remain in my daily prayers. 

Now, I know with 100% certainty that my friend was not looking for a Sphere of Influence marketing opportunity within the context of her disappointment. But she created one, nonetheless.

Is my point that you should exploit the sadness in your life for personal gain? Uh, no. Even I’m not that opportunistic! But do know that your friends care about your challenges and, if handled deftly, you can create a little lemonade out of an otherwise bitter situation. And, truth be told, there’s nothing like a little extra business to take your mind off your troubles!

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

Earlier this week, I spoke on the subject of Selling to Your Sphere of Influence – No Sales Pitch Required! at the Colorado REALTOR Convention.

As I usually do, I did my best to debunk many of the sacred cows of the SOI- business model training industry, such as how important it is to ask for referrals, why it’s a great idea to categorize your friends based on their history of referring to you – stuff like that.

The crowd seemed to accept my protestations that this behavior is not only obnoxious, but that it’s not terribly effective. Cool.

I closed my presentation by encouraging the audience to evaluate every prospecting strategy that crosses their path from their gut… to ask themselves if the strategy they’re considering is one they’re excited about and proud of; to be honest with themselves as to how they would respond to the strategy if used on them and whether or not it would annoy them, if used on them. And to trust what their guts have to say on the matter.Party on!

A woman in the back of the room raised her hand and asked if I “approved” of Client Appreciation parties. I asked her if she would enjoy holding such an event and she said she would. I responded with “then absolutely – have that party” with the explanation that if you enjoy doing something, it’s probably a good prospecting activity for you. Me? Nah, I’d be too afraid no one would show up and it wouldn’t be worth the pre-party stress!

But later I gave this some more thought and wish I had just another 45 seconds in that room to share the rest of the story…

Which is… I just can’t get excited about the phrase “client appreciation party.” Oh, it’s not the worst thing in the world, but to me, it sounds like an event specifically held to make me feel obligated to the host with my future real estate business, as opposed to a party where I’ll have a great time. I dunno – there’s just something about that title that gives the introvert in me the heebie-jeebies – even more so than a run-of-the-mill party invitation might evoke.

Am I saying not to have the party? Heavens no! Party on, my friend! But call it something else! Have your party in conjunction with an event of general appeal – Oktoberfest, Halloween, your or your spouse’s birthday, the World Series or Super Bowl, your housewarming celebration (even if you moved over a year ago!), or just your “first annual wine and cheese tasting” party.

Don’t approach your precious Sphere of Influence as a real estate agent first and foremost, as if that’s all you are to them. Be a friend or pleasant acquaintance, who throws a good party, and oh, yeah, also happens to sell real estate.