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Endless Clients System #3 – Referral Programming

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Do you know the most effective time to “program” your clients to refer other clients to you?

Did you say it’s “during the transaction?”

If so, then you’re 100% correct.

Why is during the transaction the very best time to “program” your clients for referrals?

Three reasons:

First, during a transaction you have their undivided attention.

Second, because it’s usually during the transaction they become bonded to you – they experience you on a more personal level and feel closer to you.

And third, during the transaction your clients are “thinking” about real estate – so they’re more alert to others who are thinking about real estate.  This “awareness” is called…

The “Reticular Activator”

Have you ever been thinking of buying a specific model or color of new car, and you notice all the cars similar to the one you’re thinking of on the road?  That’s your reticular activator working, and it’ll put extra commissions in your pocket when you program your clients during the transaction.

But there’s yet another reason why you want to program your clients for referrals during the transaction.  It’s because people don’t know  your practice is fueled by referrals unless you tell them.

And the great thing is… once you tell them, in most cases they’ll think of you FOR LIFE!

Would you like to have several strategies at your disposal for subtly programming your clients to send you referrals during the transaction?

I thought you would.

Here are 4 systems you can start using tomorrow morning…

Transaction Referral Programming System #1:

Quickly… pull out one of your business cards.  Now turn it over.  Notice anything?

See, if you’re like most agents you did NOT notice anything.  Why?  Because there’s nothing there.  It’s blank.

Well…that’s all about to change.

More than 50-years ago, motivational writer and speaker W. Clement Stone coined the phrase, “Little Hinges Swing Big Doors.” It’s become one of my favorites over the years, because it perfectly describes how successful businesses are grown.

The secret is to identify easy and affordable ways to LEVERAGE your ability to make money in your business.  And one of the neatest little ideas I’ve ever seen is using specific REFERRAL language on the BACK of your business card.

The back of your business card represents advertising space that’s probably not being utilized.  But it could be.

I know agents who put all kinds of information on the back of their cards: Offers for special reports, offers for a “specific list of homes”, offers for your “Maximum Home Value Audit” or other things buyers and sellers would like to have.

But some of the best language on the back of your card is Referral Programming.  After all, people never know that you eagerly accept referrals if you don’t tell them.

Seriously… people are very literal, and most agents miss the opportunity to communicate just how they like to do business – what they should DO the next time they meet someone interested in buying or selling.

So here’s a quick sample you can use on the back of YOUR card – no, it won’t make you rich, but it may bring you a deal or two you otherwise wouldn’t have seen.  And that’s easily worth the small cost in printing.

You can use “as is” or modify the language as you see fit, but this should get you started.

sample 1

Transaction Referral Programming System #2:

Agents have told me one of the most effective ways to “bond” clients to you and subtly reveal your “difference” above other agents is to…

Deliver a Stack of 4 or 5 Past
Issues Of Service For Life!®

Why?

First, by giving them back issues the first time you meet them, you’re also giving them a gift – creating the dynamic of reciprocation and bonding them closer to you.

Second, while they’re reading the great articles, they’re also going to read all the referral programming and 7 other psychological triggers we put into each issue on your behalf.

And third, your clients will see all the valuable resources, reports, guides and services you provide, answers to important real estate questions and the standard by which you practice – and positions you as a unique professional.

And they’ll also welcome your Service For Life!® issues when you send them in the mail (or by email) each month.

Try giving this real estate newsletter to your next clients – you’ll be amazed.

Transaction Referral Programming System #3:

This system should become a mainstay of your listing presentation or buyer qualifying package, or any other materials you give to clients.

It plays off the power of testimonials in your practice, only it’s designed also to program for referrals.

I call it the “Loyal Client Reference Sheet™,” and it does three things:

First it reveals how you helped other clients – thus showing you’re an experienced agent.

Second, it acts like a “testimonial sheet” showing positive comments and experiences from clients with whom you’ve worked.  You can even place phone numbers people can call for reference (don’t be afraid to do this – it’ll make you a stand-out agent).

And finally, it very subtly shows that you received your clients by way of referral.

Here’s an example of a “Loyal Client Reference Sheet™”.  You can list out as many examples as you like on as many sheets as you like (the more, the merrier) – but here are 3 to give you a feel for how to create it…

sample

Transaction Referral Programming System #4:

Are you comfortable with programming for referrals with your clients?

If you spend any time with them, there will be plenty of opportunity to subtly program them to think of you when they learn of anyone needing real estate services.

Here are 4 ways you should add into your discussions when working with clients:

  1. Tell a Story about Clients who Came to You by Referral.  When working with your clients, you will have plenty of time to tell stories about other people, or past transactions that came to you because of referrals.  People are intrigued with stories, and you can frequently make a point very subtly.
  2. Give A Living Example.  Whenever you experience a difficult situation in real estate, or even while showing homes, it helps to give an example of someone else who faced the same situation as your clients, and how you helped them.  This not only gives your clients confidence in your abilities, but you can also improvise and program for referrals.
  3. Get Referral Programming Into Your Testimonials.  When requesting testimonials from clients, ask them to reveal how they learned about you.  In many cases, they’ll reveal they came to you via a referral from a friend.  Showing this to your prospects and clients helps them understand that you receive much of your business by referral.
  4. Tell Straight-Out.  Here are 4 things you need to do when telling someone straight-out you work by referral…
    • Ask your clients if they are satisfied with your services.  This not only helps reinforce that you’re doing your job, but reaffirms your value in their eyes.
    • Tell your clients you rely on most of your business by referrals from people just like them.  Formulate a script with the exact words you’ll use.
    • Ask WHOM do they know in _____ who would benefit from your services.  Remember, be specific and help them help you by giving them a reference to think about.
    • Ask them to think of you if they learn of anyone needing assistance.

Action Plan:

You just learned 4 “task” systems that seem almost too simplistic.  But they’re powerful… and when used collectively can make a difference in your real estate success.

Do yourself a favor: Don’t move on to the next article without making a small commitment to applying at least 2 of the 4 you learned.

They’re fast.  They’re easy.  And they’ll make a big difference in your success.  Keep moving forward, inch-by-inch.

And if you’re not currently using Service For Life!® in your practice, click here to learn how you can put it to work in your practice starting today.  It can multiply your referrals for years to come — without ever having to pester, bother, or hound people.

Coming Up Next…

Do you give “closing gifts” to your clients after a successful transaction? You probably do.  But did you know there are simple strategies to…

Multiply the Money-Making Power
of Your Post-Closing Contact?

In my next article, I’m going to share with you powerful “After Sale Systems™”.  You don’t want to miss it.

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Endless Clients System #2 – Calendar Contact

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bottom after you’re done reading this article…

You’re about to learn the most important and valuable “client cultivation” system you’ll ever use for growing your real estate practice.

If you do nothing else for your business, this ONE system is essential for you to get working in your practice as soon as possible.

Why?

Because real estate is a TIMING business – you never know when someone is thinking of buying or selling… or knows someone in the same situation.

And the $64 thousand-dollar question you need to ask yourself is…

How Many People in Your Power List™ or
Farm or Other Markets…
KNOW THAT YOU EVEN EXIST?

The answer may shock you, because it’s fewer than you think.  But with your Calendar Contact System™ working month-in and month-out, you’ll always be top of mind when anyone in your Power List™ thinks “real estate”…

…And you’ll always be light-years ahead of other agents who naively “assume” people will search them out for real estate services.

Today I’m going to share with you important details about getting your Calendar Contact System™ rolling… THEN… I’m going to share with you 7 Essential Secrets (that took me nearly 30 years to learn) for making your contact make you money.

This will be an extremely valuable article for you, so pay close attention as we get going…

How Frequently Should You Make Contact?

There’s a lot of debate by so-called “experts” about the correct amount of time between contact with people.

I’ve seen agents who think that sending a post card every 6 months will do the trick.  And other agents who send a holiday calendar once a year and think they’re making inroads to their list… or agents who send out a glossy, full-color newsletter once a quarter… and…

They’re ALL Wrong!

Here are the facts:  The Direct Marketing Association – the folks who measure what works with the “big boys” in the business – report that the optimum time period for personal contact by mail is…

Every 21 Days

Twenty-one days may be hard for you to manage with your busy schedule, so the “rule of thumb” I give to agents is to make your contact MONTHLY, no less.

This means the best way to manage your calendar contact is to simply pick ONE day of the month – each month – and make that date the day you send out your calendar contact.

How Do You Know if it’s Profitable To Send Something Every Month?

Before you begin your Calendar Contact System™, you need to know if the money you’re spending is going to be profitable or not.

So let’s work a few numbers…

  1. Calculate the cost to send your contact: If you send 300 pieces out per month that cost at most $1.50 each, then you’re going to spend about $450 each month for your contact (300 x $1.50 = $450).  Multiply that number by 12 (for your annual cost), and you’re going to spend about $5,400 per year with your contact.
  2. Calculate how many transactions will come from those 300 homeowners.  If each of them, on average, owns their home for 7 years (according to national averages), then 43 transactions WILL come from that group each year (300 divided by 7 = 43).  And… this number does not even include referrals they could send you.
  3. Estimate your “average transaction commission”, net of marketing costs and broker split.  For example: If homes you sell average $250,000, then your co-broker commission will be $7,500 – less marketing expenses and broker split (I assume about 30% for these, but you can calculate your own)…and you get $5,250 net commission for your average home sold.
  4. Calculate your “breakeven”.  Divide your cost to send your contact (in #1 above – $5,400) by your “average transaction commission” ($5,250), and you get 1.03.  This means you need to sell ONLY ONE OF THE 43 HOMES from that group to breakeven.  Those are pretty good odds, don’t you think?  Well…it gets better…
  5. Calculate your expected potential.  I’ve talked about your “Personal Market Share™ before, but if you don’t recall what I’m referring to… think of it as how likely your Power List™ of personal contacts is to do business with you and only you.  And the higher your Personal Market Share™, the more profitable your contact system – because your list becomes a higher quality and response rates will be higher.For example, if you have a “mediocre” Personal Market Share™ of 20%, you can expect to get 9 of those 43 transactions (not including referrals or double-sides).

    Do the math: 9 x your average transaction commission ($5,250 from #3 above) = $47,250.

    Holy Cow!  Do you see the “net” of this analysis?

    In this example, you need only ONE transaction (from the 43) to break-even… AND… if you get a measly 20% Personal Market Share™ , your gross PROFIT on the system is $47,250, or 875% return!!  ($47,250 divided by $5,400 = 8.75)

    That’s about 9 TIMES your return on investment.

    Meaning, every time you spend $1 on this type of contact system, you get almost $9 back.

    Are you getting the picture here?

    That’s why I say this is the most profitable marketing you’ll ever do in your practice.

    But wait.  If your Personal Market Share™ goes to 30% or 50% or higher (with regular, value-oriented contact that deepens the relationship), your profitability and commissions go through the roof!

    That’s why I always encourage you NOT to just look at number of responses you get from a marketing promotion… but to look at your break-even, and your RETURN on invested marketing dollar (ROI).

    So… would you like to get a system like this going in your practice?

    Then let’s get this system working for you by talking about the…

7 Secrets for Making Your Contact Make YOU Money

Do you believe in “secrets?”  I realize the idea of revealing a “secret” sounds like hype.  But I’m going to detail a wealth of knowledge in the next few minutes that many would consider closely-kept secrets.

These are marketing ideas and strategies that less than 1% of the REALTOR® population understands… and just by knowing this information can put you in the top 4% of agents nationwide.

Contact Secret #1:  Get Your Mail Delivered and Opened

Have you ever farmed an area, or sent out a just listed/just sold, or any other type of mailing… and it failed miserably?

You’re not alone.  And if I were a bettin’ man, I’d put dollars-to-donuts that your mail never even got past the gatekeeper… never stood a chance from day one – much less got read or acted upon.

Think about this:  If your mail doesn’t get delivered… doesn’t capture the attention of the recipient… and doesn’t get a “high-priority” to be read… it doesn’t stand a chance in getting acted-upon.

And you’ve wasted your money.  Make sense?

So the first step you need to think about with any contact is: How Do I Get This Thing Delivered and Opened!   That’s because…

People Sort Their Mail Standing
Over the Trash Can!

There are TWO piles people use to sort their mail.  Bills, birthday cards, personal mail and other “important” contact goes into the “A” pile… and self-mailers, coupon books, crappy catalogues and slick REALTOR® solicitations… go into the “B” pile.

And do you know where the “B” pile goes from there?  Yup… you got it – right into the trash.

So the “secret” I want you to “get” here is… if you don’t make your mail look like “A”-Pile mail, you’ve lost the battle before you ever stepped on the battlefield (to use a weird metaphor).

How do you get your mail delivered and opened?  By making it “look” like “A”-Pile mail.  You want to “look” like a personal birthday card send over by Aunt Mildred – not like the “litter” sent by most agents.

Here’s a checklist to use for any mailing you ever do…

  • Envelope:  Stop sending self-mailers.  Use an off-size envelope, such as a 6 x 9 or monarch size – an envelope that looks like a personal greeting card or invitation…
  • Return Address: Do NOT put your brokerage plastered all over the return address (you can put that at the END of your letter, under your signature).  Use your NAME only.  Try using one of those little return-address stickers like you put on your holiday cards.  OR, just type your first, last name and your address in the return area in a courier font (a “typewriter” font).
  • Postage:   You ‘think’ you’re saving money by using bulk rate postage, but between the mail that gets trashed by the post office (it can happen with bulk mail!), and the mail that gets instantly trashed by the recipient (“B” Pile mail), you’re actually spending MORE to get a delivered impression with bulk rate than you would using first class postage.  The bottom line: send your mail FIRST CLASS – and use a commemorative first-class postage stamp.  This not only makes your mail “look” like A-Pile mail, but it also tells the post office that you’re first-class mail – and it’s less likely they’ll trash it for you.
  • Main Address:  The best way to look like “A” Pile mail is to HAND ADDRESS your envelope (and if you hand address it, you also need to pre-print your return address in your handwriting as well – do it in a reflex blue ink).  But if you have a 5,000 piece mailing and you don’t want writer’s cramp – address your envelope using a courier font.  Why? Because it looks like you fed the envelope through your typewriter and personally typed the address – it looks more PERSONAL.
  • Teaser Copy.  Do you know what teaser copy is?  It’s writing on the envelope intended to “tease” the recipient to open the envelope.  But do you know what teaser copy really does?  It helps the recipient know and identify “junk mail” – so they can promptly trash it.  The only teaser copy we use with Service For Life!® is something simple, like “Your Current Issue is Enclosed.”  Why do I use that?  Because it makes people think there’s something inside of the envelope that they subscribed to (paid for), and thus, more important and more likely they’ll open it.  Otherwise… as a general rule… I rarely or never use teaser copy.
  • What NOT to do:  Never use bulk rate postage – remember, “save a dime, lose a dollar.”  Never use labels – always direct impression or hand address, etc.  Never use an indicia – always use first-class commemorative stamps.  The rule of thumb you should follow is: if it doesn’t look personal, it’s going to fail.

Contact Secret #2:  Get Your Mail READ!

OK… so let’s assume you got into the “A” pile, and your reader now starts to open the envelope.  So they tear open the envelope flap, wedge open the envelope, grab the contents and begin pulling them out.

And it’s at this precise point that…

You Have ½ of a Second to Capture Attention!

We’re all busy.  We don’t have time to mess with junk mail or things we perceive are wasting our time.  And we make the decision to junk our mail within ½ of a second of opening it.

How do you “make the cut” and capture the attention of your reader?  By making the VERY FIRST THING your reader sees scream out…

“This Is PERSONAL and OF VALUE TO ME and
WORTH MY PRECIOUS TIME TO READ!”

So let’s think about this.  How do you get the “value” message out to the recipient within ½ of a second?

Two ways (to begin with): First, by using a very personal letter as the first thing they see.  This means personally addressed to the recipient, hand signed by you, etc… just as if you were sending them an invitation to a party.

And second, by using a headline and content-teasers that instantly telegraph, “this is something I’m interested in and want to read further…

But there’s more…

Contact Secret #3:  ENGAGE Your Reader

OK…so you’ve gotten your reader to at least take interest beyond ½ of a second.  But you haven’t “made the cut” yet.  You now must engage the reader for as long as humanly possible.

That’s because…the longer a person spends reading your contact, the more likely they are to ACT on it.

How do you do this?  Here’s an example…

With our Service For Life!® direct-response prospecting and referral generating real estate newsletter, we have a 36-year seasoned copywriter writing all the content headlines and copy FOR you.

We have tested thousands of headlines, researched scores of “hard content” sources (these are sources you wouldn’t learn if you spent 10 years writing your own), and we know what WORKS to grab attention and involve people.

And there’s one more thing.  We also use emotionally-charged, tabloid-ish copy.  Why?  No, we’re not trying to be a tabloid newspaper… but we DO know that tabloids have the highest readership of any publication in the world.

Then, we implant multiple involvement devices and hard content – education, news and “how-to” information – useable information people crave to make their lives easier, more successful and convenient.

Do you see what we’re doing here?  We’re not only involving the reader, but we’re now bringing VALUE to their lives.

What’s so great about that?

By bringing value into someone’s life, you’re now establishing a relationship, building credibility and…

Creating a Dynamic of
OBLIGATION!

It sounds a little sneaky, but it’s actually normal human nature.  When you bring value or benefit to the life of someone, they’re culturally obligated to reciprocate and return value to YOU.

And when you “program” them how to bring value to you (through new clients, referrals and repeat business)… you’re a near-guarantee for generating new business.

This is one of the ways you instantly DIFFERENTIATE yourself from other agents.  And speaking of differentiating yourself…

Contact Secret #4:  POSITION Yourself as Professionally DIFFERENT

People don’t buy similarity – they buy DIFFERENCE.  They’re screaming out for you to give them a unique reason to do business with you.

Sadly most agents fail miserably at differentiating themselves, so they’re tossed on the mental scrap-heap of every other “commodity agent” in the market.

How do you make yourself different?

You should already know that the most effective way of differentiating yourself is to have a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with your market.

I’ve also talked about “product-izing” yourself and “naming your processes” so your service is positioned as different.

But there’s more to it.  Here are a few ways we make our Service For Life!® agents look positively different in the eyes of their prospects and clients…

The “look” of your contact must be very personal.  Of course this applies to your letters, but I’m talking about something else.  In fact, this strategy goes against ALL conventional thinking…

We made Service For Life!® look OPPOSITE to the 4-color, agency-slick canned newsletters out there.  Why?  Because when we made it look like it came off YOUR computer (instead of from some “newsletter mill”)…

The Response Rates MULTIPLIED!

We even had agents conduct A/B split tests against their “big brokerage” newsletters – and we pulled, on average, 4 TIMES more responses!  And more than 15 TIMES the profitability.

Why?  Because being personal makes a bigger impact.

We also show you how to intentionally divulge personal items about yourself… so people instantly become bonded to you.  They see you as human, approachable and similar to them.

But Here’s the “Kicker”…

We take a section of Service For Life!® and call it, “Real Estate Corner™.”  In that section we position you as a true real estate expert by answering important questions about real estate in YOUR voice.

Do you see what we’re doing?  Do you see why Service For Life!® is so unique from anything else out there?

We’re “positioning” you as a knowledgeable, competent professional who is also extremely personal and approachable.  People think the great advice, helpful tips, interesting information comes directly from YOU.

No one else on Earth has been able to achieve this type of balance of personal and professional.  But we have…

…and that makes all the difference in the world.

Contact Secret #5:  BOND Your Readers to YOU

Bonding is quite possibly the most important Contact Secret of all.  Do you know the best way to bond anyone to you?

By acknowledging them…

…by showing your appreciation for their friendship and support…

…and by recognizing their importance in your life.

People love to see their name in print.  That’s why, over the past 14 years producing Service For Life!® (for example) we’ve crafted and tested some of the very best strategies and language for bonding your prospects and clients to you.

After positioning you as a personal, yet stand-out professional, we implant special text boxes with recognition and appreciation.

We then acknowledge them and their contribution to your practice.

Why do we do this?

Because Our Culture is ‘Recognition
and Appreciation’ STARVED!

We live in a fast, hectic and impersonal world.  Yet we crave connection with each other.  Think about how little acknowledgement you receive in your life… from your spouse, your boss, your children or your friendships.

Even small gestures of recognition and appreciation can improve a strained relationship almost on the spot.  So why not include it in your marketing?

Contact Secret #6:  Stimulate VIRAL Marketing

There’s a little-known marketing technique that can multiply the effectiveness of your contact – whether it’s by mail, email or smoke signal for that matter (yes, I’m being goofy).  And it’s called VIRAL Marketing.

What is “Viral Marketing?”

Do you remember the dancing baby that got tossed around the internet from email to email?  Has anyone ever been reading something in your presence, when they said, “Hey…here’s an article about that car you’re thinking of buying?”

That’s viral marketing.

Imagine your contact being so compelling, so interesting, people feel motivated to SHARE it with others?  Viral marketing LEVERAGES the money-making ability of your contact, without you spending any additional time, money or effort.

How can that create a BIG payday for you?  Let’s take a look.

If you sent out 500 pieces of contact mail per month, and because of the unique content, 1 in 5 people shared it with someone else… that’s like actually sending out…

600 Pieces of Mail

You actually got 100 additional exposures to your content and your offers for FREE.  How much are those 100 additional exposures worth to you?

Well, do the math.  If you discovered that for every 500 exposures you got 1 client, who was worth $5,000 in commissions, then every 100 exposures is worth $1,000 to you.

So, continuing our example… that means your viral marketing earned you an extra $1,000 a month – not bad for absolutely NO additional work, don’t you think?

So how do you create viral marketing in your business?

Here’s how we do it.  First, we use what’s known as “hard” content.  “Hard” content is specific, ‘how-to’ content that’s specifically usable to someone.  It’s designed from the ground-up to get SHARED.

But we don’t stop there.  We also implant every Service For Life!® issue with wild trivia and funny cartoons.  Why?  Because trivia and cartoons are the most widely-shared content on Earth.

And that’s why Service For Life!® is the most shared newsletter on the planet – automatically leveraging the effectiveness of your marketing.

We even put “viral sharing” buttons on the email version of Service For Life!® for people to easily share an agent’s newsletter on Facebook® with all of their contacts.  Talk about massive exposure for free!

But there’s one more component that will stimulate viral marketing…

Contact Secret #7:  Motivate to TAKE ACTION

If Contact Secret #5 is the most important of the bunch here – then #7 stands closely behind it.  Here’s why…

You want to establish your prospecting systems so you motivate quality prospects and clients calling YOU – not the other way around.

Why?  Because it’s the only way to maximize the earning power of your time.  Do you remember this concept from article 7… where I asked you…

“WHAT IS YOUR JOB?”

Your job is to spend as many hours in the day working with clients, closing deals, and GETTING PAID.  Doing anything other than closing deals and you’re working for FREE – and that includes prospecting.

So when you can motivate folks to call you – you’re automatically increasing your value per hour.

There’s also another reason to motivate people to call you:  It “positions” you differently when prospects call you.  Outbound calling puts you in an inferior position with the prospect or client.  Inbound calls put you in a superior position.

So the question becomes…how do you motivate inbound calls?

By giving prospects and clients important and helpful REASONS to call you – reasons important to THEM.  Remember…

No One Will Call You Without a Specific, Self-
Serving, Irresistible REASON for Calling

How do we do this?

By getting into the shoes of your prospects when they’re thinking about buying or selling.  We have over 14 specific OFFERS for helpful consumer information and non-threatening real estate services for people to CALL YOU to receive.

These include Special Consumer Reports on how to save time and money when buying and selling…

…Free services like your “Maximum Home Value Audit”…

…Helpful resources like your “Platinum Buyers Program” that helps sort the market and deliver a list of homes for your buyers.

Quality prospects calling you – that’s the secret to multiplying your value and income.

Does all this make sense?

You’ve just learned some of the most valuable information for making your contact make money – whether it’s farming, lead follow-up or Power List™ contact.

The only question left is…you now have the knowledge you need for creating your own contact program…

But WHY Would You?

Why would you take the hard way?

Why would you go it alone when it’s already done for you…for less than you spend on coffee each month?

I have an idea: You practice real estate – I’ll be your personal marketing department.  After all, that’s my business.  And it’s the only way you maximize your income potential in this business.

It’s a win-win for everyone.

So if you’re not using Service For Life!® in your practice yet… click here and check it out…

Action Plan:

You’ve just learned the 2nd of 7 of the most powerful… most profitable marketing systems ever devised for growing a consistent, ever-growing real estate production.

But of all the 7 systems you’re learning… NONE of them will make a hill of beans if you don’t FIRST have a monthly contact system in place.

Everything else plays-off your monthly contact system.  Everything else is dependent on you having that level of relationship, first and foremost.

And there are 2 ways to go about creating a contact system for your practice:

You could go it alone every month:  Format your own newsletter, research “hard” content (without taking from someone else and violating copyright laws), test and measure language for the essential 7 psychological elements, create proper inserts for your intended audience, create more than 14 direct response OFFERS so you motivate response, write your special reports, find a printer and letter shop and make sure they’re not taking you for a ride… and hope and pray you got everything right…

OR…

You can let me do it for you.  Let’s be brutally honest.  If left to your own devices, it will never get done.  I’m not being critical.  You’re busy.  You’re stressed.  You don’t have 10 to 15 hours a month to do this kind of thing on your own.

You’re doing what you should be doing: Practicing Real Estate.

Remember the Law of Comparative Advantage?  You make your most money practicing real estate.  Let the “other” stuff get done by people who specialize in their areas.

That’s what business is about.  So if you’re not currently using Service For Life!® in your practice, click here to learn how you can put it to work in your practice starting today.

You’ll be glad you did.

And keep an eye-out for my next article — I’m going to give you a series of innovative ways to “program” your clients to send you referrals DURING the transaction – while you’re working with them.  You won’t want to miss it.

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Endless Clients System #1 – WOW Your Clients

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bottom after you’re done reading this article…

Are you running a “me-too” commodity real estate practice?  Do your prospects and clients see you as just another ripple in the sea of agents out there?

You might think otherwise…but if you’re like 96% of all agents, the answer is (sadly)…YES!  And that’s a HUGE problem for you.

The $64 thousand dollar question you should be asking yourself in every situation is…

Why Should Anyone Do Business with Me…Above Any and
All Other Options…Including Working with Other Agents,
Going it Alone (FSBO), Or Doing Nothing at All?

Today we begin the FIRST of seven “House List Cultivation Systems” – systems for building a continuous, ever-growing production and income in real estate from referrals and repeat business.

By implementing today’s system, you’ll move yourself from an “also-ran” agent, to an agent who is perceived as uniquely and positively DIFFERENT from every other agent out there.

And when you truly differentiate yourself from other agents, you begin to achieve Market Dominance… and real estate becomes the fantastically profitable and thrilling business you’ve always dreamed about.

The system you’re going to learn today relates to your product and service definition and standards.  I call it the…

“WOW Your Clients™” System

If you’ve been following my articles, you know I “preach” that the single greatest way to differentiate yourself from other agents is to have a deep relationship with your clients and Power List.

A deep relationship is the highest level of differentiation – making you stand-out above the rest.

But there’s another part of the formula, and it applies especially when you don’t have a Power List developed to its full potential.

See…if you don’t first have a competent, unique and “heads-and-tails-above-the-rest” professional-level of service… people won’t see you as any different from the next agent… and will have absolutely no meaningful reason to work with you and only you.

That’s why discount brokers have propagated like “cockroaches in a dirty kitchen” in our business — when people perceive value as equal, they negotiate price.

Wouldn’t you do the same as a consumer?

The truth is, you don’t have a “price” problem with discount brokers, you have…

A VALUE Problem!

Ross Perot once said, “The Devil is in The Details”…and it’s in the “details” of your services that you begin to differentiate yourself.

To begin this article, I want you to answer the question…

What Do You Do SO WELL and SO UNIQUE in the
Delivery of Your Services That People Can’t Resist
Raving About You and Your Services to Others?

Read that question again – it’s important.  Now ask yourself, isn’t that a great way to stimulate referrals, word of mouth and repeat business in your practice?

After all… what others say about you is 10,000 times more influential than what you say about yourself.

Real estate is an “ordinary” business – with few barriers to entry and loads of competition all looking the same.  Your job is to operate your “ordinary” business in an “extraordinary” way so you’re seen as positively different in your marketplace.

And that’s what we’re going to detail in this article.

The “Wowing Your Clients™” System is actually comprised of THREE
smaller systems you want to implement into your business…

SYSTEM #1:  “Unique Productization” Systems™  

If you’re a “mediocre” commodity agent, your “service” is comprised of:  1) offering CMA’s, 2) listing homes, and 3) working with buyers.

But if you’re an EXCEPTIONAL agent…you don’t give CMA’s, you give Maximum Home Value Audits™ — where your professional evaluation uncovers opportunities to get top dollar for your clients and sell in the least market time.

And you don’t simply “list” homes… you implement your 28 Step Home Marketing System™ — designed to sell homes for maximum price in minimum time with the least inconvenience and hassles to your clients.

And you don’t just “work with buyers” — you implement your Platinum Home Buyers Program™ uniquely designed to scour the market for the perfectly-matched home, uncover hidden bargains (before other buyers learn about them), and secure preferred financing for your buyers.

Do you see the difference here?

What I’m talking about is a marketing technique called…

Naming Your Process™

Naming your process™ is more than a “name.”  It’s how you detail the services you provide to your clients.  After all…if you don’t explain everything you do to earn your commission, how will anyone know your value?

What happens when you start Naming Your Processes?

  1. You start to operate in a competitive vacuum because other agents cannot use the same process or title — it’s exclusively YOURS…
  2. You make yourself a stand-out choice for real estate services because you’re now detailing every single way you help them with buying or selling.  Educating is a powerful tool…
  3. You minimize commission reduction discussions because you are now revealing your high value to the relationship…
  4. You eliminate discount brokers by detailing all the things you do to sell a home faster and for more money — things that discount brokers cannot do.

How do you start Naming Your Process™ and Productizing yourself?

It’s quite easy.

First, simply list out ALL the things you do for your clients for your various services.  Take out a pen and a piece of paper and start listing every little detail you accomplish for your clients.

Second, create a “Benefit-Rich” name to what you do.  What do I mean by “Benefit-Rich”?

Think about what your service will DO for your client.  Benefits include: 1) Getting more money for their home, 2) selling faster, 3) avoiding hassles, 4) saving time, etc, etc.

When you get out of your skin and into the skin of your clients, and ask yourself “what’s in it for me”, you change your orientation from “you” to “THEM.”

And that makes all the difference in the world.

I tell agents in our 3-Steps group to use a “28-Steps Home Marketing Plan” (yours might be 21 steps, or 32 steps, or whatever you come up with)… that details out every single thing you do to promote a homeowner’s property to get it sold fast and for top dollar.

You can learn more about “productizing” yourself from the 3-Steps Marketing System by clicking here.

SYSTEM #2:  Transaction Initiation Gift™

If I asked you this question:  “First Impressions Are ( ______ ) Impressions,” what would your answer be?

Did you say: “First Impressions are LASTING Impressions”?

Well, if you did, you’d be HALF right (I’ll talk about the other half in a future article).

I suppose you’ve probably heard of that saying.  Problem is, 96% either don’t use it, OR don’t understand the “psychology” around creating such a strong FIRST impression that you create Clients for Life™.

Here’s an example to drive home my point…

A number of agents have told me this idea increased their listing presentation closings to over 95%.  I originally learned it from an agent friend who closed over $37 million in homes several years ago.

Here’s what she told me…

“I’ve got a secret weapon I use to close 95% of my listing presentations. And by using this ONE strategy I NEVER lose a listing to another agent, PLUS it’s been one of the most effective ways of creating “clients for life.”

“When I show up for my listing meeting, I carry a simple coffee mug filled with Hershey’s kisses or some other chocolate treat.  I had it made by calling one of those marketing specialty companies you can find online.”

“Now, that’s no big deal of course.  But what’s written on the mug is…”

“On one side of the mug, I’ve written boldly: ‘SUSAN IS MY REALTOR’ and a big red heart.  And on the other side, I simply put my phone number, but an agent could add their email or web site address or any other information if they want.”

Did you catch what she was doing?

At first sight it seems like an obvious little gift.  And one of the “secrets” I’ve learned in business is:

You Make the GREATEST Impact When a Gift is
Given When Least Expected (Like giving a gift
At the beginning of the relationship)

But that’s not the only thing going on here.  You have to think even deeper.

FIRST, she is subconsciously telling her prospects who they should select as their agent.  She’s directly telling them who they should use.  Believe it or not, very few agents are this confident, and that makes a tremendous difference.

SECOND, she just gave them a gift, which naturally MAKES THEM FEEL OBLIGATED TO RECIPROCATE, and as they munch on those chocolate treats day after day they keep thinking of her.

And THIRD, you should see the look on other agent’s faces while they’re trying to give a listing presentation sitting in front of a coffee mug staring them in the face, filled with Hershey’s kisses that says…

“SUSAN IS MY REALTOR”

The result?  She closes over 95% of her presentations.  But there’s something even more remarkable you should know.

Since using this strategy, her new client and referral results from using my Service For Life!® real estate newsletter (yes, she’s a member) have exploded!

Why?

Because she’s created such a strong RELATIONSHIP with her clients up front, they know and welcome all communication that comes from her.  She’s maximizing her “Personal Market Share™” from the outset of the relationship.

And when she brings them even more welcomed value by sending Service For Life!® each month people feel naturally compelled to do business with her, refer their friends and family, and make her the ONLY agent they think of when they think “real estate.”

Think about how you begin your relationships with clients.  When you create the right “first impression” you solidify the relationship – no commission reduction negotiations; no discount brokers; no whining and complaining (assuming you’re doing your job!).

SYSTEM #3:  Exceptional Service Delivery™ Systems

This system is quick and easy.  Do you know the single greatest complaint clients have with agents?

A few years back I read a survey by the NAR on client satisfaction, and the ONE area where clients have the greatest problem with agents is…

Communication, Follow-up and Feedback

So when it comes to providing “exceptional” delivery of your services, you had better get your communication straight — right up front.

How do you do this?

By implementing a CONTACT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM that allows you to follow-up regularly — this way you’re being pro-active with your clients and heading off problems before they become serious.

Getting your “communication” right with listings means you’ll be seen as more competent…and you’ll have less problem getting price reductions when you can show actual feedback and comments from visiting agents and prospects.

Exceptional Service Delivery™ Systems don’t need to be big and complex.

For example, a buyer’s agent I know asks her clients what kinds of snacks and drinks they like — then she gets a nice cooler and loads it with their favorite drinks and snacks and puts it in her car for them to use while showing homes.

It not only sets her apart with the gesture, but when your buyers are nourished and hydrated, they’ll be in a better “buying mood.”

Doesn’t that make sense?

Creating Exceptional Service Deliver is simple once you ask yourself the question…

What Can I Do to Bring More VALUE, More CONVENIENCE
And More Unique SERVICE to My Clients
Each Step of the Transaction?

Answer that question on a regular basis — continually improve your services and your “productization” – and you’ll be on the road to an amazingly profitable and thrilling real estate business.

Action Plan:

If you find yourself flopping on listing presentations… losing sales to discount brokers… or finding your buyers migrating to other agents… this article will be the most important information you’ve ever received for your real estate practice.

You can start “WOWing” your clients by getting the three systems you learned here into your practice.

Take from the examples I gave you above… look at what other agents are doing to productize themselves… and create your own UNIQUE product from the real estate services you offer.

Start “productizing” your services and start naming your processes.

Then, at the beginning of each new relationship, show up with a unique, personal and meaningful gift.

And examine your Service Delivery Systems for ways to bring more value, convenience and service to your clients.

Oh… I wanted to share ONE FINAL THOUGHT with you.  I read a quote the other day that said…

“You’ll Rarely Regret the Things You DID in Your Life, But
You Will ALWAYS Regret the Things You DID NOT Do”

Don’t regret that you never reached your potential in real estate.  Don’t regret the deals you lost… the competitors who dominated markets ahead of you… or the promises to yourself you never fulfilled.

And, most importantly, don’t regret that you never “gave it your all.”

DO NOT miss my next article — your entire career could hinge on it (OK, so maybe not your entire career, but I promise it’ll open your eyes and put dollars in your pocket!).

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How to Double Your Hourly Income in Real Estate

How would you like to double (or even triple) your hourly income in real estate in the next 3 months – spending less time and effort than you’re spending right now?

That means…

If you make $40 per hour right now (about $80,000 a year), that would go to $80 per hour ($160,000 per year)…or even $120 per hour ($320,000 per year).

If you make $200 per hour right now (about $400,000 per year), that would go to $400 per hour – or $800,000 per year.

Does this sound like an impossible task for you? It’s not once you understand how to maximize the efficiency of your marketing and service delivery.

See…the amount of money you make is directly related to how efficiently you can attract new prospects…capture them as clients…and close a transaction – thereby getting paid your commission.

I call this process “THROUGHPUT.”

How does throughput work?

Picture the revenue of your real estate practice as water flowing through a pipe. To maximize the flow of water (i.e. your commission revenue) you can do TWO things:

First, you can increase the WIDTH of the pipe, thus allowing more VOLUME of water flowing through, and…

Second, you can increase the SPEED in which the water flows through the pipe.

Volume and Speed – that’s the secret. Make sense?

The larger the volume and the greater the speed – the more money you make.

So how do we maximize revenue throughput in your practice?

FIRST, to increase the VOLUME of revenue you need to have MORE quality marketing “systems” working to bring you clients.

Marketing “systems” are proven, predictable ways of bringing you prospects and clients without you having to spend your valuable time finding, sorting and sifting them.

Remember…your job is to do the highest paying tasks: Working with clients, closing deals, and making money.

The more marketing “systems” working for you, the more client flow…and the more money you make.

Problem is…most agents’ marketing doesn’t work – because they don’t understand how to create marketing “systems” that helps them leverage their success:

  1. Selection of a motivated market, powerful message, and efficient medium, AND creating automated systems to sort and sift leads so they’re pre-qualified before you speak with them,
  2. Establishing a depth of relationship whereby you become the automatic choice whenever they think real estate, and,
  3. Creating self-serving, motivating reasons (irresistible offers) to act on your behalf in ALL of your marketing.

Which brings me to…

SECOND, to increase the SPEED of revenue, you need marketing systems that work efficiently.

I’ll bet you spend a lot of time and money marketing your services. And I’ll also bet a good portion of that time and money is wasted. So anything new that requires you to spend money on your business is met with a skeptical eye.

But the problem you’re facing is NOT that you are spending too much money or time…

It’s That You’re Getting NO RESULTS!

If you knew for every dollar you spent in marketing you got back $3 dollars…or $5 dollars…or even $20 dollars, you’d spend marketing money hand-over-fist, wouldn’t you?

You’d spend as much as possible because it’s multiplying your investment.

So the real problem you’re facing is not the amount of money or time you’re spending…it’s the return you’re NOT getting on your hard-earned investment (time and money).

This is what I mean by efficiency.

An efficient marketing system will produce a strong, fast return on your time or money (like water flowing fast through a pipe)…and a poor marketing system will produce a lousy return.

The problem with most agents:

  • They have TOO FEW systems (poor volume) 
  • producing TOO LITTLE business (poor efficiency)

The reason? They simply don’t know the difference between an effective marketing system and an ineffective marketing system. They blindly follow the advice their trainer or broker or “coach” tells them…

And the worst advice you will ever get…is BAD advice.

Well, that won’t be you any longer…

How to Evaluate and Select ONLY the MOST Efficient Marketing Systems in Your Real Estate Practice…Thereby Maximizing Your Throughput of Revenue and Profits…

Let’s look at 2 examples of marketing efficiency.

The first is what I call “The Dumbest Strategic Mistake” (so you know what to avoid), and the second is “Smart, Effective Marketing.”

The Dumbest Strategic Mistake:

The other day one of our new Service For Life!® agents (www.serviceforlife.com) called me out of frustration. She was really upset because she was in the process of creating her “house list” and relationship marketing system when her broker laid into her saying…

“Quit messing with gimmicks. The ONLY way to build your business is to walk neighborhoods and cold call. Everything else is a waste of time and money…”

Hey…I understand the idea of not wanting to spend any money to get clients – especially if you have no money!

But this ‘dinosaur’ wanted her to sort through the no-call lists for any poor slob who hasn’t registered yet, and start cold calling and walking neighborhoods hat-in-hand looking for business.

Listen…thinking that there is “no cost” to cold prospecting is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. In fact, cold prospecting is one of the MOST EXPENSIVE (least efficient!) way to generate clients – not just from the emotional drain, but financially too!

Want proof? OK, let’s do the math.

If you want to be an “above average” agent, your time should be worth at least $100 per hour (and there’s no better time to begin valuing your time than NOW, don’t you think?).

And if you’re an “average” cold-prospecting agent, you’ll get ONE client for about every 100 calls you make (not to mention the mind-numbing humiliation and rejection you’ll endure in the process).

And don’t forget the “no-call” lists you’ll have to sort through in the process – more time and aggravation.

OK…let’s see…if you spend an average of 4 minutes per call (many will be longer), then it will take you, statistically, about 400 minutes to call 100 people to get ONE client (that’s if you close 100% of them – which we all know won’t happen).

Divide 400 minutes by 60 minutes per hour, and it took you 6.67 hours of direct-abusive cold prospecting to get ONE client.

Multiply 6.67 hours by what your time SHOULD be worth ($100 per hour at least), and it cost you $667 to generate ONE client – not including the emotional drain.

Did You Know You’re Paying $667 For Every
Client You Generate Cold Prospecting?

At first glance you don’t think you’re paying anything because there’s no money flowing out of your pocket, right?

No so. Just because you’re not spending money doesn’t mean it’s not costing you a bundle.

You’re paying through the nose in LOST BUSINESS – what you could be making with an EFFECTIVE marketing system…a system that attracts clients automatically while you spend your time doing the most productive things: working with clients, closing deals, and getting paid.

We all get paid by the hour. And the question is: How much money do you make with your time?

But wait. You may be paying much more than $667 per client cold prospecting. For example, one of our Service For Life!® agents (a subscriber for more than 8 years now), Linda Fogarty from Tinley Park, IL now makes nearly $300 per hour.

This means…if she wanted to subject herself to such torture…cold prospecting would cost her over $2,000 per sale!

And if you walk neighborhoods, it’s gets much worse, because it’ll take you almost 8 minutes per “call.”

The moral of the story?

The More You Value Your Time,
the More UN-Profitable Manual Prospecting Becomes!

Let’s take a look at how to generate clients for a fraction of that cost – more money in your pocket – by using…

Smart, Effective Marketing:

Do you remember the simple “Critical Mass™” calculation I covered in this past real estate marketing article?

We learned, for example, that a “house list” of 280 people who own their home 7 years on average, will produce 42 transactions each and every year (280/7=42). The % of those YOU receive depends on how well you’ve nurtured these folks.

A house list of 500 produces 71 transactions per year on average.

Are you following me?

So let’s test the efficiency of marketing to a “house list” with a proven prospecting, stay-in-contact, and referral producing marketing system like Service For Life!®.

Let’s Look At Your CLIENT GENERATION COST…

The less you spend (in time and money – and hassle!) to generate a client, the more commission you put into your pocket, right?

Let’s try an easy analysis…

You’ll spend about $.85 per month per issue of Service For Life!® you’ll send to these 280 people. That means you’ll spend $238.00 printing and mailing each issue each month.

So how do you calculate your COST PER CLIENT GENERATED?

Well, first and foremost, it DEPENDS on your Personal Market Share™ percentage. Personal Market Share™ is: How predisposed are your prospects or clients to doing business with you? In other words, how good is the quality of your list?

Let’s work some easy numbers.

If you harvest a measly 20% Market Share of these folks each year, that means…

  1. You’ll spend $2,856 for the entire year sending 280 issues per month (to make 3,360 impressions)…
  2. If you harvest 20% of the 42 transactions, that means you’ll get 8 deals from the list.
  3. DO THE MATH: $2,856 divided by 8 transactions means you’ll spend $357 per client (NOT $667 to $2,000! as you would from cold prospecting – not to mention the torture and rejection you’d save yourself in the process!). You’ll also make between $32,000 and $96,000 in commissions, depending on the price of homes you sell – not a bad return on $2,856, don’t you think?

But wait!

WHAT IF…because of your relationship marketing systems (i.e. Service For Life!®), you harvest 40% of these folks? Then your cost to generate the client just dropped to $178 per client ($2,856 divided by 16 transactions).

And if you harvest 50% of these folks, then your cost of sale just dropped to $136 per client.

And that’s against a commission of $4,000…$8,000…$12,000 or more!

Do the math yourself and see. Have fun with it. This is why I say you can make your success in real estate a Mathematical Certainty!

But hold your horses…

There are 2 more important points you need to know about all this…

ONE…the numbers I mentioned here DO NOT include the referrals these folks could be sending you. Our Service For Life!® clients report getting as much as 30% referrals from their house lists – which means you’d get up to 12 additional transactions per year from these folks…

the LONGER you make contact, bring value, deepen the relationship over time…the MORE RESPONSIVE your list becomes. This means your Personal Market Share™ may start out at 10 or 20%…but over time it grows and grows.

That’s how our agents go from harvesting almost none of their house list (when they start)…to getting 20%…40%…even 80% or more of these deals.

It’s how you carve out your own Personal Market Share™ and build a consistent, ever-growing income in real estate.

And the bigger your House List grows…and the more responsive they become, the more your income grows and grows (like the snowball rolling downhill I talked about in this past real estate marketing article).

And yet there’s another way to look at your marketing efficiency:

Let’s look at your BREAK EVEN…

Take your monthly investment to send a monthly direct-response newsletter like Service For Life!® and multiply it by 12 to get your annual investment.

Next, divide that amount by your average commission.

In our example, your annual cost to send 280 issues each month is $2,856. And if your average net commission is $5,000, then you need just .57 of ONE transaction to pay for your contact program ALL YEAR!

Your break-even is about ½ of one transaction!

Think about that. You need only ONE transaction out of 42 (that will occur) to double your investment. Try to get that, in the stock market. Heck…try to get that with any other form of prospecting or marketing!

Does all this make sense to you?

Ask any long-term top producer where they get their business, and they’ll tell you it’s from: referral, word of mouth and repeat business.

Ask any “coach” worth his or her salt what’s the best way to grow your business – and they’ll tell you: referrals, word of mouth, and repeat business.

Not having a regular contact system to your clients, farm, sphere of influence and nurturing new business from referrals, word of mouth and repeat business (especially in a tough market!) is like playing baseball without using your arms!

So the next time you strategize your prospecting and client-generating systems for the year, don’t forget to think about the marketing efficiency of the systems you choose.

It can mean the difference between making $7 per hour…or $700!