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How to add $150,000 in gross commissions to your bottom line

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This past week I was in Toronto attending RRi Mastery 2007, a 3 day high level training program for some of Canada’s top Realtors (and a few from the US).

This was the 4th time I’ve been able to hear Richard Robbins speak, and as always, it was great.

I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow blogger and AG reader Steven Campbel. Check out the picture of me and Ari ‘Ziderforce’ Zider sitting front and centre.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to share some A-HAs I had about my business, in the hopes that what helped me can help you.toronto-mastery-ti07-pictures-0401.jpg

This will work best if you’re really active in the comments about what works well (or not so well) in your business.

A-HA #1 – every lead is gold.

Too often when a lead comes in (an email from your blog, a call from a local investor etc.) we are quick to dismiss it. Maybe they don’t want to meet in person, maybe they aren’t clear on what they want, maybe the rapport just wasn’t there when you spoke on the phone. Maybe they don’t follow up with us, and we forget about them. Sometimes we promise to get back to them with info and fon’t follow up the next day, or the day after… and pretty soon we say it’s too late to call. We’ve all done it.

I was speaking to a top agent from Toronto at the program, and he related a story to me. In May of this year, his team came to him and said they weren’t getting enough leads coming in – at least not quality leads.

The top agent sat down with a list of every lead that had come into his team’s office since January, just five months, and he called them all to see if they were still interested in buying or selling property.

What he found was staggering. 55 of the leads had bought or sold real estate already, after speaking to his team. Multiply 55 by a $5000 average commission, and you have a $275,000 oversight.

Better follow up & lead qualification would have added more than an extra quarter million dollars in revenue for his team in less than half the year. What is it costing you?

After hearing that story, I sat down and made a list of 30 people who I’ve met with and not yet done business. This list represents 30 investors who need my help to build their wealth, and one of the things I’ll be doing this month as we ramp up for 2008 is contacting and re-qualifying (more on that soon) them, and doing business with them.

How much money have you left on the table by not following up with your leads?

If you have 30 people who are ready to buy and sell waiting to be contacted by you (and you better do it before someone else does), and your average commission is $5,000, that’s $150,000 waiting for you to act.

What idea can you implement this month to double your business in 2008? Let us know in the comments !

Benjamin Bach is a REALTOR with Keller Williams Realty in Kitchener Waterloo, Canada (home of the Blackberry) and shows people how they can avoid a mediocre retirement by building wealth through smart Real Estate Investments. You can find out more at Kitchener-Waterloo-Real-Estate-Investments.com

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Darin Dixon

    November 26, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    When dealing with real time web leads, if they are contacted immediately (within 10 minutes), the results are astounding. MIT’s study on web leads showed that a contact within 10 minutes of a web lead increases lead qualification rates by 1,000%.

    I am not an agent but I have seen the importance of contacting leads immediately. I know it sounds like a no brainer but there are still those that “age” leads by emailing them or sending them information and waiting for the right time to contact them. Try this, the next time you go to a website, fill out the web form and then see how long it takes for someone to get back to you. When a call, or sometimes just an email, comes to you days after your request, how interested are you still in your initial inquiry?

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible. If your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

Google Chrome will no longer allow premium extensions

(MARKETING) In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue on Chrome.

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Google Chrome open on a laptop on a organized desk.

Google has cracked down on various practices over the past couple of years, but their most recent target—the Google Chrome extensions store—has a few folks scratching their heads.
Over the span of the next few months, Google will phase out paid extensions completely, thus ending a bizarre and relatively negligible corner of internet economy.

This decision comes on the heels of a “temporary” ban on the publication of new premium extensions back in March. According to Engadget, all aspects of paid extension use—including free trials and in-app purchases—will be gone come February 2021.

To be clear, Google’s decision won’t prohibit extension developers from charging customers to use their products; instead, extension developers will be required to find alternative methods of requesting payment. We’ve seen this model work on a donation basis with extensions like AdBlock. But shifting to something similar on a comprehensive scale will be something else entirely.

Interestingly, Google’s angle appears to be in increasing user safety. The Verge reports that their initial suspension of paid extensions was put into place as a response to products that included “fraudulent transactions”, and Google’s subsequent responses since then have comprised more user-facing actions such as removing extensions published by different parties that accomplish replica tasks.

Review manipulation, use of hefty notifications as a part of an extension’s operation, and generally spammy techniques were also eyeballed by Google as problem points in their ongoing suspension leading up to the ban.

In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue. The extension store was a relatively free market in a sense—something that, given the number of parameters being enforced as of now, is less true for the time being.

Similarly, one can only wonder about which avenues vendors will choose when seeking payment for their services in the future. It’s entirely possible that, after Google Chrome shuts down payments in February, the paid section of the extension market will crumble into oblivion, the side effects of which we can’t necessarily picture.

For now, it’s probably best to hold off on buying any premium extensions; after all, there’s at least a fighting chance that they’ll all be free come February—if we make it that far.

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Business Marketing

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.

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Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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