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Quantity – Quality – Viability

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“Miracles are great, but. they are so damned unpredictable.”
– Peter Drucker


The Sequence

Quantity, then quality, then viability.  That is the correct sequence with regard to leads, listings and leverage.

Leads always comes first.  In this business if one can not generate sufficient leads nothing else will matter.  It will make no difference how smart you are or how much you know – if you don’t have any customers to talk to.  Lead conversion is obviously the action sitting between having sufficient leads to wind up with a sufficient amount of listings.  But just having enough leads is the very first thing.

Getting Careful

Ever “get careful” with a client or customer?  You know, where you don’t dare screw up?  It is a great feeling, isn’t it?  Not.  Nothing succeeds like insouciance.  Show me someone “being careful” and I’ll show you someone who is really “serious” and who is also about to make mistakes.  When one is playing, having fun, there is no need for carefulness.  To achieve this with customers it is necessary to know that you can get more.  If you know there are lots of them and that they are easy to acquire then no need to be “careful with this one”.  You’re happier and the customer gets a much better experience too (as they are being taken care of by someone who is relaxed about about the outcome and knows what they are doing).

Quite often, if one has the viewpoint that customers are scarce, they get into carefulness.  This is common with agents barely making it – as the very reason they are barely making it is they don’t have enough customers.  The reason they don’t have enough customers is either they don’t have an effective lead generation system or don’t consistently use the effective one they do have.  Either way, not enough leads is a “bad” thing as it leads to carefulness.

Future Viability

The future success and viability of a real estate office can be accurately predicted by how many producing agents they have.  Not how many high producing agents, just how many producing agents.  Offices (particularly those paying rent for space in a commercial office building) with just a few producing agents are often candidates for going out of business.  For agents it is how many listings they have; the average number of listings an agent carries will be the best indicator of their future viability.  Notice it is quantity first, not quality.  Having one or two “good ones” is not a substitute for having many listings.  In the first place if an agent has two “good ones” he won’t have them for long and he is at once down to zero listings for sale.

Obviously we strive for the very highest quality – in every area of our business.  But when just getting an area going (for the very first time or when getting it going again) do not fixate on quality.  It is quantity.

Russell has been an Associate Broker with John Hall & Associates since 1978 and ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the U.S. Most recently The Wall Street Journal recognized the Top 200 Agents in America, awarding Russell # 25 for number of units sold. Russell has been featured in many books such as, "The Billion Dollar Agent" by Steve Kantor and "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller and has often been a featured speaker for national conventions and routinely speaks at various state and local association conventions. Visit him also at nohasslelisting.com and number1homeagent.com.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Brian Brady

    June 26, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Russell, I’m convinced you have ESP. I mentioned that I was holding on pretty tight and needed to get back to the “pick and choose” mentality I had earlier this year.

  2. Matthew Rathbun

    June 26, 2008 at 5:32 am

    You right (no surprise there) that being professional and yet still relaxed with your clients is very important. Some of the best clients I had were those who I enjoyed and they knew it. If I didn’t particularly like someone, I never heard from them again after the transaction. Those who I shared meals with or visited after the closing have been a great source of referrals and repeat business.

  3. Greg Cremia

    June 26, 2008 at 5:34 am

    Finally, a blogger who isn’t trying to make me feel like I am wasting my time collecting large quantities of leads. If you can get them in large quantities the odds are in your favor that some of them will be useless and some of them will be gold mines and everything in between.

  4. Mack in Atlanta

    June 26, 2008 at 7:40 am

    It’s no secret, you have to list to last in this business.

  5. Nickie

    June 26, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Great point!

    When you feel good, it rubs off on others, including your clients. Your clients will be attracted to you because they will want some of what you’ve got.

    What you focus on expands. Think about scarcity and you create scarcity. Think about working with the perfect clients, in the best transactions, with the best agents, having the perfect number of transactions and you can attract that. When things get tight, it can be a challenge to remember to keep the negative out of your head, but it sure does make a difference when you stay on track with your goals.

    Thanks for the reminder! Today’s focus will be LOTS of quality leads, the best of both!

  6. Ken Smith

    June 26, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Russell I think besides trying to be “perfect” that not having enough business leads many agents to do things that many would consider inappropriate or even unethical.

    “The future success and viability of a real estate office can be accurately predicted by how many producing agents they have.”

    Thanks for reminding me of that. Thinking of opening an office and I was commenting last night that I don’t want agents doing small amounts of business. My wife said “you really wouldn’t want to take an agent that will do 6 transactions year in and year out”. Naturally she is correct, those 6 transactions a year cover a good amount of bills for an office.

  7. Michael Wurzer

    June 26, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Ever “get careful” with a client or customer? You know, where you don’t dare screw up? It is a great feeling, isn’t it? Not.

    Russell, the quote above summarized exactly my feelings about “sales” when I first started running FBS. We were a small company (still are) and wanting to grow (still do). I’d find myself in front of an MLS Committee or Board of Directors explaining our software and, as questions would come forward, the pressure would mount. I so much wanted their business and the desire to say YES to every question was incredible. As you say, that is NOT a good feeling. In fact, for me, it was the worst feeling.

    I realized I couldn’t live with that and needed to change my perspective. My job wasn’t to “get a sale” or “win” but to figure out with the customer whether what we offered met their needs. If I could convince myself first that we were a good fit for the customer, then I had no problem saying no when it needed to be said — and, for all the reasons you describe, that made all the difference in the world. Immediately, whether we had a hundred or zero prospects in the pipeline, I had confidence working with customers we had pre-qualified that we were a good fit for them and that made the sales process relaxed and fun instead of stressful and awkward. And the results speak for themselves — since adopting this consultative sales approach, we’ve been consistently winning as much business every year as we can handle. And we’re having fun doing it.

  8. Scott Cowan

    June 26, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Russell,

    I was starting to think the listings I have right now were “dogs” and then I read this post. Sure I have some listings that might be a challenge to sell in this market but the more listings I get the better I feel and I find myself being more relaxed. Not that I want overpriced listings or leads that will waste my time. It is so much easier to know when to say “next” when there is more in the pipeline.
    Thanks!

  9. BawldGuy Talking

    June 27, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Note: I’d love to have Michael Wurzer in front of the local yahoos in charge of the San Diego MLS. (Listening Sandicor?) So far they’ve proven they’re not qualified to organize a one man picnic.

    One of the lessons learned while working for Dad back in the day, was how the massive quantity of listings tended over time to generate quality too. The sales of the better looking, priced, financed listings provoked positive change from both listing agents and sellers of the ‘poorer quality’ listings.

    Before you knew it, Dad had quantity AND quality, ‘cuz the smart agents, the ones who lasted that is, benefited from the quantity via a far steeper learning curve. Seems increased income is a motivator, go figure.

    Make sense?

  10. Caesar Parisi

    June 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I feel the quality of agents should be more important than the quantity. Unfortunately that is no longer the case in many brokerages as it has become a numbers game. I do have to pride my company on recruiting mostly quality agents.

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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Business Marketing

Your business’ Yelp listing may be costing you more than you think

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The pay per click system Yelp uses sounds good in theory, but it may be hurting small businesses more than helping.

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Man browsing Yelp for his business listing in open office environment.

We all know Yelp – we’ve probably all used Yelp’s comment section to decide whether or not that business is worth giving our money to. What you might not know is how they are extorting the small businesses they partner with.

For starters, it’s helpful to understand that Yelp generates revenue through a pay per click (PPC) search model. This means whenever a user clicks on your advertisement, you pay Yelp a small fee. You never pay Yelp a cent if no one clicks on your ad.

In theory, this sounds great – if someone is seeking out your product or service and clicks on your ad, chances are you’re going to see some of that return. This is what makes paying $15, $50, or even $100 a click worth it.

In practice, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When setting up your Yelp account, you are able to plug in keywords that correspond with your business. For example, owner of San Francisco-based Headshots Inc. Dan St. Louis – former Yelp advertiser turned anti-Yelp advocate – plugged in keywords for his business, such as “corporate photographer” and “professional headshots”. When someone in the Bay Area searches one of those terms, they are likely to see Headshots Inc.’s Yelp ad.

You are also able to plug in keyword searches in which your ad will not appear. That sounds great too – no need to pay for ad clicks that will ultimately not bring in revenue for your business. In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan plugged in terms such as “affordable baby photography” and “affordable studio photography”, as his studio is quite high-end and would very likely turn off a user who is using the word “affordable” in their search.

How Yelp really cheats its small business partners is that it finds loopholes in your keyword input to place your ad in as many non-relevant searches as possible. This ensures that your ad is clicked more and, as a result, you have to pay them more without reaping any of the monetary benefits for your business.

If you plugged in “cheap photography” to your list of searches in which your ad will not appear, Yelp might still feature your ad for the “cheap photos” search. As if a small business owner has the time to enter in every single possible keyword someone might search!

In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan ended up paying $10k in total ad spend to Yelp with very little return. Needless to say, he is pissed.

So what does this mean for you if you use Yelp for your business? If you don’t want to completely opt out of Yelp’s shenanigans, try these 3 tips from Dan:

  1. Try searching some potential irrelevant keywords – are your ads showing up in these searches?
  2. Do your best to block the irrelevant keywords. It’s impossible to get them all, but the more you do the more money you will ultimately save.
  3. Keep an eye on the conversation rate on your profile – does more clicks mean more client inquiries? Make sure Yelp isn’t sending low-quality traffic to your profile.

Ultimately, it’s about protecting your small business. Yelp is the latest in big tech to be outted for manipulating individuals and small businesses to up their margins – a truly despicable act, if you ask me. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars for ad spend, then either boycott Yelp or try these tips – your company may depend on it.

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