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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

Use nostalgia as a marketing niche for your business today

(MARKETING) A market that is making waves is found in the form of entertainment nostalgia. Everyone has memories and attachments, why not speak to them?

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nostalgia

Is it just me or does it seem like there is something for everything nowadays? Let me clarify, as that is a rather broad question…

With the way communicating through technology has advanced, it’s become much easier to connect with those who have shared interests. This has become especially evident with interests in the entertainment community.

Entertainment nostalgia

It now seems like there is an event for every bit of nostalgia you can imagine. Autograph shows, meet and greets, and memorabilia collections of all kinds are held in convention halls all around the world. (To give you an idea of how deep this thing goes, there was a “Grease 2” reunion convention sometime within the last five years. Being that I’m the only person I’ve ever met who likes that movie, it’s amazing that it found an audience.)

This idea of marketing by use of nostalgia is something that is becoming smartly tapped and there are a variety of directions it can go in.

For example, the new Domino’s ads feature dead-on tributes to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

What’s your niche?

If you’re a fan of anything, it’s likely that you can find an event to suit your needs.

And, if you want to take it a step further, you can think outside the box and use nostalgia as a marketing tool.

I recently began dabbling in social media gigs that have brought me to a few different fan conventions. One was a throwback 80s and 90s convention that featured everyone from Alan Thicke to the members of N*SYNC. Another is a recurring convention that brings together fans of sci-fi, horror, and everything under that umbrella.

I was amazed by the number of people that came out to these events and the amount of money that was spent on the day’s activities (autographs, photo ops, etc.). I was energized by the fact that you can take something you have a great appreciation for and bring together others who share that feeling. Watching people meet some of their favorite celebrities is something that is priceless.

Hop onboard the nostalgia train

If you’re a fan of something, you don’t have to look too far to find what you’d enjoy – going back to the aforementioned “Ferris Bueller” example, there is a first-ever John Hughes fan event taking place in Chicago next month that will bring fans to their favorite Brat Pack members.

In the same thought, if you have an idea, now is the time to find others who share that interest and execute your vision.

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Business Marketing

5 tips to help you craft consistently high-converting email marketing

(MARKETING) Email may seem too old to be effective but surprisingly it’s not, so how can you get the most out of your email marketing? Try these tips.

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Email marketing

Email marketing might seem archaic in comparison to modern mediums like social media, blogging, and podcasting; however, it actually remains one of the highest converting options marketers and small businesses have at their disposal.

But Why Email?

Hopefully, you believe in email as an effective marketing channel, but in case you have doubts, let’s hit the reset button. Here’s why email marketing is worth investing in:

  • Email is one of the few marketing channels that you have total control over. Unlike a social media audience, which can disappear if the platform decides you violate their terms, you own your email list.
  • Email is considered very personal. When someone gives you access to their inbox, they’re telling you that you can send them messages.
  • From a pure analytics perspective, email gives you the ability to track behaviors, study what works, and get familiar with the techniques that don’t.
  • The ROI of email marketing is incredibly high. It can deliver as much as $44 in value for every $1 spent.

5 Tips for High-Converting Emails

If you’ve been using email, but haven’t gotten the results you’d like to, it’s probably because you’re using it ineffectively.

Here are a few very practical tips for high-converting emails that generate results:

  1. Write Better Subject Lines: Think about email marketing from the side of the recipient. (Considering that you probably receive hundreds of emails per week, this isn’t hard to do.) What’s going to make you engage with an email? It’s the subject line, right?If you’re going to focus a large portion of your time and energy on one element of email marketing, subject lines should be it.The best subject lines are the ones that convey a sense of urgency or curiosity, present an offer, personalize to the recipient, are relevant and timely, feature name recognition, or reference cool stories.
  2. Nail the Intro”: Never take for granted the fact that someone will open your email, and read to the second paragraph. Some will – but most will scan the first couple of lines, and then make a decision on how to proceed.It’s critically important that you get the intro right. You have maybe five seconds to hook people in, and get them excited. This is not a time to slowly build up. Give your best stuff away first!
  3. Use Video: Email might be personal, but individual emails aren’t necessarily viewed as special. That’s because people get so many of them on a daily basis.According to Blue Water Marketing, “The average person receives more than 84 emails each day! So how do you separate your emails from everyone else? Embed videos in your emails can increase your conversion rates by over 21 percent!”This speaks to a larger trend of making emails visually stimulating. The more you use compelling visuals, the more engaging and memorable the content will be.
  4. Keep Eyes Moving: The goal is to keep people engaging with your email content throughout. While it’ll inevitably happen with a certain percentage of recipients, you want to prevent people from dropping off as they read.One of the best ways to keep sustained engagement is to keep eyes effortlessly moving down the page with short and succinct copy.One-liners, small paragraphs, and lots of spacing signal a degree of approachability and simplicity. Use this style as much as you can.
  5. Don’t Ask Too Much: It can be difficult to convey everything you want to say in a single email, but it’s important that you stay as focused as possible – particularly when it comes to CTAs and requests.Always stick to one CTA per email. Never ask multiple questions or present different offers. (It’ll just overwhelm and confuse.) You can present the same CTA in multiple places – like at the beginning, middle, and end of the email – but it needs to be the same call. That’s how you keep people focused and on-task.

Give Your Email Marketing Strategy a Makeover

Most businesses have some sort of email lists. Few businesses leverage these lists as well as they should. Hopefully, this article has provided you with some practical and actionable tips that can be used to boost engagement and produce more conversions. Give them a try and see what sticks.

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Business Marketing

Here’s how one employer was able beat an age discrimination lawsuit

(MARKETING) Age discrimination is a rare occurrence but still something to be battled. It’s good practice to keep your house in order to be on the right side.

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Jewel age discrimination

In January, the EEOC released its annual accounting for reports of discrimination in the previous year. Allegations of retaliation were the most frequently filed charge, which disability coming in second. Age discrimination cases accounted for 21.4% of filed charges. As we’ve reported before, not all age discrimination complaints rise to the level of illegal discrimination. In Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., the federal court dismissed the claims of age discrimination, even though seven (7) plaintiffs made similar claims against the grocery store.

What Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores was about

In Cesario, all but one of the seven plaintiffs had spent years with Jewel Food building their careers. When Jewel went through some financial troubles, the plaintiffs allege that they began to “experience significant pressure at work… (and) were eventually forced out or terminated because of their age or disability.” Jewel Food requested summary judgment to dismiss the claims.

The seven plaintiffs made the same type of complaints. Beginning in 2014, store directors were under pressure to improve metrics and customer satisfaction. Cesario alleges that the Jewel district manager asked about his age. Another director alleges that younger store directors were transferred to stores with less difficulties. One plaintiff alleged that Jewel Food managers asked him about his retirement. The EEOC complaints began in late 2015. The plaintiffs retired or were fired and subsequently filed a lawsuit against their company.

Age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA). The ADEA prevents disparate treatment based on age for workers over 40 years old. However, plaintiffs who allege disparate treatment must establish that the adverse reactions wouldn’t have occurred but for age. Because none of the plaintiffs could specifically point to age as the only determination of their case, the court dismissed the case.

A word to wise businesses

Jewel Food was able to demonstrate their own actions in the case through careful documentation. Although there was no evidence that age played a factor in any discharge decision, Jewel Food could document their personnel decisions across the board. The plaintiffs also didn’t exhaust all administrative remedies. This led to the case being dropped.

Lesson learned – Make perssonel decisions based on performance and evidence. Don’t use age as a factor. Keep documentation to support your decisions.

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