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3 steps to starting down the right path as a new Realtor

While every new Realtor is versed in law and rules, the practice of business is not always a well taught concept.

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brand new realtor

Well versed in rules, but what about business?

When you get your real estate license, there’s often little or no training on sales and marketing approaches and techniques. You may be well versed in all the real estate rules and regulations but when it comes to starting your business on the right track, you may feel a bit lost.

In this article, I’ll share three steps new Realtors need to take on their journey down the road to real estate sales success.

Step one: get organized

As you begin gathering contact information of real estate leads, you need to make sure you store this data in one consolidated place. It’s essential to have a system to remind yourself of important appointments and commitments, or to make a phone call or send an email. Keep a task list and calendar and plan what you’ll be doing every day or week. Each morning, check your calendar and task list, and your appointments for the day, so you know what’s on your radar and how to schedule your time.

Here’s a good tip: as you meet more and more people and add them to your database, try to learn about hobbies, interests, pets, job, etc. and add this information into your database as well. It’s important to get phone numbers and email addresses, but try to go deeper than that. Why? So you can build stronger relationships. So the next time you call up Bob, you can ask him about that new fishing rod or how his tennis tournament went. After all, real estate sales is a people business.

Step two: grow your network and expand your sphere of influence (SOI)

When you’re starting out, you need to grow your sphere of influence (SOI) and expand your network. You can do this through planning various events such as home expert seminars and through an assortment of real estate prospecting techniques such as cold calling. A home expert seminar is when you invite a “home expert” such as an Interior Designer, to come and talk to a group of people you’ve invited. This expert will share tips and ideas that people will find helpful. Each one of the people who take you up on your invitation and attend this seminar is a lead to add to your database!

If you’re changing careers, and are coming into real estate from another profession, you likely already have a substantial amount of people who know you and vice-versa. Make the most of the relationships that you have. Send these people an email letting them know you’re now in real estate. Start sending them your monthly e-Newsletter so you can keep in touch and so they won’t forget that you’re an agent. Remember, the most successful Realtors get most of their business from referrals and repeat business. They don’t cold call and focus on real estate prospecting all day. In order to build a referral and repeat business, relationship-building and keeping in touch with your SOI needs to be in the forefront.

Step three: build your book of business

As discussed earlier in this article, there are a number of ways to grow your SOI and professional network. But you need to know how to make the most of your leads and maximize the chances that they turn into a client.

If you’re prospecting and marketing effectively, you’re going to get leads. Now, not all of these leads will be great so you need to know the right questions to ask to weed out the hot leads from the cold ones. Some leads will be good but may not be ready to buy or sell right away. Let’s say you get a new lead who seems interested. But you never hear back from him, even after following up on the phone. A good Realtor wouldn’t forget about this lead just yet. Make sure you set all your leads up on drip email campaigns.

Effective drip emails campaigns will consist of a series of emails designed to convert different types of leads into clients. When the lead is ready to buy or sell, you’re maximizing the chance that they choose you. Of course, whether a lead uses your services versus a competitor depends on a number of different factors (your listing presentation, for instance), but drip email campaigns will definitely help move the ball in your court.

A real estate contact management system is the foundation to all three of the steps discussed in this article. It’s how you’ll organize and manage your contacts and schedule, plan your events and keep in touch activities, and send out your e-Newsletter and drip email campaigns. Sometimes, there are special offers for new real estate agents, like six months free where I work (IXACT Contact), or benefits through local and national associations. These are usually great offers that are specially reserved for new Realtors, so it’s important to take advantage. You’ll save a lot of money and get started on the right track!

Matthew Collis is part of the Sales and Marketing Team at IXACT Contact Solutions Inc., a leading North American real estate CRM firm. In addition to overseeing many of IXACT Contact’s key sales and marketing programs, Matthew works with REALTORS® to help them achieve their real estate goals through effective contact management and relationship marketing. IXACT Contact is a web-based real estate contact management and marketing system that helps REALTORS® better manage and grow their business. The system includes powerful email marketing capabilities and a professionally designed and written monthly e-Newsletter.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. C21MaryR

    July 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    @CENTURY21 We’ve fought in court: “Realtor”.

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Business News

ClickUp team productivity app is gorgeous and wildly efficient

(BUSINESS NEWS) Seeking to improve your productivity and speed up your team, ClickUp is an inexpensive option for those obsessed with efficiency.

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Back again to obsess over productivity apps – ClickUp, is a project management tool seeking to knock the frustration out of PM. It’s getting some good reviews, so I gave it a try for a week by setting up my current job search as a project and getting a feel for the app. And as you’ve read in my other reviews, we will address features and design.

On the feature front, ClickUp offers a pretty standard set up of tools for a productivity app. What stands out first and foremost are the status options. In general, most productivity statuses are simple: not started, started, in progress, done, etc.

But ClickUp lets you set up custom statuses that match your workflow.

For example, if you’re doing instructional design projects, you may assign projects based on where they are flowing in an ADDIE model, or if you are a Realtor, you may have things cataloged by sold, in negotiation, etc.

Customization is king and custom status is the closest you get to building your own app. And if you like it simple, you don’t have to customize it. The assigned comments feature lets you follow up on specific comments that originate action items – which is useful in team collaborations.

You can also assign changes to multiple tasks at once, including changing statuses (I would bulk assign completion tasks when I finished applications that I did in batches). There a lot of features here, but the best feature is how the app allows you to toggle on and off features that you will or won’t use – once again, customization is front and center for this platform.

In terms of design and intuive use, ClickUp nailed it.

It’s super easy to use, and the concept of space is pretty standard in design thinking. If your organization uses Agile methodology, this app is ready for you.

In terms of view, you can declutter the features, but the three viewing modes (list, box, and board) can help you filter the information and make decisions quickly depending on what role you have on a board or project. There is also a “Me” board that removes all the clutter and focuses on your tasks – a great way to do focused productivity bursts. ClickUp describes itself as beautifully intuitive, and I can’t disagree – both the web app and mobile app are insanely easy to use.

No complaints here.

And the horizon looks good for ClickUp – with new features like image markup, Gannt charts (!!!!!! #nerdalert), and threaded comments for starts.

This application is great, and it’s got a lot of growth coming up to an already rich feature base. It’s free with 100MB of storage, but the $5 fee for team member per month that includes team onboarding and set up (say you’re switching from another platform) and Dropbox/Google Docs integration? That’s a bargain, Charlie.

ClickUp is on the way up and it’s got it all – features, a beautifully accessible UI, relentless customization, and lot of new and upcoming features. If you’re into the productivity platform and you’re looking for a new solution for your team, go check it out.

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Business News

What to do if your company is getting straight-to-voicemail calls

(BUSINESS NEWS) Telemarketers newest rouse is straight to voicemail cold calls. No one likes cold calls, and no one likes cold voicemails, so let the FCC know it doesn’t fly with you.

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pesky cold callers

Telemarketers are notorious for obnoxiously blowing up your phone with unwanted solicitations.

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They may soon be allowed to solicit in a much sneakier way, but that won’t make them any less intrusive.

Cold calls suck. Cold voicemails aren’t any better

Telemarketers and many Republicans are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to permit straight-to-voicemail calls from telemarketers, citing the First Amendment as their basis for argument. That justification doesn’t fly for many consumer advocates. Sure, your phone doesn’t ring, but your voicemail inbox is still violated with spammy robocalls. Not only that, but you don’t even have the option to remove yourself from the telemarketer’s list.

Not down to be bombarded by silent solicitors? Take action.

In the spirit of free speech, anyone can file an informal complaint about issues with the communications services regulated by the FCC. There’s no charge or legal procedures involved, and you won’t have to appear in front of the FCC. Filing a complaint is quick and easy to do, and it can really make a difference.

How to file

Just head to the FCC Complaint Center and express your dissatisfaction, along with a suggested course of action to solve this problem. You can reach the FCC

By phone:
1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322); TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322); ASL: 1-844-432-2275

By mail:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554

*Be sure to include your name, address, contact information and as much detail as your complaint as possible

Make your voice heard

Consumer complaints are served on your provider and processed by the FCC’s Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division. Your provider has 30 days to respond, and will copy the FCC on its response.

In some cases, complaints might be shared among FCC bureaus and offices for further review or investigation.

While the FCC does not respond to every complaint, there is strength in numbers. After filing your complaint, tell your friends and coworkers to do the same, and spread the word about the issue. If enough people speak out against this pending legislation, they have a chance at protecting themselves from what is essentially harassment.

#FCCVoicemail

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Business News

How to survive when you’re in between jobs (shame free)

(CAREER) It’s already stressful enough to find a job, but covering costs in between jobs can be scary, and downright traumatic. Let’s talk about your options – you HAVE options and there’s no shame in getting some wins right now. You deserve them!

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in between jobs

No matter how much we plan, life happens. People quit jobs, they get fired and everything in between. No matter what takes place in the grey areas of unemployment, there’s always the question of “what do I do now?”

It’s hard not to have a job. Like, really hard. People tie their identity to their work ethic, to how much they get done, how much they make. There are a lot of people in the world that shudder at the mere mention of retirement because they value their daily routine of getting up to pull on their work boots so much.

So, what are you supposed to do if you’re in between jobs?

You’ve got options. The sky isn’t officially falling. Right now, it’s a pretty manageable time to be unemployed. While yes, there is unemployment that you can collect, who wants to deal with that? There’s constant checking in, making sure no one is gaming the system, on top of it’s a fraction of what most people make. It’s a useful safety net to ensure that you’re able to eat and pay essential utilities, but collecting unemployment and not looking for a job shouldn’t be how you’re spending time.

There’s doing the temp agency thing, but that’s a total crapshoot. No one ever knows where they’ll end up. If you’re cool with rolling the dice and taking what you can get in terms of making money, then it works. If you don’t want to potentially be doing the worst work possible, then throwing your name into a temp worker pool might not be for you. Some jobs need sets of hands to haul boxes or help set up for an event, on the other hand, a temp agency might have you scrubbing a dead person’s house.

It really depends on what you’re willing and, more importantly, not willing to do. If you’re a little squeamish about making a buck cleaning up the dearly departed Aunt Abigail’s pee-scented cat mansion, proceed with caution.

Around cities like Austin and Houston, Rudy’s BBQ pays well above minimum wage if you can learn the art of exact meat cutting. Hardware stores need people to haul lumber, and help stock shelves. There are plenty of retail spaces that need people, and there’s always the service industry. Many people have waited tables and tended bar during a transitional period. Plus, the social landscape is different every night.

And there’s a lot of opportunities to make good money, depending on where you work. If you’re good with people and love chatting, the service industry might be for you. If you’re a little more buttoned-up and aren’t big on small talk with strangers, maybe not.

Impact your wallet immediately.

Probably the easiest way to make an impact while trying to figure out your next move is to utilize the gig economy. Applying, interviewing, silently sobbing in coffee shops, all of those things take a lot of time. The gig economy offers flexibility, which is enormous. There’s no shame in delivering food or picking up people who need a ride.
It’s money coming in and there’s always a demand. Right now, the gig economy is generating billions – with a B for companies. The workers are a massive slice of that pie.

I work at Adia, where we’ve found that most of our workers aren’t the pink haired folks’ social media would like us to believe, but instead, it’s a lot of people who are looking for extra cash or stuck between a job and needing to make sure the light bill is paid. Like Lyft, Uber, or Favor, we’ve made sure that our jobs are flexible, that people can live their lives, and keep hustling, no matter what their career demands. (We help people in every industry find gigs from the service industry, distro centers, and even worked a Rolling Stones show. There’s a lot to choose from.)

If you’re an immigrant who’s new to an area, the gig economy is even better – it’s a feet first way to make a splash into a local economy. There are a lot of people moving to cities like Austin and Houston, and because of that boom, some of those people aren’t native English speakers. Working short term gigs from driving to stocking shelves or cleaning hotel rooms allows for new residents of the country to get a feel for the speed of the city, but also develop core English competency, which will serve them in the long run.

Another perk of the gig economy while in between a job is the benefits. Let’s just be honest: Cobra sucks. No one in their right minds would ever want to willingly sign up for a program that can financially ruin you, only to have government-mandated health insurance you’re (hopefully) not using. And on top of that, if you use Cobra, it’s pretty terrible coverage. Adia offers insurance if a worker hits their minimum hours worked a week.

Plus, some companies (like us) offer a W-2 if a worker doesn’t want to deal with the hoops of 1099. A 1099 makes sense for some workers thanks to write off, but that’s only for certain contexts. We put people on a W2 so there’s no hoops of the 1099 – which, if you’ve been paying attention to what Uber and Lyft are fighting in courts across the country, is a way better arrangement.

So far, for workers, it’s been a choice between enjoying the flexibility of a 1099, or the employee benefits of W2 status, but we’re letting you have your cake and eat it too. Flexibility and benefits are no longer mutually exclusive – well, at least with us, it’s not.

That’s why having taxes taken out can be a big help when April comes around. No one wants to owe when they’re already working toward full employment. Cutting a check to the government hurts, especially when every dollar counts.

Some workers are embracing Amazon Flex, while others find luck in flipping goods from garage sales. (Gary Vee has a whole video of him flipping $40 of garage sale stuff and turning it into $430.) But, those both come with their challenges. If you want to flip old records or kid’s toys on eBay, you’re going to have to get up at the crack of dawn to beat the crowds.

For real, you can score some wins right now

Despite our political woes, the job market is healthy for both skilled and unskilled labor. In our home city of Austin, we’re sitting at a 3% unemployment rate across the board – in most cases, we’ve got more jobs than people. The Wall Street Journal has cited Austin as the number one job market, and Houston is also ranked high. There’s opportunity everywhere in Texas.

If you find yourself in a position of stocking shelves at Target, there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re putting food on the table. If you’re lucky enough to work for HEB, they pay well, and they’ll put you through college. What matters is utilizing the time and energy to land a gig that makes you happy, but also finding one that moves your career upward. If you’re trying to land that dream graphic design job, but need the time to work on your craft, that’s cool – sign up with us. We’d love to help you level up.

Just remember, whatever you do, there’s no shame in survival.

The numbers are on your side. You’ll find that dream gig. It might take a little longer than you’d like, but you’re not alone. While the process can seem miserable when there’s a constant stream of NO hitting the inbox, there are most definitely companies out there who want you to win. We’re one of them.

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