Clichés easily come out of speakers’ mouths, including mine. Living by those clichés is hard. We’ve all heard sayings like ‘Good is the Enemy of Great’ or my favourite, quoting one of my mentors, Eric Thomas: ‘Be phenomenal or be forgotten’. Although we may have all heard these motivational quotes before, how do we instil these attitudes so they become habits in our day to day lives? Story by Glenn Twiddle.
Studies into how wealth is distributed show the percentages haven’t changed in the last 60 years. In that time we have seen our world go from the first television to the World Wide Web, now accessible from tiny mobile devices at broadband speed, and the information on doing almost anything is a Google search away. And despite all of this, guess what hasn’t changed? The percentage of wealth distribution. Yup, it’s still the same. The top few per cent of people still control the majority of the wealth in any industry, this is certainly obvious in real estate.
So what do the top 20 per cent of agents have, think about, invest in and behave like, in order to stay at the top no matter what the economic conditions or the market? The good news is the decision is yours as to which group you belong to.
The agents that have chosen to be phenomenal do so in four primary areas of their business.
1. Attracting new buisness
I’ve heard so many agents, trainers, bosses, and industry experts talk about prospecting in association with real estate careers. Many, if not most, top phenomenal agents don’t prospect. They have marketing systems set up so that a stream of potential clients calls them. The dialogue they use is very different from that of a prospecting call. A prospecting piece of contact is generally done with a salesperson making an outbound cold call or door knock or the like, and basically begging for the opportunity to appraise and potentially list a property for sale.
However, a marketing system is designed to meet and start a relationship with a group of individuals, ideally a year or more before they are considering selling, then staying in touch using one of the many multi-media, multi-step marketing systems available. When the seller is ready for an agent they already have a 12 month track record of contacts; they will call in their agent, and only their agent, and follow his or her advice, thus making the sale a smoother one. The seller doesn’t see the relationship through the filter of betrayal and mistrust. They see the agent as a trusted advisor and source of valuable information, more like a consultant. And the un-phenomenal agents continue to interrupt dinner, making cold call after cold call, in the hopes of finding a property to list.
If a phenomenal agent must cold call they do so temporarily, until their marketing system takes over, and do so to gain contacts, not listings. Because think about it: what are the chances your cold call arrives between the time their situation changes and they need an agent, and the time they call their agent of choice? It happens just enough to torture us to death, but not enough to build a phenomenal business based on this flawed and antiquated method of attracting new clients. In fact, many agents have abandoned the word ‘prospecting’ altogether. Really, isn’t ‘prospecting’ just another way of saying, ‘getting your words into the eyes and ears of your target market’?
Prospecting is nothing more than an admittedly inexpensive, yet relatively inefficient form of marketing. So yes, prospect if you are budget conscious, but get off the prospecting bandwagon and into the ‘direct response’ marketing business and you’ll see yourself heading towards phenomenal very quickly.
2. Converting the buisness
Most agents are adequate at doing a good 30 to 60 minutes of a half-decent listing presentation, but think about the ‘USP’ or ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ of most agents. They all say ‘I will get you the highest price in the quickest time’ or some other description of a successful outcome for the seller. Now they can’t all be telling the truth, but what chance has a consumer got of differentiating us from one another when we give them no reason to choose us over a competitor?
A phenomenal agent, however, does give them a reason. He or she backs up the claims with overwhelming historic and demonstrable proof. Historic proof can be in the form of various types of testimonials, often including video testimonials as it is very hard to doubt their validity. A written testimonial with just someone’s initials can easily be interpreted by the reader as possibly fabricated.
And ‘demonstrable’ proof might include a role play of the agent’s skills. “Don’t just tell me that you get the highest price; show me precisely what you say in order to achieve that. Don’t tell me, show me and involve me!” your seller might be saying to themselves. Your marketing might even contain an irresistible ‘risk reversal’ guarantee, taking the risk of making the wrong choice off their shoulders and placing it firmly on yours.
3. Doing the buisness to attract more buisness
One of my best clients, RE/MAX Marketer of the Year and International Top 15 agent Michael Spillane, and an agent who defines the word ‘phenomenal’, recently shared with my coaching group. “The best way to list properties, Glenn, is to list properties!”
This seemingly obvious statement is more than it seems. What he’s saying is if you are doing what you are doing well, being seen by the market who are considering selling, and they watch you succeed time and time again, they will come to you as a natural result of your current work. So it becomes easier as you do a good job, and do it often and visibly.
You can imagine that if a potential seller witnesses a busy open house, well marketed and presented, and sees your property video playing in every room, your future seller is exponentially more likely to see the value in presenting and promoting their property with you. They see the way you want it done in order to get it sold for them, in a timely manner and for a great price. You need to capitalise on momentum in order to be phenomenal.
4. Staying in touch until they need you again
Chris Gilmour was already a phenomenal agent ($880,000 in his second year in real estate) when we implemented this last principle in his business. Up until then, like many of us, he was a ‘prospector’ but didn’t have a planned and systemised follow-up system. Chris spent eight months honing and crafting his ‘multi-media, multi-step’ follow-up system, and his business has never looked better.
We don’t have enough time in our day to give each and every person in our target market the attention they require for them to think of us as ‘their real estate consultant.’ So we have to let some automated and semi-automated systems supplement our face to face or phone-based contacts. Many experts believe it takes between 10 and 24 meaningful contacts per year before your marketplace even knows who you are, and for time management purposes many of these are going to have to be done via bulk communication or automated responses. But if this comes across as completely impersonal it may be ignored, so this is an art in and of itself: to make bulk and automated communication still meaningful and entertaining to your target market.
An early mentor of mine (and of many other top agents, including John McGrath and James Tostevin) suggested ‘The Power of an Idea is in its Implementation’. The above ideas, while lethal in the hands of an implementer, are completely powerless if they stay on the pages of this magazine and do not find their way into your business. So take notes, make a plan, don’t let ‘perfect’ get in the way of done, and take the first steps towards turning your business into the phenomenon that it can be.
‘Be phenomenal or be forgotten!’
The most historic event in Queensland real estate, the five year anniversary of the Queensland Real Estate Agents’ Summit. For more information on this event, aptly summed up by its subtitle ‘Be Phenomenal or be Forgotten’, visit www.qreas.com.au.