BEST PRACTICEElite Agent

How to sell Anything, Anytime!

Success leaves clues. By learning from other people’s experience and modelling yourself on successful people and businesses you can fast track your own success. This is where attending conferences becomes such an important part of your overall business strategy.

The time you list the property is the time when the seller will have the greatest feeling of commitment to you.

Success leaves clues. By learning from other people’s experience and modelling yourself on successful people and businesses you can fast track your own success. This is where attending conferences becomes such an important part of your overall business strategy.

It’s easy in times like these to blame the economy and decide to wait it out, but the agents who fall victim to that sort of attitude will lose market share.

America’s number one real estate salesman, the legendary Ralph R. Roberts shares some insight on how to up-sell in a down market. Story and interview by Leanne Howard.

Named by TIME Magazine “the best-selling REALTOR® in America” and “America’s Scariest Salesman” for his accomplishments, which include selling over 10,000 homes, Ralph Roberts is the expert to turn to for super-tips on selling. He is the author of a long list of books including Walk Like a Giant, Sell Like A Madman and 52 Weeks of Sales Success: America’s #1 Salesman Shows You How To Close Every Deal!, based on a series of weekly sales seminars he designed for his own team. He is still a working agent in his hometown of Detroit and travels the country sharing his personally tried and tested methods for incredible results.

Can we expect to see growth in today’s economy?

Every economic environment has its winners and losers. When times are lean, it becomes survival of the fittest – those who learn to adapt to the changing market conditions survive and can even thrive, while those who don’t adapt are forced to drop out. So although we may not see much growth overall in the housing market, individual agents can grow their own market share as less skilled and determined agents drop out of the race. Right now, in America, we simply have too much inventory to sell before we will see growth overall.

What are the skills real estate agents need to be successful today?

Most real estate agents probably already have the required skills but need to fine tune them, get back to the basics, and put their knowledge and skills into action. It’s easy in times like these to blame the economy and decide to wait it out, but the agents who fall victim to that sort of attitude will lose market share. Instead of waiting, agents really need to be ramping up their efforts – networking, marketing and focusing on providing superior customer service. Under-promise and over-deliver. These are the fundamentals we all learn when starting out, but we occasionally have to remind ourselves of them to get ourselves back on track.

Have you changed anything you do in response to the changing market?

I have survived bad markets before. I started in real estate in the mid 70’s. By the late 70’s, interest rates were at 20%. Unemployment can put a real strain on buyers, but I try to look at the positive – if 15% of the population is unemployed, 85% still have jobs. All you need to do is match the 15% who need to sell their homes with the 85% who have income to qualify for a loan, and you can generate sales.

What are your top tips for managing sellers in today’s market?

Education is key. In our market, property values have dropped significantly, but homeowners are in denial. Sellers have always overestimated the true market value of their homes, and now it’s even worse, because of the drop in values. Agents need to be honest and let sellers know how it really is. I let them know up front that they need to price their house to the market right from the start. I focus on the following:

  • Price it right the first time. Don’t chase the market.
  • Stage the home to make it look its best – you want the best house in the neighbourhood at the best price.
  • Market heavily online and off – buyers will not even look at a property unless they know about it.
  • Convince the seller up front to make a commitment to you and sign the listing agreement. The time you list the property is the time when the seller will have the greatest feeling of commitment to you.

What are your top tips for managing buyers today?

Prioritise your buyers to allocate the most time and resources to those who are best qualified to make a purchase. I prioritise buyers into four groups, A-B-C-D:

A: Grade A buyers have their financing approved and ready to buy now. Make sure you get a commitment from them.

B: Grade B buyers can qualify for financing but have not done so yet. You need to invest some time and resources turning the B’s into

A’s by getting their finances approved.

C: Grade C buyers are eager to make a purchase but on the borderline of qualifying for financing.

D: Grade D buyers are usually what we like to call window shoppers. They are usually just going to waste your time, so you need to refer
them to your competitors.
You want to be investing most of your resources serving Grade A clients. Your remaining time and resources should be used to turn B clients into A clients, and C clients into B clients, and getting rid of D clients.

What can the audience expect to take away from your AREC session that will make a difference to their business right away?

I have learned the most from the mistakes I’ve made. Fortunately, by learning from my mistakes, the audience can avoid having to make those same mistakes in order to learn the same lessons. During the AREC session, I will share the seven biggest mistakes I’ve made and the valuable lessons I have learned from them, along with an overview of strategies, techniques, and tips needed to boost sales and maximise profits, even in a downturn.

What are your top two business book recommendations?

I’d love to say my books, but currently I’d have to go with, The Richest Man in Babylon: The success secrets of the ancients – George S. Clason and The Power of Positive Thinking – Norman Vincent Peale.

Leanne Howard is General Manager of Total Real Estate Training www.tret.com.au, the organiser of AREC – the biggest independent real estate conference and trade exhibition in our region. Founded in 1996, TRET events have exposed thousands of people to a whole new world of ideas, techniques and practical tools to significantly improve their sales and increase their earnings.

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