Glenn Twiddle refereed the first ever ‘Real Estate Smackdown’ and over 700 agents registered for the most attended Real Estate Internet webinar in recent history. In one corner was Chris ’Lightning Fast’ Gilmour and in the other was Aaron ‘The Hammer’ Shiner. Both young guns achieving seven figure incomes in their late 20’s, they were both well prepared for the bout. Was there a clear winner? You be the judge.
ROUND ONE ‘How do you guys approach personal branding?’
Chris I picked a small farm area. Only 1160 homes, it was also the area that no one wanted. It was really letterbox dropping all day, every day to the same homes. ‘Just listed’ and ‘just sold’ from anyone in our office would be delivered at least weekly, and also invited residents to Open Homes. Consistency for several years though was the key.
Aaron Heaps of motivated cold calling, door knocking and the usual stuff we are told to do. I didn’t get the concept of repetition and frequency until later in my career, but since implementing that, the ‘agent of choice’ concept has really been big in recent years.
ROUND TWO ‘What systems should all agents have with regard to follow ups?’
Aaron We found that the time frame between when people get an appraisal and the listing coming onto the market was 11.4 months. So we built a follow up system to stay in touch with people multiple times, using SMS, emails, letters, even MMS video messages, over a period of months.
Chris When I first started that was my biggest downfall. Up until a year ago, I didn’t even have one. Now I get more and more referral business from the database I have set up in just one year doing it in much the same way as Aaron.
ROUND THREE ‘How do you get and stay motivated?’
Chris This one’s simple – money! I used to sell door-to-door electrical sales. When I found that in this industry I could genuinely be paid for my efforts, I leapt at the chance. In my Formula 3 Racing career, many of the older drivers said they wished they had gone harder younger in their lives. And I am doing just that.
Aaron I have been to Anthony Robbins, walked on fire, and all those things, but I really think now, you’ve either got it or you don’t. Skill can be trained, but it is harder to train ‘want.’ When I really looked at it though, my motivation was to prove ‘all those people that said I couldn’t’ wrong.[After the first three rounds, the participants judged it, by a narrow margin, in favour of ‘Lightning Fast’ Gilmour. Aaron steels himself to do better.]
ROUND FOUR ‘Your best prospecting method?’
Chris The first thing I’d say is ‘Killer Open Homes’ and following up from those people, like in your ‘Ultimate Open Home Training,’ Glenn, and inviting people to those Open Homes. And the biggest thing for me is the consistency of those flyer drops. Doing it for a few months, then giving up, you may as well not start.
AaronPast client follow up is the biggest for us. Thank you cards, anniversary cards and things like that, so I become ‘their mate, Aaron, who happens to be in real estate’ instead of just a real estate agent. That relationship, and the friends and relatives referred by those relationships, are what we are striving to cultivate.
Also, 100 prospecting calls a day, warm calls, to people on my database. Chris would leave me for dead with his blanket letterbox drops, but I do not think there is anyone in the country that would database prospect like I do.
ROUND FIVE ‘Are there any fast start strategies for new agents that you would recommend?’
Chris Sitting at the desk playing solitaire and angry birds and hope the phone will ring – ok, just joking. I don’t know that there is a fast start. It took me a year to get going big. And I went hard for a year, without great rewards. But here it is, ‘don’t ever be in the office, the business is out there!’ I have also done all the training I could, with Glenn as our main coach, but I study everyone.
Aaron I was working hard early but I didn’t hit my stride for about 5 years. And I was motivated, but in some ways, I was an idiot, and add that together you get a motivated idiot. It took me about three years to get that concept that ‘follow up’ is a good idea. But treat the early years as an apprenticeship, as there is an incubation period, and you need to get through that. It just takes 18-24 points of contact with each client as quickly as possible, and continue that each year.
ROUND SIX ‘How do you deal with Agents who will work for a lesser fee?’
Aaron When you are new, get some good scripts and dialogues. One of my favourites is ‘No!’ Haha. But really, my answer is the relationship, developed by 18-24 points of contacts a year.
Chris Still say no (with a long, long pause.) It is part of the business, but I walk away if the seller insists on this ultimatum. There will always be people who want a discount, but I live by the ‘pick your client’ philosophy. But Aaron took my answer for that one, he wins that round.[The votes were counted with these three rounds to Aaron ‘The Hammer’ Shiner, landing a near knockout blow. So a sudden death question….]
ROUND SEVEN TIE BREAKER ‘How do you get more listings? Give us your best strategy?’
Aaron If people are looking for more listings right now, we send out a letter, with a picture of us, and the specific street on a graphic so it is personalised to each street. And – I say I am going to be in your street at this time next week, and that goes out on a Thursday. The following Wednesday we follow up with a call or door knock asking if they received the letter and tell them other people have taken us up on the offer, would they like us to drop in, just 15 minutes. Out of four weeks completing 100 letters and calls, we most often get up to 30 appraisals a month.
Chris I would not deviate from my strategy. My sold flyers, newsletter and database marketing is key, so I haven’t changed really since day one, but really I don’t do appraisals – I am going around to list the home!
[After a split decision, the votes were tallied, and very controversially ‘The Hammer’ was given the marginal call, but there is currently an inquiry into match fixing. We believe the real winners were the folks on the training, who will now take those strategies back to their marketplace, and help their sellers get their properties sold.]
To contact Chris, Aaron or to hear a replay of the full ‘Real Estate Smackdown’ event, go to www.RealEstateSmackDown.com.au. Glenn Twiddle is the ‘No BS Marketing and Success Trainer taking agents to #1 in their area in 2 years or less no matter where they are starting out. For more information, visit www.glenntwiddle.com.au.