If it’s true that 95% of all real estate transactions are done by 5% of agents (and it IS true), why is that and how can you make sure that you are in that 5%?
The typical agent is so overwhelmed with the urgent that they aren’t able to focus on the important. They are controlled by their cell phone and email; what was intended to be a tool for increased efficiency has become a brutal tyrant that determines every action, every day.
The reasons for this are either a lack of systems or systems that are underutilized because they are not automated. In order for your business to function like a business, it has to produce consistent, reproducible, and predictable results. The only way to accomplish this is to implement systems that will enable your entire business to run on autopilot.
This isn’t to say that you never do any work, but rather that because of the systems you have in place, anyone could step in at anytime and follow that system without causing your business to come to a screeching halt.
Customer Relationship Management
If you’ve been in real estate for more than 24 hours, you have heard that your business is your database. It’s surprising then to realize that many agents don’t actually understand that value of their database. When you are new in the business, it can be tempting to “make do” with Outlook or something similar, but once you’ve been in business any length of time, you feel locked in to a program that is entirely inadequate.
The best database is a Customer Relationship Management software (CRM). There are several popular ones to choose from including Top Producer, Red Tools, and The Wise Agent. They all provide the ability to create action plans that remind you to make calls, send emails, schedule inspections, and every other task associated with your transaction. It takes a little time to set up and personalize the action plans, but by investing the effort required, you set yourself up to win before you start.
Your database should be seen as a living, breathing part of your business that needs to be nurtured and fed on a daily basis if it is to grow and thrive. This leads to the next important aspect of your business.
Automated Lead Sources
It is possible to comb through your MLS and filter out all the expired listings on a daily basis and to drive through your farm area and make note of all the For Sale By Owners, but finding leads this way is extremely time and labor intensive. A much better option is to invest in a service such as The RedX or MapsLead, that provides a daily update of all area FSBO’s and Expired Listings.
Another option is to contact your local title companies for their Notice of Default (NOD) list. This is a list of area homeowners who are behind on their mortgages and candidates for short sales or foreclosure.
Whether you choose one option or all of them, the key is to put the leads into your CRM and set each of them up on an action plan specific to their individual need. Once you do that, the process becomes automated and all you have to do is exactly what your CRM tells you to do on a daily basis.
Your database and your automated lead sources won’t guarantee your success if you don’t make the time to actually follow the action plans you’ve assigned to your leads. The only way—not the “best” way, but the ONLY way—to accomplish this is to time block.
The important thing to understand about the term “time blocking” is that it is dedicated to the accomplishment of the task for which it is set aside. This means to the exclusion of everything else.
Don’t take incoming calls, don’t check email, and do not even think about updating your social media!
Your schedule should look like this:
9 am—noon: Call leads as directed by your CRM. This is the time to focus on the true money making activities. This is a three-hour block of time and should not be shortened for any reason; if you get through your list in two hours, keep calling the ones who you did not reach the first time.
1pm—4pm: If you don’t currently have an assistant, this is when you take care of all the $10 an hour work.
4pm—7pm: Buyer and/or Seller Appointments.
If you work with a lot of buyers, you will obviously work on weekends, but if you are like many of my coaching clients and focus solely on listings, you can schedule your appointments during the week and then delegate your buyer leads to a buyer’s agent.
If you have applied these tactics to your business, it won’t be long before you find that you are again overwhelmed, but this time with the amount of business you are generating. This is the time to leverage and begin growing your team.
Your first hire should be a transaction coordinator who will take over the details from contract to close. If you aren’t spending your time scheduling inspections, dealing with the title company and the attorneys, you will have that much more time to negotiate more contracts.
You can expect to pay around $300 per transaction, but unlike an hourly employee, they are paid at closing from the transaction fee that is charged to the client.
Your next hire will be a buyer’s agent who will enable you to focus on listings and delegate buyer leads. At this point your business should be working like a well-oiled machine with leads consistently filling your pipeline.
Once you have a transaction coordinator and buyer’s agent, you will be ready to hire an executive assistant. This is an hourly wage employee who will do the administrative tasks that most agents become overwhelmed with and that keeps so many from reaching the highest levels of success.
This entire process can be completed in 35-45 days if you focus on the 20% activities that garner the 80% of your results. The key is pigheaded discipline on a daily basis; repetition breeds mastery.
If what you are currently doing isn’t working and you aren’t in the 5% of agents who are absolutely dominating your market, make a commitment today to make a change. Get a contact management database, automate your lead sources, time block for maximum efficiency, and delegate for leverage and growth.
For more information, tips, and tools for growing your business, check out my website at www.hosspratt.com.
Please join the conversation and leave a comment below.
(These are just a few of the tips that I cover in-depth in my coaching and training products. If you’d like more details about these and other strategies check out www.FREELIVECALLS.com, where you also get my proven lead generation systems, scripts, live prospecting calls with complete transcripts, and more.)