Saturday, October 20, 2012

It's been a while

Well yes, it's certainly been a while since I've written here.  This has been an interesting year for me businesswise and in August I decided to take a break from The Real Estate Success Network.  Even I get burned out after a while.  I've still been helping our current members as needed and they are now grandfathered into our membership of the new site that will be launching in the next month or so.

In the end, I love teaching and helping others succeed in Real Estate, especially using the programs that I have developed.  I'll continue doing the coaching which is very fun.  Right now I'm full as I only work with 5 Agents at any one time.

A few of the things we have been working on during the break:

1. We have been making significant changes to our LCA program in the way be drill down our searches and the transitions from Agent to LCA and back to Agent.  So far it looks good, but I'll hold judgement until after the first of the year.

2.  When looking at our numbers, it made sense that we are going to average 1.5 sales per agent per month.  Yes, I have Agents that are averaging up to 3 sales per month, but I have to look at the averages when running a brokerage.  For that reason we have decided to go out and recruit more agents and bring our total to 30.

3.  Recruiting of course is a challenge but I have been working with my LCA's in our recruitment efforts.  Since I have never recruited before, this is new territory for me.  Luckily, it has worked out better than I could have expected.  We started interviewing the first week of October and interviewed 20 Agents.  Out of the 20, we found 4 that we thought would fit our team.  Our LCA's will be continuing to set up appointments and we have scheduled another training session for new agents in mid November.  My goal is at least 6 more Agents.  We should hit 30 by the end of the year.

If all goes as expected, and we average 1.5 sales per month, then we will hit our goal of 45-50 sales per month in 2013.  We shall see.

4.  Rebuilding The Real Estate Success Network - This has been a goal of mine for a while.  We are building more of a shopping cart platform where our members will have access to a lot of free content, and will be able to purchase webinars based on their needs.  I felt this might be a better way to increase the business and keep in affordable to all our future members.  We have run into a few problems with the platform we are using and I'm hoping to resolve these shortly.  My goal would be to get the new site up and running by mid November.

5. Listings - With the Real Estate Market in Florida changing quickly, and inventory at a 6 year low, I have started testing a few different campaigns to generate listings.  Right now I'm testing an online program (so far nothing good to report) and we are getting ready to do something I know most Realtors won't do...list homes for free in specific neighborhoods we want to dominate.  This is very exciting and once I test it the first week of November, I'll be putting together a webinar on the subject.

6.  Mindset - I've realized, well I've actually known, that for me to excel at all my businesses, my mind has to be in the game at all time.  Coaching has really helped me to focus more on my most important aspects of each company.  The hardest part of this is time management, which I know all of you can relate too.  However, it also has to do with keeping a very positive attitude, treating people with respect, having a genuine desire to help others, and constantly be growing.  If you stop growing you are dying.

With that said, even if I'm not on here very often these days, I'm still here.  I'm still tweaking our lead conversion programs and still coming up with new ways of generating real estate customers.  If you need me, just drop me a note.  Have a great night and keep on smiling!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Year End Stats - 2011

I’m putting together stats from the past year and have come across two important stats that I wanted to share with everyone. Hopefully it will show the importance of building relationships quickly.

Stat 1

2008 or earlier - 15%
2009 - 22%
2010 - 27%2011 - 37%

Look at the numbers from 2010 and earlier, 63% of our sales are because of our systems of listing updates and follow up phone calls. This is all that matters. If we did nothing with those leads, we would get exactly that from them....nothing!

Stat 2

This one is based on the 37% of our buyers this year that bought from leads in 2011.

41% bought within 90 days
38% bought within 180 days
21% bought within 365 days

What does that tell us? To me it looks like most buyers are buying within 90 days even though our average has been consistent at 233 days the past couple years. This means if we do a better job of getting hold of our leads sooner verse later, we can turn sales quicker. Also, for those Agents that only try to get hold of a lead once, this should show you that you need to be on top of your leads and call multiple times to earn their business because if they are going to buy in that 90 day window, you don't have much time.


As much as follow up with leads is crucial for long term conversion, be sure that you are calling your new leads at least 3-4 times to get hold of them. The stats above say we are probably missing a ton of sales by not getting hold of these leads quickly and building a relationship with them.

If you have an LCA, once you know the Agent has made contact, follow behind them and give the lead a quick call to introduce yourself and let them know that you and your “assistant” will be doing everything we can to help them find their home. Ultimately they have to like you, the Agent, if they are going to use you. If there relationship is just with an LCA, then you have not built any trust or relationship which will lower their loyalty level to you.

Monday, October 24, 2011

LCA Changes

So you all know I'm a huge advocate of taking lead conversion out of Agents hands. This week we have made one step closer by implementing a new position called an IML (Internet Marketing Liaison).

What I've realized over the past year is even thour our LCA's do a great job of calling our leads, their talents are wasted on the prospecting part of our business. Our IML will fill that part of our business model now and do all our prospecting on leads we have never been able to get in touch. This will allow the LCA's to concentrate on more active and revenue generating leads.

In the end, it's about helping as many our leads (customers) buy and sell homes. The best way we can help them is by creating systems that help my Agents. With the new way we are doing things, the LCA will now also be making our first call to our new leads. They will now ensure that each of our new registrations will be called multiple times until we get hold of them. Currently our Agents call once, maybe twice, and then let it go. It's all about maximizing.

My next webinar in two weeks is going to go over our first two weeks or results with our new IML program. I'm looking forward to helping everyone understand this process as I believe it's a game changer.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quick update on paying LCA's

Of course in life there are always challenges. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. In this case we lost.

As you know I"m a big advocate of our LCA program. We have paid them as independent contractors since we started testing the program 4 years ago. Unfortunately one of our LCA's left last year and filed for unemployment. This triggered and investigation as to whether LCA's are employees or independent contractors from the Department of Revenue.

We had our appeals hearing last week and unfortunately we lost and now have to add our LCA's as employees. In addition, we will have to pay back unemployment taxes and payroll taxes on these "employees".

So with that said, you have a few choices. You can pay them as employees, or you can pay them just commission and pay them as independent contractors. The reason we lost was that they had set hours and we paid them a base pay.

Just wanted to give you an update in case you are using this program!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Interesting stats

At the end of June I was asked a question which I didn't know the answer. I was asked what percentage of our closings are from the current year leads. Interesting I thought since I have never done that equation. Of course that made me have my stat girl, take a look at our 2011 sales through the end of June. Here are the stats:

48% of our sales came from leads from 2011
25% of our sales came from leads from 2010
27% of our sales came from leads from 2009 and earlier.

This isn't off from what I had thought they would be. In fact, it solidifies my belief that those Agents who stay in touch with their customers will have more sales. I know I'm always hounding everyone about the importance of building relationships, and this is the reason why. More than 50% of our sales come from leads that are 9 months or more old.

If you are complaining because business and bad and you are broke, pick up the phone and within a short time your life will change!

Call your leads!!!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

To charge or not to charge

I can't believe it's been over a month since I posted. I've been quite busy evaluating my Real Estate company and making decisions to take the company to the next level. It does seem no matter how much I want to help my Agents become all they can be, I have trouble getting sustainable momentum from them. Over the past couple months I have been working on this and trying to figure it out.

Basically, through all my work, I have figured out that I can't really motivate the Agents. They must reach inside themselves and decide if they really have what it takes to be a top Agent. They are certainly great people and have all the tools at their disposal, but yet they just can't take that next step.

With this said, in our last office meeting, I was discussing what is holding them back to reaching their potential. One of the Agents made a pretty strong statement. He said, "until you are threatening our jobs, we probably won't work any harder". That hit me pretty hard because he is probably right!

This coming week I'm meeting with my core staff. These are a mixture of Agents that have been with me for at least 4 years. We are going to discuss where and how we are going to bring our brokerage to the next level. My mind is leaning toward a pay system for the Agents. Meaning, they will be charged a monthly fee for leads which will go away based on closings. The problem I'm finding with most teams operating a similar model to me is the lack of financial buy in by the Agents. With this system, the Agents do have a buy in but also have the ability to not pay anything based on closings. I'm hoping this will increase the Agents dedication to the leads and generating business on their own.

The question, to charge Agents or not to charge. If I had to do it again, I would certainly have charged a monthly fee, probably around $200 - $250 per month. If they have one closing it would go down to $100. If they had two closings it would go down to 0. If they had 3 closings they will receive a credit to use during a month they might be slow and so on. I believe that the buy in might be just what the doctor ordered to increase sales.

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day and You

I hope you are having an awesome weekend so far. I've been thinking a lot lately why I'm so determined to help all of you reach your potential. I have been alone most of the weekend while my wife is in Chicago. Lot's of time to think about things....which as you know, may or may not be a good thing for me! But today, Memorial Day, has always been one of my favorite holidays. I don't know how many of you take what we have for granted, but you shouldn't. We have everything we have today because of our brave soldiers who have fought for our country throughout its existence. If it weren't for those brave men and women over the years, our country would look much different than it does today. I think about this often, but today I think about it with the memory of all those soldiers...all those kids. So why should you put forth the effort to grow your business? If for no other reason, do it in their memory. They gave their lives and they continue to do this today, so you can have the opportunity to be all you can be. (ok, that line might have been a little corny). You have so much opportunity and so much potential and it's totally up to you to deliver. It's not about delivering to me, it's about delivering to yourself. Sometimes we get caught up in just how difficult life can be...but you must take a look at your opportunities, not the difficult parts of life. These kids who gave their lives for you did not have a chance to live like you and I. They were 19, 20, 21 and their short lives were given so you and I can pursue our goals, our dreams and cherish our families. So as you enjoy your memorial day with your family, and I certainly hope you do, think of these young adults and use this as the wheel in motion to help get you going where you are destine to go. It's your life, you have complete control over whether you get up each day and take the bull by the horns or make another excuse on why you couldn't do whatever you had to do. There will always be excuses, it's up to you if you let them control your destiny or if you take control and go for it! Happy Memorial Day! Thank you so much our veterans, our current soldiers and our fallen soldiers. You inspire me!