Does Your Pipeline Need a Lifeline?

I’m always searching for great “Grow Your Business” tips and strategies from some of the best coaches and writers on the topic. My hope is that you will be able to take this information and implement it into your real estate business to help you grow!

Does Your Pipeline Need a Lifeline?
Denise Lones

Every agent should strive to build a referral-only business. The lion’s share of income should come from past clients, a strong database and the subsequent referrals.

However, if you – like many agents I know – are not generating the income that you need to generate, it is a sure sign that your referral business is not yet where it needs to be. This means you are going to have to add a lead generation program to your business to make up for what your referrals are not providing you.

A great referral business comes about – and continues to build – after an agent provides really great service. Clients come back for more, and are willing to refer friends and family, when they have a great experience. Referral business means you’re doing something right.

The problem is that oftentimes your referral business cannot sustain the now business that you may need to keep transactions in your pipeline and income coming in. The timing of your referral business rarely matches the timing you need to meet your financial obligations.

To be really successful, your goal should be to have business in your pipeline every single month. Too many agents live a peak & valley existence – scrambling for business when they have none, and hoping that they will somehow, magically, get that all-important referral phone call to save them.

Here’s something to think about: What happens if your current database isn’t keeping you financially able to meet your commitments? What if you’re not meeting your goals – or far worse, your obligations – because you simply don’t have enough business?

In that case, you absolutely must have a lead generation system to bridge the gap.You have to find a way to increase the reach of your business, in order to generate business.
The key is to create a lead generation system that fits your individual work style, and that you know in your heart you will focus on. Too many agents just grab any system that sounds like the easiest, then fail in frustration when it doesn’t match their style or their needs. Lead generation takes work, folks. It takes time and patience.

There are two types of lead generation: Active and Passive.
Active lead generation is where you are generating leads (i.e. potential business) in person or on the phone. It includes things like joining networking groups, teaching first-time-buyer classes, holding open houses, and contacting expired listing sellers and for-sale-by-owner sellers. You are the catalyst for this type of lead generation.

Passive lead generation means you don’t have to show up. People are hearing from you, but it’s through mail, email and print marketing. Passive lead generation includes things like geographical farming. It also can include cancelled and expired listings. Your ability to articulate your expertise is the catalyst for this type of lead generation.

The reality is you need to be doing something. You need to keep your pipeline full and get out of the peak & valley existence that you may be experiencing.

An agent in one of my coaching groups recently said, “I really dislike having to go out and look for business. It’s so time consuming, and it never works for me.” Yes, it’s hard work! Yes, it takes time! Yes, you have to plan for it, and then be patient enough to let your system take hold and work for you.

If you know your referral business isn’t matching your financial goals, take the first step. Find a lead generation system that meets your style and comfort level. Decide if you want to have an active system, or a passive system. Or a combination of both. Decide what group, or groups, you want to target. Is it buyers? Is it sellers who had a bad experience, but you know they want or need to sell? Build a system that keeps you in front of those folks on a very regular basis. And stick with it. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Here’s another question I get asked all the time. “How do I know when I can stop doing lead generation?” It is really quite simple. You can stop when you’re getting all of the income you need from your referral business.

Here’s how you know when you’re at that point:
First and most importantly, track the source of every transaction. Each year, you have to know how many transactions came from referrals, and how much income that business generated.

Determine your annual income goal and how much of that income needs to (or will likely) come from your referral business. As an example: If you need $100,000 of referral income, and in your market the average price home is $300,000, then you can assume that – based on a 3% commission rate per side – each referral-based transaction will bring you $9,000. That means you need 11 transactions each year that come from your referral business.
But let’s say last year you only had 6 transactions from referrals, and you had 5 transactions that came from open houses, sign calls or internet leads. You were short 5 referrals. You needed to somehow make up that lost referral income. The way to do that is by having a strong lead generation program.

Until you can safely say that your referral business is consistently providing you with the level of income you need, you will need to continue with a lead generation program.

Don’t get me wrong. I want you to build an awesome referral-based business. I want you to enjoy the benefits of your hard work. But a strong referral business takes years to cultivate! What if you’re a brand new agent? What if your current database isn’t as fruitful as you need it to be?

There are two things I want you to focus right now. Choose a lead generation system that is based on your needs, on your work style, and on your personality. Then just get it done.
Without a lead generation system you won’t survive. And you certainly won’t thrive.

Does Your Pipeline Need a Lifeline?

I’m always searching for great “Grow Your Business” tips and strategies from some of the best coaches and writers on the topic. My hope is that you will be able to take this information and implement it into your real estate business to help you grow!

Does Your Pipeline Need a Lifeline?
Denise Lones

Every agent should strive to build a referral-only business. The lion’s share of income should come from past clients, a strong database and the subsequent referrals.

However, if you – like many agents I know – are not generating the income that you need to generate, it is a sure sign that your referral business is not yet where it needs to be. This means you are going to have to add a lead generation program to your business to make up for what your referrals are not providing you.

A great referral business comes about – and continues to build – after an agent provides really great service. Clients come back for more, and are willing to refer friends and family, when they have a great experience. Referral business means you’re doing something right.

The problem is that oftentimes your referral business cannot sustain the now business that you may need to keep transactions in your pipeline and income coming in. The timing of your referral business rarely matches the timing you need to meet your financial obligations.

To be really successful, your goal should be to have business in your pipeline every single month. Too many agents live a peak & valley existence – scrambling for business when they have none, and hoping that they will somehow, magically, get that all-important referral phone call to save them.

Here’s something to think about: What happens if your current database isn’t keeping you financially able to meet your commitments? What if you’re not meeting your goals – or far worse, your obligations – because you simply don’t have enough business?

In that case, you absolutely must have a lead generation system to bridge the gap.You have to find a way to increase the reach of your business, in order to generate business.
The key is to create a lead generation system that fits your individual work style, and that you know in your heart you will focus on. Too many agents just grab any system that sounds like the easiest, then fail in frustration when it doesn’t match their style or their needs. Lead generation takes work, folks. It takes time and patience.

There are two types of lead generation: Active and Passive.
Active lead generation is where you are generating leads (i.e. potential business) in person or on the phone. It includes things like joining networking groups, teaching first-time-buyer classes, holding open houses, and contacting expired listing sellers and for-sale-by-owner sellers. You are the catalyst for this type of lead generation.

Passive lead generation means you don’t have to show up. People are hearing from you, but it’s through mail, email and print marketing. Passive lead generation includes things like geographical farming. It also can include cancelled and expired listings. Your ability to articulate your expertise is the catalyst for this type of lead generation.

The reality is you need to be doing something. You need to keep your pipeline full and get out of the peak & valley existence that you may be experiencing.

An agent in one of my coaching groups recently said, “I really dislike having to go out and look for business. It’s so time consuming, and it never works for me.” Yes, it’s hard work! Yes, it takes time! Yes, you have to plan for it, and then be patient enough to let your system take hold and work for you.

If you know your referral business isn’t matching your financial goals, take the first step. Find a lead generation system that meets your style and comfort level. Decide if you want to have an active system, or a passive system. Or a combination of both. Decide what group, or groups, you want to target. Is it buyers? Is it sellers who had a bad experience, but you know they want or need to sell? Build a system that keeps you in front of those folks on a very regular basis. And stick with it. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Here’s another question I get asked all the time. “How do I know when I can stop doing lead generation?” It is really quite simple. You can stop when you’re getting all of the income you need from your referral business.

Here’s how you know when you’re at that point:
First and most importantly, track the source of every transaction. Each year, you have to know how many transactions came from referrals, and how much income that business generated.

Determine your annual income goal and how much of that income needs to (or will likely) come from your referral business. As an example: If you need $100,000 of referral income, and in your market the average price home is $300,000, then you can assume that – based on a 3% commission rate per side – each referral-based transaction will bring you $9,000. That means you need 11 transactions each year that come from your referral business.
But let’s say last year you only had 6 transactions from referrals, and you had 5 transactions that came from open houses, sign calls or internet leads. You were short 5 referrals. You needed to somehow make up that lost referral income. The way to do that is by having a strong lead generation program.

Until you can safely say that your referral business is consistently providing you with the level of income you need, you will need to continue with a lead generation program.

Don’t get me wrong. I want you to build an awesome referral-based business. I want you to enjoy the benefits of your hard work. But a strong referral business takes years to cultivate! What if you’re a brand new agent? What if your current database isn’t as fruitful as you need it to be?

There are two things I want you to focus right now. Choose a lead generation system that is based on your needs, on your work style, and on your personality. Then just get it done.
Without a lead generation system you won’t survive. And you certainly won’t thrive.

5 Tips to Use Your Sphere of Influence to Double Your Income

5 Tips to Use Your Sphere of Influence to Double Your Income

by Maya Bailey

I find that so many of my clients avoid marketing when it comes to their sphere of influence. And yet statistics show that your sphere of influence can be the greatest source of referrals. This article shows you how to dig in and get the “gold.”

Tip 1: Define and Rate your Sphere of Influence.
When is the last time that you took a good look at your sphere of influence? What is the total? What are the categories in that group? Do you have past clients, friends, acquaintances, people you hardly know? Before you do anything else, go into your data base and group your sphere of influence in categories.
Do you know who in your sphere is likely to refer to you? Do you know who in your sphere already works with another agent? How many have moved away? Start deleting the inappropriate ones.
Be sure to ask all of them this question at some point: “If you were buying or selling a home do you have another real estate agent that could help you?” If they say “yes” delete them. There is no point in continuing, they are not prospects. By keeping in touch With your sphere of influence as we will describe below, you’ll begin to find out who is an A, B, C, or D.
A= someone likely to refer to you
B= someone who with a little more contact with you, would refer to you
C=Questionable
D= Delete

Tip 2: Send an item of value to your sphere each month.
In my 12+ years of coaching Real Estate agents to double their incomes, I am amazed at the fact that sometimes their sphere never gets a mailing. Or sometimes the mailing is not well thought out. I worked with a client today who admitted that the material she was sending to her sphere was standard and boring. We brainstormed about items of value that would be interesting, fun and unique. So far she has come up with recipes and inspiring quotes. What do you send to your sphere of influence?
Is it something you would want to receive and find valuable? If so, then I guarantee that your sphere will like it too. How many creative items of value can you come up with?

Tip 3: Overcome your blocks to calling your sphere.
Everyone I have ever worked with resists calling their sphere. They tell me things like:
“I don’t want them to think I want something from them”
“I’m afraid they won’t like me”
“I don’t want to be like a telemarketer”
The list goes on, but I think you get the idea. What you need to understand is that you’re a giver. When givers give to other givers, they get back. So, in other words, if you send an item of value, you are giving. When you chat with them and listen to what’s going on in their lives, you’re giving again. So at the end of the call, say something like, “Oh by the way, if you hear of anyone even whispering about buying or selling a home, please give me a call with their name and number.” Then say, “I’ll be happy to send referrals to your business, as well.” Guess what? You’re giving again.
After doing these calls monthly (after your mailings of items of value), you’ll begin to know your sphere of influence and they’ll know you. You’ll begin to learn which ones are your A’s, B’s, C’s and which ones to delete. Then what will happen is that you’ll be in their stream of consciousness. So you’re the first one they’ll think of when they think of real estate. Don’t be surprised if you get referrals in the first few weeks.

Tip 4: Be in the right mindset.
Don’t make these calls if you’re feeling anxious, upset or desperate. Remember, desperation doesn’t sell. So psych yourself up in the right mindset. Think of yourself as a giver and how happy they are going to be to hear from you. Tip: if you have been thinking negatively, switch your focus to what you are grateful for. That usually puts you in a much better mood to pick up the phone.

Tip 5: Make it a daily ritual.
Just like brushing your teeth, calling some people out of your sphere of influence is essential. Even one a day is OK. Only call several times a day if you want your income to raise quickly.
Decide when to make your calls and keep at it until you’ve reached the people you were trying to call. Expect that several weeks after doing this; it will feel a lot easier. An extra perk is that you’re going to be deepening some great relationships and you’ll experience the same pleasure of calling them us as you would with a good friend.

For more Real Estate Marketing tips, call The Home Inspection Man. 815 690-6903

What Is The Optimal Time to Ask for Referrals?

The Optimal Time to Ask for Referrals
by Joe Stumpf

As a Realtor or Lender, do you know the optimal time to ask your client for a referral?

Not an “OK” time, or a “good” time, but — the optimal time to ask for referrals?

The optimal time to ask for referrals is when you’re in the process of helping someone buy, sell, or borrow. This is when you’re in the most frequent contact with your client, and this is when you’re dazzling them with your world-class service.

During the transaction you’re acting as their:

Consultant:
You lead the process, ask important questions, and offer expert guidance and advice.

Negotiator:
You utilize your experience and skill to evaluate their options and help them make the best choices.

Transactional Details:
You manage paperwork, electronic communications, telephone calls, and hundreds of details to bring their transaction to a successful conclusion.

On a daily basis you’re anticipating problems, finding solutions, and sometimes working miracles. You’ve been known to leap tall buildings with a single bound. So right now, as you’re performing these feats, is the optimal time to ask for referrals.

And did you notice that it didn’t cost you anything?

But here’s the catch: Your clients don’t know that you want their referrals because you haven’t told them. Do not — repeat — do not assume that your efforts will prompt your clients to connect the dots and say, “World-class service like that deserves a referral!”

No. That does not happen.

Fortunately, it’s easy to let your clients know — right up front, in the first few minutes of your first meeting — that you want their referrals, and that you intend to earn them. Here’s the language you use:

“Mr. and Mrs. Client, my goal is for you to be so happy with the help I provide that you’ll gladly introduce me to at least two people you really care about before your transaction closes.”

With this one simple sentence you’ve:
Demonstrated your resolution to provide world-class service.
Clarified your commitment to the client being happy with their buying, selling, or borrowing experience.
Let the client know that their introductions are crucial to your business.

Then, in the days and weeks ahead, as you’re anticipating problems, finding solutions (and perhaps leaping a tall building or two), when your clients say “Thank you,” gently remind them,

“You’ll remember that at our first meeting I said my goal was for you to be so happy with the help I provide that you’ll gladly introduce me to at least two people you really care about before your transaction closes.

“The next time you’re in a conversation with a family member, friend or coworker and they say they really want to get out of their apartment and into their own home, or perhaps they’re expecting a baby and they need a larger home, or maybe they’re empty nesters and they’re ready to sell their house and get into a condo — please give me a call so we can discuss how I can help them.”

Delivering world-class service is how you earn referrals. Using this language is how you get them.

P.S from ‘The Home Inspection Man’ tell to call us fir their home inspection 