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Archive for March 2011

25
Mar

Go Online to get Offline

I have a few “Post its” stuck to my computer screen at work. On them are little notes, tidbits, sound bites that I pick up and somehow identify with. One that continually draws my attention simply says; get online to go offline. I picked it up from a lecture, given by Jonathan Lister, head of LinkedIn Canada, which we hosted in our office a while back.

I stare at that little note occasionally and try to make sense of it. Get online to go offline. It makes sense. We work so hard at building our online presence. Whether you are self employed or a huge corporation, there is a tremendous amount of investment going on in Social media. To coin the words of my Uncle Charlie from L.A., that’s all good.  But, and there is usually a “but”, none of that will work if you don’t have the content, experience, history or skills to back up what you are putting out online.

Real estate is a people business. Good agents excel because they make a connection with their clients. They are personable first and foremost. They know when to talk and when to keep quiet. They look you in the eye when they talk and they speak with knowledge, confidence and enthusiasm. These aren’t skills that can be easily learned. Certainly they can be fine tuned, but in reality, success is a confidence game. Recently I had a discussion with one of my newer agents. He was worried about going on his first listing presentation. He had done a great job developing his web presence, but now he was about to put himself on the line. My advice was to springboard off the successes he had in his previous job and build his verbal presentation around the skill set that made him a star in his previous job.

Statistics show that people looking to buy or sell real estate start their search on the internet so, in this hyper competitive world, a solid online presence is a must but to catapult your career you need to build your communication skills. Real estate websites should be considered simply as online business cards. They are the point of introduction.  It is up to you to show your personality and build rapport.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent the opinions of Bosley Real Estate Ltd.

9
Mar

Simple Ways to Increase Your Business, Part 1

A few weeks ago, our office hosted an informal gathering of company agents to listen to Jonathan Lister, LinkedIn’s Country Manager for Canada.  For the hour plus discussion, Jonathan showed us how we can use LinkedIn to propel us to the next level in our business, actually, any business.  I came away with eight really great bullet points that I hope to discuss in future blogs, but the one that stood out the most almost seemed the easiest, and is probably the one we are most afraid to ask our current clients for. Do you know what it is?

Answer; A recommendation.  Why are we afraid to ask for a simple recommendation? Most people would agree that they don’t ask because they think it is beneath them, or cheesy, or they simply don’t want to put their clients on the spot. Maybe it is as simple as the fact that you did a bad job.   A thousand years ago, I attended one of those rah rah sales training seminars and the instructor did some role playing about calling past clients. He always ended the conversation with “Ok Mr. Seller, great talking to you oh and by the way, do you know anyone who is thinking about selling?”  I have to be honest, if I were Mr. Seller, I would instantly draw a blank. I don’t like the idea of putting anyone on the spot like that.

It has been proven time and time again that people are many times more likely to try a product or service if it has been recommended to them. When was the last time you picked up the phonebook or looked on line to find a body shop for your car? You don’t. You call your friends and ask them to recommend one to you.  Same goes with real estate. If your experience as a buyer or seller was bad or sloppy, your next choice in a realtor will most likely come as a result of a recommendation from a friend or associate.

So, how do you get recommendations and how do you use them? Start by doing a great job. Great recommendations are earned by exceptional work. After the deal is done, have your completely satisfied buyer or seller write a little note to your manager or broker. Call them and thank them for the kind words and ask if you can use their note in your marketing (minus last names and addresses of course). Post your recommendations on your website and your blog and make them easy to find. If you and your client are connected through Facebook or LinkedIn, ask them to post a recommendation there as well. Use recommendations on flyers, newsletters, brochures and even feature sheets.  In this day and age they must be one of the fundamental building blocks of your business.

The views expressed in this blog may or may not be the views of Bosley Real estate Ltd.

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