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The Friday Five for December 23

It being Christmas and all, I don’t want to overload you, so here are three to check out over the holidays. Consider it my gift to you. See you in the New Year!

Everyone says video is the way to go, but no one is really doing it. But, if you are, here three tips on using video, meaning YouTube, to drive traffic to your website or blog. Thanks to @smexaminer for this.

Ok, so last year they invented THE INTERNET. This year they invented SOCIAL MEDIA. Just in case you haven’t heard. I call them the Ten commandments of Social media but most would say they are just good solid tips from @theincreaserss

Have you ever wondered if there was a way to put a value on each Facebook fan you have? Here is an interesting post on just that topic by one of my favorites, @jeffbullas

Have a safe and fun holiday.



Mastermind for December 21st The Mighty Prospect Match

You know the old saying ‘things go better with Coke’?  Well, today’s Mastermind went better with a little champagne and orange juice. Despite the coming holidays, the diehards will always come out, champagne or no champagne. Anyway, if you missed it this morning we had an interesting discussion around TREB’s prospect match function.

An agent opened the discussion by talking about a stressful conversation she had with a client who was annoyed that a home was emailed to him in his morning prospect match. The client was of Asian decent and the home in question was across the street from a cemetery. While some may think ‘quiet neighbors’, many people of Asian decent are deeply superstitious of cemeteries. While it is important to understand the idiosyncrasies of different ethnic groups,   the story brought up an interesting conversation about explaining TREB’s prospect match to clients. One agent said that he screens all the prospect matches and then sends the appropriate ones to the client. Great idea when you have worked with a client for sometime and have a good relationship, but what you DON’T want is to have client surfing through and see a property that you missed or thought inappropriate and that is the one they specifically want to see. Another agent mentioned a situation where a client specifically needed a two car garage so when he set up the prospect match, he specified a two car garage. The client ended up buying a house with one car garage because the home exceeded every other expectation in what he was looking for and he was able make the mental adjustment and park one car on the street.  I mention this because often, clients purchase the exact opposite of what they set out to buy. Still another agent told the story of a client who ended up firing him because she thought he didn’t have a handle on what she wanted. In her mind, her wish list was simple; a historic post and beam loft. The agent set up his prospect match to send her properties listed as lofts. Unfortunately she was also automatically sent new loft style condominiums which are usually constructed with raw concrete. The agent thought that he didn’t adequately explain prospect matches well enough. The reality is that while the prospect match is a valuable tool for buyer clients, it is somewhat limited in its functionality. You cannot screen out certain streets or buildings. Lesson learned.
As I have stressed in past, communication is the cornerstone of our business. Part of the initial buyer consultation involves explaining automatic prospect matches. While you think you have an understanding of what a client wants, there is no way you will ever get in their heads enough to know what their hot buttons are.  A few last notes on prospect match; it is important to keep updating it. If you struck out on one criteria search, add more. If it is clear the client is dead set on one particular type of house, fine tune your search parameters. Finally, don’t forget to cancel the Prospect Match when you sell him a house. The last thing you want is to bring attention to the better house that came on the market a week after he bought.


Real Estate and Rocket Science

 When I think of rocket science, real actual rocket science, I think about a bunch of egg heads in white lab coats locked in an underground bullet proof command centre busily working on computers in a sterile white lab. The image is not terribly romantic unless the scientists in your imagination look like Natlie Portman or George Cluney. But, for a minute, think about the process behind rocket science. It starts with an idea based on certain principles like physics and mathematical laws. From there scientists develop theories, build models, and test their ideas. Eventually they  build the rocket and then start the whole process of testing and analyzing all over again. While the end result is the building of a highly sophisticated and safe rocket, either meant to transport people or deliver explosives, the steps needed to get there are the same as they are for building a blender or a real estate career. I’m not suggesting that we are rocket scientists, just that if we break down the process of being a successful real estate agent into measurable steps, we can take a lot of the guesswork out of the equation. The good news is that no one needs to discover anything new. You just need to copy what the good guys do.

At its most simplistic level, The successful  sales process is really divided into  seven essential steps. Prospect, create a relationship, analyze a clients need, present them with options, negotiate an offer, close the deal, and provide detailed follow-up service.  Like building a rocket, There is no shortcut to the process, and for the most part, the steps must be accomplished in order. Once you fully understand the steps then you simply repeat them over and over again. One last note;  I have yet to meet a single successful part-time real  estate agent. I can only assume its the same for  rocket scientists. So, the next time someone says real estate is not rocket science, tell them to think again because it kinda is.   

Have a great week.

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