Well its good to be back. As I mentioned in the video it has been tough getting out over the last few months but the weather has finally turned. Seriously, not running made me completely squirrely. It’s one thing to work out but running gave me so much more. Basically, I have a busy life. I truly need those few hours of meditative time to put everything into perspective, think about what I need to focus on, and flex my creative muscles. So, back to running. This run was one of the early ones I did in March so I was feeling the burn in my legs. It made me think about this topic.
Do you know the pain you get after a hard workout? All your muscles hurt. Usually its a sign that you “done good”. Prospecting pain is kind of like that. All the prospecting you’ve done is paying off and you are exhausted from being so frigging busy. You complain about not having a moment to yourself but secretly you love it. The truth is prospecting should never really hurt but you might want to consider that it should at least be painful. Like exercising, you have to shake it up from time to time. If you exercise the same muscles over and over again the gains you make start to diminish. Think about door knocking. Sure it works but you can’t really do it in the dead of winter. The snow and cold gives you the opportunity to try something different. The point of all this? While prospecting has to be a daily routine, you can’t just use one channel. Shake it up, try something new. Naturally I would love your input on what you do to “shake it up”. Have a great day!
mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.
I think I may have come to the proverbial end of the road when it comes to my blogging on prospecting. I’ve said it often enough, prospecting and running are very similar. So on yesterday’s run, my 89th of the year, I decided to figure out how much money I would have made if I stayed true to my rules on prospecting.
Imagine this; Your goal was to contact 10 people for every time I ran. Just so we are clear, when I talk about prospecting I’m talking about meaningful real estate discussions that last more than a few minutes. So you’ve talked to 1000 people (100 runs times 10 people).Now, the general rule of thumb for prospecting is that every 50 meaningful conversations will get you a buyer or a seller contract. That means that you signed 20 contracts over the course of the year. Guess what? If you work in Toronto you are doing better than 3/4’s of all TREB agents already. For simple math lets assume that the average commission is $5,000 because, as a new agent, you are doing a few rental deals in there too. This year you have made a pretty decent living.
Prospecting is a simply thing to do once you sit down and put your mind to it. As I have found, it is much harder to do it consistently. Just like running, there are a lot of excuses for not getting out of bed at 5:30 in the morning and hitting the pavement for an hour. What I have learned is that prospecting, like running, can be habit-forming and that is the true key to success. Sure, lots of things can get in your way, and it’s easy to roll over and go back to sleep. The hard part is to take the first step. You get out of bed one leg at a time, right?
So what’s the goal for the next year? How about keeping it simple. Hear’s the funny thing about consistent prospecting that is a real bonus for the following years. Remember those 1000 people who you talked to? They are still prospects. You still have 980 people who you didn’t sign a contract with, so in year two you can add them into your next 1000. You are bound to pick up a couple from the first 1000 and another 20 from the next 1000. See how it works? It’s the sales funnel in action!
Well, I’m going to keep running as long as my knees and back hold up. Now I just have to think about other things to blog about. Any ideas?
Well lets start off by saying that there is absolutely no point prospecting if you forget to follow-up with an interested person. I know at one time or other we are all guilty of the “forgotten follow-up”. It happens innocently enough. You meet a person at an open house. They are interested in looking at a house a couple of streets over so you jot down their name and number and promise to follow up. They tell you that they are out-of-town for a few days and ask you to touch base the following weekend. The note gets scribbled on a piece of paper somewhere and is forgotten. The next weekend passes but you’re tired and don’t feel like calling today. The next day, your cat has kittens so you promise yourself that you will call the next day. The next day comes and goes. Eventually you sit down and call the guy and the call goes something like this;
Ring ring… Hi this is Mark, we met at my open house a few weeks ago. I know you were interested in that house a few blocks over and I just wanted to touch base to see if you want to see it. Oh, I see, you called the agent directly? Oh, well, I knew you were away and ummm, and then my cat had kittens and ummmm…. Oh, you bought it? Wow, ok. Well, um, hopefully we can stay in touch. Click.
What’s that sound? That’s the sound of my stomach going thud! But there is an even more disturbing potential ending. That involves you forgetting to call altogether OR postponing it to the point where you are now too embarrassed to call. It never fails however…you will bump into that person later and there will be a very awkward moment to contend with. You see, our job is to always be prospecting. There are some interesting statistics out there on how many calls you have to make with a potential prospect before they become a solid client. I have heard that number is as high as eight calls to convert a perfect stranger you met at an open house into a buyer (or seller). I’m not sure I am terribly surprised.
Contact with your sphere, whether it is past ,current of future clients, should be a priority in your life. Luckily there are a number of tools available today to make this task easier. Have you heard the term CRM? It stands for Customer Relationship Management. A fancy buzzword for staying in touch. There are a number of different companies that offer versions perfectly suited for the real estate industry. Top Producer and iXact are just two and there are a bunch more. If you are so inclined you may just decide to plug names into your phone’s daytimer or use your Outlook. Like everything, it takes time to make the action of adding names to your database a habit.
My top agent would be lost without her CRM system. Every morning it alerts her to call 5 past clients. These are simply catch up calls to say hi and stay in the client’s head or maybe it’s to wish them a Happy Birthday. Then it’s on to new business and touching base with new clients. There is no question that a CRM system is an invaluable tool of our trade and to get better, you have to use it. As a runner, I firmly believe in my heart rate monitor. It keeps me going. I know when to speed up and when to slow down. Ultimately it keeps me training at a constant level and I can monitor my performance more accurately.
That’s it for this week.