A sphere of influence is something every real estate agent has or should have. Whether it be friends, family, former business associates or classmates, or others that you know through some aspect of your life, these are people that know you and have gained some sort of influence from you, even if just a small amount. These people make up your sphere of influence.

Here at REDX, we know how important it is for real estate agents to continually expand their network and grow their business. As a real estate agent, you should always want to grow this group of people, as it can become a great source of referral business as time goes on. Here are some tips on how you can implement your sphere of influence in the most productive way possible.

Keep Your Sphere Organized
It’s important to keep track of past, current and potential clients in your sphere of influence. Doing so is important so you can review who is in your sphere, how long they have been there, and how you have assisted them. This can be organized in many ways, including a database program or even index cards on a ring. Always review your data so you are sure that the information is continuously updated and to keep track of new people you have added and how often you are doing so. Creating a manageable system saves time in the long run and keeps you organized.

Categorize Your Lists
Once you have your sphere organized and listed, you’ll want to categorize all of the people in this group so you can identify each of them effectively. Categorizing them into different groups adds another layer of ease to managing your sphere of influence when you need to contact someone in the group. Something you should also include in these categories is information on the best way to contact each person or group (i.e. email, text message, phone calls).

Develop Custom Announcements
If there are several ways in which you need to contact the different groups in your sphere of influence, develop a script for each method that will best help you reach each person and tell them about your business. The script should be a simple form of “Hello (name), I wanted to let you know about a new career that I have begun. I am a real estate agent in (town). If you are planning a real estate transaction or know someone that is, please recommend me and keep me in mind.” Always include your contact information.

REDX helps Real Estate Professionals list more homes with Expired, FSBO, and Pre-foreclosure leads. We are trusted because of our verified High Octane™ data quality. Leads are delivered through the REDX Lead Manager, which allows you to dynamically sort, search, and systematize your leads to fit your prospecting style and niches.

As a real estate agent, you wear many different hats. You play the role of a salesperson, an analyst, a consultant, a negotiator, and a marketer. There are many other responsibilities you must also take charge of, including accommodating your clients and meeting their needs on their time, anytime they need assistance.

Even when the market is slow, there is always a high demand for real estate agents. Before you decide to take the plunge into this career, there are some things you must consider and prepare for in order to be a successful, dependable real estate agent.

Be Flexible
Being a real estate agent comes with a lot of responsibility and requires real time commitment. Be prepared to be flexible with time. Your hours will be inconsistent and long, and will often include evenings and weekends. You also need to be able to make time for your clients, often at a minute’s notice.

Treat Real Estate As a Business, Not a Hobby
If you treat your job as a real estate agent more as a hobby than a business, you may tend to be more careless about it. Real estate is a business to be taken seriously. After all, it’s about money, and when you’re careless with something that involves money, you tend to lose it. Being a real estate agent makes you an independent contractor, and it’s up to you to manage your own business and set your own business model. Remain professional in order to achieve success and remain in a positive light for your current and potential clients.

Know The Importance of Relationships
Real estate is all about who knows you, and who you know. Real people are the ones who keep your business afloat, and it’s easy to get distracted by technology and paperwork. Put down the iPad and get out there to maximize your relationships with people. Involve yourself and your business in the community to get the word out there about your services. Show that you are interested in your local surroundings by becoming a visible source that people can get to know personally and learn that they can rely on. Once you solidify relationships, however, you can’t stop there. It’s important to continually maintain these connections through follow-ups with clients that you may have sold or purchased a house for in the past, or even someone that you spoke to about potentially working with. Each connection has a value and can be one more step to business success.

Be Prepared to Dig Deep
Real estate isn’t just about finding a house that matches a client’s basic needs. You will need to dig deep and do your research to find a house that meets the specific and basic needs of your client. This research includes getting to know as much about your client as you can. Ask plenty of questions, simple and detailed, so you know about their personal preferences in what kind of place they would like to call home.

Becoming a real estate agent and paving your own road to success will take a lot of time, so it is important to be patient. If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us 800-731-7339 for the best in real estate solutions and increased listings today.

Woman-plugging-earsIf you’ve prospected to expired leads this January or in winters past, odds are you’ve heard something along these lines: “We’re going to wait until Spring.” It’s the quintessential winter objection an owner uses to get the agent off the line. What you need to help them realize is that now is the time to sell. Not just the proverbial “NOW,” but NOW as in January 2014. You may not have much time to do so, but this is what you need your potential clientele need to understand:

Supply and Demand
Welcome back to Economics 101. We’ve talked about supply and demand before on the REDX blog, but here we go again. For any product, the more available it is to consumers, the less value it has. This applies to houses just as much as anything else. As a market saturates with more and more homes going up for sale, the average price of those homes drops. Competition drives lower prices. The more scarce the houses are in a market, the more expensive they become.

So What?
So where are we going with this? How does this supply and demand stuff apply to January 2014 and the cranky expired lead telling you they’re going to wait? It applies because Spring 2014 is going to be a competition nightmare. It happens every year: the vast majority of sellers wait until the spring and summer to put their homes up on the market.

While you have them on the phone, you’ve got to help the expired leads understand that waiting is only positioning them to compete with far more houses than if they listed now. Competing with more houses in the spring will push down the price of their home and they will end up netting less money to use on their next purchase.

Winter is for Sellers
January is one of the best times to list because there is far less competition. Listing in winter also attracts far more committed buyers. If someone is purchasing a house in January, it’s usually because they have to. With motivated buyers and fewer houses, the sellers will have the upper hand once it comes time to negotiate price. Make sure your prospects know this now before they lose thousands by waiting till summer.

If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us 800-731-7339 for the best in real estate solutions and increased listings today.

About Jefferson Snow
Jefferson Snow is a member of the Sales team at REDX and loves to help real estate agents find success with REDX. He lives in Utah with his amazing wife Callie.

smart goal setting conceptJanuary is a time for recommitment, a time for resolutions, and a time for goals. In any business, setting goals is crucial. Real estate is no exception. Even more crucial than setting goals, however, is setting the right goals.

It’s easy to say, “I want to do $250k in commissions this year.” The hard part is knowing all the little goals to set that will give yourself the best chance of accomplishing the bigger one. The key is setting SMART goals.

You may have heard of this type of goal setting before. Thousands of companies use the SMART model, including us at REDX. The concept of the SMART goal has been around since the 80’s, but the reason people are still talking about it today is because SMART goals are goals worth making, even for real estate agents.

As you may or may not know, SMART is an acronym for a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. More than likely, setting multiple SMART goals is needed to help you create a path to follow that will let reach your year’s overarching objective. With the end goal of $250k in mind, let’s break down this goal using the lens of the SMART concept:

  • Specific
    A SMART goal is specific. If your goal is to “be a better agent,” what does that really mean? What does it really require? How many different ways can that be interpreted? Setting a specific goal focuses you, gives you one destination to move toward instead of dividing your efforts inefficiently. So setting a goal of $250k is specific because it’s a hard, concrete, defined number. However, this goal is not specific when you consider “how” you’re supposed to get there. A more specific goal would be one that gets you on the path of $250k.  An example might be “go on three appointments per week.”
  • Measurable
    $250k is measurable. It isn’t vague or abstract like “get better at prospecting.” However when you set one measurable for the entire 12 monts, you don’t have much opportunity to evaluate your efforts as you move through the year. A more measurable goal would be to “talk to 25 new contacts per day.”
  • Attainable
    For many agents, $250k is very attainable. But whether you’re aiming for $250k or $100k, earning that money still has a measure of uncertainty that you yourself cannot control. Effort does not always equate to exact dollar results because, sadly, you can’t ultimately control whether people give you their listing. That’s why it’s important to set attainable goals. These goals are those that you can control with near complete exactness. A good attainable goal would be “calling for 90 minutes per prospecting session.”
  • Relevant
    SMART goals are relevant. To know if a goal is relevant, ask these questions about it:
    - Is this goal needed/worthwhile?
    - Does this goal take my business in the direction I want it to go?
    - Is now the right time to chase this goal?
    If you can answer yes to these, your aim is probably relevant. Maybe shooting for $250k isn’t relevant if you only did $60k last year. Maybe a goal of $100k would be more relevant this year, leaving $250k for later.
  • Time-Bound
    SMART goals are attached to a certain time frame. $250k this year is a time-bound goal, but an even better time bound goal are the ones that can be accomplished on a monthly, weekly, or even monthly basis. A good Time-Bound goal would be “devoting 5 mornings a week to prospecting.”

Hopefully these examples helped. Now it’s time to make your own goals. Remember to write them down, put them in a place where you and others can see them, and be accountable to people around you for not completing them. Go make 2014 an awesome year!

About Jefferson Snow
Jefferson Snow is a member of the Sales team at REDX and loves to help real estate agents find success with REDX. He lives in Utah with his amazing wife Callie.

If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us for the best real estate solutions and increased listings today.

handshakeIn a recent blog post from Keeping Current Matters, the KCM crew enumerated the several negotiations an owner must go through if they plan on selling their home on their own. For Sale By Owners have a lot of hoops to jump through to get all these negotiations done on their own. Here’s the  list of whom  FSBOs they will need to be prepared to negotiate with:

1. The buyer who will be fighting tooth and tail to get the lowest price they can.

2. The buyer’s agent who will be fighting for the best deal for their client.

3. The buyer’s attorney (in some states).

4. The home inspectors the buyer has hired.

5. The pest control companies if needed.

6. The buyer’s lender in some special mortgage structures.

7. The appraiser if the price is challenged.

8. Sometimes title companies.

9. Sometimes city or municipality officials if there are permit issues.

10. The buyer’s buyer if there are hiccups in selling their home.

11. Your bank if you’re doing a short sale.

The list is pretty daunting. If an owner saw this, they might think twice about going the FSBO route. Most people don’t have experience negotiating deals like these. As a real estate agent, you eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff. When prospecting to FSBOs, it is imperative that you make sure you relay this to them. Your whole job is to navigate the many hurdles and negotiate the many deals that will certainly come your way while selling a home. Ask them who they want conducting these deal: Someone with no experience, or someone who does it to put food on their table?

This concept reminds me of post we did earlier in the year. It was an interview with one of our power users, Larry Farris. During his interview he focused on what he called “negotiating from a position of power.” What he means by this is that he actually has a network of attorneys, home inspectors, and other real estate professionals that will help him price a property right at the beginning and make it impossible for buyers to badger down the price during the escrow process. To hear him explain it himself, feel free to listen to the interview yourself by clicking here.

If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us 800-731-7339 for the best in real estate solutions and increased listings today.

About Jefferson Snow
Jefferson Snow is a member of the Sales team at REDX and loves to help real estate agents find success with REDX. He lives in Utah with his amazing wife Callie.

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