3 Little Changes that Will Make a Big Difference in Your Real Estate Sales

They may say that the biggest part of success is just showing up, but in real estate, the biggest part of making sales is being the first to show up, and having all the right information. Follow these three changes to your routine and start seeing differences in your sales.

Be the First to Know about Pre-Foreclosures

Short-Sales and Foreclosures aren’t going away anytime soon. Even with the precautions that banks are taking, they just keep popping up and you could be the first to know about it. The REDX pre-foreclosure product will draw from specific sources such as county records to compile Notice of Default (NOD), Lis Pendens, and Notice of Sale (NOS) properties and get you on the up and up faster than your competitors. Imagine receiving automatic notifications about these properties instead of researching yourself. The extra time you’ll save will leave you with invaluable time contacting property owners and listing them.

Be Ready to Pounce on FSBO Properties

With the vast majority of For Sale By Owner properties eventually turning to an agent for help to sell, knowing when the tides turn can get you there first. REDX For Sale By Owner Listing Leads does the work for you by scanning websites and databases to update you on all the new FSBO listings nationwide. However it doesn’t just put those in front of you, it also updates you on when the owners decide to scrap the idea of selling the property themselves, so you can contact them quickly about putting it into your capable hands.

Have Your Expired Leads Updated Daily

Instead of dreading having to spend time researching to update your expired leads, let technology do the job for you. Not only does REDX Expireds cross-check the MLS to determine if it has been sold or relisted, but it also provides the information that may be missing such as contact information, including phone numbers that may be in the National Do Not Call Registry. Once you have all the information, REDX Expireds will also organize all the data for you, and allow you to add notes, appointment reminders and route planning to get you prepared fast.

Keep Your Leads Organized & Searchable

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 9.10.46 AMNot having to remember key information about leads is critical. What homeowner mentioned they were getting a divorce, moving to Texas or accepting a new government job? Having your leads in one place with advanced search features so you don’t have to remember anything just type in the key words and you can find the lead. REDX Vortex has several advanced features to keep you organized.

In addition to advanced search, it also features the “Lead Progress Ribbon” where you can know at-a-glance what leads you have actioned and what needs to be done. Delegation to assistants is easy with simple tags. It is not enough to have leads – it is the lead follow-up that most agents lose the big money on their lead investment.

Whether you’re a real estate SuperStar, a rookie, or needing to revamp workflow, following these three changes will prepare, update, and alert you so you can get in front of more potential properties first and start seeing more sales.

End your Lead Drought Once and For All!

Does this scenario sound familiar? You qualify as a realtor, you’ve got your smartphone, your gym membership, you have an aura of confidence and success. Then you get your first couple of listings. You help a friend find a new apartment, or maybe a relative buy their first home. You kill it, naturally, because you’re a real estate superstar, and so your friends and relatives pass your name on to their friends and relatives. You’re building a modest base of happy clients. That’s when things start to slow down.

Like death and taxes, the law of diminishing returns is a fact you can’t escape from. No matter how good you are, not every client will recommend you – maybe they’ve never had another realtor and don’t understand what a great deal you got them, or maybe they just don’t know anyone looking to move. Even if they do recommend you, that’s no guarantee that the people they give your name to don’t already have an agent they trust and wouldn’t dream of listing their property with anyone else. The phone isn’t ringing. Your budding career has stalled. You look around and you ask, “What happened?”

The answer, in a nutshell, is you’ve exhausted your sphere of influence. Not many realtors go into the game already knowing enough people to sustain their business solely by those contacts. Certainly, nobody becomes a top earner in the industry that way. You want to make more sales? You need to hunt down leads! There are some simple steps you can take to break your drought and get those leads flowing.

Prospecting for Beginners

31845466_29eb949f48One technique that will often yield good results is to start canvassing your neighborhood. Letterbox drops, door-knocking, and cold-calling is the most basic way real estate agents can go about finding people who might be interested in moving house. The problem with this method is it’s very hit-and-miss. You might get lucky and happen upon somebody who was just sitting around thinking about selling and only needed to meet the right realtor, but, let’s face it, this is going to be the exception, not the rule. Most of the time, the folks you talk to aren’t going ask you to sell their house for them right there on the spot.

Prospecting for Pros

There is a way, however, to find massive numbers of potential clients who are ready to list with you at a moment’s notice. At REDX, we generate the highest quality expired, FSBO, and pre-foreclosure leads available. Talk to us to find out how we can help you find more listings right away.

The Life of a Listing: Where Do Listings Go When They Die?

rip-786x305Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the life of a real estate listing. Those who knew this listing know how humble its beginnings were, as were those of so many like it. There was a call from a homeowner to a realtor, and a realtor who came and knocked on the door. Then the lead became a listing, as many of them do, blossoming into sales, which is what we all hope for any listing. But not every listing reached this happy state. That is the sad way of the world. Sometimes a property won’t sell.

There are lots of reasons that this can happen. Sometimes the realtor who came through the door wasn’t the expert and professional like those of you who have come here today. Not everyone knows how to present and advertise a property to its best advantage, or how to negotiate a great deal with the buyers.

Sometimes there are other factors at work. It may happen that the homeowner holds an unrealistic hope of getting a certain price for the property and will eventually lose patience with the sale process. These things happen, and when they do, we lay the lead to rest with full honors, like the lead we salute today.

But smart agents do not mourn the death of a lead. They understand that the real estate market changes every day. They know that the difference between a sale and a fail can sometimes balance on a knife-edge, and that just because a property didn’t sell, doesn’t mean that it won’t sell. Especially if it’s taken on by an agent with real hunger and talent for the game. These are the agents who always ask the same eternal question on days such as these. “Where”, they ask, “do listings go when they die?”

The answer is: they come to us, REDX, where we have the highest quality data and the most up to date information on expired leads, as well as pre-foreclosure and FSBO leads.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. With the REDX, you’ll sell it. In that you can trust!

Keep Your Clients Coming Back for More: Tips for Outstanding Service

It’s a sad but true fact that many people have come to expect poor customer service as a part of doing business. So when a company or individual provides excellent service to their clients, they will pointedly stand out above the rest.

This applies to real estate agents in an even more dramatic way. Real estate is a people-focused business. As a Realtor, you are in a unique position to be part of one of the most significant financial and personal decisions that an individual or family makes in their life.

Selling or buying a home involves more than just a financial transaction. For those involved, it means a complete change in their lives. So how you serve your clients is an invaluable factor in whether your business succeeds or fails.

Be honest. Whether it’s fair or not, Realtors sometimes have a reputation for being less than ethical. Much of this comes from bad agents who give everyone else a bad name. Don’t be that realtor.

Be upfront with clients, including buyers, about every aspect of the sale. It is better to have a buyer walk away than to gain a reputation for being untrustworthy.

Communicate. Follow up with your clients after every showing or open house to give them feedback. Even if the news isn’t good, the faster you do this, the better. Use bad news as an opportunity to work with your sellers to improve the show-ability of their home. Provide staging tips and pointers that will increase their chances of success. Instead of being the bringer of bad news, you will be the hero that swoops in to save the day.

Exceed Expectations. Always do what you say you will do. If you can’t deliver on a promise, DON’T MAKE IT! Then try to find little ways to do more than what you said you would.

Send a thank you card, get back to them earlier than promised, go the extra mile. Find ways to do things your client isn’t expecting. The gesture might be small, but the positive impression it makes will be big.

Be personable. Friendliness is contagious. Who doesn’t prefer to work with someone they like? Get to know your clients. Ask them questions about their jobs, their families, what’s important to them. Not as a technique to find their pain points but just because you are interested.

Find things that you have in common with them. This doesn’t mean you have to create lifelong friendships with each and every client. Just make them feel that they are important. This will create the kind of loyalty and referral business that will pay you back ten times over in the future.

The bottom line. Customer service is, and always will be, the difference between a mediocre Realtor constantly fighting to find new business and one whose loyal followers provide return business and referrals on a consistent basis. Which one do you want to be?

 

Goals That Work: Real Estate Success in 2015

Setting goals. We hear it every January from those smug, organized individuals who always seem to have their ducks (and their to-do lists) in a row. But what if setting goals was a truly useful activity that made a difference in your income? What if it helped to motivate you and keep you on track? Here are three simple ways to set goals this year that will do just that. With Q1 completed and three more quarters ahead it is not too late to make goals to get results this year.

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Take One Step Back

Before setting new goals, examine your objectives from last year to get an idea of which goals you hit and which you missed. Then ask yourself why you missed them. Did you have trouble sticking to your plan? Or did you have unrealistic goals to start with?

Once you can see your successes and failures (and what caused them) you will have a better idea of what to keep doing and what to improve on. And where to start in creating success metrics for the New Year.

Think Big (and Small)

When you are thinking of your overall goals, e.g., “I want to make $250k in take home income in 2015,” don’t stop there. Make smaller, bite-sized goals that are easier to manage but will take you to your bigger goal. For example, in order to make $250K this next year, how much do you need to bring in every month? And to reach that goal, how many sales must you have?

Then go further. To make X number of sales, how many appointments do you need to make each week? And then, every day, how much lead prospecting do you need to do to reach your weekly appointment goal? If you use your data from the previous year you will be able to set realistic daily, monthly, and yearly goals.

Find Resources

Real Estate can be a tough business, and getting discouraged is normal. Plan to attend one (or several) events in the next year that will inspire and motivate you. Having the opportunity to network with other professionals in your industry and learn new skills is sometimes just the boost you need to keep working hard.

Attend a real estate coaching conference or a national conference like the National Association of Realtors Conference & Expo. Or if a big conference doesn’t fit within your budget or time constraints, find a local workshop, chapter meeting, or online webinar and register in advance. By committing now you will have something to look forward to.

Set realistic goals and create opportunities to stay motivated and inspired this year. You might just have your best year yet in 2015.

Remember it is not too late to make 2015 your best year yet!

 

Expired Leads Not Working? You’re Probably Doing It Wrong

The statistics are very much in your favor when you work with expired listings. Overwhelmingly, properties that have been put on the market and subsequently withdrawn without selling are ultimately re-listed, and it is very infrequent that the seller will retain the same agent who was unable to sell it the first time. You might have considered working with expired leads from hearing stories of the top agents talk about the massive numbers of properties they have listed and sold with them.

But if you aren’t turning expired leads into your listings and if you’re still wondering what the fuss is about, then something has gone wrong. Read on to find out what you should know about the art of real estate prospecting.

Home For Sale Sign in Front of New House.

Don’t Waste Your Time!

You could be the biggest talent on the planet, but nobody will sell every property that has come off the market. Somewhere among your daily listings, you have viable future sales, but to find them, you need to develop the skill of identifying them. You can reduce the field by instantly knocking out properties with serious problems that would make them a tough sell.

Has the property been damaged in some way, perhaps by a fire or a storm? Is the property in an area that you wouldn’t feel safe driving through? If so, move on.

The Picks

Once you know how to eliminate the unlikely listings, the other half of the problem is recognizing the most likely.

Many agents fail to realize that there are so many listings that it’s impossible to find out what they are all like. But, it is very easy to find out (and in fact, you should already know) with the right tools. The key thing to remember when you browse through your leads is what your strengths are as an agent. If you’re an advertising genius and clever photographer, keep an eye out for listings that show bad copywriting and less than stunning shots. The reason it didn’t sell might just be your specialty!

For more information on how our leads can turn your business around, visit http://www.theredx.com/

3 Things about Real Estate Lead Generation You May Not Have Known

If you’re a realtor fairly new to the game, you’ve probably taken the opportunity at conferences or conventions to network with some of the top agents. These agents are the ones who are in the highest percentile of earners in the industry and the ones eager new agents turn to for guidance and mentorship. No doubt they had a lot insight on many subjects, but one thing that would certainly have been mentioned is how much they rely on prospecting and associated management tools to expand their businesses.

This is the one thing we all know about lead generation – when used wisely, it can make you a fortune! Here are three other things you may not have known about real estate lead generation.

Traditional Home and Large Yard

#1: All roads lead to sales

I was on holiday in the south of France a couple of years ago, driving along an old country road, and perched atop a hill I saw a magnificent chateau. I asked my friend how old it was and he replied that it was built in the thirteenth century. “Who owns it?” I asked. My friend shrugged. It was for sale, he told me. The same family owned it for all that time, but now they couldn’t afford to keep up the maintenance. It was on the market for the first time in seven hundred years. The point is: every property goes up for sale eventually. There is no such thing as a bad lead.

#2: You can turn them over quickly

Now, ye olde realtor who knocked on the drawbridge of that big old castle sometime in the thirteen hundreds who asked the duke if he’d ever thought about selling, had himself a tough time. But, it’s a fact that some leads are going to be viable sooner than others. The skill you want to hone is your ability to instantly identify the most promising leads from the rest, so you can go about converting them into listings.

#3: Patience is a necessary virtue

Think of leads like fruit on a tree. If you try to harvest all of them at once, you’ll waste time and energy on fruit that is not yet ripe. You want to pick the ones that are ready, but once you’ve done that, you wouldn’t want to forget about the tree! Go back the next day, and the next. Tend it; water it, and one day that unripe fruit will become perfect for plucking! Watch those leads; prompt them with the occasional phone call. Persistence will win in the end.

Sign up for the Vortex Prospecting Platform here!

REDX Presents Vortex®, The Cloud-based Lead Management Tool

As one of the top leaders in the real estate lead generation industry, REDX has made a habit of finding common problems and presenting customizable solutions. Now, we’re excited to present our simplest solution to lead management yet: Vortex®.

What is Vortex?

As a cloud-based tool, Vortex combines all the best parts of lead management software with the convenience of the internet. This means that the popular REDX method of lead management will now be available from any computer without the hassle of downloads or system updates. Lead lists are kept on cloud accounts so prospecting isn’t limited to a desk.

Along with the added mobility, Vortex creates a unique prospecting experience through three key elements:

1. Simplicity
At launch, Vortex focuses the user on two primary actions: first, to filter their leads by distilling them to a subset, in alignment with their market objectives, which is the initial step in all lead management. Second, they begin their prospecting session by selecting their desired method(s) of prospecting for this filtered lead set. The result is that with two basic actions the agents are engaging with their leads.

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2. Organization
Vortex reimagines how to organize leads in a visual way through our patent pending “Lead Progress” ribbon. This status ribbon provides users with a clear visual of the progress of every lead within their sales funnel at-a-glance. This creates a natural prompt for the agent, while simultaneously identifying the next step in the funnel that the lead should be progressing towards.

3. Boundary Elimination
Vortex is the first prospecting platform to detect when a property has multiple lead types. For example, it is possible for a property to be in a pre-foreclosure status, while the homeowner is trying to sell it as For Sale By Owner, after a failed attempt at listing their home with an agent. In other words, a property could be a Pre-Foreclosure, FSBO and Expired lead simultaneously. Instead of showing these disparate lead types in a siloed view—as is the industry standard—Vortex combines them in a unified property view to provide the agent with a complete understanding of the subject property’s history, leading to greater empathy, understanding and effectiveness while prospecting.

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Vortex features a whole new contact management system. The system allows for filtering by lead status, sales stage or even custom tags. The features and benefits of the Vortex system are all packaged into one sleek, minimalist design. Vortex is professionally structured, easy to navigate and generally more efficient to use.

Why do I need it?

Putting our lead management software online creates instant accessibility from any internet-connected device. The number of devices through which you access your account is unlimited, giving you more flexible working options.

You’re also given additional flexibility in the way you prioritize your workflow. The Vortex system gives you customizable visibility on your leads, so you can contact the ones you want to, when you want to.

How do I get it?

We are currently bringing all new clients onto the Vortex platform. For existing clients, we will be migrated market-by-market beginning in early Q2, however, existing clients who wish to move to Vortex now can do so without moving the legacy lead manager data to the new platform.

For more information visit the Vortex page here, or call us at (800) 731-7339.

A New Approach for 2015: Second to List – First to Sell™

By Mark Leck, CEO

I want to challenge agents to think differently about their business strategy in 2015. I want you to acknowledge that in each of your markets, there is a relatively fixed number of people that are going to list and eventually sell their home at any given time. Yes, there are ebs and flows. Yes, this number varies year over year, especially given certain macro economic factors — but ultimately, there is a measurable and predictable number in each of your markets.

For example, let’s say in January 1000 people are going to list their home. What % of that market opportunity do you expect to get? How do you expect to get it?

Most agents approach their business with the naive goal of being the first and only agent a seller should list with: a First to List, First to Sell™ strategy. Only to be disappointed and frustrated when their friends and family fail to call them to list. Or to realize they simply don’t have enough friends and family to sustain their business.

We propose a Second to List, First to Sell™ business strategy that acknowledges the fixed market opportunity, and refocuses to the greatest potential within that market.

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Define “Fixed Market Opportunity”

What we mean by “Fixed Market Opportunity” is that ultimately there is a set number of homes that will list and sell each month. Because there is a sufficient number of agents in each market, as well as the opportunity to list as For-Sale-By-Owner, most people who intend to sell are identifiable because they are either listed with an agent, or have decided to list their home on their own as a FSBO. The importance of this concept is to make clear that in each market, there may only be 1000 properties that list (even if there are 4000 agents in that market), and out of those, let’s say that 50% of them will sell in a given month.

The question is, how large of that market opportunity can you as an individual agent expect to get? Is it 1% (10 listings per month)? Is it 0.5% (5 listings per month)? The answer is this depends on the size of your sphere of influence/past client database.

For some agents, that answer is 0-1 listings, because they have no Sphere of Influence/Past Client database. But if you can only list less than 1% of the market from your SOI, what about all the other properties that are listed for sale, but don’t actually sell? This is a huge market opportunity, and one that should be apart of every agents business strategy.

If you can’t be the first to list the property, you should be the second to list it — and make sure you are the first to sell it! Hence, a Second to List, First to Sell™ strategy.

What is a First to List, First to Sell™ real estate business strategy?

The goal of this strategy is to be the first and only agent a seller chooses to list and sell their home. This strategy is dependant upon having a large sphere of influence (friends and family), and more importantly, a large database of past clients. This strategy is most often successful after an agent has been in the business for several years and has developed a large SOI and past client database through prospecting with a Second to List, First to Sell™ strategy to Expireds and For-Sale-By-Owners.

Unfortunately, many new agents begin their career in real estate attempting this strategy, which often leads to low production and disappointment, because their SOI is not sufficiently large enough to sustain them.

What is a Second to List, First to Sell™ real estate strategy?

A Second to List, First to Sell™ real estate business strategy is the fastest strategy for growing your sphere of influence and can ultimately lead to a long-term First to List, First to Sell™ strategy. This strategy acknowledges the Fixed Market Opportunity, and identifies the largest opportunity available for agents is targeting homeowners who have an intent to sell, and have previously listed with another agent (expired listings) or are listing their home on their own (For-Sale-By-Owner listings).

An ideal agent for this business strategy is someone who doesn’t have any past clients, or someone who’s past client database isn’t sufficiently large enough to generate enough repeat/referral business to achieve their business goals. We believe this is the best strategy for real estate agents to create a sustainable real estate business.

Again, our challenge to you in 2015 is if you haven’t reached a level of production within the industry that you are happy with, change you strategy! My father use to always say: “If you do the same thing as everyone else, expect the same results.” So let’s not do that. Having a First to List, First to Sell™ strategy is fine, but if it can’t sustain your business or doesn’t succeed in helping you to achieve your goals, then make the focus of 2015 to have a Second to List, First to Sell™ prospecting strategy.

 

Back to Basics: Using the Slow Season to Brush Up on Your Prospecting Skills

winterhouseAs the cold begins to creep in, the real estate market inevitably starts to slow. At this time of year you will most likely have fewer appointments and showings than you enjoyed in the summer months. Use this time to brush up on one of your most important real estate tools: prospecting.

Here are five ways for both new and experienced Realtors to beef up their prospecting and keep business flowing.

1. Get Organized
Keep track of your leads in an organized way. Whether you use a simple spreadsheet or a more sophisticated lead management platform, make sure you have a way to track and categorize any and all leads. Losing track of leads is one of the greatest missed opportunities in real estate.

2. Practice Your Pitch
Using a script is one of the best ways to overcome a fear of talking to people. Having a good idea of what you will say before you say it keeps you on track and helps you focus on your goal rather than your nerves. Have an outline of the points you want to hit and have that outline memorized. Then practice, practice, practice. This will keep you from sounding canned but will also keep you focused.

3. Don’t Rely Completely on Technology
Real prospecting is becoming a lost art. Basic sales skills are still a very important part of real estate. And as more people sit in front of a computer screen all day with little human interaction, your ability to connect one on one with possible leads will be even more powerful.

4. Ask for Business
Ask this question to anyone and everyone: “Do you know anyone who may be thinking of buying or selling a home?” They might say no because they are caught off guard or haven’t had time to think about it. If so, follow up with, “That’s fine. If you think of anyone I would appreciate it,” and give them your card. Be friendly. Thank them just for taking the time to think about it for a few minutes.

5. Track Your Results
Track the results of any and all prospecting. For X number of phone calls, how many appointments did you get? Of those appointments, how many actually resulted in a meeting? Of those meetings, how many turned into a signed contract? When you know the results of your efforts, you can then tailor those efforts to reach the goals you have set for yourself.

Conclusion
Prospecting is the part of real estate that many Realtors dread the most, but it is arguably one of the most important business building activities. If you make it a goal to prospect daily, your business will survive even the coldest of real estate seasons.