Be Your Own Boss: Create a Working Schedule That Works

Success in real estate is simple, but it isn’t easy. It’s a simple thing to outline what you need to do, but much harder to make that happen.

Because you are your own boss, you have to be the one looking over your own shoulder. And you have to be the one to motivate yourself to produce day after day. One of the keys to doing this is creating and sticking to a schedule that will generate business on a regular basis.

A schedule is imperative. There is nothing sexy about getting into the office at 8:00 am and working until 5 or 6 o’clock at night. There is nothing glamorous about making phone calls or knocking on doors. But this is the engine of your business – setting up a schedule, sticking to it, and working hard.

So how should you structure your schedule to ensure success?

First and foremost, do what is most important first.

REDX What a 250K schedule looks like.

REDX What a 250K schedule looks like.

A portion of every morning should be dedicated to the most important part of your business – lead prospecting.

Why is it so important to do this in the morning? Because that’s when your motivation is at its peak. Waiting until later in the day makes it much easier to put it off in favor of other, more pleasant, and easier activities.

Spend 2-3 hours on the phone, knocking doors, or engaging in other lead prospecting techniques.

The result? The rest of the day will be taken care of for you – follow ups, appointments, showings, etc. Spending a certain portion of each day generating business is the key to filling your schedule with the activities that produce revenue.

Second, don’t get distracted by things that won’t produce results.
Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 3.56.50 PMIn his bestselling book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth behind Extraordinary Results, Gary Keller gives the following tips for focusing your efforts to produce results:

  1. Go small. Don’t focus on being busy; focus on being productive. Allow what matters most to drive your day.
  2. Go extreme. Once you’ve figured out what actually matters, keep asking what matters most until there is only one thing left. That core activity goes at the top of your success list.
  3. Say no. Whether you say “later” or “never,” the point is to say “not now” to anything else you could do until your most important work is done.
  4. Don’t get trapped in the “check off” game.  If we believe things don’t matter equally, we must act accordingly. We can’t fall prey to the notion that everything has to be done, that checking things off our list is what success is all about. We can’t be trapped in a game of “check off” that never produces a winner. The truth is that things don’t matter equally and success is found in doing what matters most.

Even though it comes with enormous benefits like flexibility, independence, and freedom; being your own boss can be challenging. Sticking to a schedule is what keeps successful Realtors on top. Even in the toughest market, agents who maintain a consistent schedule take home a greater portion of the market share every time.

Realty Reality: 3 Signs You Need to Get a New Marketing Solution

All real estate agents need to think about how they market themselves. This goes way beyond the obvious choices you’ve already consciously made, like the design of the ads in your window or the logo on your literature. Little things, from the way you dress to the firmness of your grip when you shake someone’s hand, are a big part of how you sell yourself as an agent. That said, there are some key marketing decisions that you may want to pay attention to in order to set yourself apart from the pack. Here are three signs you need a new marketing solution, and some ideas on how to tackle them.

Bad Sign #1: Your Face is on a Bus Bench

Ah, old faithful! You know the sort of ad – a slogan and a photo, usually with a blacked out tooth or comical moustache drawn on it by some mischievous kids. It’s not a bad way to get your name out there, but it’s very tired and old-fashioned. It doesn’t tell people that you are a dynamic, creative go-getter. Why not try turning to social media? Apps like Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, and Viddy will let you connect with potential clients directly, and show that you have your finger on the pulse of the modern world.

Bad Sign #2: There’s a Guy on the Corner Waving a Sign

RE_StreetSignThe only thing worse is if you had him dress up as a house… So tacky! You want to project class and sophistication, not reek of desperation. Even if you haven’t sunk quite as far as this major no-no, you might want to think about your branding. Make an appointment with a graphic designer to review what your signage says about your business. Is it saying what you want it say, or could your message be clearer? You don’t have to spend a fortune to communicate your brand-meaning effectively.

Bad Sign #3: People Need Quotation Marks to Find You on Google

If entering the words “real estate” and your town doesn’t bring you up on the first page of results, you’ve got a problem. You might want to consider shelling out for a featured listing, first of all, but you should ask yourself why you aren’t getting the web traffic in the first place. Is your webpage vibrant and attention-grabbing? Never underestimate the power of good web design to send people from your virtual address to your actual front door.

Whatever your marketing strategy is, REDX’s products can help you take your business to the next level. Contact us to see how REDX can boost your business today!

Preforeclosures: 4 Shortcuts for Closing in Record Time

Working with distressed properties has the potential to be an extremely lucrative area of specialty for any agent. There are some inherent difficulties, to be sure, and this is responsible for putting a lot of people off the idea of getting into the pre-foreclosure game in the first place. However, these complications are much easier to overcome than you might think. The fact that other agents are choosing to ignore the secret real estate goldmine is their loss – and your gain! Follow our shortcuts to learn how to make some serious sales.

#1: Inform Yourself

You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that owners of distressed properties might well be feeling pretty distressed themselves. They’re in a difficult financial situation, probably desperate for a way out, but they could also be very wary about making things worse for themselves. You could help them, but they need to trust you. How do you gain that trust? By knowing your onions!

Be able to explain to your clients all the options that are available to them. Make sure you understand the legal implications and requirements in your state so that the advice you give is rock solid. Having a team of experts at your fingertips is critical: attorneys, CPAs, loan managers, bank representatives etc. Remember that agents can be held liable for their advice, so you will be protecting yourself as well.

#2: Who You Gonna Call?

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 9.30.10 AMOnce you’ve hit the books and have your side of things covered, start finding out what other professionals in your area specialize in other aspects of pre-foreclosure. There will likely be tax implications for your client, as well as complex legal ramifications, so it is highly probable that they will need to consult an accountant and/or an attorney before the process is through. Be all over this. You should be able to recommend the top guys in town, and ideally have a good working relationship with them yourself.

#3: The Right Buyer

Buying a pre-foreclosure property can be as much a specialized business as selling them. Pre-foreclosures will be most attractive to investors, since they will be the kinds of buyers with the capital to move ahead with a swift sale and the flexibility to allow the seller time to move out of the property. Start cultivating relationships with people looking for great deals to get a foothold in the investment property market.

#4: Get Prospecting

You need the best lead generation tools with the most reliable data and up-to-date information to start finding those listings. REDX provides consistent high-quality pre-foreclosure data and leads as well as the tools to go with them. Give us a call today to find out why REDX is the best investment you can make.

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.

Setting-goals-is-the-first__quotes-by-Tony-Robbins-49

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!