Archive for the ‘Soapbox’ Category

Glenn Twiddle

Real Estate Secret Shop Final Results

While I will continue, with my teams of clients around the country, to keep tabs on things, I am done with my year long exercise ‘secret shopping’ agents open houses because the results are in, and clearly, there is a winner….

And the winner is….

ANY AGENT WHO WANTS TO GET OFF THEIR BUTT AND DO THE WORK !!!

Yup, here are the final results. Over 14 months, and after visiting 102 Open Houses, we have the results of how the agents out there treat the properties entrusted to them by property owners.

We were looking for certain criteria. Now not all of the criteria we were looking for is necessarily the right and wrong way, they were just indicators that I was curious about, and of course some of them are absolutely critical to both the agents’ success in terms of their ability to get their sellers the highest price (their legal obligation to do), and in turn, their success in their own career. One cannot exist without the other.

So the critical ones, I believe, are these

- Follow up process – did the agent make one or several attempts to follow up with guests at the open? Did they use multiple media ie phone calls, sms, cards, emails to do so without being too annoying?

- Qualifying – Did they simply give a guided tour? Did they not even do that, did they meet at the door, tell you to have a look around and call me if you like it? Or did they ask you some, not too many too quick, but some probing questions to find out if you may be interested in buying the property, taking a second look, goodness, even flat out did they ask ‘You Want To Buy It???’

- Be Nice - We wanted to know how many of the agents were simply nice people in their character, rapport building etc. Some great customer service advice I got recently that I think many businesses have forgotten. BE NICE !!!

We measured other things into 3 CATEGORIES….

- Presentation of marketing and take home materials below average, average/ok and ‘Very Good or better’

- Presentation of the Open itself  including the agent’s presentation, signage, street appeal, extras, etc.

- Did the agent promote other properties other than the seller’s property before ascertaining that 100% this WASN’T the property for the buyer.

- Were there two people there from the agency? Were the buyers escorted or left to their own devices?

- What contact details were collected? Asked for?

 

So, after visting 102 open homes primarily in S.E. Qld but a few in Perth and Sydney, the results were these.

The secret shoppers were instructed to say ‘We own a house in the neighbourhood, and we’re just checking out prices.’

They were also instructed to give the agents whatever contact details they requested.

Some interesting (I am politely removing the word appalling here) statistics

• 72 made no follow up in any way shape or form

Goodness people. What are you doing to get new business? Even if you go by the this idea, ‘If the buyers want it they’ll call me.’ Ok, wrong idea, not in your sellers best interest so change the idea, but even if you do, what the hell are you doing to get a new client? Are you ignoring the people in ‘Real Estate mode’ and going back to your office on Monday and saying ‘boy it’s  a bit quiet today?’

Or even worse, are you ignoring these people and then going and being an ‘annoying pest’ making cold calls to people who AREN’T interested, while simultaneious ignoring those people who, in some way shape or form, ARE interested.

• 2 followed up on the day of the Open
So you have a chance to be in the top 2 agents to be considered out of 100 choices in your area, if you simply follow up on Saturday. (and you say the market is slow? NO, THE AGENTS ARE SLOW !! – not speaking to you if you are ticking all these boxes I’m describing, see my closing paragraph asd it may be ‘life changing’, or at least, ‘career changing’)

• 4 agents were complete no shows
Unacceptable. Goodness guys, it’s in the paper, it’s on RealEstate.com.au. I don’t care what has to happen, ‘SHOW UP!!!’ If you can’t, get somebody else to show up, but don’t leave me, and several groups of buyers standing on the footpath.

(It’s funny, I did have one Sales Manager call me up after this exercise about a year ago and thanked me for doing him a favour by drawing attention to the study so they could improve. Great attitude !! Initially I was also met with a lawsuit threat. It turns out this was a Principal defending his salesperson, and you know. I get that. What’s really interesting is the defended salesperson has since contacted me, initially a bit p____ off, understandably, but we had a good chat not long ago, and I tell you, while this stuy was not meant to reflect individuals one way or the other, nor to point the finger at any single agents, it did have the benefit of having one of the agents improve out of sight and continue to do so. Hats off to this individual.)

• 31 of the agents made our ladies either ‘feel unwelcome,’ neglected or they described the agent as completely arrogant
There are 10,969 bboks on Amazon on the subject of ‘Customer Service.’ Did we really need over one    million  pages (all of these books are well over 100 pages), at an average of 300 words per page. I mean do we need 300,000,000 wprds to say two……

BE NICE!!


• 83 of the agents made no attempts to move towards a close in any way
Kevin Turner, from Radio 4BC’s Real Estate Talk and RE Uncut, the show for Real Estate Agents, was most appalled by this statistic. In a market where many agents are struggling, to not investigate this is, in Kevin’s opinion, the worst stat of this exercise. I may think the follow up, or lack thereof is worse, but this one’s up there.

• 2 Followed up with an SMS the day of the Open
A good, cheap and impressive strategy, takes 10 seconds using a template or 20 seconds to compose one from scratch, and 2 out of 102 employed it.Don’t get all sexy with you ipads and your facebook pages or any new media until you effectively use the one you already have.

• 2 Followed up on more than one occasion

They say most sales happen, with a prospective client, on a contact between 5 and 19 contacts into a relationship (in this case I’m talking about a listing ‘sale’ because in my opinion, an agent doesn’t ‘sell’ a house, they market it, present it, follow up and negotiate on behalf of the owners, and of course, if a buyer ‘buys’ it, they may do so on the first contact. In this case I’m talking about listings.)

So if that’s the case, all of 2 out of 100 have half a hope in hell of being any better than ‘being tortured to death’ in this industry. There is NO WAY to be successful in any marketplace with this level of follow up systems and procedures.

• 1 Got more details than just a mobile

In this age, people have so many other ways to be contacted, so not to even ask for any other contact details at all, well, it’s a wasted opportunity. I have agents that ask for (AND GET) mobile, email, mailing address (by asking for a license for security condition of entry), and whether or not they are on Facebook.


• 1 had promo material better than a colour photocopied flyer, or booklet.
‘So you’re selling a home and you have promotional material no better than what you’d have to sell your fridge on Ebay for $500. Do you think I am going to entrust my $500,000 ASSET I have worked my whole life for to you, Mr ‘Black and White Photocopied flyer Real Estate Agent?’

That’s what your sellers are thinking. And I know what you’re thinking too…’Oh Glenn I can’t afford to get that fancy printing done, those booklets, CD’s, Video tours, DVD’s…..’

How close was I? Well you can and must, and get the seller to invest in these materials as well. Yes there are some that the office might do for you, or your business might supply, but if you haven’t got the skill to show a seller why they need some of these tools to get the highest price possible, then either get the skill or get out of the industry!! Harsh, but your job is that of a MARKETER and if you can’t MARKET, then when the market is tougher, you’ll be gone, and you’ll blame the market….NO, the reason you left is looking at you in the mirror when you wake up and shave for that Government job you had to go get.
Yeah, this article is getting harsh, well I quote Jim Rohn, ‘Don’t Wish It Was Easier, Wish You Were Better.’


So, if you’re a Real Estate agent….

you’ve probably thrown something at the PC screen, sent me a nasty email saying ‘How dare you Twiddle?’, swore at me under your breath, swore at your brand for not better equipping you (no, it’s not even the brand’s fault), maybe had a cry or at the very least, got upset and frustrated,  and thought of all the reasons why I’m wrong and this article was a waste of your time.

The bit about getting upset though….GOOD…if you got upset, then you deserve it, because believe me, the guys of my training who are kicking butt, would have read this article with the biggest grin on their faces in history. They know that by doing these things, and telling their appraisals to ‘secret shop’ before deciding on an agent, they KNOW they are in the top 1% of the industry if they consistently do this year in year out.

So if you are upset….GOOD….You should feel remorseful !! No one gets into this industry saying ‘I don’t want to be successful.’ EVERYONE WANTS to be successful. But very few people’s ACTIONS reflect this.

So go ahead, feel bad, go and look in the mirror, and believe me this will be hard, arguably the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life, and say, this market, and my results, THIS IS ALL MY FAULT.’

In fact, until you feel bad, there’s a very high chance that NOTHING will change. So enough of the positive thinking, go and buy Larry Winget’s book, Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life or People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It! take responsibility for your career and get better.

You might also, at the bottom of your email to me after you’ve finished swearing at me, with a tear in your eye, ask me for a copy of my open home training, although after reading this article, you probably don’t need more training, but get in touch if you need to.

 

Glenn Twiddle
(yup still brave enough to sign my name to this)

About the author

‘I teach agents a step by step, 1-2-3, fill in the blanks system for becoming the number one agent in your area,
how to become a six, or even seven figure earner, in 3 years or less no matter where you are right now.

It’s worked for me, for my teams over the years, and now is working for many of my clients.
And if you learn the system, and apply it in the manner it’s described, there’s a good chance it will work for you too.

For a free copy of my best real estate training tip (other than this article),
which is my number one listing tip I’ve ever trained, go to….

www.RealEstateFreeGift.com

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Greg Vincent

Persist and You Will Succeed

Persistence is one of my greatest strengths and I’ve found that by persisting you can overcome almost any obstacle in life, but persistence doesn’t come easily.

Nowadays it’s so easy to ‘Give Up’ on our dreams. If things are getting too tough many people simply quit but yet if they just held on a little bit longer the tide may change or the key that unlocks the door could actually appear within reach.

Whilst persistence is a key ingredient to success, a lack of persistence is a major reason for many failures in business, life, relationships and goal achievement.

Persistence is crucial BUT should not be confused with stubbornness.

Stubborness means that you aren’t prepared to change your mind or adapt to circumstances/environment. For me persistence is more a level of determination that you need to adopt to be able to overcome all bumps and roadblocks along the way.

Persistence helps you jump out of bed in the morning with a certain level of commitment and preparedness to toil hard in an effort to achieve the next goal for that day, week or month and deal with the struggles that come your way.

I wasn’t born with persistence. I had to work at it. I had to discover ways that I could remain focussed.

There was one scroll written by Og Mandino in his book ‘The Greatest Salesman in the World’ called “I will persist until I succeed” that was shared with me approx. 20 years ago by my friend Charles Tarbey, Chairman of Century 21 Australia and it’s something that I’ve regularly referred back to and read over and over again.

It has had a very positive impact on my life.

It is something that you can apply to the principles of everyday life as well as in real estate sales. I hope you enjoy it too…If so make sure you Bookmark it, Share it, Email it, Print it so that you can refer to it regularly.

All the best for 2011….Here’s the scroll…

“If I Persist I Will Succeed” by Og Mandino

“I will persist until I succeed.

In the Orient young bulls are tested for the fight arena in a certain manner. Each is brought to the ring and allowed to attack a picador who pricks them with a lance. The bravery of each bull is then rated with care according to the number of times he demonstrates his willingness to charge in spite of the sting of the blade. Henceforth will I recognize that each day I am tested by life in like manner. If I persist, if I continue to try, if I continue to charge forward, I will succeed.

I will persist until I succeed.

I was not delivered unto this world in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. I will hear not those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious. Let them join the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.

I will persist until I succeed.

The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning; and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary in order to reach my goal. Failure I may still encounter at the thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road. Never will I know how close it lies unless I turn the corner.

Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult.

I will persist until I succeed.

Henceforth, I will consider each day’s effort as but one blow of my blade against a mighty oak. The first blow may cause not a tremor in the wood, nor the second, nor the third. Each blow, of itself, may be trifling and seem of no consequence. Yet from childish swipes the oak will eventually tumble. So it will be with my efforts of today.

I will be liken to the rain drop which washes away the mountain; the ant who devours a tiger; the star which brightens the earth; the slave who builds a pyramid. I will build my castle one brick at a time for I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.

I will persist until I succeed.

I will never consider defeat and I will remove from my vocabulary such words and phrases as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, out of the question, improbable, failure, unworkable, hopeless and retreat; for they are the words of fools. I will avoid despair but if this disease of the mind should infect me then I will work on in despair. I will toil and I will endure. I will ignore the obstacles at my feet and keep mine eyes on the goals above my head, for I know that where dry desert ends, green grass grows.

I will persist until I succeed.

I will remember the ancient law of averages and I will bend it to my good. I will persist with knowledge that each failure to sell will increase my chance for success at the next attempt. Each nay I hear will bring me closer to the sound of yea. Each frown I meet only prepares me for the smile to come. Each misfortune I encounter will carry in it the seed of tomorrow’s good luck. I must have the night to appreciate the day. I must fail often to succeed only once.

I will persist until I succeed.

I will try, and try, and try again. Each obstacle I will consider as a mere detour to my goal and a challenge to my profession. I will persist and develop my skills as the mariner develops his, by learning to ride out the wrath of each storm.

I will persist until I succeed.

Henceforth, I will learn and apply another secret of those who excel in my work. When each day is ended, not regarding whether it has been a success or failure, I will attempt to achieve one more sale. When my thoughts beckon my tired body homeward I will resist the temptation to depart. I will try again. I will make one more attempt to close with victory, and if that fails I will make another. Never will I allow any day to end in failure. Thus will I plant the seed of tomorrow’s success and gain an insurmountable advantage over those who cease their labor at a prescribed time. When others cease their struggle, then mine will begin, and my harvest will be full.

I will persist until I succeed.

Nor will I allow yesterday’s success to lull me into today’s complacency, for this is the great foundation of failure. I will forget the happenings of the day that is gone, whether they were good or bad, and greet the new sun with confidence that this will be the best day of my life.

So long as there is breath in me, that long will I persist. For now I know one of the greatest principles of success; if I persist long enough I will win.

I will persist.

I will win.”

I hope this scroll helps you to persist and achieve more success in 2011 and beyond.

Warm regards

Greg Vincent

www.GregVincent.com.au

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Greg Vincent

Agent Horrified About Stuff Up!!! Where Is Our Data Going?

This is the question that an agent posed to me earlier today after yet another stuff up by the big boys.

I was speaking at an event yesterday where one of the agents mentioned the CommBank Property Guide iPhone App and the significant amount of data that was now being made available via realestate.com.au and RPData.

As the discussion went on, one of the agents logged on and started searching through the Comm Bank’s app. Only by fluke, another agent suggested they take a look at one of his latest listings which is going up for Auction.

The listing agent was absolutely horrified to see that the property which was uploaded onto realestate.com.au as an auction now appeared on Comm Bank’s app with an asking price displayed.

The price that was displayed on the Comm Bank app was the same price that the agent had inserted under the search price field.

Any pricing entered within the search price field has always been a hidden price whether a property goes up for auction or whether it has an asking price. These prices have never been for public viewing, or at least until now.

I was blown away when the agent showed me the listing in question on the Commbank site. I couldn’t believe that something so fundamental and basic could be breached.

I followed up with the agent again today. To REA’s credit the pricing issue for that listing has now been rectified but in typical fashion the agent was told that it’s not their fault the issue seemed to be from CommBank’s side? So who’s fault is it really?

Agents don’t have an agreement with CommBank’s Property Guide app, they have an agreement with REA Group.

Under the circumstances, should agents have the option to not make listings, etc available to Comm Bank’s app?

Is this only an isolated case? Has it happened to others? Will it happen again? Can REA Group and Comm Bank guarantee that no such issue will ever happen again?

Can you imagine what would have happened if the vendor had seen it? Who knows whether a buyer has seen it or not? Does this mean that agents have to check every listing on every site that their data is being uploaded to?

NOTE: Out of respect for the agent and the vendor trying to sell their property I have deliberately left out the specific details of the price, property, area, agent, etc because sharing that information could have a detrimental impact on the result of the property auction.

This article was originally featured on Business2.com.au

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Terri Cooper

Make More Money AND Have More Time Off!!

Is this really possible or just a myth?

Yes!  – it is absolutely possible!  If 6% of the agents sell 90% of the stock, then how do they do it?

This article will give you the clues – will take you to some strategies which the top performers use to skyrocket their sales results.

Clue No 1TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE DOLLARS!

This may sound like a paradox.  Surely you are in real estate to make money?  Surely you need to track your commissions and know your income targets?

However, when your focus is constantly on the dollars – your anticipated earnings, somehow this focus comes across to your clients and is translated as your client seeing that your main purpose is to use them to make your fortune!  Research has shown that up to 85% of our communication is body language and intuition (which can be wrong) You need to ensure that your focus is OFF THE MONEY whenever you are speaking with clients and tracking your progress.

Think only of the targets, not the money.

1. Set your goals

2. Estimate how much income you will need to achieve these goals

3. Set your targets for how many sales you will need for this income target

4. Then … and here comes the important part …. Forget about the money!

When your focus is on the activities necessary daily, weekly and monthly to stay on track for achieving your targets, the money will take care of itself and your bank balance will automatically reflect these activities.

Don’t spend the money before you get it! Don’t calculate your commissions until AFTER your sale has settled!

I have found that the minute I start thinking of how much a particular sale may be worth to me, things start going wrong. I “take my eye off the ball” and find that the universe seems to stop cooperating with me!  Focus only on the numbers and the money will take care of itself.  Just wait till your sale settles, THEN check your bank balance – not before!!

Clue No 2:  SPEND THE MAJORITY OF YOUR TIME WITH QUALIFIED CLIENTS!

Remember the 80/20 rule -  80% of your business will come from 20% of your clients.

Develop check lists to qualify clients.

Qualify your buyers. Your job is to sell property, not spend your time running around buyers who cannot buy! There are clues as to which are the hot buyers, the ones ready to buy today if you can find them the right property.  These are the ones to contact every few days, to prospect for them if possible with other agents who will conjunct with you.  Remember if they are “hot to trot” and buy from another agent, most likely they will have a house to sell and the odds are “YOU WON”T GET IT!”

Qualify your sellers. I have been guilty of spending too much time and emotional energy with sellers whose price expectations are unrealistic.  Ask the question “What will you do if we can’t find a buyer at the price you need?’  and listen carefully for the answer.  THERE ARE CLUES!! If they are not ready to meet the market at this point in time, don’t lose them altogether – don’t give up and walk away.  They are still sellers, they have just not quite made the decision to go.  It may be that the next house has  not come along yet, their circumstances are not right for the move “JUST YET”   Keep them in your “nursery”  Keep in contact, make them feel you care, no pressure at all, keep the listing but low-key and when the circumstances change, they will want to sell NOW and guess who will get the business!

Service, service, service!! In the changing market it is the agents who go that little bit extra, who make the client feel they are really working hard to get a result for them, whether that is a sale or a purchase, it is these agents who will survive and I truly believe we will be the ones who prosper.  Hard times only serve to sort out the best from the mediocre and I think our level of service will be the factor that will cause us to be among the best!

Clue No 3: DON’T BE AFRAID TO BITE THE BULLET AND GET HELP!!

It is impossible to be all things to all people and be competent at everything.

One of the best decisions I made early in my career, was to employ someone on a part-time basis to help me with the overload.  It was great for my clients, they were amazed and happy to always receive follow up calls, and it took  a burden of guilt off me!! Most of my leads came from this follow up from my open houses, from my past clients, and it was worth every dollar I paid, as it freed me to be dollar-productive with my prospecting and my sales activities.

The next best thing I did was to finally make the decision to have a PA.  The level of stress that disappeared because of having my PA there with me was incredible.  A PA can handle all the administration which takes up so much time and energy. Again you will be able to concentrate on the things that matter the most; prospecting, listing, negotiating and holding sales together.

If you are serious about making a success of this career – sometimes you have to bite the bullet and get help.

Clue No 4: LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE

When you think of the money needed to run your business, the clue is NEVER work it out on a weekly basis. Often when you do this, the amount of weekly expenses, the fear can paralyse you.

The trick is to allow a certain budget each month for overheads and running expenses, but apart from this, start to  look at every expenditure in the light of how will it increase your business?  If this expenditure or investment causes you to make even one more sale per month at an average commission of $8,000, then surely the expenditure is justified so proceed without fear!

If you change focus and view all expenditure related to your work as an investment in your business – not something I need to budget for weekly – your stress levels will decrease and you will be more focused on your activities, not your bank balance.

Short term vision will paralyse youyou must have a focus, a plan and be clear about where you want to be a year from now. This thinking will guide you in what you need to do and to spend to get there.

In summary, some of the most  important things you can learn from the top performers in the industry are:

To plan, focus, learn, prepare and most of all to be resilient and don’t focus on the small picture!

Greg Vincent

REINSW forces changes to NSW Government’s Residential Tenancies Bill

In a Press Release issued on 4 June 2010 it would appear that the NSW government may have finally decided to listen to the industries concerns over some of the proposed new changes to the NSW Government’s Residential Tenancies Bill.

It was announced that, REINSW has forced the NSW government to make considerable changes to its draft Residential Tenancies Bill introduced into Parliament.

But despite the changes, REINSW is calling on the Minister to delay passage of the Bill until all stakeholders have had to the opportunity to review the new legislation.

“REINSW is pleased that the government has listened to our concerns and made key changes,” said REINSW President Wayne Stewart.

“But again the government is trying to rush this legislation through without sufficient time for proper consultation.

“We call on the Minister to take the time to get this right and not push ahead with unreasonable haste.

“Key changes which REINSW pressured the government to make include:

  • Abandoning a proposal to give tenants the right to break a fixed term tenancy agreement during the fixed term in return for payment of a ‘break fee’
  • Scrapping the compulsory proposal to cap a landlord’s damages (including loss of rent) if a tenant abandoned rented premises, and maintaining the current obligation on a landlord to mitigate their loss in such circumstances
  • Providing greater certainty for landlords when terminating periodic tenancies
  • Further limiting the government’s proposals to allow tenants to make ‘minor’ changes to the landlord’s property (e.g. painting is not a ‘minor’ change) or to sub-let the property without the landlord’s consent (which are both proposals the Institute still opposes in principle and will continue to lobby against)

“Unfortunately REINSW has not been provided with a complete overview of all changes to the Bill which means it has been impossible to review all amendments prior to the Minister introducing the legislation.

“REINSW understands that the Minister will try to pass the Bill through parliament by the end of the current parliamentary session which will limit the ability of all stakeholders to consider the new changes and their impact on the NSW property market.

“REINSW calls on the Minister to delay debate on the 2010 Bill until the next parliamentary session in late 2010 to allow all stakeholders a reasonable opportunity to examine the Bill in its latest, amended, form.

“It is inevitable that some of the amendments made may have unintended consequences and the Institute has already identified a number of issues which appear to be the result of unintended drafting errors. REINSW looks forward to working with the Minister to correct any such errors.

“REINSW previously lodged a comprehensive submission with respect to the 2009 Bill and it is very pleasing to see that concerns and suggestions raised by the Institute have been incorporated into the amended 2010 Bill,” said Mr Stewart.

Hopefully some common sense will prevail. If the NSW Government don’t pay attention to the stakeholders  within this issue then we will see lots more investors heading interstate into the future which will place even more pressure on our current rental crisis.

If they get this wrong, this important issue has the potential to put the last nail in the coffin for the current NSW Labour Government and could fuel an even greater landslide in the opinion polls. 

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