Straight Talk #1

The Phone Call

“Hello ‘Agent X’?  We’d like to speak with you about listing our home.”

Yay! One of the best phone calls you can get!  Right?

Yes.  But don’t mess it up!  Let’s make the most out of this critical initial first step in the sales process.

During this call, the information you ask for and exactly how you ask for it, can make a huge difference in your preparedness, setting the stage for a smooth transition to successfully listing and selling the property. 

Here are exactly what questions to ask and how to ask (includes a handy Seller Information Form)... 

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Straight Talk #2

The Pre-Listing Letter

Sending out an email letter before the listing appointment has numerous benefits, for both you and the client, including saving a lot of time during the actual presentation.

This Straight Talk Action Plan includes an exact copy of the letter that Ted used throughout his career, as well as the how and why on sending comparables before your listing appointment.

Yes, we recommend that you send the SOLD comparables, well ahead of time.  We’ll also show you how to choose those comparables, and why... 

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Straight Talk #3

Deep Work

You block off the time to complete a task.  But then this happens.  And, that happens.  You’ll get to it after lunch.  You’ll do it tomorrow.  Three weeks later?  Nothing. 

Sound familiar?

Don’t feel bad.  You’re normal.

You’ve trained your brain to be highly responsive to your clients.  This is a good thing.  But, unfortunately, training yourself to be highly responsive means you are probably also very easily distracted. You’ve got the best of intentions, but those important tasks just never seem to get completed.

Here are some iron-clad strategies on how to re-train your brain to get stuff done... 

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Straight Talk #4

The Listing Presentation – Getting Started

You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.

But then again, there are certain things that are totally overblown in Real Estate.  Like the car you drive.  Who cares?  Don’t worry about it.  There are a thousand more important reasons for anyone to choose a REALTOR®.

That said, how you conduct yourself before and during the initial walk-thru, can make a huge impression on your prospective clients; good or bad!

Here’s a solid game plan on what to do before you sit down to present...

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Straight Talk #5

Do It Now!

Procrastination.  It’s a killer. It kills productivity.  It kills success.  It kills happiness.

The farther away you get from something, the more energy it takes to get back to it. 

Your list of incomplete tasks quickly becomes an overwhelming burden of anxiety and stress. 

It’s like you’re trying to climb a mountain, but you keep loading rocks into your backpack, until you can barely take a step.

That’s the irony of it.  Contrary to what your brain is telling you, it takes way less effort overall to simply not procrastinate.

Am I striking a chord?  Does it feel like I’ve written this Straight Talk specifically for you?

It’s time to make an important change, my friend.

Here’s how to dump out all your rocks...

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Straight Talk #6

Personality Types

The study of personality types is fascinating, and an absolute necessity for anyone wanting to excel in sales of any kind, especially a relationship-based business, like Real Estate.

Instead of being constantly frustrated by people who don’t think the same way as you do, the true professional learns to adapt to all different personality styles, tailoring their presentation to each unique individual. 

When you develop your skill at identifying and dealing with all different personality styles, you’re going to wonder how you ever got by without this skill.  That’s not an exaggeration. 

Here is a brief overview of the four main personality types:

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Straight Talk #7

Google Reviews

You don’t know it, but someone somewhere just recommended you to one of their friends.

What’s the first thing that person is going to do?

They’re going to Google you!

These prospective clients want to learn a bit about you before they call.  But, what will they see?

To find out, go ahead and Google yourself, right now.

Is it the usual boring stuff, that doesn’t mean anything to anyone?  I’m guessing yes, because that’s how it is for most agents.

You can separate yourself from the crowd of amateur competitors, by simply accumulating a few 5-star Google reviews. In the eyes of prospective clients, this will boost your credibility, tremendously.

Here’s how to do it:

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Straight Talk #8

Presentation Slide #2 – My Commitment to You

This slide will appeal most compellingly with Amiable and Expressive personality types (see Straight Talk #6), but if you do it well, it will hold the attention of Analytical and Director types, also.

This slide is designed to subtly (but purposely) reinforce the points made in the previous ‘Business Models’ slide.

The points made here are exactly what many potential clients want to hear, and your presentation skills here are critical.  Many potential sellers will decide (subconsciously or not) that they want to hire you, based on this information, right here and now, only two slides in!

Or, not…

Here’s how to make sure you make the most out of these two critical introductory slides:

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Straight Talk #9

Introduction to the CMA

Most agents will wait until the end of their presentation to discuss the price, but there are two problems with that:

  1. The clients are anxious to find out the price, so they may not be listening as intently as they should be to “all the other stuff”.
  2. Since you’ve left “the price” to the very end, you’ve now got nothing else to talk about. You’re backed into a corner.

If you’re unable to come to terms on the price right away, wouldn’t it be better to have an entire treasure chest of positive stuff to talk about, and then come back to revisit the price, later?

This explains why the CMA is placed where it is in the Knowledge First Presentation.

You’ve got your client(s) primed with a very detailed and highly informative overview of the market conditions, as well as a detailed discussion on pricing strategy, including “Buyer Psychology 101”.

Now, let’s talk about the price…

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Straight Talk #10

The Big Picture

As mentioned, you’ve got your client(s) primed with a very detailed and highly informative overview of the market conditions, as well as a discussion on pricing strategy, including “Buyer Psychology 101”.

They should now be in the right frame of mind to make an intelligent decision on the price of their property, considering all of the important and relevant factors.

For the next step, I recommend presenting a summary overview of their particular market segment, and how it compares to the overall market conditions, that you’ve just finished demonstrating.  I refer to this segment as The Big Picture.

Here’s how to present this in a powerful and impactful way…

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Straight Talk #11

The Ten Best Solds

It’s the SOLD (proven) properties that we will examine and compare to the subject property in order to determine a competitive list price.

The magic number for sold comparables is TEN.  I know that sounds like a lot to most agents, but it’s not.  Out of the ten, if there are three that are clearly superior to the subject property, and three that are clearly inferior, then that only leaves four that are “close” to the subject.

This shows the seller a wide variety, and if you use the same methodology as The Big Picture, it demonstrates “fairness” to the seller; you’re not just cherry-picking comparables that support a low price.   

Here’s how to determine The Ten Best Solds…

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Straight Talk #12

The Weekly Report

In your Listing Presentation, you promised to send your seller a weekly report.  I’ve never had a single agent tell me they disagree with this and/or want to remove this from their presentation.

You know darn well you should be doing this, each and every week.  In fact, you’ve promised yourself you’re going to do it, and then stuff came up, you missed it one Monday, and then forgot about it, and the next Monday you got super busy, and…  Now it’s been six weeks.

Bad REALTOR®!

If you’re still letting this important appointment slide by every week, know this:

You’re normal.

But you didn’t join Knowledge First to be normal, did you?

Here’s the how and why on getting real and useful information, delivered to your clients each and every week, from the expert that they are relying on to guide them:

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Straight Talk #13

The Monthly Newsletter

Has this ever happened to you?  You’re with a group of friends, and one of them starts bragging about their new house.

What?  Um…  You know I’m a REALTOR®, right?

“Oh ya!  I forgot!  So anyway, it’s got a triple car garage, backs onto a park, blah, blah, blah…”

You’re seething with rage…

I’ve heard this happens to other REALTORS®.  Not trying to be too braggy here, but it NEVER once happened to me.  Why?

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Straight Talk #14

Geo-Farming

Words we use to describe “farming”:

Planting, nurturing, cultivating, harvesting…

Harvesting! The best of all the farming words.  But of course, there will be no harvesting without doing all the other stuff first.  Here are a few more words you’ll need in order to be a great geo-farmer:

Patience, commitment, consistency, effort…

If you do it right, your Geo-Farm will provide a continuous yield of high-quality clients.

Here’s how to get started:

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Straight Talk #15

Before the Open House

Business is slow?

Obviously, you’re failing miserably at Open Houses; the cheapest and easiest source of high-quality buyers (and sellers), IF YOU DO IT RIGHT.

My experience is that the majority of REALTORS® are squandering their time at Open Houses, and actually doing more harm than good to their careers.

If you’re going to spend your valuable Saturday or Sunday afternoon, sitting around at your Open House, nodding to people and asking if they have any questions, and they say “no” and you say, “OK, thanks for dropping by”, and they leave… Why bother?

Go home!  Spend some time with your family or play a round of golf (if you like that stupid game) or go for a ride on your motorcycle (yes!) or take your dog for a walk.  Just about anything else would be better for your mental health, compared to accomplishing nothing at an Open House. 

An Open House is a gold mine full of unrepresented buyers.  AND potential sellers.  Here’s how to find the nuggets and cash them in:

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Straight Talk #16

At and After the Open House

OK, let’s start the Open House.  You’ve done a LOT of work.  Now, it’s show time.  You’ll be performing for two hours.

I’m not being facetious, here.  You are in fact, very much on stage. 

You need to be professional, sincere, and friendly, all at the same time.  For some of you, this is easier than it is for others.  Lucky you! 

Here’s what to do when the curtain swings open and your Open House begins:

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Straight Talk #17

Relationship Selling

Never forget this:  You’re in a relationship-based business.  You’ve got to develop trust and rapport with people, or they won’t work with you.

The most successful agents exude four distinct attributes: professionalism, confidence, friendliness, and authenticity.

These characteristics are proven out in a person’s daily actions, and you should be able to hear them very distinctly in a person’s voice (or not).

What about you?  I suggest you ask a close friend or co-worker for their honest opinion, and if you are not clearly exuding these qualities in your interactions, consider how you could improve.

Here are a few tips to help:

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Straight Talk #18

Delegating

If you don’t have an assistant, you are one.  And you’ll earn like one, too.

Hey, I understand if you feel like you’re not making enough money to afford a full-time assistant. But honestly, if you’re spending half your work time doing low-skill work, so that you don’t have enough time to do the high-level stuff, how can you afford NOT to have an assistant?

Perhaps you can share the services of one highly skilled assistant with one or two other agents and split the cost.  That’s one option.  But the sooner you get an assistant, the sooner you will accelerate your success.

If you want to get more done with less stress, find the people who love to do all the things that you should NOT be doing. 

When you find the right person, remember that delegating is a skill unto itself, and you will fail if you don’t learn the following:

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Straight Talk #19

Sales Funnels

Sales Funnels?  That sounds complicated and scary!

Actually, this is going to be the simplest Straight Talk yet.  In fact, if you’re super organized and you’ve got a powerful CRM and a great system for following up on leads, you can take the week off!

However, if you write your ‘client lead’ information on the back of napkins or sales receipts or business cards, this Straight Talk is for you!

Maybe you actually have a super powerful CRM, but you use it strictly to look up phone numbers?

We’ve got all kinds of amazing technology available to us in Real Estate, but I’ve rarely ever seen a REALTOR® using technology to anywhere near its potential.  In fact, I never have.  That includes me, by the way.

Sometimes we search for complicated answers, when a ridiculously simple solution would be better.

So, here’s my ridiculously simple system for keeping track of leads:

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Straight Talk #20

Defending Your Commission

Have you noticed that ever since you began using the KF Listing Presentation, you get WAY fewer commission objections?

Commission objections happen because you haven’t justified your worth.  When you clearly demonstrate that you’re the best, it’s hardly ever an issue.

This is why there is no commission discussion inside the Listing Presentation.  Every time I did a Listing Presentation in my career, I wrote the commission into the contract and I explained it in a matter-of-fact way (without pausing) as I was explaining all the details of the contract.

The unstated message is, “It is what it is”.  If you pause, it shows weakness, as if you don’t believe in your own value, and therefore you’re inviting objections.

You’ve got to have confidence in your worth.  Honestly, I never wanted to work with anyone who didn’t appreciate the value I brought to the table as a Top Tier full-service agent.  And if I ever did get asked for a commission reduction, I would explain it like this:

“I’m sorry (I’m not really but it’s a friendlier approach), but I don’t reduce my commissions for this reason:

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And much, much more. 

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