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Archive for February, 2015

The “Oprah Effect” – Effectively Using Testimonials in Real Estate for Extra Income

Effectively Using Testimonials at MX1  The “Oprah Effect” – Effectively Using Testimonials in Real Estate for Extra Income – by Dana Sparks

Yeah yeah… you’ve heard it from Day 1 that you are to solicit referrals for easy business in real estate but are you doing this?  Is it effective? How literally are you taking this concept?  When you are a newly licensed agent, your “sphere of Influence” is absolutely the WORST source of business for you despite what every real estate new agent training program teaches!  Of course you are going to have your core group of raving fans who will support you in every way possible but for the most part, you will not get business as a new agent from those who already know you!  Think about it…. they know you relative to your former occupation and do not yet relate to you as a sharp agent who will protect their biggest investment!  Additionally, they interact with you in one realm of your life and don’t necessarily want you to know all the ins & outs of their finances.  After you have been in the business a while, then absolutely your sphere of influence and database of past clients is a fabulous source of business for you if you “work it” consistently and systematically.

This article, however, is not about working your database.  This article is more about the effective use of testimonials aka the “Oprah Effect.”  When Oprah Winfrey’s show was on television daily, one of her regular shows was her “Favorite Things.”  She would talk about (& give away) an item, book, etc. of a product or service that she had personally used and liked.  As soon as Oprah declared an item as one of her “favorite things,” the sales of that item skyrocketed!!!  If you think about, ANY celebrity endorsement of a good or service typically enhances the sale of that item!  Take advantage of that phenomenon and start garnering and using endorsements of YOUR real estate services if you want to see your sales skyrocket!

In general, people feel more comfortable about a person, product, restaurant, etc. if someone else says it’s good or recommends it – even if they don’t even know that 3rd party!  For example, how many times have you gone out to eat and you ask the server what they recommend or like?  How on earth do you know if they have similar tastes as you do?  They could simply recommend the most expensive item on the menu!  How many reviews do you read of hotels, restaurants, etc. before going there.  What about moving to a new area and needing a beauty salon…. sometimes you’ll go up to a complete stranger and ask them who does their hair!  It is human nature to seek endorsement and approval from someone else prior to embarking on something new!

Use this to your advantage!  Every time you get a new client or customer, ask them to write a testimonial for you!  If they are not sure what to say, then simply write your own testimonial and ask them to sign it if they agree!  Then pepper ALL of your marketing and advertising with these comments (or excerpts of comments) proclaiming what an amazing agent you are!  You will absolutely make your clients feel more comfortable and confident with you and will sign them to Listing Agreements & Buyer Brokerage Agreements quicker than without a 3rd party endorsement!  Be willing to give a potential NEW client the name and number of a previous client.  Include these written testimonial letters in your Pre-List packages and in your Buyer Consultation materials!  Learn to create your OWN “Oprah Effect” to earn extra income this year!

Lessons From the Red Carpet for Real Estate Sales

Lessons From the Red Carpet for Real Estate Sales

Lessons from the Red Carpet Lessons From the Red Carpet for Real Estate Sales – by Dana Sparks

 So what lessons can you learn from the entertainment award shows for your real estate business? Your real estate training should be replete with the many valuable lessons about the inner game of real estate! Ninety percent of your success in real estate sales begins with your mindset, hence the “inner game.” So what does this have to do with “the red carpet?!?!” … EVERYTHING!

Have you watched any of these shows… the Golden Globes, Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, the Oscars, People’s Choice Awards, Emmys, Tonys? Have you picked up a People magazine lately or seen any of the magazine covers at the checkout line in the grocery? Watched Entertainment Tonight, TV Guide Channel, E! Entertainment? What is the buzz all about? It’s about the red carpet itself! Not about the work for which these actors and actresses are being nominated, it’s about the impression they make being seen on the red carpet itself! Perhaps you will be more familiar with the real estate lingo: it’s about their “curb appeal!”

The first impression you make is vital to your success in your real estate sales business. That first impression should be polished, professional and pleasant. You do not have to wear a designer outfit, nor borrow jewels from Bulgari, nor be chauffeured to your appointments in a limousine but you certainly better carry yourself as if that is whom you are!

You will never even have the opportunity to help a Seller or Buyer move forward with their real estate needs if you do not dazzle them from the start! People are desperately seeking leadership and confidence and competence. Take the initiative and be that principal for your prospects and you will turn them into clients and get paid for the value you bring.

That first impression has more to do with your insides rather than your appearance! Your energy precedes you with everyone you meet regardless of the words you speak or the look on your face. It is the inner game of real estate where the deal is done! Don’t believe me? Think back to the last time you interacted with an animal, perhaps a dog or a horse, and that animal KNEW if you were friendly or scared or annoyed, right? Can’t you tell if that stranger in front of you or behind you in line is in a bad mood or not? Did you not catch that infectious laughter of a baby who does not even yet know how to speak?

You are in the productivity business so when you prepare for your next listing appointment or buyer appointment, consider the amount of time which you take on preparing your mindset, energy and attitude; is it as much as or more than the amount of time and preparation you spend on your CMA? Your real estate coach or mentor can work with you so that you convince yourself of the following in order to be of service to your prospect:

  • Your value in offering service to their real estate needs
  • Your confidence in getting the job done
  • Your inner belief that you truly ARE the best agent for the job
  • Your ability and willingness to listen to their issues and goals
  • Your persuasion skills to guide them where they need to go
  • Your leadership ability to show them the opportunity in this real estate market
  • Your competence in meeting their real estate needs
  • Your guidance in explaining their local real estate market in relation to their financial outcome regardless if that result is positive or negative
  • Your positive attitude in creating clarity out of their confusion about the market

These mental performance skills are vital to your success in your career in real estate.

What are You Reading? Books to Enhance Your Real Estate Business

Books for RE at Maximum One RealtorsWhat are You Reading? Books to Enhance Your Real Estate Business – by Dana Sparks

There are many motivational, informational and instructional books to read to enhance your real estate business.  The thoughts you put into your mind greatly effect the actions you take which have direct impact on your business.  There are many ways to directly guide your thoughts and your resulting happiness and interactions with others.  Some of these ways to direct one’s thoughts and resulting behaviors include using affirmations, listening to music, watching positive movies, hanging out with loved ones, meditating and reading.  Specifically to enhance your ideas about your real estate business, there are many  iconic books to peruse.

Below are some books to consider:

How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Rich Dad Poor Dad – Richard Kyosaki
Oh the Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss
Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind & Change Your Life – Martin E. Seligman
Yes! 50 Scientifically Ways to be Persuasive –  Noah J. Goldstein & Steve J. Martin
The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – Joseph Murphy
Excuse Me Your Life is Waiting – Lynn Grabhorn
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion & Purpose – Tony Hsieh
Who Moved my Cheese? – Spencer Johnson
The Trick to Money is Having Some – Stuart Wilde
The Success Principles – Jack Canfield
The Lombardi Rules: 26 Lessons from the World’s Greatest Coach – Vince Lombardi
Fascinate – Sally Hogshead
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Ask and it is Given – Esther & Jerry Hicks
Why we Buy – Paco Underhill
The Blue Ocean Strategy – Renee Mauborgne
Golf is a Game of Confidence – Robert Rotella
How to Think Like Einstein -Scott Thorpe
Getting to Yes – Roger Fisher & William Ury
Thinking Body Dancing Mind – Chungliang Al Huang
Less Blah Blah More Ah Ha – Ken Brand
The Greatest Salesman in the World – Og Mandino
What Would Google Do – Jeff Jarvis
The Magic of Thinking Big – David Schwartz
How Successful People Think – John Maxwell
Excuses Begone – Wayne Dyer
The Millionaire Real Estate Agent – Gary Keller
The Four Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss
The Gospel of Wealth – Andrew Carnegie
The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko
Cold Calling Techniques – Steven Schiffman
Write it Down & Make it Happen –  Henriette Anne Klauser
The E Myth Revisited – Michael Gerber
Life is What You Make It – Peter Buffett
The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language – Steven Pinker

 “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – by Dr. Seuss

The Super Bowl: 4 Quarters of Real Estate Coaching

Win YOUR Superbowl at Maximum One RealtyThe Super Bowl: 4 Quarters of Real Estate Coaching – by Dana Sparks

Super Bowl XLVIII will be played tonight, 2/1/15 between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.  You, the real estate agent, have the opportunity to create the Super Bowl experience for yourself everyday! These magical elements (minus “deflategate”) of the Super Bowl are within your grasp and can greatly enhance your productivity business!

Challenge – Everyday as an agent, you get to challenge yourself and grow!   There are many challenges within our profession: finding people who want to sell or buy their property, converting  these leads into clients by demonstrating your value in terms of the skills and market knowledge you possess.    Then you have the challenge of reading and interpreting the real estate market so as to properly price a listing to sell and educate a buyer as to why THIS is the absolute best time to buy as this opportunity will not stay around for long! The myriad list of challenges exists within your chosen career.   When you really challenge yourself as these football players do, unbelievable results are available to you (like the Super Bowl’s first ever 100 yard interception return for a touchdown that just occurred by a Pittsburgh Steeler!)   With each one of these challenges you face and overcome, your confidence grows and your skills get honed giving you the opportunity to face more challenges head on, help more people and earn more money!

Excitement– The Super Bowl is arguably one of the most exciting football games played annually – the attention to the players and all the entertainers that long to be involved, the ticket prices to attend!   There are  many levels of excitement that you and your clients experience in the realm of real estate sales.   It is exciting to go on that listing appointment and walk out with a signed agreement!   It is exciting when you get many showings right away; it is exciting when you receive that first offer on that listing; it is even MORE exciting when you counter back that lowball offer with the list price and the buyer accepts!   It is also thrilling when you work with a buyer who is so appreciative of your professional skill in finding their exact dream home at a price and for terms and in a location that supersedes their wildest dreams!   It is exciting knowing that YOU have just influenced their childrens’ lives;  due to  your skill in securing them that home, their children will attend a specific school, make certain friends, and perhaps meet the “childhood sweetheart” they  will eventually marry!   Now if THAT does not give you chill-bumps…

Competition, Winning & Losing – The competition is the thing!   The growth occurs in the journey.   We all learn lessons (on every level) from winning as well as from losing.   (I will admit that winning is more fun!)   Being in action is when the productivity success occurs.   When you ask aficionados to recall their favorite Super Bowl, they will regale you with tales of specific PLAYS throughout the game, regardless if their favorite team won or lost!   You compete with other agents for clients and market-share, with the media to keep your clients ahead of the perceptions the media creates and get them the best deals possible; and you compete with yourself everyday you decide to go find people who need your real estate services.   If you do not find them, someone else will and sellers and buyers out there need and deserve YOUR skills and services.   Going through the competition is how you get to make your contribution, how you get advance, how you get to earn commissions, how you get to demonstrate your value!

Media Attention – The real estate business is replete with the media attention you create:   internet media, print media, social networking media, telephone media!   How are you at conversational selling?   The media tells stories to make a point.   Do you use scripts that “tell” or do you use stories that “sell?”   When talking to a  seller or buyer do you lead with questions, with persuasive questions?    You constantly present yourself within all sources of media and types of communication.   Your jobis to  attract leads and clients and you earn a living through the words you use to turn those leads and clients into commission checks.   When was the last time you  invested in learning and honing your communication skills?

Endorsement Contracts – In sports, professional athletes earn potentially millions of dollars from their endorsement contracts.   This residual income does not rely on their sweat and effort on the field, this money comes to them!   Your real estate career lends itself doubly to endorsement contract with every transaction you close!   (Please read the post: How to Immediately Double Your Business.)   Your past client (and the other party of the deal – buyer or seller) IS the endorsement deal you seek! Put the appropriate business system in place to consistently,  effectively and valuably  stay in touch  with education  about the opportunity in the real estate market  and  you too will earn a substantial amount of money from your own endorsement contracts!

The Super Bowl, the ultimate contest between the best of the best,  occurs only once a year for two  professional football teams.   You have the unbelievable opportunity to participate in your own Super Bowl every day you choose to work!  Your real estate sales business embodies the same elements, strategies, emotions,  performance excellence as the Super Bowl just in a different arena (pun intended!) Enjoy your real estate profession, relish the challenge and competition, savor the excitement, delight in the media attention, cash those checks from your endorsement contracts… really go after your game and who knows… you may end up going to Disney World!

Go Falcons!!!! …. Well maybe NEXT Year!!

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