A Quick Minute of Motivation

In this motivational series, I’ll highlight how to become a Peak Performer. I have some questions for you today. Are you effectively communicating with people these days? Are you sending the right message and being responsive? Now more than ever, effective communication is needed. Hear more of my thoughts on this in my latest Peak Performer message.

Need more motivation? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email at scottmacdonald@remax.net

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Why do sales people fail?

Why do sales people fail, survive or thrive is a question I hear more often in the one-on-ones conducted with sales people in our office lately.  In real estate there are several factors that make up the answer.  The top producers in the business take each one of these tips to heart and work them to the best of their ability day in and day out consistently which helps them attain high levels of productivity and success.  Let’s review what is important to take you to the next level and what you need to avoid to become a sales failure:

Ø  The number one issue is lead generation.  They don’t do enough prospecting, networking or whatever it takes to get in front of people looking to buy or sell your product.  Without someone to sell to, there will be no income generated.  All of the knowledge in the world is useless if you have no one to communicate it to.  Get busy getting clients. 

Ø  Next is they can’t communicate their value proposition clearly enough to their client or potential clients.  Develop an elevator speech to build your value proposition around to becoming a success.

Ø  Also, they don’t know the inventory or preview homes which prevent them from keeping their finger on the pulse of the market and being able to communicate with someone a good deal when asked.

Ø  Additionally, they don’t have systems in place for success.  It is critical to have systems for prospecting, following up, following through, handling internet leads, or getting a sale to settlement.  If systems are in place, they are antiquated.  Get busy streamlining your systems to make yourself more efficient.

Ø  They don’t seek out coaching or accountability.  It is so important to ask for guidance, help, and direction so you can grow you business.  Taking counsel from your self can only get you so far.  You need to have someone with experience to bounce ideas off, help hold you accountable and give you advice to get you to the next level.

Ø  Salespeople who fail don’t further their education.  They don’t complete their continuing education, attend trainings or seminars, or obtain designations which are an integral part of success.  On the job training will only get you so far in this business.  Remember, when you stop learning you stop earning.

Ø  Because of the aforementioned items, they have difficulty understanding market trends.  Is it a buyer’s or seller’s market and why is so important.  They don’t know their own numbers, their company’s numbers, numbers relating to the marketplace, their competition’s numbers, etc. so it makes it difficult to give the right advice when buying or selling a home.

Ø  They fail to have proper database management.  Who is good, who needs to be deleted and most importantly, who to add to their sphere is paramount to success.

Ø  The communication level and message sent to their clients, sphere, and other agents will help ensure success.  How frequently, what is communicated, and when is it communicated sets top producing agents apart from the rest of the crowd.

Ø  Practice, practice, practice.  Either they don’t have or don’t rehearse scripts.  Get a partner and rehearse over coming common objections, listing presentations, buyer presentations, etc.  Video these meetings and critique your performance.  If you haven’t done homework how will you graduate to the next level?

Ø  They don’t have a business plan.  If you don’t have a plan, how will you know what your priorities are for your day?  How will you know what you want to accomplish?  The importance of a business plan cannot be overlooked and must be taken from your head and put on paper.

Ø  The right attitude is so important and top producers have the proper attitude.  Have a can do, positive attitude each and every day.  We all have set backs in life but it is how you approach and respond to these situations that set you apart from others in the field. 

Ø  Salespeople who fail lack taking responsibility for themselves and their actions.  It is the market, interest rates and loan programs, their clients just don’t get it, the weather, or so many more.  Take responsibility for your lack of productivity by implementing the right strategies previously mentioned in this blog.

Ø  They don’t manage their time well.  They put out fires consistently, don’t prioritize their activities and the day passes them by too often.  You must work each day to be intentional in your efforts.  Use your time wisely.  Block out time to get your most important things done without interruption.  Everyone has the same amount of time every day, it is how you use it that separates the good from the great.

You can see why it is easy to fail, there are so many areas of relevance and importance.  They are all intertwined and relate to each other on many levels.  If you take the time to analyze what you are doing in each area and improve daily in them, you will take your career to new heights.  Challenge yourself to improve and the results will follow.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

How will you make it happen?

In today’s business world we all have similar challenges – we want more sales, more clients, a larger database, more profit and the question is, “how do we make it happen?”  In my opinion, it all starts with relationships.  How you treat others, how you speak with others, how do you interact with others are all actions that you take every day that require continuous analysis.  Once analyzed, take the time to enhance and improve on these important skills to be successful. 

The analogy of – people do business with people they know, like and trust is an adage that goes back several decades.  What must you do to have this happen to you? 

First, be an excellent listener.  Be engaged, my eye contact, lean forward, and take notes – be interested, not interesting and people will respond in kind.  Remember their name – it is music to their ears. 

Next, avoid the “me” monster – ask questions, pause before responding, find common ground and build upon that common ground.  Take extra time with people, don’t rush people, ignore people or treat them poorly – this will have a long lasting negative impression upon them.  Remember, it is all about them – not you.  You want them to feel good about the interaction with you and want more.

Also, remember to be observant – recognize their style of dress, artwork in the office or home, memorabilia, pictures of places, friends or family, the car they drive, etc. that will give you clues about how they are as individuals.  These clues about who they are and what they enjoy will help you build upon your relationship with them.

Compliment them when appropriate.  People love to receive accolades for a job well done or on their personal appearance or style.  Be careful not to overdo it or it will come across as insincere.

Be positive and keep an open mind to learn something new every day.  By learning something new, you get the opportunity to teach or help someone else with their situation.

If you take these skills, couple them with dressing the part and build upon them with what my friend Hilary Fordwich calls the 5 C’s you will gain more business, get more referrals, have more profits and in the end, enjoy more success.  

Her 5 C’s are:

Communication.  Buy in your language, sell to them in theirs.  Never start emails with I.  Use their name often.  Be visual versus internal.

Candor.  Be open and honest.  If you make a mistake, admit it.  If you don’t know something, tell your client you don’t know but you will find out.  Be a straight shooter.  Do not use the following terms  – to be honest with you, let me be frank with you or to tell you the truth.  Being honest builds credibility and trust.

Concern.  Empathize with your clients.  It is about your clients and their needs not yours.  Show you truly care by going above and beyond the call of duty.  Understand their situation and where they stand.

Competence.  Know how to tailor your service to meet their needs.  Know your business, its trends, and the numbers and know how to communicate it with your clients.

Connection.  Find common ground to neutralize differences.  Ask the right questions both personal and professional ones to learn more about them.

The more you rehearse these skills, the more you incorporate them into your daily routines, the more you and your business will grow.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!


How is selling a house like rowing a boat?

In a recent listing presentation, I explained to the sellers that selling their home was like a crew team rowing down a river.  Picture the scenario – a boat going down the Potomac River in front of Georgetown and you have the team in the boat – in order to get from point A to point B, everything needs to happen in a logical order.  The boat needs to be in tip top shape, the crew needs to be facing in the same direction, the strokes need to be precise and in sync and the captain needs to be able to give the proper commands at the right times in order for the team to achieve success whether they are participating in a race or if it is practice. 

So what happens if the boat has a leak in it?  What happens if the riggers are rusted and don’t allow the proper swing motion for the oars?  What if the team members don’t stroke in unison and are out of sync?  What if the captain improperly adjusts the rudder or gives the wrong command?  What if the captain is inconsistent in his/her stroke calls?  Any number of things could result, all of which are not productive to the team and in the end, the outcome is less than desirable.

How does this correlate to selling a house?  If any one piece of the home selling scenario is out of place the sale will be difficult to achieve.  If the house is not in the right condition and is in poor shape it will take longer to sell and the owner will “net” less in the end.  If the house is not staged properly and doesn’t show well the home will attract lower offers and in some cases, none at all.  If the house isn’t priced correctly, it may get lots of activity (showings) but no contracts and in the end, it will not sell.  In addition, if the Realtor/captain does not convey the proper message about the condition of the house, the importance of staging, the correct pricing of the property and then implement the proper marketing strategy, or if they don’t recognize changes in the market and inform the sellers to make the appropriate adjustments, the house will also have a more difficult time selling.

Selling a house is a “team” effort and in order to achieve the seller’s goal of selling the property, it is critical that all the parties work together, have open lines of communication and react to the market conditions quickly so the sale occurs.  The quote about team – Together Everyone Achieves More – is more relevant in today’s market than ever before.  If you are a seller, ask the right questions of your agent.  If you are an agent, be the professional and give the right advice – or – move on to a better client.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Do you hear me?

One of the most critical pieces of the communication process is listening.  To set yourself apart from others and to get further faster, take the time to listen.  Why do people have such difficulty with listening?  First, the mind thinks at about 1,000 words per minute and the average person speaks at 250 words per minute leaving the listener with the opportunity to have their mind wander, become unfocused or more often than not – get ready to say what they want to say next and they stop listening. 

The skills required include discipline, focus, concentration and respect of the other party with whom you are communicating.  The discipline factor includes stopping yourself from thinking of what to say next.  Use the technique of pausing before you speak to slow down the pace of the conversations.  Ask for clarification of what was said.  Rephrase what you believe you heard them say.  Focus on the person you are speaking with.  Look in their eyes, watch their lips, and observe their body language to help you better understand what they are saying.  Concentrate on the speaker and ask if it is OK to take notes so you can be clear on what is being said to you.  Rephrase what you believe was said and ask for clarification of what you repeat is correct.  Respect the other person by watching them when they speak.   It has been said that communication is 7% of what you say, 38% is your body language when you say it and 55% is the tonality which is used to say it.  Therefore, you must be an active participant when listening to others and pay attention to the verbal and non verbal pieces of communication to excel at listening.

Set yourself apart by improving this one piece of the communication puzzle – listening and you will see your business improve.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Now, go sell something!



Converstations on Shorts sales, HERA with Ed Dean with Potomac Mortgage Group

The shorts sales continue to rear their ugly head. Our agents continue to have problems with the time spent working on them, the energy devoted to them and the lack of results they are getting out of them.  It appears now that many of the banks have gone to call centers handling the shorts sale calls for the banks and these people have no training no experience, but more importantly no authority to make decisions on whether or not to approve or disapprove a short sale. 

Enough of short sales, now onto the mortgage news…

This week the head of FHA, Dave Stevens, made the announcement that FHA will not be going the way of HVCC because he is a wise man and recognizes the inherent problem associated with the HVCC.  Great news for all of us in this regard!

In a recent conversation with Ed Dean, we were further educated on the new TIL reforms and told us that 10 days is a reasonable amount of time to get a loan to close, you would have to move heaven and earth to get a loan done in 7 days (it can be done, but it’s not recommended), but his belief is that it is not going to have as much of an impact as many people are indicating. Check out his notes on the subject from our conversation.  Ed did a review of 5,000 loans that his former mortgage company had done and noted that only 30 of those loans would have needed re-disclosure. A majority of those 30 needed re-disclosure as a result of people failing to lock in their interest rate or it was initially a pre-qualification and it went to contract several months later. You’ll note at the bottom of page 3 of his notes, how significantly the numbers need to change to get a re-disclosure.

Other mortgage news included guidelines continue to get tougher on condos with more restrictions imposed. In addition it has become virtually standard operating procedure for every lender to pull the Form 4506 from the IRS to request the borrower’s tax returns to make sure they match the ones they provided in the loan application process. Basically with the way the loans are going today, you have to fit inside the box. There is no thinking outside, underwriting or loans being approved outside the box. And lastly, second trusts continue to have no future or part of the mortgage or sales landscape.

As is always we strive to keep you educated in the real estate world.  Get it? Got it? Good!