A Quick Minute of Motivation

In this motivational series, I’ll highlight how to become a Peak Performer. In today’s Peak Performer Series message I’d like to talk to you about doing videos. Are you doing them? If you aren’t you are truly missing out on huge opportunities. Learn more in my latest message and visit my YouTube channel to see more great samples of videos and relationship building: https://www.youtube.com/user/scottmacdonald5

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

Now go sell something! 

An Xplosive amount of information!!!!!

We recently went to the Xplodethis Conference – a quick hitting, action packed, content rich event that offered the latest in real estate technology and some of the best speakers in the industry.  Here are the notes that will be helpful to you and your business!

MRIS – 12,000 agents have not done a transaction in the last year, 13,000 have done fewer than 3 transactions – basically 40% of agents don’t do the business!  If real estate is your business, technology is your platform – you have to get on the technology bandwagon to be successful!

Mobile is where it’s at for the consumer AND agents – have data on demand in your hand!  We are still in a people business – technology only helps you communicate.  In the next 3-5 years, more searches will be done a mobile device than PC. 

Study of consumers:

  1. Last 10 years – #1 complaint is not enough or lack of communication
  2. This year – consumers feel they are MORE educated about the product than the agent

Top 5 uses of tablets

36 new tablets will be released this year in this market – top 2 – Ipad2 and Motorola Xoom

  1. Data on demand
  2. Real estate searches – Realtor.com has high res. photos
  3. Planning calendars/Contacts
  4. Presentations – shows content and value
  5. Video capability

Top 9 Apps

  1. Realtor.com – can draw a circle around where your clients want to live
  2. ReaddleDocs/PDF Expert –iPad – opens PDF files
  3. Sign my pad – iPad – signature application
  4. Karl Jeacie’s Mortgage calculator
  5. Evernote – voice audio now
  6. Dropbox
  7. Cam card
  8. Cam scanner
  9. Hootsuite – manages all posts to social media

Today’s consumer is multi-media, multi-taskers – find people who would not normally find you

  • Watch TV while surfing the we
  • Surf magazines and scan QR codes
  • On phone and laptop at same time
  • 85% of people find your website other than direct search
  • Your marketing shouldn’t cost you money, it should make you money
  • Check out Agents of Change

Let people know you are Realtor – direct FB, Twitter, Linkedin to your blog where you talk about real estate and incorporate 365 things to do in your area

Use video – neighborhood videos, personal videos of clients about neighborhoods, schools, etc.

Use location – 4square and learn how people are looking to find locations

Use Twitter – use as an educational tool to do your job better – research think tanks, follow experts, get information and share and use in your business.  Find answers for people

Blog – neighborhoods, business, and valuable content so you receive leads!!!  Work your butt off as it is not a magic pill be consistent, be persistent and don’t quit – don’t be afraid to have an opinion – find a unique place and unique vision.

Google –

  • Google.com/Picasa – group resizing, renaming, add to Google maps, collage, add to Facebook, post to Youtube movies
  • Google.com/Voice – transcribes voicemail, sends text message and you can call back
  • Google.com/Latitude – lets you see where someone is at all times with their permissions
  • Google.com/Sync –allows you to sync all mobile devices at one time to calendars
  • Goog.gl – URL shortened – similar to tiny URL – creates Analytics and QR codes automatically
  • Google.com Maps – you can send maps to their GPS or as an email look at Matt’s video on how to use this feature www.
  • Google.com/PowerMeter – monitors the power usage at your home but needs to be compliant with power companies
  • Google.com/Add URL – use for adding every post you put on internet
  • Google.com/Alerts – monitors information on what you want to follow and helps you monitor your online reputation – yourself, your listings & share with your clients, your company, your competition
  • Add where your listing is located – Vienna, Fairfax County, VA – in MRIS to get better mojo in Google
  • Google.com/Places – add your business address and you can get analytics from it as well

14% of people trust what you say about 91% believe what others say about you – peer recommendations are so important today – go to rate-an-agent on Google and see what happens.

Sites where agents can be rated – you are being rated so you better check out what people are saying about you

  • Homethinking
  • Incredibleagents
  • Ratemyagent
  • Mountainofagents

Need to have a plan to ask to recommend you – please go to www.blah/blah/blah.com and ask to recommend you there…Don’t take my word for it – see what others say!

Solution

  1. Compete.com – search to see which site is best
  2. Facefied.com – aggregates all of your reviews so you can put a badge on your email, website, etc. and have people look at and review you

People want sold data from your website

302 million people are considered mobile users – more texts are sent than phone calls being made

Mobile web is growing 8 times faster than traditional web did 10 years ago.  Incorporate mobile into your listing presentation and speak about your solution to this for your clients.  Lower bounce rates and higher capture rates with mobile website.

Video optimization – video=leads=$ – video houses, your profile, and testimonials.  It’s not about what you think – it’s about what they Google!  Become a local provider of content that national companies don’t have the capability to provide.

Universal SERPs Results – 84% Informational – 18% Navigational – 8% Buy from me sell with me – do “how to” videos.  Do “Town Tours” – restaurants, schools, politicians, shopping centers, new homes, etc. and tag them properly.

Most Googled term is “how to” – how to move, how to fix a plumbing issue, how to anything and

Clients want to see video 6 times to 1 over text.

84% of rankings on Google come from Youtube videos

Keep it short – under 2 minutes, use fluid head tripods – no Blair Witch production, make it slow when panning & tilting, don’t zoom in and out, always be in focus, have external microphones, lighting – use white balance/Iris, Rule of thirds – be off to one side or the other but not in the middle.  Rotate male and female voice overs if you are going to do voice overs.  Talk about benefits and features not the layout because they can see it in the video.  Always use studio lighting to hide shadows.  Make videos about what the consumer wants!!!

RPR is for Realtors only and provides tons of content for our clients – gotta see to believe!

Tips for a better website

  • Quick to load is important
  • Don’t want to have to scroll side to side to see all of the content
  • Upper right should be content information – your contact information is preferred here with a form to contact you
  • Don’t use stock photos on your site
  • Use video or professional photographer
  • Work for the client not the commission – don’t use these things (don’t use honest, integrity, etc.)
  • Don’t use featured listings
  • No one cares what you look like – photos of you shouldn’t highlight site
  • Website shouldn’t be built to appease sellers it is used to get new clients
  • Consumer wants to search – giant section and easy to find
  • Valuation models on site too
  • How’s the market?
  • Hyper local information on site.
  • Use Madlib example on your forms
  • Tribusgroup.com/shredder – thanks Eric

QR code on brochure box flyers should drop you into your mobile website

  • Have a personal website
  • Actively market your website
  • Get mobile
  • QR codes on fliers
  • Get social on your website

Use tools that work best for you – video, digital signatures, and mobile devices are extremely critical today for Realtors to use and understand – don’t forget to USE YOUR OWN BRAIN

iPad is a great tool for agents to learn AND use effectively

Marketing and prospecting in real estate – how we receive information today is different than in the past but people still want to be reached out and touched.

If you are a knucklehead in the office you are probably worse on line

Every form of marketing reaches a specific audience – know who you are trying to reach and why.

AVM’s are strictly a baseline and are still not quite there.  Let’s you know if you are in the ballpark but remember they have a huge margin of error.  Set expectations of everyone in the process that there is a margin of error.

Use RBIntel to help support your offer or make a better one!  The stats go back 5 years…

If I were starting today – where would I begin to build an online presence?

  • Make it easy to search for homes
  • Create community landing pages
  • IFrame search into your listing page
  • Need lead capture – don’t have outside links on your site
  • Get local – talk about the community
  • Create content want to share
  • Publish more
  • Measure your results
  • Do a self-audit of your website

Social Media is relational not transactional

  • Provide real time breaking news in their city
  • Things to do/events
  • Every deal in driving radius of their house
  • Automate your updates – maintenance free
  • Social commerce – groupon/living social $25 for $1,000 cash back at closing when buying or selling a house with RE/MAX Gateway
  • Social discovery – drives social commerce
  • Airbnb is the Groupon of 2011 and will create real estate liquidity – your room for rent, your basement for rent, etc.
  • Become a media star through automated messages
  • Become indispensible resource to your clients

Track your customers, leads, contacts through CRM

Leads are:

  • Bogus
  • Suspects
  • Or real prospects

CARMA – Client Acquisition Relational Management Acquisition

Initially set up as a forecasting tool for Fortune 500 companies to project earnings

Understand CRM

  • What
  • Why
  • And, then how

A good CRM system integrates MLS data and transaction data

Intangibles of success in real estate

  • Likability – can you control it?  Yes!
  • Be intentional about your actions – if your actions depended upon someone liking you or not and this determined whether or not you were able to feed your kids do you believe you control your actions
  • Perception is reality.  There is a perception of you in the marketplace and you can’t control it – craft your message you want others to believe and get the perception to the public.

Reason for success of top 100 companies

  • Speed of implementation of systems
  • Take action

CRM is a strategy for managing a company’s interactions and engagements with customers, prospects and clients.

Today we are dealing with Social CRM – advocacy, experience, service support, marketing, PR, sales on a relational basis.

Involves technology to create the best type of CRM

  1. Organize
  2. Automate
  3. Synchronize business practices

Success marketing – putting your plan on paper

How many lead sources do you need to be intentional and direct about growing your business – 4 to 6 – these include but are not limited to your sphere, niche market, online, networking, farming, etc.  Put them in groups and market to them differently.

What data should you collect – personal profiles, demographics, and conversations.  Why?  To build the relationship!

What do you send to whom and when.  Think about this seriously.

Stop drip campaigns and create or start a two way conversation.  Send valuable content, have a call to action, and the human interaction is critical.

Communicate to connect with people, don’t talk at them!

E+R=O

E=Events in your life

R=Response to those events

O=Outcomes

  • Events happen to everyone
  • It’s not the events that cause you to be or feel the way you do, it’s your choice of response
  • There are always at least two responses to every event

How do we learn how to react?  Parents influence is the number one way they respond.

Nobody makes do you anything – you choose your response.  An example is “he made me so mad” – he didn’t make you mad, you chose to be mad.

Everyone has an emotional checking account – think, is there a different way to respond to events?  Our account is full at the beginning of the day and the events we encounter make us write checks for each one we have.  Think before you write you check and don’t write a $5 check for a $.50 event.   

Don’t let self-help turn into shelf help – use what you learn!

Wrap-up – get yourself a mobile device.  By 2012, more people will use mobile devices instead of personal computers.  We are in a “freeware” environment but it will become “payware”.  Data is king – provide the right tools to get the right information out clients.

In today’s ever changing real estate market, you need to stay ahead of the curve.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Now, go sell something!

A walk down memory lane…

At the recent RISMedia Leadership and Social Media Summit,
several of us discussed where we were from a technology standpoint in real
estate and discussed what the “next” big thing in real estate will be and how
it will affect our business. This got me thinking how much has changed since I
got into real estate in 1988. 

Let’s take a step back in time and see how much has changed
and how amazing it is to remember how we ever functioned without the tools we
have today.  The list is in no particular
order and none is more important than the other, but when taken on the whole,
it is amazing.  The following list has
made us more productive, efficient and in some cases even better business
people if used properly.  If you have
others, please let me know.

We used to operate with no cell phones, but technology
stepped up and we used pagers to help keep us connected.  The pagers first buzzed then offered us
numbers to call back which we were able to do with car phones that were
attached to our consoles that took a day to install.  Luckily, technology allowed us to become
mobile with cell phones and now, we finally have smart phones.  What is next?

When we negotiated contracts it was face to face with the
sellers.  Next, we had the opportunity to
use data grams – a service that came over our thermal fax paper machines which
gave us permission to counter contracts on behalf of our clients.  Next, we were able to use fax machines, then
we progressed to scan to email, and now we use docusign and other e-signature
services.  In essence, we don’t have to
see our clients and can even be global with our business practice!

In order for clients to see properties, we used MLS cards –
postcards with a picture on the front and a very brief description on the
back.  Next, we moved up to MLS books
that allowed us to be somewhat more mobile, but the information was dated as it
took time to print and deliver.  After
this came, thermal paper and MLS printouts, dot matrix printers, online access
to MLS service with logins and now to mobile search capabilities from our smart
phones…what is around the corner?

In addition to these changes, the business itself has
changed substantially.  Some argue for
the better, some not – you decide.  At
first, it was a broker based business. 
The broker controlled the commission splits, the information made
public, advertising, etc.  We then moved
into the agent centered business where commission splits skyrocketed, the
advertising and promotion was about the agent and what they could do for the
client.  Now, we have entered the consumer
based business where everything is about the client and how we can serve the
client and provide them with as much information as quickly and efficiently as
possible.

Let’s look at access to properties.  First, it was all appointment only or agents
had to pick up the key from the listing office. 
Next we saw combo lockboxes enter the marketplace.  Then, in order to protect the sellers more,
we were issued circle keys.  When these
became easy to replicate, we move to the combo bar system, and now we utilize electronic
lockboxes of many varieties.

The controlling of Information started with the broker
controlling data to clients then agents were allowed to pass information to
clients and now information is controlled by the internet.  The internet offers virtually endless
information through blogs, websites, idx feeds, vow’s, public records and even
more sources.  It is critical for agents
to be on top of their game at all times when speaking with clients.

Wow, think about how much lead generation has changed.  It used to be we used the newspaper, cold
calling, door knocking and open houses to generate leads.  Then agents took on geographical farming to
gain recognition which lead to agents working their sphere in various ways to
obtain leads.  The onset of the internet
lead to pay per click and other pay for lead sources and this area continues to
blossom through lead generating websites.

The whole technology realm is amazing in itself.  We mentioned pager and progression to smart phones
but how about in the office and on the road? 
We have gone from office computers to personal computers to laptop,
tablets, netbooks, ipad, and mobile apps – the possibilities seem endless at
this point.

Marketing used to be almost strictly all newspaper
advertising.  Then we utilized direct
mail, billboard advertising, bench marketing, bus and car wraps and other forms
of mass advertising.   Agents have become
more practical in their spending habits by utilizing marketing to their sphere,
developing email campaigns, embracing social media outlets.

There used to be no websites then we had company websites
which paved the way for agent websites, and now we have multimedia social
interaction with our clients.

Our offices used to be brick and mortar offices often with
multiple locations.  Next came the mega
office concept where brokers consolidated into on large location.  As the market and technology  changed , offices downsized.  As more agents began to work from home,
wireless access points and wireless cards have become available, café offices
have emerged.

Initially, the way we worked was as Individual agents.  As our businesses grew, assistants became
more prevalent and more of a necessity. 
When lifestyle options and life balance became more important, buyer
agents and listing specialists lead to forming mega teams.  As technology emerge virtual assistants also
offered alternatives for agents to be more efficient.

 Our education avenues
have also changed.  We were first taught
to use the Haines directory, work expired listings and FSBO’s.  Then we took our education on the road and
obtained designations.  Next we worked on
database development, social media development. 
Our travel then gave way to on line training through RSN and other
correspondence classes.  These have lead
the way to webinars, techinars, and streaming video trainings.  Also agents have developed mastermind groups
to grow their businesses.

The agent’s compensation plans have also changed
drastically.  Initially, commission structures
started at 50/50.  Then we saw graduated
commission levels based upon production and then the 100% comp plans with a
monthly fee.  We have also seen transaction
fees become part of our compensation plans. 
There are also plans where agents are on a split until the company
reaches a level acceptable to them known as a CAP schedule and we also see
hybrid forms of these plans.

The world of financing also needs to touched upon.  It used to be 20% down loans, cash, VA loans,
and FHA low down payment loans.  In addition
to these, we had buy downs, high seller consessions and then guidelines
changed.  We had 100% loans, 80/10/10,
80/20, 80/15/5, NINA, 106%, There were COFI loans, Balloon payment loans,
interest only loans and now we have the tightest loan guidelines we have ever
seen.

The marketing of houses has also had a metamorphosis.  Initially we had simple brochures with the
exterior photo taped to the page then we had 800 call capture numbers to find
more buyers for our listings.  Next we
were able to take digital photos and create more elaborate brochures and
virtual tours.   We now market properties
through videos, dedicated listing websites, text for information technologies,
voicepad, and once again, social media outlets.

Advertising venues have also been through changes.  We used to utilize magazines, newspapers, published
articles, hosted TV and radio shows and now we have youtube channels.

Our communication with clients and other agents has also
progressed from the phone only to writing notes, then came email and IM
followed by text and coupled with Facebook messages, tweets, and even more…we
are more available today than ever before

As you notice, our business is always evolving which means
we too need to embrace change, be forward thinking and continuously move
forward if we want our business to only not survive but thrive going into the
future.  Get it?  Got it? Good!