This is a business plan for a 50-transaction a year agent with two assistants who have goals to double your business.
There are some assumptions that have to be made. Assuming that you are already so busy, it is difficult to add new systems unless something else is eliminated from the schedule. You are looking for more balance in your life. You are starting to understand that the true path to financial independence in real estate is through smart real estate investments.
Seller Lead Generation:
Database — Work your database or sphere of influence. Set up daily time-blocked calls each day to get through database in two times a year. Leave three messages before moving on. This is to be done by the agent, not the assistant. Send four letters a year. This is also a daily time-blocked activity; however, prep for the letters can be done by an assistant. The “rainmaker” should add personal notes to each of the letters. Have weekly E-mail blasts about new listings taken or small points of interest regarding market, values, etc. This can be handled by an assistant as well.
Just Sold Cards — In the current market, we are eliminating just listed cards and increasing just sold cards. I want the numbers to be large, and please see my more aggressive cards found in our Ask Wally archives from July 2008.
Expireds – Do better research. Call in the morning with a voice mail message. Step up the interest with a more aggressive letter in a marketing envelope like firecracker tube. Make an evening call. If you get their voice mail, send the crumpled letter solicitation letter on the next day. Visit one expensive expired per day. This is a time-blocked activity. Though it would be more effective if agent did the solicitation, it can be run by an assistant.
FSBO – These are to be researched by agent’s assistant then they are to be solicited by the agent’s lender.
Out-of-State Owners in Your Area – They get four letters and four phone calls per year.
Internet – There is less emphasis on following up on buyer leads. Please have them complete a form. Follow-up with a call to ask them some questions. Get them pre-approved. Offer them the expanded service package. Meet at your office for the first time to have them sign a buyer broker’s agreement. If they miss any step, refer them out.
Have your site cater more to sellers. Have helps for FSBO, expireds, and a VIP section for past clients. Also, have pre-listing documents that a seller can access, prior to a listing presentation. Buy search words/phrases for your area. When someone searches for a real estate agent in your area, you should come up first page by way of an organic search or paid placement on Google and Yahoo.
Buyers generated on the internet have less than a 2% conversion rate. There are better conversion rates on the activities above. Most long term practitioners start to dislike the buyer side of the business. Your listings will produce all the buyers you need. When designing your personal website, make it more seller-friendly. Have it support all of your seller lead generation systems, your listing and pre-listing activities, and your listing marketing efforts. Please change your E-mail address to match your website. If your current E-mail address is a Gmail.com, Yahoo.com, or Hotmail.com type account, it is not a professional, business address. A webmaster may be more beneficial, efficient and profitable than an assistant in doing these items.
Builders — Have your top, local builders received monthly land listings from you, and offer them the long list of things that you can do for them. This is to be time-blocked activity, and it can be run by an assistant.
Attorneys — Add them to a quarterly mail out of value-added items that we do for them. This is also to be time-blocked, and it can be run by an assistant.
If you do not have time to complete any of these items, cut the lead generation activities to be done on the most expensive properties. Raising your price point is the number one net income generator!
You need to time-block all communication periods. The hardest item to control is the access you give the world. At your level of production, it is hard to move forward unless you control the interruptions. In two hours each day, have two time-blocked periods that everyone knows about. Please fit all outgoing calls, E-mail, and snail mail during these times. Voice mail can be monitored and problems handled (or begun the process of being remedied) so when the return call is made to the caller, the problem will then be handled or soon be resolved.
Listing Leads in the “A” Class – The “A” class includes anyone interested in listing in the next 90 days. These individuals should get a call from the agent once a week. This is a time-blocked activity for the agent. If they say, “Don’t call me for 60 days” look for something of value to call them with anyway, like maybe a new comp.
Pendings — All pendings should hear from the closing coordinator once a week and from the agent once a week. You should nicely request referrals in almost every contact. This is a time-blocked activity for the agent and the closing coordinator.
Seller Contact — Sellers should be contacted once a week by the agent. This is another time-blocked activity. The goal is to have them believe that you are working toward their goals and also to achieve a price reduction or a value enhancement. Sometimes an assistant can fill-in with these calls for the “easy-to-handle” sellers, if the property is already priced correctly.
Lead Generation – The lead generation activities that we talked about earlier in the first section need to be time-blocked.
Buyers in the “A” Class – This needs to be a time-blocked call once a week from the buyer’s rep to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Buyers in the “B” Class – This group is to get handled with auto-list software.
Sellers in the “B” Class – This group is handled with calendared call back dates.
Balance — Everyone else is handled with the database program, which we have already detailed.
Meetings – Have an office meeting once a week.
Hot Sheet – Review of the daily hot sheet needs to be a time-blocked activity by the agent.
Confirmations — All appointments need to be confirmed before leaving the office. This can be an assistant activity.
Hit Ratio — The hit ratio on closed listing contracts needs to be increased by being more concerned with the seller’s goals. You become more concerned by asking more questions and having them interact by completing your questionnaire forms, prior to the meeting. These question lists and the entire process is detailed in our system entitled Beating the Competition Every Time.
Listing Periods — In this market listing periods need to be increased to a year,
Commission — Increase your commission to 7%.
Listing Presentations — Cut listing presentations to half an hour for the average one. Do not travel more than a half-hour for a listing, unless unusual circumstances.
DETs as Part of Your Buyer’s Program — As part of your buyer’s expanded services, you need find them a property from your database (another reason to contact your database), FSBOs, old expireds, mailings to area they want, etc. This will WOW the buyers and increase your double-ended transactions (DETs). DETs are the highest profit of all real estate transactions.
DETs as Part of Your Seller’s Program — On listings, please hold the listing as long as legally and ethically possible. Put up sign and send just listed cards on the same day. Hold only one open house that Sunday. Contact all of your buyers in the “A” and “B” class and the balance of your database.
Work with fewer buyers. Eliminate the time-wasters by providing “hoops” that allow them to eliminate themselves when they will not participate in systems that are for their benefit. They need to answer the thirty needs-analysis questions, be pre-approved by a lender looking to save them money with better products, agree to meet at your office to discuss your “unique inventory levels,” and sign a “loyalty agreement” so you can spend the money necessary to achieve their goals.
Office Checklists — All major office systems need to have a checklist. Please review the table of contents on our website for the book entitled Stellar Checklists. Assistants should be paid on the completion of transactions, where the checklists were completely done. Assistants should be paid stipends for leads produced.
Lead Generation Checklists — Checklists should leverage lead generation. For instance, a listing checklist should provide for the just listed cards sent out and the follow-up call. It could also require the operator (assistant) to send letters to all old expireds in the area to let them know that buyers will now be brought into the area by your marketing efforts. On the closing end, we should integrate such items as referral generation and just sold cards into the closing checklist.
The series of these items should be considered a minimum for an agent at your level who just wants to do more listing presentations and work on personal real estate development. It allows for creative thought and leverages the most profitable and productive activities in real estate.