Yesterday, we covered “why choose an unpaid team” and today, we’ll discuss “what is an unpaid team.”
Now, to the heart of the matter — generating leads through an unpaid affiliate simply because of the loyalty that you supply that affiliate. The way that I ran my business and train my coaching clients to run their businesses is to pick outstanding affiliates in each field and offer them complete loyalty.
This complete loyalty includes their picture and résumé under the trusted affiliates section of my website and other pro-active endorsements. These endorsements would also include the affiliate being included in my listing presentation. I would go as far as telling my seller that it would be difficult to guarantee the quality of service unless the affiliate was being used. The affiliate would also be included in all of my buyer’s presentations. Taking on new buyers was a low priority in my business. There were times that I would not handle a buyer unless they agreed to use my affiliates, especially my lender.
Since most agents are listing agents, some find it difficult to control the affiliate use because they do not control the contract; however, the listing agent does control the counter-offer. Most top agents counter all offers to increase the surety of close quotient to the seller and to tighten up the contract. A counter-offer could simply be: “Buyer agrees to use Joe Lender at XYZ Mortgage. After pre-approval, buyer is free to use lender of his or her choice.” This is not a tough counter-offer, especially when you believe in my theme of not trying to squeeze every dollar out of the transaction. The counter-offer is simply a way to tighten the contract offering a greater surety of close to the seller.
When an affiliate sees that they do not have to solicit your business on a regular business, thus saving on their marketing budget, you will soon become a favorite client. They do not have call you or spend money on you. They do not even have to worry about you bringing them business, because you have already promised to do so! With that status and relationship now growing, it will be possible for you to ask an affiliate to participate in joint lead generation systems, especially when the affiliate is also making money.
It is important for all people who are on your team to understand that the perception of value and service must ring true to the client. The Ritz Carlton uses the following to teach their employees the basics of service and how to create repeat clients:
“Give your guests a warm and sincere greeting, using their names whenever possible. Anticipate and comply with the needs of your guests. Offer a fond farewell, again using your guests’ names whenever possible. Always remember that we are ladies and gentlemen, serving ladies and gentlemen. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission. We pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambiance. The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.”
When you adapt this philosophy to real estate, your affiliates will understand that to be on the “team” they must treat your clients with the utmost of care, compassion, and desire to achieve their goals.
You, the agent, are the rainmaker. You institute lead generation systems, which brings the clients to the table. These lead generation systems allow affiliated industries to make money from their products and services that are purchased concurrent with your real estate service. It would make sense that if you were able to create more leads and you were loyal to one affiliate then that affiliate would have more business. What if that affiliate was brought to the table with the understanding that it is partly their responsibility to help with some of the systems that create leads in return for your loyalty?
The following affiliates are people who have used my programs to team up with top real estate agents so they can better serve those agents and also make money at the same time. These people are as follows:
- Lender or mortgage companies
- Title or other closing companies
- Termite or other pest control companies
- Escrow or other closing entities
- Closing attorneys
- Insurance companies and accountants to whom you have been loyal
- Home warranty representatives
- Hazard professionals including radon, earthquake, flood, or others
- Moving companies
- Home inspection companies
- Other paid associates such as your printer, sign company, contractor, computer consultant, etc.
I consistently used just one professional in each of these categories. I promised these professionals all of my business. I told them that they no longer had to bring in their rate sheets, sticky pads, or donuts to keep their name in the forefront of my mind. I pledged total allegiance to my affiliate, and let them spend their time soliciting the business of their agents. This turned my business into an annuity for them.
In turn, I asked them to become a team member and to become involved with simple lead generation activities. These responsibilities lessened my time spent in generating leads and customer service.
The first system is a lender-assisted “for sale by owner” (FSBO) program. It starts with a time-blocked day part every Monday to research the “for sale by owners.” This research would include searching all websites with newspaper classifieds, for sale by owner (FSBO) websites, third-party service providers like LandVoice or other for sale by owner search firms, and getting the word out to your family, friends, and co-workers to bring all FSBO leads to you. Once all the FSBO leads are assembled and put into a spreadsheet, this information is forwarded to the lender for a time-blocked phone call at approximately 5:15pm every Monday. This phone call would go as follows:
“Hi, Mr. Johnson. My name is Joe with XYZ Mortgage. I notice that you are currently selling your home as for sale by owner. I have a department devoted to helping for sale by owners. Would you like to hear some of our free services? (wait for response) First, we could pre-approve every buyer you are working with so you know that if you do go under contract with that buyer then they will be able to close with a pre-approved loan. We can refer top agents to you, if you are looking for a new home to purchase. If you are looking for a new home in any city in the world, we can even find an agent to help you. Also, if you send us your flyer, we can distribute it to some of our agents who have an interest in your type of property and geographical area. We would like to act as a ‘sounding board,’ where you can ask just about any question. I am a top professional in real estate, and I have been for many years. If I do not know the answer to your question, I will certainly get back to you quickly with the answer. There are many other services that I can offer. The purpose of my phone call is to see if there are any buyers that I can pre-approve for you right now, and also, see if I can call you each week to offer additional services as your needs change. I will be sending you a letter outlining some of our services, too. Can I confirm your mailing address? (get address) Thank you for your time, and I look forward to speaking with you again soon.”
As you can see, I am training my lender to do the “dirty work” that I do not want to do. Having a commissioned sales person calling a for sale by owner is difficult at best and requires much energy. Early in my career, I found that the energy could be saved for when the FSBO becomes a little more “tenderized.” The lender loves this opportunity, because the research is already done for them. They receive many buyer leads to pre-approve. Once they develop a relationship with the FSBO lead, the chances are pretty good that he or she will be representing the buyer for the loan. Furthermore, the unstated aspect is the lender not only receives that business from me but ALL of my business.
As the weeks go on and more for sale by owners are added to the list, it will soon become obvious that the lender has become a true income source for you. The lender is now responsible for as many as five different income sources.
The first income source is all of the pre-approved buyers who did not purchase the FSBO’s home. The second source is the FSBO himself or herself who has already sold the home and becomes a buyer client of mine. The third source is the listing that needs to be sold in order for the sellers to become a buyer of the FSBO’s home. The fourth source of income is that for sale by owner selling their home and moving to another city where I can find a real estate agent for them and receive a referral fee.
The most important source of income is when the FSBO becomes a bit disillusioned with the entire process and begins to share subtle hints with the lender. The seller begins mentioning that this is more difficult than he or she imagined. The seller mentions that he or she is in trouble with the boss because of leaving work so much to show the home. Maybe she feels uncomfortable being by herself and showing a home to people she does not know? Whatever the “chink in the armor,” my lender was always ready for a simple close:
“I work closely with one of the top agents in the area who specializes in netting more money for FSBOs than they can net for themselves. His name is Walter Sanford. Can I have Walter give you a call?”
Armed with a positive response, the lender would call me and excitedly say, “Get this guy!” My lender has now delivered to me a “pre-tenderized” for sale by owner, who is much easier to close for a listing presentation appointment.
Lead generation is what builds your business and keeps your pipeline full, no matter what the market says! Grow Your Leads: Just Add Wa(l)ter is a hefty book full of detailed and complete prospecting systems, and it includes the data CD (digital copy). This is also a great manual for an assistant.
Call 800.792.5837 and ask for the $50 blog special on Grow Your Leads: Just Add Wa(l)ter. Check out the content details here: http://www.waltersanford.com/shop/grow-your-leads-just-ask-walter/.