Viewing by month: June 2012

Strategies to help real estate agents improve their performance at work

One of the most appealing aspects of a career in real estate is the dynamic range of tasks that a job can entail: In fact, for many real estate agents it is the fast-paced, busy and versatile nature of the profession that motivates and drives them towards success.

 

Having said that, it is not uncommon for agents to find themselves overwhelmed or disillusioned by the volume of their workloads; and given such, it is important for all agents find ways to both sustain and raise their performance levels at work.

 

The following four tips can be used to assist real estate agents to perform to their maximum potentials:

 

Write tasks down

 

It can sometimes be easier to keep track of tasks and deadlines when they are written down. This is because in doing such you create a tangible reference point, which can then be used to ensure that tasks do not slip through the cracks - particularly in times of high stress and/or workload. Writing tasks down may also help you to visualise and crystalise what is required - enabling you to focus thoughts and energy on tasks at hand, and also prioritise deadlines in the future.

 

Plan and prioritise your workload

 

It is often beneficial to begin a work day by creating a to-do list and prioritising tasks. Both strategies, in combination, often bring an important level of structure and organisation to an individual’s work plan, allowing them to execute tasks in a strategic order that is conducive with efficient and comprehensive performance.

 

There is an array of strategies that can be used to prioritise tasks: Some workers prioritise tasks in order of deadline; others order in terms of size, value, cost and risk. Whatever the case, the approach needs to be suited to the individual who is going to be carrying out the tasks.

 

Upon allocating a time for each task it is also often a wise move to allow some extra time for unexpected distractions and additional tasks. It may also be helpful to use a dairy or calendar to remind yourself of when upcoming tasks are due.

 

Set achievable goals

 

Do not underestimate the importance of setting some personal goals and objectives – these can help you remain realistic and focused for success.

 

Goal setting can be a great source of personal motivation and focus. By defining a goal, objective or target individuals can channel their time, energy and efforts in a focussed and specific direction, which often works to decrease instances of complacency and procrastination.

 

As a real estate agent you might set multiple goals. For example, you may aim to increase your listings by a certain percentage or target a particular sales volume over a defined period.

 

Whatever the case, by setting goals and gradually working towards them, you can put yourself in a positive position to reach new levels of personal and professional achievement – both of which provide fulfilment, confidence and additional motivation for the future.

 

Maintain a work-life balance

 

Studies have demonstrated repeatedly that maintaining a good work-life balance is integral to an individual’s workplace productivity and overall well being.

 

Regardless of what industry you are in; if you are overworked, overtired and physically drained, your productivity and efficiency levels are almost invariably going to suffer. In addition, you are going to increase your likelihood of getting mentally or physically sick – both of which are likely to diminish your performance at work.

 

Given such, it is important to set aside time to do things that bring you enjoyment and relaxation – be it watching television or going for a hike. The important thing is to proactively create opportunities to let your mind, body and soul refresh.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 25/06/2012 at 1:57 PM | Categories:

Selling doesn’t stop with advertising; it’s just the start.

Some real estate agencies allocate massive amounts of money on advertising with the aim of generating buyer interest in their listings. In some cases, such strategies are successful and agents quickly have prospective purchasers genuinely looking to buy.

 

The reality, however, is that most properties take much more than a flashy advertisement to sell - advertising is just the start, and once a real estate agent generates a lead; that is when the real challenge begins.

 

The notion that direct selling, subsequent to advertising, plays the primary role in converting leads into conversions is something that all real estate agents should try to comprehend, because it is ultimately their ability to market a property directly to a buyer that will secure them a sale.

 

Here are five essential skills to help real estate agents turn buyer interest into investment.

 

1.       Dress to impress

Despite appearance sometimes being overlooked on the list of traditionally valued real estate principles, do not discount the notion that the way you dress will impact others’ perception of you and your skills as a real estate agent.

 

This is particularly the case in regards to first impressions, where attire is commonly perceived to be a key indicator of a person’s quality and character. In a professional context, many people presume that if a person is dressed unprofessionally, that their work ethic will be the same; it goes without saying that this is not good if someone is pitching for a prospective client’s business. 

 

As such, you should always ensure that you present yourself cleanly, neatly and dressed in professional attire.

 

2.       Develop trust and rapport

It is vital to establish trust and rapport from the outset of your relationship with a prospective buyer. To achieve such, you should demonstrate genuine interest in their needs, wants, values and expectations, and also be honest about your ability to deliver to their expectations.

 

It is therefore important to ask the right questions, in the right ways. Open-ended questions can be useful in this respect, as they generally facilitate detailed responses, which can enable you to develop a comprehensive understanding of buyers’ preferences, and to build sales strategies accordingly.

 

3.       Pitch ‘brand you’

Upon meeting a prospective buyer for the first time you should tactfully convey your personal value proposition to them. For example, you may wish to share personal mantras, express knowledge of relevant markets or highlight previous client-success stories.

 

Your ultimate goal, in this respect, is to demonstrate the uniqueness of both you and your services so that the buyer leaves convinced that you are the best agent for the job.

 

4.       Gather data

It is often the case that a prospective buyer enters a real estate office ‘browsing’ for properties. In such instances an agent might talk the buyer through a few locales, establish a price range and even suggest some listings; however, once the buyer leaves, the agent, in many cases, will never hear from them again.

 

In light of such, agents should always try to get the contact details of prospective purchasers, such as full names, telephone numbers and email addresses. This information should then be entered into a database so that the agent can subsequently follow-up with the buyer.

 

5.       Follow-up

Contact your leads as soon as possible after meeting with them, especially if they’ve showed interest in some of your listings. Initiation of a quick response demonstrates that you are an attentive real estate professional who is serious about helping them to find a property.

 

Similarly, it is important that you respond promptly to any follow-up inquiries that the buyer may have.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 22/06/2012 at 3:30 PM | Categories:

The importance of follow-up with former clients

In any industry, particularly real estate, long-term client relationships are integral to building success, loyalty and market longevity. The reality, however, is that such relationships need maintaining, and therefore require time, energy, and above all else, consistent follow-up.

As real estate professionals, it can be easy to overlook the value of following up with former clients; after all, once a listing has been converted there is no likely immediate benefit in continuing to nurture the relationship. What some agents don’t realise, however, is that former clients retain value long after a property sells, due to their ongoing ability to generate repeat business and referrals.

Follow-up with former clients should therefore be an important aspect of any real estate marketing program; fortunately there are a number of simple strategies one can use to make the process run relatively seamlessly.

Gather and maintain relevant client data

Throughout the course of a business relationship, you should attempt to gather accurate data about your clients, including information about their hobbies, lifestyle, income levels, future plans, communication preferences and locales of interest. In addition, you should record and regularly revise clients’ email and postal addresses via a database to ensure that you are able to maintain contact once the business relationship concludes.

Such information will enable you to build a profile of the client, which can be beneficial later down the track, as it will assist you to cater a personalised follow-up plan for each former client.

Implement a follow-up program

Using the data gathered throughout the course of your business relationship, implement a follow-up program specific to the former client. This involves determining an appropriate method, frequency and volume for the follow-up communication, as well as identifying what types of information the former client might be interested in.

An effective follow-up program usually combines personal and automated elements, mixing direct contact – over the phone or in-person, with electronic processes like emails and scheduled mailing programs. This strategy gives agents the ability to manage follow-up processes with a large number of former clients, whilst also enabling each individual to feel personally valued and regarded.

Some of the most effective follow strategies include holiday and birthday cards, informative monthly newsletters, email updates, and thoughtful gifts. For example, following a sale involving a first-home owner, you might consider sending a gift card for a furniture store. 

Through having a well developed follow-up program that caters to the individual sensibilities of former clients, real estate agents can put themselves in a prime position to cultivate long-term business connections, which can continue to deliver professional benefits long after a property transaction completes.



0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 12/06/2012 at 10:38 AM | Categories:

How to promote brand ‘you’ as a real estate professional

In the business of real estate human relationships are key drivers behind success. As much as agencies might advertise their big-buck results, listing portfolios or agent credentials, the critical motivator behind a client’s decision to go with a particular office or property is often the repour that they feel with a particular agent – that is, they buy into the agent, then the office, then hopefully a property; in the same way that a person might choose an iPhone based on Apple-brand recognition alone.

Given such, it is important that real estate professionals recognise just how much their own personal branding can impact on their ability to maximise success within the marketplace.  

‘Personal branding’ refers to the way in which an individual markets and differentiates themself by articulating and communicating their unique qualities to others. A relatively broad concept, it encompasses everything from the way a person dresses and talks to the way they type an email. 

The reality is that personal branding occurs for every individual regardless of intent. As you interact with people they invariably form mental associations that link you with certain labels, stereotypes and attributes. 

The good news is, however, that you can exert a degree of influence over the particular associations that people make. Through making a conscious decision to strategically define and communicate your own personal brand you can foster a reputation that is conducive to both your esteem and success.

Discover your personal brand

Brand discovery is about ascertaining what you stand for as an individual. This involves an assessment of your own person values, ethics, mantras, goals and qualities as well as an understanding of what makes your characteristics and skills distinct– your unique value proposition.

Ask yourself the following questions: If I had to tell someone five keys things about myself what would they be? What have I done lately to make myself stand out from my colleagues or competitors? What would my vendors and purchasers say is my greatest strength? 

Your answer might be that you always convert listings within a certain time frame; it could be that you are always honest with clients even when telling the truth won’t benefit you; it might be as simple as following up with purchasers after properties have sold to maintain relationships. 

Whatever the case, your personal brand should be built around genuine attributes that you possess and can consistently deliver on.

Create, market, communicate and maintain your personal brand

As is the case with any business brand, your personal brand must have recognition and exposure in the marketplace. It is therefore important that you create collateral and utilise platforms that will enable you to promote yourself to the public. 

To this end, a combination of strategies can employed including personal websites, blogs, social networking profiles, portfolios and email addresses. You can also communicate your brand by attending professional networking events, hosting community initiatives, making contributions to media sites, commenting on blogs, and engaging in press initiatives.

The most important thing to remember is that everything you say, do and present should communicate the value and character of your personal brand. Therefore, you should always act in accordance with the messages you project and the promises you make – because if you don’t your brand will quickly dilute. This also means that you will need to consistently update your collateral and promotional platforms to reflect changes in ‘brand you’ throughout your career.

Conclusion

Having a strong and authentic personal brand is an important asset for anyone working in today’s real estate marketplace. Through developing and maintaining a strategic, consistent and effective personal brand presence, any real estate professional can distinguish themselves in the industry, gaining a crucial edge over competitors and maximising their potential for career success.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 05/06/2012 at 9:04 AM | Categories: