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January 27, 2019

Eight Coaching Tips For Real Estate Success

Tip #1 - Survival of the Willingest
One of the more stringent laws of nature - and business - is "Adapt or Perish."

When market conditions change, those who can't (or won't) adjust their attitudes and strategies are automatically on the endangered species list - and a serious threat to the economic health of your sales team. If you've been in business long enough, you've seen at least one period in the past when selling real estate was almost literally like shooting fish in a barrel. In most areas, that situation no longer prevails.

In its place is the traditional process of marketing, from prospecting to qualifying to closing for a commitment, with the actual order-taking now at the end - rather than the head - of the trail. Management's job is to orient its sales team to the realities at hand and the specific techniques needed to cope with them.

Those unwilling or unable to face those realities - and apply those techniques - must not simply be allowed to fall by the wayside. Rather, they must be identified and terminated as expeditiously as is legal and practical.

Their continuing presence is more like a dangerous virus than an annoying rash. The good news in all this is that those who CAN adapt have a greater opportunity for success than they did in those heydays gone by! Ask anybody who has "been there and done that." 

Tip #2 - To List Or Not to List?
In many markets nationwide, REALTORS® are faced with a recurrent problem these days:

Sellers are fixated on past sale prices that are no longer realistic, ignoring the evidence of unsold inventory and decreasing activity. Meanwhile, competitors are willing - sometimes eager - to accept listings at those same inflated figures in the hope that "maybe something will change during the contract period."

The hopeful homeowner frequently finds it more comfortable in this Fantasyland than in the real world. Query: Should you list high or lose out to the other agent? The answer: Take the listing, but only after these conditions have been agreed upon:

The Sellers will carefully study your Competitive Market Analysis and listen to your reasons for recommending a realistic offering price.

They understand that the job to be done is twofold: Aggressively test the market and challenge the competition for the attention of current buyers and active agents.

They agree that if the listing fails to attract such attention and generate activity in the form of inquiries and offers, the marketing effort is an exercise in futility.

When that evidence is undeniable, either the price and terms must be adjusted or the property withdrawn from the market.

Sellers unwilling to accept those conditions are not sellers at all and the listing you might lose to the "other guys" will be their loss and your gain, regarding time, money and integrity! 

Tip #3 - Helping Hands
"The Facts of Life (For Home Sellers)" - An audio CD designed to open the eyes (and minds) of would-be sellers who are blaming "the market" for their unsold homes and for the FSBOs who still believe in free lunch (AND for the sales associates who are living in a dream world of the past).

"In Search of Maximence" - An audio CD album that has taught thousands of people all over the world to feel better, live better, work better, sell better and manage better, thirty seconds at a time! An ideal program for people new to the business or struggling to cope with changing circumstances.

"The Real World of Selling Real Estate" - 400-plus pages, packed with the nuts and bolts of real estate marketing, culled from Joe Klock's half-century of experience on and behind the firing line. A must-have reference-and-refreshment volume for every real estate professional's bookshelf.
Information on all these items and more may be found at - including a bunch of free stuff, like back issues of these newsletters. 

Tip #4 - Do the 'Write' Thing by Your People
Whenever you "catch" a member of your team doing something right (especially something they've done not-so-right in the past), grab a memo pad or any nearby scrap of paper and scribble a personal note to him or her as soon as possible. 

Spoken words of praise should first be offered - on the spot and as publicly as possible - but a reinforcing message in your handwriting will have a powerful and lasting impact. Such a note not only proves that you care, but that the recipient is someone special, and you can bet the house that they'll show it around to friends and family. Try it, they'll like it!

Tip #5 - Multiply the Impact of Your Sales Meetings
It makes nothing but sense to prepare an agenda in advance to determine what should be covered at your meeting, and it's equally important to record minutes of what took place - whether by design or happenstance.

Detailed minutes, though, can do more than merely record history. Circulated to those with a need to know who missed the meeting, such a summary can keep them "in the loop," especially concerning matters of importance to the entire team. Circulated to those who were in attendance, it will serve to refresh memories and reinforce points that may have been missed (perhaps while daydreaming and doing text messages on their phones). This can be critical when policy matters have been either introduced or clarified. Memories are fragile and absence is the deadly enemy of good communications, so do the "followup" thing to ensure that THE word and the RIGHT are heard!

Tip #6 - A Couple of Common Fallacies

Fallacy #1 - That the under-producing people can do better.

Fallacy #2 - That the top producers can't.

Too many managers spend too much time and energy with the "salvation army" at the bottom of their totem pole of production, while neglecting - or shortchanging - those at the top. There comes a time when hopeless cases must be abandoned - that is to say dumped - to serve those who can be helped, more effectively and more profitably. Ponder the point that a 5% improvement among the stars might be easier, more profitable and more likely to be realized than a 50% betterment of the also-rans. Then do the math.

Tip #7 - The Golden Rule (Managerial Version)
In dealing with your team members (add customers, clients, competitors and the folks at home), consider this respectful revision of a time-honored precept:  "Do unto others as THEY would have you do unto them."

In other words, instead of assuming that you have a perfect grasp of their wants and needs, find out what turns them on and, to the extent that you can, deal with them accordingly. To put it another way, don't try to be the answer to their prayers until you know what they're praying for. It's all too tempting to analyze others' situations and decide what you would do if you were in their shoes, but you're not. Ask (questions) and you shall receive (the willing action you want from them)! 

Tip #8 - Ain't It the Golderned Truth?
The good things that salespeople do are not always noticed or appreciated - that is, until after they've stopped doing those things for a while!

(Joe Klock is the author of a 432-page collection of sales tips, The Real World of Selling Real Estate. World-renowned trainer Tom Hopkins says, "The wit and wisdom of Joe Klock is a great tool to lift you as you face the daily challenges of the wonderful world of real estate sales." )  

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