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As a marketing/systems consultant, deeply involved with computers and the computer industry for over 24 years, I have to say that real estate agents, generally, have been among the slowest to adopt computer technology. Most other industries have gotten with the "program" long ago.
My experience is that the agents who are quickest to embrace real estate computer technology today are the newest agents. Either they grew up with computers and take to them instinctively, or they come from success in other industries where they've experienced the advantages computers provide, and they simply want all those same advantages from day one in real estate.
So what's been keeping the rest of the industry from getting with the "program"? As a Top Producer Certified Instructor and systems implementer I've had ample opportunity to witness the obstacles agents face; and, let me tell you, there's a lot of them.
Use this list of reasons to make yourself aware of the obstacles, so you can take steps to overcome them. This list of "12 Reasons Why. . ." will remain obstacles only if you embrace them as your own excuses, or ignore them. On the other hand, if you use them as a checklist of issues to overcome, you'll be well on your way to "getting with the program".
Too many people in the real estate industry are so busy bumping into trees that they fail to step back and see what's going on in the forest. Combine that with a failure to study history and you've got a terminal case of "ignorant bliss".
Web listings have already replaced the agents' traditional value-add of being exclusive providers of property information. New, technologically savvy, competitors are sniping at agents' heels with ever improving services and extremely low commission offers. They are getting better at it too; every day.
These trends are making buyers and sellers think (out loud), "Just exactly what is it again those agents do to justify such huge commissions?"
Oh, and the market itself; it's on the downhill side with growing threats all around. No surprise here really. The market always goes up and down. Last time this happened in the early 90s there was a massive exodus of agents from the industry. It's happening again; only this time, because of the additional, technologically based pressures, it's going to get much uglier.
If you want to stay in this business, you need to adapt; now.
2. Top Producer 7i Feature Awareness
To appreciate the features in Top Producer 7i you've got to know something about its background. First of all, it is an expert, real estate specific, system that's been evolving for over 20 years. It's had the benefit of input and user feedback from hundreds of thousands of agents. You can learn an awful lot about running a successful real estate business by becoming acquainted with its features and simply pondering why so many agents wanted those things in there.
Having worked with hundreds of clients all over the U.S., I can tell you that agent awareness of what the Top Producer 7i system can do for them is very low; even among agents who have "used" the system for years. It's like owning a Ferrari and not realizing that you can do more with it than make trips to the grocery store.
The system has many powerful features that can help agents do dramatically more effective marketing; right now, at substantially reduced cost. It can also help them manage and control their time and activities in very powerful ways they've never imagined.
Simply being aware of all the new capabilities that are available to you is a key step toward mastering this powerful system.
While feature awareness is necessary, it's still not enough. Feature awareness is like walking into a shop filled with tools. It takes vision to realize how you could use those tools to make something really useful.
You need to learn how dozens of those features in Top Producer 7i can be combined into comprehensive marketing and relationship building campaigns.
4. Failed Leadership
I'm sorry, but I've got to lay this one at the feet of brokers. Why more of them aren't leading entire offices of agents to absolutely dominate relationship marketing in their local areas is beyond me.
Take the proven model for "Met" marketing from Gary Keller's "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent". You know: You get 2 transactions per year from every 12 contacts in your "Met" database; provided you "touch" them 33 times per year. Top Producer 7i makes that kind of marketing super easy, and mostly free.
What if a broker inspired all the agents in an office to make it their mission to each build the largest "Met" databases they could, then to keep in touch with them through fully automated Top Producer 7i marketing campaigns? In a relatively short time those agents, and that office, would absolutely dominate their local market.
Nobody really wants to tell you this, but the truth is that implementing a robust, expert real estate system like Top Producer 7i is a major learning project.
Top Producer doesn't want to portray it that way, because their focus needs to be selling the system, and they're afraid they might scare you away.
Agents don't want to acknowledge this as a fact, because if they did, many of them wouldn't even try the system out of fear.
Come on people. You want to own a business that generates a nice, consistent six figure income in today's market? Well, face the fact that you're going to have to learn some substantial new tricks.
So, how do people learn? People learn through a combination of three basic activities: Seeing, Hearing and Doing. The most effective learning takes place when all three activities are combined to reinforce each other.
Now, what are the enemies of learning? The answers are: low comprehension, and low retention. If you didn't understand it in the first place, you didn't learn it. If you can't remember what you thought you learned, well you didn't really learn it, did you?
So these are the criteria by which to judge the effectiveness of training programs:
You need to fully comprehend what you are learning.
You need support to retain what you've learned so you can actually use it in your daily life.
You need to use all three learning skills in combination, i.e. actually see, hear and do what you are learning; in order to effectively burn it into your muscles and brain synapses.
I've experimented with every kind of training format: onsite groups, Webinar groups, remote desktop one-on-one. You name it and I've done it.
You know what; there are fatal flaws in every training format, but one.
With this brief learning psychology foundation, it will be easier for you to see why most training methods have been so ineffective at getting agents up and running on Top Producer 7i.
5. Training schedules don't fit. If you don't go, you can't learn.
6. The location is too far away. Ditto.
7. The pace is too fast, or slow. Comprehension is super low in this environment.
8. Content delivered in half day chunks is too overwhelming. Retention is impossible in this environment.
9. The content is too encyclopedic, rather than focused on key operations. There are enough essential things to learn as it is, without giving you a warehouse full of parts for you to assemble yourself (days after you've forgotten them).
10. Usually there's no chance for hands-on practice. Remember, actual "doing" is absolutely essential to learning this system.
11. Most things are forgotten before you have a chance to actually try them on your own system. Retention study after study shows that people forget 80% or more of what they've seen and heard within 48 hours. Get caught up in business for a few days after class and you've lost it all. (I see this all the time.)
12. Once class is over there's no refresher guidance when you try to do something on the system. You might have comprehended it, but now you've forgotten it, and you're now totally on your own. Oh boy.
How to Overcome All That
I've developed a comprehensive, online, video, Optimized Agent Marketing Course, that cuts to the chase and gives you click-by-click instruction on exactly how to get yourself fully competent to run your own automated marketing campaigns on your Top Producer 7i system.
The Course is available 24/7 so you can get all the guidance you need anytime you are working in your Top Producer 7i system. To learn more, check out all these free, introductory materials:
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.