Did you miss Ben Kinney’s, “13 Ways to Defeat the Top Agent in Your Market” webinar? This article is a summary of the key points he made during the call.
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Want to win an iPhone4? Scroll to the bottom of this blog for a contest we are running the week of October 24th.
Are you bringing an innovative mindset to work or do you simply copy what you “think” is working from other agents in your market. You can spend your whole career chasing other agents if you aren’t willing to take risks to grow your business and to see those efforts through to completion.
Here are seven common mistakes of top agents we want you to keep in mind.
Ego – They don’t “need” to change, everything is fine
Expenses – Their budgets are bloated because they don’t take time track expenses
Customer Service – Not every client matters, so response times drop
Evolution – They are often the last ones to change their business in response to the market
Adoption – New technologies aren’t adopted quickly to better market themselves and their listings
Attitude - “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality
Profit – They close a lot of sides, but they aren’t managing a smart business
Imagine a chair with four legs. If one of those legs is taken away, the person occupying that chair is in for a bad surprise. Your real estate marketing needs to be a chair with 6, 8, or maybe even 10 legs. Each “leg” is a stream of business such as your sphere, online marketing, expireds, open houses, etc. A single “leg” falling out from under you shouldn’t be catastrophic to your livelihood.
3. Motivation Meter
Having a team isn’t enough, you need to know how to connect with and motivate your team. Using personality profiling tools like DISC or even something simpler like the book, “The Five Love Languages”, you can know what gets your team out of bed every morning. Here’s a big hint… it might not be money.
Once you’ve connected with people, whether they are a close friend, business acquaintance, or an online lead, it’s your job to divide your sphere into logical categories based on the frequency they should receive communications. Ben Kinney used these four groups as an example during the call:
Haven’t Mets (1000 people) – Email only
Mets (500 people) – Mail and Email
Sphere (200 people) – Mail, Email, and Phone Calls
Core (50 people) – Mail, Email, Phone Calls, and Personal Visits
Create your own communication plan with your sphere and never let it become a second priority.
Staring at your telephone is never going to make it ring. Ben knows that if his agents call 52 expireds or FSBOs in a day, they will get at least one listing appointment. He has been tracking that stat for years. Cold calling isn’t pleasant, but it is wildly effective when done consistently.
If you’re an up and coming agent, you’re going to need find ways to make yourself bigger than you really are to take on the top agent. Use terms like, “the most aggressive agent in town.” Market yourself as a team – your lender, title rep, and other partners are your team. Market cheap and market everywhere by leveraging internet marketing for real estate.
Leveraging events will bring you community support, free marketing, and generate leads. Some small events that give you a great opportunity to promote yourself are:
Internet marketing classes for small business owners
How to do a short sale
How to buy a foreclosure
How to buy a short sale property
Then start thinking bigger. Ben Kinney’s Amazing Home Race in September 2011 brought 400 home buyers together in a race across town to win $10,000 (that was provided by his lender). The marketing exposure and community impact was enormous!
8. Leveraged Leads
Figure out how you can generate leads that don’t cost you a lot of money. One creative example Ben brought up was his “Seller Assistance Program.” He partners with local builders for this program to market new construction to potential buyers. The builders agree that any buyer Ben brings to the table is offered a contingency to sell their home first without any penalties if things don’t work out. He helps the buyer, helps the builder, and helps his own business.
Another idea was to market HUD properties. Most agents don’t know that it is completely legal to use those listings in their own print and online advertising. This is a great way to make it look like you have an inventory if you are just getting started.
9. Seller Presentation
If you still do your listing presentation with a three-ring binder you are hereby banished from future Ben Kinney webinars! Show up with your iPad at a minimum, or for even more effect a Pico Projector that turns your cell phone into a 60” movie screen. If you are an IMSD member, make sure you are using Ben’s listing presentation that is available through our website for a higher close rate.
You can also add videos to your website or YouTube channel that are pre-listing or pre-buyer presentations. Lay the groundwork for an incredible meeting with your prospects.
Many agents tend to overprice their properties. If a property is on the market more than 30 days without an offer your price is too high (there are exceptions to this rule in some markets). Have the tough conversations with your sellers early on so you set proper expectations and get that home sold quickly.
This should probably be titled “real estate schizophrenia” instead of niche. Don’t box yourself in exclusively as the, “I help people over 55 years old” agent. Create multiple niches. Ben’s sub-brands include New Home Group, Home for Investment, REO Northwest, and Kinney Commercial. He has several different business cards to hand out depending on who he is meeting with. Cards are cheap, make the investment.
12. Recruit Talent
Get people on your team. The more talented people that you have around you, the more diverse your income stream will be. That being said, don’t hire “losers.” If a person sucks in their current job, there is a pretty good chance they are going to suck when you hire them, too. Find people who are stars in the job they have now, especially if that job involves working for a competing agent in your market!
Finally, the 13th Way to Defeat the Top Agent in Your Market is…
Not going to be taught by us, it will be taught by you. Go to www.facebook.com/IMSDesignation by October 27th and post YOUR 13th Way. Give back to the agent community with your great idea. We are going to choose one winner who will receive an iPhone4 (or $399 from Apple).
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To learn more about Ben Kinney's online marketing strategies, we encourage you to look into the IMSD training program. Save $200 on your one year membership when you enter the discount code DEFEAT.