This is part two of our Q&A blog post with Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn. In this series, Jennifer discusses success strategies and why agents need a real estate contact management system. Click here to be directed to the first of this Q&A series.
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, a former top producing real estate broker turned author, knows how to energize a real estate sales career, and, as any of her followers will tell you, can motivate, inspire, and advise like no other.
Jennifer’s books, Sell With Soul: Creating an Extraordinary Career in Real Estate without Losing Your Friends, Your Principles or Your Self-Respect, If You’re Not Having Fun Selling Real Estate, You’re Not Doing it Right and Prospect with Soul, have been tremendously successful and instrumental in helping REALTORS® improve their careers. When Jennifer was a real estate broker, she sold between 40 and 60 houses per year and since then has been passionate about sharing her knowledge with others.
IXACT Contact recently sat down with Jennifer for part two of our Q&A blog post series. “I believe one of my keys to success both as a real estate agent and in my current role is being authentically me. I am who I am and I don’t try to change that,” she says.
IXACT Contact: Hi Jennifer, thanks for speaking with us today.
Jennifer: My pleasure.
IXACT Contact: You wrote a popular book, If You’re Not Having Fun Selling Real Estate, You’re Not Doing it Right. What can agents do to “have fun” selling real estate?
Jennifer: There’s a quote on the back of that book by Pearl S. Buck that reads, “The Secret of Joy in work is one word – Excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” So my “fun” book is all about that – being excellent and thus enjoying the heck out of your real estate career.
IXACT Contact: Words to live by, for sure! It makes sense that when you’re really good at what you do, you’ll likely enjoy doing it.
Jennifer: Yes, absolutely!
IXACT Contact: Why do those entering real estate often have such a hard time in the business?
Jennifer: I could talk about this all day, but I’ll try to keep it short: 1) Lack of competence training in favor of prospecting training and 2) unrealistic expectations of new agents.
IXACT Contact: On the flip side, what are some key ingredients to real estate sales success? What should Realtors be doing?
Jennifer: I can summarize that in one sentence: “Do an exceptional job for the clients you have and stay in touch with them on a reasonably regular basis afterwards.” It really is that simple.
IXACT Contact: What role, if any, do real estate contact management systems have in an agent’s success?
Jennifer: I don’t know how a busy real estate agent can do an exceptional job for his or her clients without a real estate contact management system. There are so many things to keep track of in a real estate transaction and depending on your memory, or even a transaction coordinator, is a scary way to run a business whose future is dependent upon your clients being satisfied enough with your service to recommend you to others.
If you commit to using a contact management system in your business, it will pay for itself over and over – and you’ll wonder how you ever practiced real estate without it.
The bottom line is when it comes to staying organized and in control, there’s nothing better than a real estate contact management system. I’ve tried several solutions and in my opinion, IXACT Contact is the best. Why do I say that? Because IXACT offers a comprehensive package of features without being overwhelming to learn.
IXACT Contact: Well, how can we disagree with that!?
Jennifer: It’s true!
IXACT Contact: Do you think there’s been one overarching factor that has been key to your success in real estate? What about now in your current role?
Jennifer: I believe one of my keys to success both as a real estate agent and in my current role is being authentically me. I am who I am and I don’t try to change that… and therefore I attract like-minded people into my world who tell their friends… who tell their friends!
IXACT Contact: It’s interesting, because a lot of people assume that to be successful in real estate you have to be extroverted. But in realty, it’s all about connecting with people, and there are a whole lot of introverts out there to connect with.
Jennifer: Yes, but it’s also important to keep in mind that introverts have a lot of qualities that make them great real estate agents. Thus, inspiring their clients to hire them again and refer them to others.
IXACT Contact: You use the term “Prospect with Soul.” What does this mean?
Jennifer: To Prospect with Soul means that you:
- Use prospecting techniques that would work on you, if used on you; and
- Use prospecting techniques that you’re proud of and excited about; and
- Don’t do any prospecting that makes you feel icky
IXACT Contact: Makes sense. Again, it comes down to being your “authentic self” and coming across as genuine.
Jennifer: Yes, that’s the only way to go in my opinion.
IXACT Contact: You use the term “SOI” a lot and the phrase “real estate sphere of influence.” How do you define real estate sphere of influence (SOI) and what is an SOI’er?
Jennifer: My definition of a sphere of influence is “Everyone Who Knows You and Knows that You Sell Real Estate.” An “SOI’er” is a real estate agent who focuses his or her business development activities on the people he/she knows and meets, as opposed to prospecting to strangers.
IXACT Contact: Makes sense. Speaking of names and phrases, how did you come up with the term “Sell with Soul”?
Jennifer: Actually, it was my editor who came up with it. I originally wanted to write a book for introverted real estate agents, assuring them that they could succeed even if they weren’t outgoing social butterflies. As I was working with my editor on the title, she commented “Jennifer, I don’t think you were successful because you were an introvert; I think you were successful because you had soul.” We discussed exactly what that meant and decided that Sell with Soul was the perfect title! And here we are!
IXACT Contact: Well, you do have soul!
Jennifer: Thanks, I try (laughter).
IXACT Contact: So, what’s on the horizon for you – any new projects?”
Jennifer: As a matter of fact, yes! I’m finishing up my fourth and fifth books – it’s a two-volume set calledSelling Real Estate without Selling Your Soul and it’s a compilation of my favorite blogs written between the years of 2006 and 2012. It should be out by Thanksgiving at the latest!
IXACT Contact: Awesome. Thank you for sitting down with us today. We appreciate it.
Jennifer: You’re very welcome. Glad to do it.