An Unsoulful Tidbit from Broker/Agent News

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Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Okay, so I'm reading my latest edition of the Broker/Agent News.

Came upon an article by Dirk Zeller entitled "The Four Pillars of Prospecting." Well, I never prospected much (Thank you, SOI!), but now that I'm a writer and consultant, I figure it's good to learn how the other half works. 

Tip 1:  "Set a daily time and place for prospecting." Got it.

Tip 2:  "Fight off distractions." Fair enough... oh, wait... what's this?
"The truth is most agents welcome distractions taking them away from prospecting obligations. An inbound phone call, a problem transaction, a home inspection question, an incoming e-mail or a broken fingernail, anything will do. It's called creative avoidance and agents generally excel at the art."

Now he has my attention... continuing...

"What do you do when distractions hit? Do you postpone prospecting while you put out a fire? Do you make just a few calls to settle the pending issue....? To fight off distractions, you have to bar their access...."

You may recall that on the home page of the Selling Soulfully group I make the statement that soulful agents "care as much about the clients they have today as the clients they hope to have tomorrow." I take that philosophy VERY seriously.

"So," Dirk asks, "Do you postpone prospecting while you put out a fire?" Uh, YEAH. My current clients pay me darn good money to care about them and their fires. One silly cold call, even two, will never be more important to me than the good will and appreciation of my current client.

Which, I dare to say, is why I never HAD to prospect.

www.sellwithsoul.com

copyright Jennifer Allan 2007

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Rainmaker
484,007
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

I'm so glad y'all get it! Thanks for the comments.

I'm continuing to read my Broker/Agent news and am finding all sorts of ideas & strategies that annoy me. Maybe someone will create a Realtor magazine with all kinds of tips & techniques for better serving our client....

Jennifer

Mar 28, 2007 10:21 AM #9
Rainmaker
533,579
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

I'm with you, Jennifer.  I do think that taking care of your customers when they need you makes good business sense and will only benefit you in the long run.

However, there is also the other extreme - there is a person whom I refer to as a "Bumper Car".  Everything sends her careening off into a different direction and while trying to please everyone, she pleases no one; in fact, she frustrates everyone who works with her at length.

For instance, she will be in the middle of setting something up for a client, when client B calls up and wants something.  So Client A is set aside and Client B is now in the forefront.  Oh wait, here comes Client C, with another issue.  Soon she has several unfinished projects, and an unhappy group of customers, because she got so distracted that she got nothing accomplished.

Of course, this is different than prospecting.  Trying to grab potential clients while ignoring your current ones is stupid.

Apr 01, 2007 05:53 PM #10
Rainer
22,271
Luther Harrity - Saint John, Rothesay, Hampton, New Brunswick Real Esate
Royal LePage Atlantic/Harrity Real Estate Services - Saint John, NB

hey Jennifer,

I'm glad to see you will put out the fire (as I am a fire fighter myself), we wouldn't want you passing away in a blaze. I think that if your the hardcore prospecting type, that you should dedicate time to do this. However, my priorities would definitely be with my current clients. There is no point in prospecting for clients if your going to loose clients because your too busy prospecting for more...right?

Apr 12, 2007 06:03 AM #11
Rainer
31,513
Sarah Wynn
HomeSmart International - Cave Creek, AZ

Jennifer,

I recently attended a class and there was a lot of discussion about prospecting.  It really got to me after a while and needless to say, I couldn't wait for that class to be over. 

I appreciate all you do including pointing out these 'unsoulful' techniques that we are all aware of, but don't pay any attention to because we are busy taking care of our current clients.

Sarah

Apr 12, 2007 11:38 PM #12
Rainmaker
484,007
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Luther... great point! But, heavy-duty prospectors don't worry much about referrals... cause they're such great prospectors!!

Sarah - You are quite welcome. Believe me (sorry to sound cynical), but it's like shooting fish in a bucket. It's SO easy to find unsoulful behaviors that are celebrated in our business. But isn't it nice to do the right thing... without thinking?

Apr 12, 2007 11:57 PM #13
Rainer
131,096
David A. Podgursky PA
THE PODGURSKY GROUP @ Re/Max Direct - Boynton Beach, FL
THE PODGURSKY GROUP - Make the Right Move!

Huh? I was distracted there for a minute

actually... I totally understand.. I hate prospecting so I work less efficiently and end up procrastinating it forever!

Apr 13, 2007 02:51 AM #14
Rainer
23,438
Felix Krynicky
Keller Williams Realty - Greensburg, PA
I'm not so sure that just because you prospect for business you have no soul.  You can't prospect very well if you don't believe the product that your selling is worth much.  Prospecting will require to to promise and you will ultimately have to care very deeply about the people you do business with and deliver on those promises.
Sep 25, 2007 12:15 PM #15
Rainer
31,503
Joy & Shane Goushaw
Sandals Realty - Fort Myers, FL

Jennifer -

SOI is a beautiful beautiful thing.  I must say that I am in agreement with you on this!  Last week while I was putting out a fire for a current client (from my SOI), I received a phone call from a woman who wanted me to list her house.  Who was she and where did she come from you may ask?  She came directly from someone in my SOI, someone I was putting out fires for!  I never had to send her a letter or prospect for her!  I must say that I do still send out expired letters from time to time...I read on AR that there are some who are pros like Broker Bryant when it comes to the expireds.  However, my SOI is everything you ever said it would be!  So, I will keep putting out the fires for them as they come up and my referral base will grow. 

Keep it up girl!  You are forming (filling) a very special niche for professional Realtors! 

Sep 25, 2007 12:31 PM #16
Rainmaker
417,264
Debbie Malone
Londeree's Real Estate & Property Management - Lynchburg, VA
From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369
Great Post Jennifer. My plate is full as it is and I believe it's because I treat my clients as if they're the only one I'm working with. I return calls, email, update them with market reports, and have been doing a lot of hand holding lately! I am getting a lot of referrals from previous clients and don't prospect at the moment.
Sep 25, 2007 04:00 PM #17
Rainmaker
307,524
Pam Graham
All Real Estate Options - Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties

I think it depends on the "fire" that needs to be put out. On my voice mail I give 3 times during the day I return calls so when people hear it and leave their message, they are aware of when to expect a call. It's very important to call them back when I say I am on my voicemail or that is a lack of professionalism.  I do it that way so I can get my prospecting done, work on current transactions, feed my face, put out fires or whatever I have scheduled.

I get distracted very easy, so I need structure. I do agree that our SOI need to be handled in a way that makes them feel like they are more than $$ signs. So when they have questions for us we need to make it a priority to get back with them ASAP.

Sep 26, 2007 05:44 AM #18
Rainmaker
484,007
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Pam - I wonder what kind of impression it would make if you returned some of your calls right away (before your stated "office hours") which would make the person feel really special?! When I hear the "I return phone calls between 2 and 3 and 5 and 6" message, it makes me feel just a little bit "unspecial" even though I know that's silly.

 

Sep 26, 2007 11:49 PM #19
Rainmaker
223,010
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

J-Dawg - I have been reading Broken Agent for years. I thought it was a parody magazine. I mean the only missing was the sub-title " articles telling you have to not succeed are included". The points made here referencing the support staff many top agents have is pertinent. Recently, someone must have pulled the curtain back and revealed these wizards for what they are. They now have added articles, symposiums and free seminars that will reveal "how you too can build a team and quadruple your income this year". Of course, all the information offered is nothing more than an infomercial for their magic bullet, get rich quick schemes.

Churning through strangers at the expense of people that know you is pure folly. I am damn near convinced that these "beat them over the head" techniques were divised by successful SOI agents that wanted to remain above new agents.

I can just hear back room conversations - "Here's a good one Ralph, tell them to call everybody in an area and ask if they are considering selling their home or if not, if they know anyone that is. Hell, throw something in the mix like you have a client that wants to move there" The statement followed by raucus laughter. Haven't you ever wondered why brokers grin so much during training? Of course they will say the market is great. They are making a cut of all the agents transactions. I have no doubt it is great for them.

Sorry, I got carried away. Thank you for your informative post.

p.s. - the visual of those four pillars and how Dirk thinks you should use them shoving them up ...well you get the picture.

"Stop playing a role......SELL with Soul!

Sep 27, 2007 03:49 AM #20
Rainmaker
307,524
Pam Graham
All Real Estate Options - Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties

Jennifer,

I have called people back before my stated call back times. It really depends on who and what the reason and what I'm working on at the moment. I had a call this morning from a past client who needed help and I dropped what I was doing to help him out. I never want them to think that it was just about the money.  I just need to have balance so I can stay on track with what I need to do. (It's that undiagnosed ADD thing I have) :)

Sep 27, 2007 03:54 AM #21
Rainmaker
484,007
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Jmac - Another blog-worthy comment! This is brilliant! I never ever thought of anything along these lines. Unfortunately, I doubt it's true. Most real estate gurus proclaim that an SOI business model is fatally flawed because it's not systemitized and therefore not repeatable.

To them I say... WHATEVER! I'll take my 30 hour work week spent 100% serving my many raving fans over a 50 hour work week perfecting some system. I guess I just don't see the thrill in prospecting my career away when I could spend the first five years building my personal marketing department and then coasting thru the rest of my real estate career... and beyond.

But what do I know??

Sep 27, 2007 10:49 AM #22
Rainmaker
223,010
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes
634-5789.....Jenny I got your number!!! Who cares what you know.........It only matters Who Knows You
Sep 27, 2007 12:13 PM #23
Rainer
78,096
Bill Saunders, Realtor®
Meyers Realty - Hot Springs, AR
www.BillSellsHotSprings.com

"Most real estate gurus proclaim that an SOI business model is fatally flawed because it's not systemitized and therefore not repeatable."

I love this...so calling so-called "leads" is systematized and repeatable? :)

 I recently tried a road test of a great real estate package that needs to remain nameless. I shot out a wizzbang report in just a few clicks that would impress ANYONE that didn't look at the fact that the data in all the beautiful graphs was from a community 11 miles away, AND that the comps that were populated into the CMA support were sales that happened 2 YEARS ago!...part of the hook was that I was going to get 500 free leads, just for TRYING the package. Well, I got these leads, printed them off and decided to look them up...they were actual addresses from the community, etc., so I decided to perform a survey to see what the value of this package was to local REALTORS, which got be around the do not call registry legally because I actually WAS doing the survey and NOT asking them to list or buy. I called 10% of the numbers and not one...NOT ONE had made any type of contact to anyone regarding real estate. Now with help like this, no wonder so may people lump us in with the bottom dwellers. When the sales associate called back with his follow up it was an interesting conversation...I might be wrong, but a LEAD is someone with interest, right? If I had wanted to cold call, I have a book sitting under my phone with thousands of names to cold call.

Long to short, I sooo agree with anti-prospecting. One click reports are no replacement for demonstrative personalized hard work and customer care.

Feb 08, 2009 12:11 AM #24
Rainmaker
484,007
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Anti-prospecting - I love it!

Feb 08, 2009 12:20 AM #25
Rainer
78,096
Bill Saunders, Realtor®
Meyers Realty - Hot Springs, AR
www.BillSellsHotSprings.com

Sorry... I got on a little tirade there..."anti-prospecting" might be a bit stong. I promise that if you work in Hot Springs, Arkansas and are prospecting door to door that I will not plink at you with a bb gun. I just agree that it is stuff like this that makes us look like the dreaded door to door salespeople of the 50's and 60's...desperate. When did you feel comfortable opening up your home to a salesperson knocking on your door, especially in today's environment? I know that it works for some folks, and profitably...but I still can't see it, or do it.

Jennifer...I am getting your materials! I look forward to reading more and learning from you.

Feb 08, 2009 09:52 AM #26
Rainmaker
715,721
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

I don't "prospect" I market.  I don't cold-call etc.  I can't and I won't. Those who won't stop doing this will not do well in the future.  A lot of old-timers are "stuck" in their old ideas. The hard-core sales type really won't work today.  I do block out time for blogging and other things like newsletters, but I TEND to do this at night when fires rarely start.

Apr 08, 2009 05:27 AM #27
Rainmaker
484,007
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Ruthmarie - Good distinction. And I agree that the old school marketing techniques simply aren't effective anymore. There's a chapter in my upcoming book called "If not marketing, then what?" that addresses this very issue...

Apr 08, 2009 05:30 AM #28
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