By Mark Leader
RISMEDIA, March 7, 2008-Are you reinventing the wheel when it comes to investing in your personal marketing initiatives? Are you spending money you don’t have and not getting the return on your investment? You definitely are if you aren’t taking full advantage of the resources your company offers. Sadly, few agents are.
That sad fact becomes all too apparent when sales professionals are not 100% familiar with (and fully utilizing) their company website(s); online marketing materials; if an affiliated company, their national/international advantages; available training (both technology and other); ancillary services offered to clients and customers, etc. All of this is there to help all agents maximize their financial resources without having to spend themselves into a “real job.”
Newer agents wonder where to invest their limited funds. They speak about having just paid for their license and the other basics necessary to begin listing and selling. When it comes to investing in some of the more high-tech tools successful agents use, they find themselves devoid of the monies to do so. Yet, by incorporating all of their company’s existing advantages, and then coupling them with good, old-fashioned diligent work, success looms probable.
It’s safe to say that with a strong commitment to leave no stones unturned, coupled with a willing heart to do the tough stuff, one can carve out a good starting career. There is no need to earn little or nothing the first year. It is your choice. Even if you have been in the business a while, you probably need to get back to basics and re-orchestrate your business to align with today’s challenging market conditions.
New or experienced, here are some tips:
1. Join a high-quality, sales-professional training program immediately after completing real estate school…or whenever you need to hone your skills. Forget all else. This is your first priority. You can have all the fancy tools, bells and whistles out there (and there are dozens), but if you are not able to effectively prospect, handle objections, articulate your unique value proposition, use your time toward productivity rather than simple activity, and close, you will flounder endlessly. Consider this: there are tens of thousands of agents out there who are working at below-minimum-wage status.
2. Study your company’s tools until you are completely knowledgeable as to what is available and how to best use those tools. Spend at least one hour daily exploring marketing materials, websites and links, online marketing presentations (paper and laptop-based)-everything. There is no reason an agent should see something another agent is using and claim they do not have this or that in his/her office. If you are an independent contractor, then you must act like Me, Inc. It is not the manager’s/owner’s job to educate you (they can assist and coach you). It is your job to be the go-getter and be part of the solution, not the problem. Hey, whose career is it anyway?
3. Be sure that you are using your manager/owner as a coach/mentor. He/she is the best source of skills and knowledge within your reach. That is not to say that managers want to be burdened with negativity or complaining. The person most likely to be helped is the agent who has a positive attitude and comes to management to learn, not to defend. In the words of Dr. Phil, “Do you want to fix the problem, or do you want to defend it?”
4. Get out of the office. These days, we are not making money waiting for the phone to ring. We’ve said goodbye to those days. Success is found on the streets. Attend meetings where you can network, get out and meet your neighbors (door knocking is back, bigger and better than ever), volunteer in large organizations, work your sphere of influence like never before, hand out 20 cards a day, always be vigilant, and let people know that this is a great time to buy or sell a home for those who understand the market correctly.
5. Know what the “R” word means. To the ill-informed, it means recession. To the sales professional who recognizes that there will always be people who want to sell and buy, it means re-tool, re-commit and reap the rewards. RE
Mark Leader is the president of Mark Leader Courses.
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