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How to Stop ‘The Toad’ from Sabotaging Your Real Estate Career

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(And start making serious money without killing yourself)

By Craig Proctor

RISMEDIA, April 9, 2008–It always surprises me to look around at other agents (both in my marketplace and across the country), and observe how they continually embrace “doing things the way they have always been done.” It seems that once a decision has been made to follow a certain system or course of action (regardless of whether it makes sense, and regardless of whether it works), it’s much easier to just continue doing things the “same old way” than it is to re-examine the situation and re-evaluate the decision.

Let’s face it. It takes effort, time and a certain degree of faith to change the way you do things. It’s all too easy to slip into a pre-existing mind set — kind of like the fly that repeatedly bangs into a pane of glass trying to get out.

proctor_craig.jpgOften we have no idea where the mindset came from, or how the original decision was made to do things this way. We just accept things as they are because it is the path of least resistance.

Take a look at the way most agents follow up on FSBOs. As soon as a FSBO ad appears in the paper, the seller can be sure that dozens of agents will start pestering them, even though they’ve made it clear that they don’t want to work with an agent. This is a great example of how agents can fall into the trap of blindly following the rules, even if they don’t make sense.

Well, if you’ve ever wondered why it is that some people in our industry are fall into these repetitive habits that prevent them from building business, and who end up banging their heads again and again against the door of failure, consider the phenomenon known as “TTWWADI” (That’s The Way We’ve Always Done It). I recently revised the acronym somewhat to fit our industry. When I look around and see agents blindly following the same old mistakes of their cohorts and predecessors, I shake my head at the fact that they’re following “The Toad” (That’s How Every Typical Other Agent Does It).

FSBO Programs That Really Work

So how should you approach FSBOs? Clearly an FSBO is a sensible target to zero in on. Afterall, they do have a home to sell, and they are interested in selling it now. The problem is, if you follow the strategy most agents use, you end up lining up with 15, 20 or 30 other agents all fighting for the same prospect.

This is a pretty tough fight given that you’re dealing with a prospect who has clearly stated an anti-agent bias, and you’re operating in a cluttered competitive environment where dozens of other agents are lamely pestering the same prospect with their me-too pitches.

What if, instead of lining up with every other agent in town, you could get the FSBO home seller to call YOU as soon as they’re ready to make a move?

Well this is entirely possible. For example, to get good FSBO leads, run an ad that “calls out” to FSBOs by offering them information on how to sell their home by themselves. The ad looks like an article, and offers them a free report with tips on how to get their home ready for sale and how to get the best price.

When a FSBO calls you off this ad, instead of trying to bully them, offer to help them achieve their dream. Specifically, call them back and tell them that you’ve sent out the report they requested which has some important information to help them. Then, tell them you will give them a professional sign for their lawn that directs inquiries on their home to a message mailbox. This mailbox will be on your 800# system, but give it to them for free with private use of this number. None of this costs the FSBO a penny or obligates them to anything. All you ask in return is that if they decide at some point that they do want to use the services of an agent, that they interview you as one of the candidates. There really is no downside. Even if they do sell on their own, you now have a cash buyer to work with.

Get Rid of ‘The Toad’

Now is a great time to eliminate “The Toad” from your mindset. As Ernest Hemingway said, “Don’t mistake motion for action.” Make it a practice to question at least one decision you make every day.

“When I first came across Craig and his Quantum Leap System, I was a 14-year veteran of the real estate business. I used to go after FSBO’s and expireds the old fashioned way, which means that I cold-called them the same way every other agent in my marketplace was doing. This was not only exhausting, it was also not very productive,” said Joey Trombley, and agent in Rouses Point, N.Y. “When I started to run direct response editorial ads targeting FSBO’s and expireds, what happened was nothing short of amazing. Because I was hitting meaningful hot buttons in my ads by offering something these prospects really coveted (i.e. information for FSBOs on how to sell themselves and for expireds on what to do when they relist), these prospects were calling me. After all those years of making those mind numbing phone calls to them, they were now calling me. And because giving them real and useful information sets up a situation of reciprocity, I am easily able to convert these prospects when they’re ready to work with an agent.”

To find out more about how to abandon traditional, unproductive techniques and adopt proven strategies like those described, you can visit http://www.hypertracker.com/go/cp/a08a080409/ where you can learn about my 3-day SuperConference where I train agents on how to use direct response marketing to reverse the prospecting process.

Billion Dollar AgentTM Craig Proctor has been in the top 10 for RE/MAX Worldwide for 15 years and is a real estate trainer who does what he teaches. Craig consistently sells over 500 homes per year to earn almost $4 million in commission. Over 25,000 agents nationwide use Craig’s system to make more money in less time. To receive free training from Craig with no obligation, visit: http://www.hypertracker.com/go/cp/a08b080409/. This Free Training includes free weekly teleconference training calls with Craig and some of his most successful agents where they discuss the cutting edge strategies they’re using right now, in this market, and explain how they work. You’ll also receive a free weekly email newsletter that reveals the tested and proven marketing strategies that continue to make Craig one of North America’s top agents. By taking advantage of this free training, you’ll also get advanced notice of Craig’s free half day seminars that will provide you with the tools you’ll need to start implementing these ideas immediately. These seminars are held year round in cities across the country. To receive free training from Craig with no obligation, visit: http://www.hypertracker.com/go/cp/a08b08409

For more articles by Craig Proctor, see:

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