By Stephanie Andre
RISMEDIA, July 8, 2008-“Let the client come to you; don’t ever seek them out.” That’s the advice of Brian Moses, broker/owner of New Hampshire-based Brian Moses & Associates Realty, and a trainer with Craig Proctor Coaching.
A bold statement, perhaps, but one that Proctor’s coaches all believe in. At Ontario, Canada-based Craig Proctor Coaching, priorities are placed on lead generation, a strong belief in one’s self and developing the right mindset to succeed.
“Agents generally don’t have enough prospects; they should always be working on their lead generation,” explains Moses. “There are bad markets everywhere, but the reality is that buyers are buying and sellers are selling.”
Let Them Come to You
According to Moses, one of the biggest problems agents have is that they don’t treat their business like a business.
“An attorney wouldn’t cold call you at home and say, ‘How’s everything going with your marriage? Call me if anything changes,'” says Moses. “Real estate agents shouldn’t beg for business. People don’t want to be sold. They have more important things to do. Imagine a mother holding a baby and having to put her child down to answer the phone-only to have a complete stranger calling looking for real estate business. That’s not how you run a professional business and it’s not what this business should be about.”
Instead, says Moses, let lead generation be your lifeline.
Adds Atlanta-based Todd Walters of The Realty Team: “There’s an old adage: ‘prospects pursued run away.’ That really translates well here-if you walk into a shoe store, do you want to be greeted as soon as you walk in and followed around or do you want the breathing room to seek out a salesperson if you need to try on some shoes? It’s the same principle here. Customers will naturally be attracted to you because you brought them a pair of shoes-you helped them with something they needed. The same holds true in a real estate transaction.
“What’s great about Craig’s program is that he teaches agents how to compel prospects to want to meet with them,” he adds. “Then, he instructs them on what to say in a face-to-face presentation so they want to work with you and only you.”
According to his coaches, Proctor teaches agents that lead generation doesn’t require hours of manual labor or huge advertising budgets. “Because his lead generation system is so effective, the job that most agents know as ‘prospecting’ is eliminated altogether,” says Walters. “With Craig’s system, the leads are being generated automatically for you while you’re out doing something else.”
Lead generation is usually a very time-consuming task, he says. Most agents spend so much time hunting and chasing prospects that it leaves them very little time to actually help and service the clients they have.
“The foundation of a successful agent’s business should be lead generation,” adds Moses. “However, there is a right way and a wrong way to use it.”
Don’t be threatening, he says. “You have to make your lead generation as nonthreatening as possible,” he advises. “We use hotlines and direct-response websites so that we don’t require our prospects to have to talk with anyone unless they want to. As a result, we end up talking with fewer people and selling more. We don’t chase people-if they want more information, they can e-mail or leave a message. It’s about working smarter, not harder.”
Lead generation drains agents of time and cash, and this is what burns them out, says Moses.
“Imagine what would happen to an agent’s business if the problem of lead generation were entirely taken care of,” he says. “Suddenly, they have time to work on the parts of the business they like and are good at. When this happens, their business grows, and over 25,000 agents from across the country are proof of that.”
Going Back to the Start
“People do not want to be sold, but they do want to buy,” says Danny Griffin, broker/owner of Danny Griffin Real Estate in Massachusetts. “Agents need to remember that this purchase for most people is life-changing and very meaningful.”
According to Griffin, agents these days get so caught up in when they’ll receive their commission check that they forget what their chief job is-taking care of the client. One of the most important things Griffin teaches as a trainer with Proctor’s program is going back to the start.
“This is still the wonderful dream of owning a home,” he says. “We all know that it is probably the largest financial and emotional transaction a person can experience. Don’t take that away from your client by getting so enamored with the commission check that you forget why you’re there.”
Be a good listener, and pay attention to their needs; it will help in the long run, he says.
“If you approach it like that, you can really help diffuse their fears about the transaction,” he says. “Listen to their concerns. Build a relationship based on trust. You’re the expert; act like it. The end result will be a loyal customer who remembers you and the trust you built.”
Change It Up
In order to move ahead, says Walters, people need to realize that it’s not the same as it was three or four years ago. “We’ve been in a marketplace where people are used to taking orders,” he says. “You can still do that, but you’re not going to do much business.”
“One of the things people are doing wrong is that they’re still doing the same things,” says Lester Cox of the Realty Executives Cox Team in Tempe, Arizona. “When the market changes, you need to be on top of your game. You need to pay attention and acclimate to the changes. Craig’s program is great for that because it teaches you how to adapt, bring new things to the table and learn quickly how to keep ahead of the curve.”
If you continue to do the same thing over and over again, expect the same results. “What worked 30 years ago doesn’t work today,” Cox says. “You wouldn’t pick up an MLS book now and show your listings that way.”
The problem with these antiquated methods is not only that they’re demoralizing, says Griffin, but they are incredibly time consuming and inefficient. “The agent spends so much time at these old methods that he or she can’t effectively manage their clients and they eventually burn out,” he says.
“Before, an agent could do a basic CMA and put together a basic price for a home and that worked-and worked well,” adds Walters. “Today, the same doesn’t hold true. A basic CMA doesn’t take into account supply, foreclosures, what’s been sold and what they’ve closed out. It’s a different world. Agents need to adjust or they’ll be left in 2005, while those of us who get it will move on.”
According to Griffin, it’s more vital than ever for agents to move ahead, step out of their comfort zone and figure out how to make a positive out of the negative noise in the market.
“Stay in touch with what’s happening,” he advises. “Find out where the transactions are, where people are making moves and registering the most activity. Opportunity is there, but agents have to go and find it.”
Belief is a Powerful Tool
Besides having the right selling tools and taking a smarter approach toward business, Brian Moses says success is also about belief-agents should “take a deep breath and jump.”
“If you believe you can’t, you won’t,” he says. “If someone has done it, you can.”
In fact, Moses cites English-born athlete Roger Bannister as a prime example. “He was the first man to break the four-minute mile, and now high school kids are doing it,” explains Moses. “If Bannister didn’t believe he could do that, he would not have been able to accomplish what he did. Belief is very important.”
People get burnt out and give up, he says. Instead, he says, agents should anchor themselves to a few solid individuals they trust and who will be positive influences toward their success.
“People are a product of their environment,” explains Moses. “So, agents should surround themselves with people they’d like to emulate. Hitch your wagon to someone who’s been in the trenches; someone who knows real estate.”