Ok People. I would like to do a little experiment…. I would like to test every single lead generation idea out there. Once a week, I will post a video after I have tested one and let you know how its working. I would love to hear your ideas…old schoool…new school…everything. Let me know your best and most creative ideas!
One of the issues with out jobs is that sometimes we have no control over what another party does in any transaction we have. While we still continue to do everything we can for our clients, there are just some things “acts of god” that we can never predict happening.
However over the years, one important thing that I have learned is to get to know agents, loan officers and closers in the communities which I serve. I do a ton of networking. I can honestly say that I have developed some great connections and made some new friends. It’s an awesome thing.
What this ultimately does for me is this… I have a relationship with another agent. We have respect for each other. Deals happen with these agents and I know that there is a trust factor involved. We are then able to have open communication with each other about transactions we are involved in together. Its my own “circle of trust” with colleagues.
So get to know others in the industry and take the time to communicate with them. Be genuine and authentic. Share stories and ideas. We all have the same goals in mind so why not help each other!
Last night I had a rather unusual occurrence happen. I received a phone call, in the middle of the night, from an unknown number. I was sleeping at the time so the phone call went to voicemail. When I awoke in the morning, I listened to the message that was left on my voicemail. The voice was unfamiliar and the person was saying some things that were clearly inappropriate to say to someone who you do not know. I was pretty disturbed by this and I racked my brain trying to figure out who this could have been.
I sat and thought about it for a while. I am almost single, kind of starting to date and I thought, maybe I gave someone my number. But deep down I knew I hadn’t. One thing I did know was that my cell phone number is listed all over the place. As an agent, there’s really nothing I can do about that.
I thought about what could happen if someone stalked me or tried to attack me. How would I defend myself? I have some kung fu skills that I learned by watching movies and I obviously know how to kick someone in their “manhood”. But what if none of these tactics worked?
I guess what I could do is be more cautious. I should probably consider carrying some mace or even get my conceal and carry as one person suggested.
Just a reminder that you should always be cautious of your surroundings. Always have a plan in case something could occur. Maybe as agents, we should all be required to take some sort of self-defense course. Be careful and be prepared!
So when you get into this business many things are thrown at you, especially being at a young age. It is ten different social networking sites you must be on, a webpage, a Facebook fan page plus running an ad, blogging and the list goes on. Then add to that you need a slogan, a mission statement and of course a business plan (which is hard to do when you have nothing to really go on.) And did I mention all the non-social media marketing you need to do-farming, FSBO’s (I have not had any luck with that), expired listings (haven’t had much luck with that either), post cards, expos, networking events, committees you must join, floor duty and this list goes on as well. As you can tell there is a lot thrown at you that you are told you must do in order to succeed. However there is one other marketing and lead tool that I have realized stirs up much debate-Open Houses. Do they or do they not work? I have done many open houses in this past year and a half, and while I still want to stay positive and say that they will work I have not had much luck with them. People do come by and take a look at the listing, but when I follow-up with them it is like they have no idea who I am and what I am talking about or I just never hear from them again. I have yet to gain a lead that actually goes anywhere from an open house. But many people reading this will completely disagree with me and say that they have gotten a lot of business from open houses. And some reading this will say that open houses are just a waste of time. However, there was one open house I did where this nice, sweet old woman accidentally brought me pot brownies and got me higher than a kite. But of course I did not get any business from her either. Brownies where good though. Some days I think I should go and get her recipe and serve them to my clients who are sticks in the mud and the people who stop by at my open houses. But back to my point-do open houses really work or not? And if they do work for some-how do you make them work? I would love to know other people’s opinion on this, because I myself am not at the point where I can answer this question.
When this blog says Adventures in Rookie Real Estate, for me that is completely true-I am a real rookie. I have only been in the business for a little over a year and a half. My background is in Engineering sales and business development and life insurance. I went into this thinking how hard can this be. Well a year and a half later I can answer that question-VERY HARD. I have never been in a business where you end up working so much for little return. Yes people, even my husband, see us working from home, having a flexible schedule and think we have it so easy. I swear I really think my husband thinks when I am working from home I am really sitting on the couch eating bon bons and watching Ellen and Dr Phil. Well here is some news, from morning until night I am always working on something. This has to be the hardest job I have had with little payoff. May be after I have in this business for a while it will get easier, but right now it is not. My anxiety level over this job can sometimes be through the roof. It is not just getting clients that can be a problem-it is getting them to buy that can be the problem. I have lost many deals simply because no matter how much urgency I put into the situation, for one reason or another they want to wait and then it is too late. You can bring a horse to water, know and convince them that they are thirsty, but you still cannot make them drink. It can be quite frustrating. I have some clients I would like to hit them over the head to get the deal done. So the question is with all this work for the past year and a half with little pay-off really worth it? Do you walk away or do you keep working hoping that change is right around the corner. It is a gamble. And being so new I cannot answer that question. I just know that I feel like I have put so much into this job to make it work that I want to see a pay off and somewhere inside me I really believe I will. But if you are new like I am or even thinking about going into this business-make no mistake, it is a hard business. When you are new, there is nothing that is easy about it. I was asked recently if I regretted getting into real estate. To be honest, I am not. I have a strong belief in myself and know that all I am doing will pay off at some point. I honestly never in a million years this would end up being the hardest job I have ever had. And the most expensive. So that is my reflection being a rookie in real estate
In the early stages of my career, I never took the time to see what was really working for me. However at the end of 2011, I made the decision to hold myself completely accountable and frankly….kick ass in 2012.
I spent the last couple of weeks of the year self evaluating every detail of what I did in my business. Obviously, 2011 was a little different due to my little hiatus I took over the year. But nonetheless, there were some victories and some failures. I took a step back and learned from them all. This helped my create my plan for 2012.
This is what I decided I have to do in 2012:
1. Blog every day starting today. Blogging has always been my thing. I was blogging before blogging was cool. I slacked of within the last year and I had to deal with the consequences. My many blogs have brought me a lot of successes and I am committed to making it a priority.
2. Continue to be active within the local and national associations. I have found that by being apart of association committee’s has helped me be able to serve my clients better.
3. Get back to the basics. Yes, social media has worked for me. But it’s not everything. In November and December I really focused on calling my sphere. It has helped my land a new listing coming on the market and 2 pending sales in the last week or so. I guess it really does work. I have also been sending weekly emails to my investor clients. There are so many amazing deals and my emails include the best of the best deals. From the responses I have received from them, I can tell its sparking their interest.
4. Learn something new. I am so over the whole social media stuff. I get it. I need to focus on finding new ways to grow my business that doesn’t involve updating my Facebook status.
5. Be Thankful. I’m still here and kicking. I have a lot of cool people on my side
I can honestly say 2011 ended well and its flowing thru into 2012. This is going to be a great year! I am going to push myself as hard as I can to make all my goals this year come true. Cheers to 2012!
My feeling about people who fail with their social media efforts is that they lack the ability to obtain a true connection with someone. How are consumers supposed to trust you if they know nothing about you.
I recently commented of a status of Jimmy Mackin where he asked the question “What percentage of your Facebook Friends have you met in real life?’. My answer was 80%. I am not on Facebook, adding random friends. I am meeting someone first and requesting them later.
My main focus in my social media efforts is simply “being real”. I don’t try to pretend I am a certain way. Some things I may say may not mesh with everyone but it’s who I am. By doing this, when the few people who I havent met IRL do meet me, I am the same person they got to know on any social media site.
Personally, I value my friends whether online or IRL. I try not to be fake. Most of you that know me very well understand this.
While at the NAR conference I attended this past weekend, I met Jared James for the first time IRL. We had known each other for years on Twitter and Facebook. You would have never known by us meeting that we hadn’t met each other previously. We chatted like we would have any other time. We didn’t have that awkward feeling when you meet someone for the first time.
It’s all because of how we connected in the first place. We had conversations. We took the time to get to know each other. You have to take everyone you meet online the same as if you met them in person. Ask questions, figure them out. It’s really not that hard
We can work with many of our clients for months on listings or trying to find buyers a home. We get to know them, they get to know us, and we form a relationship with these people. After all the hard work we put in to working with them it is hard to lose a client no matter what the circumstances are. But in my case I lost my first client to death. We had been working together for 8 months trying to find him the perfect home all along while he struggled with really retiring down here to Myrtle Beach, SC from Maryland. We got to know each other in a way that goes beyond an agent/client relationship. We formed a close friendship especially over running. Finally after all those months he decides to make an offer on a house. However 3 hours later he went for a run in the heat, came inside and dropped dead. He was in perfect health. All the doctors can figure out that it was coming in from heat to the cool that caused his heart to give out. And because no contract was in place, his widow is not bound by the offer and now does not want to move. So I lost a friend and a deal. Not to make the day worse, while reading his text about the offer I ran into my garage door and messed it up. I have kept working and kept running, but my heart has not been in it like it was. I hear about lost deals and clients but this just feels so different from the stories I hear. How many lose a deal and a client/friend to death? It took a little while to get my confidence back in both real estate and running; I sort of shut down. But now I am back. I am realizing that just because a client/friend and a deal were lost no matter what the circumstances were that does not mean I have to stay off the horse. It just means I need to get back on the horse and ride harder than before. So I have lost my first client. I am really hoping the next client I lose (which will happen again, it always does) it will be to expired agreement not death.
I recently made a huge change and went to a different brokerage. Prior to meeting my broker, I hadn’t even thought about a change. I was perfectly content where I was.
We got the chance to connect at a couple of events and really got to know each other.
After getting to know each other, I felt it would be the perfect move for me. My broker was just this super happy, positive and supportive person. I felt I needed that.
I always see these somewhat obnoxiously happy people and wonder how that can be real. How can you be that happy all of the time?
After being with my new broker for a little over two months now, I get it. This has been the best couple of that I have had in a long time. I am thinking big. I am being more creative and I feel refreshed. The biggest change I have notices is this: I am more connected to my clients, friends, family and tweeps. Being positive and being in a positive environment has completely helped my confidence. If you were to see me in my office, my chin would be up and I would have a smile on my face.
So this has to mean something right? Being positive, brings positive things? I have to think that it does. My business is already improving just because of me simply having a positive attitude.
So my plan is to keep the positive attitude. It can only get better from here.
My office VP recently told me a this and I thought it applied to my current situation:
“I do truly believe that attitude is 90% of success.”-Brian Bolier
There are many things that I have let hold me down in the past. I let this happen by my own choosing. I have now made the choice to not let the mistakes I have made in the past leave a shadow over what I am doing now.
Its time for me to reinvigorate my business. I have a new focus. Not to be selfish, but its all about me. I’m not scared to start over.
Lucky for me, I have so many colleagues available to give me advice . Dont be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of people out there that are more than willing to give you a push.
If there is something not working in your business plan, re-evaluate it and make changes as you go a long. Look at people who are successful and try to see what they are doing. Look at your failures and makes sure you don’t repeat them. People in any business fail from time to time, so don’t be hard on yourself. Be confident in yourself and don’t give up.