For those of you using RealtySites PLUS I wanted to let you know that we are continuing our commitment to driving you leads and features that will captivate your on-line audience.

Well we have added a few new features today to the websites. Below is a list of updates:

1. We have added buttons at the bottom of the main property photo which drive people right to the photo gallery , the virtual tour or on-line video. Go to www.TerryLeClair.com and enter  ID# 31935 124 Essa Rd for an example. This will make it easier for the consumer to view photos and virtual tours without having to scroll down.

2. We are also excited that we added a couple new social media buttons on the top of each listing. We added Google + and on top of the mian property photo we added Pinterest (Pin It feature). If your not familiar with Pinterest you better get use to it as it’s growing in popularity huge!

3. We have also given you the ability to allow people to follow you on Pinterest. To set this up (if you have a Pinterest account) is go to “Site Manager”, Then click on “Social Media” then click on the “Pinterest” tab and add your Pinterest URL. It’s that simple and it will populate the Pinterest logo along with your other social media logo’s in your menu bar. Log into www.terryleclair.com and click into my site to see it in the left hand menu.

4. The photo gallery viewer is much quicker to load making the experience much better.

Next week we will be adding the ability to add Google +, Pinterest and YouTube buttons under your picture in your bio and on the picture that displays with your listing. Those social media buttons are found in your “My Account” page/button which you access on the top gray bar of your control panel.

If you have any questions please email me at terry@realtysitesplus.com

Hope you like what we have added.

Terry LeClair

CEO, RealtySites PLUS

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Some interesting Stats!

I read an interesting blog recently on Inman News about how today’s Realtor is typically older and more experienced than they were a year ago according to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors. Albeit the median age is only 56 compared to 54 in 2010, so when you factor in that we’re all a year older than a year ago the stats don’t exactly jump off the page as any great revelation.

What I do find interesting though is that only 12 percent of Realtors are under 40, and half are between the ages of 40 and 59. Obviously with aging and retiring Baby Boomers those percentages are sure to rise significantly over the next five to ten years.

These stats are important to software companies like mine because they can help us more accurately gauge where our particular industry is headed. As the changing of the guard makes the transition from “old school” Realtor, who up until a few years ago wasn’t even using a cell phone, to the younger “tech savvy” Realtor, I think we’ll find tremendous shifts and advancements in the technology we provide, as the demand for innovative products increases.

Now I certainly don’t want to suggest that a Realtor over the age of 50 isn’t innovative or up to speed on Real Estate software products, because a vast number of my clients are in fact in the age group the study reflects upon. I do however find that the older one gets the harder it is to initiate change and more importantly embrace that change.

These are indeed exciting times for my industry, because technology is in high demand and the benchmark is rapidly increasing, so we have to be on our toes to stay above the curve, but so do you! If you don’t heed this warning, you better find a new career path! Embrace change!

My point is; no matter what age you are, change is good if it improves the way you do business and your bottom line. So whether you’re in the 50 plus category or a newby to Real Estate, find the products that will make you work smarter not harder. After all can you imagine life without a cell phone as part of your daily business tool arsenal? If you answered yes than you better consider your website and take a good look at how it’s performing for you. If it’s nothing more than a glorified business card, you’re probably still using a pager! But if it has the ability to communicate, captivate, & cultivate your online buyers and sellers, than you’re guaranteed to close more deals, and I’m sure you also have the latest smart phone strapped to your hip.

We even have a mobile site coming soon!!

Innovation and change can seem so difficult to accept on the surface, yet they’re critical of our success and survival. Think of it as part of the food chain, and then decide where you want to be on that food chain, and you’ll have the answers you need to survive these tough, turbulent times.

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You Should Be Afraid, Very Afraid!

So have I got your attention? Don’t stop reading now because this could be one of the most important articles you will ever read as a Realtor or Broker Owner, if you havn’t read about this trend before! So what is it you should be afraid of? What can be so important that you need to take action today? Well… it’s your reputation, your character, your livelihood!

Some of you may have heard a little about the “latest trend” in our business and that is “agent ratings”. Now for some of you this won’t bother you because you know that you do good business and no one would say anything bad about you…well, don’t be so sure. The ability to slander someone anonymously on one of these “rating sites” is quite easy and with no repercussions to the author. Now don’t worry (well, not too much), there is an application out there to help you with online comments, posts, slander or anything that refers to you in anyway. It’s called Google Alerts. The wonderful online world of transparency now has an ally. Google to the rescue…again!

If you have not heard about Google Alerts go check it out. Go to http://www.google.com/alerts. Once there you will see how easy it is to create an alert for names, phrases or products. It only makes good business sense to keep on top of what people out there are saying about you, your service, or your product. It also gives you the ability to rebut or have a post or rating removed that has no merit or justification. Google Alerts is also effective in keeping you updated on the competition and what is being said about them, their services and products!

Don’t stop there. There is another vast online community out there and it’s called “Social Media”! You also need to keep your eyes open and ears to the ground on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. To monitor what people are saying about you go to www.SocialMention.com and create one or numerous alerts. If you want a list of the types of social sites they will scan just click on the “select social media sources” under the main search box on the front page of their website.

So now that you have that covered you will begin to be notified of posts or comments that hit the Internet unbeknown to us, good or bad. It’s all about staying ahead of the game! We all need to reflect on how we treat our clients and perform our duties. It’s much easier to eliminate an issue than mitigate a problem causing you to remove online content that could be detrimental to your personal success, reputation of your company, or industry as a whole.

TLC

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Are you the 90% or 10%? You Tell Me.

So you think your business model is ok? Your pricing strategies competitive?

Would you agree that when buying a service, you would pay more for quality service and what you feel is a better value for your hard earned dollars? Well if you feel that way, is it not reasonable to think that buyers and sellers have the same regard for Value VS. Price?  Of course they do. In fact a recent study indicates that 90% of buyers and sellers of real estate are more motivated by value when choosing a Realtor where only 10% felt that price was the most important factor in choosing a Realtor. This is paramount news when it comes to your business!

So if this is how the consumer feels about Value VS. Price, why as an industry are we so focused on price? Here’s why: because if value is perceived to be “the same” among all then price becomes the only important factor in the decision making process. Most Realtors cannot provide enough value to differentiate themselves from the over populated Realtor environment. Now before you become affronted and start commenting on this article, understand that I am one of you. I am an active real estate broker/owner and sales person and I know that it is becoming harder and harder to captivate an audience that is tainted by the perception of Realtors and the true value they bring to the table.

One thing I realized very early in my business career is that 10% of people will take up 90% of your time…and not appreciate it. So I have two solutions to this problem. First: fire or don’t deal with the 10% that only are focused on getting the “best price”. Let the Realtors that have little to no value proposition of differentiators deal with them. You on the other hand, can strive towards dealing with the 90% that are enjoyable to work with. These peoples are ones that value you and your time, who will work with you as part of your team to get their home sold or help them find their dream home. The problem here folks is that even though this 90% is great to deal with, they still expect value and if you can provide true value to them, then business will happen for you naturally.

Now I know you may be asking yourselves “how exactly can I create better value and what can I really do to differentiate myself from all the other Realtors out there”? If you’re not asking yourselves those questions then stop reading this now and go and enjoy the 10%…the point being, there is always room for improvement! If you are questioning your business model then I have done my job. I have got you to look at your business and see where you can do better.

One suggestion I will make is that you never stop educating yourself. I recently took part in a Richard Robbins three day event called Achieve 2010. I came away with some great ideas, insights, tips and strategies that I could implement immediately. If accountability is your problem then I would suggest a coach. Yes, coaching can be expensive, but so can having little to no business. We all know this business is expensive to be in so you must maximize your profitability as quickly as you can and if you cannot be self motivated, then a coach is definitely your solution.

If you want to create better value in the eyes of the consumer, it is imperative to spend some time creating a great marketing, advertising and Internet strategy that is not the same as every other Realtor out there. Browse the internet, look at billboards and street ads- don’t you ever get sick of seeing the same old same old? The same messages, the same promises. What are YOUR best qualities? How can you use those qualities to differentiate yourself and what qualities do you possess that you know you can maximize to improve your business? I recently wrote a blog reiterating thought-leader Simon Sineks vision of understanding the importance of your “Why”. WHY do you do what you do? What are your real beliefs about great service and amazing value? What do YOU expect when you are in the role of a consumer? Are your beliefs in sync with your consumers’ beliefs? Again, people dont buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

I can tell you from experience that taking the time to develop great systems, presentations and unique propositions will pay huge dividends in the future. If you believe your strategies are less than par and you can admit to yourself that the road you are on now makes you just “one of many”, stop doing what you’re doing! Step back and look at your business and ask yourself…would I pay more for my own service? What value do I bring to the market?

TLC

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So it’s taken me 43 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent in print advertising, direct marketing, brand awareness campaigns and now social media to finally realize that I have seemingly had it wrong all these years. For those ‘Type A’ personalities out there like me, you know how hard it is to admit you’re wrong! My staff, employees and agents will snicker while reading this, but I am ready to admit that recently, I’ve “had it all wrong”. However, since learning the real meaning behind this magic little word and how it applies to your business (and personal life!), I have never felt more invigorated or inspired about everything we do as a company and I’m sure the same is now true of my staff.

So what is it that I have been doing wrong for so long? What has got me so inspired that I need to spread the good word to everyone and anyone who will listen? It’s “WHY”. Yes you heard right. It’s the Why. Only three letters but a profound word when it comes to business and more importantly, becoming inspiring in your business.

Some of you know that I am the CEO of both a real estate and software company and despite a successful career as a selling agent, I see now that in my final years of being an active seller, my marketing message was “off”. There was a day when I had no preconceived ideas about what the real estate industry had to offer. I was what most would call a “keener”; an agent with a belief, desire and passion and those feelings allowed me to prosper. However somewhere along the way, that belief in our industry and within myself seemed to slowly fade. As years went on, I would sometimes get lost in doing what was right for me, as opposed to how I was when I first got into the industry where I focused all of my attention on making sure I did the right thing for everyone involved. At the same time, I also developed a misconception of how the consumer viewed me and our profession.  How could a great, hard working agent “lose his touch”?

I see now that it was simple: my mentality and therefore my message became too much about what I do and how I do it and had nothing to do about why I did it. Why did I choose to sell real estate? Why did I choose such a risky business where the risk vs. reward could be enough to scare away the most talented entrepreneur? Why did I have an abundance of passion for this business? The same thing holds true today for my software company as we have embarked in a marketing campaign to promote RealtySites PLUS.

The “why” is the reason we do what we do. “What” we do and “how” we do it should not be in the forefront of our marketing; rather why we do what we do. This may sound overrated or profound but we all need to take a closer look at our messages that we are communicating to our clients, customers or contacts and determine if we are stressing the wrong points.

It’s interesting how we as consumers have been preconditioned to follow the status quo. We tend to market our products and services like everyone else does, and those who don’t are seen as the risk takers. Let me share with you what I feel many of us could improve upon in our businesses and what I did in order to turn the tables around and revitalize that passion that I have for our industry.

The consumer connects with people and (purchase) products that communicate a clear belief of why they do what they do, and if the consumer shares those same beliefs, it’s more likely that there will be an instant connection. Simply put…people do not buy what you do; they buy why you do it. Does a consumer choose a Real Estate professional because he/she sold 100 homes last year? Because he/she owns a Smartphone, IPAD, and uses state of the art technology? Or does a consumer mainly hire you due to a feeling of trust, or “word of mouth” input that you are a very friendly, admirable professional who you can completely rely on?

Here is a common marketing message an agent (ahem, me) might have used to promote his or her service.

“I am a top producing agent who is in the top 5% nationally. I represent buyers who are looking for upscale homes in Toronto (What you do). I carefully examine your needs and wants, and arrange all viewings. I am very detail oriented, so I will provide detailed information, and provide an array of comparables for the properties you want to see” (How you will do it).

In the next example, I incorporated my “Why”:

“I believe in doing the right thing by people. I believe in putting others needs before my own- in my personal life, and in business. I thrive off of others happiness. My satisfaction comes from helping people organize their lives. The real estate industry allows me to experience these joys every single day. I help people find their dream home, and I live my dream while doing it. Together, we will succeed”.

Do you think this message is different? More effective? You can decide but I hope that you feel the second message is a more compelling proposition, and one that even provokes some emotion.

Despite the high’s and low’s, I believe that our industry is one of the most exciting industries to be in today and if we all as professionals can delve deep and discover our “why” and communicate that message to the consumer, we will have a lot more “believers”.

TLC

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In a recent study conducted by Intellimon and the University of Bradford, it was revealed that Facebook and Twitter seemed “ineffective” in generating website traffic. That may surprise some of you, but for those of you who have been sceptical over the “social media phenomenon”, you may be saying “I knew it!”

It is estimated that one in every fourteen people in the world actively use Facebook, with just over 500 Million users to date. So considering the popularity and contagiousness of Facebook, how does it really weigh in when it comes to generating traffic to your actual company website? Over 4000 online companies were surveyed in the study. The results may be a little discouraging:

  • Although 67% of businesses make use of Facebook to promote their websites, only 29% found the social media platform useful in any way for directing traffic to it.
  • Similarity, only 27.7% of Twitter users found that this social media platform had any impact on bouncing potential customers to their company websites.

To be honest, the results (in my opinion) aren’t shocking. There seems to be a great deal of dependence on Facebook and Twitter, as well as other methods of online marketing, to produce customers and generate traffic to your website. With that being said, many of us may be losing sight of what Facebook and Twitter are actually for when it comes to online marketing. The more we gear away from anticipating loads of customers from our implementation of Facebook or Twitter, the less disappointed we will be when we realize that it isn’t that easy.

We have all heard of SEO by now; another phenomenon and world of its own regarding the visibility of your company (or for Realtors, your brand) in search results. But when it comes to Facebook and Twitter, think of it as a unique type of SEO: Social Engagement Optimization. The more we engage our audience, the better the chance that a few might even browse over to our websites! Most importantly, if we shift our focus from what social media can do for us, and consider what our social media platforms can do for our customers, we can begin to produce an environment that our potential customers even want to be in.

Consider the following benefits that Facebook instantly offers (all statistical leads to customers aside):

  • If you actively use your Facebook page to provide blogs, news articles, and most importantly, engaging conversation, you start to become a resource for others. For example, I visit a particular Facebook page (and have been for the last year) when I want entertainment news because this person constantly provides new and exciting content. If this person created an actual entertainment news website, would I visit it? Absolutely! She became a trusted source of information, but wasn’t trying to sell me anything.
  • The social aspects of your Facebook page create emotional connectivity between you and your audience.
  • Referrals and recommendations of your services and/or products are easier (you can reach vast audiences across the world!) and this method of referral is more natural.
  • It provides instant branding and awareness of your company.
  • Potential customers get to meet “you” and even your employees before meeting the “company”.

Simon Sinek, an inspirational thought leader and author said it best: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. If your audience sees that they share the same common interests as you, the same beliefs as you, or they just genuinely seem to “like” you, what you do isn’t as important anymore. People are more likely to buy your products or services if they trust you, and get a good vibe from you. “What” you do can actually be less engaging; if someone is scoping out your website or product page, chances are they are already looking to buy that particular service and don’t need to be “sold” on it. Facebook is a great platform to show people the real you, what you’re all about, and exactly why you are doing what you are doing.  Having said that, we can appreciate how important it is for us to connect with our audiences on a more personal level and not just sell “what” we do, and how we do it.

Facebook undoubtedly helps you better understand and get to know your audience.  With Facebook, you now have the opportunity to engage your audience in interesting conversation. Ask questions, get advice, and even create polls!  People love talking about themselves and providing input to questions you provide, and it’s refreshing for your audience to see that you are interested in what they think as well. You’ll find your audience will take part in their own conversations based off of one post you provide. Read through your audiences’ responses and their responses to other posts about that topic. Common interests and beliefs begin to emerge the more you engage and connect with your audience. Want to know the best added perk to engaging conversation that creates buzz and receives an abundance of feedback? Facebook has their own algorithm that determines what shows up in its “news feed” . The more responses your posts get, the more likely it is that your status update will be posted in others news feeds. The conversations you create can easily become viral.

Although the results of the Intellimon/University of Bradford study indicated that a multitude of companies aren’t necessarily seeing profound results from their Facebook and Twitter efforts, no one can deny that in this world of social media and online technology, it is essential to implement these to stay ahead of the game. If anything, Facebook connects you to your audience, including prospective customers, and who doesn’t want the opportunity to engage this vital group of people anyway? If Facebook is used and used properly, you can become a trusted, appealing resource, which is worth the extra time spent perfecting your fan page. Time to amp up our Social Media efforts because it definitely isn’t going away!

Jenny Heffernan
Director of Social Marketing
RealtySites Plus

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Boots on the Bricks or Pay to Play!

Boots on the Bricks or Pay to Play

I have to say that I am very surprised how many times in a week I am asked from agents all over North America “how can I generate more leads and how can I brand myself”? I think the reason that this surprises me so much is because of the myriad of products, services and training available to us all.

So it led me to believe that we as an industry have forgotten some of the most basic branding opportunities that could literally cost you very little to nothing. The first thing that I ask a Realtor when I coach them is “what is your advertising and branding budget”? A plan cannot be executed unless you have a clear picture on how many resources are available to create an impact. Unfortunately, it is very prevalent in the industry today that most agents have very little to spend on marketing, advertising and creating a personal brand impression.

I tell my agents that they have two choices. They can “Pay to Play” or put their “Boots on the Bricks”. What I mean by this is if you want to create an impact in your market, the only two ways are to buy your way in through print advertising, billboards, bus benches, expensive mailings, flyers and farm campaigns, or, if you have little to no available resources you must hit the streets and put in some sweat equity. Again, the unfortunate thing is that most agents find themselves in this position with very little available cash to brand themselves.

Well I am writing to tell you that it does not have to be that difficult! The first and most effective way to put your “Boots on the Bricks” is to have your pockets filled with business cards at all times. Now it saddens me to say that I could write an entire article on creating a great business card but here are the very basics:

-You need a LARGE, clear, current photo.

-You need your email and web addresses clearly indicated.

-You should always have a toll free phone number and of course you need to incorporate your state licensing requirements.

-Always use the back of your card for additional information, slogans or marketing opportunities.

Once you are equipped with your wonderful business card, DON’T BE AFRAID TO USE IT! I ask agents on a regular basis how many times a day or week does money, a credit card or their debit card come out of their purse or wallet and I always hear 10, 20, 30 times! Well, if that is not your number one and cheapest way to engage with someone and create a brand impression then what is

If you are at the grocery store and thank the grocery clerk with sincerity and hand them your business card and say “if I can ever help you I would love to be of service, here is my card”, you will undoubtedly impress them. Also, you have already differentiated yourself from the masses. We can also leave that little extra tip when dining out and thank the server for their wonderful service and give them a card! Even when you stop at Starbucks for your morning coffee, give them a card! Remember where those cards will sit their entire shift. They will probably remain right on top of the cash drawer for every other employee and customer to see all day long. Not only that, you become known as “the real estate agent” that leaves that great tip, always says thank you, and who is always polite. I honestly cannot tell you how many deals I have accumulated from this one simple exercise. You have created a lasting impression that is far better than any bus bench or billboard could create.

We must never be too “chicken” or too embarrassed to do this. A lot of you may think it will look silly, some of you (believe it or not) may even be embarrassed of your profession, and some just think it’s tacky or annoying. I am writing to help you stop being “goobers” and start handing out cards to everyone every time some form of money comes out of your wallet.  It will pay you your best ROI of all your advertising or marketing strategies.

So bottom line: if you can’t pay to play, you sure as heck better be prepared to put those boots on the bricks!

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So What’s it Going to Take?

So what is it going to take? I will be the one to ruffle the feathers, get in your face and perhaps even piss you off but enough is enough! When the heck are the ‘goobers’ of real estate going to start working and take their profession seriously? For those of you who know me, you know that I use the term goober in an endearing, heartfelt way. I was a goober and still am (one once in a while) but sometimes the truth hurts- but it’s important to hear it.

I am simply fed up of seeing great people, smart people, and charismatic people give up on real estate because they “can’t make it work” or they simply say “it’s not right for me” when really it is right for them and they can make it work. All it takes is a plan and that mighty force they call “work ethic”. The one thing everyone reading this post has to remember is that we are independent business owners- all of us. You don’t have someone there to kick your sorry butt out of bed, and you don’t have someone to give you the magic potion to success. Success comes to those who work. You don’t even necessarily have to work smart….just HARD.

So why as an industry (and I am sorry to generalize- I mean “most”, not “all”) do we always try to avoid work? As a software company CEO/founder (and a successful Realtor) I cannot tell you how many times I have heard from agents “I just want to turn it on and do nothing”, “this is too much work” or even worse “I don’t know much about computers and have no time to learn” when attempting to start up their own website. If these words have ever crossed your lips then yes, you too are a ‘goober’!

Why is it that when Realtors see products like Top Producer (a data management CRM) or even our product RealtySites PLUS, they complain because “it’s too complicated”? In my mind this is absolutely absurd and so hard to comprehend that as independent contractors or self employed Realtors, we cannot spend a measly 3 hours of constructive time to learn and implement a great CRM or web technology that can enhance and even change our real estate careers forever! I know it does, because it has worked for me.

If you want to go back to or start a fresh 9 – 5 kind of job, you will spend on average five full days training for your new job- or more. Heaven forbid you have to spend half a day learning how to create a great Facebook Fan Page, set up a Twitter account, or implement new web technology- all to better your own success! We are the masters of our own success.

If we as an industry want to be taken seriously and continue to expect the consumer to see real value in our services and propositions, we better stop being so damn lazy, implement great technology, and start to work harder. If we don’t, there are many people and organizations that “know what it’s going to take” and many consumers that will start to wonder why they need us at all!

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It’s time that someone finally comes out and tells all you REALTORS® that you don’t have to worry. Wal-Mart will hire us…when they put in their real estate offices in their stores.  Did you catch that? I said us.  Yes, the jerk writing this article is a REALTOR® himself. Telling you this doesn’t come with much trepidation and thought, but I am compelled to share this with you.

Why as an industry are we so slow to adapt? Why do we not embrace change and decide to make a difference early in the game? Why do we wait until our backs are against the wall and a gun is pointed at our heads before we wake up and decide to do something about it?  Now think about this for a moment: there is huge pressure by the DOJ in the United States – and now the Competition Bureau in Canada – to open up the MLS to anyone and everyone.  They want non-members, or members who decide they do not want to compensate selling agents, to have complete access to “our” MLS systems! The systems that our fees and thousands of man hours put in by REALTOR® volunteers built. The system we regarded as our “value proposition” and our “unique selling proposition” will be infiltrated by the public, the discounters or the shameless entrepreneurs trying to change our business for their shameless so-called profits.

But don’t bitch about it: we’ve done it to ourselves. It’s time we stopped whining about what is happening to our sacred MLS system and start to do something about it. Now don’t get me wrong, I still want to defend what we have built with as much passion and persistence that I can muster, but I am a realist and a planner. I want to look to the future and see that it’s NOT our use of MLS, but one of engaging the consumer. Quite frankly, you can NEVER engage and, more importantly, captivate the consumer with the data found on MLS.

So then why are so many REALTORS® relying only on MLS and the data contained in it for their web content? If you were to list your own home do you think that one paragraph of text and a few dimensions is enough to compel someone to come and see your home? I didn’t think so. Consumers are not idiots! They are demanding, and expect service and a professional to “market” their home the most effective way possible. For those of you who think that the MLS is the best marketing solution for your listings, I have a fantastic little blue apron with a pretty name badge on it that is made just for you.

For those of you who really don’t want to end up at Wal-Mart, listen up: we REALTORS® need to take charge right now, and change the way we do business. We MUST re-invent, re-develop, embrace and execute Real Estate 2.0.  We need to start work harder and stop thinking that MLS and its technology is the tool that’s going to make our jobs easier. In fact, it’s going to be the tool that puts us out of work if it’s the ONLY thing/tool we rely on.  What’s stopping Wal-Mart from putting in company-owned real estate offices in each of their stores, hiring out-of-work “goober” REALTORS® for $15 an hour and offering full MLS access for $499? “Bring in your photos and fill out this form and we will put your home on MLS”. Is it possible? Yes! Is it inevitable? NO!

We all must make an effort to create that Real Estate 2.0 experience. We must embrace great technology that makes us leaders in our market places. Technology that engages the consumer and gives them a captivating experience that they just can’t get from MLS – or Wal-Mart for that matter.

One thing’s for certain, the consumer will not stop expecting more, and there will be entrepreneurs that will be ready, willing and able to give them what they want. Let’s make a deal: why don’t we all decide to be the innovators, the creators, the professionals that people use to buy and sell real estate?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have no plans wearing a blue apron and working for someone else.

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Elminate the Goober Call

The dreaded “Goober Call”…just the thought of it makes me squirm like a child waiting in the dentist’s office. Some of you may be asking, “What the heck is a goober call?” We Realtors have ALL experienced the goober call on many occasions, some more often than others. A goober call, my fellow Realtors, is when a Seller calls and asks you things like, ”Hey, why isn’t my house selling?”, “How come I haven’t received any feedback on that last showing?”, or – god forbid – “Just what the heck are you doing for all those commission dollars I’m paying you?”

Actually, a goober call is almost every call the Seller makes to you. The reason I say that is because most of the time the call doesn’t start out as a goober call, but turns out like that. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean that I think the Seller is a goober, I just think that the conversation is a goober call, and honestly, the goober is usually the Realtor if they get that kind of call. Why am I dissing my peeps, my colleagues, my own Realtors? Simple: if you get a goober call, it’s usually your fault. These types of calls can be prevented with a little effort and strategic planning.

“Terry, how can we avoid goober calls?” I’m glad you asked! The first way to prevent goober calls is to ALWAYS do a listing presentation using proper presentation software (like PowerPoint). Yes, I said ALWAYS. A good listing presentation is invaluable to you as a Realtor. First, it should set out all the parameters with regards to marketing efforts, advertising, communication and feedback systems, and how your client will use your systems. You must explain your processes, commissions and any other ancillary services you may offer. The key is to never over-promise and under-deliver. If you say you’ll communicate feedback from every showing, you’d better darn well do it.

Another strategy I use in my business is to send the Sellers a `Stats Update’ letter every two weeks. This letter should explain to them what the current market conditions are, what comparable homes have recently sold or been listed, and how many web hits MLS and your website have generated. By giving the Seller this information BEFORE they ask for it or even want it you eliminate the goober call. On opposite weeks to the stats update letter, send a marketing update letter and include PDF`s of any ad or marketing piece. Let them know where and when their home will be exposed to the market. Also, send them all the listing and selling documents via email so they have the ability to answer their own questions before they call you, and the conversation turns into a goober call.

This approach has helped me greatly in my business. I’ve sold 100 homes every year for the past 12 years with NO buyers agent, only an admin person. And, I did it working only the odd weeknight, and hardly ever on weekends. That, my fellow Realtors, is what happens when you eliminate the goober call.

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