A long-time customer calls. They’re asking about new discounts. Their policy is about to renew and their premium went up. They’re definitely shopping rates. The strange economy this year is going to cause consumers to hold their wallets more tightly, and you’ve got to be ready for some tough conversations in order to keep your agency healthy. It’s more important than ever for you to be at the top of your game. So if you find yourself losing steam, here are 5 easy tricks to keep yourself going.
1. Start your day with breakfast.I know, you’ve heard that a million times before. And you know it’s good advice, but who has the time? Figuring out the right on-the-go nutritious breakfast option for yourself is worth the effort. According to Inc.1, studies show that breakfast is good for your mood and your concentration. What better way to deal with cranky customers than starting off your day in a good, focused mood? May it’ll be contagious enough to help you calm them down and keep their business.
2. Take a walk during your lunch break.First of all, that means you have to actually take a lunch break. This should be a non-negotiable part of your day. Take a few minutes during your lunch break to get outside for a quick walk. If the weather is bad, walk around your office. This isn’t cardio time, this is a quick mental break to refresh and a quick break from sitting at your desk.
3. Leave the office on time.Set a goal to be home on time at least three days per week. None of us are at our best when we work extended hours, stay late, and eat dinner at 9 pm every day. The work you do in the hours after you were supposed to leave isn’t going to be your best. Studies show you’re more likely to make mistakes after-hours, among a host of other ill effects of working late.2
4. Organize your desk.Having a clear mind is difficult when you have a cluttered desk. Your organization system doesn’t have to be what works for anyone else. No does it need to be Marie Kondo approved. You shouldn’t toss out files for customers who don’t spark joy in you. (that would be a very bad idea.) What you need is simply something that works for you. Put everything in a place that makes sense for you.
5. Plan time for yourself.In our go go go world, finding time for friends and family is hard enough. Finding alone time can be even harder. No matter your personality, some time alone to yourself is healthy and necessary. Keep it simple. Maybe on one of those days, you leave work on time you grab a coffee on the way home and sit in your car for 10 minutes to enjoy it and decompress before going in the house. Taking a little better care for yourself doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming. Try one or more of these now and see how quickly spending a little more time on yourself helps you focus better at work.
What’s next?Did you find these tips helpful? If you’re looking for more ways to improve yourself so you can stay strong in business, check out our free Personal Evaluation! Fifteen minutes with the Personal Evaluation will help you make a plan to improve your work, yourself, and your community. Download the Personal Evaluation here!
At Cole Information, we understand that many agents are figuring out how to conduct business.How are you staying top-of-mind? Are you still prospecting or are you waiting on the sidelines to see what the economy does? Mike Ferry, Founder & Real Estate Coach of the Mike Ferry Organization talks with Tyler Steenken, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Cole about how to keep lead generation going.
Tip #1: Adapt a Different MindsetRemember the leads may be slower, Ferry shares that it’s important to change your mindset and recommends that agents adapt their mindset to have more empathy, kindness and understanding when talking with prospects. Try putting yourself in their shoes and look at the housing market from their point of view. “Understanding how they (prospects) feel and where they are coming from, accomplish and do can go a long way,” says Ferry. Ferry also looks at leads in two categories. Category A is the hot leads and they are ready to buy, while Category B is the leads that take a little more time to nurture and won’t be ready to buy right away. Agents may find more prospects fall into Category B while they see how the economy plays out. “You’ve got to talk to those people that are in the second bucket. Share market reports and neighborhood updates with them,” says Ferry. “Because when the flood gates, open we want all of those prospects to come back to the agents that communicating with them.”
Tip 2 # Use Your NetworkDon’t be afraid to use the network you’ve built. This just doesn’t mean talking with other agents but check in with insurance agents or other professionals in the real estate market. With some states still shutdown, agents are unable to call leads like they usually would. Ferry recommends picking up the phone and calling your centers of influence. This is a good time to connect with them to make sure they are doing ok and see if there is a way you can help each other. “You can expand your centers of influence list just by asking people for referrals”, says Ferry.
Tip #3 Keep on ProspectingAs states start to open up, it’s important to keep up on the leads. People have been working from home for months now and they are starting to get restless and will be more willing to talk to an agent. For Ferry, it’s all about picking up the phone and make a personal connection. “If I was to call 15-20 people around my listings and sales you’re (Cole Realty Resource) is going to furnish me with the phone numbers,” says Ferry. You’re going to be in more conversations than you want to be in.” Watch the complete Q&A here! Are you ready to increase your lead generation? Call 800-800-3271 (M-F 8am-5pm CST) or click here to learn more about Cole Realty Resource.
Is it a buyer’s market? Is it a seller’s market? Should I focus locally? Or maybe look to expand? When you start asking more questions and getting fewer answers, it’s time to get back to the basics. The market may be uncertain but by taking a few steps in the right direction, you can make sure that you are prepared for anything that may come your way.
Start with a business planIt doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the business for years, hit your first million in sales, or just signed with your first broker-you need a business plan. You may carry around your goals and ideas for your business in your head, but studies show that writing down your goals, creating tangible timeliness and actionable objectives will increase your chances of reaching those goals1. Check out this real estate Business Plan Health Check from Cole Information. It helps create goals for you no matter where you are or where you want to be. Preparation and forward-thinking will help you develop that ounce of prevention that will get you through any market.
ProspectingBack to the basics indeed. Stop depending on your current cache of clients and expand your contact list. You may have been able to coast by on who you know, but that list may dry up quicker than you’d like to think. Be prepared. Prospect! Think of all the potential clients out there as the wide part of a funnel. They are swimming around, looking at home listings online, considering a home sale, contemplating breaking into the world of property management, or looking to buy that dream vacation home. Some of those potential clients won’t be ready for months, some will be ready next week, and yet others won’t be ready for another year. However, at some point, one of those clients will be ready. And when they are, they will slide down into the skinny part of the funnel and become your client. Every real estate agent has a funnel and every real estate agent gets to decide how many people are in their funnel. The more people you have in yours, the better chance you have that a steady stream of clients will be headed your way- no matter what the market looks like. So how do you get people into your sales funnel? You guessed it. Prospecting. Think about running a voicemail campaign. You can use your custom lists from Cole Realty Resource with apps like SlyDial to maximize your prospecting time by dropping a pre-recorded message straight to in someone’s voicemail. Buy ads on social media. While others are slashing marketing budgets, be the agent in people’s feeds. Get some new business cards made. There is nothing like having shiny new cards in your pocket or purse that makes you want to hand them out. Leave your card everywhere. On counters, in bowls for drawing, ask to pin them to bulletin boards. You may find that getting back to the basics not only fills up your funnel but re-ignites that sales fire that may have started to flicker out. Harness that newbie, go-get-em energy that used to get you out of bed in the morning and do your business proud. Time may change, but the fundamentals of business stay the same. Build and evaluate your business plan, prospect constantly, and sell real estate, One. Two. Three. Go got this. Download the Free Business Plan Health Check today!
As a real estate professional COVID-19 has brought on a new set of challenges.The real estate market is already highly competitive and as an agent, it is important to find a way to stand out and connect with potential customers. At Cole Information, we get that growth is hard work, sure COVID-19 has put a damper on your goals but that doesn’t mean that your business has to stop. As businesses around us are starting to slowly open back up, many agents are still looking at the economy and seeing obstacles. It’s important to look at those obstacles as opportunities and find ways to pivot your business plan. Here are three tips we share with our customers.
Let’s think Hyper-LocalThe concepts of proactively reaching out to prospects still hold true today. Right now it is more important than ever for a real estate agent to stay-top-of-mind and to do that they need to be having conversations with interested buyers or sellers. Try focusing on target a certain area or neighborhood. Did you know your prospect most likely lives down the street from your last listing? This is where hyper-local marketing can help an agent increase their sphere of influence. We are always telling agents to focus on the concept of hyper-local and how our data can help you do that. Think of being hyper-local as focusing on a specific neighborhood, since you’re a small business, chances are you don’t have a huge marketing budget and that’s ok! Thinking about targeting a specific neighborhood will help your budget go further.
Pivot to other Prospecting ChannelsThis ties directly into your marketing approach. As we all right now in-person meetings are very limited so it’s all about creating multiple touchpoints so that when a customer is ready to move or list their home it’s your name they remember. By sending out flyers, emails, cold calling, or creating targeted social media campaigns, you are driving your business into client’s minds. We recommend creating a targeted social media campaign with the email addresses from Cole Realty Resource. Try implementing more than one channel to increase your sphere of influence. Are you more likely to do business with a name you’ve seen around the neighborhood or one that just appeared?
It’s all about Your MindsetWith so much uncertainty it can feel like at times you are up against a moving current and it’s natural to drift to the negative. At times it will be difficult to find the sale or connect with a potential client. Take a few minutes each day to focus on keeping your mind healthy and take a break. Try taking 5 to 10 minutes each day to focus on your mind. By doing this you can improve your mood and lower anxiety. Find a quiet calm space and focus on your breathing. Remember your mindset is a powerful tool and by keeping your mind healthy you can focus on keeping your business going! If you’re ready to level up your prospecting game, we’re here to help! Call us at 800-800-3271 (M-F 8am-5pm CST) or click here to learn more.
Spring 2020 isn’t shaping up how anyone anticipated.What should’ve been the busy season for home services has been the uncertain season. Hopefully, the economic downturn hasn’t affected too many of your customers and you still have a decent amount of work you can do. If that hasn’t been the case, you can still use your time working from home to make a plan and shore up business for the coming seasons. You can do two things to weather this unusual season: figure out how to pivot and create a sales pipeline.
Figure out how to pivotIf you’re in landscaping, use your skills to educate people who are at home. Interest in home gardening is seeing a resurgence.1 You can position yourself as a valuable asset to those who are new to gardening. Share useful tips and tricks on your social media. Give advice on what to grow and how to be successful growing in your area or teach people about composting. Not only can you help your community, develop their green thumbs, so you can help boost the moods during quarantine. And don’t worry, they’ll still need you when this is all over. Most people won’t have time to garden when they return to their normal schedules.
Create a sales pipelineHaving a healthy sales pipeline is essential right now. Due to uncertainty for everyone, it will take longer to bring new clients on board. Get started now so that when you’re able to get back to work, you’ll have a stream fo customers ready to go. Think creatively about what you can do to generate new leads during this time. Send out special offer postcards to your lists from Cole Neighborhoods to lock in service requests. Or use that list to create a Facebook ad that specifically targets homeowners in your area. For solar and roofing, lead with cost savings. Many people are evaluating their expenses right now, and this is the right time to remind them how your product saves them money. Just because you’re “stuck” at home doesn’t mean your business has to be stuck. Using your lists from Cole Neighborhoods, you can reach homeowners right from the comfort of your own home. Download our free Business Plan Health Check to make sure your business is in good shape post-quarantine. 1https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/04/14/coronavirus-gardening-hobby-and-self-sustainability-create-interest/2923047001/
As businesses all around the country are adjusting to and preparing for what the future may hold, you may find yourself looking at the real estate market and feeling confused. Don’t worry too much about that. You’re not the only one. There is a wide variety of thoughts and opinions about how the market will react to this pandemic. Some analysts believe that market will stall and hypothesize that sellers will be apprehensive to list their homes and buyers will not want to make large purchases during unpredictable times. In fact, some markets have seen a 50% decrease in the market when compared to last year’s inventory1. And yet, other markets are showing an increase not only in homes no the market, but in escrow openings and closings2. In these areas, there has been as much as a 36% increase in new listings and a 15% increase in real estate transactions. Still, confused? Again, don’t be. What we are learning from these seemingly conflicting perspectives in what we need to follow the data. Every market, every area, every zip code has the potential to be radically different from its neighbor. Knowing your market, adapting to developing trends, and developing a business plan are all ways you can service your clients and your profits accordingly.
Know Your MarketKeep track of trends in your area. Your clients essentially have a local product to sell so make sure that you know your local market. Is there a flood of low-end buyers? Perhaps a trickle of high-end clients? Maybe a mixture of both? You don’t have to be great with statistics to understand the climate. Dedicate some time every Monday or Friday morning to read about the trends in your area. Make friends with your local mortgage companies and ask about their numbers from the previous week. Utilize those logistics options on your listing services to do the grunt work for you. Keep an eye on the lending rates. Currently, the federal lending rates are historically low3 but what does that mean for someone who is interested in listing their house? You often act as a real estate translator for your clients so be informed. Lenders and escrow companies are usually keen to partner with real estate agents to secure a steady flow of clients. Use that opportunity to expand your resources and knowledge about the market and to develop relationships with people you can dialogue with and discuss local trends.
AdaptMaintaining awareness of the market helps keep you ready for the twists and turns that the market will inevitably throw your way. Currently, people have been hesitant to go into the homes of strangers or to let strangers into their homes. For some agents, this may be present as a roadblock to the sale- but not for all, and if you adapt, not for you either. More and more agents are offering virtual tours by making videos and posting them on their social media pages or by video calling their clients and walking them through the home remotely1. This helps to dampen anxieties during unsure times which encourages clients to keep their home listed on the market until it sells and not to take it off prematurely in a state of panic. Stay current with evolving technologies and use the real estate market to benefit your business. In climates such as this, larger firms will sometimes buy up smaller ones4. If this happens to you, adapt – don’t react. Use the backing of a larger firm to scratch that consulting itch you’ve always had or to finally dip your toes into property management. Change does not have to be bad. And in a market that seems to always be evolving, let change work for you.
Be PreparedFinally, be prepared. Have a business plan – a serious business plan. Like, one that is written down. Don’t know where to start? Cole Information’s Business Plan Health Check can help you put your thoughts to paper and encourage you to take a good look, hard look at your business plan. When you have a goal in front of you, you might just take that extra step that will bring you closer to your picture of success. Through all of this change and flux, it has become more obvious than ever there is no way to predict the future. However, if you know your market, are willing to adapt, and the time to prepare a business plan, you can be sure that you are ready for just about anything that may come your way. Download the free Business Plan Health Check today 1https://www.ktvu.com/video/667582 2https://ktvl.com/news/local/how-covid-19-is-impacting-real-estate 3https://www.fool.com/millionacres/real-estate-market/articles/will-the-covid-19-crisis-push-home-values-lower/ 4https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2020/03/27/the-2020-real-estate-market-correction/#53ab45b62931
Aiding in crisis is exactly what insurance is about.The pandemic may not have your customers filing claims, but maybe they need to hear from you anyway. In uncertain times, one of the most comforting assurances is that others are there for you. Take some time to reach out to all of your clients and as many leads as possible just to check-in and see how they’re doing and see if you can help them in any way. Since resources can be scarce, consider partnering with a church or business that might have relief programs available. Have some resources available for your clients who are in need. Check-in on your clients. Use this targeted approach to reach customers in an effective order rather than going alphabetically.
Start with your elderly customersSince the elderly are in the highest risk category, they are the most likely to need help right now. Offer to pick up groceries. Or just be a friendly voice in what can be a lonely time.
Check in on families with young kidsKeeping a household running with young children is hard enough during normal circumstances. Under a global crisis, it can be quite chaotic. Consider dropping of sidewalk chalk or bubbles.
Speak with single adultsWhile adults who live on their own without children do not have the same responsibilities as a family does, they have the added uncertainty of every responsibility falling on them. If they’ve lost a job, there’s no one else in the household to potentially count on. You may not have all the answers for your clients, and that’s okay. Odds are good your network is larger than theirs and maybe you know someone who can help even if you can’t. The time you invest in looking out for your customers when it’s above and beyond the service you’re being paid to do will tell them exactly the kind of person you are. That’s a value they can’t get from an insurance website. And when it comes time to deal with a claim, they’ll be confident that they have you in their corner. Building a healthy business isn’t just about transactions. It’s about relationships, both inside and outside your agency. If you’d like to spend more time working on the health of your business, download the Business Plan Health Check to get started.
Whether it’s bad weather, or a new baby, or a global pandemic, life is often full of experiences that throw our normal routines off-kilter How do you maintain a work-life balance when everything is out of balance? Here are five helpful tips for navigating uncertain circumstances.