Acquiring the Keys

Gaining customers no matter the market conditions

According to the National Association of Realtors, over half of current real estate agents have been in the business less than three years. That means more than one out of two of today’s agents (probably including you) have
never experienced a marketplace where homes sat on the market for 60, 90,or 120 days, where agents faced stiff competition to move listings, and where it took real work to find and create client leads.

In robust market conditions, leads are abundant and relatively easy to attract, especially buyer leads. But when the market slows, as it inevitably will, real estate success becomes less automatic. Only great sales skills guarantee that you — instead of some other agent — will win clients no matter the market conditions. The best agents make more money in a challenging market than they do in a robust market.

Regardless of economics, every market contains real estate buyers and sellers. No matter how slow the economy, people always need and want to change homes. Babies are born. Managers get transferred. Couples get married. People divorce. And with these transitions, real estate opportunities arise for those with the best sales skills.

The way to build immunity to shifting market conditions is to arm yourself with skills in prospecting, lead follow-up, presentations, objection handling, and closing. The information in Part II of this book guides you to success.

Becoming a Listing Agent

In real estate, there’s a saying that “you list to last.” In your early days, you’re likely to build your business by working primarily with buyers. But in time,you begin to develop your own listings, and following that you begin your climb to real estate’s pinnacle position, which is that of a listing agent.

To create long-term success, a high quality of life, and a strong real estate business, set as your goal to eventually join the elite group — comprised of fewer than 10 percent of all agents — who are listing agents. The advantages are many:

Multiple streams of income. Listings generate interest and trigger additional transactions. Almost the minute you announce your listing by putting a sign in the ground, you’ll start receiving calls from neighbors,drive-by traffic, and people wanting to live in the area. These calls represent current and future business opportunities that only arise when you have a listing with your name on it.

Promotional opportunity. A listing gives you a reason to advertise and draw the attention of prospects that you can convert to clients or future prospects. And when your listing sells, you can spread the word of your success with another round of communication to those in the neighborhood and throughout your sphere of influence.

A business multiplier. Talk to any listing agent and you’ll have this fact confirmed: One listing equals more than one sale.

On average, over the course of my career, every listing I took resulted in 1.68 closed sales as a result of additional business generated by ad calls,sign calls, and the fact that the listing seller wanted to buy another
home. In other words, I won more business than I offered for sale.

If you gave your financial adviser a single dollar and in a few months you received the dollar back with an additional 68 cents, you’d do back flips. In fact, you’d probably be rifling through sofa cushions looking for additional dimes and dollars to send toward similar investments. And that’s the same motivation that propels the best agents into the field of listings. The multipliers vary by agent, but they always result in a pretty
impressive return on investment

A free team of agents working for you. The moment you post your listing, all the other agents in your area will go to work on your behalf. And the best part is they don’t require payment until they deliver a buyer, and then they’ll be paid not by you but by your seller through the commission structure.

Much of the information in this book focuses on developing listings, because to achieve top-level success listings are the name of the game.