Merrily Hackett, CEO of Sutton Group West Coast Realty is enjoying a phenomenal career in real estate. I’ve talked about her a number of times because she’s a great role model for any salesperson or business person.
Having built 3 separate brokerages in the Vancouver area, and leading SG-WCR’s 25 office brokerage, she’s showing us how to outcompete the competiton.
Last year, U.S.-based author and speaker Stefan Swanepoel ranked Hackett at No. 15 on his list of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Residential Real Estate. Sutton – West Coast made 16,500 unit sales and over $11 billion in sales volume in 2014, which Hackett calculates brings them in at No. 5 in North America.
Create Quality Time for Relationship Building
Let’s not say “prospecting” anymore. Let’s call it relationship building.
You absolutely need to develop productive relationships with mortgage agents, renovators, landscapers, home inspectors, and prospects that include seniors and young couples.
In an interview with Real Estate Magazine, Merrily talks about the importance of relationship building and how realtors need to focus on this key business development activity.
“It’s what I see over and over with agents that fail. I used to block off three to four hours daily for lead generation. That included calling expired listings, door knocking and cold calling, reaching out to a sphere of influence on a daily basis, asking people for referrals and to keep me top of mind. I was on the phone connecting with people, ensuring that pipeline was full. Consistency was key. You need to believe in yourself. Many times as a commissioned salesperson, you have those fearful thoughts and moments. A new agent has to have the expectancy and positive feeling that it’s going to come together.” — Merrily Hackett interview in REMonline.
15 Prospecting Tips to Build your Focus and Optimism
Here’s 15 useful prospecting tips – a process to optimize your realtionship building.
- Vary your approach and method. Know your scripts, but go easy. A script is just a testing tool, not a final approach to relationship building. Be a friendly person first because people may find talking to a realtor boring. A warm introduction, maybe a comment on weather and economy to gauge their mood, then tell them your call is short and to the point – do they know anyone in their neighborhood, and about their family and friends that might be moving, BECAUSE, buyers are very eager to buy and you’d like to help them get a better price. Those are legitimate reasons.
- Segment all your prospects into relevant groups (hot, cold, buyers, sellers, advocates,mortgage agents, home services, etc) so you can develop unique approaches to each and have unique value for each. Think about how you’ll describe and present your unique value proposition for each type of prospect or advocate.
- Coach your advocates and give them support – the people who may refer business to you sometimes need a little guidance if they have a hot lead. Tell them how to present you to them. Find out why they’re buying or selling — what’s the payoff for the person? With that knowledge, you can explain to your advocate how you’re relevant. With a little purpose, your advocate will make you look good, as opposed to you being part of an offhand comment.
- Relax — if you can afford it, you might want to consider getting a massage before you do your prospecting on the phone — you’ll appear friendlier, less threatening, more trustworthy, and more fun to talk to. Call them with a smile on your face and with your goal being networking, enjoying the moment, and finding good prospects. Sales comes later. Right now, you’ve gotta be thinking people and fun.
- Set aside 3 hours every day for phone calls to generate interest, gather information and make appointments. Build a positive attitude toward prospecting, that it’s the most important part of your day.
- Forgive prospects who waste your time and forgive yourself for wasting their time — this helps you to avoid guilt and other feelings that’ll weigh you down
- Remind yourself often that what you’re doing is important. You’re helping people achieve their dreams and that’s more important that anything they’re doing right now. Their friends and contacts should be glad you’re in this to help them.
- Spend more time with your hot or top prospects — when you’re getting close, keep in touch and always be ready to offer help, information, and support for their decisions
- Have more value to offer — the more value you have to offer, the less likely prospects and advocates will consider you irrelevant. They’re not rejecting you really, you’ve failed to provide value in insight, help, and support. How about mentioning the mortgage calculator on your website, the great mortgage agent you know who could save them money, or renovator/designer who could help them with a quick remodel to lift the selling price?
- Use consultative selling techniques to find every person’s most important needs and hurdles — be the person who creates a path for everyone to their dreams
- Spend your face to face time wisely by discussing the buyer/seller’s dreams – find out what their success symbols are and their favorite places to visit. Whether country or city, new home or old, the faster you find out what they want, the more likely they’ll choose you.
- Calculate how much prospecting/phone time and marketing effort it took to generate a successful lead.
- Keep in mind what buyers and sellers really want — a better lifestyle and ask them what their key priorities are as they begin to plan for their purchase/sale. In the end, it’s all about lifestyle and knowing what it is they’re really after is vital
- Study up on a new community that you haven’t explored and become an expert on the lifestyle value of that community
- Ask prospects what’s holding them back and ensure you develop a list of responses to help
Here’s Kevin Ward with his tips on prospecting. How about finding more people to talk to via Google and Social Media? Just a thought.
And Liz of Keller Williams with social media prospecting. Build relationships first then nurture them along with value, entertainment, and recognition.
Prospecting is a key part of good sales process and it hasn’t hurt Merrily Hackett’s business success. If your lead funnel is too weak, this might be the best thing ever for your career. Now you can justify pursuing a strong Internet marketing program.
Let’s get started right now!
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