Category Archives: Coaching

Step away from 'social networking' and your business will explode . . .

too many real estate social networking sitesIs anyone else just plain tired of all of the ‘social networking’ sites out there? Let’s just say that they are being created faster than babies are being born. Ok, that’s not true, but good grief, there’s a new site practically every week. FromActive Rain to My Space to Facebook to Real Estate World, it’s a massive grab to be ‘the‘ site. The problem is, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with it all.

Oh yes, there is definite value to being a REALTOR® that’s ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. The key is, what’s simply cutting edge and what’s insanity? I watch agents all over the country picking up every single piece of new technology, spending hours upon hours upon hours of their time creating profiles on social networking sites and writing posts and content for all sorts of websites include LocalismTruliaZillowRealtor.com, etc. I wonder, are they actually building and running a business or are they spinning their wheels?  Where is their brand? Where is their business?

Some may come forward and say 80% or 90% or 100% of my business was from these various sites – but when you ask them to show you what business they did, they won’t say. Sure, it’s easy to say that 100% of your business comes from spending hours upon hours playing on the internet when you sold precisely 4 or 6 or 8 homes. The more business that agents do, the lower the % of it came initially and directly from the internet. No, I don’t have a verifiable stat to back it up, but I do have personal experience and relationships with agents across the country that have a solid business in real estate. What’s a solid business? Selling at least 50+ homes a year (no matter what “type of market” we are in).

I find it exhausting even thinking about trying to keep up with all of these websites, yet a part of me keeps thinking I have to. I think I’ve finally come to my senses – no, I don’t have to. I need to keep building our business, building our brand, and not work on building some other websites business or brand. Oh yes, I fully see the potential benefits in doing so – with ActiveRain the google juice is phenomenal (if you pay for their monthly service), but I won’t be running like mad trying to be on everything. The very few additional closings we may get from participating in every single other website simply isn’t worth it. As with all things, you have to consider your ROI. I get a phenomenally better ROI utilizing that crazy little thing called direct mail (combined with our websites and our blogs), then I get spending 40 hours a week broadcasting myself all over the internet. Yes, I may get some fame amongst my colleagues, I may even get to speak at an event. Do these things bring me the business I desire?  Maybe, maybe not.

The key? Our internet world reinforces our business, but isn’t the major force in being a single source for our business. It builds our credibility and without it, the other 85% of our clients that do use us, may never have used us without our internet presence.  It’s a spoke in the wheel, not the wheel itself.

Everyone needs to stop trying to keep up with the “Joneses” on the internet. We all need to step back, focus on our business plans. We need to focus our marketing plans to achieve our business plan. Scattering yourself all over tarnation in an unfocused pattern isn’t going to achieve you anything. Focus what you do based upon your goals. Are your goals the same as your colleagues? Be careful with that. Build your dream, not someone else’s.

What tech tools do you "REALLY" need for your business?

Getting overwhelmed by all of the blabber about the tools you need? Not sure if you should have the iphone, droid, ipad, mac or pc, flip, kodak, etal?

We Realtors are known for dropping buckets of money on all of the latest gadgets and accessories because we hear from “experts” left and right what we should have and should be using.  We fear being left behind.  We fear being out of the loop.  We fear that if we don’t buy or use that gadget, we’ll be out of business before we know it.

Well, in some cases, our fear is good and healthy.  However, in most cases, we just need to plug our ears, shut our eyes and sing really loud.

Ok, you might get some weird looks with that one so do it figuratively.

Recently, a Realtor friend asked me if he should keep the ipad his wife bought him.  Would he really use it for his business?

For him, the answer was . . . No he shouldn’t keep it and no he won’t use it.

Let’s assess this:

  1. He’s a listing agent, not a buyer’s agent.  He won’t be driving around showing buyers property (and therefore has no need to access the MLS from the ipad).
  2. He lives in Idaho where the Trulia and Zillow apps do not work (we are a non-disclosure state so solds are confidential and this frustrates Trulia and Zillow and royally screws up their data).
  3. His seller base is banks – he’s an REO specialist.  In other words, he doesn’t meet with his sellers in person, it’s all long distance.
  4. He also doesn’t do any open houses.
  5. He also doesn’t travel for business (no need for the long battery time and 3G).
  6. He already had a laptop, netbook (which he rarely used) and a droid.  Did he really need or should he need the ipad?

While the ipad is a really cool device to have and play with – it’s just not a tech tool that you need to ‘stay ahead’ of the curve, to be ‘tech savvy’, to be in business in a year.

My overwhelming point with this is: assess your business, assess your actions.  Pick the tool that is the most logical for the way YOU do business.

Myself + One Month + No Content. A Challenge. Have You Experienced Content Overload?

I’m having content overload.

What is content overload? Too much ‘information’ coming at me from various sources: blogs, magazines, videos, books, classes, etc.  It’s a case of “you need to do this”, “why haven’t you implemented this”, “the top this or that things that are essential to your business”, etc.

So much so that it is kind of paralyzing me.  I didn’t know it was doing that to me, but now I do (thanks to my business coach) and therefore, I’m taking action to change that.

I have committed to a content ‘fast’.  I’m going cold turkey.  I’m not going to allow a single bit of content to pass by my eyes or ears in the month of January.

One month.  No content.  Nothing.  No books, no magazines, no videos, no DVD’s, no TV, no newspapers, no blog reading, no articles, no talk radio, no classes, no conferences, no webinars, nothing.  Nothing business related, motivational related, personal, etc.  N.O.T.H.I.N.G.

I am making a single exception: I will be reading my bible during this time (I will not give that up).

So, from January 2nd to January 31st, anything that might be important, that might be good for me to know, is going to remain unknown.

How will I ever survive?

Don't Say The World Can't Be Blown Up . . .

If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can’t be done.  ~Peter Ustinov 1921 – 2004

I love this quote. If you have a dream – go forward. Do not listen to others that tell you it can’t be done. If everyone listened to others we wouldn’t have the light bulb, the telephone, the PC, the internet, the automobile, etc.

Have a Happy New Year and work to fulfill your dreams in 2011.

Work during holidays / Relaxing during holidays – which is a better indicator of success?

Whether working during the holidays or relaxing during the holidays, which one is a better indicator of success?

Neither.

Relaxing is not an indication of lack of work.  Working is not an indication of abundance of work.

Being busy during the holidays is a choice to work during this time, in which case I wonder – what are your priorities and do you have a business equipped to run without you involved in it on a minute-by-minute or day-by-day basis.

Relaxing during the holidays is a choice to not work during this time, in which case I wonder – did you mentally decide it’s slow, that people aren’t moving right now so you might as well wait until after the holidays to work again?

If you are working, did you make a choice to work during this holiday season so that you can take time off at an already scheduled and planned later date?

If you are relaxing, did you make a choice and work your business accordingly to take this time off now?  Is your business still functioning and running with you there?  Are you still producing revenue while you are relaxing?

What matters are the choices you have made and if they are fulfilling your goals.  Make either one your focus (work or relax) and do not feel guilty for your choice.  Just make sure that it is a choice, not a default or defeat result of your business dictating to you.

The 'Busy-ness' Syndrome – don't let it fool you . . .

The ‘busy-ness’ syndrome is rampant.  It’s especially rampant at conferences, conventions and multiple day long training classes.

What is it?  Imagine this:  You are at a conference and every time there is a break, you see people constantly on their phones, checking emails, etc. (aka doing business).  This is so rampant that they aren’t utilizing the time to learn more or network at said conference.

What does it mean?  Most think it means that they have a great business, busy business, they are running.

Nope.

It means they aren’t very successful.  It means they haven’t learned how to delegate, to leverage.  It means their business is so dependent upon them that it’s not a business.

Check it out – next time you are at a conference, watch the people that you know have truly successful businesses – what are they doing?  They are the ones teaching, sitting on panels, networking, engaging with others, sharing their knowledge to this who will listen and do.  They are not the ones huddle in their seats or in corners making themselves ‘look’ busy in an attempt to look successful.

As a newcomer to real estate, do not emulate those that you see trying to look successful.  Emulate the successful.