Your Contacts - Your Clients

15 years ago there were a lot of Realtors competing for business, but there wasn’t that much competition for each transaction. When someone wanted to buy or sell a house, they called one of these people:

  1. The neighborhood specialist - the Realtor who farmed the neighborhood by sending out fliers, postcards, and newsletters to every house, every month.

  2. Their current agent - the Realtor who helped them buy their current house. (If that person did a good job, and if that person kept in contact over the years.) Or, the Realtor who is listing the house they’re standing in front of.

  3. Their neighbor’s agent - the Realtor who sold the neighbor’s house last year. (If that neighbor spoke highly of their agent, and if that agent met the neighbors and passed out business cards.)

  4. You - their good friend who’s a Realtor.

Maybe they even called all 4 of these people and held interviews for the job.

The point is, if you were good at your job AND stayed in touch with your sphere of influence, you had a very good chance of getting their business - almost every time.

Today is Different

Fast forward to today and our inter-connected, social-media, online, cloud-based world, and things are different.

Online onslaught

Your friends and contacts are being tempted to call the Realtor on their screen, hundreds of times during their search. And it gets worse, not better. Once Google and Facebook know they’re thinking about moving, they’ll start seeing even more ads and opportunities to click on a different Realtor every time they open their phone.

Keep your Contacts

You’ve networked well enough to have a decent number of contacts in your list, along with all the former clients you’ve helped buy and sell their homes. Now you get the advantage of “selling” to these people long before they even know they need your service.

  • Consistent Contact - a monthly e-newsletter is a great way to remind them about yourself, month after month. Just make sure it provides value, rather than being an advertisement.

  • Personalized Contact - posting to social media is fine, but how often are you reaching out to your contacts individually, sharing a story or information that pertains to them personally?

  • Face Time - when was the last time you arranged to stop by and see that beautiful home you helped them buy? Or sat down for coffee with an old friend? It’s a digital world, but people are still people, and face to face goes a long way towards building and maintaining relationships.

You might not be able to sustain your entire business from your sphere of influence, but these should be the transactions that come your way without having to chase down flaky leads. These people already know you and trust you - it would be a shame to not help them buy or sell their next home…

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- Chris Butterworth

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If you need help with your monthly e-Newsletters, please consider 8DollarFarming. Feel free to give me a call if you want to talk in more detail; I’d love to help. And if you need an idea of something personalized to send, consider sharing a Simple MLS Chart as an icebreaker.

 

Focus on the Process Like Coach K

March Madness is kicking off today, so let’s bring some college basketball into today’s discussion.

Coach K and Duke Basketball

Everyone has heard of Duke Basketball, Coach K, and/or Mike Krzyzewski (pronounced Shih-chef-skee.) Coach K is arguably the best basketball coach in history, building Duke into the most consistently successful program over the last 35 years. But that almost was not the case…

Awards and Honors

  • 5 Olympic Gold Medals (3 as head coach, 2 as asst coach)

  • 5-time NCAA National Champions

  • 12 NCAA Final Fours

  • 15 ACC Conference Tournament Championships

  • Most NCAA Tournament wins (94)

  • First male head coach to win 1,000 NCAA Division 1 games.

  • First head coach to win 1,000 NCAA Division 1 games with the same team.

  • All-time winningest coach in college basketball history at any level, men’s or women’s, with 1,123 career wins (and counting.)

In the beginning - Slow Results

No one expected greatness when Duke hired a 33-year old kid to be their head coach in 1980, considering he had won less than half his games over the prior two seasons as the head coach for Army.

Duke went 6-8 (in conference play) in his first year as head coach, and was invited to play in the 2nd-tier NIT tournament at the end of the year.

In his 2nd season (1982), Duke went 4-10 in conference, and some of the alumni didn’t think he was the right man for the job.

Season 3 was even worse, with a 3-11 conference record, and the calls for Coach K’s firing were getting louder and more frequent.

The Process Is What Matters

Those inside the program and the university, however, saw the whole story.

Coach K had an unwavering belief that doing things right, consistently over time, would lead to positive results. He was committed to details, and to teamwork, and to individual growth. He preached, and practiced, 5 simple principles:

  • Be passionate.

  • Be prepared.

  • Be organized.

  • Be unselfish.

  • Be yourself.

Those around the program could see changes coming. The kids were playing hard and enjoying the game and each other. There had been several “almost wins”, where the ball just didn’t quite bounce the right way.

The process was moving the program in the right direction, but the results had yet to follow suit.

Results Will Follow

The results finally caught up in year 4, with a 7-7 record in conference play, 24-10 overall, and their first bid into the NCAA March Madness Tournament. And they haven’t stopped since…

1984 Tournament Bid
1985 Tournament Bid
1986 NCAA Finals - runner up
1987 Sweet 16
1988 Final Four
1989 Final Four
1990 NCAA Finals - runner up
1991 NCAA Champion

Most schools’ fanbases would give anything for an 8-year run of results like Duke had in the late 80’s - forget about the fact that this was just the beginning and the next 25 years have been more of the same!

You Control the Process (not the results)

Build the processes that are going to make you successful, and then follow them!

Whether that means joining new groups to meet new people, making cold calls to FSBOs, going over-the-top with customer service, writing each day, or staying in touch with all your contacts with a monthly e-newsletter. Find the right process for YOU, and then follow it religiously.

Don’t worry about the short-term results, or about any individual deal/prospect. Some people are going to list with another agent. Others are going to decide not to sell at all. That’s ok - you can’t control their actions any more than Coach K can control whether or not an opposing player makes a free throw.

Set up good processes, then give your best effort. Every day.

The results will follow.

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- Chris Butterworth

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Ps: Honestly, if you’ve been thinking about writing a monthly e-Newsletter as way to stay in touch with your contacts, please give 8DollarFarming a look. I have the processes in place to deliver a high-quality, full-featured, turn-key newsletter for you, at a very affordable price.

Pps: Before you start calling me a shill for Duke, I am NOT a Duke fan. (My allegiance runs Arizona Wildcat red & blue.) But I admire and respect Coach K as a coach, and a person, and wish there were more people like him in big-time sports.

 

Is social media a tool in your toolbox, or is it your brand?

Google+ is being shut down on April 2, 2019.

And I know what you’re thinking: What in the hell is Google+ ?

a screenclip from support.google.com showing the end is near for Google+

All kidding aside, Google launched Google+ in 2011 as a competitor to Facebook and Twitter, and by seamlessly integrating with Google Photos (a la Instagram), Hangouts, and Youtube, there was reason to believe Google could become the online monopoly.

Hindsight being 20/20, it’s easy to see this didn’t work out so well for the big G. But at the time, the interface was excellent - so much so that the people who used it loved it. And it had the full backing of Daddy Google.

Use the Big Free Tools, Man

Back in 2011 and 2012, there were tons of articles extolling the benefits of Google+, many of which recommend using G+ as your only online presence. After all, they would write, not only is the platform capable of hosting everything you’re already doing - you get Google’s tech support and priority placement in search results.

Oops.

Imagine your online presence today if you spent a couple-few years building a tribe (including lots and lots of created content), only to have that platform - and all your content - deleted from the internet.

It can happen to anyone

Is Facebook going to be around forever? Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest? What about Amazon? Etsy?

It’s difficult to think about some of these massive companies going away. And they probably aren’t. But what about this…

  • Any company can change their guidelines, platform, indexing results, bandwidth limitations, or whatever - at anytime. And you won’t get a say in it.

  • What happens if your account gets banned, blocked, or accidentally deleted?

  • What if you want to move your brand to a different platform - newer, younger, better with video or photos, smaller, larger … whatever.

Build your own Brand

Use every tool available to help spread the word. Stay in front of your tribe where your tribe congregates. Yes - that all makes perfect sense. But…

Own your own content.

Build your own website.

Host your own blog, videos, podcasts.

And then link out to any social media platform you want. Or all of them!

Just don’t build your entire brand around being dependent on them.

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- Chris Butterworth

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A monthly e-Newsletter is a great way to stay in front of your sphere of influence without using social media at all - it’s a great way to build your brand without being dependent on the giants. 8DollarFarming offers a full-featured turn-key eNewsletter service at an affordable price - check it out and let me know how I can help..!

 

3 Steps to Greatness

There are a million articles out there about resolutions, goals, and becoming a better you, so I'm not going to waste your time with a 12-step manifesto on the subject.

I am, however, going to highlight 3 very simple principles that everyone with long-term success shares:

1.) The Process creates the Results

You can't magically create a dozen new clients out of thin air. But you can create a process of making sales calls every day. And those sales calls will create clients throughout the year.

You also can't run a marathon, do 250 push-ups, or lose 30 lbs today. But you can make jogging (or doing some push-ups, or eating a little better) part of your daily routine.

The process is what you can actually affect; it's what you have control over - day after day - for the rest of your life.

2.) Small to Big

You don't have to think about giant numbers, like making 20 sales calls per day, or running 5 miles at a time.

It's better to start small. Very small. Tiny.

How many sales calls are you making today? Zero? Then let's start with 1. The action of dialing the phone and making that 1 call is huge, even though 1 is a small number.

One isn't a lot by itself. But the process of making 1 per day quickly becomes 5 per week, and eventually compounds into 250 for the year. (and 250 is A LOT more than 0!)

After a while, when the process has become a normal part of your routine, you can consider increasing the numbers - maybe you make 2 calls on odd-numbered days and 1 call on the even-numbered days. If you get comfortable with this and you still want to increase your business, you can move up to 2 calls everyday, and so on.

It's no different for push-ups (try doing 10, or even 5, to start with), running (start out with a mile, or even 1 minute), and eating habits (try adding 1 carrot to your plate at lunch, or even just throwing away the last sip of your sugary soda instead of finishing the can.) You can level-up later once you get comfortable with the new process.

Start small, and grow to big over the long-term.

3.) Be Consistent

Repeating that itsy-bitsy little action over and over again is the difference between winning and losing at your goals.

Consistency is what converts that new action into a habit, where it just becomes part of who you are and what you do. It’s also what allows those numbers (and successes) to accumulate and add up to bigger numbers.

Doing 100 push-ups today, but then not doing any more over the next 6 months, has the same long-term benefit as doing nothing at all. I’d rather have done a mere 10 push-ups a day during those same 6 months.

Conclusion

  • Consider the action (or process) - and not the end goal.

  • Make the action so small that it seems ludicrous, like it's too easy. It's so easy that it's a joke. (It's also so easy that you can, and will, succeed.)

  • Be consistent - do that little tiny action over and over (and over) again. (and again, and again.)

  • Grow the action (slowly) over time.

It doesn’t need to be a “Resolution”, as much as just doing something small to get a little bit better. And then doing it again.

Here’s to a successful 2019.

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- Chris Butterworth

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Writing and delivering a monthly e-Newsletter is not something that’s easy to start small, as it requires writing and sending the entire newsletter, each and every month. If keeping in touch with your friends and family is part of your business plan for 2019, I’d love to help. Check out 8DollarFarming and give me a shout!

 

2 Ways - to get in shape

There are 2 ways to achieve your “get in shape” goals.

1.) Work out. Once you’ve done your daily workout, you’ve been successful, and the rest of the day is easy. Over time you’ll get stronger and faster, and more “in shape.”

2.) Wage a constant war against yourself throughout the day, pitting pleasure against self-discipline.

  • Elevator, since I already worked out? But the stairs offer more exercise!

  • Full lunch, since I already worked out and I’m really hungry? But the small lunch will help me lose weight!

  • Ice cream on the couch after dinner, since I had a good day (or a stressful day)? Ice cream, really, when I’m trying to get in shape?!

The first way will get you most of the way there, and is black & white easy - you either succeeded or you failed, each day.

The second way will get you all the way to your goal, and much faster. But it will consume your life.

Both options beat doing nothing.

The best option is a combination of the two: exercise consistently, and make good choices throughout the day. (Notice I said good choices, not perfect choices.) “In shape” will come, slowly and over time. Work on the processes, the daily habits, the pattern of making good choices consistently - and the shape will follow; it won’t have a choice!

There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it - only that you do it. You cannot, under any circumstance, achieve your goals (or even make progress towards your goals) without doing the work. And consistent work over time beats short periods of hard work, every time.

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- Chris Butterworth

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And if making good choices all day long is exhausting, and you don’t have the mental energy left over to sit down and write your monthly e-Newsletter, let me do that for you. It’s what I’m really good at, and it’s why I created 8DollarFarming!

 

How Diverse is your Contact List?

Diversity makes for a good contact list.

Think about the real estate needs of an average up-and-coming young person today (if there is such a thing..)

  • Young person buys a first house - a small starter home, or condo, probably on the outskirts of the neighborhood they really want to live in.

  • Young person gets married - the couple decides to sell one of their homes and live in the other one.

  • Family grows - a couple of kids later and the house is too small; the family needs to sell the starter home and buy a larger, more family-friendly house.

  • Pause - for many people, this will be the last house they need for a long time, as their focus turns towards raising their family.

  • Career grows - those fortunate enough to be climbing the career ladder (or whose businesses are thriving) may have one more purchase - the big house in the good neighborhood, before they pause to focus on family (and saving for college, and retirement, and vacations, and...)

So, from early 20s to mid 30s it's not uncommon for a person/couple to buy 2, 3, or even 4 houses. But then they might have a period of 15-20 years without needing any real estate help.

Sure, there are other reasons people need to buy and sell homes:

  • Job transfer / Relocating

  • Marriage / Divorce

  • Lifestyle Change (wants a condo, or doesn’t want a pool, etc.)

  • Empty Nest / Retirement

There becomes a trade-off, where younger people may buy and sell homes more frequently, but older people (let’s call them more mature, or more established people) may buy and sell more expensive homes.

If you’re going to be in this business for the long term, it’s a good idea to have a diverse mix of people in your contact list. Keep adding younger people to your list, as they will grow into mature people eventually. (Most of the time. Hopefully.)

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-Chris Butterworth

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And if you need help staying in touch with the large, diverse group of people you know, please consider my e-Newsletter service - I would be happy to help!