Real Geeks Blog - Internet Marketing
Written by The Professor
Jun 15, 2021
June’s first episode of Keeping it Real with Greg Harrelson of Century 21 The Harrelson Group and Frank Klesitz of Vyral Marketing features Ashlee Nath. Discussing, “Getting Started as a Brand-New Real Estate Agent in 2021,” you’ll hear tips on how to hit the ground running as a new agent and strategies approaching the market in a new way, even if you’ve been in real estate for decades.
Nath began her real estate career as a home stager and transitioned into becoming a transaction manager, and then determined that she could be an asset as an agent, and decided to take the test for her license through Kaplan online in three weeks. She didn’t plan to rush through, but while doing it realized that she could be learning scripts and reaching out to clients to let them know she was in school. For others that would like to get started, Nath suggested that soon-to-be agents can learn scripts, start conversations, and set up their social media. “They can start learning scripts before they have their license,” said Nath. Using Social Media as a Real Estate Agent in 2021
Nath was strategic in building her client base. She chose to start with Instagram as a lead generation tool and searched for people posting near her in Colorado Springs. She’d make comments and like their posts and start following people, and they would do the same. She would like up to 200 items per hour. “I started focusing all my time and energy on social media,” explained Nath. “I learned everything from webinars!” Nath would look at someone’s Instagram page and make sure they were a local who had posted recently and had interests similar to hers and then she would send a personal message, using their name and referencing something from their profile which sparked her interest. To her the key was that she "made it beneficial for them as well as me."
Over time, Nath learned what was good to post live vs. as a story, and found that an 80:20 ratio, with 80% of posts relating to her life as a mom and 20% of posts involving real estate was a good mix for her audience. "I want them to see I'm a human as well as a realtor," Nath said. “You were proactively recruiting and prospecting," Klesitz said,“reminding listeners that Nath “would make 50 attempts a day to reach out to people in Colorado Springs.”
According to Nath, her main message was not about real estate, it was about creating local relationships and "getting to know people in my community." And, it worked. She doesn’t spend as much time prospecting on Instagram now because she is really busy with referral business and past client repeat business.
Nath also used Facebook but does not consider it her main source of social media. She posts home listings in groups and on local buy, sell, trade pages, but only shares a price and size range rather than exact details. The reasoning is that then the viewers had to click links to her unbranded Real Geeks property landing pages which required registration before showing home photos. Once she saw the leads sign up on Real Geeks, she would engage them in conversation. She felt they were warmer leads since they were already looking at homes. This strategy alone resulted in her selling 10 homes her first year. Real Geeks Property Landing Pages Convert Easily
Nath said she used a landing page on her Real Geeks’ website and would post a short description and link the page to 5-10 local groups a day. She did not post to the same group every day, but rotated between 15 groups. Of those 15, Nath said 5 had the largest audience and better traction, but that posting to all made it more comprehensive. Klesitz noted that in doing so, Nath uses Facebook as an inbound strategy, whereas she uses Instagram as an outbound strategy. Harrelson and Klesitz were impressed as they calculated that she generated 150 free leads off Facebook where ten of those turned into deals, giving her close to 7% conversion through organic posting. Harrelson appreciated her approach in using forced registration when the leads came to her page. “They volunteered their information, now that’s a qualifier,” said Harrelson, adding that the qualifier brought conversion. Harrelson reminded that every Real Geeks user could generate leads using the property pages on social media. “Property pages have share buttons that make sharing it simple,” he said.
In addition to social media, Nath said she built her database from looking through her phone, checking who had come to her home for dinner and who she knew from volunteering at her kids’ schools. She contacted people she already knew to have more face to face “let’s go get coffee” interaction and was involved in “Mom groups” which allowed her to meet more people and grow her sphere of influence. “It’s all about keeping those relationships and nurturing those people,” Nath said. Even if they didn’t need her services, she knew, “they may know someone.”
Nath uses gifts to stay top of mind with past clients and contacts, delivering about 300 gifts each month through what she refers to as monthly pop-bys and events. She shared an example of a personalized art card + flower seeds that was sent and explained that at Thanksgiving mini bundt cakes were hand delivered by their real estate team with the message, "we're nothing bundt thankful for you."
Harrelson mentioned that she’s created a formula and that “she came across the formula naturally.” “She chose something that fit her personality style.” He described it as authentic, intentional, simple, and consistent. “She created a routine and she delivered value,” he said explaining that it works as she, “leads with the give and lets the take come in some sort of reciprocity.”
- Posted in Marketing
Written by The Professor
May 21, 2021
Dirk Zeller of Real Estate Champions guides agents through the lead generation process with “Converting More Leads Through Better Initial Questions” in this Real Geeks coaching session which breaks down what to ask from the first conversation. Zeller reminds listeners that they may never get a second chance and that they must always be taking their best shot. Zeller’s accompanying workbook provides questions, techniques, and pressure relief statements that engage customers and create connections.
How Questions Guide the Lead Conversation
Beginning with asking leads to meet for an appointment, the dialogue to determine the “base causes” of why someone wants to sell their home, move, start their home search, or even talk to a real estate professional, is essential, explains Zeller. But, it’s only the beginning.
In order to truly connect with a buyer or seller, it’s essential to understand their motivation. “We live in a very volatile time right now,” Zeller said as he asked viewers to chat in what they felt were the best investments in an inflationary trend. Reviewing responses, he said, “Real estate is one of the best things to hold in an inflationary trend,” discussing a “worldwide appreciation explosion.” Zeller explains that sharing the big picture with potential clients and considering how that impacts them personally can be key to finding their motivation. This happens as you ask the right questions, he relates.
First, you must determine who is involved in the decision making process.
1. Who else will be involved in the final decision?
2. Whose standard do we need to meet or exceed?
3. Who else are you considering to represent you?
Next, it’s important to discuss what a client needs.
1. What is the timeline you are trying to achieve?
2. What else should I know about?
3. What is the specific reason for considering a move now?
4. What has caused this to be on the front burner now?
The third step is to understand where a client is currently in terms of mindset.
1. Where do you want me to shift my focus to help you?
2. Where does this fit in terms of your priorities?
After that, calendar concerns can be addressed by asking when.
1. When do you want to be ideally moved?
2. When do you want to start actively looking for a home?
3. When should we meet to review your goals and marketplace opportunities?
4. When can we meet so I can meet your deadlines?
5. When do you want to meet to provide you with more complete information about the marketplace?
Once you know those basic answers, it’s much easier to transition into the how and why.
1. How will moving help you and your family?
2. How will this help you achieve your long-term goals?
3. How would you like to tackle this challenge or issue?
4. Why are you considering a change in your home at this time?
5. Why are you feeling the time is right?
6. Why did you start researching the marketplace at this time?
As these questions are discussed, Zeller says agents need to also have “go-tos” that release pressure in the conversation, such as: “I can tell that I caught you off guard. Honestly was not my intention at all. I was just trying to see how I could be of value to you.”
Set the Appointment on the Initial Call By Fixing Problems
Highlighting the need to educate customers on the current market and draw the client into deeper conversation, Zeller teaches all of us about real estate in 2021. He states that the base frustration for buyers is that they cannot find something they like and or the homes are disappearing before the buyer can place an offer. Zeller suggests that agents can improve these frustrations a client feels by offering solutions. “We’ve got a great opportunity here, everyone,” Zeller says. “We’re not saying that this appointment will fix those two things that they’re feeling and experiencing. If they want to fix those, I know how to do it - that’s an appointment with you, that’s an appointment with me, that’s an appointment with a high quality agent.”
Setting a mindset of success, understanding current trends, strategies, and concepts helps agents create, grow, and develop a strategy and mindset that allows them to be consistent and assertive in attaining business. Learn techniques to bridge the conversation through watching this Real Geeks coaching session.
- Posted in Real Estate Lead Generation
Written by The Professor
May 18, 2021
Uncover the ten essential productive habits of high producing Real Geeks clients, as you listen in to Abe Safa and Lindsay Colbert of Century 21 The Harrelson Group in this Facebook LIVE training. They’ve gathered the results and share the tasks and activities that show up time and time again in surveys, interviews, and testing.
The List of 10 Habits of Real Geeks High Producing Agents
1. Establish a daily routine. For Safa this means arriving at the office at 7:30 a.m. and being on the phone by 8am. "If I get there at 7am,” he said, “I know whose car is going to be there."
2. Generate daily. Prospect 3 hours every morning, suggests Safa. In the words of Greg Harrelson, he reminded, “In order for you to blow up, you've got to show up."
3. Segment your database. Use the CRM and segments using tags or types, such as buyers or sellers. “Keep it simple,” Colbert advised. "The higher producing agents are not going to leave a stone unturned," Safa stresses as he explains the importance of the CRM.
4. Maximize leads. “As you talk to more people, the cost of the lead is reduced,” Safa explains. “Don't lead anything fall through the cracks.”
5. Use saved searches. Make sure you utilize super save searches, and assign market reports to clients.
6. Use workflows. “All workflows are in the library,” Safa explained, “so make sure you are using workflows.” You can customize them, but he added, “Whatever workflows are in your library right now are very relevant.
7. Monitor lead activity. The Real Geeks CRM provides a "Live Leaderboard" that shows how many buyers are looking for particular properties in segmented areas. Use those statistics and show them to your sellers. Share with them the number of buyers you have looking in their neighborhood, Safa suggested.
8. Aggressively follow up. “You’ll usually get an average of 4 nos before someone says a yes,” Safa explained, talking about how that makes list segmentation more important. He suggests only making manual calls on A leads (no automation), and calling daily, at different times. If the A lead goes cold, Safa will then use a work flow. Your B leads get called once a month. He said C leads are strictly automated, unless he sees activity. “I’m mostly relying on automation to see who rises to the top,” Safa shared. However he continued, "No matter how good the automation is... There's nothing better than picking up the phone and calling people.”
9. Call leads at different times of the day. “Them not picking up when you call does not mean they are not interested,” Safa said. He recommends a weekend folder for hard to reach leads. “Being able to change up your routine a little bit as far as prospecting,” Safa encouraged, “should help a lot.”
10. Always look for other business. The hardest part is getting them on the phone,” Safa said, “Maximize your conversation!” Safa personally uses a 4 step process in seller communication. First he’ll ask if they’ve thought about selling, then he mentions that he has a ton of buyer leads in the area and asks the prospect, “Who do you know who may be selling?” His third question speaks beyond the neighborhood when he asks, “Who do you know that may be moving in or selling in another area?” Finally, Safa asks for the lead’s email and either saves a specialty super search or a market report in the CRM.
Evaluate your productivity and discover ways to improve your daily routine by tuning in to this episode focused on how to best use the Real Geeks CRM and website.
- Posted in Tech
Written by The Professor
Apr 26, 2021
The release of Real Geeks video messaging makes it easier than ever to get in front of clients!
Engage your database with a video showcasing current trends, or simply talk about your weekend plans and extend an invitation. With our video messaging feature you can do all of that and more, in minutes.
Real Geeks Video Messaging shows that seeing is believing.
Simple to use and send, Real Geeks Video Messaging instantly engages in a few easy steps!
- Open an email window in the CRM.
- Click the start video button.
- Smile and begin recording.
- Record your message.
- Name and save your custom video message to the library for reuse.
- Insert your video into an email, text, workflow, e-blast or template!
- Send the video and watch as your client visits the video page on your website.
Engage, deliver news and update quickly through Real Geeks Video Messaging. Communicate authentically and connect with your clients and leads face-to-face! Show them why you are their go-to resource for current real estate information!
Real Geeks Video Messaging gives you the tool you need to be present and bring leads to where they need to be - searching your website! And, like many of our other features, Real Geeks video messaging is provided free of charge to existing clients.
- Posted in Tech
Written by The Professor
Apr 23, 2021
This Real Geeks Mastermind Training “Setting More Buyer Appointments,” with Greg Harrelson and Abe Safa of Century 21 The Harrelson Group, teaches secrets to getting more buyers and listings even in an accelerated seller’s market! Find out why Harrelson believes, “It’s always a numbers game.”
Safa shared that the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) expects sales of 6.2 million homes in 2021. He explained that the problem is not a lack of inventory, as much as it is that the timeline on each property is very short. Due to this, agents need to focus on how they can best help their buyers find homes and prevent their buyers from experiencing repeated rejection on their offers. Safa suggested building relationships with other agents to share knowledge of available inventory before it syndicates.
Fulfill a Buyers #1 Need
Harrelson and Safa know that buyers have plenty of information and many sources available. “What they don’t have is access,” Harrelson explained. This is why he believes it is important to set an appointment no matter what and make access the forefront of the conversation. “They don't have the physical key,” he said, suggesting a modified approach to the buyer by first setting the appointment, asking questions, and getting qualifications at the end. “Set the appointment and say I can call if I can gain access earlier.” Harrelson continued, "When you set the appointment, what you did is, you just put a stop to them calling the next four agents... The agent that gives access first wins the business."
Stand Out in a Sea of Facebook Posts
Safa and Harrelson also recommend using Facebook to advertise the buyers you represent. Post buyers in Facebook groups for the communities they want to buy in, so people know they're real, they encouraged. Using the phrase, "I promised my buyer I'd do everything I could to help them move into THIS community,” has helped Harrelson successfully find homes for his buyers on Facebook. Safa agreed, “Find the inventory and you can set more buyer appointments,” he said.
This strategy needs to be done consistently. Harrelson suggested visiting Facebook every Tues. at 9 a.m. ( or whatever time works best for you) and posting links to the top 5-10 new listings of the week. Harrelson explained that by actually posting property detail links in that post and making it consistent, agents can train people to look for the post every week. He then watches who shares it and messages the person shared to, offering access, and thanks the person who shared it, offering them access, as well.
Approach a Forgotten Seller
"Not much fear here, just doing things slightly different," Harrelson said, as he explained his strategy for reverse prospecting for sale by owners. He reaches out to expired and withdrawn listings, going back three years and cross referencing the list to make sure the properties are not already listed with another agent or sold. “When they start asking questions,” he said about property owners that have become active on a workflow, “you’ve found a bullet proof strategy.”
Harrelson uses his CRM to find people that wouldn't have been called, sharing an actual workflow that activates leads through a series of texts. Explaining that the text doesn't need to say anything special, but was more about reaching out with something similar to, "Are you still open to purchasing?”Then, when no response is received, following up with, "Am I texting the right person, you haven't replied. Is this Jennifer?"
Turn a FSBO into a Buyer… and a Potential Seller
"It's all about being creative right now," Greg reminded agents. He said that he approaches a FSBO seller with questions and statements like this:
- "I wanted to call to see when you sell, are you staying local or are you going to be purchasing outside of the market?"
- "I specialize in buyers..." Harrelson suggests a script to set an appointment to earn their buyer business as that sets agents apart. He explained that as an agent shows one property, establishes rapport, and engages the seller as a buyer, they may ask questions about their sale. At that point, the conversation can be turned. “I have no doubt a FSBO will sell,” Harrelson said he tells the owner, “but I can net you more money.”
Explaining that “it is so much easier to build rapport with a buyer than a seller,” Harrelson reminded agents that a buyer buys with emotion, whereas a seller sells with logic. “They'll do everything they can to sell on their own,” he said, “but when they are a buyer, they want to see EVERYTHING so will hire an agent.”
Find Available Homes for Your Buyers
“Go through the MLS and take the top 20 sellers agents in the market out to lunch,” Safa recommended at the beginning of the training. Harrelson agreed and also suggested reaching out to rental managers as sources for leads. Explaining that ‘being in the know’ is critical, Safa said,”Access to more inventory helps you set more appointments.”
Safa said he does Zoom calls to show clients criteria as he does a property search. On these calls, Safa shows his buyers his screen so they know that's everything that is there. He said his buyers then qualify homes themselves based on what they see - such as pool or no pool. Safa shared that three out of five times, the buyer will consider properties you may not have originally chosen. Harrelson strongly endorsed this strategy, reminding agents, “Don't put your buyer in a box,” because sometimes buyers will settle for something less than they originally required.
These tried and true techniques, available to all Real Geeks Mastermind clients, will stimulate your success when implemented today! Watch this fast paced episode and reset your business today!
- Posted in Real Estate Lead Generation
Written by The Professor
Apr 7, 2021
April’s first Keeping It Real Training offered by Real Geeks and hosted by Greg Harrelson and Frank Klesitz explored direct mail strategies for lead generation in affluent real estate markets. Featuring Brett Jennings, a real estate agent and team leader in the Silicon Valley, this episode provides direct answers to the question, “How can I generate seller listings now?”
Establishing credibility through sending direct mail to property owners and following up with phone calls, targeting mapped school areas, and circle dialing were all ways Jennings suggested staying in front of sellers. “All will sell at some point,” he said.
Recalling the words of his mentor Tony Robbins, “Wealth exists in the gap between ideas and their implementation,” Jennings explained that exploring that gap has been the key to his success. He sells real estate in a very affluent area, Silicon Valley, and has found that consistency as a team effort has allowed for predictable results. He targets an area of at least 2,000 homes and defines it by school district boundaries in his MLS. Using Remine or Realist, he then downloads the contact details of those homeowners and sends hand addressed, stamped letters to each. He mails one to himself so he knows when the letters are received. After they’ve been received, typically 3-5 days later, his team begins calling as follow up. This technique has allowed Jennings and his team to secure listings in a low inventory market.
Jennings said the direct mail campaign works alongside his digital efforts. Every lead also is set up to receive a monthly Corefact postcard, monthly e-market report, and he has seller alerts set up for his CRM, showing pending and sold homes within 2 blocks of the property owners’ address. In addition Jennings uses HomeBot for his entire SOI and reports a 70% open rate using that tool. Jennings said his focus is to become known in a variety of ways. “Not just digital, but do digital and print to make you unforgettable,” he said.
It’s More Than Direct Mail Alone - You Need a Team
These techniques alone are not the cause of Jennings GCI jumping from $3.9 million to $12 million, however. He had a plan to scale and said he only did that through hiring a “rockin' admin,” scaling lead generation, scaling to 50 quality agents, and scaling quality support.
Listing Realtors Property Resource (RPR) as another tool, Jennings, Harrelson and Klesik discussed how this could be used to print out market updates for all buyers and send personal messages congratulating them on their increases in home values. The note could also provide the “most universal offer to sellers” which is the idea that you have a buyer. Jennings suggested leveraging your most committed buyers by finding out from the agents on the team who the buyers are and what types of homes they need.
As you mail to your farm areas, Jennings advised to intentionally choose a hand written font, even on the envelope. He explained that using a service such as Addressable, which uses a real robot pen to write addresses, can achieve a 50% open rate for mailings. Jennings then shared that his team accentuates results with mail and a followup call in a 3 tap system, “either call, mail, call or mail, call, mail,” he said. He also recommended using a short url for zoom to make it easy for people to get on a video call, such as zoom.name.com.
Jennings acknowledged that this approach is large scale and cost-prohibitive for soome, but encouraged agents to look for partnerships on the mailing. He suggested including a 2nd page with a referral to a financial advisor offering a seller tax implications webinar, and having them cover a portion of the postage.
Explaining that letter frequency mattered due to message fatigue, Jennings said that in his market, “the ideal cadence is every 3-4 months,” and explained that this way, “if you call behind the list, you may get advance news of seller plans so you can add them to CRM.” Harrelson and Klesitz agreed, with Harrelson adding, “Never do direct mail unless you're willing to prospect behind it.”
Direct Mail Stays in the Home Longer
Harrelson spoke from experience saying he’s found that sellers take a letter and “put it in a property folder to access in 6 months,” and encouraged agents to do multiple things, as Jennings does, not only direct mail. Speaking of Jennings, Harrelson said agents needed to be more like him, "He's not a dabbler. He's a doer, he's a get-it- doner. He goes deep." Klesitz suggested more tools for agents to use if they need to find buyers, explaining that institutional buyers are available through multiple companies, including Offerpad, and Opendoor. Klesitz also mentioned Homelight as a trade-in way to access equity and then sell the property as an "Exclusive Partner."
In wrapping up this episode of Keeping It Real, Klesitz mentioned his “Magical Seller’s Email” and offered it to agents. He recommended personalizing it and emailing the letter to an entire database as a way to get conversations started. Download it here.
This Keeping It Real episode shows you best practices for staying in front of potential home sellers.
Utilizing these concepts and tools with your Real Geeks CRM is sure to increase your seller leads and grow conversion in 2021. Let us know what works for you and reach out if you have techniques you’d like to share in Real Geeks training. We’d love to have you on LIVE event!
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- Posted in Tech
Written by The Professor
Apr 6, 2021
Determining mindset and defining success are critical to improving quarter to quarter growth. In this Real Geeks Facebook LIVE training, Greg Harrelson and Abe Safa discuss the need to evaluate, build momentum, and set up a personal strategy to enhance results for the next 90 days.
Saying agents, “It's insignificant what the market's doing. What is significant is what you're doing,” Harrelson and Safa tell agents that individual action matters most. As they discussed how to have impact in 2021, Harrelson suggested they focus on techniques and strategies that will lead agents “to have a breakthrough or gain momentum in the second quarter.”
One of the most important ways to increase that momentum is by tracking performance. This can be done in any number of ways, for instance, agents can focus on the number of leads generated, how many took, how many appointments were scheduled, how many listings taken, how many listings sold, or whatever other metrics are critical in that specific market. Harrelson shared six questions that help his team bring in focus and allow agents to evaluate their individual performance.
Accountability Questions to Consider Each Quarter
- How many days did you lead generate a minimum of 2 hours in that day [as one session]?
- How many people did you talk to in that last quarter?
- How many appointments did you set? Sellers vs. Buyers?
- How many listings did you take?
- How many contracts did you write?
- Do your results match your activities or do your activities match your results?
For understanding, Safa answered the first question, saying that he generated leads for a minimum of 2 hours a day almost every business day or 58/60 days in the first quarter. Harrelson and Safa said as you review these statistics, it’s essential to think on whether your results match your activities or whether the results were higher or the activities were higher.
Safa cautioned that fear and hesitation can become a learned activity and urged agents to start fresh if their mindset has been affected in the last year. “When something happens in the market and your business or you get rattled,” he asked, “How long is it taking you and your business to pivot from that?” The faster you can make the change, the more quickly you’ll see success, Safa and Harrelson agreed.
Are You Asking the Right Questions to Grow Your Real Estate Business?
Harrelson shared three questions that inspire him which he learned from real estate and business coach and author, Tom Ferry.
- What do you need to start doing in the next quarter that you didn't need to be doing in the last quarter?
- What do you need to stop doing in the next quarter that you didn't need to be doing in the last quarter?
- What do you need to be doing in the next quarter that you didn't need to be doing in the last quarter?
Discussing tools that can assist with reaching second quarter goals, an audience member asked if email drip campaigns could be considered lead generation. Both Safa and Harrelson agreed that these workflows are lead generation tools, but were clear that they should not be counted as contacts, unless the email or text triggered a specific event which led to contact. Safa clarified saying anything you do, from a drip campaign to placing a billboard could be considered lead generation.
Harrelson explained that when monitoring your activities, you need to be reflective. “Is there something in your skills that needs to be improved to get better results?” he asked. He also was quick to point out that often agents think their success is based on skills when in fact the success is due to a hot market.
Harrelson compared selling homes to riding a bicycle, explaining that just because your time is better with a strong tailwind, it doesn’t mean your overall speed has increased. He explained that anomalies are often not indicators of future success and so can’t be relied on. “We can go faster than what our strengths are because the market is assisting,” he said. “If this happens, agents may shift habits and weaken their business long term.” However when activities produce anticipated results, agents can create a very predictable and duplicatable business. When activities and results align, Harrelson urged, “Go all in. Push the chips all in on that!”
“It's insignificant what the market's doing,” Harrelson wanted agents to recognize. “What is significant is what you're doing,” he said. "It's your truth, not the truth."
Sharing an equation that he uses as inspiration, Harrelson coached that, “Desire + Belief + Show Up = Success” and suggested three attributes to encourage that success.
3 Keys to Agent Success
- Discipline - Show up every day.
- Focus - Do 2 hours of income generating activities daily.
- Joy - Make it something you want to do.
“Success is defined by you,” Harrelson concluded as he and Safa wrapped up the episode by encouraging agents to take the steps to achieve their goals in the second quarter.
- Posted in Tech
Written by The Professor
Mar 31, 2021
Working on the go has long been a reality for real estate professionals, and the new Real Geeks CRM App takes getting things done on the go to a whole new level! Now you can access and manage your entire database from your pocket!
Easy to use and navigate, the Real Geeks CRM App allows you to:
- Seamlessly call, email and text your clients
- Use your favorite email and text templates
- Set follow-ups to stay in touch
- Take notes to keep your team in sync
- Use your advanced searches to find leads important to your business
- And so much more, all without logging into a computer!
Make working away from the traditional office a breeze and ramp up your speed to lead conversion with the Real Geeks CRM App. Coordinate team efforts seamlessly as you and your team view current lead activity and communication in real-time, at any time! Get updates and send custom messages at just the right time and close the gap on follow-up!
The Real Geeks CRM App puts the power of lead management in your pocket.
Download it today!
- Posted in Tech
Written by The Professor
Mar 26, 2021
This Keeping it Real gets deep into “The Optimal Economic Structure for a Small Real Estate Team w/ Anthwon Thomas.” Hosted by Greg Harrelson and Frank Klesitz, the episode talks about the realities of agent splits, staff compensation structure, marketing budget percentage, and setting up an overall economic model when planning for a small team. More importantly, you’ll be inspired as you hear the passion, commitment, and joy evident in Thomas and Harrelson as each shares the journey of becoming a leader.
As a passionate entrepreneur seeking a life in real estate, Thomas spent hours preparing for his career as an agent, but more importantly as someone who could lead a team. In the beginning it was just him, but from the day he hired his assistant, he knew he would be a success. He knew it, because he could see it. Thomas had prepared by watching hundreds of hours of training ahead of time, in the form of Keeping it Real episodes and related Real Geeks training. This coaching helped Thomas internalize the message, “Whether I was going to fail or succeed, it was a win for me,” Thomas said.
Klesitz and Harrelson were amazed at his drive, and Harrelson recognized it as a key to Thomas’ success. Harrelson says: “Anthwon minimized his risk by maximizing his learning,” he said. Thomas attributes his success to his supportive wife and the knowledge gained as he internalized the role plays shared in those video trainings. I had to have focus and the belief that I was a winner, and a competitor,” he said.Thomas went on to explain that success is about working smart, “It’s not about how intelligent you are, it’s about how many times you were being intelligent,” he shared.
Your Market Does Not Determine Your Success
With a business based in Lafayette, Indiana, Thomas shows that “you can still be profitable in any market” as his small team consisting of three sales agents, a director of operations, closing coordinator and virtual assistant generated 120 deals last year in a market with a median sales price under $200,000. Thomas himself is no longer closing deals, and instead serves in a management role, helping his agents stay focused on prospecting and closing deals.
Part of Thomas’ success lies in keeping costs low (marketing budget was $53,000) and morale and expectations high. His company has published standards for work efficiency and production for their agents which include:
- Have a minimum of 25 contacts per day (125/week).
- Close a minimum of 2 transactions each month.
- Attend all team meetings (2 grace days permitted).
- After 6 months, agents pay $495 unless monthly transaction goals (2) are met in the previous month.
- If the above goals are not met, the agent agrees to participate in a system of change.
Thomas finds that his system provides clarity, incentivizes, and works well for his motivated team, and shared that the agents hold one another accountable. “When we bring agents on the team,” he explained, “We future pace them… We let them know what to expect.” Believing that the amount of contacts you have per day will be the number of closings you have per year, Thomas provided insight into why his system works. Even knowing this, Thomas felt building systems and processes was the value he could best contribute in his business, so left transactions to his agents.
There Is No One Answer to Building a Team
Impressed by Thomas’ system, training, and team, Harrelson and Klesitz discussed how approaches may be different, but that success happens with consistency. Harrelson shared that his team approach is unlike Thomas’ in some ways. For instance, Harrelson requires no minimum sales standard, but guides individual agents based on their own goals. “My job is to help them accomplish what they want to do,” Harrelson said. Harrelson encouraged agents seeking to grow a team to make their first hire an assistant and suggested they convert 50% of time saved into lead generation time. When growing their businesses, Harrelson and Thomas took different approaches. Thomas reinvested his time into building a business. Harrelson reinvested his time into listings. “Both of us probably did it right, based on our vision of the model,” Harrelson said.
Thomas explained that he didn’t do everything perfectly in the beginning. Talking about his failures, Thomas acknowledged, “Even though I sold homes, I didn’t lead correctly. The first agent I brought on didn’t stay with us long. I needed to prove myself a little more and make sure I was gliding, not grinding, everyday.” He realized he had to be more of a team player and changed his process so he could deliver more value and add more support, Thomas explained saying, “At that point things started taking off.” Harrelson agreed, “I’m a big believer in leading by example,” he said. Harrelson shared that he doesn’t have his own office, though he does make use of a conference room, because his goal is to build and teach his team. “I want to be with agents,” Harrelson said, talking about his leadership style.
Leadership Success is About Accountability and Drive
“The reality is if I need to sell a home today, I can,” Thomas said, adding that his role and value is in building out “a strong bench of great players” to contribute to the team’s success. Thomas believes in accountability. He shared that his son checked in with him everyday when he was getting started at building his business with the question “Dad, did you follow or execute on your obligations today?”
Explaining that leading a team is about feeling led, Harrelson said, “Let your passion and your heart take precedence in your decision. The economics will magically disappear.” A true leader puts in the effort required to see the dream through, Harrelson explained as he shared a story about ditch digging. “It’s not about being a resource,” Harrelson said, “It’s about being resourceful.”
If you’re planning to grow your team in 2021, or anytime in the future, you’ll want to watch this amazing episode. Internalize these practical tips and insights to ease your transition and have you seeing success from the start!
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- Posted in Tech
Written by The Professor
Mar 24, 2021
Discover “7 Real Geeks Hacks +/- “ with Greg Harrelson and Abe Safa on this Real Geeks Mastermind Training video and find ways to add value to your clients and business, while decreasing your spend of time and effort. As Harrelson explained, the goal is to “Add more value but decrease the amount of time it takes.”
Hack highlights include explanations of how to use:
- Market Activity Reports - Explaining that the key is to take advantage of automation with these, Harrelson said, “Get them in your system so they get notifications. Agents neglect to see that this person has a property to sell when they have them as a buyer,” he said. Once a buyer sells, they need to be viewed as a potential seller in the database, tagged that way, and added in the automation. Harrelson explained that this is an underused feature of Real Geeks. “In only a few clicks they can be sent the report every few months” which allows the agent to stay top of mind. Harrelson continued, “Ask ‘How can I get 10-12 people signed up on an activity report every month?’,” he said. “It will be one of your highest open rates.”
- Buyers List - Go into a listing presentation with the data of how many buyers are looking for homes in that community, zip code, etc. As this information is readily available on the CRM activity feed and in reports, Harrelson showed how it can be used in a listing presentation to get attention and show expertise. Harrelson and Safa said this is a hack because these are the things that get everyone's attention and make the most difference.
- Saved Searches - Safa explained that saved searches for sellers encourage price reductions. He noted that while “price reductions are not as needed now, they will come back, so you want to remember that strategy.”
- Facebook Share Button - Harrelson wanted all Real Geeks clients to be aware of this easy way to generate free leads, simply by being consistent. “On every listing there is a little button that says share. You can share that property on your FB page,” he explained. Share a few every week and monitor whether anybody comments or shares it with anyone else. Do it 5 times a week and Harrelson said he guarantees every week someone on one of those listings will share it to someone else. This allows the agent to click on the unknown person’s name and reach out and also click on the referrer's name and thank them for the referral. This is a free technique that allows anyone to widen their sphere of influence and gain prospects. “Make that a routine,” he said, “and you will generate leads for free.”
- Workflows as an ISA - Safa encouraged everyone to use the workflows. “You've got an automation tool that allows you to reach out,” he said. “That’s very powerful.” Safa encouraged that “before you hire an ISA, you need to use the automation in the crm that emulates an ISA.” Harrelson agreed, “An ISA makes sure to find the low hanging fruit,” he said. “They nurture your people because you don't have time to.”
- Pre and Post Listing Campaigns - Safa explain how a pre-listing and post-listing campaigns helped to ready a seller so that the first meeting had the maximum potential for success and continued to follow up if an agent didn't get the listing.
- Banners - Safas loves using the banners available on Real Geeks sites to highlight certain property types, such as homes with pools. “Whatever there is a shortage of,” can draw in clients, he said.
Every hack mentioned is available to all Real Geeks clients, however many go unused. They are considered a hack, Harrelson said, because they capture attention and make the most difference. Consider those listed above and choose one to implement today!
- Posted in Tech
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