How to Succeed Against a Were(buyer)wolf

31 10 2011

Were(buyer)wolves are very common in today’s market, the purpose of this note is to help you identify them and avoid becoming another casualty.

The Full Moon. Used to be that were(buyer)wolves came out during full moon only, however and due to unknown reasons, todays were(buyer)wolves can come out any night or day and pose as interested buyers.

Their Howling. This was how were(buyer)wolves used to announce their presence. However, today’s werewolves have evolved; they now call, text or email unsuspecting agents asking for information on properties.

Their Attack. Their attacks can be deadly, it is common knowledge that were(buyer)wolves will continue working on their prey until the prey quits out of frustration. It also has been widely documented in logs worldwide the stories of agents who worked with were(buyer)wolves, showed them dozens of properties, or assisting them in making and presenting numerous offers only to never hear from them again after their offer was accepted. Another usual practice is for the were(buyer)wolf to make a ridiculously low offer and then blamed the agent when their offer wasn’t accepted.

Protect yourself. According to legend, one of the most effective weapons against a were(buyer)wolf attack are silver bullets, fortunately real estate practitioners were given these silver bullets during the licensing period. The bullets are: a were(buyers)wolf must be “Ready, Willing and Able” before making an offer. Translated to today’s modern lingo: A were(buyer)wolf must READY to purchase and close within a reasonable amount of time , must be WILLING to buy a home and not be looking for an opportunity only and it must be ABLE to purchase by either being pre-approved for a mortgage or showing proof of liquid assets.

I hope this note gave you the insight and prepare you against were(buyer)wolves.

Have a great day.

Oscar Marquez

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Is Sales Training Important for Your Company?

22 08 2010

Without sales there is no revenue, no profit and even the best marketing program in the world will not prevent you from failing; therefore sales are the single most important part of any business. Granted, all aspects of business are important, but without sales you have no business. So unless you want to go out of business, you need to have a very well trained sales staff. Sales training programs where your agents learn, internalize and practice with real customers while in class is one of the best ways to make sure that your sales staff masters the techniques and methods that will increase sales.

There are many ways to get your sales force trained and depending on the size of your staff you may want to consider hiring a sales trainer exclusively for your company; I am not referring to hiring a full time an in-house trainer, I am talking about bringing a sales trainer exclusively to train your agents.  And against all beliefs hiring a sales trainer it is not that expensive, especially compared to the additional revenue your sales staff will bring.

Every business operates differently and sells a different product or service. However, the sales process is the same: “lead generation (marketing or any other way), present and close” the method never changes regardless of the product or service we promote, however this is why it’s of paramount importance that the trainer has a clear understanding of your goals and biggest challenges you are currently facing, so they can be included in the training program.

Another important aspect of sales and (commonly overviewed as well) is repeat customers and referrals; make sure the programs includes techniques to keep your past clients as clients and referring you new clients.

One more thing you should also consider is the length of the training program.  In my experience a two to three day class is best, keep in mind that your sales people will not stop working during the training; they’ll continue to work and generate new business.

There are companies that seem to think that training their sales staff is not worth the money or justify it with not having the budget right now. However, they make this decision to their own detriment. The company with the best trained sales force has a sizable advantage over those that do not. Another and often less expensive choice is online training and although it is cost effective we need to consider the other side as well. Because the trainer cannot see the people’s facial expressions or hear their comments, the risk of your agents not understanding and therefore not applying the techniques increases.  Technology it’s fantastic and it has brought our lives to a different status however the human touch is always needed.

In summary, everyone in your company can benefit from some degree of training but specially your bottom line.





Five Lessons to Learn from Lost Sales

12 08 2010

Sales agents experience failure every day: a sale that doesn’t go through, customers canceling a contract, failed presentations. What do the “Heavy Hitters” do afterward? That’s the important question.  Although it may be difficult to realize at first, many times failure can be a blessing in disguise. Not closing a deal is not a failure. In fact, it can open up new doors. If you analyze where was it that you failed and make corrections and changes it can become a very valuable lesson worth many commissions in the future.

1. Learn from Failures. Before you can learn from failure, you must know how you view failure in the first place. Are you one of those people who won’t even acknowledge the word “failure”? Or do you accept that it’s there, but then deal with it in a positive manner? Failure does exist. It hurts when it happens, it’s personal, and it is OK to be upset when a sale falls through.  You can’t change what’s already taken place, however you can be responsible for what takes place from this moment on.

To learn why you failed, stand back and look objectively at what happened and why.  It’s pointless focusing on what might have been. Instead, think of ways you’ll do better next time.

2. Attitude Matters. Recognize that your attitude colors your view of failure as much as the truth can. Perception will always win over reality. Sales agents start out with good intentions, but we are rarely trained to deal with our own fears. Over time, as we experience more and more rejection, we begin associating prospecting with pain, and fear takes over their selling. This just makes failure all the more likely.

3. Don’t Try to Avoid Failure. Trying to avoid failure is a fool’s game.  Failure isn’t necessarily bad. You learn from mistakes, maybe more than in any other way. If you are a skier, you know that if you don’t fall, you can’t ever get better. You need to push yourself or you’ll never improve.

4. Don’t Give Up. In sales, the lack of persistence is perhaps the biggest cause of failure. How many times have you tried setting an appointment with a new prospect, only to face rejection every time?  Then one day, out of the blue they interested in scheduling an appointment

5. Think Positively. Write down a list of your strengths and your successes, then after a lost sale or a presentation that didn’t win the sale, read these lists and remind yourself that you have not failed but are merely going through one of life’s learning experiences.

Failure is part of our business, its part of life. Whether it is crippling or empowering is up to you. The only one who ever put a label of failure on you is yourself.





Tips to Make 2010 a Very Successful Year.

7 01 2010

“Would you mind telling me please, which way I ought to go from here? That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where” -said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

It’s been said that most people are too busy to plan their goals. Goals are just as important as everything else. Here are six steps to help you make 2010 a great year.

1. One step at the time. Identify what is it that you would like to change in the following areas: Business, family, personal, spiritual. Focus on one small goal at the time and when you reach it, move on to another one.

2. Set a date to reach each objective. Be specific.

3. Make a list of the obstacles you must overcome to reach your goals.

4. Work a plan of action to reach your goals.

5. Visualize yourself reaching your goal; feel the empowerment, hear the cheers.

6. Write your goals down and read them out load every day.

Have a wonderful 2010 and I hope to have the opportunity to help you become more successful.

 To your success,

Oscar Marquez





How to List the FSBO Vampire.

12 10 2009

They have arrived and are here to stay and they are getting ready to put their house on the market, they are the FSBO Vampires.  Following are five ideas to overcome their powers. 

  1. Don’t let them Glamour You.  Be careful, Vampire FSBOs are known for glamouring people and making them do things they wouldn’t do otherwise.  So when a Vampire FSBO tries to talk you into believing they don’t need your help to get their house sold, don’t fall under their spell.  As a professional Vampire FSBO slayer, you already know this is just folklore.  It takes a lot of effort and money to sell a property.
  2. Don’t Fear Them.  FSBO Vampires can’t exist in the light; they are creatures of the night.  Show them how much work and effort is involved in selling real estate, it goes well beyond posting a “for sale” sign, and that is just the beginning.  Realtor slayers don’t get paid to sell houses they get paid to insure the sale closes.  So next time you encounter a Vampire FSBO bring them out to the light.
  3. Don’t Waste Your Weapons.  By using all your weapons (garlic, silver, wood) at once, you will only weaken them but they will not die.  The best way to slay a Vampire FSBO is by bringing one weapon at the time.  Each time you visit them, bring one extra weapon (MLS, prequalification forms, marketing, etc) and soon you will turn them into a listing.
  4. Watch out for their Fangs.  Vampire FSBO’s most powerful weapon are their fangs.  They will use theme to attack you and ultimately get rid of you.  So when they ask you to take the listing at a very low commission or very high price, protect yourself, don’t let them suck you dry.
  5. Don’t Become One of Them.  Many times good agents join their ranks and put their own houses for sale as a FSBO.  If they don’t have enough confidence in the power of being a Realtor slayer, how can they succeed in the business?

 As a final note, I would like to ask you not to become a werewolf and try to overpower them; remember you are only strong during the full moon and if you try to overpower them you will lose the opportunity to list them.

 Have a great Halloween.





Eight Deal Breakers

22 09 2009

Has this ever happened to you? You worked so hard at marketing a listing and at the end the seller is not willing to cooperate with you to get it sold?

Following are eight tips to get more of your listings u/c. I compiled this list from an interview I watched with Barbara Corcoran.

1. Don’t get insulted. In today’s market even real buyers are making low ball offers. Why? Well, it’s the market. With so much media attention to the state of the market and specially being in a true buyer’s market, if your buyers don’t make a lower than normal offer, they feel they didn’t try hard enough. Instead of getting offended, ask your seller to counter, most real buyers will play along and come up with a better offer.
2. Hanging around at the open house. Nothing discourages more a perspective buyer than seeing a seller walking around the house during open house day. I understand that many sellers want to be of assistance, but most of the time they end up saying too much and there goes the sale. Ask them to make plans for the day and if there is no way they can leave the property, then ask them to stay in one room, even if it’s the closet.
3. Waiting for a better offer. Well by now you already now that the first offer is normally the best offer.
4. Clean the closets. Most buyers open the closet doors and a messy closet normally makes the buyer feel there can be something wrong with the house. Why? I have no clue.
5. Not making much needed repairs. AS IS! Many times sellers lose thousands of dollars because they refused to make small repairs. Buyers will always double or triple the estimated cost of repairs and include that discount in their offers.
6. Haggling over the accessories. How many times I lost good offers because the sellers wanted to negotiate over the washer and dryer or the chandelier or the refrigerator. As the saying goes “pound foolish, penny wise.”
7. Internet curb appeal. Most people look for properties in the internet and if your listing doesn’t have an attractive “net curb appeal” they will take it out of their house to see list.
8. Renegotiating the agent’s fee. Many sellers don’t understand the importance of commissions; a lower commission will send their house to the bottom of the houses to show list rather than to the front of the list.

I hope this list helps you make an extra sale. If there is anything else I can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact me.





How to Differenciate Between a Looker and a Buyer.

12 04 2009

“Buyers are liars” probably you have heard that same expression from one or more of your sales people in the last few days.  Sales agents are complaining about the quality of the buyers, what a waste of time they are, the lack of loyalty and mainly the low offers these buyers are making. 

 

Whenever I hear an agents complaining about their buyers, I ask them: Did you qualify your buyers? Experienced Realtors are still putting contracts together, because they spend more time disqualifying buyer leads than qualifying them. “The top 10 percent recognize there are only a certain number of hours in the day. And they know they can only close qualified prospects. So they spend time asking tough questions to find real buyers and the ‘lookie-lous’ never make it into their funnel.”

Top performers are so guarded about who goes into their prospects lists that their pipelines look more like cylinders: fewer opportunities going in one end and a higher percentage of them closing on the other. Contrast that with the other 90 percent of the agents. Typically this group aims to prop up every lead that comes their way, stuff them into their pipeline, and hope some will buy a house.

To radically boost the performance of your bottom 90 percent, you need to get them to shift from a mindset of qualifying buyers to one of disqualifying them. And the way to do that is by giving them a qualifying checklist with six questions. When an agent gets on the phone with a lead, he/she must know the answers to these six questions:

 

1.        What was it about the ad (sign, house, etc) that caught your eye?

2.        How long have you been looking for a house with a ______?

3.        How many houses with a ________ have you seen?

4.        Why didn’t you buy one of those?

5.        What is your time frame for the purchase?

6.        What are some reasons they wouldn’t buy?

 

Agents are afraid to ask these questions because they think their prospect won’t answer them or because they’re afraid of the answer. These questions are key to the disqualifying process because if the lead is vague or evasive about any of them, it means he or she is not a serious buyer and agents shouldn’t waste their time. Thinking they can turn it around is a bottom 80 percent strategy; spotting the red flag and discarding the lead is a top 20 percent strategy.

When top agents don’t get the answers they want or need, they ask the tough questions, and they’re not afraid to say, “You know, Mr. Prospect, it sounds like you’re interested in waiting for the prices to come down further. So keep my number on file and when you feel the bottom price is here, give me a call.”

I understand that shifting from a mindset of qualifying your leads to disqualifying your leads can be a bit scary. Sales people worry that if they start tossing out leads; there won’t be any more coming in to fill their pipeline. But here’s the gem: These techniques will never disqualify a true buyer; they will reveal the true buyers.

If you’re think your agents are still nervous, ask them the following question: “Do you want to spend it with “lookie-lous” who aren’t serious about buying? Or do you want to spend it with prospects that are qualified and genuinely interested?” If it’s the latter, you need to do a good job of weeding out the former. “Once you get confident with these techniques and see you are closing more sales, you’ll never go back.”