HomeHoop.com

A Blog to Improve Your Business By Tom McGiveron

How To Post A Video To Youtube

So you want to learn how to post a video to youtube? First, you’ve got to set up an account. The best way to do this is to set up a google email account, which will enable you to set everything else up like a google+ account and your youtube account. For me, that’s the best way to do it because then everything is connected, making things easier.

On youtube, you’ll be able to set up a channel.

The easiest way to upload video is via the Flip UltraHD Video Camera – White, 4 GB, 1 Hour. I purchased one of these 2 years ago and while my current youtube channel now only has a few videos on it, I have another youtube channel with over 45 videos. I decided to start my newest one because I like to complicate my life!

Do what I didn’t do, start one google account and manage everything through there. On a side note, as google has expanded their services over the years, I’ve become a victim to playing catch up. They’re constantly updating things and changing things around. Video tutorials on youtube are old.

Again, I stress that the easiest way to upload videos is to buy a flip camera, then follow the simple directions. Don’t forget, you need to set up an account first.

If you only want a youtube account, then visit youtube.com and follow the simple instructions.

By Thomas McGiveron
Join me on G+

Additional Material

How To Use A Youtube Channel

FREEdi YouTube Downloader

YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day

Setting Up A Youtube Account

Setting up a youtube account is very easy.

Go to www.youtube.com and set one up.

Don’t know what a “youtube” is?

It’s basically a marketing tool that you can use to acquire business. You can upload personal and business videos.

Most importantly though, you can subscribe to and share other people’s videos. Now why is that important? That’s the subject of another post I’ll be writing soon! Sharing is more important that posting your own videos. Yep. Seriously. But I digress.

Here’s a few snapshots to help the beginner in setting up a youtube account.

Youtube Home Page

Once there, you can then click at the top of the page that you’re new to youtube.

Like I’ve said before, my recommendation is that you set up a google email account first, and then link them all together. But that’s just my opinion.
Good luck!

By Thomas McGiveron
Join me on Google+

How To Use A Youtube Channel

We are in the business of selling real estate. We (agents) are not movie stars and our clients really don’t care about how “tech-savvy” we are unless that techie stuff helps sell their home. However, learning how to use a youtube channel, is important in the internet age.

Why?

I see the internet as an avenue to increase my client database. Millions upon millions of people search the web every minute of the day. Face it, we need to be on there somewhere.

What websites do people use when they’re online? Well I don’t need a study to know that people use google.com, facebook.com, youtube.com and twitter.com. So it makes sense to devote sometime (not too much) to the art of being visible on the internet.

So how do you use a youtube channel?

First, you need to have a plan for…everything. Know why you want to have videos on youtube. For instance, many agents will use it to advertise their listings by taking video of the home, sort of like a video tour if you will. That can be advantageous and it can also be a disaster. I’ve seen some really bad videos and I’ve probably done one or two not-so-good ones myself.

If you have no plan in mind, this article will help.

I think content is the name of the game. Having rich content that is layers deep helps consumers decide whether or not to use your services. What do I mean by ‘layers deep’? I mean, having content that takes the user deeper into your website (not external links to other sites). You want to keep the attention of the user.

I’m going to run through a few quick options for you and I think you’ll get some ideas for yourself. Keep in mind, this article is somewhat for the advanced agent so if you have questions, go back and read previous articles on more basics like setting up a youtube account.

Farms

Many agents have farms that they focus their marketing efforts on. In my opinion, personally going to the homes of people that know and like me, is the best use of my time (Brian Buffini’s Success Library ~ The Secrets of Top Producers, and What You Need to Know to Thrive in Today’s Market. {4-Disc Audio CD Set}), but let’s say you are committed to farming.

I think sending out mass mailings with links to your youtube channel is a great way to show people who you are and that you’ve taken your business to the next level.

Remember, we’re in the business of sales and marketing. Most people do not have a website. They don’t post videos of themselves or their business on youtube. So in the mind of the consumer, having a link that goes directly to you, online, can be impressive.

So many times I see agents buy web domains that redirect to a static link to their profile on their company website. That irritates me because I just think that’s so weak. I’ve seen great website names that can entice the prospect to take the time to go online and visit the site only to be taken to a page that…sucks.

Don’t do that. Use your youtube channel with videos on it, to pull the prospect into your domain.

Domains

You can use domains that you buy and redirect them to your videos. What does this mean?

Let’s say you’re marketing to your local farm and you want them to know how you market homes. You send out a postcard to your farm with a link (that you bought) and you set it to redirect to your youtube video that features you talking and demonstrating how you market your listings.

Now, a typical link from youtube is long like, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7PgAzFjyaI&feature=autoplay&list=UUc202rcNMv2LiYWMgQlRfdQ&playnext=1. Yes, that’s not a good marketing strategy to put that link in a flyer. If I have to explain why that is, you shouldn’t be in sales.

So as an example, what I’ve done is created a redirect link using www.123.tommcgiveron.com. This link will take you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7PgAzFjyaI&feature=autoplay&list=UUc202rcNMv2LiYWMgQlRfdQ&playnext=1.

So now my postcard could say something like, “Visit www.123.tommcgiveron.com for more info!”

Listings

Use youtube video of your listings with caution. If you don’t have a plan for editing the video and you don’t have a vision for how it’s going to look, you’re doomed to make it poorly. My goodness if you go on youtube.com and check out real estate listings, you can’t help but run into very poor videos.

However, if you have a game plan and know what you want to do with the video, you’ll probably make a good one.

For your listings (and all your videos), you want to use the editing feature on youtube. So once the video is uploaded, you need to go in to make good “tags” for your videos. For instance, if you have a listing in West Islip, you might tag “west islip homes for sale” in your tag lines. Now if a person puts in that term on youtube, he/she might find your home for sale.

Now I’m grazing over the whole “tag” feature of youtube because it’s too technical for this post so contact me if you have questions.

Also, for marketing purposes (to your prospective sellers), having good quality HD video of listings can be powerful motivator for them to list with you.

So I’ve given you a few ideas possibly on how to use a youtube channel in your marketing. I hope it helps. Remember, have a plan for what you want to accomplish with your youtube channel (and all your other online marketing) and you’ll be ahead of the game.

By Thomas McGiveron
Join me on G+

Possible Resources

YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day

Professional Speak

All too often, we as agents, become a product of our surroundings. I hear more agents talk the “lingo” or our business and if they stopped themselves for one minute, and analyzed their thought to feelings to language/expression process, they would probably say, “oh, that’s not good.”

In the real estate business, once you become a product of the “biz”, you start to think and act like those you respect or look up to, which can be a good thing. It also can put you right in the mix with everyone else.

Fortunately, I learned how to be aware of how I speak with my clients in real estate by studying the principles of customer service through Brian Buffini – Work By Referral, Live the Good Life!So before I go on, I just want to fully acknowledge his impact on my business (and life).

So I figured I’d share some tips for re-engaging HOW YOU DO BUSINESS and train yourself and your mind to speak professionally.

The best first step, in my opinion is to start using better words. If you start with the words you use on a daily basis, that will work backwards through your feelings and to your thoughts. You’ll start THINKING differently.

Change behavior first. Then the mind will follow (cognition).

Lingo: (This is a short list but it’s a good place to start)

  • “Get the deal done.”
  • My client is not going to…”
  • “You (or they) should/shouldn’t….”
  • “Comps”
  • “Low ball”
  • Various mild curse words

Now I’m not going to say that I’m not guilty of thinking some of these terms and saying them. I’m human. But over the last year (and my broker can attest to this because I told him to keep an ear out for me back in January), I’ve specifically made a point to not speak this way. I’ll go through these quickly and provide suggestions on how to counteract them.

The deal. These two words are deadly to your business. I have virtually eliminated these words from my professional language. They imply that your client is just another “deal”. It’s unprofessional and makes you sound like a salesman. Not a professional salesman.

To this point, I hear and see agents try and mask the fact that they are in sales. They’ll call themselves “consultants” or “advisors” – a “Sales Consultant”. That’s worse when you do this. I like telling my clients that I’m a professionally trained salesperson with a broker’s license.

The word professional implies that I’m a person that is paid to undertake a specific set of tasks and it’s my sole job to orchestrate them with uncommon skill. I’m a pro, not a “consultant”. And yes, I am a SALESperson. A salesperson is someone who masters the art of marketing, advertising and negotiations. I don’t know what consultants do other than…consult.

Eliminate the word “deal” from your vocabulary. It’s a transactional mindset word that has no place in your business if you want to connect with your clients emotional needs and earn referrals. Don’t even use it when talking with other agents or loan officers.

A much better word is “transaction(s)”. That’s professional. Don’t be a gutter-salesman. You’re better than that.

I don’t refer to my clients as not doing something or agreeing to something unless I have spoken with them first. Many agents say “my client won’t go that low.” In negotiations, I hear this time and time again and it’s really code for “I”.

Here’s a tip, when you’re allowing your personal pride or need to be the “hero” to your client, you’re not meeting the emotional or transactional need of your client, but rather your own personal needs. Never good. Practice not doing this.

Tip: Pick up the phone and call your client. Let’s say you get a “low ball” offer (and we’ll change that lingo too). Don’t tell the agent presenting it. Rather ask them some questions and through that, see if they can’t go back to the buyer and re-engage and bring the offer up a bit. This takes skill in conversing with the other agent but saying, “my client’s not going to take that”, is amateur.

You should/shouldn’t, are words that are used all too often in our society at large. In college I learned a counseling method known as Rational-Emotive-Behavior Therapy or REBT by Dr. Albert Ellis.  A New Guide to Rational Living

Dr. Ellis is best known for creating this form of therapy and also very well-known for dropping the “f-bomb” in any conversation as his self application of his own therapy over the  years helped him shed many of society’s norms and restrictions on how he thought, felt and therefore behaved. Without going into any in-depth analysis of REBT, I want to shed one simple point.

Using the words should or shouldn’t in your mind and in your words to dictate what another person should feel or how they should act or what decisions they should or shouldn’t make, in life and in business, is fruitless. That fruit will die on the vine before you ever truly help someone. I know this from years in the counseling field.

I never use these words except when I’m describing the weather – it should rain today. Do likewise and you’ll see that allowing yourself to be a little more free from someone else’s decisions or behavior makes you lighter on your feet.

Tip: Instead of “should” or “shouldn’t”, first listen to what someone is saying. Repeat it back to them. Clarify what it is they’re saying/thinking/feeling. Then use a phrase like, “I hear what you’re saying, but what about…” Offer options, not judgments. I could write an entire weblog about all the negative “self-talk” (Ellis) that we use in our own lives. Just start with these two words – don’t use them.

Okay, so you’ve got the “comps for this “deal” huh? Oye Vey. If I had a nickel…

To me, the word “comps” is unprofessional. Professionals in the business might use them once in a while with other brokers in short-speak – once in a while. However, I hear agents saying this all the time, to their clients, to every agent they speak with, and to appraisers, friends, family etc.

Tip: Just stop using the word altogether and supplement it with comparative homes for sale.

So you got a “low ball” offer? Who hasn’t. To me, I trained myself to actually like receiving low offers. The challenge is to stick with them and not brush them aside as fast I see many agents do. Time and time again, I’ll hear an agent refer to a low offer as a “waste of time”. That’s a recipe for laziness.

A “low ball” offer could be a result of any number of variables such as an uneducated buyer or a new agent (or both). It could also mean you may need to re-evaluate your listing price. It could mean that the buyer and agent have perhaps miscalculated several repairs the home needs. It could be an investor who’s looking at the wrong type of properties and maybe you can steer them in the right direction (and earn a client and future referrals).

The point is to not walk away mentally from them. But first, in my opinion, you need to train your mind not to think or say the words “low ball”. Get rid of it because in your mind, it’s attaching a negative thought and feeling to the offer and the person/agent presenting it. From there your feelings extend into your behaviors and you’ll blow off the offer without exploring the options.

Tip: Change the lingo to anything comfortable for you rather than “low ball”. Call a  low offer…a low offer. Call it a “curve ball”. Call it “an offer that needs some work” (this is my favorite lingo especially with my clients. It implies that things are possible and that you’re positive, not negative.

Note here – if you’re reading this and saying to yourself, “This is just happy positive bologna. Call a spade a spade”, then perhaps this blog isn’t for you. But think for a moment how negative our surroundings are. Would you rather be like everyone else? Would you rather sound like every other agent? Or would you rather be able to acknowledge the “low ball” offer but handle it in a positive way? And this goes for anything I’m writing here in this post. Think it through.

Okay, last but definitely not least, I just want to cover the use of curse words. I use them. I won’t lie. But after I do, I feel such an urge to slap myself it’s not even funny. I don’t use them on the phone as much as I once did, but I may hang up the phone once in a while and say to myself, “What the fuck…!”

Yes, we’re human and sometimes people say or do things that just leave us with no other speech other than a nice colorful metaphor.

That said, I hear agents use curse words all the time on the phone. Not all, but some.

  • “The fuckin’ appraiser brought the home in low.”
  • “Can you believe that shit?!”
  • “I have no fucking idea.”
I hate to write that stuff down so I apologize if I offended any readers, but the reality is, agents will talk like this. Let them.

Tip: Take an oath of silence when it comes to adding extra words in sentences that lower you and your personal business standard. If you don’t have a personal business standard, call me and lets chat.

The oath: “I, NAME, do solemnly swear to not use filthy language. It lowers my professional status. I am a professional who is paid to undertake a specific set of real estate tasks and I orchestrate them with uncommon skill. Filthy language is common. Therefore I will not use it today.”

Say this as an affirmation in the mornings five times. Take a jar and put a dollar for every time you use filthy language in your professional and personal life. Of course, be realistic, if you hit your thumb with a hammer and say “SHIIITTT”, I think that’s quite alright. But use it in your day-to-day life, it’s a buck in the jar. At the end of the week, see how much you have in the jar. Donate it to charity or just use it to buy yourself something as a reward to making this small commitment to improve your life. And don’t treat this haphazardly. Do it.

How we behave is a direct result of how we process our thoughts and feelings. If we give in to our feelings and think we can’t control them, then we’re doomed to continue being mediocre. I hate that word – mediocre. Terrible. I don’t ever want to be that and I hope you don’t either.

Raise your standards and other agents will notice. Your clients (and their friends, family and associates) will notice.  And I think you’ll notice it in your monetary and spiritual bank account.

By Thomas McGiveron
Join me on G+

Suggested Reading Material

Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement

Are You In It For Them Or For You?

A client philosophy for any business is important. I debated on whether or not to type an article like this but I can’t help myself. The catalyst isn’t real-estate-related either. Although, I have plenty of run-in’s with many agents who could easily qualify as the reason for this particular subject.

As a consumer of goods and services myself, I can’t help but see the gaping holes in many businesses customer service. And I’m not one to complain about these types of things, but I certainly make note of them.

It is my belief that our society has suffered a dumbing-down effect so to speak about what customer service is and what’s considered “good customer service”.

I was recently in a restaurant that serves really good food, not high-end, just good quality and it’s delicious. That said, one of the staff, who was efficient, well-groomed, and I could tell they know what they’re doing, referred to me as “this guy” when he asked one of his staff to get me some napkins.

Now this staff member was busy, cooking and multi-tasking and I got my napkins in seconds and did I mentioned the food was/is really good?

That’s all great. But…”this guy”? And when he asked his co-worker, he said, “I got this, help this guy.” No “please”. No “thank you”.

And the staff member who gave me the napkins handed them to me without looking at me.

And this isn’t even the event that’s the catalyst for this article.

Now I’m not offended by this. And being called “this guy” doesn’t really matter all that much. But let me tell you a different experience.

I went to McDonald’s the day before. The meal was McDonald’s-grade – quick, hot and cheap. The staff member helping me was courteous, smiling, and very thorough, efficient, well-groomed and I could tell they knew what they were doing. She referred to me as “Sir”.

She made good eye contact and she smiled – a lot. My experience was very pleasing. I felt that she valued me as a customer and she’s not the owner. She’s making $8.00 an hour. However, she delivered such good customer service that I could recommend this particular McDonald’s – on 347, just west of 112.

I think the world is losing basic qualities of civility. And that’s just a shame.

I think it has something to do with the fact that people are in “it” for themselves or they’re caught up in “it”, their life, their goals, their needs, their wants and certainly not thinking of others. This is a big problem.

To bring this back to the real estate world specifically, I’m going to say that I know plenty of agents that are good. They call their clients once a week. They follow up on appointments. They do their best to meet all of their client’s or customer’s transactional needs.

They pride themselves on answering emails and leaving professional voice mails. They also pride themselves are being nice, courteous and sincere.

This is all very good. Other agents are your typical “top producer”. They sell a lot of real estate. They have assistants and they spend a lot of money on marketing and they like to boast about being part of the “7% that does 93% of the business”. And that’s fine too.

My question to all agents is simple: Are you in it for them (your consumer) or for you?

Without getting into details, my wife and I have been using this service. It’s a comprehensive service that has all the systems in place to set appointments, do follow ups, and has all the technology any business could want to achieve incredible customer service results.

And let me tell you that not one person in this company took the initiative to go the extra mile. Some of the staff didn’t look at us when we were scheduling an appointment (they stared at their ever-important computer screen), handing us a card with the appointment written on it and then moving along to the next “cow” (felt like we were being herded along).

I could go on and on about several poor customer service examples of this firm, but I won’t. I just want to make the point that these people that are working for this business, are there for their needs. Their pay check. Their friends (at work). Sure they’ll have good days when they remember to smile and really take care of someone, when the chemicals in their body are making them feel good inside.

I’m here to write this article and say to you, if you’re reading this and you’re a real estate agent or any kind of business owner, in this world, “getting the job done”, is not good enough, if you want referrals.

If you don’t, then continue doing what you do. No harm, no foul. Meet the transactional needs of your clients. Put them in your “busy” schedule to call them once a week. Fine.

And if you can answer that question honestly of whether or not you’re in it for them or for you, you might answer for you and you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Just say “please” and “thank you” and you’ll at least be civil.

Note: I’m not saying to be completely altruistic in nature. We’re real estate agents. Obviously we are in this business because you can make a very good living. But for me personally, I can tell you that I try my absolute best to think of how I can improve the life of someone else, rather than myself. When I truly give myself over to doing things for the benefit of others, the circle of life comes’round! It just does. And I say “please” and I say “thank you” and I feel really good.

Think about this – what if you started going the extra mile for every client? The extra mile in training yourself to be better. The extra mile in following up multiple times a week, every week. The extra mile in terms of consistently letting the client know you’ve got their back and you do it through actions, not words…

“They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Zig Ziglar

By Thomas McGiveron
Join me on Google+

Suggested Reading Material
Born to Win (Made for Success Collection)

Work By Referral, Live the Good Life!

Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service

Hiring? Would You Hire You?

I thought of this very question a few weeks back and I asked it on our Realty Connect USA Agents ONLY page on facebook (closed group). The response was silence.

I think most people either didn’t understand what I was asking or they didn’t want to “got there” or they don’t use facebook and even though they’re a member of the closed group, they don’t use facebook too much.

Either way, it’s not the most cozy and comforting question to ask yourself. And if you answer it with brutal honesty, you’re going to feel a little side-swiped.

The way to look at it is, if you had the money and had to hire a CEO to oversee all the operations of your business, would you hire you? Would you rather hire a MBA with vast experience to make sure the sales department runs right, there’s a strong growth plan in place and the budget is thorough and implemented?

The average income of a real estate agent, according to the National Association Of Realtors, for 2011 was approximately $22,000.

So I ask you again, would you hire you to lead your company?

Have no fear, options are here!

I strongly believe that any person in this business can be successful. If you’re smart enough to take the real estate license course and pass the tests to get in, you can do it! The problem is, many get stuck in places that rob them of the opportunity to grow.

I’ve been in the business long enough to know that people get stale. I see it time and time again. They hit a plateau and stay there. They learn the “lingo” of the “biz” and start to sound like everyone else in the industry.

Note: If you talk like all the other agents, dress like all the agents and do the same activities as the other agents…you are just another agent.

Read that line again. And again. And again.

I started this weblog to help agents and myself and spending 30 minutes every other day on thinking about my business, actually gives me more ideas on how to better serve my clients.

So getting back to that hypothetical question of hiring yourself and paying yourself a salary to see to it that it is profitable, growth oriented, budget-savvy, and provides a value to consumers that gets them to repeatedly refer you and use your services in the future…is a vital question that may just help you ground yourself.

Hopefully it helps you understand that “getting deals done” isn’t wise lingo, ever. Hopefully it helps you understand the value of your position in your company. Hopefully this article gets you thinking that maybe, just maybe, what you know and how you do things, is not, in your business’s overall best interest.

Maybe you’ll set aside some time to write down a few goals.

Maybe you’ll invest in yourself a little more and make that “CEO that you’re not paying enough now” a little wiser and better.

All I know is, you better do something. At the very least, think about what this article is trying to say. I guarantee you results of some kind, either way.

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t – you’re right.”

Going outside of your comfort zone is the key to true success in this business. If you’re willing to learn, and I mean really learn and give up all the bad habits that are common place in the real estate agent business, you will shock even yourself.

Little steps.

Recommended Reading
Work By Referral, Live the Good Life!

By Thomas McGiveron
Join me on Google+

To learn more about how and what I do, call me. I’m not the “number one” agent in the world, but I know how to deliver customer service, ask for and earn referrals and I’m growing my business. Join me and I’ll help you grow ours together!

How To Close A FSBO

The FSBO. What can be said about “working fsbo’s”? They’re all very different to a certain extent. However, they all share common themes. One of those themes is, they don’t believe that using a Realtor is a necessary “evil” so to speak.

The title of this article is ‘how to close a fsbo’, so I’m going to explain what “close” means to me and you’ll get the picture.

One of the most common mistakes I see agents make when talking with a For Sale by Owner is that agents talk too much. They talk too much on the phone trying to convince a stranger, on the phone, that they are needed to help sell homes.

The word close means…shut something, to finish or move to a resolution of some kind. Agents, on the phone, do the exact opposite by opening up doors to conversations that are big and broad…on the phone.

The last thing I focused on when I used to call FSBO’s was opening up the door to a broader conversation. I didn’t want that on the phone. I was calling to make an appointment. Let me repeat that, you’re sole responsibility on the phone with a prospective seller, any seller of any kind, is to make an appointment. Period.

What I hear instead are people going back and forth with a stranger on the phone, debating their very own professional necessity.

Typical Initial FSBO Conversation: A = Agent O = Owner
O – Hello.
A – Hi, I’m calling about the house for sale. Is it still available?
O – Yes.
A – Great. This is John Doe of ABC Realty. How are you today?
O – I’m not interested in working with any agents.
A – Well I’m just trying to get some basic information if that’s alright. (I may have a buyer for your house).
O – Well we’re trying to sell it ourselves.
A – I understand, let me ask you just a few quick questions…You’re asking $X for the house?
O – Yes that’s right.
A – Okay and out of curiousity, how’s the activity been?

Now the point here is to keep them on the phone. However, It’s leading into more of a conversation than is necessary.

Let’s switch gears and just try and “close” the FSBO as fast as possible, so as to increase the amount of calls one can make to subsequent owners.

Closing FSBO on Initial Call
O – Hello.
A – Hi, I’m calling about the house for sale. Is it still available?
O – Yes.
A – Great. My name is John Doe of ABC Realty. How are you today?
O – I’m not interested in working with agents.
A – That’s okay. Is that because you’re trying to save on the commission, which is understandable in this economy?
O – Yes.
A – I completely understand. Let me ask you one quick question. Since this home is in my market area, if I had a buyer who was willing to pay your price and my commission, could we then work together?
O – Yes.
A – Well that’s great. And you’re asking how much?
O – $X
A – Okay, I’d like to view the house for my potential clients. What evening is best for you? Wed or Thurs or would morning be better?

Now here you see that the content of the conversation is driving in one direction only. To make an appointment. That’s it.

In the future, if you feel yourself being sucked into a conversation with a prospect or FSBO in this case, just remember to move them to a close, rather than open Pandora’s box with too many questions. Save the questions for the APPOINTMENT.

This is a basic dialogue but I would also say that’s it an advanced dialogue only because I hear so many agents fumbling and bumbling around and dancing on the phone back and forth with a stubborn FSBO.

Make the appointment and make it happen. You can’t write a listing on the phone – ever.

Recommended Reading/Course Material:
How to Make $100,000+ Your First Year as a Real Estate Agent

Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale

Born To Win: The Ultimate Seminar

How To Create A Facebook Fan Page

So you want to learn how to create a facebook fan page? That’s simple enough. But why?

That’s what I’m going to challenge you with first! Think about it first, then create a facebook fan page.

So you’re done thinking about it already huh? Okay, we’ll get right to it. But I’ll be posting more on how to use a facebook fan page in the future. That will be a must-read article!

So I assume you already have a facebook profile. If you don’t, the directions are simple, go to facebook.com and create one.

As for the fan page, you want to follow these steps:

  1. Visit this link (AFTER YOU HAVE CREATED YOUR BASIC FACEBOOK PROFILE) http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
  2. Share the page with your friends (if you don’t have any friends on your regular page, then you need to reach out to people and send them friend requests).
  3. Ask friends to Like your page by visiting it and clicking the Like button.
  4. Once you get to 25 fans, visit this page http://www.facebook.com/username/ and select your page from the drop down menu and name it.

You see, when you actually first begin a page, your page will show with a bunch of numbers. What you want your page to look like is something that’s marketable. Is facebook.com/7563826483829111/awesome/ something easily marketed or is facebook.com/awesome better?

Yes, now you’re catching on.

Should you need any help with this, please by all means, visit me on google+ and ask away. If you send me a message too, I can answer you back from my cell!

By Thomas McGiveron
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Work By Referral: Your Database

Any article that I even attempt to write on this topic must first include full acknowledgement to the master himself, Brian Buffini – Work By Referral, Live the Good Life!

Now I joined Buffini & Company in November of 2011 and I haven’t looked back. I completed Buffini’s “Peak Producers” in Spring of 2012 and all I’ve done is grow my referral and database foundation. I highly recommend you attend a Turning Point near you!

So, the title of this post is about your database. A database is a list of relationships, as Brian notes in his extensive training on the subject. It’s really your starting point. Without a database, you don’t have a business.

Now I will talk more about databases, the technology in other articles but for now, simplify. Grab a pen and a pad and start writing. That’s it. That’s your database. Nothing fancy, just names, addresses and phone numbers of everyone you know. That’s where you’re going to start and get referrals from.

When you think you’ve included everyone on there, think again. Think harder. Write down as many people as you can. Then do this again and again until you’ve exhausted yourself.

If you’re an agent who’s done some business in the past, you’re going to include your past clients – all of them. If you’re new to the business, you’re going to be writing down just people you know. Both seasoned agents and new agents will write down everyone they know. Everyone.

Organizing The Database

Since I don’t want to infringe on Brian Buffini’s copyright, all I will say is first, enroll in his coaching. The other thing I can do is just encourage you to categorize your database into 1′s, 2′s, and 3′s. Anyone you feel that won’t produce a referral for you in the future or any past client that was a jerk, scratch them from your list.

Now you’re 1′s should be people in your database that you get along with very well. People who know you and either have given you a referral in the past or will be most likely to in the future. 1′s are your best people.

The people categorized as 2′s will be those that are acquaintances who you might send a holiday card to, perhaps friends of family members, etc. And your 3′s might be your landscaper and other house help or people you know in the community. Remember, write down everyone.

If you don’t have a 1,2 or 3 address or phone number, get it. Without them they’re not really in your database. This also will help you get out and meet with people and talk to people. Don’t have Aunt Margie’s phone number or address? Call Mom and get it! Then call Aunt Margie!

The point of all this is to organize your business and get to know the people who can and will get you business. It’s a different mindset actively pursuing referrals. It’s a more professional way, in my opinion, to manage a business whereas cold-calling and knocking on doors is more of a straight salesman approach to trying to earn a commission check.

Your commitment to establishing a database sooner than later will help you organize your business, at the very least. Keep it simple is the golden rule. Do nothing else until you’ve got this squared away. This is step one. Good luck!

Certified Mentor

Buffini & Company offers a program called Peak Producers, which I highly recommend to any agent out there. The only challenge is, this is offered in limited capacity because so many brokers do not work by referral and haven’t for the training.

At Realty Connect USA, where I have my license, my broker jumped at this opportunity and is a certified mentor. Did I mention we, the agents, earn 90% on commissions? Contact me for more info.

The bottom line is, the Brian Buffini system of working by referral is without a doubt, the single-most effective and satisfying way of owning and running a real estate agent business. It makes you a professional. It makes you a better agent for your consumer.

Expireds: Dialogues & Marketing

So you’ve been told that real estate expired’s are a great way to get listings. It’s my personal opinion that next to Working By Referral and fsbo’s, expired’s are definitely a good source for acquiring business. So I’ll get right to some dialogues and some marketing ideas.

First a quick note: I do not market to expired listings any longer. I do not door knock or spend anytime doing this. I work by referral exclusively now.

Dialogues: Door Knocking

Initial Knock (Owner short on patience)
Agent: “Hello, how are you? My name is _____ and I’m sure a lot of real estate agents have been knocking on your door. I know it’s crazy. Obviously you were trying to sell your home and I was wondering if I could take a quick peak at the house if you have a minute.”

Owner: “No, not at this time.”

Agent: “Well I’ll only be literally three minutes. I’m very well vested in this area and I may have a buyer for your home today.”

Owner: “Why didn’t you show it to them when it was listed?”

Agent: “The short answer is, I have commitments to sell my own listings, my company listings and lastly, I literally may have missed yours for a few different reasons. Taking a quick 3 minute tour will help me help you perhaps.”

Owner: “Not at this time. (Or some form of ‘not now’).

Agent: “Look I know a ton of agents have been by perhaps and it’s just frustrating you didn’t sell, but I promise to be less than three minutes.”

If owner persists, say this: “I understand. Look you obviously have something else you’d rather be doing than talking with me. Quick question, do you want to still sell your home?” If owner says no, leave card with them and follow up with letter in mail and another door knock in 3 to 5 days.

If owner says yes, you say, “Okay, well when would be a better time for us to get together? Does this time tomorrow work or would the morning be better?”

If owner says something about “not being interested”, you say, “Okay, I will be back in this area with one of my buyers on [name a specific day], would you mind if I called you to set up an appointment?” Get their phone number.

Initial Knock (Owner friendly disposition)
Agent: “Hello, how are you? My name is _____ and I’m sure a lot of real estate agents have been knocking on your door. I know it’s crazy. Obviously you were trying to sell your home and I was wondering if I could take a quick peak at the house if you have a minute.”

Owner: “Now’s not the best time.”

Agent: “Okay, well could I make an appointment with you to view the home?”

Make the appointment and provide them with a business card and literature you may have brought with you.

Now how do you determine the “friendly/not friendly”? I do it based solely on smile or how they open the door. If they don’t even open the front door to say hello, and don’t have a smile, that’s indication enough for me that I have to fight a little to get in/get an appointment.

If they smile and open their screen door and their general disposition is more inviting, but it’s not a good time to talk, I go immediately to scheduling a better time to chat. Because they’re nice, I really don’t want to “bust their chops” as much.

Marketing Material (Sample)

I used to mail something like this out (see below) or I would bring it with me and leave it behind if no one answers the door. I also have a letter that I would leave on my initial drive by where I didn’t knock on the door. I simply left a letter stating my intention to come by on a Saturday (or specific day I knew I’d be back) and say hello and discuss their home and intentions to sell on that day.

Don’t forget that at the bottom of all your marketing material you should include the clause: If your home is listed with a broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit the listings of other brokers.

Suggested Reading Material
How To Become a Power Agent in Real Estate : A Top Industry Trainer Explains How to Double Your Income in 12 Months

Perfect Phrases for Real Estate Agents & Brokers (Perfect Phrases Series)

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