eNewsletter Archive List

April/May 2016 Creating Culture
March 2016 Playing Small
February 2016 Emotional Intelligence
January 2016 Principle-based Living
December 2015 Random Acts of Kindness
November 2015 Micro-inequities
October 2015 Build the Relationship
September 2015 Tell the Truth
August 2015 Our Responsibility
July 2015 Passive vs. Assertive vs. Aggressive
June 2015 Hell Yes
May 2015 “Clutter”
April 2015 “I’m really busy!”
March 2015 What’s Happening in the Bay Area
February 2015 Belief Systems
July 2014 Bad Manners
May 2014 Resonating
March 2014 Ten Ideas
December 2013 Ten Reminders for the New Year
October 2013 Abundance vs Scarcity
August 2013 Networking
July 2013 Optimism
May 2013 Sphere of Influence
April 2013 So much business
March 2013 Consistency II
October 2012 Trust Bank
July 2012 Gift of Listening
June 2012 Activities
April 2012 The Fatigue Factor
January 2012 Consistency I
December 2011 Calling Sphere
October 2011 Setting Boundaries

 

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April/May 2016 eNewsletter

Creating Culture

In several conversations with Realtors and loan agents recently, I have been talking about "culture" or the environment in which they work and how they want to change it. I view your businesses as having 2 cultures. The first is the one that your company created where you may have little influence as to the development of the culture.  The second is the one that you create for yourself and your team (which might include an assistant, a buyer's agent, a listing coordinator, your affiliates and sub-contractors).  I think both are worth discussing here.

The environment in your office may be one of professionalism, collaboration and learning. Or you may notice that the environment in your office has a low level of accountability or the marketing standards seems low or inconsistent or that the receptionist is not doing his or her job welcoming clients who call or come into the office. I have noticed that some office have an atmosphere of non-collaboration - meaning I am afraid of sharing good ideas as the colleague sitting next to me may copy my best ideas.

It may not be appropriate for you to give the manager or broker feedback, even though it is for the betterment of the office.  This is challenging!

Here is how to affect the company culture without providing feedback:

1. Behave in a way that exudes the desired change - always in the affirmative.

2. Speak about improving the office as a whole, not the individual issues. I call this speaking from the office or company vision - not your own point of view or vision.

Example: "I think that we should be supporting and seeing each other's listings. I think it helps all of us if we go on tour and see all of the office listings. It communicates to the sellers that we are a team and that we support one another."

3.    Offer to help other agents when they need coverage at an Open House due to illness.

4.    Speak about volunteering at your non-profit to encourage others to do the same.

5.    Be responsive (within 2 hours) to your colleagues in the office and see how it affects others.

6.    Compliment agents when they do something well.

7.    Be accountable and turn in ad copy on time, etc.

8.    Solve conflict masterfully and within 24 hours (that is my own rule!) if possible.

Creating your own culture is much easier but takes some planning and consistent behavior. If you have several people on your team, have a meeting to discuss your vision of yourself and the team, and how you work together. Think about the service you provide and your reputation. What will you be known for?  Who are you?

Revisit this with the team at least once a year to see how you are performing against the desired goals and culture.  Remember that you are the keeper of the vision and the leader in creation of the culture. You set the standard, you raise it and you need to address it when the culture is shifting in the wrong direction.

Some character traits to address when creating your culture:

Will Power, Fortitude, Integrity, Humility, Compassion, Generosity, Kindness, Empathy, Sympathy, Collaborative, Patient, Good Listener, Open, Curious about Life and Others, Flexibility, Optimism, Loyalty, Determination, Service-oriented, Supportive, Accountability, and more.

Have fun with it. Make it a priority. It takes time to build a culture!

Thanks for listening!

Kitty


March 2016 eNewsletter

Playing Small

All of us at some time in our lives have "played small". I am referring to Marianne Williamson's quote: "Your playing small does not serve the world."

A block, a barrier, a negative thought or an intimidating person throw us back a few steps. We set a low goal instead of reaching for the stars because we are "not enough". We never go after something we say we want because we have a fear of failure or a fear of success. Or we lower our standards, or never set any standards because that would mean we had to "try" to achieve them.

One agent said to me, "I don't want to go after that farm; too many big producers work that area."

Another revealed, "I have never sold anything over a million dollars. I can't really work in that market. I didn't come from money."

A third: "I would rather plan my goal really low so I make it."

All of this "stuff" above comes into our thoughts because we are operating from fear. It doesn't serve you, your family, your clients or the world. Why not play fully?

What would it look like? To go through the negative belief systems. To operate in abundance? Can you imagine not dealing with this negative thinking?

Can you imagine only seeing what is possible?

Can you imagine reaching something that you thought you didn't deserve? That you thought was out of your reach?

I have been talking to many coaching and training clients in the last few months about "playing fully". Isn't time we shut off that tape in our head that is full of lies?

I intend to play fully by:

* Surrounding myself with positive people who love and support one another.

* Living my life with happiness, joy, serenity and success.

* Being kind, loving, generous, sympathetic and empathetic.

* Demonstrating courage, tenacity and independence.

* Living my life with great abandon and freedom (my most important value).

I expect success. Isn't time we all did?

Thanks for listening!

Kitty


February 2016 eNewsletter

Emotional Intelligence

This term was coined by Daniel Goleman. "Emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is the capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior."

It has been a nifty term to describe when we have the ability to recognize what is going on with us and others, and then knowing what to do with those emotions. I love observing Emotional Intelligence (and the lack thereof). Some people come by it naturally. Others have no idea what this concept is all about.

I recently spent some time with 3 people in 3 different situations that had vastly different levels of "EI." It was fascinating to watch.  I felt like I was in the middle of a huge case study. I was the researcher. They were the "rats".

The first was a man I met at an Open House for a Masters' Program on Saturday. (I am considering a master's' degree). We were all gathered in the lobby waiting for the presentation to begin. This man introduced himself to me, "Hi, my name is John." His confidence was noticeable. He had great eye contact, then strong handshake, then kind words and a hello to the new Program Chair that I was standing next to. Instead of the typical questions, he asked her what she was experiencing being part of the program.  I was shocked. I think she was too. Everyone else was asking questions that were focused on themselves, their needs and what they were going to get out of the program, including me. He was thoughtful, gently provocative and a truly superb listener.

Two hours later, he and I were seated in a room, waiting to listen to a presentation on Skype. I shared with him what I thought of his wonderful and generous questions. He smiled shyly and said thank you for noticing. I felt connected to him immediately and deeply.  (Too bad he wasn't single.)

The second person was a woman I talked to briefly at a training. She wanted my opinion on a rather complicated situation. She talked incessantly for 5 minutes, without taking a breath it seemed, and was clueless that I had only a 10 minute break and just might need to use the restroom. Or that I might need a break from standing for several hours in the training. I studied her intently as she talked. What caused her to be this very self-focused person who had no awareness of me, my emotions or anyone around her? Was this narcissism, unconscious, or just a challenging problem?  Who knows? The key - her behavior was annoying. I caught myself not listening. (I hate admitting that.)

The third person was a guest at a birthday party on Saturday night. There were over 30 people talking, drinking and celebrating the 60th birthday of a friend. I observed a friend of mine for about 45 minutes. She asked questions of others that she had just met. She was patient, kind, listened with a terrific ear and responded with more questions, then she finally moved the conversation to herself. I felt honored to know her.

Obviously, this highly developed ability to read others and oneself comes partly from our familial environment, the many different work cultures we have experienced and exposure to friends, family, etc. Society also has to play a role in how we develop this skill. Therapy would affect it too.

It is simply much more interesting to spend time with people of high Emotional Intelligence.  Please take a look at your own abilities. Is it innate or do you have to work at it?

Please choose consciously.

Thanks for listening!

Kitty


January 2016 eNewsletter

Principle-based Living

I have noticed something recently about the way we are doing business that is inconsistent with our values. We are not being true to ourselves. Many of you have heard me say this before - is your behavior in alignment with your goals? Go one step further - is your behavior in alignment with your principles? That is the heart of the issue.

Let me explain.

The Stories:

1. A coaching client asked me how to approach someone whose mother had died because the house would be sold. He explained to me what he intended to write in the letter to the son and I realized the agent I knew was not coming across accurately in the letter. His kindness and big heart was not obvious. I suggested edits to the letter demonstrating his compassion (his own father died 2 years ago and we mentioned that and how he could take care of all the details). He got the appointment and then signed the listing.  He was true to his character and values. (Of course there is more to this, but not room to tell the entire story.)

2. Another agent asked me how to get an elderly woman to clean out her house. He had the listing signed, but she had accumulated "stuff" for decades and was moving very slowly in the de-cluttering process. He was afraid that he had said some things to her that caused her to go even more slowly. He asked me for help. How could he repair the relationship?

I coached him to call her (or better yet - meet with her in person), apologize for not listening, and let her know that he was there to support her. He told her that she could take all the time she needed and he understood that it was a big task and very emotional. She then cleaned out the property very quickly! Obviously he did a terrific job of saying sorry.

3. A client of mine asked how to deal with a potential client in his 80's, whose male friend had listed the property originally and the listing had expired. The agent/friend was selling real estate in the same old fashioned manner as he did 20 years ago. He did not have the seller update the property, nor stage it. My coaching client could see exactly why it didn't sell. No updating, no staging and overpriced! My advice was to approach the seller, be compassionate, talk about what needed to be done to sell the property in this market, and offer to pay the original listing agent a referral fee. I will hear shortly about the result.

(The stories have been changed slightly to protect the innocent.)

Summary:

Please take a hard look - Are you operating your business based on the principles you live by? Are you demonstrating that you understand each client's particular needs? Have you put yourself in the client's shoes and felt what he/she is experiencing? Are you looking at the reason for the move?  Birth, divorce, death, down sizing, job transfer, promotion or loss of a job?  Are you listening and responding appropriately or are you treating all the clients the same?

I believe that we forget sometimes that we are dealing with a very emotional transition. It doesn't matter whether it is a happy or sad occasion. Moves can be devastating and we neglect to express our sympathy about the reason for the move. Every one of your clients is under stress. Remember that and you will do more business.

It is time we returned to operating our business from our core principles. What are yours?

Some of mine: Integrity, listening, compassion, patience, gratitude, accountability, and fun!

Thanks for listening!

Kitty


December 2015 eNewsletter

Random Acts of Kindness

We have all heard and appreciated this phrase since the book, Random Acts of Kindness, was written. These random acts are small gestures that warm the heart, sweeten the soul, and help us remember the best in each other. They also build intimate connections with strangers without expectation, or reward.

On December 21st, I met two pals in the city for lunch. That day it was pouring buckets, coming in and out of the city. I walked to my car solo and noticed a guy without a coat or umbrella approaching the crosswalk. He was soaking wet. I stood next to him, holding my umbrella over the two of us.  He glanced my way, pulled away slightly, assessing me for signs of lunacy and decided that I was acceptable, and laughed a bit. I said I was happy to share for a minute. We walked across the street together and parted ways. He smiled and said thank you.

The day before Christmas, I was back in the city for client appointments. I noticed a man that I presumed to be homeless on the steps of a Sacramento Street church. He was rummaging through a back pack as I stopped to talk to him.

"Hi, how are you?" I said. (I felt a bit awkward.)  I asked gently, "Are you homeless?" He said, "Yes I am."

I asked, "Where do you sleep?" He said, "Around the corner."

He was no more than 50 and looked like he just had been down on his luck.

"Are you hungry?" I asked. "Could you use a meal?"  He said, "Yes I am."

I responded, "Here, this can help towards some food." I handed him $5. (Now it seems so small.)
His eyes filled up a bit and he said very enthusiastically, "Merry Christmas!" to me with a lovely smile on his face. My eyes filled up too. I thought I am going to do this again.

A few days ago, I was on my way to meet a client in Nordstrom Pleasanton for lunch. A Pepsi can blew off the overflowing garbage can outside the store entrance in front of me. I picked it up and pushed it down on top of the trash. I hadn't noticed a man walking behind me, who said, "I can't believe you did that." I was quite dressed up in a dress with a long coat, scarf and boots. I smiled and told him I had been doing small things like that for a couple of days and that it just made me feel good and grateful. He held the door for me and we parted ways with grins on our faces.

These three gestures were so small and so wonderful - to observe people's reactions, to feel the warmth of strangers and to give to others. My message this month is to reach out and touch someone's life and see what happens. These random acts changed me and I will continue to do one every day if I can.

Happy 2016 to all of you!

Thanks, Kitty


November 2015 eNewsletter

Micro-inequities

I read this phrase several years ago in an article and thought it was time to share it as I experienced it recently four times.

From the internet - A Micro-inequity is a theory that refers to hypothesized ways in which individuals are either singled out, overlooked, ignored, or otherwise discounted based on an unchangeable characteristic such as race or gender.

In 1973 Mary Rowe(link is external), while working for the President and Chancellor at MIT, coined the notion of micro-inequities, which she defined as "apparently small events which are often ephemeral and hard-to-prove, events which are covert, often unintentional, frequently unrecognized by the perpetrator, which occur wherever people are perceived to be 'different.' "  Examples of micro-inequities include:

checking emails or texting during a face-to-face conversationconsistently mispronouncing a person's nameinterrupting a person mid-sentencemaking eye-contact only with males while talking to a group containing both males and femalestaking more questions from men than womenconfusing a person of a certain ethnicity with another person of the same ethnicityraising your voice, even though the other person has no difficulties hearing youmentioning the achievements of some people at a meeting but not others whose achievements are equally relevantconsistently ignoring a person's emails for no good reason

These are my recent encounters with it.

1. I recently attended a party at a girlfriend's house where I knew almost no one. A few people arrived and literally the first 5 people that walked by me didn't say hello, hi, or even look at me. I was standing so close to them it was odd and awkward. It would have been the most natural and normal thing in the world to acknowledge me in some way.

2.  I walked into a real estate office in early October and stood at the front desk while the receptionist kept talking to a colleague. This went on for a few minutes; she did not look up. I knew she saw me. I waited patiently (honestly I wanted to report her to her manager whom I know well) and was ticked by the time she said, "How can I help you?"

3.  A few months ago, a cashier in a store scanned my items and then placed the receipt in front of me to sign and dropped the pen on the counter instead of handing it to me. The pen bounced on the counter.

4.  I emailed the president of a company about asking her for advice in coaching an employee of hers. I have been hired by this company many times to coach and train. No response whatsoever. What is that?!

All of these are slights and they may be unconscious but it doesn't matter. They are all rude in my mind. I was appalled to experience it.   Please pay attention to this and don't be part of it. It hurts your business and hurts all of mankind.

Thanks, Kitty


October 2015 eNewsletter

Build the Relationship

Hi everyone,

A new coaching client asked me recently to explain how I knew I got a listing in the initial appointment of 20 minutes. I always did 2-stop listings. I explained how I spoke to the woman, and bonded with her. I asked her about the blueberry and raspberry vinegar on her kitchen counter. I was truly interested as I had never seen them before. (OK... I am up there in age! This was 23 years ago.) He said he then understood why I was a successful listing agent. I showed interest in her and her life.

That conversation taught me something  - that perhaps I am not explaining enough about how to build a deep, solid and exceptional relationship with a client (and everyone) that provides repeat business and referrals for years.

So here is that explanation - I will use the pronoun "she" to make it less cumbersome than "he/she".

1.   Are you listening at a deep level?  Did you hear what she said and what she didn't say?

2.   Did you read her body language while she talked and when she didn't?

3.   Did you make a note about her tone? Was it happy, nervous, sad, emotional?

4.   Did your heart tell you something about her as well as your mind?

5.   Did your intuition speak and tell you about her?

6.   Did you keep the conversation on her or did you bring it back to you because you think that builds rapport. (If you do that too often, it communicates that "it's all about you!"   THIS IS CRITICAL!

7.   Are you asking open ended questions? (Tell me more... How does that make you feel...  Why is that important...)

8.   Are you conscious of the delivery? Speedy, too slow or just right? Are you racing through the questions or statements to get it done?

9.   Is your tone warm, friendly and medium in volume?

10.               Are you having eye contact? Or do you look away because you are uncomfortable?

Learning how to communicate in this way is a gift. It makes the client feel valued and validated. I know I appreciate it when I am treated this way.

Practice with your friends, spouse, partner or kids until the approach becomes second nature. It can change your business and all relationships forever!

Thanks!

Kitty

A caveat - you have to "custom build the relationship".  Your communication and listening skills with one client will be vastly different than the next.


September 2015 eNewsletter

Tell the Truth

Coaching clients often tell me stories about over priced listings (or a potential seller who wants to list well above Fair Market Value).

We have this conversation with sellers without redirecting the seller to the critical issue -  That what the seller wants has nothing to do with its value. They are unrelated.

None of these has anything to do with the value:

What the seller paid for itWhat the seller needsWhat the seller wantsWhat the property down the street sold for 6 months ago.

Why are we afraid to have this conversation? Because we are afraid to lose the listing by being direct? Because we are afraid to damage the relationship?

Do you have a problem making such direct statements?

I would urge you to practice your script a few times to get comfortable telling the seller the truth. If you fail to do so, it will come back to haunt you and cause more problems in the relationship than if you told the truth up front. You just get fired later or receive no referrals because the seller can see that you were afraid to address the issue up front. Respect is lost.

By the way:  I am not saying that a seller can't wait until spring to "get their price". That is fine. I am saying we need to educate, advise, and be very clear about how a buyer and his/her agent (and the appraiser) determines their offer price. By the comparable sales.

Tell the truth. Tell the clients what they need to hear - not what they want to hear. I have found that speaking the truth in every situation works to develop meaningful, long lasting relationships. Clients recognize that we have to say some challenging things and they respect us more, not less.

Thanks, Kitty


August 2015 eNewsletter

Our Responsibility

I think we have an enormous responsibility in this lifetime to do the right thing with the power and influence we have as leaders in our community. The older I get, the more I think this.

I think we should be committed to learning, to growing, and using our assets (intellect, energy, and our physical being), and our skills to help our brothers and sisters come along for the ride.  What does this mean?

What we do with that responsibility and influence can be wonderfully positive or negative. We can impact others in a destructive way so easily - A slight when we run into them, a lack of response, or a comment about their pricing on a listing.

We need to demonstrate by example through our interactions. I call it "training others" by how we treat them.  Our colleagues don't know that we trained them. They just experience an accepting, collegial and warm way of interacting.  How hard can it be to always be kind, patient and forgiving?

The result:  Others (clients and colleagues) want to be around you because you were without judgment. It is a rare interaction or relationship in business today that feels truly accepting.

Questions to ponder:

Have you gossiped about a colleague because you thought he/she was not bright? Perhaps he/she was just having a bad day due to an upsetting event in his/her personal life.

Did you judge someone in your mind because they have less experience in the business and he/she didn't know how to manage the huge pile of paperwork for a condo transaction?

Do you show patience and acceptance of new Realtors or loan agents in the community? Or did you act like a know-it-all?

Were you rude for no reason?

Have you ever said something snippy to another person? These were said to me: "What... don't you have any client control?" and "Just how long have you been in the business?"  (You can guess the tone of voice - belittling!)

Results of being conscious of your influence as a leader in the community:

You are asked for advice.People notice your compassion.Your patience makes for a more balanced life.Your kind, forgiving nature forges long term healthy relationships.Your reputation is enhanced.You are respected by the brokerage community.

Think about this. I recommend it.

Thanks, Kitty


July 2015 eNewsletter 

Passive vs. Assertive vs. Aggressive

Every client is in at least three high stress situations while buying or selling real estate; the reason for the move (birth, marriage, death, divorce, job promotion, etc.), the process of obtaining a mortgage, the moving, and the transaction itself.

Many times during the last month I have had a conversation with a coaching client about how and when to be assertive, without being pushy and tarnishing one’s reputation. Conversely, how can we be patient, gentle, and a good listener, yet not appear soft or indecisive?

This is truly a balancing act. Some situations demand that you be stronger in tone, words and style. Others need the softer, kinder style. It is critical to be attentive to customizing your communication style depending on the client’s communication style and their style.

What does aggressive look like? (I believe this one should be rarely used.)

  • You begin a sentence with, “YOU should, YOU need to, YOU ought to or Look, you need to…”
  • You try to “push” clients into a decision that you think is the best one.
  • You don’t listen to your clients’ needs and wants; you’re focused on your own – which is to get paid.
  • You get impatient.
  • You demonstrate judgment through your words, body language and tone.
  • You feel incensed that they aren’t listening to you. (Did you put yourself in their shoes?)
  • The clientspush back because they have gleaned from your communication style that they are merely a number to you.(You have calculated the commission and it is obvious).

 

What does passive look like?

  • You are afraid to be direct and say what you think.
  • You won’t speak up when they choose the worst of the 3 options you gave them.
  • You avoid conflict regularly.
  • You take too long to have the challenging conversation about commission, a price reduction or the low offer they want to write.
  • You simply are afraid of losing the client or not being liked.

 

What does assertive look like?

  • You are clear, direct and you exude confidence.
  • You say what you think in a neutral manner.
  • You have expressed your concerns for their unwise decisions.
  • You never use the words: “Look, you need to” OR the others from the Aggressive section above.
  • You have set clear boundaries with the client about how you work, the hours you are available, and what is expected of them to buy or sell a property.
  • You always educate clients up front about the process.
  • You are comfortable telling clients what can go wrong in this particular market.

 

Summary: It is very challenging for some of us to be assertive with everyone all day long, especially with strong personalities and dominant types. It is so important that you learn this trait because you cannot build trust and respect, two essential components of your relationship building.

Please take the time to think through the above. What are you doing that is hurting the development of strong, long term relationships with clients and colleagues?

Thanks, Kitty

 

June 2015 eNewsletter 

If it’s not a hell yes it’s a no.

I was talking to a girlfriend the other day about a date that I’d had, and after a long conversation, she said, “If he’s not a hell yes, he’s a no.

I love that statement because it’s so simple. It’s honest, it’s true and it’s powerful. And the best part of the statement – it gives you a high standard to follow and it keeps your boundaries clear. That same principle applies to your real estate or loan agent business. How many of you have worked with a client who tested your patience, was chronically late, did not return a phone call, or never took your advice (and then complained afterwards)?

Wouldn’t it be novel to only work with clients who workthe same way you do?If the client is a “hell yes,” she listens to your advice, she closes the transaction, and she refers you business for years. If the client is a “no,”thenrefer her, terminate the relationship, or have what I call “the blunt discussion.” (This is how I work… do you want to work in this way or shall we part ways?)

How do we set the boundaries in the initial appointment? We ask the client how he/she would like to work:

- What is your ideal method of communication and ideal frequency?
- Do you prefer succinct emails or would you prefer all the details?
- Do you make decisions quickly or do you need time to process over night?
- Are you willing to take my advice???
- For sellers: If you are willing to spend the time, money and energy to prepare the home for sale and stage it?That is what it will take to get top dollar.
- It takes planning and strategy to achieve the highest possible sales price in this market.
- For buyers: If you are willing to write a significant amount over the asking price and non-contingent upon a loan, appraisal, and inspection, then you will be successful in this market.
- It takes courage to buy in this market.

So, back to dating ☺, if the date is cheap, is chronically late, lies, or is evasive, it’s a hell no. If the date is kind, generous, has integrity, is fun, and curious about others, it’s a hell yes.

So, back to the internet. I’m still looking.

 

May 2015 eNewsletter 

“Clutter”

I took a week off to do a “stay-cation” in early May and get caught up on life, work, the garage, the garden, the many old documents in 3 file cabinets, etc. The list was overwhelming.

Did I finish? No, but it was quite satisfying to check off the ridiculously long list. I had help from my assistant. We easily spent 15 hours together. I spend another 15 hours on my own.

I had a handyman come in and build some shelves. I took many things to charities. I fixed sprinklers (I didn’t – the handyman did). I replaced the dead plants in the garden.

What did I learn??? That the clutter in my life was cluttering up my head, my work life and my personal life. I used to write down every good idea and think irrationally that I would be able to get to it within a few days. One of you would ask me for a script and I said,“Yes I have time to write it.”That is a lie. I don’t. Not in this state of mind.

I have not been in planning mode. I have been in reactive mode. I only get done what is critical each week. What am I thinking? I am the business coach.

For those of you who know me, I look very organized on the surface. Truthfully, I feel scattered and way out of control. The list is still long, but I had an epiphany. It was emotional. It was physical. It was even spiritual to figure this out.

I identified what keeps me from being truly productive and living life to the fullest and that is that TO DO LIST.

It haunts me. It keeps me up at night. It keeps me from being in the present. I am always thinking about how to get in 3 more errands before I go home. Every day is focused on that list. I feel like it strangles me. So… what was my lesson?

I am making time to get all the important things on the list completed within 2 weeks and then my agreement with myself is that:

The list stays current.

I say no to any more than I can complete that week.

I play more. I try to date. Hah!

I live my life without the nagging feeling that I don’t do enough for others. I do.

I am enough.

 

April 2015 eNewsletter 

“I’m really busy!”

In the last month, I have heard two familiar comments that are very telling.

1. “I am really busy” (and grateful that I am).” “I am slammed.”

OR

2. “I am thinking about changing brokerages.” Or “I am thinking about leaving real estate.” Or “I am so upset with that agent who stole that client from me." Or “I hate the business.”

What’s really going on with all of the statements in number 2?

You are not busy! And why? Because you are not willing to do what it takes. Secondly, you are so focused what isn’t working that you don’t take ownership of your own behavior. It is time you did. I say this with great compassion.

The market is hot. And it is very challenging. It is the toughest Seller’s Market I have ever seen. There is good movement everywhere. Twenty percent of the agents are on fire. Sixty percent are doing well. And the last twenty percent are crying the blues.

Which pool are you in?

I urge you to take advantage of this hot market and get going. Some great ideas (all have been tested):

  1. Have you called your past clients from your first few years in business? One agent got 3 listings this way.
  2. Have you sent out multiple sales postcards to sphere and your farm? One agent took 5 listings in the last year.
  3. If your SOI is not producing 70 to 80 percent of your business, then finds ways to add 10 new people per month. (Your sphere might be literally or figuratively dead.) Such events are:
  4. Have you been to a networking event to meet new people?
  5. Have you sent CMAs to past clients from your first few years?
  6. Did you send birthday cards out? Valentine’s Day cards? One agent took a listing from Valentine’s Day cards.
  7. Send a mailing about the possibility of interest rates going up. The buyer pool will decrease. It is a great time to sell to maximize your proceeds!

Back to the comment “I am so busy.” Be very careful about saying that out loud. Your clients will be concerned that you don’t have time for them or you don’t have time for their referrals.

So here is a better way to answer the question, “How are you doing in real estate?”

“I am so fortunate to have had a very good year last year and a great first part of this year, however I will always have time for you, your family and your friends.”

Happy spring!

Kitty

 

March 2015 eNewsletter 

I. What’s Happening in the Bay Area:

  1. Buyers are less loyal and less trusting than 4 years ago.
  2. Some are taking a break (some permanently). And when they do, sometimes they can no longer afford the price range they were looking in.
  3. Some sellers have gotten greedy (one got 4 offers over asking and didn’t accept any!).
  4. There is no inventory. In the city – it is 33% down over last year and every year has been lower!
  5. Why? Sellers are afraid to go on the market because they have no place to go.
  6. Some sellers cannot qualify for a new loan so they can’t sell.
  7. A good sign: Inventory doubled in last week’s tour in Berkeley from the week before.
  8. Interest rates will very likely go up sometime in the next few months. (The Fed Reserve will raise the discount rate.)
  9. Days on Market is below 14 for most properties.
  10. Many properties are selling “off market”. One client recently double ended two of her own listings.
  11. The Sales Price to List Price percentage is climbing. Everywhere! Estimate: 106% of list and many cities have a higher average.
  12. The farther away you are from San Francisco, the slower the market. (Translation: fewer offers, longer DOM and lower SP to LP percentage).
  13. Previous clients don’t always use us again. Dang!
  14. Most properties are updated and staged because they sell more quickly.
  15. The Buyers’ biggest concern – they can’t compete if they have a loan. They have to write higher to offset that fact. Then they have a possible appraisal problem.
  16. Cash is 25 to 35% of all the offers.
  17. The Paredo Rule is still in effect: 20% of the agents are doing 80% of the business. That 20% is who is getting the listings.
  18. The first 2 months of 2015 were off to a slow start for 80% of the agents.
  19. Open houses are a great way to pick up buyers if you don’t pounce on them. And meet sellers!
  20. Being a listing agent is always “king”. (Nothing new there)
  21. I have about a dozen clients who are super busy:

One has 11 transactions (active, pending or sold.)

One had 15 transactions (active, pending or sold.)

One has 22 transactions (active, pending or sold.)

One has 5 at an average of $1.7 M.

One opened 14 escrows in the last 2 months and signed 10 listings.

II. My Advice

  1. Be a listing agent
  2. Maintain a positive attitude – clients are reading your negativity and frustration.
  3. Market consistently – it will haunt you later if you don’t.
  4. Stay in touch with past clients and SOI. Or they will shop you when it comes time to buy or sell. Your database is critical.
  5. Add to that database until it gets above 300. You need it to be refreshed monthly because it gets stale. Referrals can dry up.
  6. Be a listing agent.
  7. Try new marketing – humor, quirky, creative and very direct is working!
  8. Provide extra services to be memorable.
  9. Attend networking events 4 times per month. It works!
  10. Do an Open House on the Saturday before the Sunday Open House for the neighbors alone. You meet SELLERS!
  11. Be a listing agent.
  12. Fix your personality. It’s still a relationshipbusiness!
  13. Do all of the above. ☺

 

February 2015 eNewsletter 

Belief Systems

I would like to share with you somestories about personal breakthroughs that changed the clients’ outlook and mind set about their business and themselves. And their incomes jumped.

The main reason for the “breakthroughs”?A change in the way that the client “framed” his or her story.In other words, telling yourself the truth.

Let me explain:

Story #1: A client recently described her very first listing (it was over $1M). The seller, who was a friend, was quite obstinate about spending money on an inspection to find out the condition of a raised area in her floor. She chose not to obtain the report. The house went into escrow very close to the asking price. The “raised floor” problem was noted on the buyer’s inspection report and the transaction fell apart. The buyer was frightened off by the inspector’s comments. Another buyer appears and the seller doesn’t take the offer, although again it was very close to the asking price. The seller lost the property 2 years later through foreclosure.

The agent knew intellectually that she did not do anything wrong. Emotionally she hung onto this “mistake”for 4 years. She considered it her fault. We uncovered it in coaching and she let go once she realized that it had nothing to do with her. She did nothing wrong.

The truth? The seller chose not to take her advice. She increased her income by nearly $200,000 in one year.

Story #2: Several years ago, I was coaching an agent for whom English was a second language. She didn’t speak it perfectly. (But who among us, who were born here, speak it correctly?)

She often asked me to correct her emails, notes and her speech. I refused to, stating that it was okay to make a mistake. That became a major breakthrough for her and her business doubled in the 1st year of working together. Now she earns 5 times that amount.

Story #3: This story is shocking. I noticed that a client was exhausted. She kept taking on more and more. Every minute of her schedule was filled. She was a Realtor, had taken a part time job, was in school getting her masters degree, had just had her second baby, and had a husband! I asked her why she filled up every minute of her schedule as full as she could, and what was she trying to prove? And to whom?

She had an epiphany about an ugly (and very inappropriate) comment from a teacher when she was 16 years old. The teacher said something to the effect that that she would never amount to anything because she was stupid.

The lesson from these stories? Tell yourself the truth. The facts, not the emotional story. Most of the time, you didn’t make a mistake. And move on. You don’t have time to dwell on the upsets. Just learn the lesson and don’t repeat it!

 

July 2014 eNewsletter 

Bad Manners

Good manners are to be treasured and savored. They seem to be getting scarcer these days as etiquette and courtesy have disappeared.

I have noticed that many people do not write thank you notes at all anymore. This is a gentle reminder that you should write a note for all dinners, lunches, and other events to which you were invited and attended. Also a note should be written for gifts or thoughtful actions towards you. These actions are rare today and always appreciated.

Example: I held an event last year for clients and I tracked the “thank you” notes and calls. Approximately 25% of the attendees sent an email, a note or called me afterward. I find that appalling.

Want more referrals? Clean up your manners in all areas.

How?

Say hello to everyone in your office every day.
Learn the staff’s names and be polite always.
Always begin and end appointments with a thank you.
Give undivided attention with clients, colleagues (everyone!)
Use “Please”, “Thank you”, “You are welcome” and “Nice to meet you” often.
Do not repeat gossip; it should end with you.
Never complain in public; it is boring.
Demonstrate the same courtesy to subordinates as superiors
Be respectful with very experienced coworkers and clients (they worked in a different era)
Do not ever use sexist or racial terms
Be aware of people’s special needs – hearing problem, a bad back, absenteeism for a religious holiday
When receiving recognition, mention the contributions of others
Take the role of host when the host of an event is busy
Learn people’s names and titles, especially the receptionist at any company
Introduce yourself if joining a meeting late; do not interrupt the conversation
Introduce yourself to new colleagues
Listen, have eye contact and be attentive when others are speaking

Remember – you are building a reputation for good manners by everything that you do!

 

May 2014 eNewsletter 

Resonating

I think one of the most important factors that make us successful in any sales business is “resonating”.
My definition: Resonating is when you are “in the zone”, on top of your game, getting referrals on a regular basis, and when you just notice that you feel relaxed, confident and in general are very successful.
What percentage of the last 12 months were you resonating?
Most people tell me 25%. A few say 50%. I would like you to recognize that you are in charge of this and it can be 90% every week, month or year.
It is a conscious choice to resonate.
So… how do we resonate when we are in a bad mood or some business we expected just vanished? 
Here are ways that make you resonate:

  1. Greet everyone you meet at the office and elsewhere. People will find you warm and friendly, and want to do business with you.
  2. If you are in a bad mood, go to the door and check your attitude like a coat. Leave it there. You don’t have time. Everyone can read you; you are not that good of an actor.
  3. Pretend to be in a good mood if you have to. I have noticed repeatedly that suddenly my bad mood lifted if I “faked” it.
  4. Frame everything in a positive light if possible.  You are perceived as a pessimist if you use these phrases often: “I can’t do that… I am not willing to do …  That won’t work….”  Most people have no idea how negative they sound.
  5. Smile a lot more. Exude confidence, relax, and move and speak a little slower if you are a fast thinker and mover.
  6. And last: Stay in the present. Most people can read through your body language that your mind left the conversation. Clients feel invalidated easily by our behavior as they are in high stress mode.  Slow down, pay attention, listen and respond to what was said.

Choose to resonate every day. It will dramatically change your business.
Thank you.

March 2014 eNewsletter 

Ten Ideas 

Hi everyone,
Instead of a single topic this month, I decided to share some of the key things I learned this quarter that were breakthroughs for clients or me!

  1. You all know how I harp on this:   Three clients I met with recently got business from calls to Sphere of Influence: 1. One woman made one call in a 2-week period, picked up a buyer, put it in escrow in a few days and it is closing soon!  Just think what would happen if she made the 10 calls per week that she had agreed to!

    Another called 3 people and the middle call was turned into an “A” buyer, meaning ready to buy in the next 3 months. 
    A third admitted that he had been lying about making the calls, felt guilty, made the 10 calls and got a buyer and a seller out of one phone call to a past client!  

    The lesson: 80% of your business this year is inside your database – you just don’t know which ones are buying or selling or referring!Call 5 today!And every day.

  2. I have been very focused on how to help those who will NOT stay in touch with sphere and past clients. Two revelations – 1. Don’t ask for business. (That seems to be the key – issues of rejection.) Just be positive when speaking about how well you are doing.  2. Those who have to text me Monday through Friday with the number of calls they made are having breakthroughs!  They have been too embarrassed to say they didn’t make the calls.  
  3. Send your past clients a CMA at least twice a year. It keeps them in touch with you and keeps them in touch with their property’s value.
  4. Please be creative with your marketing. Doing the same old things doesn’t grab attention.  One postcard idea: “Your equity is back above 2007 levels” is working!
  5. One client is doing well with sending letters versus postcards. It gets the recipients to open them. She gets about 2 to 3 listing leads per month.
  6. Another is using the Open House script (that I wrote years ago) with great success. The key question: “How did you find the Open House today?” It tells you who is a buyer, a seller or a neighbor.
  7. Consider a new farm and mail 7 times in 7 weeks. It works to break in quickly versus in 18 months, which is the average!
  8. As always - Check your behavior daily. Is your behavior in alignment with your goals?  I know the answer is no!
Happy Spring!

 

December 2013 eNewsletter 

Ten reminders for the new year:

  1. Send your clients their HUD 1’s from your closed transactions with a cover letter. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
  2. Start the year off with a Business Plan with all of your activities planned out. You will make more by writing it down!
  3. Track your income and activities. You will make more by tracking it because you correct the mistakes and omissions.
  4. PROSPECT weekly and preferable daily. Is it part of your weekly activities? It should be.
  5. Get rid of the negative thoughts; you don’t have time for them. Only the positive. 
  6. Be generous; it will come back to you.
  7. Focus on the service you provide, not the amount of the check you will receive. PLEASE.
  8. Take time to smell the roses weekly – I am and it makes such a difference in the way I feel every day.
  9. Take some time off this year – I suggest 3 weeks of vacation. Please don’t laugh when you read this. You need it to rejuvenate. You know the old adage – plan a vacation and you will get busy.
  10. Check your behavior daily – Is your behavior in alignment with your goals?

Happy new year to all!

 

October 2013 eNewsletter 

Abundance versus Scarcity

Once again, this is a commonly recurring theme in our business. I have noticed that I can glean from the way people frame their sentences whether or not they are focused on the clients’ needs or their own.

Here are a few questions to determine which way you operate:

  • Are you thinking about the client as a number? ("That buyer is at least a $15,000 commission.")
  • Are you actually figuring out the exact amount of commission with each client? (Ex: $8,754)
  • Are you counting the number of hours you spent with a client? (“That client was a complete waste of my time. I never got paid on all those hours.”)

Scarcity looks like:

I don't have anything in escrow.

I would be happy if I met last year's numbers.

I have 6 buyers at the moment. Who can I push into writing an offer?

Abundance looks like:  FIX

I just closed 3 transactions. What do I have in my pipeline? Who should I contact today?

I want to earn $50,000 more this year.

I will manage the process for the client.

August 2013 eNewsletter 

Networking
In the last month, I have been speaking about networking more than normal with Realtors and Loan Agents. I found the conversations fascinating - most of us don’t plan this as part of our business. I think it should be a regularly monthly item on our TO DO list. Networking should also be an awareness that we have at all times. Opportunities arise and we frequently miss them due to lack of preparation and forethought.
Examples:
1. Fifteen years ago, I spoke at a Rotary Club meeting and met the president of an Architectural/Engineering firm in Danville. He asked for my credentials. I handed him a 6-page piece including how I work and client testimonials. The firm became a regular client of mine for 10 years. I was prepared.  

2. I attended a networking event for a non-profit a year ago and met a web site designer who has designed sites for 6 of my clients. Shewas prepared. She also had her “sales manager” scouting the room for her.

3. A client recently attended a birthday party where she met numerous new “Sphere of Influence” and followed up with a possible lead and has a listing appointment.

My point: The leads are everywhere. If we take the time to:  1. Prepare a credentials piece (what I call a Business Portfolio); 2. Put them in the car when attending an event along with our business cards;  3. Gently and professionally ask for business without ever using the word “refer” or “recommend” then we will get leads.  The Portfolio can be PDFed to people as well.

I suggest the “ask” be executed in a simple straightforward manner:

 

  • “How can I be of service?”
  • “How can I help you?”
  • “I would love to help you with that.”
  • “I would be honored to assist with that.”
  • I would be happy to be your real estate (or lending) resource. Just let me know when you are ready.”

One more point:  I am having a very good year. Someone asked me recently about how I got the business. I had to think about it - I realized that it all came from networking or calls I made months ago. None came from anything I did last month.  This is long term Business Development and we need to do it regularly.

By the way, I have to admit (sheepishly) that I did a speech for a company recently and did not have enough business cards to hand out to the 70 people in the room. I am my own best source for e-newsletter content!

Thank you!

July 2013 eNewsletter 

Optimism
    Having an optimist attitude is one of the most powerful   components of our success. 

    Optimists:

  • live longer
  • earn more money
  • are healthier
  • are happier
  • have healthier children
  • have less depression
  • exceed the predictions of aptitude tests
  • more likely to win when elected to office

Martin Seligman, who wrote Learned Optimism, discovered that “both animals and humans can learn helplessness.  When faced with situations where they were powerless to change an annoying element, two out of three (both animals and humans) would cease trying to affect the situation.”

“And one in three would shrug off situations and continue acting to improve their lot regardless.”  

This has been a powerful tool to me in my coaching and training practice. Every day, I can sense whether someone is an optimist or a pessimist. It comes through in his/her words, tone and body language. What does it look like? The words include “struggle, obstacle, hurdle, and I am afraid” when describing a situation with a client. The tonecommunicates worry, anxiety and fear. The body language may include poor posture, a down turned mouth, a lack of eye contact and/or lack of a smile.

You can change this dramatically just by choosing positive words, avoiding the word “not”, and checking your tone every day - does it sound cheerful and confident? And last, think about sitting up straight, shaking hands in a business-like manner and smiling slightly. All of this communicates confidence.   

Let’s be part of the 33% of the population that moves “improves their lot”. 

 

May 2013 eNewsletter 

This topic came up 4 times this week so I felt that it was extremely important to share with you. We need to pay attention to our Sphere of Influence!

Many of you have focused on marketing your listings around the listing but not to your Sphere of Influence. You market to your geographical farm but again not to your Sphere with important market information and your successes.

Why not? Several of you have said you feel like you are exhibiting that "sleazy" or "salesy" behavior that is so distasteful. The client or friend will let you know if they don't want your marketing pieces. Just design them tastefully and watch the frequency!

Here is what some of my coaching clients have been doing that has resulted in fantastic new business and more referrals.

I suggest that you take the approach to market up to 5 times for each new listing.
1.    Coming Soon Postcards
2.    Just Listed Postcards
3.    Pending Postcards (I did this and it worked to increase the listings I took!)
4.    Sold Postcards
5.    And last, send a "Multiple" postcard with 4 to 6 of your Recent Sales.
Combine an Active, Pending and 2 Solds on 1 postcard.  Add a 1-line seller or testimonial.  Add the DOM if they were short and the sales price to List Price percentage.

One new agent mailed the Multiple Sales postcard with several of her recent sales and now her personal Sphere sees her quite differently! She is getting referrals. She has 10 deals closed or in escrow in the first 5 months of 2013.

Two agents mailed a Multiple Sales Postcard with a list all of last year's sales on it and said "Thank you for your referrals!"  It got a lot of good press.

Other great results:
One agent took the time to call over 40 past clients/Sphere in one month and got 10 "A" clients from it. This is the HIGHEST result I have ever seen. She took 3 listings last month.

Another just called previous clients from her first 4 years (she has been in the business 9 years). She 3 closed transactions from those calls.

Our clients who loved working with us will do so again and will send referrals our way.  We need to recognize that our personal Sphere of Influence wants to help us equally as much, but we have to communicate that we are doing well. Your personal Sphere is not comfortable recommending you unless they know you are successful. So... TELL THEM.

This is also true for the loan agents I coach and everyone in commission based businesses. Keep the Sphere of Influence informed about your successes!

Thank you!


Kitty

 

April 2013 eNewsletter 

Why do some Realtors and Loan Agents do so much business and  so seamlessly?

The key question: How do we go through the drama of this challenging market and not get mired in it?

Coaching clients who are "on fire".
•    AD picked up over $200K in income in 2012 vs. 2011.
•    NS sold 50% more in 2012 than 2011. (Closed 40 last year)
•    MM planned 17 closings this year; she has 14 in escrow or closed so far. We will increase her plan to 25.
•    DC does 25 to 30 loans per month.
The challenges:
1.   How do you hang onto a buyer if he/she has lost out on 5 homes in multiple offer situations?
2.   How do you handle a seller whose property is not selling when everything around it has sold in 14 days?
3.   How do you get the loyalty of the borrower when your rate is 1/8% to ¼% higher?  The buyers are shopping the loans!

How to Emotionally Detach from the Drama:
1.    Never ever compare yourself to others - only to your own potential. Comparison breeds insecurity.
2.   Change all negative "self talk" to positive statements. One agent tripled his income when he stopped saying "I can't ..., I won't ..., etc.

3.   Stay in the present. If you do, you aren't thinking about what you should have done (living in the past) or worrying about what you will do (living in the future).

4. Set your boundaries with everyone. Learn how to say "no" gracefully. Fire those who drain you.
•    Say no to sellers who are not realistic!
•    Say no to buyers who won't write high enough!
5.   Address your fears: love them, thank them and let them go. They were never real. You made them up.

6.   Insulate yourself against negative people.  Or fire them.

7.   Get comfortable telling the client what they need to hear, not want they want to hear.  Educate up front and thoroughly!

NEW Script:   Let's talk about what to expect in this hot market.
•    Inventory is low; buyers are plentiful
•    Rates are excellent
•    Multiple offers are common on almost every property if well priced and well presented
•    The real estate market is in recovery mode.
You may encounter some or all of this: You may write 5 to 10 offers before getting your offer accepted. You may have to do  "pre-inspections" so that you can buy a property "As Is".  The seller may not credit anything that you ask for because he/she can put it right back on the market and sell it again.  The escrow can be delayed from 30 days to 45 because of the challenging loan conditions. If you have to get a loan, the buyers with all cash may kick you out of the game.  You will need to write a higher offer to get accepted. You may decide to  write your offer without a loan and appraisal contingency. I will explain it and you will make that decision. 

It simply takes some additional courage to buy in this market. It can be frustrating, annoying and possibly overwhelming. Now that I have given you the good news, are you ready to move forward? (Smile when you say this.) Great!  Let's go  find you a house.  

8.   Detach emotionally from the daily upsets. Remind yourself that there are more coming and expect a few per year!  

The top 20% (who do 80% of the business) are able to see failure as an opportunity for growth. Their attitude: I can do this!

Have the attitude, "This is business." (It is not personal.)
Don't take feedback as personal criticism.  Move from "overly sensitive" to sympathetic and empathetic.  This was me!

Thank you very much!
Kitty

 

March 2013 eNewsletter 

Consistency II

October 2012 eNewsletter 

The Trust Bank

Think about creating and building your relationships in a Trust Bank.  This will crystallize what we need to do in our working relationships with clients, colleagues and others. When you manage this well, your relationships stay intact even in the wake of conflict. Everyone assumes that you are on top of "it" (business) and you are.

The Trust Bank is where each of your relationships develops (and / or deteriorates).

Example #1: You promise that you will email a client a document and you do it on Tuesday versus the day you said you would get it done (Thursday). You made a Deposit into the Trust Bank by exceeding expectations.  

Example #2: You call back a client with more information than she requested. That is a Deposit into the Trust Bank.

Example #3: You take 3 days to return an email from a colleague. A Withdrawal takes place. You hurt your relationship. She will not trust you to get it done next time. She may tell others you are a flake!

Example #4: You send an incomplete document to someone. A Withdrawal takes place. Your action damaged your relationship.

Key: If you stay attentive to making deposits (being accountable), then when a conflict arises, the person involved looks at the situation instead of blaming you.  

It works!

Kitty

 

July 2012 eNewsletter


The Gift of Listening

If someone were to ask you to rate your listening skills, I believe that most of us would say "good" or "high."  I think we aren't telling ourselves the truth. 
An agent recently asked me, "How are you?" Then she started talking over me in the middle of my response. What did it convey? Several things - She doesn't really care, she is stressed or is a narcissistic person? I have been talking about listening skills with coaching clients so much that it cried out to be the next newsletter topic. Here are the "results" of my observations.

We don't really listen!

A client shared this with me last week: Most of us think, "The opposite of not talking is listening." For many, the opposite of not talking is "waiting to talk"!

If you want to be in the top 20% in the industry, you have to learn to listen carefully to buyers and sellers. That means we have to ask more questions and listen to the answers, then respond to what was said. Moving the conversation to us looks "like we are sharing". Taking notes on a questionnaire form can stop us from listening because we just write down what was said. We have to listen between the lines and hear what is not said!  

Listening styles that block our listening:

1.    Mind reader - when we assume that we know what the person is going to say
2.    Rehearser - when we plan what we will say (the most common)
3.    Filterer - when we sift through their comments
4.    Dreamer - when we think about something else
5.    Identifier - when we have something in common with the
6.    person
7.    Comparer - when we judge what the person is saying
8.    Derailer  - when we disagree with the person in our minds
9.    Placater - when we are ready to soothe the person versus hearing them out

How many of the above are you guilty of?

Exercise:  Practice listening to someone in your personal life for 15 minutes. Every question should be about the person and his/her experience. Use open ended questions and respond when you need to clarify. Watch the relationship change. The person feels "heard". Your spouse or partner may think something is up! A client in Marin told me it changed his marriage of 26 years. Listening is a gift.

Kitty

 

June 2012 eNewsletter

Activities


April 2012 eNewsletter 

The Fatigue Factor

The excitement and energy of this current market is refreshing yet brings new stress to the clients and to us. For 4 years the sellers felt the enormous stress of the economic downturn. Now the buyers feel the impact of the returning hot market.

Our job is to alleviate that stress to the best of our ability.

One factor that is very important as we navigate the "multiple offer" waters is the fatigue factor of your client and that of the cooperating agent and client. To help understand the concept - think of it this way:

Example #1: If you represent a buyer, think about how many rounds of negotiation can your client take without losing interest in the property?  On the opposite side, how many rounds can the seller (and agent) endure?  Some negotiations are taking 5 to 10 rounds to iron out the terms, especially contingencies, and the price.

Think about the personality of the listing agent. Is he/she a patient person?  Does he/she tend to get angry when things don't go perfectly? Does he/she speak in a way that communicates he/she needs the paycheck?  Why is the seller selling? Is it a financial burden or a "happy" reason the sell (birth, buying down, etc.) All of these will indicate if you have a fatigue factor that could be short - as in 2 to 3 rounds of negotiation. Keep this is your mind and your clients won't walk away. The key - write clean offers!    

Example #2: You may have buyers who are already exhausted from the "multiple offer" situation. The fatigue factor applies here too!  They state that it is time to take a break from looking, that they can wait out this crazy market. The bad news is that they may pay more if prices increase and their loan may be more expensive.  

Your job is to educate the clients about all of this. I would even consider asking a client about their patience, courage and willingness to compromise. That is exactly what it takes to compete successfully in this market! 

Kitty

 

January 2012 eNewsletter

Consistency I


The concern that I am hearing most often from both new and seasoned agents is, "I am not consistent in anything that I do." I think it is a significant issue and worth talking about as we begin a new year, a year that I feel has great economic potential. The entire Bay Area is experiencing productive Open Houses, numerous calls for listing appointments and good momentum in general. Are you taking advantage of the shift in energy?  
All of us get tired, are bored, or feel downtrodden at times.  I do too. But... what I have noticed is when I am in the "zone", meaning doing what I should be doing and doing it weekly (marketing and prospecting), I get excellent results and feel happier. We are in charge of our success. Think about where you have been inconsistent:  Prospecting? Creating a marketing piece monthly? Farming? Holding Open Houses? If you do these occasionally, you will get a check... occasionally!

I have 3 suggestions for you - to keep the schedule fairly consistent and fun!
One: I have a few pals that I speak to regularly and we cheer each other on with our successes; this support keeps us going. Do you have a fan club?  I would create one with your like-minded colleagues who need a boost and respond well to holding each other accountable weekly. I am speaking to my coach once a month about my commitments. She has them too! Another client has to email me 5 days a week that she made her SOI calls. She is making 3 to 7 per day. I will report on her success in a future newsletter.
Two: Schedule the appointment with yourself in the morning (calling Sphere of Influence, marketing, prospecting calls, exercise!). I am suggesting that you enter the appointment in your calendar as if you had a client. The client is YOU.
Three: Start small!  Remember that from the retreat? Make 3 calls this week, 6 next week and get it going. I think if we start with small doses of the "disliked" activity we can come to love it as long as there are results!    

It takes 21 days to break a habit. If you start this immediately, you will have a very productive year and won't be wishing you had changed this behavior 6 months from now.

RESULTS: As a follow up to last month's topic, one client began making 2 to 3 sphere calls per day. "Allison" had one terrific result within days; a previous client took 5 of her business cards to an event. The client called "Allison" back and had a referral for a listing ($1.0M) and a sale ($1.5M) with the same client. This all took place with 3 weeks of the SOI call!

Happy new year!

Kitty

 

December 2011 eNewsletter

Calling Sphere of Influence

I just read a long article from a consultancy group giving advice how to get more Internet leads. It bored me. Trying to convert cold Internet leads (over many months) takes a lot more time and effort than just working with people who love and adore you. I may be alone on this philosophy, but I feel that most agents can find great success through staying in touch with, and properly working a database of 250 to 300 people. What I am about to suggest will save you time, money and frustration.

Several weeks ago, I committed to calling 25 managers in my Sphere of Influence - the equivalent of you calling your past clients and personal database. I got 2/3s of the way through it (I made 17 calls in 4 days and booked some new business) and then I realized I wasn't going to keep my commitment. What was I thinking?!  Twenty-five calls is a lot! I feel more compassion for all of you; your mean ol' coach (me) is a hard driver.

So, I just finished off the last 8 and emailed over 25 more. Here's my question and push for 2012 - Would you like to actually make your income plan for this year? I imagine that you would! Here's an excellent strategy for the new year. It is working beautifully with about 20 of my clients.

Start the new year with a new schedule.

Plan an hour a day of calling (or 2 2- hour sessions) every week. Make it in the morning! You know you will never get to it if it is an afternoon task. I have three women emailing every day that they made the calls and I have one is clearly having a major breakthrough! She has made 4 to 7 calls every day except on the holidays. It does get easier.

What would happen if you kept in touch with everyone you know 3 to 4 times per year? They would never consider anyone else as a real estate agent. You would be the one and only one they think of. One agent told me 3 months ago that she saw her previous client's house go on the market for $2.1 M. She never called the client in 10 years. Another told me that their previous buyer re-listed after 2 years. The client received mailings but not one call from the agent.

A huge result: An agent from Empire Real estate called many clients during the 10 week class I offer. In 1 week and the end of the class, she had 6 listing appointments and got all 6!  Not one seller mentioned they were considering selling when she called!

Another huge result: Emily B. closed 19 deals in 8 months after calling everyone in her several sphere's over and over.

PLEASE start calling your SOI. Make it an agreement with yourself - "I can't go home until I make the 4 calls." It works.

Happy new year to that new beginning!

Kitty

October 2011 eNewsletter

Setting Boundaries

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