Making Better Choices in Real Estate

Welcome to Mike Ferry TV. My name is Tony Smith, vice president of The Mike Ferry Organization, and I am thrilled, as always, to come and see you a little bit on Mike Ferry TV. OK, let’s take a little bit of a different look where we’re digging into the year here now. And it’s time for you to reconsider all of your options. You have options. Did you know that in our world, in succeeding and Real Estate, it’s about making choices and preferably making the right choices? Right. We are in the business of helping people change behaviors. And behaviors are often about you making better choices. So let’s go through it. It’s a time of the year for us to recap this and take a look at the options you have in running your business. And if you look at these options and you do an honest be honest with yourself, like literally, honestly, look at it and be honest with yourself about each of these options and have an understanding which way are you trying to run the business. It’ll help you make better choices. OK, so what are the options? You have all these choices in front of you. You have the choice of waiting for someone to find you. So far this year, how much of the business that you’ve generated has come from you waiting for people to find you? We know it’s the most common thing in our industry … is, you know, you have clients, past clients, you have a Center of Influence and they’re going to call you every once in a while and ask you to help them buy and sell Real Estate that’s waiting.

Or you send out a mailer and you send something out. You send out a post on the social media campaign and you’re waiting. How much time do you spend waiting for someone to find you? We always put in there the words ‘Hope that someone is looking for me.’ Have you spent too much time waiting for business so far this year? Second choice you have or option you have is the passive non-rejection approach. Also one of the most common, you know, open houses, geographic farming, mass mailings. It’s the non-rejection approach to running a business. It’s great for agents who want to maintain low production, do 10, 12 deals a year. Is that the option you’re choosing, the non rejection approach, how much of your businesses come from open houses, geographic farming and mailings this year? Is it enough? The third choice you have is the massive branding approach. Are you in the process of trying to massively brand yourself? Big marketing campaigns, billboards out on the freeway? You want it so that everyone knows who you are just by seeing you? Very expensive. How much money, time and effort have you spent so far this year trying to extend your branding approach? Are you getting the proper amount of business from it yet? Another option you have is purchasing leads off the Internet. We know what a huge option this is that many agents are taking and continuing to take day after day.

We know the conversion rate. First of all, A, are you purchasing a lot of leads off the Internet? B, do you know what your current conversion rate is? C, is it mostly buyers or is it mostly sellers that you’re getting leads for? OK, it’s OK at times when you make decisions to buy something, but what’s not OK is to buy something, keep paying for it month after month, week after week, year after year, and not monitoring the results. Have the results gotten better? Have they gotten worse or have they stayed the same with your efforts to buy leads off the Internet? Another option, you have massive social media platforms. OK, is that an option you’ve fully chosen, are you used using it to advertise yourself in some fashion? Kind of difficult to measure the returns? It’s hard to tell how much business you’re getting from it. Has your business spiked up this year because of your social media platform or has it stayed the same? Are you being very careful and aware of what you’re posting? Are you staying true to a message or are you staying true to your standards? You know, it’s not uncommon for people to go down the social media platform and then every once in a while they post some things that aren’t helping the cause. Right. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to post great professional, great professional, great professional, and then something sloppy and unruly that doesn’t work.

Are you staying true to not only your system, but the standards you set for yourself? And are you seeing a spike in your business because of this platform or not? It’s an option that so many people choose. Another choice, working referrals only. Have you chosen to build your business and centered around just referrals only, you know, it requires a really large database, requires a big amount of people, and it requires some kind of a constant communication. Have you centered your business around really just waiting for the referral process? Hard to predict, isn’t it? Have you gone through any dry spells this year so far? Have you had a couple of referrals? Great business and then a dry spell? No referrals. Boy, we know how uncomfortable it is to not know where your next commission check is coming from. That’s a tough way to run a business and live your life. Have you had some ups and downs in the business? Has your business had the accordion effect this year at all where it’s been busy and then nothing? That’s the accordion effect that comes from social media platforms and working referrals only. Right? It’s that uncertainty. We’re not sure we want you to be there a long time. OK, I have another choice. Building a team without strong personal production. We see this going crazy in North America today. There are agents that have this idea of building this really big team that is not centered around their personal production. What they’d rather do is get other people to produce instead of themselves.

Have you had those thoughts going through your mind? Why don’t I teach some people how to do it and then I don’t have to do it anymore? This is the common, big ticket today. Right. The margins are usually soft because you have to split up your, you know, the commission check and pay these people. Right. And then you have to ask yourself, we’ve seen this so many times of great agents building this big team. They do a decent job with a couple of the people that they have on their team. Those people on their team get pretty good and they go off and become their competitors. One of the dangers of building a strong team without your own personal production is that you can get yourself in a place where you’re basically reproducing your competition. Isn’t that fun to send out two or three trained agents out into the market that start to list and sell against you? It’s a tough one, isn’t it? Is that your model that you’ve chosen? I wrote down: Working agent-to-agent referrals. Have you built your business around just solely trying to get referrals from other agents around North America? It’s an option in the Mike Ferry system, we know that many, many of our agents really come to enjoy the other great referrals they get from agents that are also in the Mike Ferry system. Maybe you belong to a big company that has a referral network. A lot of times those things have a pretty high price tag on the referral fee.

You have to question if that’s your only source. Another choice you have right? Building a team through strong personal production. Now, this is interesting. We have some agents that have really figured out how to maintain this strong, incredible personal production and then they build the team around that. It’s one incredible way to capitalize on doing a lot of business, as long as your ability to take listings is growing faster than the team, you keep taking more and more and more listings. You have some great buyer’s agents. They’re out getting the buyer side of all that action that’s happening on those listings. Now, that can be highly profitable. OK, one thing that does require that we’ve noticed recently, it does dip into a place where you have to do something that maybe you hadn’t planned on doing when you started selling Real Estate. You have to address your leadership, your management skills. If you’re going to have a strong team around your production, you have got to become that leader, which is the big surprise to some agents who have done it. They didn’t realize that they had to prepare so much to become a leader. When you have a team, OK, something to be aware of. Here’s another option. Simply doing 10 or 15 deals a year. That is an option. Many agents get in a nice little zone where they do 10, 15 deals a year in production, you know, in today’s world, you know, seven, eight, ten thousand dollars.

You know, you make seventy eighty ninety one hundred thousand dollars a year. You get in that little spot where you do 10, 15 deals a year and just keep that consistency. And, you know, if you have good customer service and really good follow up, that can work. If you’re satisfied with the income and satisfied with the deals, maybe that’s as far as you want to take your business. It’s an option. I wrote down next, you have the option of buying agents databases, you know, in today’s world, there are a lot of agents that hurried along their retirement plans… Shall I say? They have seen what’s gone on in the last couple of years and they start looking out into the future and they say, you know what, I was going to stop this thing in a couple of years. I think I’ll stop now. Not a bad idea. You create a relationship with some of these agents and you strike a deal for their database. It is an incredible option that you might consider in building your business. Right. How about the option of always changing your work pattern? Have you honestly selected the option where you’re constantly changing? This is a tough one. OK, you know, if you look back over the last one, two, three, four or five years of your business, have you hopped around from one magic formula to the next? Have you tried this for a month or two and then tried that for a month or two and then, oh, my gosh, something new comes up and you’ve got to try that.

Have you found yourself hopscotching across magic formulas? This is one of the ones that we see so many people have a long, frustrating career is by hopscotching from one magic pill to the next. Please don’t do that one. OK, I wrote down: Here’s an option, working your company’s relocation business. Hey, in today’s world, some of the big companies, there’s a there are some pretty solid relocation platforms that are built and operating, OK. Have you gotten in the stream of that relocation business? It generally has pretty heavy fees attached. Right. So, if you like giving up big portions of your commissions by solely looking for that relocation business, it’s an option. The option that I wrote down is a massive networking platform. OK, this one over the last 18 months has been a little bit of a challenge. You know, the social clubs, the associations, the BNI groups. Right. You know, boy, there was a damper put on that. If you had this massive social kind of a networking platform that you used, that was a little tough because you couldn’t go anywhere or do anything for a while. Right. So much for the golf club. They weren’t open or right. So it’s an option. And we know many, many great agents have built a career around just that big networking idea. On the other side of the coin, it takes a lot of nights and weekends. Have you ever noticed the title company Reps and the mortgage company reps and the different reps, how they have to always hit every social event that happens for real estate agents and they always have to be there because that’s how their business is centered around those networking platforms?

Right. Do you want to be like that? I don’t know. Nights and weekends, I’m not sure. OK, and then the last option you have that I wrote on this list, there’s probably more. OK, but the last option on this list: Learning the skills necessary to become a professional, productive, Real Estate salesperson. The Mike Ferry method, learn the skills necessary to become a professional, productive, Real Estate salesperson, simply using the step by step Mike Ferry sales system that has been created to take you from one step to the next, all the way through whatever levels of success you want now. Does it include some of these things? Does it include some of these other options? Can you include parts of some of these options? Of course, maybe a well rounded business has a little bit of some of these things in your business. The challenges, if you get one track minded in many of these areas, it can mean (a downturn) to your business. And that I know is not fun. I know it’s not comfortable. We’d rather see this (Upturn) happen to your business. Have some fun with these thoughts, be honest with yourself, make some clear cut decisions of what options you choose and choose better. Thanks for your time.