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The Value of Educating Your Clients

Did you know that an "educated" client is worth 8 to 10 time more money to you than an "UN-educated" client?

It's true.

One of our subscribing agents told me that by using specific "educating" strategies in her practice for the past 3 years, her income has actually multiplied eleven-fold.

She closes clients faster, and enjoys working with them more. And in the process, her clients report greater satisfaction with her services.

And yet most agents neglect to use education as part of their marketing. Big, Big Mistake.

Today I'm going to show you 3 important "educating" strategies so you can start using them in your practice.

Question is: HOW do we educate our prospects and clients, and WHAT do we educate them about?

How "Educating" Your Clients Can Increase
Your Production Over 1100%!

Have you ever had to go through an important event or process in your life, and you didn't know what was going to happen beforehand?

Maybe you purchased a new car. Or underwent some kind of medical procedure. Or maybe you were making a BIG purchase, such as land, or a home, or a building.

And when you didn't know what to expect, didn't you feel a bit nervous? Even a bit lost?

Even worse…a bit FEARFUL?

Well, believe it or not, that's how most of your clients feel when they work with you. And that's why educating your clients about a number of "processes" is so important to the success of your business.

Here are 3 important (and simple) ways to educate your clients, and greatly increase your deal closings, with your clients being ecstatic with your services.

(In fact, if you truly want to DIFFERENTIATE yourself from other agents try this process.)

Educating System #1: Provide a Road Map

Here's where many agents blow the relationship right up front: They fail to educate their prospects and clients on the EXACT PROCESS of buying or selling.

And by doing this, they fail to remove the inherent FEARS present in people.

The truth is, most people are silently wishing you would take the lead and help them make a decision.

So here's what you can do. Whenever you meet with buyers, or arrive at a listing presentation, in addition to other materials, take a simple FLOW CHART of the PROCESS of buying or selling.

The process starts right where you are at our first meeting, then takes them through all the stages of buying or selling, and DETAILS exactly what's going to happen, including what might go wrong and how you'll handle the problem if it arises.

This way, they know where you're going. They have a road map. And, most importantly, they instantly feel less fear and more comfort working with you.

Here's something else that will differentiate you from other agents: "NAME" your personal process so no other agent can use it (not to mention very few other agents ever do this to begin with).

For example, your buyer program could be called, "My Platinum Home Buyer Program."

Or your listing system could be called, "My Top Dollar Home Marketing Program."

Then, simply list out everything you do to serve your client. Get creative (and make sure you transmit a benefit in the name you give your process) and it will make a big difference.

Couldn't you easily put together a simple one page flow chart of your personal real estate process and integrate it into your buyer qualifying or listing presentation?

Sure you could. Do this simple little exercise, and watch your clients bond to you like velcro.

Educating System #2: Set Expectations Up Front

The second process of educating needs to be integrated into your FIRST process above. And it's this: EDUCATE YOUR CLIENTS ON WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOU.

When you use a flow chart and present the entire process of buying or selling, you have a great opportunity to set their expectations of you and the relationship.

How do you do this?

By simply telling them at each stage what you'll be doing to service them. This also enhances your image and value as a true professional.

AND, it tells them that YOUR services are more than simply entering their home on MLS, or doing a simple search to find their next home. Believe it or not, most people don't know all the things you do as an agent.

You need to tell them yourself.

Now, it's important not to oversell yourself. If you make outlandish commitments, that's what they'll expect, and you may not meet those expectations.

On the other hand, if you make too few commitments, other agents will beat you out of the listing or buyer representation.

The "secret" is to tell everything you will do, but don't oversell yourself and be perceived as under delivering.

Here's why: Your goal is actually to exceed the expectations they expect from you.

Set the standards of WHAT will happen and WHEN: how you return calls, how you service leads, how you promote their home, how you search the market for the right home, how your staff works, etc.

Be DETAILED on everything you do to service them. The more you explain, the better your client will feel about working with you.

Educating System #3: Program Your Intentions

This system is perhaps the most important.

In a nutshell: Educate your clients on HOW you do business and that you generate the majority of your business by REFERRAL, WORD OF MOUTH, and REPEAT BUSINESS.

You want to subtly program them to support your business and reciprocate to you by actively referring their friends, family and acquaintances.

Your goal is to establish a multi-hundred sales force of past clients and friends (your House List) actively sending you referrals, word of mouth and repeat business. But no one will do anything without you letting them know that's how you work.

The responsibility is yours. And the great thing is, it's very easy to do all this.

Want some ideas? Try these out:

** During the transaction, communicate how you generate clients by telling stories about other clients you received by referral. This will subtly reveal HOW you operate.

** PROGRAM how you generate your business by referral in ALL of your communication methods: voice mail, letterhead, business card, ads, sales letters, post cards, etc. I even know of an agent who changed the name of his brokerage to "Referral Realty."

** You can end all of my letters with a "P.S." that says, "Oh, by the way, if a friend or family member you know could use a caring and competent agent, I would enjoy meeting them. Thanks for thinking of me with your referrals."

** Follow-up all closings with a thank you letter, request for testimonial, and referral programming.

** Create referral incentives. No, you don't need to violate regulations or laws with fancy gifts. You can make people feel very "special" by creating a special "inner circle" club. Best of all, you can outline benefits for members that support your business: Free home appraisals (new business for you!), Free home supplier rolodex, invite to an annual comedy club party, etc.

The key is to make people feel "special" as a result of knowing you and referring your services.

Think about how you can easily educate your clients, and watch your deals close easier and with less hassle – and your business will grow like never before. There's no better way to reinforce yourself as a true real estate professional.

Look Who's Now the Proud Owner of a
Brand New FLIP Video Camera!!

Flip video camera winners

Why is Diane Shultz smiling these days? Because she just won a brand new FLIP video camcorder for submitting a great idea to our agent community! Congratulations, Diane, and thanks for being an important part of our network. You can see her idea and all the resources she submitted as “4 Great Ways to Make Yourself a Stand-Out Agent” in issue 1138.

Want to get your very own FLIP camera? It's easy. Just submit your very best marketing or success strategy (or QuickTip or Horror Story) by Clicking Here. Then, every month we select the ideas we used in the last 2 issues and throw'em into a hat where the winner is selected randomly. The better your idea (examples help!), the more likely we'll use your idea, and the greater your chances of winning…just like Diane here.

Turn Your Listing Flyer into a Prospecting Machine

The following is a great example of "marketing leverage." Rather than simply create a listing flyer describing the details of a listed home, Wes presents multiple reasons for a prospect to call him by offering a "teaser list" of other homes for sale on his flyer.

You'll notice that the homes he lists are all within a specific price range and/or area of the listed home (by the way, if your listing client asks why you're promoting other homes, you tell them that it's in everyone's best interest to get buyers to call – even if it's on another home – this way you can direct them back to your primary listing, and it's in your best interests to sell that home first. If they don't call, you never know they are out there.)

The important lesson here is this: If you're going to spend the money crating a beautiful listing flyer (or ad or any other promotion), why not look for additional ways to make it draw new business for you. One of those ways is to offer additional listings in a similar area/price as this listing – thus motivating buyer calls (that's who visits your listings and opens your info tubes/boxes, right?). Another might be to offer Free Consumer Reports for Buyers and Sellers by calling your hotline or visiting your web site.

You cannot expect people to call you without a meaningful, specific reason for calling. This idea is similar to our "Premier Properties Flyer" in Step 2 of the 3-Steps System ( Now, here's Wes' short description and his flyer (click on flyer to see full size)…

"On your listing flyer include summary data of other homes in the area that are the market with the offer to also show these properties to prospective buyers. This tends to give the prospects the feeling that you are interested in finding 'the right home for their family' instead of just selling them a house."

QuickTip: A Very Smart Prospecting Tip…

“Great agents call a lot of withdrawn, expireds, and FSBO's, many times leaving a message for them requesting a call back.

If we have been persuasive enough and they do call us back, we only have a couple of minutes to impress them. If they call back and we have no idea of who they are we lose ground.

So I do the following: I enter their name in my phone's address book this way, for the first name I put W, E, or F and their first and last name, and then for their last name I put their address. That way when they call back I know instantly who they are and why I called them so we can get to business.”

Need to Update Your Database? Try This…

I recently was updating my database and needed to acquire the birthday of my past clients. I decided to send 50 of them a birthday card, even though it was not their birthday.

The message simply stated: "Happy birthday and hope you have a blessed day." Then I wrote a P.S. "If this is not your birth-day, please visit my web site and help me update your file."

Out of the 50 past clients, 21 updated their file and 6 said thank you for it was their birthday that month. Great way to keep in touch.

Horror Story: Dead Fish Nearly Kill Deal

"I made an appointment to show a lake front property with the seller. I picked-up my clients at their residence: husband, wife, sister and 4 kids. We arrived at the home and it was immaculate, all lights on with soft music and cinnamon smell. Everything was all organized like a model home.

I started the tour of the home and tried to get everyone together to have better control of the situation, but the kids would always disappear. I even tried holding one or two kids so they wouldn't wander by themselves.

The family started feeling at home and sat in the living room and chatted. Before leaving I turned off all the lights and locked the doors and showed my clients two more properties, then took them home.

After 2 hours I got a phone call from the seller of the first home, screaming at me saying that the kids poured all the fish food in the aquarium and some of the fishes are dead belly up as they ate all the fish food they could eat. The fishes are a rare collection that came from different places.

I apologized and told him I tried to keep everyone in one place but the kids kept disappearing on me. I offered to give him money for the dead fish, but he stated they are not replaceable. He threatened to report me to the board and my broker. All I could say was sorry.

Later on he calmed down and accepted my apology and he said he doesn't want to give me a hard time anymore – he just took the real estate state exam and passed, so he just became a real estate agent. What happened that day will be a very good lesson for him. And he hopes that he won't come across somebody like him.

My client's first choice was his property. We put an offer and closed on the home. So it ended well, everyone is happy."

Issue #1139