“20 Minutes of Successful Niche Secrets – EPISODE 35,”
Where I coach you on creating your own 90-Day Sprint
Glenn: Hi! It’s Glenn McQueenie, and welcome to my 25-Minute Success Series Podcast. On this podcast I’m going to talk to you about one of the great things that you can be doing over the next 90 days to winterize your business, because we’ve just entered, really, into the last quarter of the year. And in most real estate markets, your high revenue comes in quarter 2 and quarter 3. And then quarter 4, you start doing some more production, but it’s usually a lower revenue quarter. And that’s followed usually by the first quarter of 2018 (which, traditionally, is the lowest revenue quarter for most agents).
So what I want to talk to you about today is: what can we do over the next 90 days? We’re creating a 90-day sprint in order for you to not only hit all of the goals that you set for yourself this year – but more importantly, set you up for next year (quarter one and quarter two of 2018). It always fascinates me when I look at what a lot of the top teams do when I’m coaching. This last quarter of the year, they’re actually working really hard. They’re working really hard not only to tie up all the leads they have right now, but they’re doing CMAs with people who have put up their hand and said, “Hey, I’m thinking about moving next summer or next spring” while most single agents (or traditional agents) wait until almost the first week of January to really start lead generating for 2018. This is why they have such a spectacular advantage over you, because they’re actually forward marketing way ahead of their high revenue area. And that’s why you’ll see a lot of the top teams are really busy in quarter one and quarter two of every year, while many agents are just getting going. And what happens is they don’t have that good of a spring, so they end up working right through the summer, where a lot of the top teams have a ridiculous spring (they almost do 70% of their yearly production by the end of June). That enables them to have more time off to spend with their family, just deepen relationships, and really get that rest that’s required in order to be ready to go for the final 90-day sprint.
So I want to really talk about switching your mindset. Let’s make the last 90 days of 2017 90 days of not chasing the next shiny object of lead generation, and really focus all of your efforts on people you already know, like, and trust. It always amazes me with a lot of agents, how they’ll go to one seminar (and it might be Facebook ads). And it’s like, “Okay, I’m going to dive into Facebook ads.” And they dive into it for a couple weeks or a couple months, and as the inspiration is wearing off, and their expenses continue to climb without the necessary revenue, they then go, “Oh my God. I’ve got to switch and do something else.” And so they’ll switch and say, “Oh, now I want to go into geographic farming.” Well all the research on geographic farming is that it takes usually anywhere from a minimum of 12 months (but usually 18-24 months) to really dominate a geographic niche market. And it’s not just sending out flyers. It’s usually a mailer followed by a call or a drop-by followed by an appointment and meetings. So it’s almost like, mail, and then either call or drop by, and then actually go and see them. And what I’ve seen is this trend emerge, especially with geographic farming. People go, “Okay, had a pretty good year so far. I’ve got some extra money. I’m going to start geographic farming.” So they send the first flyer out, and the second, and the third. And they’re like, “I know I’m not going to get much response, but I know it’s building.” And then they get to month 6-9, and all of a sudden, they start doubting what they’re doing, because they’re seeing their expenses skyrocket without the revenue flowing in. So then they task-switch again, and go on to the next shiny object. And I always think if they could just hold on to month 10, 11, or 12, because that’s where your revenue starts to pick up. And as you get into month 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, then your revenue starts to cross the expense line, and you actually start making profit and really build a business worth owning.
So what I really want to talk about today is, what if we just changed the game a little bit? What if we, instead, focused all of our efforts over the next 90 days on people we already know? And it’s not even that they’re going to move. It’s just, how can we obtain top of mind positioning in their brains, so that when they hear their friend or colleague talking about real estate, they say, “Oh, they should probably call you.” So I want to give you one technique that’s really worked well for a lot of the people that I’ve coached. It’s really a sprint that they’re going to do over the next 20 days. The goal is, over the next 20 days, at least call four or five clients a day, which means you should get to about 100 within the next three weeks. And here’s the simple formula. You call and ask them two questions: “How are you?” and “How’s your home?” This works really well for people who’ve bought from you over the last two years, because what it’s really transmitting out to them is they’re important, you care, you didn’t forget about them, and they matter. And they feel appreciated. And let’s face it – all of us want to feel acknowledged and appreciated in our life. And the beautiful thing about this question is we’re not asking for referrals. We’re just really checking in with them to reconnect and see how they’re doing. And what I love is, whenever you call your past clients, your bucket gets filled. They’re the people who love you and really appreciate what you did for them in that real estate transaction. And they don’t usually hesitate to say it. They’re like, “Oh my God! It’s so great to hear from you! We love our place so much. We love you. Thank you guys so much! We were just thinking about you.” And it’s just a great opportunity to reconnect. But it’s not the opportunity that you go, “Oh, by the way, who’s the next person you know who’s thinking about buying or selling?” You’ve broken the rules there. It’s like my creepy insurance guy who sends me a birthday card every year signed by all the staff, but more importantly, it’s got six of his own business cards in there. I’m like, “No. You just ruined it.” You should send a birthday card. And then you can send cards. But never mix those together, and never mix coming from contribution and checking in on people with really trying to get business. The business will come to you as a natural by-product of you caring and going first, and coming from service to say, “How are you? I’m thinking about you. How’s your home? You know, I’m going through withdrawal. We had such a great time working together and we haven’t chatted in awhile.” And you just get this beautiful flow that starts to emerge, where you’re actually top of mind. Over the next two weeks, when someone’s thinking about buying or selling, it’s really their time to go, “Oh, well I just talked to my agent the other day. And you know what? Their number’s right at the top of my phone.” So it’s much easier to send that referral out.
The third thing I would do on that call is try to position yourself as someone who adds value. What I mean by that is, when you ask them how they are, they’re going to tell you how everything is. They’ll ask you how you are. You ask them how the home is. And then at the end of that, they’re always going to ask you this question: “So, how’s the market?” or “How’s real estate?” because that’s really what your connection with these people is, so they’re going to bring it up. Instead of saying, “Oh, it’s great. I’m really busy,” which, really, in a subconscious way, tells them you don’t need their help, why don’t you just give them some opinion on what’s going on in the marketplace right now? If the market’s rising, tell them about the market rising, and some recent sales and what happened, and great stories of who you’ve just helped. If the market’s flat, tell them how it’s flat. If you think you’re in a shifted market and prices are going to go down, or there’s some kind of ominous storm clouds on the horizon, share that with them, because people like to know the inside scoop. They want to really know what your opinion is of the market, so that when someone asks them what they think about the market, or “Isn’t the market crazy?” (or whatever), they have some really great talking points to share.
So what I’m going to ask you to do over the next 90 days is to do a sprint on going really narrow, working with people you already know, and they already know you, like you, and trust you, because they’re the people who are most likely to refer similar types of people to them. I’ve found that great people refer great people, and not-very-nice people tend to surround themselves with a lot of not-really-nice people. So I think that’s really something to ponder, if you want, and it might be a good stepping stone for you.
Another way to reach out to them is to try to think of where else you can add value. Do you have a local home show coming up? Could you buy them some tickets? Could you call them and just say, “Hi. I was thinking about you. There’s a great fall home show coming up. They’ve got tons of kitchen ideas. I know you were thinking about renovating your kitchen. Do you want to go? The tickets are on me.” There are a lot of little touch points. We have Halloween coming up. It’s not that crazy for you to work out a deal to get a pumpkin for a dollar or two and then drop them off to your customers, and just do a drop-by. You’re really giving back at a high level, and what I’ve found in my life is the people who give back the most to their clients get back the most from their clients. And they’ve been able to build very predictable business systems because they’re so connected to their clients. They’re just revered in the marketplace. It’s not just, “Oh, you sold my house, and I’ve never heard from you again.” It’s more, “Thank you. I appreciate you. I appreciate what you did, and things are going really, really well.”
And I think the second thing (and this is what my podcast series is usually about), is I’m always interviewing people who are trying to figure out what their niche is. Maybe it’s time now that you start taking 10% or 15% of your week and just pausing and going, “What do I want to do? Who’s my perfect, dream-come-true client? If Glenn was coaching me directly, and he was in charge of booking my appointments for tomorrow, and he had to find three perfect-fit clients for my business, how would I describe that to Glenn? What direction would I give to him for him to be able to actively go out and lead-generate and create some type of unique process or lead-generation system in order for him to fill those seats for me?” What I’ve found is, the more agents try to be like everybody else and try to sound like every other agent and do what every other agent does, the consumer just gets confused. They don’t really understand. I think you’ll agree with me that most sellers think it doesn’t matter which agent they list with, that they’re going to get the same amount of money for the house. And you know that’s not true. Depending on market conditions, it’s really all about who you pick as your agent, and that could be a difference of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8% on the final sale price. I think they also think, “Oh, I’m going to buy a house. I just need an agent.” And it’s like, “No. There are a lot of really bad agents. There are a lot of terrible agents. There are a lot of people who don’t have the right skills and who should never even be in this business.” So how do you position yourself just to get those great clients? Because you’re a great agent yourself, and you know that if you serve them well at a really high level, that you’re going to create raving fans for your business.
I guess my final thought really for today is that I’m always amazed, especially coaching big teams, when I ask them where they spend their money (where their marketing budget is), and inevitably, they’re spending 75, 85, 90% of their marketing lead-generation budget on trying to find people who they don’t know already, who don’t trust them yet. They’re really trying to go after people just like the general public. I always do a whole breakdown with them. I’m like, “Okay, so how much money did you spend last year on marketing lead-generation? Okay. And what was the return? What percentage of your business came from your lead-generation activities?” And I have to tell you, most of the time, it’s maybe 20% of their business. 25%-30% comes from people they don’t know or haven’t met, and 70% comes from people who they already know. I always find it so ironic, and it’s usually a big “A-ha!” moment for them, where they’re like, “Oh. I’m spending 80-90% of my money on people who I don’t even know, and that’s giving me 20% of my business. And I’m spending 10% on my past clients that are sending me all the business.” I mean, I don’t think that’s any different than what your cell provider is doing right now. They’re always marketing and giving better deals to people they don’t know yet to sign them up, instead of just giving that same deal to you. Even when you call and say, “Hey, I know you’re marketing this great plan to new people” they’re like, “Oh, no. That’s for new customers only.” And it’s like, “Well hold on. I’ve been with you for 20 years. How come I’m like chump change? Why? What happened?” But that’s why they’re in the trap (and why a lot of agents are in the trap) of just overspending and trying to cut deals with people they don’t even know, like, or trust yet, at the expense of giving that great level of service, or really going back to the lowest hanging fruit, which is their sphere of influence – people who already love them, trust them, like them, and would be happy to send business to them if they were ever asked, or just felt that they had to reciprocate. You helped them so much that they just wanted to help your business out.
So that’s my chat for today. It’s really just a conversation about what we can do over the next 90 days. What’s our great focus in order to help you get more freedom of time and money and relationships and purpose so that you can build a business worth owning, and really have that life worth living? I can tell you, over the next 90 days, my coaching would be: Go narrow. Spend maybe 10% or 15% of your time really going deep into your niche target market, because it’s going to be building over time. Go really wide, and try to touch your past clients as much as possible, because they’re really the future of your business. Even if you’re new in the business and you don’t have a lot of past clients, you probably know a lot of people. The best way to get business from them is just to learn to tell great, award-winning stories. An example of that would be, if you’re talking to one of your friends who’s got two young kids below the age of five, and they go, “Oh, how’s the market?” You can tell them a story about how you just helped another family just like them with two kids under five get into the best school district, and get a house for less than they thought they would have to pay. And then you were able to get them a whole lot more money on their house, and now they’re in a great school district for their kids. Those are award-winning stories, and you should be lining up your stories with exactly who you’re going to be talking to.
So, I hope that helps! Have a great day, and best of luck to you on your 90-day sprint. Bye!