Starting over in real estate: a 30 day, step-by-step guide

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Starting over in real estate: a 30 day, step-by-step guide

What would you do if you had to start all over in real estate?Recently I experienced this when I moved from a market where I built a real estate business selling over a hundred home the year in Southwest Florida to a market that I’ve never been in in Charlotte North Carolina.

This forced me to take a deep look into all of the elements that contributed to my success over the years, and document those steps.

Whether you are a new real estate agent, starting over in a new market, or just want to hit the reboot button in your business, you can use follow these steps outlined day by day for 30 days to rapidly boost your sales production..

Days 1 & 2

The first two days in this journey is the most important.  This is where I focus on the only two aspects in my life that will make or break the next 30 days.

First, is my mindset.  As someone who has suffered through addiction and depression, I know that I am nothing to anyone else until I am in alignment with who I am and who I need to be for my family.

By no means is this an easy obstacle to overcome, and dare I say, I will never have mastered the art of protecting my mindset completely.  Rather it is an intention and dedication that I set forth where I fully commit myself to pushing through any obstacles that get in my way of achieving my goals.

Yes, I know I will fail at times.  We all do.   And, yes, failure sucks. But it’s important to understand that every failure is an opportunity for growth.  Learning what not to do next, and embracing short term failure, is what is what makes me different than the status quo.

Most fail and get so discouraged that they quit before they get to the good stuff, the breakthroughs.  So, needless to say, this is where I make certain that I have my morning routine, meditation practices, breathing breaks, water intake, exercise, and all the other rituals that I need to thrive, scheduled.

Now that I am right with myself, it’s my duty and responsibility to be right for my family.  My wife Jessica and my two kids are everything to me.  Jessica is my cheerleader, my rock, and my constant focus.  She inspires me to be a better person and pushes me to my limits, which is usually a good thing.

Without Jessica, I would not be anywhere close to the man I am today.  She flat out makes me better.

Jess and I will make a plan that will accomplish the following

  • Alignment of our goals
    • family goals
    • relationship goals
    • business goals
    • health goals
    • personal growth goals
    • contribution goals
  • Clear and constant communication
  • Setting expectations
  • Full transparency

Focusing on mindset and family gives me the confidence that I need

Days 3 & 4

YES!  I am grounded and ready to conquer the world.  At this point I am so pumped to get the wheels in motion.  To be successful is to be well-planned.  And this is my focus for the next 2 days.

Where most people would only focus on the next 30 days, BIG thinkers understand that life will continue to happen after the 30 days have passed.  That is why I do a 12 month plan.  By doing this,

I know that everything I am achieving in the coming weeks, will ultimately be in alignment and working towards my annual goals.  Here is what that looks like.

Set Goals for the following

  1. Annual – Set my 12 month goals for Income paid, Closed deals, Listing appointments, Listings taken, Listings sold, Buyers sales, Days worked, Hours prospected, Total contacts
  2. Quarterly – Broken down from 25% of Annual
  3. Monthly – 33% of Quarterly
  4. Weekly – 25% of Monthly
  5. Daily – 20% of Weekly

Other elements of focus during the planning process

  • Playing towards my strengths and leveraging my weaknesses
  • Identify my top sources of business in my new market
  • Tracking my numbers
  • Budget for 6 month expenses
  • Market Research (See what is selling and what is not)

Most people lack accountability and are confused as to what they should be doing next.  By spending 2 days on this process I am developing self accountability and creating clarity in regards to my outcomes and next steps.

Great! I know what I need to do, and I am ready to hit the ground running

Day 5-6

Reserved for mapping out the plan, selecting my ideal clients (sources) in my new market, and identifying what those client want, what they are getting, and what they really need.

  1. “WAR ROOM” Prep.  This is where I will go to battle everyday to fight for what I want.  Nothing will be handed to me.  I will need to be relentless and determined in order to earn new business and to show my new clients that I am the solution to their problems.  I am a huge fan of hanging things on walls, especially maps. So I hang area maps on the walls and start circling areas of interest, airports, schools, major highways and roadways, hospitals, etc.  In this process also circle which areas I may feel best for me to work.  This will drastically reduce the amount of time I will need to drive around getting familiar, provide me with plenty of things to talk about when speaking to new clients which will increase my confidence and provide value in their eyes.
  1. Identify my new top 5 sources of business
  1. Develop Source plan & Complete Client Profiles

Boom!  Locked and loaded with plenty of knowledge and currently inside the heads of the prospects I will be working with.

Day 7-8

Gotta get systemized baby!  It’s time to set up the software, tools, resources, system, process, and checklists that I need specifically.  The reason I wait until now to do this, is because there is no need to waste time and money on anything that I don’t need.

Software/Tools

  • Cole Realty Resource
  • RedX
  • Realvolve
  • Mailchimp
  • Mojo

Checklists/Systems

  • Source Prospecting
  • Pre-listing package
  • Pop By package
  • Listing Presentation
  • New listing/Listing taken
  • Contract to Close-Buyer
  • Contract to close-Sell

Something that is important to note is that in everything I do, I am always looking to Leverage my time and to only focus on Income Producing Activities ONLY.  If it is not one of my strengths and if it is not something that will produce income, I look to offload the task to someone else in a lower pay grade.

Days 9 – 16

Time to do what I do best; get on the phones and make all the magic happen.  I’ve been patiently waiting for this day to arrive with the understanding that if I skipped any part of the first 8 days…It would turn out to be a shit show and I would be a mess each day.  Without laying the foundation, I would be operating in reactive mode trying to piece things together as they come.

Time Block

Prospect 4 Hours, lead follow up, admin work, and then go on appointments and do drive bys and pop bys.

Note:  These are all work “IN” my business activities because I am ramping up and need to be working “IN” my business as much as I can.  The “ON” my business activities will need to be scheduled outside the hours of 7:30AM and 6:00PM.

7:30AM – 8:00AM

Affirmations, Roleplay, be “Change Agent Ready”

8:00AM – 11:00AM

Prospecting with 5 minute mindset breaks

11:00AM – 12:00PM

Aggressive Lead Follow Up

12:00PM – 1:00PM

Admin and Emails

1:00PM – 2:00PM

Prospecting with 5 minute mindset breaks

3:00PM – 6:00PM

Appointments or Neighborhood Canvas

Days 9 & 10 

  • Expired & Cancelled

For these 2 days I focus only on expired and cancelled listings.

What I know about Expired & Cancelled

  • They wanted to sell, and likely still want to sell
  • They are frustrated with the process
  • They are annoyed at all the agents calling them
  • They likely were not communicated with enough from previous agent
  • They are the most prospected lead source by other agents
  • They are the highest conversion rate of any other business source, and the fastest way to get listings

Who & What I need to be for them

  • I need to be different
  • I need to build instant trust
  • I need to focus on pitch, tonality, repeating, and affirming
  • I need to set an appointment on the first call
  • I need aggressive lead follow up
  • I need to protect my mindset to the fullest

Day 11-12

  • Expired & Cancelled
  • FSBO & FRBO

Time to incorporate another source of business into my prospecting.  For the next 2 days I focus on FSBO/FRBO and Expired/Cancelled listings.

What I know about FSBO & FRBO 

  • They currently want to sell
  • They may or may not be currently frustrated with the process depending on how long they have been trying to sell themselves
  • They are annoyed at all the agents calling them
  • They don’t know what they don’t know
  • They will likely pay a buyer’s agent 3%
  • They are not prospected by other agents as much as they should be
  • They are a very high converting lead source, and a fast way to get listings

Who & What I need to be for them

  • I need to be different
  • I need to build instant trust
  • I need to focus on pitch, tonality, repeating, and affirming
  • I need to set a pop by on the first call
  • I need to bring TONS of value to the table
  • I need aggressive lead follow up
  • I need to never make them feel like they are wrong

Day 13-14

  • Expired & Cancelled
  • FSBO & FRBO
  • OLD Expired & Cancelled

I’m ready for another source of business.  For the next 2 days I focus on all three sources

What I know about OLD Expired & Cancelled  

  • They wanted to sell at one point
  • They may or may not have sold or even still want to sell
  • They likely have less motivation
  • They don’t have other agents calling them
  • They are low hanging fruit
  • They convert at a lower rate than the first two sources

Who & What I need to be for them

  • I need to be patient
  • I need to focus on the fact that this is a number’s game
  • I need to focus on pitch, tonality, repeating, and affirming
  • I need to look for motivation and timeframe
  • I need to evaluate if I want to take their listing
  • I need aggressive lead follow up
  • I need to build rapport and add them to database for the “long game”

Day 15-16

  • Expired & Cancelled
  • FSBO & FRBO
  • OLD Expired & Cancelled
  • Absentee Owners

Finally firing on all cylinders and diversifying my sources of outbound lead generation. For the next 2 days I focus on all four sources.

What I know about the Absentee Owner 

  • They may or may not want to Sell OR Rent
  • No one else is calling them
  • Lower converting source.  Takes more contacts per appointment
  • First source to go once I cut down to 3 hours prospecting

Who & What I need to be for them

  • I need to be their “Trusted Advisor”
  • I need to know when to cut and run
  • I need to ask the right questions
  • I need to be patient

Days 17-30

  • Expired and Cancelled for 1 hour
  • OLD Exp & Can for 1 hour
  • FSBO/FRBO 1 hour
  • Absentee 1 hour

Day 17 

Time to start implementing some systems that will cut down my time on the phone with prospects and move towards incorporating workflows and automation to “Leverage my Touches”.

This will save me so much time and reduce the need of any outside assistant support.  And since it’s all a number’s game, and I am incorporating so many more “Touches”, I will start seeing more leads convert in the short term AND in the coming months and even years.

I will set up email and text message “Nurture Sequences” that I can trigger based on the current stage of my prospects and “Workflow Automation” for my internal process.

Day 18 

Weekly video newsletters are necessary to building a brand of leadership, knowledge, and authority.  And by being sincere and authentic, people know you actually care and aren’t full of shit.  This day will be where I set up my template in mailchimp and pre-record 30 days worth of 2 minute videos that are relevant, educational, and entertaining.

Once I have this set up, it only takes less than 30 minutes every week to execute.  BTW, None of that “how to bake a pumpkin pie” crap.  This should be all stuff people want to hear.  Don’t make it about how much you know, how cool you are, how great you are… This needs to be about the client and what they want to hear.

Day 19 

Most agents don’t focus on this, but property management is a widely overlooked tool that should be in every real estate agents arsenal.  Now I am not saying that every agent needs to be an expert in property management.

Honestly, most agents should not be doing property management, but what I am saying is that by not knowing the following 3 strategies to incorporate property management in your business; you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

  1. Create a partnership with a local property management company who pays referral fees AND will sign a referral agreement, on every referral, that they will send the client back to you when they are ready to sell.  This is FREE Money people.
  1. Set up an account on “all property management”, “manage my property”, and “thumbtack”.  This will create an inbound lead source of clients who may not even want to rent out their property.  Out of every 100 calls from this lead source last year, we turned 34% of those into sales within that 12 month period.

Damn, right?  And guess what, if they want to rent out their property, refer them to the PM company you selected and get paid a referral and get the client back when they are ready to sell.

  1. At the very least understand how the rental and property management world affects your real estate market. If you don’t know that when the sales market shrinks, the rental market saturates (and vice versa), you are going to miss out on BIG opportunities.

Days 20 & 21 

Identify which Communities to farm

  1. Evaluate which communities
  2. Complete “Community Profile”
  3. Implement strategy

“Community Profile” overview (The 7 “A’s”)

  • Absorption rate
  • Average age of homes
  • Amenities
  • Agents working the community. what % of business those agents are doing, and also if i think they may be exiting the business soon and if they want to sell their book of business or refer their clients to me after they retire.
  • Acceptance – Does the community fit in with my “Client Profile”
  • Ask – Ask questions to other agents and current homeowners in the community
  • Assess – Write down those communities and brainstorm session of everything i know or need to know about those communities.  Google them, drive around.  What is important to the people who live there and end up buying there?

Day 22-23

By now I have 3-5 listings, a strong pipeline for lead follow, and buyer’s are starting to call me on my listings.  I need to focus on my service and delivery systems.

Listing report card – Grading system for each listing 

  1. Price
  2. Access for showings
  3. Condition of property

Weekly communication 

  1. Script for weekly call
  2. Supporting evidence for weekly call
  3. Weekly organic email

Day 24

Here is where I stack on more future business by developing and implementing a plan to get even more referrals.  Agent Referrals and Past Client Referrals

Agent Referrals

  1. Compile a list of all the agents I know into a google sheet
  2. Set up a campaign in mailchimp to automate monthly
  3. Get on the phone and start asking for referrals

Past Client Referrals

  1. Compile a list of all my past clients from my previous market into a google sheet
  2. Set up a campaign in mailchimp to automate monthly
  3. Get on the phone and start asking for referrals

Day 25

It’s not what you know;  it’s WHO you know.  That’s why I take an entire day to focus on building strong relationships.

  • Put together a list of questions to ask other top agents within the market
  • Compliment each person I speak to in a way that is personalized to them
  • Start calling Top Agents in the market and follow up with a hand written card

It’s important to note that when the market shifted in the “Great Recession” no one wanted to handle property management or short sales.  During that time, when other agents were losing their homes, I grew my business by 31% annually on average over the course of a 5 years period.

*THIS WAS ALL BECAUSE OF REFERRALS FROM OTHER AGENTS*

Day 26-27

Put in more solid work on my systems, CRM, and automation.  My Database is the key to a consistent and steady flow of income for years to come.

Past clients, centers of influence, and other referrals is what will allow an agent to live a life of independent wealth and freedom.

Day 28  

Now that I have my “Client Profile”, “Community Profile”, actual Listings to sell, Buyers calling me, and new listings calling me… I guess I can develop my “marketing plan”.

*Having a Marketing Plan does not equal Getting More Listings*

This is because, in the mind of consumer, all marketing plans consist of the same 85 point plans of action.

What I do

  • Stalk the best MPs in the area for ideas
  • Layout what I feel the client will respond to best
  • Incorporate what makes me different
  • Incorporate what specific value I add
  • Source out graphics and layout to VA for first draft

Day 29

By now, I will need to start looking for an assistant.  The goal for the year is 100 transactions, and there is no way I want to do any paperwork, lockboxes, signs, photos, drop off packages, pull numbers, pre-listing paperwork, blah, blah, blah…..

My Hiring Process

  • Get clear on who I want to hire
  • Put together a 4R by defining my IPA vs NO (Income Producing Activities vs Need to Offload)
  • What are my weaknesses?
  • Where do I need support. Specifically?
  • Start hiring process for a FT/PT assistant, VA, or other
  • LEVERAGE

Day 30

What’s better than CRUSHing a goal?  Doing it earlier than expected.  Kapow!  Now I can take this day to reflect on how awesome I did, and celebrate with my family.  The future is bright baby!

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