If you have all the listings you need, if you don’t want any more listings, if you can’t handle any more listings – this might not be your cup of tea, but I think it will help you anyway with your perspective.
Of all the business troubleshooting tools Floyd Wickman teaches, the one tool I’ve seen help the most salespeople with their perspective is something he calls ‘The Links in a Chain.’
I know you’ve heard the phrase “links in a chain.” Floyd uses it to define how to succeed at building a listing inventory and, more importantly, how to troubleshoot and correct when you don’t have the listing inventory you want or need.
Think of a chain with 10 links, all interconnected one to the next. What’s the common wisdom about the strength of a chain? That’s it. A chain can only be as strong as the weakest link.
Success in listing, like anything in life, is nothing more or less than a series of events, all connected, like the links in a chain. Whenever you are not getting the results you want, analyze the links and find the weakest one. Shore that one up and you’ve gone a long way toward correcting the problem. You’ve strengthened the entire chain.
Let’s take Floyd’s links one at a time, and while we’re at it rate yourself on the strength of each one. Use a 1-5 rating system to take the guesswork out of it. 3 is average, 2 is below average, 4 is above average, 5 is exceptional and 1 is the weakest link.
Link #1 is AWARENESS:Awareness is, “Something that you know that you know that you know.” To be an effective lister you have to know that listings are the name of the game. You cannot be effective when you need a listing pep talk every other day. It’s called buy-in, and no one can sell what they don’t buy.
Link #2 is GOAL:Do you have a specific, measurable, attainable, visualized listing goal with a deadline? It’s difficult to hit a target you cannot see, but it is impossible to hit a target you don’t have.
Link #3 is COMMITMENT:Does your goal have a reward built in when you hit it? Rewards strengthens commitment. Does your goal have a penalty if you don’t? Penalties strengthens commitment.
Commitment may sound like it should be a given, but over half of the people who get married can’t sustain commitment.
How are you scoring so far? Are you a 15, or have we already discovered the problem?
Link #4 is PROSPECT:There’s no substitute for making calls, networking, marketing, door knocking, mailing and following up. Without leads to work, listings are a matter of luck.
Link #5 is CONVERT LEADS TO APPOINTMENTS:How skillful are you at converting leads into prospects and prospects into appointments? It’s one thing to have all the leads in the world, but if you can’t convert leads, they are of no value.
How, you might ask, do I figure out how skillful I am at converting leads? That’s easy, and I’m glad you asked. Answer me this. What is your success ratio? How many contacts does it take to generate one lead? How many leads does it take to generate an appointment?
Knowing the numbers eliminates guesswork. I always ask salespeople for their numbers. Simple things like, “How many appointments have you been on in the past 12 months?” Guess what I hear more times than not? “I don’t know.” So I ask, “Gee, why didn’t you keep track of that?” They say, “I was too busy.” I say, “Doing what?” They say, “I don’t know.” Come on. Really?
Link #6 CONTROL THE APPOINTMENT:Controlling the appointment may sound like a high pressure technique until you understand what Floyd means by ‘control.’ He means ‘positive’ control, the pressure-free kind. Negative control is the kind people use to get what they want by manipulating others. Positive control means you cannot be manipulated because you take things one step at a time and stay on track.
The real key to controlling the appointment is having a track to run on. Like a blueprint or a template. A track is not a script. You’ve heard salespeople who sound like they have memorized a script. Even the jokes are canned. Whatever you do, don’t interrupt them. They have to go back to the beginning and start over!
An effective, pressure free appointment has an agenda, a series of things you want to accomplish one at a time in order. Knowing the order and the steps in advance, and sticking to the plan, takes all the pressure off you. And the real benefit is that you can devote more of your attention to your client, to listening, to showing that you care, to connecting with them.
Want to get more listings without having to go on more appointments? Show people that you care.
Here’s a little secret sales success formula from Linda Wickman, Floyd’s life partner for 50 years. Caring about what the other person cares about is what caring is all about.
Link #7 is PRESENTATION:How effective are you at selling the seller on listing with you and your company? At presenting your marketing plan? At differentiating yourself from all the other agents and companies they are comparing you with? When there’s no difference between your widget and the other guy’s widget, the consumer usually goes with the best price. But when you can prove to a seller that you and your services are the best solution to their problems, price becomes almost irrelevant.
How are you doing so far? Are you a 35?
Link #8 is PRICING:Floyd teaches us that it’s possible to do the right thing at the wrong time on a listing appointment. His Rule Of Thumb is, “Don’t talk price until they are sold on you and your company.” Until and unless they believe you can get the job done, why would they give any credibility to your advice on price?
That’s why Link #7 comes before Link #8. Why would anyone skip Link #7 and go straight to pricing? Here’s something I’ve heard frequently. “They asked me to.” Go ahead, laugh. And then go back and review Link #6 controlling the appointment.
When you really join forces with sellers, pricing becomes a matter of three people putting their heads together to come up with the right number. Until then, pricing is usually adversarial, and can become an argument.
Link #9 is CLOSING:Don’t make closing more complicated than it needs to be. Once they have told you everything you need to know; and you have shown them everything they need to see, you deserve a decision. Closing is simply getting decisions, either a yes or a no.
How often do you leave an appointment with a non-decision? One of those “think – it – overs?” Or, “We’ll get back to you.” Or, “Boy, we’re really impressed, aren’t we, honey? Tell you what, can we call you Tuesday with our decision, or would Friday be better?”
And there you are, alone on the front porch with a very confused look on your face.
Hey, you’re thinking to yourself now, how could I possibly master all that stuff? Believe me, I know you’re thinking that. I believe that is the #1 reason why most agents never become effective listers. It takes skill.
In every sales industry we’ve studied where salespeople have two basic types of products, there is one easy sale and one challenging sale. Life insurance, for example. Term life is an easy sale. Simple. Easy to understand. Whole life, on the other hand, can be a challenge to present and to understand. Which of the two makes for a longer and more rewarding career? Not the easy sale. The salesperson that develops the skill to make the tougher sale is the best indicator of success.
The good news? We’ve been effectively teaching real estate salespeople how to be effective listers effectively for over 30 effective years. (Yes, I know I used the word effective a lot in that sentence. Was it effective?) It’s teachable and it’s learnable. Except maybe for . . .
Link #10 is SERVICE:The root of the word “sell” is “to serve.” I believe you either have a servant’s heart, a service mentality, a giving nature, or you don’t. I’ve seen people change their basic nature to become givers, but it’s not a quick or easy journey. Much better to start out that way.
At the very least, follow Floyd’s Core Value, “To always do what I say I will do, sometimes more, just never less.” You will find that always delivering what you promise is a game changer that will set you apart from your competition. (And, by the way, always makes you feel very, very good about yourself.)
Now, if you are a 50, congratulations. If not, strive to become a 50. And whenever the results you want aren’t there, fly up in the air and examine the links in your chain. It’s usually pretty easy to spot the weakest one.
According to a survey conducted by Bankrate.com, one in four Americans are considering buying a home this year. If this statistic proves to be true, that means that 59 million people will be looking to enter the housing market in 2017.
The survey also revealed 3 key takeaways:
Those most likely to buy are ‘Older Millennials’ (ages 27-36) or ‘Generation X’ (ages 37-52)
Minorities, particularly African-Americans, were twice as likely to respond that they were considering purchasing a home this year than white respondents.
Many potential buyers believe they need to put 20% down and need to have perfect credit to own and are unaware of programs that would allow them to buy now.
Holden Lewis, a mortgage analyst for Bankrate.com, pointed to one big reason why many Americans are starting to consider homeownership:
“Having kids and raising a family is a primary reason why Americans take the leap into homeownership—many consider it a key component of the American dream.”
If buying a home is a part of your dream for 2017, meet with a local professional who can help you determine if you are able to.
So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you with the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers.
There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.
Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:
Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showing with just a phone call’s notice.
By Appointment Only (example: 48 Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.
In a competitive marketplace, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.
“The wave of the future is manufactured or modular homes to answer America’s affordable housing problem” – These are the words of Paul Comino, than founder of Home Nation, a family owned business that’s pushing the manufactured housing industry forward. Remember these words, as we go further to explain the reason behind the main fact of this article – Americans are more and more opting for manufactured homes.
Many people do not believe that such modular homes are “real” homes, and they usually give no reason for this assertion, they simply stand firm behind their words because they are human beings, and as we all know, we humans are never easily convinced that something new or unfamiliar is actually better than something to which we have grown accustomed, even if the “unfamiliar thing” really is better than the old one.
First of all, for the average citizen, when it comes to building a home, the two most important things are the cost and the longevity, i.e. the life span of the home. Many other things should also be considered, of course, but many of them can also be included into the factors just mentioned.
Now, when talking about modular homes, the most important thing to mention is that they are made for up to 30% less money than it takes to make traditional homes, and they offer the same quality and the same comfort that your average, traditionally built home does. Sometimes the savings can be even larger, as Comino has said “Housing development with modular homes holds its value in Florida and they are very nice homes at half the cost of standard-built homes.”
When realizing that one can save such large amounts of money in the production process, it’s no surprise that Americans who are familiar enough with manufactured homes, choose them over traditional ones. But even though with all this mentioned, a relatively small number of new houses are classified as modular today in the US. Less than 3% of new homes that have been built in the US are modular homes. Then again, when considering that many home builders still don’t believe that manufactured homes are a better solution; this fact is of no surprise.
Thankfully, many home builders are changing their minds and realizing the potential of modular homes, partly due to the fact than many countries around the world have long been using this method of creating houses, and a much larger number of homes are modular there already. In some European countries, a third of houses built in the near past are modular, and in Japan, more than three quarters of houses are modular.
Another thing that is changing people’s minds are the changes in policies concerning manufactured homes and Government programs that are being made to incite people to opt for manufactured homes. For example, in Ohio, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently added a provision to the Single Family Housing Direct loan program, that will help finance many of the already existing manufactured homes with long-term, fixed rate financing. And in addition to Ohio, several other states are going to include this provision in the near future; All of which means that a bright future is coming for new home buyers who are interested in manufactured homes.
Many companies in the US have also seen the benefits and have turned to modular homes. They solve the problem of the shortage in skilled labor that has existed as early as 2006, since manufactured homes do not require many workers on the job site. Moreover, they don’t require many workers at all. Besides the money, they save time as well, since modular homes can be mostly assembled beforehand and brought to the job site in several parts, where the workers build it all up, which takes them only a few days. The time saving is not only good for the workers and their companies, but for the clients as well as they don’t have to wait too long to get settled into their new home after purchase.
Another good thing here is that many advanced technological features which are in high demand today for houses are better to be built in controlled environments, where, for example, the weather can’t do any damage. “Automobiles, airplanes and others have been able to utilize these same techniques” – a valid point raised by Dan Bridleman, senior vice president for sustainability, technology and strategic sourcing at KB Home. We’ve been using these production processes in other areas of modern life, so why not take bring it into housing?
Many professionals believe that this rising demand for advanced technologies and the labor shortages will make the builders who are using the traditional methods of building houses to opt for building manufactured homes. It stands to reason that they will, since as you can see, the process for making manufactured homes is much simpler, easier, requires less time, and saves money.
Expect to see the demand for manufactured homes among Americans grow bigger and bigger, and we can expect that in a decade or so, the US will be counted among the nations that already use modular homes as their preferred method for home building.
The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question:
In today’s housing market, is it better to rent or buy a home?
The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major cities for comparison. The researchers “measure the relationship between purchasing property and building wealth through a buildup in equity versus renting a comparable property and investing in a portfolio of stocks and bonds.”
While most of the metropolitan markets examined moved further into buy territory (16 of the 23), markets like Dallas, Denver, and Houston are currently deep into rent territory. In these three markets, it is estimated that renting will top homeownership 7 out of 10 times.
Due to a lack of inventory, the home prices in the Dallas, Denver, and Houston areas have increased by 11.6%, 8.3%, and 6.6% respectively. Home prices in these areas will begin to return to more normal levels once residents realize that renting is not the best option, therefore bringing home affordability back as well.
The majority of the country is strongly in buy territory. Buying a home makes sense socially and financially, as rents are predicted to increase substantially in the next year. Protect yourself from rising rents by locking in your housing cost with a mortgage payment now.
To Find Out More About the Study: The BH&J Index and other FAU real estate activities are sponsored by Investments Limited of Boca Raton. The BH&J Index is published quarterly and is available online at http://business.fau.edu/buyvsrent.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTMLand associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.
The US Census Bureau recently revealed that the US homeownership rate declined to 62.9%, the lowest level reported in 51 years of Census tracking.
This statistic does not signal impending doom. Since 2006, there has been a decline from peak ownership rates which is attributed in part to responsible lending practices and shifting demographic patterns. What is significant about this statistic is that it can give those intent on homeownership the false impression that they are fighting a losing battle.
If you’re on the non-homeowner side of this statistic, does this spell opportunity for you? With the economy and employment gaining strength, and predicted home-buying demographic shifts, homeownership may start an upward swing.
If you don’t own your own home, you know there are reasons why not. Since my work dictates I challenge the best to become better, I ask you, “How sure are you that those reasons are still valid or insurmountable?”
Repeatedly, when I speak to audiences about becoming their own futurist and creating strategies to achieve the future of their choice, I frequently meet people – individuals, couples, families, groups – who did not realize that their future could include homeownership.
Because they did not consider ownership a possibility, they gave up investigating, learning, strategizing, acting, and dreaming to make it happen. So it did not.
Ask any real estate or financial professional, and they won’t hesitate to tell you that home ownership is, rarely if ever, achieved by those who make no effort or take no action in that direction.
Any “short cuts” lie in understanding exactly what effort and action are required for the most direct path to ownership success. That’s what real estate professionals are trained to know all about. They understand how to relay that information to willing buyers and sellers.
Interview real estate professionals until you find one with the right mix of experience and determination to assist you with your ownership goals.
Listen and take notes or record when this professional explains your options and how to achieve your ownership goals. If you ask questions, you will also receive details about various ownership options, including cooperatives, condominiums, and other alternatives available in your area and price range. More questions and you’ll discover how the purchasing process works.
Consider the full range of neighborhoods and communities within your area. Prices tend to go down the further out you go from city center. With good public transit, moving to the suburbs may not require as many sacrifices as you might think.
If you’d like to own your own home, this may be the right time for action.
There are a number of ways to increase your purchasing power and bring real estate ownership within reach. The important thing is not to give up on making an effort before you have explored opportunities available to you in this real estate market:
Interest rates have not risen as dramatically as they are predicted to do in the future. Waiting until rates rise will limit the size of mortgage you qualify for. Mortgage brokers can explain how much you’ll qualify for and how you may be able to improve that level of financing. When you purchase, aim for the longest term you qualify for without seriously compromising purchasing power. That way you’ll have years at a rate you can afford while the mortgage debt is declining.
Debts can reduce the size of mortgage you qualify for, but financial professional advisers can suggest do-able debt-reduction strategies to improve borrowing power.The first step may be reducing the accumulation of new debt by ending discretionary spending like impulse shopping, eating out, and holiday travel.
The real estate you purchase may become a “financial partner” in achieving ownership. For instance, buying a one or two-unit rental income property may raise your qualifying income by some or all of the rent the rental unit or units would bring in. This financial leverage may also be possible in a non-rental property if you can prove you have boarders who will move in with you, pay rent, and share expenses.
Uncertainty abounds, but the economy continues to build momentum and job prospects continue to improve. Untapped income opportunities may exist. When was the last time you explored new employment and education opportunities with your current employer or within your community? Having a job that is “just enough” to keep you going can create inertia that defeats your belief that there’s more out there for you if you persist.
Realtytimes.com contains a rich library of articles to answer your questions and help you explore alternatives. Below are a few from my ongoing column “Decisions & Communities” that reveal the range of opportunities available to those on the path to homeownership:
As you research ownership ideas and opportunities, stay skeptical. Ask for details and persist until you understand exactly what you and others involved will be responsible for. Beware of anyone promising overnight success or cheaper-than-believable housing. Stick with professionals who have verifiable credentials and proven expertise.
Since the downturn, you’ve had years to consider homeownership. Is it time for action before rising interest rates and increasing demographic demand move real estate ownership further out of reach?
He’s married with a young child and handles all the responsibilities that come with being a husband and dad.
He blogs regularly about productivity and expert performance.
And yet he finishes work at 5:30PM every day and rarely works weekends.
No, he does not have superpowers or a staff of 15. Okay, let’s you and I both stop being jealous of his productivity for a second and learn something.
Below you’ll get Cal’s secrets on how you can better manage your time, stop being lazy, get more done — and be finished by 5:30. Let’s get to work.
1) To-Do Lists Are Evil. Schedule Everything.
To-do lists by themselves are useless. They’re just the first step. You have to assign them time on your schedule. Why?
It makes you be realistic about what you can get done. It allows you to do tasks when it’s efficient, not just because it’s #4.
Until it’s on your calendar and assigned an hour, it’s just a list of wishful thinking.
Scheduling forces you to confront the reality of how much time you actually have and how long things will take. Now that you look at the whole picture you’re able to get something productive out of every free hour you have in your workday. You not only squeeze more work in but you’re able to put work into places where you can do it best.
This study was designed to identify the relationship between free time management and quality of life, exploring whether the amount of free time or the way people using their free time relates to their quality of life… The result has found a positive relationship between free time management and quality of life.
(For more on the schedule the most productive people use, click here.)
Okay, the to-do list is in the trash and things are going on the calendar. How do you prioritize so you’re not at work forever?
2) Assume You’re Going Home at 5:30, Then Plan Your Day Backwards
Work will fill the space it’s given. Give it 24/7 and guess what happens?
You need boundaries if you want work/life balance. But this also helps you work better because it forces you to be efficient.
By setting a deadline of 5:30 and then scheduling tasks you can get control over that hurricane of duties.
Cal calls it “fixed schedule productivity”:
Fix your ideal schedule, then work backwards to make everything fit — ruthlessly culling obligations, turning people down, becoming hard to reach, and shedding marginally useful tasks along the way. My experience in trying to make that fixed schedule a reality forces any number of really smart and useful in-the-moment productivity decisions.
Over and over, scientists see that the perception of control over a stressor alters the stressor’s impact.
(For more on how to achieve work/life balance, click here.)
You’ve drawn a line in the sand and worked backward, giving all your tasks hours in your day. But how do you handle longer term projects?
3) Make A Plan For The Entire Week
I think you’ll agree that the last thing this world needs is more short term thinking.
You’ll never get ahead of the game by only looking at today and never thinking about tomorrow.
How do you write books, teach classes, meet with students, do research papers and be a good parent consistently? Plan the week.
People don’t look at the larger picture with their time and schedule. I know each day what I’m doing with each hour of the day. I know each week what I’m doing with each day of the week and I know each month what I’m doing with each week of the month.
Are you rolling your eyes? Does this sound overbearing? It’s simpler than you think. What’s really necessary?
Just one hour every Monday morning. Here’s Cal:
Every Monday I lay out a plan for the week. I go through my inbox, I go through my task list, I go through my calendar and try to come away with the best thing to do with each day this week. I write it in an email and I send it to myself and leave it in my inbox because that’s a place I know I will see it every day and I’ll be reminded of it multiple times throughout the day.
Preliminary analysis from CEOs in India found that a firm’s sales increased as the CEO worked more hours. But more intriguingly, the correlation between CEO time use and output was driven entirely by hours spent in planned activities. Planning doesn’t have to mean that the hours are spent in meetings, though meetings with employees were correlated with higher sales; it’s just that CEO time is a limited and valuable resource, and planning how it should be allocated increases the chances that it’s spent in productive ways.
Maybe you think it’s enough to run down the week’s duties in your head. Nope.
You’re judged on what you do best so if you want to have as much success as possible you’re always better off doing fewer things but doing those things better. People say yes to too much. I say no to most things. I’m ruthless about avoiding or purging tasks if I realize they’re just not providing much value.
You feel like you have no time but John Robinson, the leading researcher on time use, disagrees. We may have more free time than ever.
He insists that although most Americans feel they’re working harder than ever, they aren’t. The time diaries he studies show that average hours on the job, not only in the United States but also around the globe, have actually been holding steady or going down in the last forty years. Everybody, he says, has more time for leisure.
So what gives? It feels like you have no time because it’s so fragmented with little annoying tasks that drain the life out of you.
(For more on what the most successful people do, click here.)
Your plans are in order and by doing less, it all fits on the schedule. But one question remains: what exactly should you be doing with your time?
5) Less Shallow Work, Focus On The Deep Stuff
All work is not created equal. Cal says knowledge workers deal with two fundamentally different types of work, Shallow and Deep:
Shallow work is little stuff like email, meetings, moving information around. Things that are not really using your talents. Deep work pushes your current abilities to their limits. It produces high value results and improves your skills.
And what’s the problem? Most of us are “drowning in the shallows”:
People who are the most busy often are getting a lot less done of significance than the people who are able to stop by 5PM every day. That’s because the whole reason they need to work at night and on the weekends is because their work life has become full of just shallows. They’re responding to messages, moving information around and being a human network router. These things are very time consuming and very low value.
Nobody in the history of the universe ever became CEO because they responded to more email or went to more meetings. No way, Bubba.
Cal has it right: Shallow work stops you from getting fired — but deep work is what gets you promoted.
Give yourself big blocks of uninterrupted time to make things of value. What’s the best first step?
…whenever possible, do not check email for the first hour or two of the day. It’s difficult for some people to imagine. “How can I do that? I need to check email to get the information I need to work on my most important one or two to-dos?”
You would be surprised how often that is not the case. You might need to get into your email to finish 100% of your most important to-dos. But can you get 80 or 90% done before you go into Gmail and have your rat brain explode with freak-out, dopamine excitement and cortisol panic? Yes.
(For more on how to motivate yourself, click here.)
So how do we tie all this together?
Cal’s five big tips:
To-Do Lists Are Evil. Schedule Everything.
Assume You’re Going Home at 5:30, Then Plan Your Day Backwards
Make A Plan For The Entire Week
Do Very Few Things, But Be Awesome At Them
Less Shallow Work, Focus On The Deep Stuff823
Schedules and plans sound cold and clinical but the end result couldn’t be farther from that.
You’ll be less stressed, create more time for friends and family, and make things you can be proud of.
Knowledge work is really just craftsmanship. It’s just that what you’re crafting is information and not carved wood. You’re crafting ideas. You’re crafting knowledge out of raw material and the more you think about it like a craftsman, the happier and more satisfied you’ll be, not to mention more successful.
The offices of the world could use a few less cubicle drones and a few more proud craftsmen.
Five blacktip reef shark pups have recently became a part of the marine life at Maui Ocean Center.
At approximately two feet in length, the pups will reside in the Deep Reef exhibit for about a year before they’re released as juveniles back into the ocean. Upon arrival, the pups received a blessing.
A team of aquarists lead by Head Curator John Gorman observed the sharks throughout their quarantine process to ensure they remain in optimal health. Gorman said the sharks have successfully acclimated to their new environment.
Blacktip reef sharks are opportunistic feeders, scavenging the ocean floor for crustaceans, squid, octopus, and bony fish.
Aquarists at the Maui Ocean Center say the species gathers nearshore during the summer months to establish pup nurseries where shallow waters help to protect the pups from larger ocean predators.
The Maui Ocean Center is currently home to nearly 20 sharks and 5 species.