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Reasons Why Your Prospects Aren't Turning Into Clients

By the Numbers:

Playing the


Understanding the True Value of Square Footage COVER STORY











Phone 310-734-1440 | Fax 310-734-1440 mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior consent of the publisher. Top Agent Magazine is published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although precautions are taken to ensure the accuracy of published materials, Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors. To subscribe or change address, send inquiry to mag@topagentmagazine.com. Published in the U.S.


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7 Reasons Why Your Prospects Aren’t Turning Into Clients Real estate experts suggest prospecting daily so that your sales pipeline never runs dry. But sometimes all that effort doesn’t translate into results. If your prospects aren’t becoming clients, there’s a reason, which is better than it sounds because that means you can fix the problem. 4

1. You’re Too Slow The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials estimates that there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States alone. Of course, not all these individuals are working in the same markets. Nonetheless, that

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If your prospects aren’t becoming clients, there’s a reason, which is better than it sounds because that means you can fix the problem.

means that realtors face a lot of competition. If you are slow to respond to messages from prospective clients, someone else is sure to beat you to it. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to return calls and emails within 24 hours. If you’re too busy working with active clients to return the phone calls and emails of prospective clients, consider hiring a real estate assistant who can help take administrative or marketing tasks off your plate.

2. They Don’t Trust You There are different reasons why a client might not trust you, some of which overlap with others on this list. When a client asks you a question, do you answer it directly or do you sidestep it? Do you have testimonials and reviews from happy clients publicly available? Do you have an online presence? Social proof of your skills and knowledge is key.

3. You Don’t Seem Knowledgeable Enough Is your client constantly coming to you with new listings or marketing ideas rather than the Top Agent Magazine

other way around? Do they mention real estate and finance terms you’ve never heard of or ask you questions you’ve never thought to ask yourself? Every agent starts somewhere, but if this seems to be a pattern, it’s one clients will pick up on too. Your clients want to know that you will add value to their home buying or selling experience, and part of that value is your expertise and passion.

4. You Have No Web Presence It’s not enough to be on Zillow or have a Facebook page. There are clients who don’t use these platforms, and at the end of the day, you don’t own the content or your access to it. Both platforms could suddenly go out of business and any following you’ve gained could be lost. It doesn’t cost much to create and maintain a website today. If customization matters little to you, sometimes you can even get up and running for free. At the very least, it’s a good idea to invest in a domain name because yourwebsite. wordpress.com looks a lot less professional than yourwebsite.com.

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5. You Don’t Seem to Care When clients don’t think you care, it usually means they don’t feel like you are listening. You may have systems, processes, and a proven marketing strategy. You may like to get right down to business, but to your client, this isn’t just business—it’s their life and their family’s livelihood. When your client tells you what’s important to them, they want to make sure that you really hear them. Make sure your body language conveys that. Slow down. Shut your office door. Make eye contact, nod your head, and pause before you speak so that they understand that you’ve put thought into your words—that they aren’t simply lines from a script.

6. You Use Too Much Jargon Remember that your clients don’t speak real estate. At most, they might buy or sell a home once every few years. They hired you to be their advocate and may even expect you to be a bit of a teacher too. Use layman’s terms so that your


client fully understands how the two of you will work together.

7. Your Target Audience Is Everyone Your clients are home buyers and sellers, yes, but who is your ideal client? Some specialties you might consider are college students and recent graduates, working professionals, military families, seniors, CEOs, or other high-profile clients. As a newer agent, your target audience might be anyone who will hire you, but over time, you might find that you click more with certain clients, that their lifestyle is similar to yours, or that their goals align with your mission. Whatever the reason, marketing your business to this “ideal client” rather than every potential client will make selling your services easier. Remember: It’s within your power to alleviate your client’s concerns, but understanding why your prospects aren’t turning into clients is a good start.

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DAWN TEMPLETON Top Agent Magazine


Top Agent Dawn Templeton spearheads her work under the banner of the Templeton Real Estate Group, serving clients across Boise’s eastside. Her team consists of five agents and a six-person support staff. After moving to Idaho back in 1999, Dawn Templeton swiftly earned her license and got her start in real estate alongside an area builder. Since breaking out on her own in 2006, she has gone on to build a team, a thriving business, and an impeccable reputation 8 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

for professionalism, savvy marketing, and a personal touch. Today, Dawn spearheads her work under the banner of the Templeton Real Estate Group, serving clients across Boise’s eastside. Her Top Agent Magazine

team consists of five talented agents and a six-person support staff that includes an in-house stager and staging assistant, a marketing coordinator, and listing coordinators. Together, they comprise the top-performing Top Agent Magazine

team for resale residential homes in the area. From their offices in Bown Crossing, Dawn has cultivated a business almost exclusively driven by repeat and referral clientele who trust her astute counsel, proven track record, Copyright Top Agent Magazine 9

From their offices in Bown Crossing, Dawn has cultivated a business almost exclusively driven by repeat and referral clientele who trust her astute counsel, proven track record, and superlative client care. “It’s all about service and expertise.” and superlative client care. “It’s all about service and expertise,” Dawn says. “We also offer complimentary staging services for sellers. I’m an accredited staging professional myself, and we have another on staff—that’s something that really separates us, and people respond to it. We’re able to get homes sold quicker and we offer that five-star client care. We work for those reviews, especially since they make a huge impact nowadays.” When embarking upon the listing process, Dawn takes advantage of every tool in her arsenal. All homes are equipped with professional 10Copyright Top Agent Magazine

photography and impeccable staging services that ensure each makes an immersive and memorable first impression. From there, high-tech tools like geographic targeting and premium visibility across listing platforms guarantees exposure is wide-ranging. She also leverages tried and true approaches, including direct mailers, catered open houses, and door-knocking. “That’s how we got entrenched in our geographic area,” she says, “with boots on the ground and getting in front of the people that live here.” Last year, she and her team closed 173 transactions in an impressive underscoring of their talents. Top Agent Magazine

Beyond the office, Dawn gives back through contributing to various local causes and organizations, including Boise Parks and Recreation, Interfaith Sanctuary, and Boise Rescue Mission. They also contribute to area projects, such as a recent acquisition that saved a piece of untouched land in the Boise Foothills. They sponsor countless area sports teams and schools, Top Agent Magazine

including Boise State University and its marching band. “We live and work in the same place,” she says. “We know the people here, and we like to be involved in our community to give back.” In her free hours, Dawn most enjoys time spent with family and loved ones, hiking, boating out at Lucky Peak, and visiting the family’s second home in Palm Desert, CA. Copyright Top Agent Magazine11

Looking ahead, Dawn intends to keep business going steady as she sees her team continue to grow in the years to come, with the potential of expanding to additional service areas in the Treasure Valley. Last year,

the team doubled their business, and Dawn hopes to keep this trend alive. Now, with twenty years of experience and insight, the future appears bright for Dawn Templeton of Templeton Real Estate Group.

To learn more about Dawn Templeton email Dawn@TempletonRealEstateGroup.com, visit TempletonRealEstateGroup.com, or call (208) 473–2203   www.

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By the Numbers:

Understanding the True Value of Square Footage Measuring the square footage of a property may seem like an objective and straightforward task, but you’d be surprised at how many agents and homebuyers misunderstand this pivotal figure. True square footage provides homebuyers a concrete understanding of their prospective domain, but here’s the problem: the rules to determine a home’s square footage are not always uniform across the board. What’s more, much of Top Agent Magazine

a home’s value is determined by its size, so accuracy is certainly important. While many real estate agents have their own systems for determining or confirming a home’s true square footage, it doesn’t hurt to update your practices and become an expert on the subject. After all, you may learn a few techniques that could add value to a listing, or better prepare you in guiding house-hunters on the lookout.

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1. Do your due diligence Most towns and cities have a local records department where floorplans and blueprints are kept on file. It’s worth noting that these records don’t typically include any subsequent additions or remodels on a property, but they still give archive hunters a legal baseline when outlining a property’s square footage. Oftentimes, a straightforward online search of a city or county’s records office can pull the information necessary, or else agents can poke around in person to uncover informative blueprints at the records office. Either way, access to original blueprints or floorplans is a great tool for determining livable square footage. As a bonus,


original blueprints and floorplans—especially in historic properties—can be intriguing visual aids for prospective buyers, as well.

2. Know the rules While there aren’t universal standards when it comes to measuring square footage, there are general guidelines that can help determine square footage in an authentic way. Per the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), here are the official recommendations for measuring a home’s real square footage: n

Called “below grade spaces,” basements and sunrooms beyond a home’s typical

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living quarters do not count toward a home’s true square footage. According to ANSI, even big draws like finished basements don’t count toward a property’s Gross Living Area. Of course, even below grade spaces have their own desirable value and should be outlined as such on listings. n


Did you know the space inside closets and on stairways counts toward a home’s square footage? Even if these areas are relatively small, they still add to a property’s calculable square footage. When recording square footage, ANSI actually suggests performing measurements from a property’s exterior—though this method does not account for the

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thickness of exterior walls, which could skew square footage numbers. n

Just like below grade spaces, a garage, a pool house, or even a guest house should not be included in a property’s Gross Living Area. The rationale at work here is this: if you must go outside to access additional living areas, then they are beyond the square footage scope of the primary dwelling and should not be included in a home’s Gross Living Area.

3. Double-check by doing the dirty work Buyers and sellers have or will make a sizable investment in a property, so isn’t it fair to double-check all the relevant facts and figures

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when it comes to true square footage? If you want to take on the endeavor yourself, here are a few helpful steps to take. n

First, you’ll need a few things to get started, including a tape measure that can measure at least 100 ft., graph paper, and a pencil.


Next, choose a room to start measuring wall-by-wall. Measure Wall 1, then proceed to assign each square on the gridded paper a corresponding measurement, rounding to the nearest tenth of a foot for the sake of clarity.


From there, draw out the wall you measured and measure the remaining walls in the


room. Once you’ve completed the room’s measurements, multiply the room’s length and width to determine its square footage. n

As you go measure throughout the home, using your own system to scale, you will construct a failsafe floorplan.

Mastering your craft is everything, and the real estate industry is no different. Every now and again, it’s worthwhile to update your well of information, take matters into your own hands, and continue to innovate with the industry. While square footage may not seem like the juiciest starting off point for such a venture, never forget: mastery of technical knowledge is a sure sign of expertise.

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SHELLEY RUDOLPH, KELLER WILLIAMS LEWISTON / THE RUDOLPH GROUP Not many people can tell you that they started their successful REALTOR® career because of allergies. Meet Shelley Rudolph, who heads up The Rudolph Group of Keller Williams in Lewiston, Idaho. Before she received her REALTOR® license 33 years ago, she was a hairdresser who was “allergic to everything” in the salon. She also remembers well that interest rates were at 14% in 1987. Nevertheless, she fell in love with the real estate world. “It’s just been my dream career. And it’s been a lot of fun,” she says. Shelley has lived and worked in the Lewis-Clark Valley in Idaho for her entire career. Her office is based in Lewiston, Idaho, however she is dual licensed in Idaho and Washington state. “It’s unique because we’re just separated by the Snake River,” she explains. The towns of Lewiston, Idaho and Clarkston, Washington, and surrounding areas have a population of about 55,000 residents. Although she has worked as a solo REALTOR® for most of her career, she brought on an assistant about five years ago who became her business partner. The Rudolph Group at Keller Williams Lewiston did 87 units in 2019. “We’ve been number one in the valley for the last three years,” she says. Their average sales price for a home is $230,000. “We did $22.2 million in 2018. And I believe we were $19 million last year [2019].” She joined Keller Williams just this year and has been happy with the relationship. “I plan on staying with Keller Williams until I retire,” she says. Shelley accentuates her robust repeat and referral business. “It’s huge,” she says. “We’re selling to generations of families, which has been so fun. We start with a couple, then it seems like we sell their kids their house,” she says. She believes the amount of repeat and referral business also protected her from the recession. “We were a little bit protected in the valley because we Top Agent Magazine

didn’t have a lot of spec development like some of the other communities,” she explains. “Boise was hit very hard in Idaho and so was Coeur d’Alene. They had just tracts and tracts of subdivisions that were built. We just didn’t have that in the valley, so that really helped.” As far as longevity with former clients, she believes that she’s able to continually strengthen relations. “I feel like I’ve developed a good reputation as trustworthy,” she says. In addition to an annual customer barbecue event and personally ringing the Salvation Army bell during Christmas, Shelley also knows how to stay relevant with younger clients. She points to her active engagement on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media. “We sold 12 houses last year because of Facebook,” she says. In 2020 the Rudolph Group plans to increase their social media presence, volunteer in the community, and devote time and attention to deepening relationships with clients. For Shelley Rudolph, the future looks bright.

To learn more about Shelley Rudolph, email shelleyrudolph2@gmail.com, visit kw.com/kw/agent/therudolphgroup, or call (208) 791-7590


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Playing the Real Estate Matchmaker –

Follow These 8 Dating Rules to Ensure You Match Your Client with the Perfect Home for Them When you think a bit more about it, the ultimate goal of a real estate agent serving a client is really to match them up with the perfect house for them, almost the way a matchmaker tries to find two people that will fit well together as a couple. When people are looking for a house, they often treat the process as a quest for “the one” house that will fulfill their dreams of living in the house of their dreams. Don’t be fooled. It is always a search for “the one”, at least when it comes to helping a couple or family find a home. When you look at your client’s search for a home in this manner, then you might begin to notice some pretty obvious similarities Top Agent Magazine

between shopping for a home today and online dating. In this day and age most people live a substantial part entire lives online. People socialize with their friends on Facebook, they meet potential friends in forums and online communities, and we now even search for our perfect mate online. Shopping for a home also happens to usually start online. When they begin this search, make no mistake; they are looking for the “one.” These people then turn to you, the REALTOR® to play matchmaker for them. It is your job to wade through the pool of eligible homes (bachelors) and sort through all the ones that are too expensive, too nerdy, not cute enough, not smart enough, etc. until you find the “one.”

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It makes sense then to consult the tried and true practices in matchmaking that help those professionals find the right people for each other, and see if any of them could also apply for matching your clients with their dream home. You’ll find that these 8 dating rules may just show you the secret to matching your clients with the perfect home.

back to the store if you’re not happy with your new home. It’s best to first help your client get prequalified. This is a tangible step that shows they are ready to move on to a new home. You want to make sure they are completely over their love affair with their previous home. You can even ask them for a sign or proof that they’re ready to move on.

Who Is In and Not In Your Client’s League? Know Your Client’s Price Range:

Be Genuine, Not Superficial

When a person is looking for a mate, it is a waste of time for them to even consider those potential mates that are clearly out of their league. These people won’t even stop to give them the time of day. In the world of real estate the idea is the same. There is no point showing your clients houses that they can’t afford and will simply lust after without having any real chance of purchasing the house. It is your job to keep your client ground in reality, and help them be realistic in terms of price when choosing their next home.

Never Let Your Client’s First Impression of a Home Rule Their Decisions

Make Sure Your Client is Ready to Move On From Their Last Dream Home You’re job is also to make sure that your client is truly ready to move on from their previous home. This is a long term commitment, and they need to be absolutely sure they actually want to buy a new house. You can’t simply take the receipt 20

When trying to manage the many pitfalls of online dating, on inevitably goes on a date where the other person looks nothing like their picture online. That can be just as big of a problem when looking for a house. When clients show you a particular house they want to visit, ask them to name something about the house that they like other than the aesthetics. This way you can see if they are simply infatuated with the way the house looks in those pictures, or if there is a deeper interest in the home that could become a deeper connection between your client and the house.

When your client first sees a house they have already been lusting after in their mind, they’re often so excited to finally be looking at it, especially if it does in fact look as good as it did in the pictures. Make sure to encourage them to take some time before making such a big com-

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mitment, and don’t let their excitement push them into making a rash decision. It is your job to keep them grounded in reality. Push for your clients to do an inspection to make sure the house isn’t hiding any dark secrets. Sometimes the most charming facade can hide tons of slime and deadly mold.

Follow Your Heart (or Gut) People often laugh at and ridicule the idea of love at first sight, but when it comes to homes, the phenomenon can certainly happen. Your client may just find their perfect dream home at the very first place you take them. If you have a client that does insist this is the case, then you don’t want to try and rationalize with them or talk them out of their decision. You do, however, want to make sure you are watching out for their interest and make sure your clients take all the necessary precautions before they jump in headfirst.

See What Other People See in The Home – Do They See What Your Client Sees? Have you come to the conclusion that your clients are being blinded by all of the twinkling windows and crystal clear water glistening in the backyard pool, and can’t see that the house they’ve fallen in love with is really just a dirty animal (maybe a pig) dressed up in nice clothes and lipstick. Ask your client if they would be willing to look at the house again with Top Agent Magazine

their close friends, family, and anyone else they trust for a second opinion there to see it with them. If the house really is a dud, they’ll be able to see past any personal bias your client might have to the truth. They will be able to help your client see through the shining facade

Celebrate the Happy Union! When a couple gets married they tend to throw a big party and celebrate their union. The same goes for the closing. Your clients have just essentially married the house of their dreams, and now it’s time to rejoice. Congratulate them on their new union. Show your support for their new homeowner status by going to their housewarming party.

Help Your Clients Maintain Their Dream Home & Ensure a Lifetime of Happiness You can’t just disappear after the transaction is finished. Become their realtor for life by showing your clients how to maintain their dream home. Act as their resource for other professionals they may need to maintain the house such as handymen, plumbers, electricians, etc. Show them how to keep up with home maintenance so they don’t ignore problems that surface and end up with a much larger issue than they started with. Help them make sure their dream home lasts so they can live happily ever after in their home for a lifetime.

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The Daily Schedule

of a Successful Real Estate Agent Everything you do should be intentional. A busy schedule isn’t the same thing as a productive schedule. Sometimes people write things like “find clients” on their to-do list, but finding clients isn’t actually a task. It’s a goal. Your daily schedule should be created with your goal in mind if you want to be a successful real estate agent, but a goal is too broad to add to your calendar. Instead, you can break your goal down into projects, break those projects down into tasks, and schedule time in your calendar to complete each task. You’ll find that some of these projects will have an immediate impact on your business, and that those are the tasks that should be completed first. 22

The fact is that as a real estate agent you can set your own schedule—if you’re not productive until 10am, then you don’t have to start your day until then. But having a daily schedule means that every day you have a running start on all those other agents who just “wing it.” You don’t want to feel burned out and busy but like you’re simultaneously not getting a whole lot done. You can only keep up 70+ hour weeks for so long before your body breaks down and both your performance and income drop as a result. Since every real estate agent’s operating hours look different, the following daily schedule is broken up by the suggested amount of hours you

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should spend on each task rather than specific times of day. However, certain tasks, like prospecting, appointments, and listing presentations should be performed at times when it’s most convenient for clients. If you’re an agent who likes to end their workday at 5 o’clock, remember that this is also the same time your clients are likely ending their day, meaning you might be unavailable for showings during the only time their schedule allows.

3.5 hours – This is that time of day that you should schedule all your appointments and listing presentations. If you are a newer agent, you might use this time instead to do more prospecting and appointment setting.

1 hour – Spend this time waking up, exercising either at home or at the gym, and eating breakfast.

2 hours – Now it’s time to unwind. Use this time to have dinner and spend time with you family. If you have children, this is usually the time of day when they are wrapping up homework assignments and getting ready for bed. It’s important that you make time for these moments the same way you make time for your work.

2 hours – Use this time before you head to the office to develop a morning routine, if you haven’t already. You can meditate, journal, practice affirmations, or read personal development books to prepare for the day ahead. 1 hour – Once you’re at the office, spend this time to review the day’s schedule, catch up with your assistant or other colleagues, and check the latest industry news. This is also the time of day that you can role play to prepare for appointments. 1.5 hours – Spend this time prospecting and appointment setting. 1 hour – Now it’s time for a lunch break. If you’re a multitasker, you can also use this time to prepare for the afternoon and any meetings you have scheduled or connect with followers on social media.

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.5 hours – Look over the day’s schedule again and ensure you’ve checked every task off your to-do list. While you’re at it, be sure to review tomorrow’s schedule and goals too.

2 hours – Spend these last couple hours before you fall asleep to have quality time with your spouse or perform your self-care routines. 8 hours – Now it’s time for sleep—getting a full night’s rest is crucial if you want every day to be productive. As you can tell, there’s still some wiggle room left in this schedule, but the important thing is to block out time every day so you can achieve your goals and help your clients.

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