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MASSACHUSETTS EDITION

Are Your PRESENTATION SKILLS Costing You Money? SUCCESS— These 7 Habits Are the Real Secret to Success

5 Simple Mindset Shifts that will Help You ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS

Drip Those ONLINE LISTING LEADS COVER STORY

IRENE BREMIS


MASSACHUSETTS EDITION

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IRENE BREMIS

CONTENTS 4) SUCCESS—THESE 7 HABITS ARE THE REAL SECRET TO SUCCESS

18) DRIP THOSE ONLINE LISTING LEADS

13) ARE YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS COSTING YOU MONEY?

22) 5 SIMPLE MINDSET SHIFTS THAT WILL HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS

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Success– These 7 Habits Are the Real Secret to Success What is it that makes some people so successful and others not? Is there a secret recipe one can follow, as easy as baking a cake, which will give them the strength to achieve their ultimate goals and have it all? The answer is that, in a manner, there is. The trick is in how you think about success and what it means for you. Many people define success as achieving their personal goals, but could this be leading them to look at the world a little too narrowly? The people that are truly successful in every aspect of 4

their lives don’t stop at simply achieving their personal goals. They succeed in many avenues of their life, including their job, relationships, health, and family just to name a few. It turns out that ultra-successful people tend to have quite a number of things in common. One main skill many seem to possess is high emotional intelligence, or the ability to manage your emotions so that you can stay calm and focused even in high

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stress situations. Luckily, it seems not all of them are simply born with this ability, but have many strategies they use to help them achieve higher emotional intelligence. Here are seven strategies and habits that will help you achieve success in every area of your life.

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BE COMPOSED The first thing successful people always seem to have under control is their composure. Successful people stay calm and composed when the going gets tough and fingers start pointing. They don’t panic. The secret? They understand that in life things are always changing. It doesn’t matter if something is bad at the moment because that will change soon enough. In this topsy turvy life all you can really do is adapt in order to stay happy and remain in control of how you react.

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BE KNOWLEDGEABLE Have you ever noticed how successful people always seem to have such a wide range of knowledge and interests? Successful people do know more because they are always working to grow and learn. They strive to constantly increase their self-awareness. If a spare moment exists, then they will fill it with some kind of self-education. They do this because they are passionate about learning new things and ways to improve their life. Ignore the fear of being judged and ask questions, because that is the only way you can learn. Successful people don’t

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fear asking questions. They fear not asking those questions and growing stagnant.

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BE DELIBERATE It is important to think and reason before you come to a decision. Successful people don’t rush. They seek out advice from other, they think of all the aspects, and sleep on their thoughts before finally making their decision. Your gut instinct can be misleading, and lead you to make a rash decision that you will come to regret later.

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BE CERTAIN, AND SPEAK WITH CONVICTION Successful people speak with certainty. Unless you communicate your ideas with conviction and certainty, then you will have a hard time getting people to listen to them.

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BE POSITIVE Successful people use positive body language when they are talking to other people. Their tone is enthusiastic, they maintain eye contact, leaning in towards the person speaking to show interest. Successful people use it to draw those other people in. How you say something can be just as if not more important that what you say to people. Positive body language can completely alter how your speech is perceived by others, and helps to keep attention on you and what you are saying.

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BE MEMORABLE BY LEAVING A STRONG FIRST IMPRESSION You only have once to make a first impression, and they are incredibly important, as they are closely ties to positive body language. You have around 7 seconds to convince a person to like you after you initially meet them. That is how long it takes them to decide when they meet you. After that a person is simply spending the rest of the conversation justifying that initial reaction they had. You can make sure you make a good first impression by having strong posture, a firm handshake, a warm smile, and open shoulders.

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BE FEARLESS Successful people know that to give in to fear is a choice. They don’t let the fear take over, instead focusing on the rush of euphoria that comes with conquering fears. All of this adds up to having a high emotional intelligence. What helps you to succeed is the ability to control those whirlwind emotions so you can stay calm and focused on actually succeeding. These habits can help you gain a higher emotional intelligence, but as you probably already know, anything involving dealing with your emotions in a healthy manner takes serious work. So, don’t give up if you fail the first time. You must always try and try again.

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IRENE BREMIS 7


IRENE BREMIS Irene Bremis was born with real estate in her blood. With a successful real estate broker entrepreneur for a father, Irene soon enough decided—after some initial, natural resistance—to follow in his footsteps. Back in 1984 after earning her license, Irene garnered firsthand experience working under her father’s tutelage, and swiftly realized she had found the right path for her. That was thirty-three years ago, and today Irene has mounted a successful career founded on the philosophies of unparalleled client care, forthright communication, and the ability to deliver consistent results. In C 8 opyright Top Agent Magazine

2016 alone, Irene closed nearly $17.9 million in volume, with much of her business driven by repeat and referral clientele. Primarily serving the Somerville, Massachusetts region, Irene and her newly minted team also serve clients as near or as far afield as Medford, Cambridge, Arlington, Malden, Stoneham, Melrose, Wakefield, and Reading. Irene’s capable, tightknit team consists of likeminded professionals from diverse backgrounds ranging from the sciences to the arts. Together, Irene and her team unite their talents Top Agent Magazine


to bring clients a memorably superior standard of care. Irene makes an effort to not only be regular and clear in her communication with clients, but also to educate them throughout the transactional process. Focusing on solutions as opposed to problems, Irene and her team bring her integrity and veteran experience to every deal they negotiate. In describing her working philosophy, Irene reflects, “I’ve been in this business so long and I’ve seen it all. I know that above all else, you have to put your clients first. The most reputable, successful people in this industry focus on just that.” To ensure that each listing she is responsible for receives maximum exposure, Irene and her Top Agent Magazine

team utilize the full range of popular online listing platforms and social media outlets. She also deploys tailored marketing strategies to target potential buyers, customizing her outreach to consider location and clientele. For the majority of her listings, Irene and her team provide floor plans and professional photography, in addition to offering professional staging consults to ensure that each home makes the ideal first impression, whether in person or online. Staying in touch with past clients comes naturally to Irene, as she’ll often pick up the phone to check in on clients, even long after closing. In describing her favorite aspect of her work, Irene reflects: “I like matching each specific client with the right property, making Copyright Top Agent Magazine9


Copyright Top Agent Magazine Copyright 10

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“I’ve been in this business so long I know that above all else, you have to put your clients first. The most reputable, successful people in this industry focus on just that.” the experience as rewarding as possible. In this business, you’re everything to your clients, and I like having knowledge across all aspects of the process—from decor to finance—to make the deal come together for those I serve.” Positioning her spirit of service to her local community, Irene dedicates herself to raising contributions to charity, in order to help the vulnerable members of society. In the past, she has Top Agent Magazine

set up a foundation called Dreams for Youth and organized fundraising events for organizations making a difference in the lives of young people. She has participated in fundraising events for the Alzheimer’s Association and the elderly, and continues to contribute to the Homeless Coalition, helping community members make a positive transition back to conventional housing. When she finds time away from the office, Irene enjoys staying fit and being social. She Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11


participates in an array of social activities and is something of an adventurer, with past exploits that include sky diving, rock climbing, and—on more than one occasion—going on safari in Africa. As for the future, Irene plans to continue to grow her professional team, taking on new

talent and mentoring up-and-comers from the ground up. With over three decades of industry experience and insight already established—along with a considered eye toward continued growth—the future ahead is sure to be filled with sustained promise for Irene Bremis and her team.

To learn more about IRENE BREMIS, email irene@ibremis.com, visit irenebremis.com, or call (617) 623-4650 www.

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Are Your Presentation Skills Costing You Money?

S

ometimes we’re so focused on technology and education that we forget this is a “people business”. And, a great deal of the money you make comes from your ‘point of contact’ skills. What do I mean by that? Lead generating dialogues and presentation dialogues. Yet, how much do we work on those verbal skills? Unfortunately, communication sales skills have gotten short shrift in the last decade. Why? I think it’s because many of us are so challenged by technological changes. But, slow down. Think about how you actually make money. It’s at point of contact. Getting better at point of contact skills translates into more money in less time.

We’re All Presenters Everyone in the real estate business presents: Agents present, when they are doing listing or buyer presentations. Managers present when they are recruiting, or doing their office meetings. Mortgage and title Top Agent Magazine

By Carla Cross

When you’re doing a listing presentation, what do you want to happen? You want them to sign the listing agreement when you’re done. reps present when they are in front of a group of agents in an office, talking about their services. So, doesn’t it make sense to become ‘killer’ at those presentations? You’ll double your money and halve your time.

Bug Off: I Do Okay Just Like I Am Yeah. I know. As a musician, I’ve worked with literally hundreds of people who thought they ‘played good enough.’ Some people just get to a certain performance level and leave it there. Have you ever thought that, often, our presentation strategies (or lack of) work in spite of us, not because of us? As a musician, I know the thrill of performing at high levels. So, open your mind and consider

stepping up to a higher presentation level. Not only will you have personal satisfaction, you’ll make more money! Now, let’s tackle one set of presentation skills: Organizing that presentation effectively. Having heard listing presentations that wander all around the world, I know the importance of effective presentation organization.

Three Steps to Organize Your Presentation to Knock Their Socks Off Most of the time, we just get in front of people and say whatever we think of first. That leads to some big presentation mistakes, and costs us ‘sales.’ Instead of stumbling through a presentation, why not organize it to Copyright Top Agent Magazine 13


grab their attention, persuade them to your way of thinking, and motivate them to action? You can. In my new resource, Knock Their Socks Off: Tips to Make Your Best Presentation Ever, I show a simple three-step format to create your persuasive presentation. No matter why you’re in front of people, we need to be persuasive Think about it. When you’re doing a listing presentation, what do you want to happen? You want them to sign the listing agreement when you’re done. So, it’s extremely important that you organize your listing presentation using a persuasive format, not just an information-heavy dialogue flow.

Grab Their Attention in the Opening Have you thought about your opening? Or, are you nervously standing at the sellers’ door, worried about what you’re going to say? Are you hiding in your office because you dread doing that sales meeting? When we haven’t organized our presentation, we come up with some really boring, off-putting openings, like: I won’t take much of your time, but... Copyright Top Agent Magazine 14

We have a lot to cover today We won’t get through the outline I know you don’t want to listen, but... I’m not really prepared

You just open your presentation book, point to the pretty pages, and say, “here’s a keybox” (I’m not kidding. I’ve seen it….) Great openings, yes? Yet, we’ve heard them dozens of times. You don’t have to settle for whatever Top Agent Magazine


If you’re doing a presentation to sellers, one of the major objectives of your presentation is to persuade them to your listing price point of view. comes ‘naturally.’ Instead, make your openings: Provocative Interesting Different Engaging I just attended a ‘Train the Trainer’ session (yes, I still learn great stuff every day!), where the trainer said it was important to engage the audience in a meaningful way in the first two minutes of your presentation. I think that’s a great rule to follow today, because people’s attention spans are the length of a gnat’s eyebrow. So, the next time you attend a presentation, see how much time elapses before the speaker/presenter/trainer gets the audience into meaningful action. I don’t mean to ask a rhetorical question, either!

A Middle That Educates Your ‘Audience’ to Your Point of View In the middle of your presTop Agent Magazine

entation, add those stories, statistics, and visuals that support your point of view. By the way, as you create that presentation, jot down your point of view. If you’re doing a presentation to sellers, one of the major objectives of your presentation is to persuade them to your listing price point of view.

Retention is Key

Why Use Visuals?

Three days later:

There are two reasons to use visuals in your presentation:

We retain 10% of the information when we hear it

We believe what we see

We retain 65% of the information when we hear and see it

We retain the information much longer As you organize your presentation, ask yourself:

Have you ever met with sellers or buyers, given them lots of information—and then had them question you about it a few days later—as if they never heard you—or heard you backwards? That’s because people don’t hear and retain very well. Look at the statistics:

So, use visuals to prove your points, not to merely show pretty pictures of houses.

The Ending: What are the main, and fre- Back to the Beginning quently, unspoken objections my ‘audience’ will have? How do I educate them to show them the reasoning behind my point of view?

Have you thought about your wrap-up? Or, like many presenters, does your ending sound like this? Copyright Top Agent Magazine 15


Well, that’s all. What do you think?

pop tunes are constructed with this format:

We’re out of time. Thank you. I hope you’ll list with me

theme—variation—theme

I don’t have time to close. I couldn’t get to much of the material, but you can read it In fact, even the most professional presenters frequently have trouble with their endings. One of the main reasons is that they run out of time. Another is that they haven’t thought the ending through.

How to Do a Stunning Ending Crafting an effecting ending is the second most important part of your presentation. (The first is the opening). To craft a great ending, Go back to your beginning opening theme Summarize the benefits of going ahead with you/take action Motivate your ‘audience’ to take action

A Great Presentation is Crafted Like a Pop Song As a musician, I know that all Copyright Top Agent Magazine 16

This is known in the music business as the ABA format. Think of your favorite pop tune: Hum the beginning. Think of the end. They’re alike, right? It’s the middle— known as the ‘bridge’—that is the humdinger. It wanders all around. Your persuasive presentation should be crafted like that pop tune: A. A compelling start (think Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, etc.) B. An interesting, developed middle, with stories, statistics A. Back to that theme, with a motivating ending Now, you’re all set to craft a great listing or buyer presentation, great recruiting meeting or sales meeting, or awesome product/service presentation to any audience.

Carla Cross, CRB, MA, President of Carla Cross & Co., is an international speaker, coach, and resource provider specializing in real estate management. A former master level CRB instructor, and National REALTOR® Educator winner, Carla was recently named one of the 50 most influential women in real estate. For a free document on standards to establish, email Carla at Carla@carlacross. com and ask for standards document. Carla has written six internationally published books, and provides coaching programs for management, including her affordable inoffice coaching programs Up and Running in 30 Days and On Track to Success in 30 Days for Experienced Agents, which provide standards, focus, and accountability. Reach Carla at 425-392-6914 or www.carla cross.com.

P. S. Practice! Many more tips on presentations and presentation skills are in my new resource, Knock Their Socks Off: Tips to Make your Best Presentation Ever.

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Drip Those Online Listing Leads By Walter Sanford

My coaching clients are beginning to find more success with their online listing leads. Whether the lead is coming from postcard-generated invites to complete forms on their site or third-party consolidator leads, the web leads are coming in. The problem with a lot of these leads is bad phone numbers but good email addresses. The question is - how do we engage them in a conversation that leads to a listing appointment? Uncovering the seller’s needs prior to an appointment is always the first step in creating client satisfaction, but it’s very difficult to do without good contact information. By showing these potential sellers value, my clients have found that many sellers who wanted to remain anonymous are now holding up their hands and shouting “I want some of that!” The drip system that creates this kind of excitement is one that’s immediately started after the lead is received. The system shows the value that you can bring to their discovery process. Every three or four days, send an email that lets them know that there is so much more that a top, local, professional agent can add to their search. With my clients, we only give a little bit of information at a time. Usually within a few weeks, we have the serious leads contacting the agent for an over-the-phone consultation. Below are some of the points that we stress in our drip system email campaign for online listing leads: 18

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Week One: Thank you for contacting us for more information regarding the sale of your property. I hope the information we have already provided was of some help to you. We believe that a real estate relationship should be based on the client’s needs. Once we know those needs, we have some very unique solutions that our past sellers have mentioned were available nowhere else. Please give us a call so we can supply some unique answers to unique challenges. Week Two: In our earlier email, we talked about unique solutions. One of the unique solutions we provide our sellers is a pre-listing consultation. Go to www.(yoursite).com/prelistingconsultation to answer a few questions and schedule a phone call that’s convenient for you. This will allow our team to be better prepared to give you some insights regarding what to expect in this market. Week Three: In continuing our theme of delivering value to our potential sellers, one of the most appreciated value propositions that we give our potential sellers is our “seller education system.” If you call us, we can program a search for brand new listings each morning. The search will include specs that compare to your home and the results will be emailed directly to you. This provides you with brand new listings that would be competing with your home, if it was on the market. This makes you the most educated seller in town knowing what the competition is. You’ll receive these new listings at the same time agents in (your town) receive them! Week Four: Occasionally, we have a seller who isn’t interested in considering a sale unless he/she knows the value first. We came up with a solution that eliminates a lengthy listing presentation. We call this our free 48-hour phone value analysis. Go to www.(yoursite).com/valueanalysis. Complete the form and within 48 hours, one of our team members will call you. Based upon the same comparables that appraisers would use, we will let you know the value of your home. This is a fast and inexpensive way to bridge the gap of an expensive appraisal or a time-consuming listing presentation with a service that can be just as accurate. There is no charge for this service, and we are happy to put the numbers together for you! Top Agent Magazine

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Week Five: One of the services that our sellers most appreciate is our “meet the team” concept. You can go to our website or call us directly for the contact information on a trusted team member for almost any service. We know the best plumbers, HVAC techs, electricians, roofers, landscapers, painters, carpenters, and carpet installers in the area. We use them on our own homes, we trust them, and we have long business relationships with them. If you need anything done around your home to prepare for a potential sale or if you just want to get it ready for a special occasion, we know who does the job well here in (your town). Week Six: Our sellers get higher prices because we make their homes desirable to buyers! We call this service our “primp and polish” service. Any consultation is free! We can provide you some simple tips to make your home more inviting to buyers. We will point out any potential red flags and help you place furniture to get things ready to create that emotional pull. We have professional decorators on call. Their services cost money, but we have found their service is a good investment based on the additional monies that we receive for our client’s properties. The initial consultation is free! Please give us a call so we can set this up for you. Week Seven: Did you know that our company has access to a majority of the top real estate agents in any city in the world? If you are considering selling your home here and buying out of town--we can send you to top agents who understand your needs. Top agents know they can’t solve client’s challenges without first knowing what those challenges are. If you want a special house out of town, then give us a call. We know agents who will not only show you standard MLS properties but also properties that are not yet on the market. We call these “secret properties.” These secret properties can be owned by past clients who might consider selling or sellers developed from a postcard mailing campaign in your neighborhood of interest. These agents know many ways to find property that other agents will not show you. We find this service to be one of the best that we provide for our buyers so we wanted to make sure that you get the same service when you move. 20

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Week Eight: If you’re not quite ready to list your property, we have a system called “sell the sizzle before the steak.” I know it sounds a little corny, but we can discretely present that your home might be available to our database of buyers. This helps us to do a little pre-marketing prior to a full commitment of our complete marketing plan. If you are interested in this service, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Week Nine: Did you know that we have a policy where no real estate agent will be allowed to negotiate with you in person? We do this because many times real estate agents can be very forceful in the presentation of offers from their clients. We ask for that offer to be presented to us, and we will spend as much time as you need with just us - your representatives. This eliminates awkward meetings where you need more time to think, and the buyer’s agent is pushing for an answer. We believe that selling a home should not only be massively profitable but also fun. If you’d like more ideas on how we differ from the competition, email or call me at your convenience. All contacts will be kept confidential. Well, I hope you get the idea that we’re trying to start a conversation with that potential seller instead of letting them fall through the cracks. A drip email campaign for a seller is similar to the campaign for buyers. It’s necessary for listing leads since the majority of information requests come via the web with incorrect or inoperable phone numbers. The only way to get these leads talking is to present them better value than everyone else. Copyright©, 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email walter@waltersanford.com, or chat with us online at www.waltersanford.com. Top Agent Magazine

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5 Simple Mindset Shifts That Will Help You Achieve Your Goals

Everyone knows that a positive attitude is one of the key steps to achieving success. It’s very easy to let negativity bring you down and oftentimes, people end up quitting at the first set back. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a negative person, you’re probably doing numerous things you don’t even realize are holding you back. Recognizing these negative mindsets, and then implementing simple mindset shifts, are sure to help you not only create a more positive outlook, but a more successful outcome to whatever goal you’re trying to achieve. 22

1

Turn jealousy into admiration

It’s very easy to look at someone who has what you want, and feel envious, which quickly turns into criticism and excuses about why you weren’t able to get what they seemed to get with ease. This is something successful people never do. Instead, they recognize that the only thing keeping them from success is themselves. If you want what someone else has, you should look to them as a role model. What

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are they doing that you aren’t? There’s probably more to their story than you’re giving them credit for. Someone else’s success doesn’t hinder your ability to do the same, but constantly having a ‘life’s not fair’ attitude definitely will.

2

Tackle the things you dread doing first

We all procrastinate to some extent. Usually it’s things we don’t want to do. But when you put something like that off, it creates a serious cloud over your whole day. Experts recommend getting those things out of the way first. Not only do get it crossed off your list, but you will feel energized by your accomplishments and tackle the day with even more force.

3

Don’t make decisions based on emotion

Reaching goals, especially long term ones, can have a lot of ups and downs. The key to achieving them is to stay level-headed during setbacks, really focusing on your plan and how the setback fits into your long term vision. If you have a solid plan in place, you could be destroying months of hard work with one rash emotional decision, that is probably coming from a place of panic. When you’re feeling emotional...wait. It really is that simple. Wait it out until Top Agent Magazine

you’re back in a rational state of mind and take it from there.

4

Learn to love feedback

It’s very easy to be thrown off by negative feedback or constructive criticism. No one likes it. But when it comes to achieving your goals, you need to be able to hear it, assess it and then make an unemotional decision about what it means to you and your success. In fact the business world’s most successful leaders are there because they not only take in that feedback, they actually constantly ask for it. Fresh perspectives on what you’re doing are always valuable. When you’re in the thick of it, it can be hard to see what needs improvement. Asking a trusted peer or advisor can be instrumental in keeping the momentum on reaching your goal going.

5

Replace a fixed mindset with a growth mindset

You might be wondering what the difference between the two are. A fixed mindset thinks that growing intelligence or skills is impossible, while a growth mindset thinks those things can be developed. People with a growth mindset are more likely to expand beyond their comfort zone, since they really believe almost anything is possible with hard work. And if it isn’t? They’re willing to give it a try. Being willing to try and fail, is a key element to reaching even the most lofty goals.

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