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6 Habits of Highly Productive Agents In a business that can be constant chaos, you’re constantly on the go and dealing with things as they hit you. It can be difficult to take a second and regroup. But there is a better and smarter way to work. If you take the time to create some better habits, in the end, you may end up being more productive. If you want to make better use of your time, as well as have more focus, here’s some habits that you’re going to want to pick up - all common to top-producing agents.

1. Learn how to prioritize Although it might be your instinct to get some of the boring work out of the way first, things 4

that actually generate income (or are time-sensitive!) should be the first thing you focus on when you start your day. Lists are your friend! Make a list of things you want to accomplish for the day, the week, and even the month. Always list them in the order of priority. If things get cut off when you run out of time at the end of the day, at least it’ll be the things that are not as important or time sensitive. As with anyone, your time is your most valuable commodity and should be used wisely. When you make your list, you can even schedule tasks as if they were a meeting, giving yourself a little time goal to beat, as Top Agent Magazine

well. Treat your time with the same respect you would a colleague’s or client’s and don’t ever waste it. As with anyone, your time is your most valuable commodity and should be used wisely. When you make your list you can even schedule tasks as if they were a meeting, giving yourself a little time goal to beat, as well. Treat your time with the same respect you would a colleague’s or client’s, and don’t ever waste it.

to accomplish it? Write it out and then incorporate that into your prioritized ‘to do’ list. You’ll be amazed at how driven you become to reach that goal when you actually write it out with clarity. And, the sense of accomplishment you get upon completing it will carry over to the next day. It’s important to remember to be specific. Once you get into the habit of meeting your goals, exceeding them won’t be far behind.

2. Remove distractions

when you need to focus This is especially hard when you’re a Realtor®. Most are constantly connected to their phones. But, unnecessary distractions can get you off schedule and make you lose your focus instantly. If you can, turn your phone off for the half hour it takes to do a task. Interruptions make everything take twice as long, especially when you take that text and then decide to check Facebook for a second. We all do it! Complete your task, then take ten minutes to respond to all texts and messages before you start up the next thing on your list. You can even schedule those ‘text backs’ into your schedule. A concentrated effort is always more effective than going back and forth between things.

3. Set daily goals This is so key. What do you want to accomplish for the day and what do you need to do Top Agent Magazine

4. Don’t make excuses There’s that old saying, “The buck stops here”. Well, take it to heart. This is your business and you are responsible for doing everything you can to make it successful. Sure, there are reasons for why you didn’t get a listing or why your business is slow, but what are you doing to change things and make them better? Successful Realtors® work harder and come up with innova5

tive ways to stand out when times are tough. They don’t look for excuses, they look for solutions.

5. Be deliberate

about everything you do When you’re making your list, it helps to have a goal in mind for even the smallest task. If you’re calling past clients to touch base, have a specific reason why you’re calling. Are you letting them know some market news? Thanking them for a referral? When you’re meeting a referral partner for lunch, have a goal in mind for what the outcome of that meeting will be as well. Yes it’s good to socialize and build relationships, but if you have a reason, make sure it isn’t put off until the final moments, when things are wrapping up. Always having a purpose in mind will also help you prioritize your list better.

6. Always look for ways to

get out of your comfort zone Yes, you are prioritizing what is most important or urgent to your business, but it’s also important to make an effort to break out 6

of your routine as much as you’re comfortable doing. Trying out new things or taking some time to learn about new and innovative real estate techniques and technology, can have an energizing effect on your business. Not only might they lead to things that make you more productive, but it keeps you sharp and engaged. And, ultimately keeping yourself at the top of your game is what it’s all about. Top Agent Magazine

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DANIEL BYRNE Rather than doing things “by the book,” Daniel Byrne delivers results to his clients by doing just the opposite. Sheer determination, commitment to service and a “don’t stop until it’s done” attitude have defined Daniel Byrne’s successful 22 years as a REALTOR® in the St. Louis, Missouri, market. Rather than doing things “by the book,” Daniel delivers results to his clients by doing just the opposite. “I have an ever-changing strategy and I’m relentless,” he says. “In real estate, every day is different, every day is a 8Copyright Top Agent Magazine

new puzzle that must be solved. There are no two deals, no two homes, no two clients that are ever alike.” He welcomes and enjoys the challenges he gets to untangle. “As stressful as it can be, it is an amazing reward when the deal is done,” says Daniel, who entered real estate when buying his own home more than two decades ago. The career Top Agent Magazine

move wasn’t planned. At the time, Daniel, who earned his bachelor degrees in fine arts with a minor in business, had just sold his printing business and was open to new opportunities but not actively in the market. “I didn’t feel I wasn’t treated well when buying my house,” he explains. “And I figured that a person could probably make good money in this business if they were just fair and honest. So that’s what I did!” Real estate, he discovered, seamlessly tied together his passion for art and his business savvy. From the creative aspects of marketing homes to his careful and strategic Top Agent Magazine

negotiations, he delivers results to his clients. As Broker/Owner of St. Louis-based Byrne & Associates Real Estate, he and his team cover a wide expanse of St. Louis County, working almost entirely on referrals. “I do more by a sphere of influence versus in a particular area,” he says, adding that each of his team members covers a unique niche. “They are all very unique and qualified in different ways,” he says. “One of them focuses on rehab, another on wholesale, and so forth. And they’re all very fair and honest.” When marketing listings, Daniel never takes a one-size-fits all approach. Instead, he tailors Copyright Top Agent Magazine9

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“In real estate, every day is different, every day is a new puzzle that must be solved. There are no two deals, no two homes, no two clients that are ever alike.” marketing efforts to each unique property and client. “We are all over the real estate websites, but I don’t simply rely on that,” he explains. “I still do direct mail and email blasts and I do social media. But I never use just one or even all of those. As I said, for me it’s a relentless pursuit. I do everything I can to get each particular property sold to the best buyer at the best price.” Also relentless in giving back to the community he represents and humanity as a whole, Daniel is active with various nonprofit causes. “I’m very involved with Big Brothers-Big Top Agent Magazine

Sisters,” he says. “And I sponsor kids in Guatemala, because I believe that our world doesn’t stop at our borders.” He has a soft spot for causes related to children. “I’m from a large family with a lot of nieces and nephews. Every day I am mindful of the kids.” And while looking out for the children and simultaneously caring for the needs of his clients, Daniel also makes time for himself. “I’m an artist, a painter,” he says. “My favorite pastime is painting and I love to learn.” Combining painting with his passion for travel, he has studied in Florence, Italy, and enjoys travCopyright Top Agent Magazine 11

eling to other parts of the world. When in St. Louis, however, he says his current and future professional goals are one and the same. His goal every day is to get the job done that’s in front of him and to continue earning accolades from his clients, who have voted him a Five-Star

Real Estate Professional annually since 2009. While he would love to see his business grow, growth is not his priority. “I just want to remain consistent for my clients,” he says. “Hard work, determination, commitment and customer service are the keys to success.”

To learn more about

DANIEL BYRNE, visit email or call 314.994.7444 www.

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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: Top Agent Magazine


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! 14

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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. Top Agent Magazine


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, or chat with us online at 16

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Are Your Presentation Skills Costing You Money?


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 18

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 Top Agent Agent Magazine

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 Agent Magazine Top Agent Top Magazine

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 19

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 pres20

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? Top Agent Magazine Copyright Top Agent Magazine

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


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 Top Agent Magazine Copyright Top Agent Magazine

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

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. 21

5 Morning Habits to Make Your Day Super Productive For many, most mornings begin with a rush—a rush to get dressed, a rush to find something edible for breakfast, a rush out the door and into rush hour. Likely you have heard articles advising you to set your

alarm early to give yourself some flexibility —which is sound advice, of course—but consider a few of these additional tweaks to your morning routine that can set a productive tone for your day at large.

1. Keep Screens Away Until Breakfast Oftentimes, our first instinct upon waking is to check-in on our phones, tablets, or computers, to scope out the latest social media updates and e-mail correspondence. While diving into the action might seem productive, studies show that waylaying screen time until you’re up and dressed, and have had a good breakfast, will actually make your first pass 22

at all things digital more focused, clear, and efficient. Instead of answering a few e-mails, checking out a friend’s photos, and then hurrying to shower and dress, instead make a resolution to keep the online world at bay for the first half-hour to an hour after you rise, then you’ll approach the digital world with fresh eyes, energy, and adeptness.

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2. Meal Prep Sometimes hitting the snooze button is inevitable, but if you make prepping breakfast the night before a part of your routine, then grabbing something healthy on the go will be a snap—and your stomach will thank you for it. Load up your coffee machine ahead of time, so all you have to do

is hit brew. Or, chop up a fruit salad, mix a smoothie, or simply put a granola bar and a grapefruit in your lunch bag, ready to be grabbed on your way out the door. Even if it’s small or basic, keeping yourself fueled will keep distractions, inefficiency, and mood swings at bay.

3. Queue Up a Podcast on Your Commute Whether you’re driving, biking, or taking public transportation into the office, a podcast is a perfect way to brush up on industry knowledge. Try sourcing a podcast relative to your field and narrated by experts. Not only will it get you thinking about the topics of your industry—while expanding

your professional vocabulary—it will also wake up your brain and get your head in the game as you prepare to launch your day. Use your commute time to bump up your knowledge and conversation points, and you’ll be ahead of the curve before you reach the office.

4. Begin with a To-Do List When work gets busy, sometimes just getting started is an overwhelming prospect. Before you dive in to your e-mails and projects, take twenty minutes and be thoughtful as you assess your daily and weekly to-do

list items, then map them. By giving yourself a bullet point system of what you need to accomplish and by when, you can undo some of the anxiety that a busy schedule promotes.

5. Walk It Out, Even If You Missed the Gym While we often rely on coffee for our morning buzz, exercise provides a potent burst of energy that can supercharge your day. But, let’s say you’re running behind and skip the gym—all is not lost! Take fifteen minutes in

the early morning to take a walk around the block a few times. The fresh air and aerobic exercise will wake you up, get your blood moving, and provide your morning with a natural injection of motivation.

Everyone’s morning routine varies, but perhaps the first step is identifying aspects of your routine that could be improved, and tackling them from there. From waylaying

screen time distractions to getting in a little blood-pumping exercise, keep these tips in mind as you launch your most productive morning routine ever.

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Missouri 8-21-17  


Missouri 8-21-17