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HOW TO BUILD A TEAM THAT WILL WIN BIG No Matter its Size WHY FELXIBILITY HURTS (Not Helps) Your Ability to Close Sales Deals COVER STORY








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How to Build a Team That Will Win Big No Matter its Size In the real estate world building a team is a goal almost every agent strives towards achieving. Doing business with a team as opposed to solo has numerous advantages. With more agents handling clients as well as other employees specialized in areas such as marketing and administrative support there to assist you; you can greatly increase your business and sales. 4

So, when creating a team, logic would tell us that the bigger it is, the better, right? Wrong. When it comes to real estate teams, size doesn’t matter so much as the players you bring onto that team to work with you. A team doesn’t have to be big to win big, and here are the secrets to building a team that wins big no matter its size.

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Hire the Right Team Members

Put Your Team Members in the Right Positions to Win

You’ve probably heard the saying, “you’re only as strong as you’re weakest link.” That idea holds true for any kind of team, including those in real estate. If you have weak members on your team, then it’s not possible to have a strong team. Drawing strong team members to your business is essential.

Finding strong team members is just one part of the equation. As the leader of your team, you now have to assess each member’s strengths and weaknesses and position them appropriately. You want the best player for each role playing that part and catering to their strengths. Choose your team member’s roles wisely, and place each individual in the position where their strengths can shine and they can best contribute to a win for the entire team. Every role is important to the team working smoothly and winning as a whole, so it is important to place each team member in the role most suited to his or her skills.

To better understand what kind of person would make a strong addition to your team, you need to ask yourself what skills and characteristics you want your team members to possess. The strongest members are often ones that share their leader’s values. When you share values with your teammates, you are all running along the same course towards the same goal as one. Your definition of a victory in this case is also your teammates’ definition of it. This helps strengthen even the smallest of numbers because you are all working together toward a common goal. Another characteristic too look out for in potential team members is a positive attitude. You can teach someone the skills needed in real estate, but you can’t teach someone how to have a positive attitude. Positive members tend to achieve more due to their optimistic nature, but more importantly, they spread that positive attitude to the rest of the team, which improves every members’ performance. Top Agent Magazine

Communicating Your Vision to Your Team

Your team members are the key ingredients to ultimate victory, but what recipe do you follow now to lead them to victory? That is what communication is for a winning team; the recipe you will use to

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help best utilize each team member and instruct them on how they need to work together to fulfill the recipe that will lead them to be a winning team. Your team members need to know the plan and you must give them the tools to successfully execute it. It is up to the leader of a team to help your players see your vision and help them understand what a victory looks like. The goal may seem simple and obvious to you, but you must communicate it over and over again to your team members, so they understand it as well as you do. With different personalities coming together to form a unit, you are going to be dealing with numerous challenges such as competing agendas. You will find this on any team. You must keep the goal and at the forefront of your player’s minds in order to encourage them to put aside their own personal desires in order to come together as one cohesive, single-minded unit and push towards the team’s goal.


Give Your Team Members the Tools to Help Them Perform at Their Best The final thing all great leaders do is equip their team members with the proper tools and training needed for them to succeed. You have to show them how they can each come together with their different strengths to work as a team towards one unified goal. This involves more than simple skills training, but also endurance, so they can last as a team and win even those matches that seem unending and impossible. Think of all the challenges that they could possibly face ahead, and clear their path to victory by giving them the necessary training and tools they will need to get past any obstacle. As the leader, you must be prepared to continually communicate the team’s goal and your vision. Use that vision to motivate your team members throughout the journey towards victory.

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BARBARA PATER Top Agent Magazine


Primarily serving North Carolina’s Research Triangle—including Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham—Barbara Pater has long spearheaded her work solo, under the banner of Coldwell Banker Advantage.

BARBARA PATER After her career as a flight attendant came to an end, Barbara Pater decided to set her sights on real estate. She’d always had an interest in the industry but had been waiting on the right timing, considering her growing family. In 2005, she finally made the leap and earned her license, embarking on a promising career that’s she since transformed into a flourishing enterprise. Thirteen years after her work began, Barbara has carved out a reputation for her winning personality, ability to deliver results, and the genuine investment she makes in her clients. Primarily serving North Carolina’s Research Triangle—including Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham, to name a few—Barbara has long spearheaded her work solo, under the banner 8Copyright Top Agent Magazine

of Coldwell Banker Advantage. This summer, she added her first team member to the ranks, a licensed agent specializing in new construction properties. As her presence as an agent expands, Barbara cites experience, listening skills, and follow-through as the foremost drivers of her success to date. What’s more, she’s managed to net 75% of her business through repeat and referral clientele—a striking vote of confidence from those she’s served. “People know that I really care,” she explains. “I work well with other agents, I’m a good negotiator, and I’m very responsive. Communication is very important. I’m also knowledgeable and try to make the process fun by injecting a little sense of humor. I take my role very seriously—I work seven days a week—and I understand the importance of guiding clients in the midst of something as complex as buying or selling a home.” Top Agent Magazine

In testimonials, clients have credited Barbara for her personable and intuitive nature, along with her knowledge of what’s become a red-hot real estate marketplace. In fact, one client had this to say in regards to her transactional experience with Barbara at the helm: “Barbara is truly wonderful. Her eye for detail is spot on. She knows the area so well and makes searching for the perfect home so much easier. She’s so personable, it’s easy to think you are working with someone you’ve known all your life.” Beyond the high praise that comes from her clients, Barbara demonstrates her prowess by the numbers. She is the Top Producer in her office and Top Agent Magazine

sold $18 million in volume in 2017, working as a solo agent. Furthermore, she has earned a top spot in Coldwell Banker’s International President’s Circle every year since 2013 and enjoys more than fifty positive client reviews online. Copyright Top Agent Magazine9

To keep in touch with her vast network of clientele, Barbara stays connected naturally. She throws an annual holiday party for her clients Copyright Top Agent Magazine Copyright 10

where familiar faces gather during a special time of year. When it comes to listing property, no detail goes unchecked. Barbara begins her marketing strategy by incorporating the creative eye of a professional photographer, who also serves as an appraiser. Each listing benefits from high quality images and interactive floorplans. Then, Barbara takes to the leading online listing platforms and leverages targeted ads to ensure maximum visibility for each home headed to market. Likewise, open houses play a major role in generating local buzz in the neighborhood. Top Agent Magazine

To give back to the community she calls home, Barbara is active with a local organization that partners community members with local middle school students. Monthly, Barbara fulfills grocery shopping lists for families and students in need, ensuring that a healthy meal will always be waiting after Top Agent Magazine

school hours or on weekends. In her remaining free hours, Barbara most enjoys quality time spent with her family and loved ones, gardening, and horseback riding. Planning for the future, Barbara shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. She hopes Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11

to continue growing her business organically over time and developing her role as part of a team. Finally, reflecting upon her thirteen years of experience, Barbara Pater considers what she values most about her chosen field. “I love meet-

ing and working with new people every day,” she says. “I really enjoy what I do, and I’ve been very fortunate in my career. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to represent my clients, and I don’t take that privilege for granted.”

To learn more about Barbara Pater visit, email, or call (919) 218 - 2796 www.

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From Chaos to Control By Barry Eisen

Below are 24 great ideas designed to give you back your time and life. Managing time, rather than letting it manage you is an art form. Little changes can make huge differences. Look at what is offered below and incorporate 1 or 2 ideas that make sense to do. You can always come back to the list for more when you’re ready for more. 1. Get Ready the Night Before. Get it out of your head. Plan

out your next day by writing a “killer” To-Do list and prioritize A, B and C business and personal priorities. You’ll sleep better too. Top Agent Magazine

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2. Focus on the Important Things. Less is more. Commit to

doing the A things on your To-Do list. Stop randomly playing games and surfing social media. Focus on what’s important. Here’s the procrastinationbe-gone formula: Do the important stuff first. No “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts” do it. 3. Remove the Clutter. Much of our “visual noise” is caused by

stuff. Practice a three-part clutter rating system that will help you prevent and remove clutter: • It’s important now. Use it and then put it in its home (where it’s supposed to be). • It will be important. Put it in its home (where it’s supposed to be). • It’s not important. Get rid of it: Toss it or if possible, consider donating it.

4. Get Organized and Stay That Way. Pick an organizational

system, execute it, and stick to it. Your new system may feel foreign at first, but it will eventually form into a habit. If you slip or feel like you’re ready to give up, recall the benefits of being organized and pick up where you left off. When necessary, make adjustments, but avoid switching to new organizational systems or you’ll lose the benefits.

5. Keep One Calendar. Whether it’s a Week/Month at a Glance

appointment book, wall calendar, smartphone app, etc. - keep ONE calendar. First, keep track of the usual calendar events: birthdays, and appointments. Second, use your weekly calendar to keep track of bills, plan menus, make appointments with yourself to write or read, etc. This will help prevent the scenario of sifting through bills, notes, and multiple calendars. 6. Focus on What’s in Front of You. Of course, not all tasks

require 100% focus, but for tasks like prospecting or writing, never multitask. Lots of studies have shown the inefficiency of juggling tasks. If you refocus your attention on another task, it can take more time to refocus on your original task. Don’t do it. Stay focused. Turn off your phone and disconnect from the internet during tasks, like writing or studying, to focus. Don’t drop what you’re currently doing to address something you just thought of or remembered. If you think of something completely unrelated to what you’re 14

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working on, jot down a few quick notes (a word or two to jog your memory will suffice). Keep up momentum: FOCUS. 7. Execute Decisions Faster. If you find

yourself hemming and hawing over a decision, make a decision then and there. If the task Sometimes a has a lot hanging on the outcome, fresh set of eyes is seek/ask for more information if you need it, but the key all you need to get is: make a decision now. back on track. 8. Delegate and Learn to Love It.

We can be greedy with our workloads. Drop the, “if you want things done right, you have to do it yourself” mentality. If it can be done by someone else (more effectively) and it’s not an important task, delegate it. 9. Just Say “No.” Stop agreeing to take on things for which you don’t

have time. If you don’t have time for it or it will take your focus away from other priorities, say no.

10. HELP Is not a Dirty 4 Letter Word. Ask for help. Sometimes

a fresh set of eyes is all you need to get back on track, but be sure your plea is directed at the right person and is respectful of their own priorities. 11. Time Activities. We all can get swept away by television, social

media, internet browsing, article reading, and games. Allot yourself an amount of time for online activities and playing games. Set an alarm. When the time is up, stop the activity. 12. Time Your Conversations and Meetings. I’m not

recommending that you don’t socialize or be rude. I’m recommending that you don’t allow conversations or meetings to completely disrupt your day. Allot yourself time. For “water cooler” talks, give yourself 5 minutes and keep them infrequent. For meetings, estimate how much time you’ll need to address the needs of those involved, come prepared, and if there isn’t

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already an agenda, propose talking points to squeeze more value out of the meeting. 13. Call, Don’t Text. Text messaging is supposed to be quick and to

the point... not long, drawn out conversations. For anything beyond a quick yes or no question, call. For example, call for emergencies and all of those “how are you?” and “what ‘cha doin’?” questions. If it goes to voicemail, don’t worry. Most people have access to visual voicemail anyway, so it will be like a text. Either way, trust that they will get the message.

14. Turn Aimless Browsing Into Growth Opportunities.

Create an ongoing list of questions, curiosities, or things you’ve always wanted to find out more about. When you sit down to browse the internet, start looking for answers. You might surprise yourself with what you find. 15. Do Your Errands at the Same Time. Schedule time to

do errands and plan a route ahead of time to ensure you’re not wasting time bouncing back and forth across town.

16. Filter Your Email. How much time do you waste in your inbox?

Filter your email: • Create rules for recurring emails that don’t require an action to be archived in a particular folder. • Set rigorous anti-spam settings to block unwanted email from reaching your inbox. • Form a habit of touching an email once: If you open it, you have to address it (e.g., respond and file). 17. Automate Responses. If you find yourself replying with the

same or nearly identical responses for clients keep a template to quickly copy/paste the response and tweak it as necessary to personalize the message. 18. Automate Bill Payments. For any recurring bills that you

have: AUTOMATE. Not only will this save you time, it may even save you money and raise your credit score if you’re the forgetful type. 16

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19. Sort the Mail in Your Hand. When you get your mail, don’t

let it sit in a pile. Sort out the junk right away and then prioritize other items respectively (see weekly calendar). If possible, go green by electing not to receive the hard copy. 20. Avoid Rush Hour. Do you commute to work? Negotiate a work

schedule to travel during non-traffic delayed times. You can easily turn a 60-minute, traffic-jammed commute into 25 minutes by getting ahead of the traffic or waiting it out. Online apps, like Waze, do a good job informing of traffic problems so you can adjust accordingly.

21. Keep a Running Shopping List. Create a policy that for

whoever squeezes the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube, kills the mustard bottle, etc., they are responsible to write it down on the shopping list. In doing so, this will save time from taking inventory as well as keep your shopping trip quick - get into the store, grab what you need, and go (rather than meandering down aisles). 22. Cook for Tomorrow. Double the amount of what your cooking

and refrigerate/freeze the leftovers. It may take you a small amount of time to double what you’re already making, but it will save you much more time making your next meal by not having to start from scratch. 23. Learn While You Workout. When on a treadmill, elliptical

machine etc., listen to news, pod casts, and audiobooks rather than music to keep up with trends in your niche, current events, books, and learning at large.

24. Exercise More Effectively. Exchange moderation for higher

intensity. You can have a more effective and efficient workout by putting more effort into a 30-minute high-intensity workout than 90 minutes of lowto-medium effort.

Copyright©, 2016 Barry Eisen. All rights reserved.

Barry Eisen teaches personal development seminars and coaches Southern California top producing REALTORS®. “Your business will never grow more than you do” is the theme; self hypnosis and behavior modification are the tools for playing a bigger game., 818-769-4300 Top Agent Magazine

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How Does Marketing Differ From Advertising—And From Merchandising & Branding by Rob Flitton

Almost everyone has trouble sorting out how marketing differs from advertising, not to how it differs from mention merchandising and branding.

3.You have a product or service than can and should innovate as the market reflects back to you Marketing is the ongoing activity of interfacing your business with the marketplace—of communicating the value of a product or service for the purpose of selling that product or service.

So here is a definitive statement on the definition of what each activity is, and the order in which they should occur—disobey the order, and you cannot reliably or rationally market your product or service; you MERCHANDISING will only be guessing. Merchandising is the activity of creating a segmenting strategy for MARKETING the promotion or sale of a product or Marketing is what happens first in service for the purpose of selling the process and is the most important that product or service. role in any business organization. You need to decide what market segment you want to appeal to with Think of marketing from 3 angles: the level of quality of: 1.You have an industry that your business is in, and this does not change • Quality of merchandise 2.You have an audience or market- • Speed and availability of service place that can change or innovate to some degree • Dress code for representatives Top Agent Magazine


• Returns, customer service, or warranty policy • Office or retail store aesthetics and degree of luxury Think about the difference between Nordstrom and Walmart (two profitable companies)—just as Walmart will never have a piano player, Nordstrom will never have a vague return policy. You cannot find good floor-service at Walmart, but you don’t expect to. The CEO of Walmart 20

doesn’t lament “I wish I was the CEO of Walmart,” and vice-versa. Profitability is about making everything in your merchandising line up in accordance with your chosen product or service and its theme. BRANDING Branding is the strategic ascribing of words, a name, term, sign symbol or design, or a combination of these, so that a user may easily identify the product or service—so that the user will regard the product or service as Top Agent Magazine

If sales don’t happen, you need to begin back again at the beginning and innovate your MARKETING. the solution to their problem and motivate them.

persuade the audience to take or continue some action.

When you think of any great brand, or observe their logo or imagery, it evokes certain words or a phrase to pop into your mind.

Advertising can occur in numerous ways or methods ranging from simple to complex, free to hugely expensive.

The goal in branding is to encapsulate your offering into a word or phrase— to make your proposal to solve a known problem obvious to the potential user taking a look at you. Ideally, a phrase or image allows the user to make an emotional connection to the product or service, and to be able to relate its story to others. You want a word, or a few words (a phrase) to pop into their heads when they see or think about your product or service.

In simple terms, it is the process of telling the world (or your intended audience) about what you have to offer to them.

ADVERTISING Advertising is the activity of telling or communicating to potential users the benefits of using or employing a specific product or service to Top Agent Magazine

And…at the end of all of this process is making the sale—of closing on a deal to sell your product or service. And if sales don’t happen, you need to begin back again at the beginning and innovate your MARKETING. Rob Flitton is a Seattle Real Estate Marketing specialist helping independent agents to increase their income. Email Rob at any time or call/ text him at 206-612-2314. 21


Why Flexibility Hurts (Not Helps) Your Ability to Close Sales Deals By Kendra Lee

For many sales reps, being flexible throughout the sales process seems like the best, consultative approach to establish a strong prospect relationship and win more sales. Rather than suggest what a prospective client should buy, reps opt to empower the client to dictate their needs. In doing so, the thought process is that reps convey patience and a commitment to ensuring the client gets exactly what they want, which will in turn improve their chances of closing the deal. Here’s what that approach accomplishes instead: Slower buy cycles and lower closing ratios. Truth is, most buyers don’t know exactly what they need from you. Sure, prospects know the outcome they want to achieve. They might even have an idea of which tools or services might help accomplish it. But they don’t know which specific products, services, or solutions will get them there. Other prospects know the outcome they want to achieve, but have no idea how to get started, let alone which products, services or solutions to look at. 22

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Either way, to achieve the outcome they’re aspiring to, buyers often look to you to guide them toward the right decision. When you don’t provide that guidance, it stalls the sales process and dramatically reduces closing ratios. Here’s why: 1 Flexibility doesn’t empower buyers — it confuses them 2 Forcing work on to your buyers typically causes them to look elsewhere for someone who can figure out how exactly to address their problem In both cases, your performance suffers. Ultimately, buyers — particularly in the earlier stages of their buy cycle — don’t want total flexibility or the freedom to choose any possible solution. They want, and need, guidance from you to navigate toward the right one. When you provide that definitive insight in the early stages of the buying cycle, customers gain confidence that you’re the right person to get them to where they need to be. To put it more bluntly, being “flexible” is a cop out. It might make you feel better, but it’s not helping prospects. If you really want to empower small and mid-size businesses to make meaningful change, you have to be willing to make a definitive, confident recommendation and show prospects a clear path to addressing their problem. When you do that, you’ll close sales faster and your clients will be happier. They’ll get what they need (and want), and your closing ratios will trend in the right direction. Copyright©, Kendra Lee. All rights reserved.

Contact details for Kendra Lee: Phone: 303-741-6636 (Old fashioned, but very effective.) Email: (Yes, I get every one of these personally.) Twitter: @KendraLeeKLA (And I do follow all direct messages on Twitter!) KLA Group is a sales consulting and training firm focused on helping clients get more customers in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment through lead generation, prospecting, hiring and onboarding strategies. Top Agent Magazine



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North Carolina 6-4-18  


North Carolina 6-4-18