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TEXAS EDITION

HOW TO SEND SMARTER EMAILS 1 BILLIONPLUS REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE ACTIVE ON COVER STORY

TOKE ETTEHADIEH

DEVELOPING YOUR PRICING PHILOSOPHY SIX POWERFUL PROSPECTING TIPS TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS


TEXAS EDITION

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TOKE ETTEHADIEH

CONTENTS 4) 1 BILLION-PLUS REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE ACTIVE ON FACEBOOK 14) SIX POWERFUL PROSPECTING TIPS TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS

18) HOW TO SEND SMARTER EMAILS 20) DEVELOPING YOUR PRICING PHILOSOPHY

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1 Billion-Plus Reasons Why You Should Be Active on Facebook By Bubba Mills

The number is staggering and potentially career ending for REALTORS® who ignore it: 1,440,000,000. That’s the total number of monthly active users on the social medium Facebook. That number alone is reason enough to use it regularly in your real estate business. But Facebook can also help turn you into the expert in your community. Just by sharing knowledge and relevant events about the community you can become the go-to source for all things local – a perfect way to capture the attention of prospective buyers. Plus, Facebook advertising also gives you tons of targeting layers like age, location, recent life events and interests. Plus, it constantly adds new targeting filters and functions that help you reach even more niche prospects who closely meet your customer criteria. Talk about pinpointing a target audience. 4

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Another Facebook real estate ad tool is Website Custom Audiences that lets you create Facebook ads that target users who have visited your website. And several apps specifically for Facebook have emerged. Consider these: • Heyo.com: Helps you host contests, showcase promotions and high-

light special offers. • Woobox.com: Let’s you easily create quizzes and other fun tools for engaging content. • Pagemodo.com: Helps you make your Facebook business page both sleek and stylish and tabs allow for easy lead capture. But the latest offering is just as cool. It’s called Facebook Live and it lets you stream live video on the internet. I recently wrote about Periscope, another live video streaming app, but when you use Facebook Live you’re automatically featured at the top of Facebook users’ news feed. What’s more, statistics show that live video is viewed more than recorded video. How can REALTORS® use Facebook Live? Open Houses: Broadcast a walk-through of a new listing

and highlight all the great features.

Webinars: Host live webinars targeted to buyers and sellers. They can sub-

mit questions just like a real-life seminar.

Real Estate Talk Show: Offer the latest news in the industry plus share lo-

cal events and your newest listings. In short, become the Lester Holt or Diane Sawyer of real estate in your town with your own “TV” show! Facebook offers these tips for using Facebook Live: Promote: Tease upcoming Facebook Live broadcasts for more viewers. Plan better: Take time to plan what you want to do in the video, whether

it’s a few key talking points or to have a few questions ready ahead of time in a Q&A, in case incoming comments slow down. Top Agent Magazine

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Invest in some equipment: A shaky live stream turns off viewers so con-

sider a tripod or other stabilizing tools, especially if you’re taking viewers on a tour of an open house. And check the shot before going live.

Get the lighting right: If you’re indoors be sure you have plenty of good

lighting and avoid a lot of light directly behind you because it’ll wash you out.

Sound good: A common mistake for beginners is overlooking sound.

Consider an external microphone to make sure your viewers can actually hear you. And if the live option makes you a little nervous, you can also stream pre-recorded videos. Hey, that has worked like a charm for TV for decades. Some businesses promote their web series to “air” on Facebook Live at a certain time like TV shows. After they are streamed, Facebook Live videos function as normal Facebook videos. Some business owners believe videos may perform better if they begin as live ones. NowThis, a news company that publishes entirely on social platforms, experimented by streaming a 38-minute compilation of its favorite viral videos via Facebook Live. The stream received over 20,000 views and over 500 comments, according to Facebook’s counters. Yes, all the new-fangled internet tools, apps and options for REALTORS® can be a bit overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time and you’ll slowly be right there in the business-winning mix. E-mail me today at Article@CorcoranCoaching.com and I’ll send you more free information about how technology can help your real estate business. Copyright©, 2016 Bubba Mills. All rights reserved.

Bubba Mills is the CEO of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international Real Estate, Mortgage, and Small Business coaching company committed to helping clients balance success in business, while building value in life. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage companies. To find out more about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1-800-957-8353 or visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com. 6

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TOKE ETTEHADIEH

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TOKTAM ETTEHADIEH When Toktam Ettehadieh (known as Toke) began in real estate times were tough. The market was in a recession and homes just weren’t selling. Despite all the challenges in front of her and people telling her to consider other options, Toke persevered and became a top real estate agent with Century 21 in the Texas market she serves. She came to Houston in 2008, knowing very few people and in as little as two weeks from her arrival she began taking classes to get her real estate license. From there, she leaned on her contacts at the United Nations where she previously worked and began a career that has morphed into a Copyright Top Agent Magazine 8

great success. “If I can create a database of clients, consistently make the list of top producing agents, in a city where I knew only two people—in a city where I used my GPS to get from home to Champions Real Estate School for my courses—anyone can do it,” she says. Toke has a licensed assistant and several buyer’s agents as well as a growing commercial real estate division, where she is able to get the best results for her clients possible. She always keeps their best interests in mind and her hard work and determination make her a force to be Top Agent Magazine


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“I have had clients say that they felt their interests were my number one priority, that makes me feel that I am doing something right.” reckoned with. “My goal is my clients’ success period,” she says. “I have had clients say that they felt their interests were my number one priority, that makes me feel that I am doing something right.” It is this client focus that has given her an 80 to 90 percent repeat and referral business. There seldom is a client that she hasn’t worked with in the past or been recommended by someone she’s already worked with. This gives her business continuous momentum and has led her to be a top agent. Copyright Top Agent Magazine 10

To make sure her name stays at the forefront of her clients’ mind, Toke does a lot of advertising and promotional work in the community. She is also continuously marketing her home listings by taking quality photos, video tours, and open houses as well as using the Century 21 marketing systems. She promotes her listings internationally to her clients overseas as the Texas market she services garners their attention. She stays in touch with her clients through Century 21’s client relationship systems and is always Top Agent Magazine


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there to answer their questions and calm their concerns no matter the time of day. Toke loves the constant challenge of the real estate business as well as the opportunity to constantly exceed her clients’ expectations. There is nothing like closing a sale and seeing the jubilation her clients feel about owning their own home. No matter the price point, Toke works to find the right home for her clients and doesn’t stop until the job is done. This constant drive propels her forward and has made her a success in the industry selling homes in Texas from Pearland to Katie and everything in between. As director Toke, has plans to further develop the Century 21 Fine Homes Division. “I Copyright Top Agent Magazine 12

would like to develop other agents into becoming top producers,” she says. This self-motivation and drive continue through her activities with the community as she works with her broker to raise funds for several local charities in the area. This takes advantage of experience in assisting other as she has a master’s degree in Social Work and International Social Welfare. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family and travels whenever she can get the chance.

For more information about Toke Ettehadieh, call 713-398-5009 or email Toke@tokeproperties.com Top Agent Magazine


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âœ˝

Six Powerful Prospecting Tips to Build Your Business By John Boe Why is it that some sales reps consistently earn a six-figure annual income while other reps, putting in the same hours, selling the same products, and trained by the same sales manager struggle each month financially to make ends meet? The answer to this question is painfully simple; the six-figure sales reps understand the importance of business development and never forget to ask for referrals. Top producing sales reps set high standards for themselves and spend the majority of their time either actively prospecting for new business or closing sales. Successful sales reps set productivity goals, establish priorities, and don’t waste their precious time hanging out in the break room or taking twohour lunch breaks. Top producers don’t need to be reminded to ask for referrals on a daily basis or follow-up on hot leads, because they understand that prospecting for new business is a necessity and not just an activity. The good news is that prospecting for new business, like any other learned skill set, can be trained and developed into a habit. 14

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Tip One: Don’t Forget to Ask for Referrals. When it comes to asking for referrals, timing is everything. Research indicates that the most effective time to ask for referrals is right after you’ve made the sale or provided a valuable service for your customer. Asking for referrals prior to closing the sale is a big mistake and may even jeopardize the sale itself. Once the sale has been completed, your customer will be on an “emotional high” and far more receptive to the idea of providing you referrals. When you ask for referrals, your goal is to get as many names written down as you can. Just keep asking... Who else? Once your advocate has given you all of his or her referrals, then go back over the list of names to get details on each prospect. Tip Two: Train and Reward Your Advocates. An advocate is a person who’s willing to go out of his or her way to recommend you to a friend or associate. Most customers are initially reluctant to provide referrals without some basic training and motivation.

Once you’re given a prospect, it’s a good idea to take the time to role-play with your advocate to demonstrate how to approach and talk to their referral. A brief role-playing exercise will build your advocate’s confidence and keep them from over-educating their referrals. During your roleplay session, be sure to prepare your advocate to expect some initial resistance. This training will pay big dividends by making your advocate more effective and less likely to become discouraged when faced with rejection. Always take the time to thank your advocates and give them feedback on the status of their referrals. I recommend that you call them and then follow up by sending a thank you card and or gift.

Asking for referrals prior to closing the sale is a big mistake and may even jeopardize the sale itself.

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Tip Three: Strike While the Iron is HOT. Prospects, like food in your refrigerator, are perishable and therefore need to be contacted quickly. Each day you let slip by without making initial contact with your referral dramatically reduces the probability of you making the sale. Develop the habit of contacting your referrals within two-business days or sooner. Have a system to keep track of your referrals so they don’t end up falling through the cracks. It’s critical to have a computerized client contact management system to record your remarks and track future contacts and appointments. Relying on your memory alone is a very poor business decision that will cost you dearly. Tip Four: Schedule a Minimum of Two-Hours a Day for Phone Calling. Make your phone calls in the morning while you and your referrals are both fresh and alert. Treat your prospecting time with the same respect you would give to any other important appointment. This Treat your prospecting is not the time to check your e-mails, play solitaire on the time with the same computer, make personal phone calls or chat with your respect you would give associates.

to any other important appointment.

Avoid the temptation to try and sell your product or service over the phone. Your objective for every phone call is to create interest, gather information and make an appointment. If your prospect asks you a question, get in the habit of going for an appointment rather than giving a quick response.

Don’t shoot from the hip use a script. It’s important to use a phone script when you contact your prospect so you don’t leave out any key information. It’s a good idea to role-play your script over the phone with your sales manager until he or she feels you sound confident and professional. 16

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Tip Five: Qualify Your Prospect at Maximum Range. Unfortunately, not every prospect will be interested or qualified financially to purchase your products or services. Successful sales reps don’t waste time chasing after low-probability prospects and know when it’s time to cut their losses and move on. Tip Six: Don’t Take Rejection Personally. Selling, like baseball, is a numbers game pure and simple. Rejection is to be anticipated as a natural aspect of the qualification process, so don’t take it personally. Learn from rejection by using it as a valuable feedback mechanism. Salespeople who take rejection personally lack perseverance Salespeople and seldom make the sale.

who take rejection personally lack perseverance and seldom make the sale.

For the majority of salespeople, prospecting for new business is without a doubt the most challenging and stressful aspect of the selling process. Selling is a contact sport and daily prospecting for new business is the key to every salesperson’s long-term financial success. By integrating these six powerful prospecting tips into your daily business routine, you’ll be able to keep your appointment calendar packed with qualified prospects! “Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.” – W. Clement Stone Copyright ©, 2016 John Boe. All rights reserved.

John Boe presents a wide variety of motivational and sales-oriented keynotes and seminar programs for sales meetings and conventions. John is a nationally recognized sales trainer and business motivational speaker with an impeccable track record in the meeting industry. To have John speak at your next event, visit www.johnboe.com or call 937-299-9001. Free Newsletter available on website. Top Agent Magazine

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How To Send

SMARTER EMAILS

Email is a great tool for agents to use when trying to stay in touch with their past clients, as well as for reaching out to prospective clients. However, used incorrectly it can make your attempts to reach out seem like spam. The secret to using email effectively is making sure that everything you send out does one thing: ensure that you remain relevant to your contacts. To do this you have to get personal. Personalization will go far to ensure that your contacts are actually clicking on your emails. This means that if you do reply on an automated drip email campaign to build business, you need to customize your content so that it delivers something meaningful to each individual recipient. Here are some steps that will help you do exactly that:

1. SEND A WELCOME EMAIL TO

NEW CLIENTS AND PROSPECTS Rather than simply add new contacts to your automated email drip campaign, make sure to send each new contact receives a warm welcome as well. Sending a welcome email along with adding new contacts to your drip campaign is proven to be 86 percent more effective at catching your contact’s attention. Let them know they are welcome and that you appreciate their interest. 18

2. NURTURE YOUR RELATIONSHIP

THROUGH YOUR EMAIL To let your potential client know that you are thinking about them by sending them useful content that relates to the process of buying or selling a house. Some great topics include credit score information, ways to save money, regular market updates, what buying in your market is like, information about the neighborhood, tips on how they can prepare their home for sale, and other relevant information. A great way to

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add to these emails’ punch is to time them so that they coincide with what that individual is going through and dealing with at that time on their path through the buying or selling process.

3. CELEBRATE IMPORTANT DATES

Everyone loves to be noticed and appreciated. Schedule emails to go to each client that celebrate their purchase anniversary or birthday. Make sure you include a personal note and your own wishes that the year ahead goes well for them. If you’ve been a bit out of touch with your contacts, you might want to send them a friendly hello.

4.

MOBILE-FRIENDLY EMAILS With our phones being akin to mini computers, most people read their emails on their phone these days. So, it is particularly important to make sure that your emails are rendering well on the smaller screens. If you want to make any kind of impact, you have to run a mobile-friendly email campaign in today’s world. You are going to lose a lot of your audience if they can’t read your email on their phones.

5.

TRACK THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR EMAILS AND ALTER ACCORDINGLY The best way to make sure your emails are being read and making the kind of impact you desire is to consistently monitor the analytics,

and see what your readers are actually clicking on and what elements are most popular with your contacts. Going forward you can alter different elements of your email campaign such as content, images, graphics, and even smaller elements like your subject line to draw in more clicks from your readers, and cater to what grabs their attention. You also want to follow a targeted email strategy. The best way to do this is segment your email list based on the data from your CRM and the demographics of your contacts. Different clients are going to be interested in different content. Long-time clients looking to buy a second home or possibly downsize are going to be interested in completely different content than your first-time buyers. A good way to filter your contacts is by looking at which ones are looking to buy or sell, how far along in the process they are, as well as other important information about them.

6.

DON’T SPAM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES You probably already know that flooding your clients’ emails is big no-no. However, different people have different ideas about what is too much contact. One great way to approach this problem is to ask your clients whether they would prefer weekly, monthly, or occasional emails from you. This way you can cater to each client’s preference.

The emails you send your clients can often be a double-edged sword when it comes to how well they work to bring in business. Following these simple rules will help your emails be as successful as they can possibly be, and will make your contacts much happier with you. So, don’t just send out emails without doing your homework about how to do it right. Your email campaigns can be a powerful tool if you know how to create and utilize them in the right manner. Top Agent Magazine

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Developing Your Pricing Philosophy By Dirk Zeller

Ask a dozen agents to explain their home pricing philosophy, and you’ll

hear a dozen different approaches. And if the talk reveals frank responses, you’ll also learn that the most common pricing strategy is no strategy at all. Here’s my advice: Break out of the ranks by establishing and following a specific strategy for arriving at the ideal selling price for each home. Adopt the philosophy that, in real estate sales, price is king. Price trumps all other factors—including marketing approaches, home condition, market competitiveness, and sales approach. I believe that, in the end, marketing and condition of the property are controlled by the price. The alternative, advocated by many agents, most sellers, and even some sales trainers, is to emphasize marketing over pricing. Rather than working to set the ideal price, they believe success will come from optimizing the home’s condition and presentation and then marketing it with skill and savvy.

I take the opposite belief, based on years of experience working with sellers who wanted unrealistic prices for their homes and who experienced firsttime sales failures as a result. Over my sales career, I resurrected and re-listed more than 600 expired listings—nearly 75 a year. Among all those transactions, I never met an owner with an expired listing who thought that an unreasonable price had anything to do with the home’s failure to sell. They all blamed the previous Copyright Top Agent Magazine 20

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agent and that person’s approach to marketing. Each sought some magic marketing strategy to change the reality of the law of supply and demand. There is a magic strategy: Price the home correctly. Price is the only factor that can overcome sales obstacles, compensate for a home’s deficiencies, and motivate a purchaser even if the condition of the property and your marketing approach is less than perfect. Getting the listing at any cost Does this scenario sound familiar? An agent (usually a newer agent) is short on business or maybe even desperate for the chance to stake a sign in someone’s yard. The agent wants a listing at any price – even if the chance Top Agent Magazine

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to seal a deal erodes the likelihood of selling the property. To gain a seller’s nod of approval, the agent makes a flatteringly high pricing recommendation, throwing out a number the client wants to hear and then hoping something good will result from the bad situation. I can think of few examples, if any, where this philosophy works. Hope isn’t a successful pricing strategy. Worse, the please-the-client mindset is a hard one to abandon. Agents who achieve listings with unrealistic prices find it hard to later counsel their clients honestly.

If you take and price a good listing competitively, it will sell. You can’t keep a good price a secret! The pitfalls of a “please the buyer” approach are many and significant. By overpricing, you can practically count on a reduction in your productivity, profitability, and salability, and here’s why: It’s impossible to keep your productivity high when your time is spent in conversations with an unsuccessful seller who lacks motivation to take corrective action. The seller’s negativity, concerns, and phone calls will only increase with each week or month the house remains on the market. 22

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As time goes on, you’ll devote more and more time unsuccessfully trying to create a sale not only for your seller but also for yourself. This will pull you away from activities that are more likely to deliver income. The ensuing frustration will de-motivate you and stunt your ability to secure better appointments that create other income opportunities. An unsold, overpriced listing negatively impacts your profitability because it costs you time and money to service while it delivers no revenue to your business. And the situation only gets worse the longer the listing languishes on the market. You’ll end up deducting the expenses of this in-limbo listing from the proceeds generated by any revenue-producing deals you manage to close in the meantime, reducing your net profit and business success. Unsold homes that linger on the market seriously diminish your salability, which is the term that describes your sales success track. Your salability is based on such key statistics as your average ratio of listing price compared to sale price and the average number of days your listings are on the market. Obviously, these statistics, which prospects rely on when choosing one agent over another, can be crushed by a “get the listings at any cost” philosophy. They’re also harmed by the “start high and reduce later” tactic. If you take and price a good listing competitively, it will sell. You can’t keep a good price a secret! Dirk Zeller is an Agent, an Investor, and the President and CEO of Real Estate Champions. Copyright© 2014, Dirk Zeller. All rights reserved.

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