Some clips from our Be Relevant Experience last week
Stay tuned for future dates in Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Kelowna, Vancouver, B.C., Las Vegas, and Phoenix
Stay tuned for future dates in Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Kelowna, Vancouver, B.C., Las Vegas, and Phoenix
In Portland on February 4, Jon will be speaking at this FREE event sponsored by Century 21 Wright & Assoc. Join us on at 9 AM PST at the Embassy Suites in Hillsboro, OR. Reserve Your Seat.
In Ottawa on January 21, Jon will be speaking at this FREE event sponsored by Keller Williams VIP Realty Ottawa. Join us on at 9 AM EST at the Cedar Hill Golf Course. Reserve Your Seat.
Attract and engage today’s Internet empowered consumer.
These two gentlemen are highly competent and committed. I’m honored to participate in an event that will leave those that attend with sophisticated strategy and process to immediately implement into your business in 2016.
Michael Krisa mastered his craft of video. In turn he continually transfers value and skill sets to agents and organizations throughout North America that have experienced dramatic change from implementation. He will get you into action immediately in the spaces your competition is not.
Ryan Hodge is an in the trenches current top producing agent and broker/owner of one of the fastest growing independent brokerage firms in Canada. Ryan brings an abundant spirit of contribution, inspiration, and a high level message of productivity as he performs it daily.
They will both have an impact on you January 28th.
I hope to see you there.
Today’s Internet Empowered Consumer requires a more consistent and sophisticated marketing approach to gain their attention and engagement. Being the loudest marketer with the tired story of how much better you are than everyone else is the way of the past. Today’s consumer is looking for what information do you have for me NOW. They want relevant content that maps to their persona, they want it now, and they want it delivered in the form that best accommodates their lifestyle. What does that look like? Ride along and I will take you through the 4 key components of effective marketing to stand out in today’s environment. Be Different!
An important part of your business strategy is to step outside the real estate business and study the marketing spaces of businesses in other industries. Brilliance when you consider the millions of dollars they have spent in research and development before a marketing campaign even begins. Many of their campaigns never hit the market after exhaustion of human and financial resource and testing have determined the campaign won’t be effective. Essentially what we have here is a laboratory doing testing with today’s consumer with no expense to you. In this focus you will discover the theme of campaigns they believe in simply from being a consumer yourself and having a higher awareness of marketing initiatives you encounter repeatedly in different mediums as you move through your day. Now take a look at the campaigns you are being exposed to and see how they map to your current messaging. Companies like Apple and Coca-Cola are marketing geniuses to follow and catch the vibe of where they are going. For the purpose of saving you some time I will tell you where they are going along with the another huge marketing company that happens to sell an energy drink.
Recent research has shown that most large corporations allocate 25% of total expenses for marketing. There is an interesting shift in what is taking place in the allocation of those marketing dollars. There was a time when all marketing dollars were focused on paid advertising. Those days are gone. We are now seeing the marketing budgets being split 50/50 into two different areas. Paid advertising is still in play but the infusion of Content Marketing is passing it up in some cases. What is Content Marketing? In it’s simplest of forms Content Marketing is the creation and sharing and publishing of relevant content in order to acquire and retain customers. A pretty important factor when you look at the statistics of how often your clients buy or sell real estate. What are you doing to maintain connectivity for repeat and referral business in a way, shape and form that keeps you in top of mind awareness and connected to the consumer? In this blog I want to share with you the creation of one simple message and the power of multiplicity of that message across different mediums and platforms to be omni-present, consistent, and enhance customer awareness and engagement.
One of the biggest myths in our industry is the definition of a lead as “good” or “bad”. As a matter of fact your greatest opportunities are in those leads you are defining as “bad”; the people that are not doing business with you now and have not in the past. They are neither good nor bad, they are simply a marketing lead or sales lead. How we communicate and interact with each one will determine the end result of that lead. Your job is to know the questions that keep the consumer up at night. What questions or information do they want and feel they need most? You must get to know the persona of your audience. Then you answer those questions ongoing.
Maybe you are focusing on a niche marketplace such as waterfront, vacation homes, or golf course communities. The people that have not done business with you yet are just waiting for someone to show up as relevant, competent and consistent with information that talks to their interests or lifestyle.
The process is quite simple:
Now we are in the adaptive marketing space and have a much much higher likelihood of connectivity.
No matter what form your content is originally created; it could be a written blog, a video, or a podcast, you must be sure and repurpose that one piece of content allowing it to multiply across all platforms. Some people prefer a written form while others may prefer podcasting. We all know that video is the most effective form and continues to hold a dominating and impactful space. Last year alone according to NAR there was a 40% increase in consumers doing their initial search for an agent on YouTube. If you are not on YouTube you are missing huge opportunities with the most preferred form of digesting content by today’s consumer and the SEO leverage that takes place with video on YouTube.
Today you have 3 jobs as an agent. Your job as an agent, a technologist, and constant creator of relevant content for connectivity. A simple email drip campaign or post card won’t get it done in today’s environment. You must adapt to the consumer or continue to experience bad leads.
Here is the power of just one piece of content, the steps of multiplicity and your extension across all mediums. For this example we will use a video as our initial form.
The power of repurposing content. One message across all mediums in different forms to accommodate the preferences of your audience. Be where the consumer is..the consumer is everywhere.
Oh but wait…there’s one more….a week later transcribe the content from the video in a written form and post a written blog…..and extend the link from the written form across all platforms. BE THE INFORMATION PORTAL. Good content will never be overkill.
The biggest obstacle we have today with the consumer is they are expecting you to answer their questions with some kind of sales pitch. They are on guard before you even engage with them. This is why they love the Internet; the control they have over the interaction and the buffer it provides them. We are in the world of scripted answers and sales dialogues. Everyone is competing to have the most clever answer. It’s everywhere as we are all competing for eyeballs and engagement. We have put the consumer in a diluted space of information overload slowing our personal sales experience or putting a cap on it, when a simple shift in your strategy and system could get the attention of the consumer and have them choose you over everyone else.
People buy with their hearts not their heads which means we are playing in an emotional space. It is an emotional decision and these decisions are made by “self-discovery” using an internal decisioning process instead of relying on external decisioning; the overused process of convincing and selling creating a feeling of regret, questioning, and buyers remorse. When someone makes a decision internally they will tell others, defend it, and champion it.
To differentiate in today’s information overload age we must step away from the masses and their continual “talking at” the consumer and become the person asking the right questions….talking with the consumer and being a steward of the marketing process. Most marketing advice provided to sales people and businesses today is ineffective. The days of “selling” the consumer into a decision are antiquated, we must move to crossover, the discover of the consumers greatest need and our delivery of that through a process of questions.
Here is the form and structure that engages the consumer, gets them into your funnel, and moves them through a discovery and choice process that feels good vs. one that feels manipulative.
Take a look at your current sales, marketing, prospecting, and lead nurturing process. How does it compare and align to the principles I have shared with you today? I would love to hear about your strategies and systems along with any feedback on this blog.
Remember, BE DIFFERENT, NOT BETTER.
AGENT CAFFEINE… Top Podcast for the Real Estate Industry, New episodes released each Tuesday. Passion ~ Fire ~ Desire The primal factors that drive us to success.
Agent Caffeine goes to the source and gets the most powerful strategies, tactics, and advice from those out there executing every day. Agent Caffeine is designed to engage the most influential, passionate thought leaders in all disciplines of business. Their fire pushes us to be better, benefit from past mistakes and gives us a driving desire to evolve and change. Asking the questions you need answered to power your business, polish your strategy.
1) Why what the real estate brokerage model isn’t broken and the critical steps to take or changes they must make.
2) What it takes to facilitate change for self and guiding others.
3) What today’s marketing looks like that gets results.
I had the privilege along my journeys to spend time with Gary Zukav at his “Journey to The Soul” Retreat. Although there was much that resonated with me, the one statement he made which I am quite sure many of us have heard before was, “The Longest Journey is from Our Head to our Heart” It reminds me of my daughter and her experience of life and those that find sustained and inspired productivity.
Anytime I get the privilege to speak in front of a large group of people I share the story of my daughter. I want to immediately get people out of their heads and into their heart. I will share more on that later. She is 24 years old and to date has had 23 heart surgeries with another one scheduled for some time this year. From day one at the discovery of her heart disease (she was 3 months old) we were told it would be an ongoing journey and that we would hope for technology to evolve over time to support her life path.
Over the years we have encountered many trying times and scary moments with constant awareness of her condition. Most important, she lives with it every day, but she doesn’t just live with it,she thrives and leads with the example of passion, ironically from her heart. She has sat in the rooms time and again hearing the doctors warn of risks before each surgery. In her most recent surgery, right before she went into the operating room, we were all warned about the risks of a blood thinner that had been used numerous times and would be used in this surgery. There was no option. There comes a point when the blood thinner is used over time a risk evolves of immediate rejection by the body in surgery with no recovery.
Here is what I have observed: Logic is shared with her and she moves from that space into her passion for life. Ironically she moves from her head to her heart and it has proven to be an amazing and fulfilling life for her while carrying the burden of heart disease and the unknown.
We spend so much time and focus on gathering information and expanding our brain. We go to seminars, go to classes, and read books so that we can be smarter. I believe in my years of leading and coaching we have all the information we could ever need to be productive, yet we struggle. You know the experience, we’ve all been there; Go to the seminar, get excited about all the new information, make big promises we are going to take all kinds of action when we get back to the office……and we revert back to our old form. It is the human condition for most.
In observing my daughter and productive people, there is a common thread that runs deep in them. With most, the same mind that continues to gather information and get smarter is the same mind that serves as the obstruction to productivity. As much as we experience the excitement of new information and the promise of growth, we also have the fears and old programs of negative self-talk that show up and keep us from taking action.
What Do Productive People Do?
I have observed this in productive people and my daughter; they move out of their mind and what the voices of others will tell them and move into their heart. People talk about passion all the time, but what is it really? I believe it is our deepest desires to do what is most fulfilling in our lives in a way that inspires us daily. My daughter is inspired by life and thrives because she doesn’t give the “Bad News” the attention and taps into her heart (ironically) and operates from a passion for life. That passion is bigger than anything her mind can tell her.
Productive people in life do the same thing. You would be amazed at the conversations I have with highly productive people; their fears and many times self-defeating thoughts that can ring in their head. How do they overcome it? With a knowing or maybe even unconsciously, they move out of their head and into their heart driven by passion.
What is your purpose?
A big part of this is they are clear on their purpose. You can sit down with most productive people and you will find they have a clearly articulated purpose that is much bigger than a production goal or income levels. It is something that is so deep in their heart and soul that drives them and inspires them on a daily basis.
What is your purpose? What is it that is bigger than the daily role you play in a job, career or business you can identify with your are striving for and will provide you the ultimate fulfillment in your heart and soul?
This is the path to productivity, The journey from your head to your heart.
I am crystal clear on mine. I would love to hear yours and then stand back and watch you thrive in your life and business.
In my previous blog, Recruiting Real Estate Agents: Strategy and Systems…The Skills Evolve Naturally…we established the importance of systems and I provided you with the empirical data to be used as a guide in measurement of your effectiveness. We looked at the powerful combination of consistency, measurement, comparisons against benchmarks, and the constant building of skills where needed.
One of the great challenges I see in the recruiting environment is a “ready, fire, aim” approach. Of course we can all guess what kind of results that will deliver. My purpose is to provide you with the readiness and proper aim so that you can conquer the challenges you may be having in recruiting or quite possibly support you in going to the next level in an already successful recruiting initiative.
We talked about the initial call all the way up to actual hiring and its progression in between, now I want to weave in the on-line element to the system. In many cases you can dramatically increase your conversions by sending out an item of value to your prospects prior to making your call. You will find that your conversions from contact to interview will go up dramatically. You are invoking two critical laws by doing so; the law of fair exchange and the law of reciprocation. When we give something of value to someone prior to asking for something in return, an appointment, psychologically we are more comfortable asking for the appointment. This is fair exchange. The law of reciprocation simply states that when someone is given something they feel obligated to give something in return. The return we are looking for again is an appointment. Try it and let me know how that works for you. Send something an agent can use in their business today whether a strategy, tip, or even a business plan. In our online recruiting platform The Real Recruiter we have found the online automated business plan to be a powerful tool in securing interviews with recruits.
Email is dead if you don’t breathe life into it by marrying it with a calling initiative, you must marry your online activities with a consistent off-line strategy and system. We have launched millions of emails over the last 8 years and here is what we have found.
Naturally any email you send out must be compelling enough to get people to open. I will share more on that in a later blog, but a consistent effort with the telephone to the prospects dramatically increases your email open rates. Your online recruiting environment is far from what we title, “Call Avoidance Technology”. The numbers have told us this year after year.
In the above image I have provided an actual user snapshot from the activity tracking section of our recruiting platform, The Real Recruiter. This is a broker/owner that has been using our program for almost 4 weeks. What you see here is a dashboard that provides us with reporting of his calling, interview, hiring and email activity. Now we can take a look at his numbers vs. empirical data we have gathered over years of operating in this online recruiting space with our system and many users. He is averaging over 50 recruiting calls per week, over 26% of the time he gets an actual live contact when making a call, 70% conversion rate from contact to interview, 75% of his scheduled interviews show up for the appointment and 11% of the time he hires the agent.
This is a great time to pause and go back to our previous blog and bring the empirical data forward to compare against the numbers being reported by this broker/owner. You will find he is exceeding the numbers except for in one area, converting agents to hires. With a 11% interview to hire ratio initially it would be a call for concern, but wait. It takes 14 contacts on average in some way, shape or form before an experienced agent makes a change. This broker/owner has only been focused on these systems and strategies for 4 weeks. As time goes on his conversion rates will increase. We have found measuring a full year of interviews to hires a baseline conversion rate of 33%.
In addition to length of time giving me comfort in these numbers so far, he has an online recruiting initiative in the form of an automated, pre-written, scientifically engineered drip email program that goes out every 7 days to his prospects. Through our years of studying agent interaction with email we have discovered the subject lines and content that gets emails opened.
This is where we get to look at and evaluate the marriage of off-line and on-line recruiting activities. We have found organizations without a consistent telephone strategy experience open rates in the 20% range. In this case study you can see he is in the 40% email open rate. An example of the telephone and drip email working together.
Clearly you can see the importance of linking your telephone and email activities together to get high levels of engagement and the ultimate goal, real estate agents joining your organization. Give your emails life, have a consistent call strategy.
We have now established a great foundation for your recruiting strategy and system in this blog, in my next blog I will share with you the compelling content you must be sending to get engagement. We can call and launch all the emails we want, but if we are not creating an experience of value and goodwill in the process our efforts will be for not.
Let’s face it, we are in a magic pill, silver bullet society that is looking for the quickest path to the result we seek. None could be more important than in the ultra-competitive recruiting environment. The magic pill is Strategy and Systems.
Unfortunately, hyper-focus is on positioning the company and the skill-sets the broker/recruiter believes they have:
The list goes on and on…..
Brokers will contact me regularly sharing they have all of the above and then some. “We are different, our splits are the best, we give our agents leads…, but we are not growing at the level we want to, need to, or should be Jon”
There are many reasons for the lack of growth and I will cover all of them in future blogs , but for now let’s focus on the real issue, the lack of Strategy and System, let’s table the “stuff” and “skills” for now.
Recruiting is not a one trick pony, it’s a series of events within a system that require consistency. Of course within that system you must deliver specific content and proper frequency. At The Real Recruiter we have tested and tracked through millions of emails and different forms of online interaction what works and what does not.
Where I want to focus today is on the basics of a strategy and system. As I mentioned earlier, the rest will be covered in natural progression, so let’s start with our foundation. My wish is to paint a picture and give you the information that will improve your current recruiting initiative and grow your company. The skills will follow, I promise.
To put things into context I liken the recruiting process to being the same as what your agents do on a daily basis; agents are recruiting buyers and sellers every single day. My assumption is that you are coaching, training and leading your agents to operate within a system. Stands to reason as leaders we must walk the talk.
Systems are critical for many reasons. They give us consistency, interaction, a means to measure, reflect, and constantly adjust to what is working best. Along the way we naturally increase our skill-sets from repetition.
Today we are going to take a high-level look at the recruiting process as we inspect calls contacts, interviews, and hires. These numbers are critical as they give you a baseline to work from.
When you have a system and track the numbers you can constantly improve and predict your outcome. Here is the data I’ve gathered dating back to my initial recruiting days of 1995 and fast forward through to today from the many Real Estate Companies I work with and use our recruiting platform, The Real Recruiter.
(These numbers have been tracked since 1995 and still stand true when measuring the smallest to the largest real estate brokerage firms in North America)
Hopefully you have been tracking these numbers and can reference the above as a benchmark. If not, the good news is you can start today and use this as a measurement of your progress and adjustments necessary.
As always, remember, you can’t manage or improve that which you don’t measure.
In my follow-up blog I will tie this together with mass email and the direct correlation between your phone initiative, email open rates, and engagement. I will be sharing with you real time numbers from a broker/manager implementing strategy and systems in today’s market.