The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Less Is More

Young professional demonstrating strategy via post it notes.
Joshua Smith Oct 9th, 2020
4 minutes

I talk to realtors almost daily, and I regularly hear this type of sentiment: “I am calling FSBO’s, expireds, doing circle prospecting, doing open houses, running Facebook Ads, and just started investing in Zillow, but I can’t seem to get anything to work.” 

You’ve heard the saying jack of all trades, master of none. To become great at anything, you must put in massive amounts of practice through repetition. When you are taking on too much, you will never have the time to get proficient at any one thing, and you will end up doing everything with mediocre focus, attention, and effort. Which is the recipe for mediocre results.

What if, instead of taking on everything all at once, you just started with one method of lead generation? You focused on that one thing, became amazing at it, and once your system was fully mastered and dialed in, if time permits, you then added something else and followed the same approach? 

Let's take an optimal open house strategy as an example:

1.) You take the time to do your research and find the right property inside the right area for your open house.

2.) Four days before, you door knock and deliver 500 neighborhood invitation flyers to the open house.

3.) The three days leading up to the open house you run a targeted Facebook Ad promoting the open house. 

4.) At 6:00 on the morning of the open house, you set up all your signs and take the time to make sure you have the right amount of signs to get attain and that the signs are placed where drivers will notice them.

5.) You show up one hour before the open house to make sure the house looks great, set up your welcome table, sign-in sheets, flyers, promotional materials, etc.

6.) You take the time to ensure everyone is registering with their information, or as many as you can get, and then take the time to give an amazing tour while focusing on the human connection.

7.) Then, with every person to whom you are able to give a tour, you strategically ask for an appointment.

8.) Before you pack up the open house, you create a quick thank you video and text it to everyone who attended.

9.) Right after the open house, you go immediately back to the office and input everyone into your CRM, set everyone up on a strategic email drip, set everyone up on a home property alert search, and send everyone another thank you email.

10.) Then, on Monday, you call everyone who attended the open house, and then call them every seven days, for three attempts, and then every twenty one days after that.  

The above ten steps are just an example, but you can see that if you take intentional and strategic action, combined with extreme focus and massive action, you quickly will master that activity and quickly get amazing results.

I am, by no means, saying to not have multiple lead sources, but before you add a new lead source, reflect and analyze what you are already doing and make sure you are mastering your activities. 

By doing less, you are actually able to do more. Do not approach anything you do with only an average amount of action. Instead, take massive action, which will absolutely produce massive results.

Massive Action = Massive Results!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

4 minutes
Leading a meeting through glass

Lead Generation 101 for Real Estate Agents

Joshua Smith
Lead Generation
Making Money in Real Estate

It all starts with lead generation.

You can deliver amazing service to your real estate clients, you can know the contract inside and out, you can know how to look out for your clients’ best interests, but if you can’t generate a constant stream of leads, you won’t have the chance to excel at the preceding tasks.

So, how do you generate a steady stream of new leads?

How to Generate Leads as a Realtor

You have to start by acknowledging the importance of generating new leads. Every single day, you must make new people aware of you who were not aware of you yesterday, offer those people something of value in exchange for their contact information, and then follow up with them frequently. This is the essence of lead generation and lead follow-up.

Top Lead Generation Mistakes

Most realtors make two BIG mistakes with lead generation.

1. They do not make lead generation a daily priority

If you don’t make lead generation a priority, your leads will soon start to slip. They might forget who your company is and stop engaging with you all together.

2. They pursue too many lead sources.

If you pursue too many lead sources, you won’t be able to master any of your lead sources. Start off with creating one source for your leads, and then build on that foundation.

Now that we have gone over some of the biggest lead generation mistakes, let’s dive into the right way to capture leads and how to nurture them.

Capture More Leads and Nurture Them Effectively

**1. You must make lead generation a daily priority. **

You have to wake up each day with a plan in place to generate leads. Block off that time on your calendar. You must become intentional each day with your lead generation.

**2. Success is not found in doing 1000 things but in doing a few things brilliantly, thousands of times. **

Don’t try to focus on having twelve lead sources, but instead, focus on three or four. Do those three or four things constantly to become world class.

What is the best lead generation source? It doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is your consistency and willingness to generate leads day after day. The best source is the source you enjoy, and the one you will continue to use over and over and over.

Identify your personal strengths, and then identify the lead generation methods that align with your strengths. For example, if you love talking with and networking with people, then try joining local networking groups and working those groups for new leads. If you are more introverted and don’t like networking, try Facebook lead generation.

If you study all the top producers on the planet, they have different lead sources, of course, but the one factor that runs through the most successful realtors in the industry is a willingness to be radically consistent.

Lead Generation Task List

  1. Break down your personal strengths.

  2. Identify three to four lead generation methods which align with your strengths.

  3. Block off daily time on your calendar to intentionally work those lead generation methods.

  4. Go build a constant stream of new leads to fuel your success in the real estate industry.

How Are You Nurturing Your Leads?

What’s next? It’s time for you to discover how you can better nurture your leads.

Do you have a form on your website to capture their contact information? Are you part of a FB group with people looking to sell or buy a home? Find out what lead source is best for your business, and then utilize it!

This blog was originally published on May 22, 2020 and has been updated for clarity and with the latest information.

Dominate Your Real Estate Business
Joshua Smith Mar 10th, 2021
4 minutes
Meeting around a laptop.

Using Facebook for Lead Generation to Drive Business Growth

Joshua Smith
Lead Generation

The average Facebook lead is 6.7 months out from working with a realtor.

But that’s true for all online leads and not just Facebook. You will, of course, get some leads ready to move ASAP, but those will be the exception. Consider Facebook leads as a great way to build up your pipeline. And please keep in mind that you are wasting your time and money with online marketing unless you have your lead follow up strategy dialed in to ensure you convert the highest amount of online/Facebook leads as possible. More on follow-up here.

12 Steps To Be Successful with Facebook Lead Generation:

  1. You need a website which allows potential buyers to run their home searches from your site and allows potential sellers to request home valuation reports.
  2. Your website must have a lead capture tool. For best results with buyer leads, you want a pop up forced lead registration box that will show up on the first website click. For sellers, you will need a lead capture tool that requires a property address along with name, email, and, potentially, phone number.
  3. The ability to install a Facebook Lead Conversion Pixel on your website, which will allow you to track your true cost per lead and see who is converting at the best rate. For example, you can see if it is men or women, age range, desktop/mobile device, etc. The pixel is very important!
  4. Once your site and pixel are set up, you need to make sure your potentials leads land on the right page, which is always the page your ad promises. As an example, if you are running an ad for: “Single Family Detached Homes in XYZ City with Swimming Pools”, the page they land on must feature single-family detached homes in XYZ city with swimming pools. Once you create the landing page search on your site, copy that URL link and take it to Facebook.
  5. Understand the picture is 50% + of the success of the ad. You have two seconds or less to capture your targeted audience’s attention while they are scrolling on Facebook. The picture is always the best way to get their attention.
  6. From your business page Ads Manager, choose “Conversions” as your ad type. At the end of the day, all that matters is your cost per lead, which will allow you to know/track your true cost per closing, AKA ROI, on this lead source.
  7. Run multiple “Ad Sets”, AKA split test. For example, run an ad to: Women Mobile Newsfeed, Women Desktop Newsfeed, Men Mobile Newsfeed, and Men Mobile Desktop. So you can get more targeted with “Interest/Behaviors” if you choose to.
  8. Select your image, and then add your URL, along with your “Headline” and “Text”. Facebook is backwards, as they have the “Headline” below the image, and the text above the image. Remember, the picture catches attention. Then, the headline and text exists to create curiosity, so the potential lead will take action, and click on your ad.
  9. Select a “Call To Action Button”. You can’t go wrong with choosing the “Learn More” button.
  10. Now, this is a more advanced technique, but you can go into “Power Editor”, and re-create the other Ad Sets as discussed in step #9. You can also test numerous photos inside Power Editor. Quick Tip with Power Editor: You must use Google Chrome to operate Power Editor.
  11. Start small and scale up slowly. I recommend starting at $5 per day, per ad set. Let the ad run for a couple days, and then shut off the non-performing ads, and then slowly scale up the performing ad sets. Always scale up slowly.  25% every few days is a good rule of thumb.
  12. If your Facebook Pixel is installed on your website, make sure to use/watch the “Demographics Tool” inside Ads Manager, which will allow you to see what age group, etc. is getting you the best cost per lead, and you can make adjustments accordingly.

Are you new to Facebook Ads?

I know this is a lot of info and can be confusing, but it is well worth taking the time to learn. The great news is, there is a ton of free “How To” content on YouTube. Now that you know the important steps to be successful with your Facebook Lead Generation, you can start doing research, if needed, to dial in each step.

Facebook continues to grow and is not going anywhere any time soon. It continues to be more and more effective for Real Estate Lead Generation, and can help you massively grow your Real Estate Business!

Dominate Your Real Estate Business
Joshua Smith Jun 19th, 2020
3 minutes
Man looking at phone with laptop

What You Need to Know About Lead Generation as a Realtor

Real Estate Advice
Joshua Smith
Lead Generation

The real estate market has changed drastically in the past year, and as a realtor, you always need to think on your toes to bring in more leads.

The unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of realtors do not understand the amount or type of actions that are required to generate business (or to stand-out amongst competition).

But all is not lost.

You have come to the right place to learn how to grab a slice of the massive amount of business that top agents and teams are responsible for. There’s plenty of room for an agent who is willing to work relentlessly with the right tools and appropriate knowledge.

Perhaps the most foundational concept for building a real estate business is effective lead generation systems and data trackingSo, let’s start there.

Your Real Estate Lead Generation Action Plan

Without setting specific goals that you want to achieve, it can be difficult to meet your expectations. First you must create a lead generation action plan. Consider these stats:

Lead Generation Statistics for Realtors

  • The average realtor converts .5% of leads into a closing.
  • Top realtors with world class follow-up convert 3% of leads into a closing.

Real Estate Lead Generation Example

So let’s use these stats for our example and split the difference. For the example, let’s say you can convert 1.75% of your leads into a closing, or basically one for every 60 leads. To convert at this level, of course, you must know how frequently to follow up with leads. That said, you can do a rough calculation of the amount of leads you need to convert one closing, so you know how many leads you need to accomplish your goals.

Let’s say your goal this year is to close 36 homes. Based on the above conversion rate, you must generate at least 2,160 leads this year to hit that number.

You can then break things down further for more easy to manage targets. This will equal out to 180 per month and 44 per week if you take off two weeks per year. You can even take it down to leads per day, if you would like. The important thing is to stay on track and make sure you are regularly hitting your numbers.

Pro Tip: The only way to win the year is to win enough months. To win the month, you must win enough weeks. To win the week, you must win enough days. So every morning when you wake up, just think about winning the day!

What Are Your Real Estate Growth Goals in 2021?

Successful businesses are built on predictable and practical systems. And in real estate, lead generation is the number that fuels your growth.

Are you ready to exceed your lead generation goals this year? Schedule a lead generation demo to propel your real estate business forward!

Dominate Your Real Estate Business

This blog was originally published on March 20, 2020 and has been updated for clarity and with the latest information.

Joshua Smith Feb 3rd, 2021
2 minutes
Classroom Setting

7 Modern CRM Must-Haves to Drive Real Estate Business Growth

Real Estate Advice
Real Estate Success

A CRM, or “Customer Relationship Manager,” is a system that can help you automate your lead follow-up, stay organized, and help ensure you do not miss tasks. Your CRM might be the most important tool you use to fuel the success of your real estate business.

Most realtors do not have a CRM and those who do, don’t use it effectively. The first place to start when selecting a CRM is with your budget. Like most things, you get what you pay for, but you must work within your budget. The real estate technology world has no shortage of CRM choices, so I am going to focus on the critical features your CRM must have to boost your ability to succeed.

7 Must Have Features of any Real Estate CRM

1. Add leads both manually and automatically into your CRM

2. Add notes to each individual lead inside your CRM

3. Organize your database by type and category: Buyers/Sellers/Leads/Clients/Past Clients/etc.

4. Mass email feature that allows you to bulk email everyone in your database all at once

5. Drip campaign plans for both email and text

6. Auto responses, both email and text

7. Manual and automatic task capability

Is it time to invest in a CRM?

These seven absolute must-have features are what a modern CRM needs to be effective. A good CRM is critical to establishing and adhering to a follow-up process(for more on lead follow-up best practices, click here). A CRM will help you stay on task, and stay organized. Once set up correctly, a solid CRM is a massive game changer.

If you do not have one already, we’d love to help you start working on identifying and setting up your CRM.
Ready to learn more? Lets talk!

This blog was originally published on April 10, 2020 and has been updated for clarity and with the latest information.

Dominate Your Real Estate Business
Joshua Smith Feb 10th, 2021
4 minutes
Delegation via notes.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Delegation

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

You can only do so much. And there are only so many hours in a day. So, as a realtor, you must delegate.

A quick reminder from the Making Money blog post, realtors earn money by: #1: lead gen/lead follow-up, #2: appointment conductions, and #3: negotiating contracts.

To begin delegating, make a list of everything you do regularly that is not part of these three money making activities. This list will give you the activities you need to delegate.

ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL NOTE: As you are growing your real estate business, you will need to do everything for some time, as you will not likely have the funds to pay for additional help. Also, you want to do everything initially so you can learn how things are done and how you like them done, so, when you do delegate out these tasks, you can train your staff properly.

Before you start spending money, make sure everything you are doing is necessary. If you are doing a lot of tasks that are not getting results, you may, of course, just want to eliminate those tasks. Also, see if you can delegate regular tasks to your vendor partners. For example, you may see if your lender has someone on staff who can do your flyer design for you. I only like to spend money when it is necessary, so see what you can eliminate and delegate out for free. 

IMPORTANT FINANCIAL TIP: Before hiring a person to help with tasks, you should have at least four consecutive months of consistent closings/commission income, which can pay your business expenses, your personal income, and have enough left over to comfortably pay for some help. I like to see at least four months, because you know it is a trend that can be duplicated and not just a fluky good month or two.

Who do you hire first? Everyone has a different philosophy on this topic, so there is no perfect answer. However, I will give you my opinion based on my own personal experience. 

First: I recommend hiring someone to do your house/personal tasks. For example: landscaper, house cleaner, etc. These tasks can take up a lot of time you could otherwise use for business needs and can be far cheaper than hiring a full-time employee for your business.

Second: Check to see if you can find a licensed realtor who you can pay a per transaction fee to input your listings for you into the MLS, turn in paperwork to your broker, order your listing photos, signpost, lockbox, etc. and also can do all contract to close tasks like ordering inspections, following up with the lender, etc. Fees always differ, but you may find someone who will do the listing input for $150, and the contract to close for $350, give or take.

Third: Eventually, hiring a full-time in-office assistant will make sense. For most realtors, this time comes once most realtor get to four to five closings monthly (again, make sure this progress is consistent). Once you have hired this assistant, take the list we discussed above of all the non-moneymaking activities you do in your business, and assign those to your new assistant.

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: When hiring an employee, make sure you know your true costs, which can be more than just salary. For example: payroll fees, taxes, benefits, etc. By having all of this information, you will be fully prepared and can budget accordingly.

Once you have your assistant trained and dialed in, your business will continue to grow, and you can eventually add more assistants and even agents to work your overflow of leads, etc., but the above is a great place to start!

One last import piece of wisdom: “Your Trust Will Always Equal Your Capacity!” Or to continue growing your business, you eventually will need to delegate tasks and trust others to take these tasks on. If you don’t, you will find your business will hit a level where it can’t grow any further.

Delegation can be a scary process, but if you have your processes documented and your systems in place, success will be unavoidable.

Thanks for reading!  

Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Jul 10th, 2020
4 minutes
Crunching the numbers.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: The Income Roller Coaster

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

A roller coaster goes up and then goes down.

Roller coasters can be both fun and scary, but the constant fluctuation (up and down) of the income realtors earn is only scary. But this pattern of income is extremely common in this industry.

First, you must understand that the income roller coaster most experience is 100% avoidable! Most realtors experience this unpredictability their entire careers, but just because they do, that does not mean you have to.

The reason this fluctuation occurs for many realtors is simple. Realtors start off not having any business, so they spend their days lead generating and other activities which lead to connecting with clients. Then they get some clients and stop doing the things that produced the clients in the first place. This process is repeated over and over.

To avoid taking a ride on the income roller coaster, you must do these three things:

#1: Manage Your Schedule

#2: Know Your Money Making Activities

#3: Delegate

Let's break each down. 

#1: Manage Your Schedule As discussed here, so much of your success will boil down to planning and managing your schedule. If you learn to make it a habit to plan your day out the evening before, you will most likely avoid the income roller coaster altogether. Have your appointments blocked off on your calendar along with your lead generation, lead follow-up, paperwork, and anything else essential to creating a successful day. 

We will go deep into tracking your numbers in the next real estate success tip blog entry, but the great thing about tracking is that you will be able to identify the exact amount of action that must happen daily to ensure you are hitting your goals. Each day you should know how many leads you need to generate, how many reach outs, how many conversations you need to have, and how many appointments you need to be setting to hit your yearly goal. Everyone’s goal is different, so your personal goals will determine how much time you need to allocate for each activity. 

Once you have your schedule planned and time blocked, stick to it. Create a plan, and then execute on the plan! If you allow yourself to get into a reactive state, having an effective day will become very difficult.

#2: Know Your Money Making Activities As a realtor, you will make money in this business in three ways (read more here). The first is your activities leading to setting appointments (lead generation and lead follow-up). The second is the actual appointment conductions that allow you to convert the lead into an actual signed/committed client. The third is contract negotiation. You need to negotiate contracts to get your buyer and seller clients into under contract status.

Everything else you do inside your business, even though it may be essential, must be classified as a non-money making activity. These are things which are essential but are not actually adding more deals in the under contract status. Examples include: Turning in paperwork to your broker, ordering inspections, inputting your listing into the MLS, etc.

As stated in point #1 above, you MUST manage your schedule to ensure that the essential non-money making activities do not take over and prevent you from doing your daily must money making activities. Daily planning will massively assist in ensuring this will not happen to you!

#3: Delegate Delegation becomes critical in a growing real estate business (more on delegation here). No matter how well you plan, how well you manage your calendar, or how good you get at your money making activities, you will hit a capacity. There is only so much time in a day, and only so much you can do. Eventually you will need to employ some help. I recommend you hire out the essential non-money making activities first.

Of course this plan easy to lay out in a blog post, and the process itself is not that tough. The hard part is staying disciplined daily to follow this plan. But, if you choose to create the necessary discipline to do so, you can avoid the real estate income roller coaster, and your future self will be extremely grateful you did. It is not easy, but well worth it!

And now it is time to take action on this information! Remember, information is no longer power, it is taking action on the information we learn which creates power in our lives… So, go take MASSIVE action, and keep up the amazing work!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Sep 25th, 2020
2 minutes
Group collaborating on laptop

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Website Essentials

Real Estate Advice
Real Estate Success
Joshua Smith

Just like your CRM, a website is a HUGE asset to your real estate business, but unfortunately, most realtors do not understand how to be effective with a website and their online presence.

An effective website will allow you to brand yourself, generate leads, and build credibility in your market with both your clients and potential clients.

So, what are the MUST HAVE features?

#1: A home page which brands you as a real estate professional.

#2: A built in IDX/home search feature through which potential buyer clients can use your website to perform home searches.

#3: Pop-up forced lead capture registration on the home search feature, which allows you to generate buyer leads.

#4: Home valuation page with lead capture, so potential sellers can get a home valuation in exchange for their contact information.

#5: Blog feature with the ability to embed photos and videos (preferably YouTube videos).

#6: An about page so potential clients can learn more about you.

You can use a site with other features which can be a nice bonus, but the above are the most essential features necessary to turn your website into a branding and lead generation machine!

As you know, having a good online presence is critical in today’s real estate market, and if done right, will return a HUGE ROI (Return On Investment)!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Apr 17th, 2020
2 minutes
Would you believe it's a hand writing in a planner while the other hand holds a phone?

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Time Management

Joshua Smith
Real Estate Advice
Real Estate Success

Time management does not exist.

You cannot manage time.

You cannot control the fact there are 24 hours in a day or 168 hours in a week.

BUT what you can control is your “choice management,” or how you choose to use your time.

Here Are Some Quick & Effective Tips:

#1: Wake up one hour earlier than you have to and spend that hour planning out your day.  What you are going to do? When you are going to do it? etc.

#2: Before you end each day, spend a few minutes reflecting on everything you did and see what you did that was not necessary. Then reflect on what was necessary to see if you could have done anything to be a little more effective and efficient with your time.

#3: Utilize a calendar and make sure everything gets on your calendar. Google Calendar is FREE.

#4: Create a daily to-do list. During your morning planning, make a to-do list of all the important things you need to get done that day. You can do it on a piece of paper or use a great app like Wunderlist. 

#5: Once you have created your daily to-do list ask yourself, the three items on your list that would have the greatest impact on your business. Make sure those get done as early in the day as you possibly can. Make sure the most important items get completed.

I know by doing the above tips you are adding more to your plate. However, anyone who takes the time to plan and reflect on his/her day does not have a time management issue. I can assure you, these tips will quickly become a massive game changer and something you can’t live without.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith May 15th, 2020
3 minutes
Real estate agent speaking on the phone while on her laptop. On the table with her, an iced coffee slowly sweats. She loves talking to her clients. But she came to this coffee shop on this day for an iced coffee and some laptop time. As each droplet darkens the wooden table, she considers claiming another call is coming in. But she doesn't do it. She powers through as she glances confidently at the camera. She can always order another iced coffee.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Speed To Lead

Joshua Smith

We live in an instant gratification world. Press one button, rent a movie. Purchase anything you want in minutes and receive it at your doorstep in less than two days. Pop a K-Cup in your Keurig, and within seconds your coffee is ready to go. Everything is fast, so people have been conditioned to expect speed!

So people are not going to wait, and why should they? There's no shortage of realtors, just a shortage of realtors who do not respond promptly.

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: From a TON of personal experience, I can assure you that every lead in your CRM is in the CRM of six other realtors. Start calling everyone in your CRM, and you will get a ton of leads who inform you they just bought or sold their home with someone else.

Per’s research, if you respond to a lead within five minutes, you are 100x more likely to get a response than if you waited only thirty minutes, and if contacted within five minutes, you are 30x more likely to set an appointment. And that’s just the difference from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. Can you imagine if you waited 3 hours? Any time I can increase my likelihood of success by 100x and 30x, I am going to do everything in my power to make that happen!

I know what you might be thinking, “I can’t always respond that quickly, as I am on appointments, in meetings, etc.”. I 100% get it, and understand. Here is the AWESOME part about it, with all the amazing technology which exists today, you can automate so much.

But, as much as I love technology and systems, I have yet to find anything which can beat just picking up the phone, which is not always an option. Today, any good CRM will have auto responders, and the really good ones will have text video auto responders, in addition to email. 

Let’s say you are on a listing appointment. You set your auto responders on. A new lead comes in while you are gone, and within seconds gets a video text which is a video of you saying, “Hi, this is (your name), with (your company). Thank you so much for your inquiry. I wanted to send you this quick video text message to let you know I received your inquiry. I am with a client at the moment but will get back to you the second I am done meeting with my client, which will be in less than two hours. Thanks again, and have a great day!”. Then, at the same time, the lead receives an email with the same message.

People don’t always need an answer to their specific question right that second, but they do want a response when to expect an answer. You can’t keep everyone from hopping on another realtor’s website, but and auto response will greatly lower the chances.

Moral of the story: When you can, pick up your phone and respond in under five minutes.  When you can’t, get effective auto responders in place!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Nov 6th, 2020
3 minutes
Happy couple closing a real estate transaction.

The Secret to Real Estate Referrals and Repeat Business: Stay In Touch With Past Clients

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

Did you know that 88% of recently surveyed buyers and sellers said their realtor did a great job, and that they would absolutely use them again in the future? However, only 11% ever do a repeat transaction with that realtor.

Why aren’t past real estate clients doing repeat business?

You can deliver absolutely amazing service to your clients, but if you do not stay in touch after the fact, those clients will forget your name and not know how to reach you. Out of sight, out of mind. To ensure your past clients do future business with you (and equally as important, send you referrals) you MUST stay in touch!

Why don’t most agents stay in touch?

Two reasons:

  1. They do not have a CRM/database to stay organized to stay in touch. Read more about what to look for in an effective CRM here.
  2. They feel uncomfortable bugging past clients begging for business.

The great news is both of these objections are extremely easy to overcome:

  1. Get a CRM/database, and use it. Problem solved!
  2. You absolutely do not need to beg for referrals to stay in touch, but you must stay in touch!

But how do you stay in touch without coming across as an annoying salesperson? By checking in and always focusing on the human connection. As Dale Carnegie states in his amazing classic business book, “How To Win Friends and Influence People,” the way to build deep connections is by being “interested in others, not trying to be interesting.”

Here are 4 basic tips for checking in with past clients:

1. Put past clients in your CRM/database

Send a “Monthly Current Market Video Update” to keep everyone educated on what is happening in the local real estate market.

2. Send out handwritten birthday cards.

Handwriting the note is essential. The personal touch goes a long way

3. Send out happy holiday emails.

Be sure you are staying relevant and front of mind.

4. Pick up the phone, and call every 90 days.

Don’t make it about you, make it about them. “How is the Family?”... “How is Work going?”.... Etc. Ultimately, the law of reciprocity will kick in and they will ask about you, your family, and your real estate career.

Why bother staying in touch with your past clients?

By staying in touch, you will stay front of mind, which will absolutely result in referrals! Now, to be successful at staying in touch, you need a good CRM/database that will allow you to task yourself, take notes, and allow you to do mass emails.

Your past clients are truly your money tree, growing in your backyard. Don’t forget to water it!

This blog was originally published on December 1, 2016 and has been updated for clarity and with the latest information.


Dominate Your Real Estate Business
Joshua Smith Feb 17th, 2021
5 minutes
A white house with a big tree with some sun peeking through.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Effective Open Houses

Joshua Smith
Lead Generation
Making Money in Real Estate

I am not sure why, but a lot of realtors believe in the myth that open houses are only for those just entering the business.

The fact is that open houses are one of the most effective ways to generate business in real estate.

But why are open houses so effective?

You have potential buyers and sellers coming to you.

Those buyers and sellers have already identified where they want to live, and/or the fact they want to sell.

You are instantly face to face, and have the ability to interview for the job right there.

But you can’t just put up a sign and hold an effective open house. Here’s what must be done to develop an effective open house strategy:

#1: Identify an area, and be consistent with it. Think of open houses as your “storefront” where you get to set up and meet potential buyer/seller clients in the area you want to work. Most realtors do open houses all over the place, which is a mistake. Instead, identify an area in which you want to build up market share, and then hold consistent open houses in that area. Current homeowners then begin to see your open house signs set up every weekend there, which increases consumer confidence as potential clients are seeing your name on a consistent basis. So pick an area and start to build your brand.

#2: Signage matters. Before you dive into this aspect or your open house strategy, make sure you check with your local government to see if there are any sign restrictions. If you do not have any sign restrictions, putting out 30+ signs will greatly help increase your brand awareness and drive more traffic to your open house. If you are located in an area with a sign restriction, do not get discouraged, as all your competition (other realtors) are held by the same restriction.

#3: Pre-market the open house. Run a targeted Facebook ad for the area for three days leading up to the open house. Create a neighborhood open house flyer, and hand deliver/door knock the closest 400 homes to your open house.

#4: Set up properly. On top of the 30+ signs placed around the neighborhood, also, purchase a couple tall, attention-grabbing open house flags to put in front of the property. You will get a lot of attention from people currently living in the area, but that is good. When they think of selling, you want to be the first person that pops up in their mind.

#5: Also, put a sign on the door that says, “Per Sellers Request Please Sign In,” and also place this sign on a table just inside the door and have your “Guest Registration Sign In Sheets” at the same table. And don’t forget to include a nice property flyer with all the property information, as well as the different mortgage payment options.

#6: The Tour. Once visitors have signed in, give a thorough tour. You can’t, of course, give a tour to everyone if the open house is really busy, but focus on giving a great tour to those you are able. Ask engaging questions where you can connect with them and identify their goals. Example questions: “What is it about the area you like so much?”, “Do you work near by?”, etc.

#7: Ask for an appointment at the end of the tour. Say something like: “So, what do you think about the property? Does it meet your needs, or are you looking for something different?” (Most will say they are looking for something different as ½ of 1% of homes sell from that open house). In that case follow up with something like: “Great, just so you know, I am not here to just sell you on this house. I am here to identify what your goals and needs are, and if this house meets those, then great, and if not, to identify what your goals and needs are, and then to find you exactly what you are looking for. Based on what you have told me what you are looking for, I know of several homes which I am confident will meet your criteria. I get out of here at 4pm today, and can meet you then to go show you those other homes. Is that something you would like to set up?” Most will not want to set an appointment right there, but if you ask enough people, you will absolutely get some that say yes. Read more about leading from a place of contribution to turn more conversations into appointments here.

#8: Put everyone into your database, and follow up. Read more on effective lead follow-up here.

If you plan, setup, and execute correctly on your open houses, you will absolutely get great results, so follow these steps, and go dominate your real estate business with open houses!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith May 29th, 2020
5 minutes
Mentoring in an office.

How to be Successful in Real Estate: Find a Mentor

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

You have two choices in building your real estate business. You can either try to figure it all out on your own or you can find a real estate mentor or coach. If you try to figure it out on your own, it can take a lot of time, money, and energy to get where you want to be. Many who try to figure it out on their own fail. In fact, 90% of realtors fail in the first three years because they don’t know what to do to create the success they want. But by hiring a real estate mentor/coach, they can show you the path to create the success you are looking for.

6 Tips To Finding a Real Estate Coach

1. Research

The first step you need to take is to do some research. Make sure your chosen mentor has either created the success you are looking to create or has successfully coached others to create what you are looking to create. If not, the chances are very small that you will be mentored effectively.

2. Identify Obstacles

Next, you need to find someone who is proven to be able to solve the obstacles your business faces. Do you have problems acquiring new leads? Does your pitch feel off? Keep these obstacles in mind as you select your mentor or coach.

3. Think About Your “Why”

What is your why? Get clear on the type of real estate business you want to create and why. Find a coach that’s in alignment with your “why.”

4. Get Clear on the Type of Help You Need

You may find you need someone to keep you accountable every week and who holds you to your commitments. Or, you may find that you are very self driven and just need the right, actionable information. If you need more in-depth accountability, then you probably need one-on-one coaching, whereas, if you just need the information, you may just need a good online group program.

5. Do Your Homework

Don’t just take a prospective mentor’s word for it. Has this mentor truly created the success you want to create? Look for testimonials from other agents who have benefited from their coaching.

6. Identify Your Budget

Coaching can get very expensive, so you need to know your budget. After you’ve identified your budget, you can then find the best fit for your overall needs and budget.

Expanding Your Knowledge in Real Estate

One of the great things about the real estate industry is that there are many professionals who are willing to share their knowledge for free. You can look into joining a great team or brokerage where the team leader and/or broker can become your mentor (as he/she has a vested interest in your success). Ask yourself, “Is my current broker and/or team providing the mentorship and coaching I need to accomplish my goals?” If the answer is no, then you may want to start exploring the possibility of hiring an actual mentor.

Hiring a Real Estate Coach

Mentors typically will cost you money. You may have to pay upfront for their knowledge or perhaps pay a split of your closings if your mentor is your team leader and/or broker. Be prepared to pay for mentoring as the coaches you will want are going to be people who have created success, so their time tends to be very valuable.

Lower Your Real Estate Mentor Fee

One way to find a mentor for a lower fee is to offer to trade your time for theirs. Remember, a mentor’s time is going to be more valuable than yours, as you are not yet up to that level of success. Offer to give three hours of your time for free, for instance. Find out if your mentor needs help in the office, at a charity event, getting coffee, cleaning the office, washing a car, etc. You will find that most mentors really respect your hunger and drive and will end up giving you much more time than the original agreement.

Reaching Your True Potential as a Real Estate Professional

One big mistake people make is asking, “What will I get out of this situation?” This is the wrong question to ask. Instead ask, “Who will I become from this experience?” A mentor can show you the exact skill sets you need and can apply for the rest of your life to continue to create massive success! If you study anyone successful, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, etc. they all have mentors, and for good reason. Take this fact very seriously, as mentoring can and will have a huge impact on your success!

This blog was originally published on August 7, 2020 and has been updated for clarity and with the latest information.  

Dominate Your Real Estate Business
Joshua Smith Jan 20th, 2021
7 minutes
One house is lit up.

How to Reach Out to Leads with Expired Listings

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate
Real Estate Advice

If you know of sellers who had a goal of selling their home but for whatever reason didn’t, you might be under the impression that they would be a great source to double your business.

Unfortunately, the reality is that less than 10% are ready to re-list their home immediately.

While they still have the same goal to sell their home, they just need a break from the whole process. They may be tired of cleaning their house and making their beds every day. They may just need a few months to breathe. (A majority of sellers generally wait 3-6 months to re-list their home after their listing expired.)

So, what can you do during this lag time? The #1 thing you can do as a real estate agent is to maintain the relationship with the seller.

Maintaining Relationships with Expired Sellers

As with all real estate leads, the main goal you should have as a realtor is to connect and develop a relationship with sellers and buyers alike.

When it comes to maintaining relationships with expired sellers, you want to make sure that you have continued to nurture a relationship with them even if they took a break from trying to sell their home. Then, when they are ready to re-list their home, they will think of you as their trusted real estate partner.

3 Steps to Communicate with Expired Listing Leads

1. Get their Contact Information

The first step in this process is getting the lead information. You can pay a monthly subscription to many services which will supply you with a daily list of expired and For Sale By Owner (FSBO) leads.

Some popular companies that provide expired and FSBO data are:

  • Espresso Agent
  • Vulcan 7
  • Landvoice
  • RedX

Once you’ve found the right contact information for expired leads, you need to be sure that you pull this expired listing data daily.

2. Pull Expired Listing Data

You can pull the daily expired lead list from your MLS as well. By pulling this data daily, you will ensure that no opportunity goes unnoticed.

Once you have their data, you can reach out to them by sending them mailers, emailing them, or by giving them a phone call.

3. Reach Out to Leads

Now that you are getting your daily list, and you’re ready to make some phone calls. It’s time to reach out to your leads. (Remember, most are not ready to re-list. Follow-up with your leads later on to maintain your relationship with them.)

The best way to reach out to more leads is by creating a script to send out to all the expired listings you find in your database. There are a few popular script options that you can choose from, and we are going to go over both of them and give you a few script examples to use as well.

Expired Listing Scripts: Bottom Line Up Front Script vs. Survey Script

Bottom Line Up Script

You can go with a “Bottom Line Up Front” approach, where you straight up ask for their listing. This technique can be effective, but it rarely provides that connection for the ability to build a long term relationship.

Bottom Line Up Front Script Example

“Hi, this is (your name) with (XYZ Real Estate AKA your company). I was looking on the MLS and noticed your home just expired on the market. I was looking through your photos and was shocked to see that your home expired. It looks like you have a beautiful home. Out of curiosity, are you still looking to sell your home?”

The odds are good that you will hear something like, “Not at this time. We have decided to take our home off the market for a while….”, so be prepared for this response, as most sellers need that break as we discussed above. You then want to ask permission to stay in contact.

“I 100% understand and know how hard the home selling process is, and it can be nice to have a break. Are you planning on taking a little break and re-listing, and if so, when do you think you may put your home back on the market? Would it be okay if I checked in from time to time to see how you are doing? When it gets closer to that time, I would love the opportunity to interview for the job!”

Based on their answer and timeframe, you will want to follow up with check-in calls to stay front of mind.

Survey Script

Another script we are going to explore is the survey approach. This allows you to connect and identify the seller’s expectations. This allows you to stay in touch with them for the long-term.

Survey Script Example

“Hi, this is (your name) with (your company). I was looking at the MLS, and realized your home just expired. Just so you know, this is not a sales call. I know you are getting bombarded with realtors calling and begging you for your listing, and that is not what this call is about.

I have found the best way for me to grow my real estate business is to survey homeowners like yourself that had a home for sale, had a goal of selling, and for some reason, that goal was not accomplished. I just have two quick questions for you, and if you would answer these two quick questions, it would mean the world to me. Is that something you are willing to do?

My first question is: I am sure your realtor did some things that you liked, that if you were to re-list your home again in the future you would like to see done again. What were some of those things?” (Get feedback.)

“Thank you so much for that feedback. My second question is: What are some of the things you felt your realtor could improve on? What do you feel they did not do? Ultimately, why do you feel your home did not sell?” (Get feedback.)

“Again, thank you so much for this feedback. I truly appreciate it. Your help means a lot to me! Just out of curiosity, do you still have the same need and goal of selling your home? When do you plan on re-listing your home? I know I said this was not a sales call, and that was not my intention, but based on the feedback that you gave me, I am extremely confident I can help you accomplish that goal. When the time comes, if and when you are ready to re-list your home, I would love the opportunity to interview for the job. Would it be okay if I checked in every once in a while to see how you are doing with everything?”

As you can see, the “Survey Script” gets the seller talking more. Another bonus is that you get to hear from “The Consumer” on what services they are looking for a realtor to provide and what their expectations are. So, even if you do not get the listing, you are still gaining great insight that can help you grow your business.

Then, make sure to add them to your CRM (read more on what to look for in a CRM here), and make sure to do your follow-up/check-in calls, so when they are ready to take action, they think of you!

When Was the Last Time You Checked Your Expired Leads?

All in all, expired leads can be a great source of business, and if worked consistently, can provide huge success! If you haven’t reached out to your expired lead pool, what’s holding you back? If the answer is that you don’t have the technology to help you with this, we can help. Connect with our team of real estate CRM specialists to help scale your real estate business the right way.

This blog was originally published on June 26, 2020 and has been updated for clarity and with the latest information.

Dominate Your Real Estate Business
Joshua Smith Jan 27th, 2021
9 minutes
Buyer clients agreeing to work with an agent.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Getting Buyers to Commit to You

Converting Leads
Joshua Smith

Many realtors are afraid to ask for their buyer clients to sign commitments, but your time and services are valuable and must be treated as such or risk leaving your business in a vulnerable position.

But I have good news: getting buyers to commit with a signed agreement, if you have an effective process in place, is pretty easy!

As realtors we understand the importance of getting a seller/listing agreement signed. I know those agreements are required to list a property, but why not make it a requirement for your buyer clients, as well? Yes, you have more money invested into a listing/seller client, but you typically have much more time into your buyer clients. And time is money!

So, how do you do it? You must treat the process just like you do with your seller/listing clients. You need to perform an official “Buyer's Consultation”. At the end of the day, it does not matter where the consultation happens, as long as it happens, it may be at your office, a property, at their house, or at a local coffee shop.

To get this buyer consultation appointment scheduled, you MUST sell the value in the appointment. Most realtors try to sell themselves to potential clients, but the reality is we need to sell them on the appointment first. Then, during the consultation, we can sell our services.

Buyer Consultation/Appointment Setting Script: 

“The next best step in the process is to set up a time for us to meet so I can fully understand your goals, your needs, what is important to you, as well as educate you on the buying process here in (your area). There are some costs which you will incur during the process. For example, inspection fees, appraisal fee, loan down payment, lender and title closing costs, etc. There are also areas you are protected by in the contract, and areas in which you are at risk. With that being said, I like to meet with all my clients and thoroughly explain the entire process, answer all of your questions, and give you all the information you need to make the best decision for yourself and for your family. You may decide now is the time to buy a new home, or you may decide now is not the time to buy a home. Whichever route you decide is 100% okay, of course. Just so you know, there is no hassle, no obligation, and everything I do is 100% zero pressure. Again, the sole purpose of us meeting is to provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision for yourself and for your family. Also, I like to make everything as convenient for my clients as I can. We can meet at my office, your current residence, at a local coffee shop, or whatever works best for you. I have X time and X time available tomorrow (just as an example), which one of those times works best for you?”

IMPORTANT NOTE: If a buyer says “No”, they are not rejecting you; they are essentially saying “Not right now.” So, in that case, you can say something like, “No worries at all, I know you may not be ready to meet at this time. I will continue sending you homes which meet your criteria and will check in from time to time to see if there is anything you need or any questions I can answer. Thanks again, and have an amazing day!”

Then continue to check in frequently.

OK. So let’s say you have the appointment set. Now what do you do during that appointment? First, and this is really important, you must ask great questions and listen deeply to the buyer’s needs and wants.

Things To Cover During The Appointment Process:

#1: All the features they would like in their new home. Remember, it is not just about the home itself but understanding everything that is important. For example, in addition to the home features, maybe their kids are involved in certain activities, and they want to be close by to those, etc. The deeper you go, the better!

#2: Identify their time frames. A great question to ask is, “In a perfect world, if we could time this out perfectly, when would you be sticking the key into the front door of your new home?” This question can tell you a lot, and can help prevent you from becoming a chauffeur for the next six months. 

#3: Educate them on the step by step buying process. What each step is, timeframes, contract contingencies, how they are protected by the contract, potential ways they can be at risk, and what those consequences are, monetary investments, etc. A mistake I see a lot of realtors make is to skip this process with buyer clients who have purchased multiple homes in the past. The average person moves every five years, which is a long time to remember everything that is involved in the process. Even if it is a reminder, it is always better to over educate than the alternative. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: In addition to educating your clients, this process is important as it shows the value you bring. As an example, while educating, you can use scripts like this: “Per the contract, we have X days to perform our inspections. We can always request more time, if needed, but in most cases this timeframe provides enough time to do the necessary inspections. During the inspection period, we have the option to cancel the contract, accept the property as is, or ask the seller to do the repairs which you would like to see performed. Again, we have X days to do our inspections. Let's say you want to request some repairs. We must get that request in writing, signed by you, and delivered to the listing realtor by 11:59pm on X day. If we miss that time, even by a minute, you have now accepted the property AS-IS. So, it is absolutely critical we pay close attention to all the timeframes inside the purchase contract. Now, I don’t want you to stress about it, as this is what I am here for. I will make sure all the timeframes are met, and I will always look out for your best interests.“ In the above example script, you are educating and showing your value as their realtor.

#4: Educate them on everything you are doing for them as well as how you get paid. Make a list of everything you do. Don’t be afraid to make it a full page of items. This list demonstrates the value of utilizing your services and is critical to educate them on what you do and how you get paid. Instruct them on what must happen if they attend an open house without you, or want to see a FSBO, or want to go look at new build developments in your area, etc. In the majority of cases I have ever seen where a realtor get’s “burned” by a buyer client (home purchase with a different buyer agent), it was the realtor’s fault for not educating the client properly.

#5: Ask for their commitment via a signed “Buyer Employment Agreement”, or whatever your area and/or Brokerage calls the document.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I have found it is critical to do the “Buyer Consultation” in the exact steps outlined above, as doing so allows you to build a relationship, trust, and value to utilize you as their realtor!

Simple Script To Getting The Signed “Buyer Employment Agreement”

Have the agreement ready to go right after you get done explaining all the services you provide. You can then transition into a script just like this: “There are other things that I do in the process, but that was a list of the main items I am doing to ensure your real estate goals are accomplished. As I stated, I only get paid upon the successful closing of your home. I want you to know that I am fully committed to helping you accomplish your real estate goals. I will always put your needs first and always lookout for your best interests. I am 100% committed to my career and my clients, and all I ask in return is your commitment to me. Here is our “Buyer Employment Agreement,” which states that if you choose to buy a home in the next X Days or Months (however much time you are asking them to commit for), that you are committed to using me as your Realtor. You are in no way obligated by any means to purchase a home, and I would never push you into doing anything that you don’t want to do. Again, I am 100% committed to my clients, and ask that they commit to utilizing my services in return.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: I recommend you role play this script over many times. The more natural you make the transition, the more success you are going to have. Also, don’t make it seem like you are asking them if they are going to commit. Instead, lead with the approach that you are assuming they are. As you deliver the above script, have the agreement and a pen ready, start filling it out, and then ask them to sign and date it.

You may get some push back, of course, but you will be amazed at how many clients agree to committing to you right away. If you hear something like, “I refuse to sign that. I am going to go with whichever realtor finds me the right home,” in my opinion, don’t walk but run from them. Those are clients you do not want. However, if the buyer says something like, “I see the value in your services, and I do want to use you, but I feel uncomfortable signing anything as I have had a bad experience in the past.” Well, then you can make your best judgement call on how to handle it from there.

Alright, I know this was a long one today, but hopefully you found MASSIVE value in it! Now, it is time to get your “Buyer Consultation Process” dialed in so you can get more committed clients, which will 100% result in more closings!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Sep 18th, 2020
2 minutes

Mastery: The Key To Real Estate Success

Converting Leads
Making Money in Real Estate

“Mastery” is an absolute MUST if you want to grow your Real Estate Business!

Here is the really cool part about “Mastery”. So few people focus on it, so, once you do, you really have no competition!

What is Mastery?

In the dictionary, Mastery is defined as: “ Superiority or victory: mastery over one’s enemies. The act of mastering. Expert skill or knowledge. The state of being master; Power of command or control.” You do not truly know your craft until you have “Mastered” it.

How does Mastery happen? Mastery happens when “Eyeballs” are not on you. It happens behind closed doors, with extreme focus.

You will not “Master” your craft by simply working each and every day inside your Real Estate Business. Mastery happens after you put in a long work day, and you go home, and then practice your presentations and scripts over and over and over.

For example, if you want to “Master” your Listing Presentation, you will not go on enough listing presentations daily, weekly, or monthly to truly master the craft. So, in order to truly master it, you must practice it over and over. After a long work day, once you get home, after you spend some time with the Family. While your competition chooses to watch TV and relax, you choose to practice your listing presentation every single night for 2 hours.

This is how “Mastery” takes place!

What are some critical items you MUST “Master” inside your Real Estate Business:

• Lead Generation

• Lead Follow Up

• Your Appointment Setting Scripts

• Your Buyer Presentation

• Your Listing Presentation

• Your Objection Handling Scripts

• Your Closing Scripts

Are you ready to master “Mastery?”

Of course, there are more critical things to know, but the above is a list of some essential items you must focus on mastering inside your Real Estate Business if you want to create success.

Dominate Your Real Estate Business
Joshua Smith Mar 29th, 2021
19 minutes

The Top 8 Reasons Why Your Real Estate Leads Are Not Converting Into Appointments

Lead Generation
Joshua Smith

There is not much worse than showing up every day, putting in “the work” and having weeks (even months) pass by with little to no results. Everyone has experienced this. The fact that you are reading this means that right now you are probably experiencing this huge frustration in your real estate business. Continue reading to learn how to get more clients, close more deals, and make more money in real estate.

The work you put in today, you may not see the rewards of that work until 3 - 4 months after that fact, so you must be willing to push through the pain and suffering every day by consistently putting in the work, and doing your lead generation and follow-up.

But, there is one extremely important thing you need to know and fully understand. It isn’t just about showing up and working hard, this is something you are going to have to do regardless. However, you must be showing up and working hard on the right things. In the business world, it doesn’t matter how hard you tried, how good your intentions were, etc. Effort doesn’t pay the rent. The only thing that matters is the results.

Being a real estate agent is much like trying to lose weight and getting in great shape. I used to be morbidly obese - I was almost 300 pounds and got fed up with the way I looked and felt, so I decided to go on a personal health journey. The first few months were the hardest. I was going through the daily pains of cutting out all the food I loved, replacing Taco Bell with grilled chicken and broccoli, going through the pain every day of hitting the gym hard, etc. Then, I would look in the mirror and see ZERO changes. It was a ton of pain, and it seemed to have zero payoff! But, I stuck with it, I had faith, and between months three and four, I started to see results, and the results started coming in fast! Eventually, I lost over 100 pounds and have kept it off for more than a decade, so the journey was a success!

Now, you may be asking yourself “Why is Joshua Smith talking about his health journey?” Here is why - as I mentioned above, being a real estate agent is very similar in that the work you put in today, you’ll see the rewards of that work three to four months after that fact. So you MUST be willing to push through, putting In the work each and every day on your lead generation activities and lead follow-up. But I promise you, it will 100% pay off and 100% be worth it. Your future self with thank you for the work you put in, the pain you pushed through, and the sacrifices you made.

Before I get into the reasons why your real estate leads are not closing, I want to quickly discuss the importance of getting clarity on your ‘why’. If you are not clear on your ‘why’, you will cave into all the reasons why NOT to do the hard work. I recommend that you take some time today and write what success in your real estate career means to you personally, means to your family, and why it is important to you. Read that list every single morning as a reminder of why you are willing to show up and do the necessary work each and every day.

Here is the great news: I am going to show you exactly what to work on, and what those right things are that you should be focusing on. If you choose to: #1 - fully read and pay attention to what I share with you here, and… #2 - take action and implement what you learn today, it will be a game changer for you and have a MASSIVE impact on your success! And, none of the things I am sharing with you today are complicated, you don’t need to have a high IQ to do them (I am a college dropout and by no means someone you would consider to be highly intelligent or gifted… BUT I have still been able to sell 6000+ Homes, make $20 Million + in commission Income and become one of the Top Realtors/Team Leaders on the Planet). I don’t want you to be hard on yourself for not doing and/or not knowing the things I am going to share with you today, as it is NOT your fault! The reason you aren’t doing these things currently is that you more than likely haven’t been told about them and/or to do them, as these are not commonly taught inside our industry. Let’s jump in.

The 8 Reasons Why Your Real Estate Leads Aren’t Closing: What You’re Not Doing

It’s important to note that all eight of these items are essential for you to have the most success in your real estate business. I highly recommend not just picking out the ones you want to do, but instead, do/implement all eight of them as they all play an extremely essential role in your success. Also, these are not in a particular order, meaning the last item isn’t more powerful than the first. So make sure to read, understand and take action on all eight for ultimate real estate success.

#1: You Don’t Have an Effective Process

A process is just a sequence of action steps. You must have proven action steps you follow. Let me ask you these questions:

  • What is your exact follow-up process for each of your lead sources?
  • How often are you calling them, emailing them, or texting them?
  • How long is your follow-up process and what do you say within each of these follow-ups? Would you be able to tell me exactly what/how/when you do these things? If not, you don’t have an effective process and you need to get to work immediately on building one out!

Here is an example of one of my follow-up processes with paid Facebook leads:

  1. Immediately and automatically placed into my Real Estate CRM (Perfect Storm).
  2. Immediately and automatically send an Autoresponder email and text from my Perfect Storm CRM.
  3. Immediately and automatically added to my 1000-day long email and text drip plan inside my Perfect Storm CRM.
  4. I call them the same day, then every other day for the first 14 days, then every 21 days for a full year (until we have communicated and I know their goals, timelines, etc, and adjust the call plan accordingly), and these call tasks are automatically triggered/happen inside my Perfect Storm CRM, so I get alerted when I need to call to ensure I never forget.
  5. I set the lead up on a “Daily Property Alert” inside my Perfect Storm CRM.
  6. Lastly, I send three different types of mass emails through Perfect Storm -- every Monday I do a “Monday Motivation” mass email, I send out a mass email for every holiday, and lastly, I send a mass email every month with a “Monthly Market Update”.

I know this sounds like a lot, but when you have a great real estate CRM, almost all of the things I do are done automatically within my CRM, so all I have to do is set up the property alerts (takes me about 30 seconds to do that inside my CRM), send out the mass emails, spend about 3 minutes to write each email, that is then sent out to thousands and thousands of my leads at once. Then, I only have to do the actual phone calls, which my CRM reminds me to do. Don’t allow yourself to overcomplicate this - it is much easier than most think.

BONUS: All my follow-up email/text drips, autoresponder text/emails, call tasking drips, along with what to say, when to say it, are all built into Perfect Storm CRM, so you can plug them immediately into your business and eliminate all the guesswork.

#2: You Don’t Have an Effective CRM System

As you can see from reason #1 above, having an effective CRM System is crucial and is 100% your most important asset inside your real estate business! A CRM is a “Customer Relationship Management” system, and this system allows us to ensure our processes are not missed.

You must have a great CRM, you must make sure it is set up correctly, and you must work it correctly! Your CRM is in place to ensure your processes (aka your action steps) are not missed. A great real estate CRM will automate and do many of the manual processes for you. For the processes you must do, it will remind you to do them so they are never missed.

A great CRM should allow you to effectively work all of your: Leads, Clients, Under Contract/Pendings, Past Clients, and Sphere of Influence. This is important as you want one system that allows you to work and manage all the different stages of your real estate business.

#3: You Don’t Know Your Numbers

It is impossible to plan effectively and make smart decisions inside your real estate business if you don’t track, measure and know your numbers. You must know how many Leads (per Lead Source), Reach Outs, Conversations, Appointments Set, Appointment Conductions, and Clients are needed to equal to one Closing. This allows you to create a predictable business so you know exactly what to do daily/weekly/monthly/yearly to make your goals a reality.

Also, if you are not tracking your numbers, I can guarantee that you are wasting your time and money on things that are not getting you results. Meaning, you could get the same results in half the time (or for half the money spent), and have more time to spend with your family, have more money in your pocket, and work the same number of hours you are currently working while getting double the results.

#4: You Don’t Have Enough Frequency with Your Lead Follow-Ups

According to Zillow, the average Agent follows up with a lead two times and that is it. Depending on your strategy and methodology for lead generation, it can take an average of seven to twelve follow-ups just to get the lead on the phone to have a conversation. On average it takes five “NO's” to get one “YES” in regards to setting an appointment, with that same lead. As you saw in “Reason #1” above, frequency is crucial, because it gets results. You must follow up with enough frequency!

This brings me back to the importance of having a great real estate CRM, as it reminds us and keeps us on track so we never forget.

#5: You Don’t Have Multiple Ways To Follow Up

The reality is that some people like to communicate on the phone, some via email, some via text, some on social media messaging, etc. The list goes on. I have my CRM set up where I can contact my leads through all of the outlets mentioned above. For example, through the CRM, I can edit the lead’s contact record and add their social media profile into my CRM. When I am viewing their contact record in my CRM, I just click one button and their social media profile page will pull up so I can send them a DM, or click one button to send a text, email, and so on. This is so important and makes a massive difference in your follow-up success.

#6: You Don’t Know What To Say

Look, I get it -- like most Realtors (including myself), you don’t want to come off as a pushy, high-pressured salesperson. The solution is simple: don’t be that person. Understand that every lead is a human being. They are a Mother, Father, Daughter, Son, Grandma, Grandpa, etc. When I follow up with a lead, I treat and speak to them the same way I would want someone speaking to one of my kids. I am not trying to “sell”, but instead “serve”. Focus on building rapport, developing a connection, being fully interested in them, finding out what their goals are, what is important to them, and why it is important to them. Then I do everything I can to make sure they know that I am here to serve and support them in any way I can. I always make sure to communicate to them that I am not only here to be their Realtor, but also a resource and a friend.

With that being said, we are all here to do business. I am focused on getting the information I need from them to have the highest chance of us doing business together, but I do it in a way that ensures they feel comfortable.

You 100% can (and should) get the information you need about their real estate needs, goals, and timelines. At the same time build rapport, develop a connection, and make them feel comfortable with you. Your job is not to sell them a house (or sell their house), your job is to sell them on you and help them believe that you are the BEST Realtor to help them with their real estate goals.

The best way to do this is to focus 80% of your time on building rapport and a strong connection with them and 20% of your time on business matters. I lead off every call by asking about them, their family, and their life, and take detailed notes inside my Perfect Storm CRM. When my CRM tasks me to do a follow-up call with them, I go into their profile, review all the notes, and then transition into the real estate business stuff.

Let me quickly show you the difference. Most Realtors handle their follow-up in this way:

“Hey (lead’s name), this is (Realtor’s name) with XYZ Real Estate, I wanted to follow up and see if you have any real estate needs I can assist with at this time?”

Here’s the way that I prefer to handle my follow-up:

*“Hey (leads name), this is Joshua Smith at XYZ Real Estate Group. I hope you are having an amazing day! The last time we spoke you and your family were getting ready to head to Hawaii on vacation. How was the trip? What was your favorite part?...”. *

Again, I get to the real estate stuff, but first I am showing an interest in them.

#7: You Sell Yourself and NOT The Appointment

The sole purpose of lead follow-up is to set an appointment (a buyer consultation and/or listing presentation/consultation). Most Realtors try to sell themselves over the phone, and this is a huge mistake and it’s not the time or place to do this. You sell yourself during the initial buyer/listing consult. Everything before that is selling the value of the appointment.

Why would a lead take time out of their busy day to meet with you? This is the question you must ask yourself and develop your appointment-setting script around, so they know how and why the appointment is beneficial to them. Clearly state what the reason for the appointment is, what will be taking place, why it is the next most important step, and the value they will get out of it.

BONUS TIP: This tip was a HUGE game changer for me and I highly recommend it. Adopt a “100% Zero Pressure Policy”. The reality is that people want to get the information they need to make their best-informed decision, but they don’t want to be sold. I make sure I am always communicating this (especially when setting that initial appointment) and it has made a big difference.

After I have clearly stated the things I just mentioned above, I then lead into: “... and just so you know, I have a very strict 100% Zero Pressure Policy, so you never have to worry about being pressured, pushed, or sold. The sole purpose of this appointment is to give you all the information you need to make your best decision. You may decide now is the time to buy (or sell), you may decide you want to wait, you may decide that you never want to buy (or sell) and you may decide that I am not the best Realtor for you. Whatever your decision is, it is OK and I am here to fully support you with that decision.”

The more you can make sure they understand that this is a safe and comfortable place for them to get the information they want and need, without having the fear of dealing with a pushy salesperson, the more appointments you will set.

#8: You Don’t Know The Overall Real Estate Sales Process

This is really important to understand, but unfortunately, most do not. Think of the real estate sales process as a funnel. With all funnels, they start wider at the top and get more narrow as they go down. Just like using an oil funnel when adding oil into a car, you pour the oil into the top of the funnel. In our real estate business, instead of oil, it is lead generation activities. We are doing consistent activities that exist to add people to our funnel. Let's break the entire sales funnel down further:

Perfect Storm Funnel

  • Activities exist to Generate Leads
  • Leads exist to set Appointments
  • Appointments set/made exist so we can Conduct the Appointments
  • Appointment Conductions exist to turn the Lead into a Signed Client
  • Clients exist to get them Under Contract
  • Under Contracts exist to turn into Closings
  • Closings earn us a commission check and more importantly create a “Past Client”, and Past Clients are by far our #1 Lead Source
  • Then the process repeats!

This might sound basic, but the reality is that most Realtors don’t truly understand this process, and therefore don’t know how to build their real estate business.

Active Steps You Can Take To Grow Your Real Estate Business Today

#1: Make sure you are extremely intentional. Every lead generation activity you perform is done to maximize the number of leads you get. A lead is someone we have given something of value in exchange for their contact info, we now can put them into our Real Estate CRM and start our follow-up.

#2: Make sure you dial in your lead follow-up process. Every lead exists for you to set an appointment. I can’t stress enough the importance of having a great CRM to ensure your follow-up happens and things don’t get missed.

#3: Make sure you are selling the value of the appointment and that you have an effective appointment confirmation process, as the only way for you to conduct an appointment is for them to first show up.

#4: Make sure you have a proven world-class listing presentation and buyer consultation/presentation in place to ensure you are converting your appointment into clients.

#5: Make sure you have a process to lead your clients effectively. From being a client, to getting under contract, and then getting them to the finish line to close the sale. Again, I know this might sound basic, but most Agents don’t have an effective process for this, which leads to chaos (for the Realtor and the client). Things will get missed and consequently, the client experience is diminished.

#5: Past clients are gold. They are our #1 lead source. If we deliver a great experience and continue to follow up and maintain a strong relationship with them long-term, they will not only do repeat business with us but also will send you referrals. Make sure you have a long-term follow-up process with them that continues to grow the relationship and establishes you as their “Realtor for life”.

You now know the top reasons why Realtors struggle with converting leads into appointments, but you also know the important things you must do to convert those appointments into clients, nurture the clients into closings, and continue to grow and scale your real estate business.

Implementing a Real Estate CRM for Maximum Success

Full disclosure: in addition to being a Realtor/Team Leader, I am also a part owner in Perfect Storm. The reason I co-founded Perfect Storm was due to my large frustration of the lack of great Website/CRM systems that existed in our industry. I got so fed up to the point where I decided to start my own, that was built by a top producing realtor/team leader for top producing realtors and those wanting to become top producing realtors. The Perfect Storm CRM has the functions, features, tools and support that truly impact our real estate businesses and truly allow us to be as effective and efficient as possible in our day to day lives.

The most important system inside your real estate business is your CRM. By implementing a great CRM, your tasks will be easier to manage, things won’t get missed, and you can stay on track to massively growing your real estate business. Perfect Storm is a complete all-in-one website and CRM system. It provides a highly effective website for branding and lead generation, and includes a robust CRM designed specifically for Realtors. If you are unhappy with your current system, or simply don’t have a system, schedule a discovery demo today.

Dominate Your Real Estate Business
Joshua Smith Feb 24th, 2021
6 minutes
A gaggle of young professionals glad-handing near a window in an all-white interior. Perhaps it’s heaven. Jessica doesn’t think so. The only thought running through her mind is the hope that no one notices the sweat on her palms. Well, that and she’s glad she’s not the only one who showed up in glasses this time. She doesn’t want her eyes, the windows to her soul, of course, to allow a look in at the inferiority she feels in such a successful group. Is she a fraud? Right now she feels that way. She would never be able to use a word like glad-handing in everyday conversation, as Andre just did. Just keep smiling, Jessica. Your Taurus is waiting in the parking lot. There’s a Caramello in the glove box, I think. Yeah, pretty sure. Lie down and let that flowing caramel river carry you away from your inadequacies and toward salvation.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: The Importance of Vendor Partners

Joshua Smith

I know we realtors get tired of hearing pitches such as: “All I ask is for you to give me one loan. Just give me a shot, and I can show you what I can do.”

Getting hit up constantly by vendors can get annoying, but they are just doing their job. I am sure we oftentimes come off the same way to the leads we are trying to turn into clients.

I am a HUGE believer in having strong vendor partner relationships, which are among the most important key relationships for realtors. Those relationships are as follows:

#1: Your relationship with your clients. This one is pretty obvious, but you want a great relationship with your clients so you can provide an amazing experience, which can lead to repeat and referral business.

#2: Your relationship with other realtors. This one gets overlooked by many realtors, but your relationship with other realtors is critical! You don’t want to get the reputation as a realtor who is difficult to work with. When other realtors see your for sale signs, you want them excited to have an opportunity to work with you again. If you are submitting an offer on a property with multiple offers, and you have had great experiences with the listing realtor, you may be told exactly where your offer needs to be in order to get accepted. All critical things which benefit your career and your clients, as well.

#3: Your relationship with your vendors. Your vendor partners get paid in either the same way or similarly to how you get paid. They need your business to grow their business, and they get paid when you get paid. So, they have a HUGE vested interest into your success. Let’s break down some other benefits.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The needs and best interests of our clients always comes first. I will never align myself with a vendor who does not provide superior service to my clients. I don’t care how many tools or supports they provide to me. Also, I recommend you know the compliance laws to make sure you are always abiding by them. At the end of the day, our clients choose which companies they want to use, and they need to know they have many options.

Okay, so how do you use your vendor partners to help you grow your business?

Let’s start with the more obvious one, then we will get into more strategic things you can do. Will utilizing your vendors make an amazing experience for your clients? If not, you will have trouble with future repeat and referral business. You may be going above and beyond, but maybe your client is having a horrible experience with the lender. If any aspect of your clients’ experience is not up to par, the overall experience will be seen as horrible, regardless of your role.

Now, let's discuss some more strategic things you can do to grow your business in other ways.

Lender Partnership:

-Having a great Lender is CRITICAL, and I don’t just mean someone who does a good job on loans. I want to utilize lenders who will jump on leads who want to get pre-qualified. I want a lender with the same speed to lead mentality that I have. The longer the wait, the less likelihood of getting the potential client on the phone.

-Having a lender partner hold open houses with you is HUGE! Lenders can assist with getting everyone to sign in, discuss rates/payments/options, and run loan applications from their laptop at the open houses, etc. Having a lender at your open houses with you is a huge advantage.

-You can meet with your lender once weekly or multiple times weekly and do call sessions together. You can both call all the leads in your CRM, and, with two of you calling with the same goal in mind, you can get through twice as much follow up, as well as have someone who is holding you accountable.

-You can co-market together. Again, check with your broker and compliance laws, but there are legal ways in which you can market together and split the advertising costs.

-Ask for all their old loan app leads which couldn’t qualify in the past. Ask if you can get names, numbers, and emails so you can follow up to see if there is still an interest, if their situation has changed, and if they would like to re-attempt the process.

Title Partner:

-A lot of title companies have marketing title reps whose job is to build a relationship with you and help you grow your business in hopes you are willing to recommend their services to your clients. Sit down with them, and see what they have to offer. They may have some great resources like: buyer guides, seller guides, script books, open house materials, effective marketing ideas, effective apps you can use, etc. Some even offer services where they can get you contact info for homeowners, for circle prospecting, notice of defaults leads for potential short sales, etc.

-They can assist in running estimated seller net sheets for your listing appointments. 

Again, just reach out, and see what services and tools they have available.

Home Inspectors:

-To minimize your time, see if your home inspector will take on the task of scheduling the inspection. Instead of your spending an hour trying to get in touch with everyone, re-confirming with everyone, etc. see if a home inspector parter will handle all of that. So, instead of an hour, you are only out the two minutes it takes you to communicate that to the home inspector.

-If your clients can’t be at the inspection, see if the home inspector will do a conference call to discuss the report in depth and be available for questions. Little things like this go a long way!

Again, there are so many things that can be done, but I wanted to discuss some to give you an idea, so that you know your vendor partners can do much more than just provide great service to your clients. Remember, they have a HUGE vested interest in your continued success. So make sure you ask and find out what ways you can work together in creating win-win relationships so your business can grow, and their business can grow. And all the while, your clients are receiving a world class experience!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Nov 13th, 2020
5 minutes
Aerial shot of a neighborhood. A few of the houses have solar panels. Our photovoltaic neighbors, they are probably called. But with a hint of condescension. It appears altruism is merely an intention and not a public certainty. L'enfer, c'est les autres.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Does Geographical Farming Really Work?

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

Many realtors think geographical farming is sending direct mail to homeowners, which is geographical farming, of course, but only one variation.

Geographical farming is fully practiced when a realtor focuses on and creates market share in one specific area. Which is what real estate is all about.

Some of the many was this concept can be practiced are direct mail, door hangers, circle prospecting, door knocking, open houses, Facebook ads, expireds, FSBO’s, etc. The most power strategy, of course, is when a combination of these strategies is employed. For example:

Example #1:

#1: Call expireds and FSBO’s inside your geographical farm area to get a listing.

#2: Once you have a listing, send out a “Just Listed” post card to the closest 500 neighbors.

#3: Three days after the postcard hits the mailboxes, circle prospect, aka call those same 500 neighbors.

#4: Hold open houses at your listing.

#5: Repeat #2 and #3 once your listing is sold but as a “Just Sold.”

Example #2:

#1: Hold open houses in your geographical farm area. If you do not have a listing inside your area, ask other realtors to hold theirs open, for example.

#2: Four days before the open house, deliver 500 neighborhood open house flyers to the closest 500 neighbors.

#3: Three Days leading up to the open house, run a paid targeted Facebook ad to your geographical farm area.

So, as you can see, direct mail is one way to farm, but it’s not the only way!

But why is focusing on a geographical farm area so important? Think of it this way: you are identifying an area which you want to work and gain market share in. Let’s say you are doing open houses. I will outline two options to show the power of geographical farming. 

Option 1: Identify an area (a geographical farm) which is within a one square mile and contains 15,000 homes. Every weekend that you are doing open houses, everyone in that area is seeing your signs, your name, your face, and your website. They are also getting the invite flyers you put out before the open house, and also your weekly Facebook ads are showing up in their newsfeed. On top of that, they are seeing your for sale signs in the front yards of homes in that area. You very quickly build brand recognition. The more frequently people see your name, the more confidence they have in your services.

Option 2: You do open houses all over your county. Anywhere you can get an open house will do. Different areas of the county see your signs, flyers, ads, etc. You are not building the hyperlocal branding that you are building in Option 1.

Also, think of your time investment. You might be able to work with four Clients in a day in a focused area, but if you are having to drive from one side of the city to the other, you might only be able to work with two. Not only is geographical faming effective, it also can be extremely efficient.

Now, let’s discuss the critical element of how to pick a geographical farm area. I have a few requirements I follow, which have proven to be very successful.

Recommended Requirements/Research To Perform In Picking a Geographical Farm Area

#1: Identify your ideal client. Who do you like working with? Who do you connect with the most? Of all your past clients, who sends you the most referrals, and what are the commonalities? As an example, maybe you find out that your ideal client is 30-45 years old, second and third time move up buyers, who are married, and with a young family.

#2: Identify to where your ideal client is moving. What cities in your county? What zip codes? What subdivisions?

#3: Once you identify where, then determine the house turnover rate in that area. Most successful geographical farmers like to see 8-10%+ yearly. To identify the turnover rate, take the total number of homes in the area and divide by the total amount of sold homes in the past twelve months. Example: 1,000 total homes, divided by 100 home sales equals a 10% yearly turnover rate.

#4: Research how many dominant realtors are in the area. I define dominant as a realtor who has sold more than 20% of the listings in that given area. A good rule of thumb is to pick an area with no more than one dominant realtor. I don’t want to plant a limiting belief in your mind that you can’t succeed in an area with more than one, but gaining market share is much easier and quicker in an area with one, or ideally zero, dominant realtors.

Once you have identified your geographical farm area, go to work and start implementing your marketing and prospecting strategy! 

Thanks for reading!  

Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Oct 30th, 2020
7 minutes
Business man perplexed at his desk. Or a desk. We don't know it's his, but we can assume.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Avoid These Top Three Mistakes

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

The average realtor makes less money than if he/she were working full time at McDonalds.

This fact is largely due to the fact that the average realtor also makes a TON of mistakes. We could spend days talking about all the mistakes, so I figured I would break it down to the top three.

Top 3 Mistakes Realtors Make That Hinder Their Success

1: They do not run their business as a business.

2: They do not take enough intentional planned action.

3: They do not constantly work on mastering new skills.

Let’s break them down:

1: They do not run their business as a business. Most realtors see themselves only as a realtor. Now, take real estate out of the equation. 80% of all businesses fail between 1-5 years of being in business, and then, 80% of those which made it through the first 5 years end up failing and closing their business in years 6-10. So, when I talk about the failure rate of realtors, that holds true for all entrepreneurs not just realtors. 

As stated in the amazing business book by Michael E. Gerber “The E-Myth Revisited,” which I highly recommend, most businesses owners fail because they never operate from a space of being an entrepreneur. For example, the baker who bakes world class muffins but does not know how to run a business. Or the personal trainer who knows the human body and everything about nutrition, but, again, does not know how to run a business, And the realtor who knows the real estate contract inside and out, knows how to negotiate contracts, always looks out for his/her clients’ best needs, but does not, and is not, running his/her business as a business.

As a realtor, you must know how to be a great realtor! You should know the contracts, how to negotiate for your clients, put client needs before your commission check, and deliver world class services to your clients, etc. All those things are essential, and by no means do I want to downplay the importance of those essential key roles. HOWEVER, those alone are not enough! A lot of amazing realtors are broke. Just as there are a lot of world class bakers, and world class personal trainers who struggle, and eventually go out of business.

My personal opinion is that being a great realtor is the “anti” to being in the industry. That is to say it’s the given, the minimum requirement to succeed. If a realtor is not committed to being a great realtor, then he/she should not get into the industry. BUT, again, that is not enough to succeed, only one part of it.

To succeed, you MUST also become a great entrepreneur, aka business owner. You MUST treat your business as a business and run it as a business! 

So, what is the difference? Think of each role as a hat you are going to wear and at different times you are wearing different hats. You wear your “realtor hat” when you are on a listing or buyer presentation, when you are writing up a purchase contract, when negotiating terms, when doing a final walk through, when prospecting, and  when following up with your leads. Think of this as the hat for anything that you are doing “in your business.”

When you put on your “entrepreneur hat,” you’re working “on your business.” When wearing this hat, you are working on activities like: goal setting/business planning, tracking and breaking down your numbers, creating systems which allow you to work “in your business” more effectively and efficiently, planning, reflecting, etc. Put it on when you are taking a view from the 30,000 ft. level on your overall business. 

Most get so busy working “in the business” that they never take the time to work “on the business” to build a systematic, predictable, duplicatable and eventually scaleable business. Don’t be most people. Working “in your business” is every bit, if not more important, than working “on your business.”

2: They do not take enough intentional planned action. Now that you are working “on your business” as well as working “in your business,” you are able to take the correct action on the correct items. You will be tracking all of your numbers and will know the exact amount of leads, action, monetary investment, etc. which you MUST take yearly, monthly, weekly and daily to ensure your goals become a reality. You are taking the time daily to reflect and plan, as well as constantly working on new systems to operate more effectively and efficiently inside your business.

Here’s a common conversation I have with many realtors: “My goal is to make $300,000 in gross commissions this year.” I reply with, “Great, I love big goals! What is your exact game plan to make that happen? What must you be doing daily to make that a reality?” The typical response is, “I am not sure. All I know is I am going to be more focused and work much harder.”

I am all about being more focused and working harder, but the reality is that hard work alone is a plan for failure. Even if a realtor should succeed with just hard work, if he/she is not tracking and working “on the business” as discussed above, then the success will be very difficult to duplicate.

You MUST take intentional planned action to create true and sustainable success. Have a specific plan in place, and then take massive action executing the plan.

3: They do not constantly work on mastering new skills. In life we are either growing or we are decaying. The average high school and college graduate only reads one book after graduation. On the other hand, the average Fortune 500 CEO reads sixty books per year. Successful people are lifelong students and put their self-development as a top priority. You must always be improving your skills to succeed.

If a realtor is currently making $50,000 per year and has an eventual goal of making $500,000 per year, well, he/she won’t get there by doing the same things which made $50,000. If you want more, you MUST become more.

The world we live in today makes growing and changing easier than ever. With all the great podcasts that exist, all the great books, audio books, YouTube videos, inexpensive online training sites like Udemy, where you can learn how to “Code Write Your Own Apps” for $38, you have no excuse to not improve. Only 5% of realtors ever invest in a coach or any type of coaching program. There is a reason every top realtor has a coach and takes his/her self-development very seriously.

If you start working hard, right now, on making sure you never make these “Top 3 Mistakes,” you will absolutely succeed. I am not saying it will be easy; you will still have to put in a lot of hours and a ton of action. But, eventually, it will all pay off and you will create the life you know you want and deserve!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Oct 23rd, 2020
5 minutes
Real estate agent showing a property to a couple.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Become The Information Portal


We are living in the “Information Age,” and to stand out from our competition, you must learn to win the game of delivering great information to the marketplace.

For realtors, the name of the game is: Get people to know you, like you, trust you, and become aware of what you do for a living. Then, as long as you stay in touch frequently, your business will grow.

The internet and technology continue to change how this mission is accomplished, so you must always be adapting to the changes to continue to thrive.

Today’s consumer can search homes, get information, see photos, and much more without our help. No longer is the realtor essential in the home search process; well, at least that perception can be the consumer’s sentiment. So we must ask about which things can be really difficult to find information. What are things important to the consumer that can’t be found on Zillow or other major online search sites? Spend some time on those sites, and you will quickly find out.

If you can deliver the hard-to-find information consumers are looking for, you become valuable. And if consumers continue reading/watching your content, they will get to know you, like you, trust you, and become aware of what you do for a living. And when they are ready to buy or sell real estate, the chances of their choosing you greatly increase.

The cool part is that this strategy is essentially free. Let’s break down a few things to give you some ideas.

What and How To Create Content To Become The Information Portal In Your Market:

First, let’s break down the “How.”

#1: Get a camera that shoots good video (an iPhone or any new cell phone will work). I am sure you already have a cell phone, so this should not cost you any additional money.

#2: Have a website with a blog feature, and which is connected to a CRM/database. I am sure you already have one, as it is essential to have in the time that we are in, so again, should not cost you any additional money.

#3: Set up a YouTube channel. YouTube is 100% FREE.

#4: Have a Facebook account. Facebook is 100% FREE.

Now let’s break down the “What.”

#1: Create a weekly video in which you interview a local business owner. Make the interview about the business owner and not your business. Discuss what the business does, how long they have been open, do a tour of the facility, etc. Keep it under five minutes.

#2: Create videos of local parks, amenities, schools. Anything nice about your area and would attract people to want to live there.

#3: Create videos of local subdivisions/communities.

#4: Create videos of all new build developments.

#5: Create videos of all your listings and any nice homes that you see/preview.

#6: Create a monthly video market update about your local real estate market.

Now that you have all this great content, what do you do with it?

#1: Upload the videos to YouTube and make them public. Make your channel in your name, with your photo, and make sure to put in a great description. 

#2: Embed the YouTube video into your website blog, so now you have a video blog, AKA “Vlog”, then do a written blog about the video you created.

#3: Mass email your blog link to your database as soon as you release your blog (weekly is a good timeframe).

#4: Share your blog on your Facebook page, as well as any other pages or social media accounts you have.

#5: Create a local area Facebook group: Example “Living In XYZ City, State”... Make it a group, not a page, and allow anyone to join. Post each blog in there (again weekly is good).

Yes, this is a lot of work, but work which is well worth it. Think about it this way: As a realtor, you are applying for a job to work for buyers and sellers. When you apply for a job today, what is the first thing the potential employer does after reading your resume? They search for you online and on social media. YouTube is the number two search engine on the planet. And YouTube is owned by Google, which happens to be the number one search site on the planet. Google will drive consumers to your YouTube channel to watch your content, and embedding a YouTube video on your blog is one of the quickest ways to build up SEO (Search Engine Optimization = getting your website to pull up organically on searches without having to buy ads on Google).

In addition to the points in the above paragraph, at minimum you are delivering great content to your database (valuable on its own merit), which then drives your leads back to your website. With Facebook, you are building a local community of people who live in your area and are building connections and allowing potential clients to get to know you, like you, trust you, and become aware of what you do for a living.

As with anything new you take on, this shift in action does come with a bit of a learning curve, but eventually you can can accomplish all of the above in about five hours out of your week. You will meet all the local business owners, builders, school principals, etc. Not bad people to have good relationships with, and you will become “The Information Portal In Your Market”.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Oct 16th, 2020
4 minutes
Number crunchin'.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: The Path Is In The Math

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

Realtors who never track their numbers will never know…

What it will truly take to hit their goals.

What created success in the past.

How to track their real expenses.

What their true ROI is.

Every single successful entrepreneur knows his/her numbers.

Tracking does not need to be difficult, and you do not need some elaborate system. Google Drive Sheets, Word documents, or whiteboards will all do the job, and are FREE!

I recommend you track three different parts of your business. In the end, it all ties together and will tell you the exact story you need to know to grow your business and make smart, strategic decisions.

The 3 Parts Of Your Business To Track:

#1: Activities and Actions

#2: Closing Data

#3: Income and Expenses

#1: Activities and Actions: I recommend you track these per lead source. Track the number of leads received. Track the number of reach outs (calls, text messages, etc.). Track the number of conversations. Track the number of appointments set. And track the number of closings.

You can always track more items, of course, but the more basic you make your system, the higher the likelihood is that you will execute on it. Eventually, the above tracking information will tell you: how many leads = one closing for that lead source, as well as how many reach outs, conversations, and appointments set = one closing. 

#2: Closing Data: I recommend that you track the lead source tied to each closing, buyer/seller, commission earned, and final sales price. This data, combined with the above data in item one, tells you so much information about your business. What lead sources are best, where your time is best spent, etc.

#3: Income and Expenses: I recommend you track all your gross income received (commissions earned) per lead source, and break it up between buyer and seller. Then track all your expenses. NOT just your overall total expenses, but break it down by each individual expense, each individual lead source, etc. You should know how much of your expenses are from your systems, lead generation, rent, open house signs, professional listing photos, and so on. Do this every single month as you will be forced to know where your money is going and also given the opportunity to evaluate your expenses each month and determine if all are necessary.

Again, this data allows you to grow your business and make smart, strategic decisions. Maybe you discover one lead source is bringing you a 700% return and the other is bringing you a 400% return. 400% ROI is a good return, but it may make more sense, if you are able to do so, to take that money, and invest into the lead source giving you a 700% return.

Watching the numbers will help you tremendously in your yearly goal setting and business planning as well. Maybe you want to increase your income by 30% this year from last. This data shows you exactly what you must increase to do so. Just imagine if you had concrete information like this: 10% of your Leads turn into appointments set, 76% of your appointments set get conduction, 26% of your appointment conductions turn into a closing. You discover you close one out of 47 of your leads, and your average lead cost is $6. That breaks down to one closing per $282 per closed home. Then, you discover it takes 500 Dials to get 100 conversations and 100 Conversations equals 1 Closing. You then know EXACTLY how many leads you need daily, how much you must spend, how many dials and conversations you must have daily, etc. to ensure your yearly goal becomes a reality. Powerful stuff!

I know tracking numbers is not fun and is something most of us dread doing, but there is not much that is more important inside your business!

Remember, your tracking system does not need to be fancy, it just needs to be in place. So start tracking and start EXPLODING your real estate business!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Oct 2nd, 2020
5 minutes
Closing a deal at the table. Handshakes and applause. And here come the keys.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Leading Buyers To Closing

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

You just met a buyer. Your buyer consultation went perfectly. The buyer has agreed to commit to working with you as his/her real estate agent.

Now how do you get this buyer under contract?

First off, remember you were hired as the real estate professional to help find a new home, the buyer’s ultimate goal. You now have the buyer’s trust. How can you lead this buyer down the path of accomplishing his/her goal with the right blend of advice and motivation?

It all starts with your buyer consultation. A lot of realtors do not treat a buyer consultation the same way they do a listing consultation, which is a mistake. You must treat both your buyer consultation and listing consultation as a serious and professional process! 

During your buyer consultation, you want to dial in a buyer’s wants, needs, goals, timeframes, expectations, and more. Once those items are identified, you go to work finding homes which meet your new client’s needs.

I am not a fan of showing 50+ homes. Of course I will do it if necessary, but I will always try to avoid it. At this part of the process you have hopefully pre-qualified your buyer with a lender or have verified “Proof of Funds.” Once those things are taken care of, inform your client that you are going to spend some time together in front of the computer identifying homes that meet any criteria. I always recommend narrowing the list down to the top eight homes. Less is fine but more than eight typically gets overwhelming.

Now it’s time to go check out those eight homes. I always tell buyers that as we see each home, we will compare the home to the needs list, and before we move onto the next showing, I am going to ask the buyer to grade the home with a 1, 2 or 3.

1 = You really like the home, and it is a great possibility.

2 = You don’t hate it, but you don’t love it. You are just unsure.

3 = Not for you, and toss into the elimination pile.

My goal here is to narrow the initial homes list down to the top one or two homes. If needed, we can go check out the top picks again, of course, but I am working to help identify the #1 choice based off the needs list we identified in the buyer consultation.

Once we have picked the top home, I then say the following: “I 100% agree with you that this home meets your goals and needs the best out of all the homes we saw on the computer and in person. Out of everything available on the market, this home is the one. In my experience, nice homes in nice areas, regardless of the market, tend to sell fast. To ensure this home does not get sold to another buyer, I recommend that we go back to the office and write up an offer. What are your thoughts on that?”

Now, some of you reading this may think this is too aggressive, but remember, you have been hired to find a home and essentially close on a home. You are not pushing this client into doing anything he/she doesn’t want to do. This is a home that was identified as the top pick. All you are doing is asking if they would like to move forward with the next step.

Some will say they want to think about it, but you will be shocked at how many say, “Yes let's do it.” A good chunk of people are instant decision makers, and they don’t want or need the time to think about it. Of course, you have others who do need to think about it, and you can give them the time they need; however, by being aggressive, you are able to identify those who are ready by just asking one simple question and leading the process.

As you have heard before, “Ask and you shall receive.” If the buyer does not want to write an offer on the sport, just say, “No worries at all, I 100% understand your wanting to think about it. Buying a home is a big decision. How about I follow up with you tomorrow morning, which will give you the night to think about and sleep on it, and then I can see if you have any questions or if you would like to take another look at the property or even go look at some new properties. Whichever route you decide. Would 9am tomorrow morning be a good time for me to call?”

As a realtor, your clients are hiring you as the professional to “Lead The Process.” To truly lead, you must ask questions to identify your client's expectations, timeframes, etc.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Sep 11th, 2020
3 minutes
Young woman reading in front of a laptop.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Read to Grow

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

“The amount of money you are making is a direct reflection of what the general public perceives your value to be… If you want to make more money, then you must add more value to yourself that you then can transfer to the marketplace.”

-Jim Rohn

The average high school and college graduate reads one book after graduation. Ever. One book.

The average Fortune 500 CEO, on the other hand, reads sixty books each year. 

Jim Rohn also said that “Unsuccessful people have big TV’s, where successful people have big libraries…”

The difference is a commitment to self-development.

As we discussed in the tip on finding the right mentor/coach (read more here), so many people have created massive success and have written books on how they did it. So you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you must take the time to educate yourself. Books are a great and inexpensive way to do so.

Perhaps you are thinking that you don’t have the time to read books. Well, the great thing about today is that you can listen to audiobooks while you are driving, while you are getting ready, while you are working out, cleaning your house, etc. No need to add another task, just integrate your self-development with things you are already doing. 

The average person drives 12,000 miles per year. That’s 300 hours behind the wheel, or about two semesters of college. As realtors, we tend to drive much more than average, so listening to a book a week while on the road can be easily achieved.

But not all books are created equal. So find authors who have created success in the topic they are writing about, so you can learn how they did it, and apply those strategies to your life.

josh Don’t read books just to get through the book, rather read books to get from the books. NASA has shown that the average person only retains 10% of what he/she learns the first time around. So you may need to re-read, or re-listen to a book multiple times to really get the information down. Then understand it is not the information which makes us successful, rather taking action on the information we learn which then creates the success.

A good place to start is to make it a personal rule that while you are getting ready in the morning and while you are in the car by yourself, that you are going to listen to an audiobook. You will quickly find yourself being able to listen to a book a week. A book a week can quickly change your life!

Start getting intentional with your self-development, and you will start seeing massive improvements inside your business and life!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Sep 4th, 2020
4 minutes
Using technology to enrich a business relationship.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Recommended Tech

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

While last week’s post was focused on how to prevent technology from diminishing your role as a realtor, technology and systems do help you run a much more effective and efficient business, while providing better service to your clients and creating a deeper connection.

So today, I would like to discuss some systems I recommend having in place.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You do not need to have all of these systems. They can allow you to be much more effective and efficient but are not necessary if you are unable to afford them.

Recommended Technology and Systems In Your Real Estate Business:

#1: CRM/Database. Your #1 asset in your real estate business is your connection with your database. To be truly effective with your lead conversion, pipeline management, etc.. a CRM/database is absolutely crucial! More on CRM essentials here.

#2: Tracking Systems. As we have discussed in past tips, you MUST be tracking your daily activities, appointment set/conduction/client ratios and your financials. The great thing is this can all be done for free with Google Drive. Read about tracking here.

#3: Website. Today’s consumer is going to do their research on you, and they will expect you to have a site. You want a website which allows you to brand yourself, has a blog feature, is effective at lead generation, etc. More on what to look for in a site here.

#4: YouTube Channel. Today “Content is King,” so you must have video content on YouTube, which is the #2 search engine on the planet, and is owned by the #1 online search engine on the planet, Google. You should be creating and posting market update videos, informational videos about your area/community, top real estate tips, etc. The importance of creating content will only grow.

#5: Social Media. Social Media is essentially another free database which allows you to build relationships with potential clients, current clients, and past clients. More on Facebook Lead Generation here.

#6: Email, Cell Phone, Scanner… OK, I know these are all things we know, but I wanted to throw them in here, as they are essential.

#7: A System for Everything Done More than Once. You should have system in place for anything and everything you do regularly, from ordering business cards, to your lead gen, lead follow up, appointment preparation, appointment conduction, client/contract to close process, past client follow up process, etc. Just as a rule of thumb, anything you do more than once, needs a system in place to ensure it happens over and over, in the same way, is not missed, can be duplicated, and eventually delegated.

#8: Online Email Signature System like DocuSign, ESign, etc…

BONUS/Additional Luxury Systems/Technologies: power dialer, expired/FSBO list provider, neighborhood homeowner contact information provider, CMA report tools, seller net sheet/buyer cost sheet apps, contract to close/contract management systems and many more, as there are thousands of systems which exist.

Again, technology and systems will allow you to provide better service to your clients, stay on top of your tasks, and ensure things are not missed. As soon as you are able add these systems to your business as they will have a large impact if used properly.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any technology/system you implement into your business will only be as good as you use it. For example, you can have an amazing CRM/database and get poor results if you use it poorly. There is no “Magic Pill” that exists. Like with anything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it!

Of course, always “Lead with Revenue”. Add what you can as you can, but make sure you have the revenue coming in to afford it. Then, add it into your business, use it, and take your business to the next level!

Also, don’t try to implement everything overnight. Implement one system, get it dialed in, learn how to use it effectively, and once you have it down add the second system, and so on.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Aug 28th, 2020
4 minutes
Working on a tablet with chart overlay.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Don’t Be Replaced By Technology

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

We can’t stop the growth of technology, but we can control how we harness it.

Technology, one could argue, is already creating somewhat of a perception that a realtor can be replaced. So the focus must be in showing our true value to our clients.

Ways To Overcome Technology and Show Our Value To Clients:

#1: Know your area EXTREMELY well. Know the local businesses, local schools, subdivisions, recreation, houses, inventory, etc. Focus on becoming an “Information Portal” for your area. If someone says, “We are looking for a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2800 + sq.ft, with a large kitchen/kitchen island home, in walking distance to an elementary school, that has an A rating,” you need to know your area so well that you can say, “I know of 3 subdivisions which feature A rated elementary schools within walking distance that features the type of home you are looking for.” Spend time on Zillow and identify what Zillow can or cannot provide to the consumer. You must become that bridge of information.

#2: Stop using technology that diminishes your value. Technology is great, of course, and allows you to stay on top of activities and develop deeper relationships with your clients, but many realtors unfortunately allow it to diminish the relationship and their value. For example, many realtors use an online signature program, like DocuSign. Let's say you just get done showing homes and your clients have picked a home. You tell them that you are going to go to the office and will email over the contract to them, where they will open/sign on their email. They receive the email, and it takes them 5 seconds to sign it. All they see is that 5 minutes. They do not see the 45 minutes it may have taken you to fill out the contract, which absolutely can diminish your perceived value and the relationship. I am all about systems like DocuSign when necessary with out of area or traveling clients or if it is a quick addendum we need signed ASAP. However, when writing the initial offers, bring the client back to your office, fill out the contract together, explain everything in detail, answer questions, etc. Let your client see everything live, which will help create a deeper connection and allow clients to see your true value.

#3: Pick up the phone. I get it; email and texting is so easy. But they can’t replace an actual phone or face to face conversation, especially when people are buying or selling the largest assets of in their life. Be the support system they really need, and ensure you are facilitating the best experience you possibly can for them.

#4: Build world class buyer and listing presentations which show your step by step process to ensure the buyer or seller is successful at accomplishing their real estate goals. Most buyers and sellers have no idea all the things their realtor is doing for them. Make sure you communicate everything you are doing, and never assume that they already know this stuff. Educate them on everything.

#5: Focus on building strong relationships. At the end of the day, we are in the human connection business. Focus on developing a strong connection with your clients, and focus on maintaining that connection with continued follow-up (more on effective follow-up here).

Technology is critical, and will allow you to do more with less inside your business. Just don’t make the mistake of allowing technology to replace the human connection. Instead incorporate it into your business and view it is a way to enhance the human connection!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Aug 21st, 2020
4 minutes
Looking at an empty wallet with despair.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Stop Wasting Money

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

If I asked you, and be 100% honest, to give me your exact year to date net profit and monthly expenses, would you be able to answer?

Don’t feel bad if you can’t give me the answer yet; over 95% of realtors don’t know those exact figures.

So far in this blog series, we have discussed some real estate specific numbers such as tracking your lead sources, appointments set, closing ratios, etc. But you must also track and pay attention to your business financials, aka your profit and loss statement (P&L).

In short, a profit and loss statement shows you how much money you are actually making and how much you are losing. However, a good P&L will show much more than that!

I highly recommend you run and review your profit and loss statement every single month. But where do you start, and what should you be tracking on this statement?

First, understand that tracking your business financials does not need to cost you any money. You can spend money and get a program like QuickBooks, of course, but you don’t have to. Word or Excel can work just fine.

Items You Want To Have and Track Monthly On Your P&L:

1: Track/Document your Revenue. For realtors, this will be your commissions. I recommend you break it down from buyers/sellers/rentals, as well as each lead source so you know what is coming in and from where. 

2: Track Your Expenses. Just like your revenue, you want to break down your expenses. Some examples would be: individual lead sources, websites/systems, rent, license fees/dues, vehicle expenses, property photos, flyers, open house signs, etc. You will want to break each category down individually, so you know and can see those exact costs each and every month.

3: A Total of your Gross Revenue, Gross Expenses and then Net Profit or Net Loss.

You cannot make intelligent financial decisions for your business without a detailed business financial tracking plan. When you track these figures each and every month you are forced to pay attention to your finances and see a true picture of what is happening.

Every month, when I review my P&L statement, I analyze every expense to see if it is absolutely necessary. I also look at all my revenue to look for opportunities to increase sources with a high return on investment. For example, with this information you can see your exact ROI for each lead source. You may discover one lead source is getting you double the return of another. You can then safely cut the lower ROI lead source and put those funds into increasing the lead source getting you the better ROI.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You must stay organized to properly analyze your business financials. I recommend getting a large, letter-size envelope and writing the month on the front, and then toss every invoice you pay and every receipt you get inside that envelope. Of course, you should be tracking your closings as well in Word or Excel, for instance. Then, after the end of the month, you will have all the information to enter onto the document. Yes, it is another task you are adding to your schedule, but one of those absolutely crucial non-negotiable tasks which must be added to create success!

If you are not doing so already, start running your profit and loss statements ASAP! I can assure you it will be a game changer!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Aug 14th, 2020
2 minutes
Typing on laptop

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Lead Follow-Up

Real Estate Advice
Real Estate Success
Joshua Smith

The average realtor follows up with a lead within 40 minutes and only follows up twice. These numbers are just not good enough for any agent to ever be able to create a profitable real estate business. As you read in Creating Real Estate Success: Lead Generation and tracking, the average realtor only converts .5% of leads into a closing. More on predictable lead generation systems here.

But as you have demonstrated by your dedication to learn to perform at the highest level in the real estate business, you are not the average realtor.

Let’s now dive into what steps you can take to turn your leads into appointments and point them toward closing.

Consider these averages about lead follow-up:

-- You must follow up with a lead fifteen times before that lead will reach back out to you.

-- Each lead will reject an appointment five times before ever agreeing to meet with you.

-- Every consumer is sold to 2,000+ times each and every day.

You must be diligent about lead follow-up. I recommend, at a minimum, that you follow up with every lead 21 times in the first 30 days. You can use any combination of phone calls, emails, and text messages, but the key is to reach out 21 times in the first month of your relationship with a lead.

Plan to get voicemails and few responses. That’s okay and is expected industry-wide. You can only focus on and control your actions. So your job is to continue to follow-up via phone, email, and text until you can get a lead to respond to you. At that time, you can work with that lead to identify goals, expectations, and time frames for purchasing or selling a home. More on how to turning conversations into appointments here.

In real estate as with anything else, hard work and persistence are key.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Mar 27th, 2020
3 minutes
Collaboration with tablet and laptop

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Conversations Into Appointments

Real Estate Advice
Joshua Smith
Real Estate Success

Consumers love to consume (in this case, buying and/or selling real estate), but they HATE being sold to.

To find success in real estate, your mindset must be to come from a place of adding value by leading with contribution. And know that once your contacts are ready to buy and/or sell, they will think of and reach out to you.

So, yes, more frequency than ever is required to convert leads into appointments; however, you do not need to resort to using high-pressure tactics. In fact, when delivering high-pressure scripts, you will end up turning off far more people than you are allowed to help.

The goal is to follow up frequently, lead from a place of contribution, and develop a relationship over time.

Let me give you an example:

My team generates a ton of leads and business by running Facebook Ads. These leads register on my website to unlock the ability to search for homes. Let’s say I just received a new lead who saved a property as a favorite on my website.

I would call this lead ASAP and say “Hi (lead's name), this is Joshua Smith with REVISITO Real Estate. I wanted to reach out, as I noticed you saved (the property address) as a favorite on my home search website, and I wanted to see if you had any further questions on that property, as well as see if there is other info/data on that home and area I can send you. (Pause to let them answer, answer any questions they may have, then try to set an appointment). I have some time this evening between 5pm and 7pm if you would like to meet at that home on your way home from work and spend a few minutes checking it out. Is that something you would like me to set up?”

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember from Creating Real Estate Success: Lead Follow-Up, that the same lead will reject you for an appointment five times before saying yes. So, I am expecting a no and will then say, “No worries at all. If you have any further questions, or ever need anything, please feel free to reach out anytime! Have a great day!”

The goal is to follow up, lead from a place of contribution, try to set an appointment, and if unable, repeat the process.

As you can see, my lead follow-up is far from pushy, but I do follow up frequently with courtesy check-ins.

As the famous sales saying goes, “The fortune is in the follow up”. And I have seen time and time again that it really is.

To make your life easier and your business manageable, a lead follow up plan/system is essential. But the plan or system is not enough. You also have to execute. Please know that generating leads is not the main issue. Converting leads into appointments is a much more crucial step, and one that most realtors struggle with, as they do not have a dedicated lead follow-up system in place. 

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Apr 3rd, 2020
4 minutes
Woman happily talking on the phone.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Overcoming Fear

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

Those who wish to create success must first learn to face their fears.

Please understand that we all experience fears. If you are struggling with something, you are NOT alone! Feeling like you are the only one struggling with something, but everyone has fears. And a fear of rejection and reluctance to make calls are very common feelings for real estate agents.

How To Overcome Call Reluctance and Fear of Rejection:

#1: You MUST identify what you want most. Never sacrifice what you want most for what you want in the moment. Learn to be brutally honest with yourself. You will either have to learn to be told “No”, or you will have to learn to say “No” to the opportunities you want to create for yourself and your family! For example, if you don’t learn to become okay by being told “No” by a stranger, you will have to say “No” to your own personal goals, or maybe even have to say “No” to those who matter most to you. Would you rather have a stranger say “No” to you, or would you rather have to tell your kids “No” that you can’t afford to pay for them to go to college, as you were to afraid to do what it takes to create those opportunities for them? I know this sounds harsh, but the reality is we must get brutally honest with ourselves, otherwise the above scenario can become a reality.

#2: Track your numbers. Once you start tracking your numbers, you will quickly learn exactly how many “Nos” you need to get a “Yes”, which then allows you to attach to the process. Once we attach to the process, it makes getting told “No” so much easier. We then know, as an example, I need 49 “Nos” to get my 1 “Yes”. You can then turn it into a game.

#3: Ask yourself different questions. Instead of asking, “What type of rejection am I going to experience during this activity?”, ask yourself a better question: “What will the result be for my personal goals and my family if I don’t do this activity?”. This comes back to tip #1, in getting brutally honest with yourself.

#4: Practice your scripts. If I told you that tomorrow we are going to call 1000 expired leads, and you just showed up at my office, you may have massive fear and call reluctance, BUT if I told you to come to my office tomorrow, and we are going to call 1000 expired leads, and then gave you the script we would be using, and you spent three hours the night before practicing that script, the fear may still exist, but it will be much less. Spend time rehearsing your scripts; doing so will absolutely help!

#5: Take action! Like anything, we are typically not good at it when we first start, but the more we do it the better we get and the more comfortable we become.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A good book that will help with letting go of fear is “Go For No! Yes Is The Destination, No Is How You Get There” by Richard Fenton & Andrew Waltz.

Understand that the fear exists and is usually due to stories we have created in our heads about how bad it is going to go. These are just stories and is not reality, which is never as bad as we think it will be. Always remember why you are here, why you got started in real estate, and what opportunities you want to create for yourself and your family. Be willing to push through it and face those fears, It will pay off; I promise!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Jul 31st, 2020
3 minutes
Planning it all out.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Planning

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

We have all had someone tell us that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

When it comes to accomplishing your goals, there is absolutely nothing more important than winning each and every day. And winning is achieved through planning.

The only way to win the year is to win enough months. The only way to win the months is to win the weeks. The only way to win the weeks is to win each day. So you MUST win the day!

As Abraham Lincoln said, “If you gave me an axe, and six hours to cut down a tree, I would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” We must take the same mindset and action into our own business.

I like to do my planning the night before.  I love being able to go to bed at night knowing what must happen the next day from the second I wake up until the second I go to bed. Maybe you like to plan first thing in the morning, and that’s fine, too. You will have to decide what works best for you. There is no right or wrong way to plan. The only wrong is by not planning at all.

What Should You Have Included In Your Daily Plan?

  1. Create a “To Do” list of all the things that must get done tomorrow.

  2. Once you have your “To Do” list, identify the “Top Three Most Important” things on that list which you will do first thing in the day to ensure they get complete. The other things are still important, of course, but, even if your day gets away from you, you are making sure the most important items are getting completed.

  3. Set up a calendar with all your appointments, activities, and your “To Do” list items, so you have a plan of exactly when you are doing what.

  4. Identify the number of leads you must generate that day, the number of calls you must make, the number of conversations you must have, and the number of appointments you must set to make today a win.

  5. Identify actives that accomplish your online lead generation, your offline lead generation, and your past client follow up. Then make sure, as stated in time three above, to map them out on your calendar.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I recommend that you do not separate work and your personal life in your planning. On your “To Do” list, and on your calendar, plan out all the important things which matter to you in your life. For example, in addition to the above, you may have your workout, family time, self-development, etc. scheduled out, as well. The overall goal is to create a successful life not just a successful business.

Always remember that if you are “failing to plan, you are planning to fail.” Yes, I know this is another task to add to your already busy schedule, but it is an absolute must add task to create success.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Jul 24th, 2020
4 minutes
Celebrating during a table meeting.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Motivation

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

“Motivation doesn't last, but neither does bathing; that is why we need it daily!” Zig Ziglar

Getting motivated is easy. Staying motivated is hard.

To create long term success, you must learn how to stay motivated day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, and even decade after decade. So, how do you do it? 

Tips On How To Get Motivated & How To Stay Motivated Long Term:

#1: Get clarity on “What You Want!” You have one chance at this brief life. What do you want to create for yourself, for your family and your loved ones?  What type of impact do you want to have while you exist?  When you are on your deathbed, and reflecting on your life, what must have happened, what must you have created for you to not leave this planet with regret? 

As Mary Oliver asked, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

#2: Once you have clarity, ask yourself, “What must happen in the next 12 months to get one step closer to making what I want become a reality?” This is the start of goal setting.  “A goal is a dream with a deadline,” according to Napoleon Hill. 

#3: Create a business plan which breaks down what must happen over the next 12 months to make your goal a reality. Then break that yearly business plan down into quarters, months, weeks, and then days. A good business plan will break down the numbers in such a way that you know every single day what actions you must be taking to create your desired reality.

#4: Review your goals every morning as soon as you wake up and every evening before you go to bed. Most people do not set goals, and those who do only review them a few times a year. You, however, will review your goals 700+ times yearly, if you do so twice per day.  You will massively increase your likelihood of accomplishing your goals by reviewing twice daily.

#5: Learn to control your environment. Have your goals posted in your office, do a vision board, get posters with your favorite quotes, etc. Make your office a place which makes you inspired daily. Also, understand that people are part of your environment as well. Are you spending time with people who do not support your goals? Are negative people bringing you down, etc? Consider spending less time with those people. It is said in business and life that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Analyze those five people closely!

#6: Be very intentional about your self development! As the amazing Jim Rohn stated, “The day you learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job is the day your life begins to change.” What you watch, listen to, and read absolutely matters!

#7: Pay attention to your feelings! Learning to observe your own feelings can become very powerful. If you are feeling sad, down, and depressed, analyze the situation, who is you around, what is going on, what is happening. Then investigate what is causing these feelings. You may find certain people, certain things, certain environments, etc. are creating those feelings. A lot of people don’t realize it, but things as simple as food can create depression in people. Learn to be very observant.

#8: Take action! Nothing breeds motivation like taking action! The more action you take, the more motivated you will be to take more action!  

IMPORTANT NOTE: Following the above eight tips will absolutely help you stay motivated with higher frequently and on a much higher level than if you do not do them. BUT, you will still have times where you do not feel motivated, even by doing the eight tips above. Truly successful people do not wait to get motivated to take action, they take action regardless. Even if they feel depressed, they take action! You are NOT your emotions, and it is 100% your choice to listen to them or choose to not listen to them and take action, even if you are feeling down!

Follow these eight tips, get more motivated, take more action, and create more success!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Jul 17th, 2020
3 minutes
Meeting around a laptop.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: The Sales Funnel

Making Money in Real Estate
Real Estate Advice
Real Estate Success

Every business has a sales funnel, and every successful business owner knows his/her sales funnel inside and out.

A funnel, of course, starts off wide at the top, and then gets more and more narrow until the small opening at the bottom. Here’s my interpretation of the real estate sales funnel from top (widest part of the funnel) to bottom (narrow).

1st: Activities

2nd: Leads

3rd: AppointmentsMade

4th: Appointment Conduction

5th: Clients

6th: Under Contract

7th: Closing/Commission Check

IMPORTANT NOTE: Every client must go through the entire sales funnel. Steps cannot be skipped. However, some people in some situations may go through the funnel faster than others.

Each step in the sales funnel exists to get to the next step:

Activities exist to generate leads. Leads exist to generate appointments made.  Appointments made exist for an appointment conduction to occur. Appointment conductions exist to create a client. Clients exist to put them under contract. Homes which go under contract exist to close the property where you accomplish your client’s goal and accomplish your goal of generating a commission check.

NOW, something that is missed frequently in the sales funnel is that a real estate client does not fall out of the narrow opening at the bottom of the funnel never to return. Once you have a closing/commission check, that client now becomes a past client (your #1 lead source) and re-enters the sales funnel.

But, as with all things, knowing about the sales funnel is only half the battle. You must also have process and systems in place to ensure each step is never missed, happens over and over, is duplicatable, and is scaleable inside your real estate business.

So make sure you know your funnel, are paying attention to it daily, are mastering it, and are creating processes and systems to ensure each step is never missed and that all steps are duplicated over and over.

Now that you have gained some awareness of your sales funnel and its position in your business, analyze and see if you can find any steps on which you are falling short and can improve. Get those steps dialed in and continue to grow your business!

Thanks for reading!  

Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Jun 12th, 2020
2 minutes
Meeting around a laptop and some coffee.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Double Your Business

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

Every day I speak to realtors who want to take their business to the next level and double, if not triple, their real estate businesses.

In most cases, they are looking to add more or new lead generation methods (more on effective lead generation here). While a great idea, that is not the place to start.

Success is not in addition but in elimination. That’s where you need to start.

Step # 1: Analyze all of your closings for the past twelve months. Make a note of the exact lead sources that led to those closings.

Step # 2: Make a list of everything you are currently doing that has not resulted in a closing.

Step # 3: Eliminate all lead generation activities that have not resulted in a closing in the past twelve months.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For lead generation sources you have been using for less than six months, you may not have closings yet, as it can take a full six months to test a new strategy. For such sources, you may not be able use closings as your metric, so instead use appointments set (more on setting appointments here). In most cases, five appointments set = one closing.

Step # 4: By eliminating activities that are not getting results, you may now free up time inside your schedule to double or triple down on the activities that have produced results.

The above steps are the true key to increasing revenue by eliminating what is not working and doing more of what has been proven to work. But keep in mind that if you do not track your results, you can never truly know what is working and what isn’t (more on tracking here).

Honestly, the only time I will add a new lead source is when I know that I can’t do any more of what is already proven to work, which is very rarely the case. I can almost always find ways to squeeze more out of the sources that have already proven themselves.

So spend some time over the next week breaking down all your closings and their sources, eliminating anything not getting results, and focusing on what has been proven.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Jun 5th, 2020
3 minutes
Notes out in a meeting

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Standing Out

Converting Leads
Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

The marketplace is overrun with realtors.

What are you doing to separate yourself from your competition to make sure you stand out?

Not everyone is thinking about buying or selling at this given moment, so the ultimate goal is to offer those who either may want to buy or sell at some point in the future something of value and stay in touch with them to build a connection over time.

In the noisy world in which we live, we must think differently and lead from a place of contribution.

Let's think about For Sale By Owners. Instead of just asking/begging them for their business, what about offering them some free tips and tools that can ultimately allow them to be more successful?

The reality is, only 8% of FSBO’s are ever successful at selling their homes on their own, and per the National Association of Realtors, the FSBO’s which are successful, on average, sell their homes for 16% less than the average realtor listed property.

If you offer free tips/tools, you are establishing a stronger relationship over time. So, when the 92% that are unable to sell on their own decide they want to hire a realtor, BOOM, you are the first realtor they think of!

What if you offered for FREE:

  • An in-depth current market analysis report
  • A “How To Prep Your Home For Sale To Get Top Dollar” guide
  • A guest registration login book
  • A blank Association of Realtors contract
  • A seller's guide from your local title company
  • Some tips on creating social media ads
  • Some tips on lead follow-up
  • Some tips on holding a successful open house

This is not an exhaustive list, but rather some suggestions to give you a mindset of ways to offer something of value and become a resource. While other realtors are begging for their listing and telling them how they are going to fail, you are offering value and building a connection. So when they get to that point of frustration at which they decide they need to hire a realtor, you are the realtor who comes to mind.

The key is to always offer something of value in exchange for the consumer's contact info, and then you can follow up, continue to be a resource, and develop a relationship over time.

Keep pushing hard, and keep up the amazing work!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith May 8th, 2020
2 minutes
Woman writing in a notebook while at a computer.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Mastery

Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate
Real Estate Advice

Mastery happens when eyeballs are not on you. It happens behind closed doors. It happens with extreme focus. 

You will not master your craft by simply working each and every day inside your real estate business.

Mastery happens after you put in a long work day, and you go home, and then practice your presentations and scripts over and over and over.

You will never go on enough listing presentations daily, weekly, or monthly to truly master the craft of your listing presentation. So you must practice it over and over. After a long work day, once you get home, after you spent some time with the family.

While your competition chooses to watch TV and relax, you choose to practice your listing presentation every single night for two hours.

This is how mastery takes place.

And here is the really cool part about mastery: So few people focus on it, so, once you do, you really have no competition!

Some absolutely critical items you MUST master inside your real estate business:

-Lead Generation

-Lead Follow Up

-Your Appointment Setting Scripts

-Your Buyer Presentation

-Your Listing Presentation

-Your Objection Handling Scripts

-Your Closing Scripts

Of course that’s not everything you must know about real estate, but the above is a list of some absolutely essential items you must focus on mastering inside your real estate business if you want to create success.

So start working on mastery and start creating MASSIVE SUCCESS!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith May 1st, 2020
3 minutes
Looking and pointing at graphs on a table.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Making Money

Joshua Smith
Real Estate Advice
Real Estate Success

Realtors must perform three tasks to make money.

Of course, you have to do other things to make sure you get paid, but those things are not actual money making activities.

What is the difference?

Think of it this way: several essential things must happen to close a deal that you already have under contract, like ordering the home inspections, filling out an addendum, etc, but those things do not actively make money come in the door.

Money making activities are things you do which increase your production, that take you from having four deals under contract to having five.

The Three Real Estate Agent Money Making Activities Are:

#1: Setting Appointments. Includes your lead generation and lead follow-up activities and includes anything you are doing that leads to your setting an appointment for a buyer consultation or a listing consultation.

#2: Appointment Conductions. You were successful with setting an appointment. Now you must deliver a great buyer consultation or listing consultation so you can turn that appointment into a signed/committed client.

#3: Writing/Negotiating Contracts. Once you get the first two items on this list completed successfully, you need to lead the process to getting your clients under contract, which entails writing and/or negotiating contracts that result in an accepted contract for your clients.

These are the only three activities that lead directly to making money.

Some may say things like, “I have to write up this repair request form which is necessary for the closing to move forward, and eventually close to get a commission check”.

But that is still not a money making activity. It is nurturing business you already have. Yes, this action is essential, but it is not increasing the number of properties you have under contract.

Also, I am sure you have heard of the 80/20 rule: most people spend 80% of their time on the items which make them 20% of their income, and only 20% of their time on the things making them 80% of their income.

But top real estate producers understand the 80/20 rule and flip it around. They make sure 80% of their time is spent on what makes them 80% of their income, and 20% of their time on what makes them 20%.

If you want to become a top producer, you must spend 80% of your time, energy, and focus on these three money making activities.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

Joshua Smith Apr 24th, 2020
Set Up Your Strategy and Discovery Call Today! 👋