Joshua Smith

3 minutes
Collaboration with tablet and laptop

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Conversations Into Appointments

Joshua Smith Apr 3rd, 2020
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

2 minutes
Classroom Setting

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: CRM Essentials

Joshua Smith Apr 10th, 2020
Real Estate Advice
Real Estate Success
CRM

A CRM is a “Customer Relationship Manager” and 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 your most important tool you use to fuel the success of your real estate business.

Statistics show that most realtors do not have a CRM. But even the ones 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, of course. 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.

MUST HAVE FEATURES:

#1: The ability to add leads both manually and automatically into your CRM

#2: The ability to add notes to each individual lead inside your CRM

#3: The ability to organize your database with types and categories: Buyers/Sellers/Leads/Clients/Past Clients/etc.

#4: Mass email feature that allows you to send an email to everyone in your database all at once

#5: Drip plans, both email and text

#6: Auto responses, both email and text

#7: Manual and automatic tasks

These are the seven absolute must-have features a CRM needs to be effective. A good CRM is so critical to ensuring your follow-up process is followed (for more on lead follow-up best practices, click here), 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, start working on identifying and setting up your CRM.

Next time, I will discuss the importance of your website and the features to look for when selecting a site.

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

2 minutes
Typing on laptop

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Lead Follow-Up

Joshua Smith Mar 27th, 2020
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

3 minutes
Man looking at phone with laptop

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Lead Generation

Joshua Smith Mar 20th, 2020
Real Estate Advice
Joshua Smith
Lead Generation

Only 7% of realtors conduct 93% of all real estate business.

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.

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 tracking, so let’s start there.

Consider these stats:

-The average realtor converts .5% of leads into a closing.

-Top realtors with world class follow-up convert 3% of leads into a closing.

So let’s split the difference, and 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. More on how to conquer lead follow-up here. But 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 them break things down further for more easy to manage targets. 180 per month. 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.

IMPORTANT NOTE: 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. Every day.

Always break your numbers down so that you know if you are winning the day. Successful businesses, after all, are built on predictable and practical systems. And in real estate, lead generation is the number that fuels your growth.

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

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 Oct 23rd, 2020
Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate
Mastery

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

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