1. Boost your profit margin
2. Start with $10 million
3. Turn your passion into a business
4. Invest early
5. Be patient
6. Invest in real estate
7. Adjust your lifestyle
8. Max out your 401k
9. Be a wealth-building hustler
10. Avoid a self-defeating mindset
11. Invent something
12. Grow your inheritance
Before you expend all of the energy and time that it takes to sign a client, wouldn’t it be great to know what your clients want before you even ask them?
That’s one of the things that I have gotten good at during the past ten years.
At the end of the day, real estate clients are just normal people. They work in industries that you can relate to, and some that you are probably already familiar with. When you take the time to learn what your clients like, before they have to ask you for it, they will be able to see that you care about them as individuals, and they will naturally want to work with you.
Early on in my career, I felt like I needed to be everything to everybody. All of my clients were different, and so in attempts to please them all, I made sure that I could be all things to all people. It turns out, there is a better way to make this work in your favor, while still giving your clients the satisfied experience that they deserve.
Nowadays, I’ve found the way to effortlessly connect with my clients and provide them the type of care and attention that they deserve.
When I meet a new client, I am able to instantly input their information into a system that will let me make educated guesses. This took me years to realize, but almost every potential client that you meet, can fit into a preselected customer avatar.
Using Psychological Factors to Make Educated Guesses
In this day and age, if you aren’t studying psychology then you are doing business wrong.
You need to be up-to-speed on at least a basic frameworks of psychology.
Knowing what makes your customers want to buy and what turns them off is one of the greatest tools you can possess. Once you know the science behind customer motivation you can tailor your approach to make sure that everyone wins.
According to some recent studies conducted by the Journal of Consumer Research, you can actually upset your clients by giving them unwarranted preferential treatment. However, when you are dealing with the luxury real estate market and UHNWI (ultra high networth individuals) you can actually make headway in terms of signing them as clients by giving them the type of highly incentivized attention that their status warrants.
You want to be very intentional when you create a system that will help you to better understand your client. It will need to include a few aspects in order to make sure you are learning as much as you need to know, while still providing high quality guesstimates on their personal buyer archetype. Always make sure that people know that you go above and beyond for all of your clients. If they think you are trying extra hard to solely impress them, they might misread your well-intentioned work.
Using Market Trends to Know What You Can Recommend to Them
When you really need to know what your clients want before you ask them all you need to do is categorize your clients based on current market trends.
When you are able to make guesstimates based on current market trends your clients will most likely fall into the same camps as the rest of the market. For example, if other thirty-five year olds with children are moving to a certain neighborhood within your city, then there’s a good chance that you won’t be incorrect also recommending that neighborhood to them.
Most people will follow the trends.
There’s always a good chance that your clients will follow the trends that are prevalent in your area.
If you are wrong, you can support your choice with popular reasoning that will backup your selection.
Find Your Ideal Client Avatar
Knowing your ideal client is a little bit different than knowing your actual clients. However, it can be an extremely helpful exercise in order to come up with ideas about how to help prospective clients who want to work with you.
An ideal client is a mythological creature that you are trying to pinpoint and understand. Their preferences and buying habits can be defined and measured. However, each client is different and because of this fact it is important that you do your best to classify them before you learn more about them.
An ideal client avatar is a myriad of a few things: budget, age, ideal occupation, family size, location, and housing type.
Each of these items should be able to help you find and locate your ideal client.
The idea is that you figure out who your ideal client is, and then tailor a proposal that meets their needs. This is all hypothetical, but the result is something that you can do for every demographic, budget, and family size, which means that it can help you to have some ideas that your potential client may fall into, before you actually ask.
If you need to eliminate most of the guesswork, then why not just ask your client for information?
Create An Online Client Intake Form
What if I told you that a simple form on your website could make all the difference for you in relating to your clients better?
Well, it can actually help you.
- Having an intake form on your website is an easy win to get clients to check you out online and bookmark your site.
- Simply have them submit some basic information about their budget, their preferred number of beds/bath and their ideal neighborhoods.
- As soon as they submit this information, have an autoresponder email send them some information about your recommendations and ways to work with you.
- Tailor this to their responses, so that they can see that you are already on top of it.
- Then, follow up with a phone call a few days later to let them know that you’ve reviewed their form and would like to set up a time to discuss it more in depth.
By having them seek you out online, you have already gotten your foot in the door, which can influence them to continue working with you, or seek out additional information.
Remember, that consistency theory in psychology suggests that when a person takes a certain action, that he or she will want to remain consistent with that original action.
How can that help you?
Well, anytime a potential client begins the process of ‘saying yes,’ they are on track to continue saying ‘yes.’
A Word of Wisdom
Don’t expect this to be a completely foolproof strategy for knowing what your client wants. Short of telepathic transmission, there isn’t a way to know for sure. Having the ability to make educated suggestions is key for understanding what your clients want. Knowing ahead of time what you may be dealing with, helps you to begin the prep leading up to the initial meeting, and most importantly, it shows your client that you’ve already been thinking ahead.
(c) Josh Flagg
Do you ever wonder why some people just never seem to lose?
They don’t really have the best listing presentation. They don’t really keep up with all of the newest technology out there.
You don’t see them at seminars, but they seem to have new clients coming to them all the time.
What do they have that gives them that charisma? What is that magnetic quality that puts them over the top in practically every interaction?
What is Confidence?
According to an article in Psychology Today by Dr. Jim Taylor, internationally recognized authority on performance in business, parenting and sport, confidence is defined as “How strongly you believe in your capabilities to learn new skills, perform at a certain level, attain a goal, or achieve your own definition of success.”
Its presence or absence walks in the room with you no matter where you go. It may be one of the first things that people pick up from you – before you even complete your introductions.
It is fluid and changes with time and situations.
What is it not?
Confidence is not arrogance. It is not conceit. It is not cockiness. It is not overbearing or pushy.
This topic is particularly important for people in our industry, because it is usually a given that the client will have some insecurities about their upcoming transaction, and those insecurities will either be starved or fed by the level of confidence we project.
I know I had it a minute ago…
The gradual loss of self-confidence can be subtle – it may start from a minor setback, and if you are not mindful of your silent self-talk, it can continue to grow.
Sometimes all it takes is a little drop in performance at a time when you are tired or low on blood sugar, and the voice in your head (your nasty roommate) may start saying things like, “What a blockhead!” or “Oh, yeah – real good job…”
Dr. Taylor says these little negative, pessimistic thoughts can grow over time to contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety – also things which enter every room with you, and cast their shadow over all of your communications.
The thing is, this type of stinkin’ thinkin’ can easily develop into a mental ‘habit,’ much like chewing your nails or tapping your fingers.
Can I work on it?
If you can develop a negative habit, you can develop a positive one, right? Here are a few quick pointers on raising your level of self-confidence and keeping it there:
- Increased organization. If you have confidence in your processes, you can focus on more important aspects of your life.
- Be prepared. Get out in front of that next meeting or presentation instead of letting that looming appointment fill you with dread. Hey, maybe the Boy Scouts are onto something!
- Be your own best friend – eliminate negative self-talk. If you can’t look like a winner to yourself, how can you expect anyone else to see you that way?
- Train your brain. Be sure to expose yourself to some type of motivational, inspirational material at regular intervals throughout your day.
- Monitor your mouth. Listen to yourself as you go through your day. Make it a point to make positive comments out loud as often as you can. You may even be an inspiration to someone else!
Confidence as a Skill?
Contrary to popular belief, confidence is not something you are simply born with.
Confidence is something that builds over time as a result of experiencing multiple personal and professional successes.
We all have the ability to focus our attention on our successes rather than our disappointments, and each of us can develop higher confidence through heightened awareness and practice – much like any other skill we have mastered in our lives.
Final Exercise: Envision a situation you typically dread; think of all the things that contribute to your negative feelings about it. Now write down the same scenario, only going completely your way. Read it through each night before bed for the next week – really see yourself coming out on top as you doze off. After a week, do you feel better about confronting that situation?
(c) Josh Flagg
I have to admit, sales and the process of selling both come pretty naturally to me – a fact that I’m incredibly grateful for, as these talents have helped me to build a career and grow the different businesses I’m involved in.
That said, when I tell people that I’m in sales, I invariably hear one reaction over and over again: “Oh, I couldn’t do that – I couldn’t handle the rejection!”
Here’s the thing… Rejection is something that we all have to deal with.
Ron Ashkenas from the Hardvard Business Review says
It’s easier to talk about learning from rejection than to actually experience it. Rejection often triggers painful emotional doubts about our own competence and self-worth, so we either try to avoid it or pretend that it doesn’t matter. A more constructive approach is to remember that rejection can be beneficial: It can force us to come up with more ideas, redirect us to different paths, and keep us humble and open to learning.
Maybe you aren’t putting yourself on the line every day as you would in a sales career, but if you’ve ever been rejected by the girl or guy in the bar, been turned down admission to a school you wanted to attend or been told you couldn’t have the raise you felt you deserve, you’ve experienced rejection!
In fact, rejection is so common that I believe if you aren’t experiencing it on a regular basis, you’re doing something wrong by not taking enough risks!
Simply put, rejection occurs when you put yourself out there – when you ask somebody out, when you ask for something you really want at work or when you put yourself up for some major award or promotion.
If you aren’t doing any of these things, you’re living a safe life. And while that might be fine in some situations, it’s sure as hell not going to help you experience success.
If you want to succeed, you have to get used to being rejected.
It isn’t a fun thing to do – especially if you’ve grown up believing that failure is the worst thing that can happen to a person – but it’s hugely important if you want to reach new heights in your personal or professional life.
The following are just a few of the different ways you can learn to embrace rejection and the eventual success it helps to bring about:
Idea #1 – Reframe rejection in your mind
In a lot of ways, I think our current education system does students a huge disadvantage by enforcing the idea that failure is always bad.
Students today are constantly pressured to succeed (even if that’s measured as something as arbitrary as standardized test performance) and reminded that failing will lead to a host of negative life consequences (as in, living in a van down by the river).
The problem with this black-and-white way of thinking is that failure – when used appropriately – can actually represent a tremendous learning opportunity.
When we fail, we have the chance to figure out where we went wrong and how we can change things in the future – that is, if we’re given the opportunity to do so. If we’re constantly berated for making mistakes, it’s no wonder that we begin to fear failure and rejection.
The key to getting out of this harmful mindset is to reframe your way of thinking about rejection.
Instead of beating yourself up, learn to recognize that failures can be powerful ways to improve – but only if we learn to let go of self-flagellation and embrace the new opportunities that rejections can represent.
Idea #2 – Ask yourself, “What did you learn?”
Of course, the thought of learning to embrace rejection is one that’s easy to imagine, but much harder to put into practice.
If you’re having trouble seeing the upside of a past or future rejection, ask yourself, “What did you learn” because failure is feedback. It may seem like the end of the world, but odds are, it’s not as bad as you think…
Say you go after a major sales prospect and wind up not getting the contract signed.
You haven’t failed on some epic level – in fact, chances are your life hasn’t changed much at all. You might not be getting a big, fat commission check, but nobody’s going to come tear the roof from over your head because you weren’t able to close this single sale.
Idea #3 – Actively seek out ways to be rejected (fail forward fast)
As with so many other things in life, the best way to practice reframing rejection in your mind and extrapolating future harm scenarios is to practice!
If you want to level up your ability to confront rejection like a boss, you’ve got to get out there and seek it out.
Ask salespeople to give you unprecedented perks when buying major items like cars and appliances. Try getting restaurant chefs to serve you entirely unique meals that aren’t listed on their menus.
Really, the possibilities are endless.
By making an effort to actively seek out rejection, you’ll learn that it’s truly no big deal to fail from time to time (although you might also be surprised by how willing people are to help you out with your requests).
And once you’ve learned how to diminish the power that rejection holds over your life, you’ll find yourself taking more chances and experiencing more success than ever before.
So now, I want to hear from you… What’s the biggest rejection you’ve ever experienced and how did you handle it? Share your responses in the comments section below:
(c) Josh Flagg
Conversation Skills Are Crucial to Real Estate
Did you ever make a sale in your real estate career without having a conversation first?
If you answer yes, I want your number. We need to talk!
But seriously, we all know how important it is to be able to navigate a conversation properly in order to have a successful transaction, start to finish.
And with our conversations, we must create trust with our client. Without trust, there will be no sale.
Here are 4 advanced conversation techniques that you can use to build that trusting relationship with your prospective client:
What It Is:
Reframing is the technique that takes a portion of a conversation and skillfully turns it around into something that is more positive than how it was originally described.
How to Use It:
Whenever you’re having a conversation with someone and they make a negative or self-deprecating comment, try an exercise where you find a way to turn it into a positive.
Let’s say you’re showing a condo property to a bachelor.
As you’re looking at the kitchen, he says, “Oh no need to try to sell me based on the kitchen, I’m a terrible cook!”
You could reframe the discussion with a response like, “But such a smart guy like yourself, in this decked out kitchen you would have no trouble learning how to cook!”
You will not only make the person feel better about themselves, but you’ve just given a few cool points to the property as well.
What It Is:
Empathy is the technique where one party discloses a difficulty they might have and the other party demonstrates that they understand that exact feeling.
How to Use It:
This is one of my favorite techniques to use because it is so easy to do.
We all have very similar experiences in life when it comes to the houses we live in.
For example, say you are showing a property to a married couple.
As you approach the laundry room, the wife says, “Oh, if you only saw the piles and piles of laundry my family creates for me!”
Your response should be one of empathy. For example, you might say back, “Oh, I know exactly how you feel! My husband works in construction and it seems like a laundry never ends! But just WAIT till you see this laundry room! Can’t you see yourself getting it all done in a flash in a room like this?!”
You have not only empathized with the wife about the amount of laundry she has to do, but you have gotten her hopeful about making the chart easier in this new home.
What It Is:
Relating is a technique that is similar to empathizing, only instead of just showing that you understand, you can try to give more credit to the storyteller in this case.
How To Use It:
Imagine that you are in the discovery stage of learning a new client’s needs.
Say that you are representing a buyer in a home purchase transaction.
If you are discovering the buyer’s needs and desires, you ask the question, “What has been your biggest struggle with homes that you have lived in before?”
The buyer responds, “I can never find a home that has the perfect yard. I really need a mix of space for my dog to run and functionality to be able to grow my own vegetables. I have never been able to find just the right place.”
“I know exactly how that feels. I actually grow vegetables too, and I love organic gardening. And my Black Lab needs a lot of space to run around as well. I am certain that we can find a place that will meet both of those needs for you very soon.”
You’ve established with the prospective homebuyer that you know it is important to satisfy these needs. And at the same time you solidify that you are ability to do that for them. Win-win for both parties.
What It Is:
One of the best techniques that you can add into any conversation with a prospective client is storytelling.
Entertainment leads to trust, which in turn can lead to sales and referrals.
How to Get Better at It:
Practice makes perfect in this case. If you are not a good still storyteller to start with, you will need to do three things.
The first thing is to go out and create some new experiences. Go find a new hobby and surround yourself with interesting people. Stories are bound to crop up that you can pull from.
Secondly, you must learn from the pros. Think of a few people that you can recall tell stories really well. Try to remember what it was about their stories that you love.
Thirdly, you must practice, practice, practice. Start by telling your stories to your friends, and they can help give you constructive criticism.
And then when you are ready, start off slowly with your clients. Tell small stories at first, and gauge their reaction.
As you get better and better, you will be able to tell longer, more entertaining stories.
(c) Josh Flagg
12 Realistic Ways to Make Your First $1 Million
12 Jul, 2017
How to Know What Your Clients Want Before You Ever Meet Them
25 May, 2017
Confidence – The Silent Negotiator
24 May, 2017
Fail Forward Fast: Why Rejection Is Critical for Success
23 May, 2017
How to Talk to People: Conversation Skills to Build Rapport
23 May, 2017