How Succeed Against a Were(buyer)wolf.

 Were(buyer)wolves are very common in today’s market, the purpose of this note is to help you identify them and avoid becoming another casualty.

The Full Moon. Used to be that were(buyer)wolves came out during full moon only, however and due to unknown reasons, todays were(buyer)wolves can come out any night or day and pose as interested buyers.

Their Howling. This was how were(buyer)wolves used to announce their presence. However, today’s werewolves have evolved; they now call, text or email unsuspecting agents asking for information on properties.

Their Attack. Their attacks can be deadly, it is common knowledge that were(buyer)wolves will continue working on their prey until the prey quits out of frustration. It also has been widely documented in logs worldwide the stories of agents who worked with were(buyer)wolves, showed them dozens of properties, or assisting them in making and presenting numerous offers only to never hear from them again after their offer was accepted. Another usual practice is for the were(buyer)wolf to make a ridiculously low offer and then blamed the agent when their offer wasn’t accepted.

Protect yourself. According to legend, one of the most effective weapons against a were(buyer)wolf attack are silver bullets, fortunately real estate practitioners were given these silver bullets during the licensing period. The bullets are: a were(buyers)wolf must be “Ready, Willing and Able” before making an offer. Translated to today’s modern lingo: A were(buyer)wolf must READY to purchase and close within a reasonable amount of time , must be WILLING to buy a home and not be looking for an opportunity only and it must be ABLE to purchase by either being pre-approved for a mortgage or showing proof of liquid assets.

I hope this note gave you the insight and prepare you against were(buyer)wolves.

Have a great day.

Oscar Marquez

Want to Become a Better Salesperson in 2011?

A very common new year’s resolution is to become a better salesperson, in order to accomplish this goal, we must realize that continuous learning is a crucial component of the resolution. Unfortunately most salespeople decide they don’t have time for learning or that they can’t afford to improve themselves and that is the easiest and fastest way to failure.

If you are truly committed to your improvement, here are seven principles of learning.

1. Organize for effort. What is the skill that you need the most? Prospecting? Presenting? Negotiating? Closing? All of them? Then take one and learn as much as you can about it.
2. Establish Clear Expectations. How will you measure your advancement?
3. Create the Thinking Curriculum. What do you need to learn or improve first? Second? Third?
4. Commit to Academic Rigor. Schedule time daily to better yourself.
5. Students Produce their own Learning. The best way to learn is by practicing with real clients, don’t wait until you master the skill, practice, practice and practice.
6. Arrange for Accountability. Be accountable to someone, remember when you make a commitment, there is room for failure.
7. Commit to Continuous Improvement. We never stop learning, there is always room for improvement.

Have a fantastic 2011.

Boost your Sales! Sell Like a Zombie.

I posted this on my blog last year and good good reviews, so I’ve decided to post it again.

I am a fan of Zombie movies; so to celebrate Halloween I decided to share with some zombie techniques I’ve learned that I know will help you increase your business.

1. Be Adaptable. Zombies have a way of making the best out of every situation. They can be thrown in the middle of the ocean or the desert and somehow they manage to get back to where they know they can find food. They don’t sit down and complain to other zombies about how the environment has changed, they don’t see the negative, they just keep going. If you have been complaining about how little money you are making compared to a few years ago, it’s time to move on.

2. Just Do It. Many zombies come back to life just minutes after they’ve died; still completely outfitted and with all their limbs in place; others are missing parts and pieces, but one thing they all have in common they are fearless. They don’t care that they don’t have all their parts; they are focused on one thing “finding food”. Many sales people are reluctant to go out and find selling or buying prospects, because they don’t know “everything” about real estate, take this zombie lesson and just start talking to people, you’ll be surprised of you can accomplish.

3. Be Fearless. Many times zombies are outnumbered by powerful armies; other times their next victim is bigger, faster and stronger than they are. But I have never seen a zombie stopping to analyze their odds of winning the fight or getting their victim; they know they have a lot to win and little to lose (hey they’re already dead). They continue to charge and very often they win. Don’t get stopped by the “principals only” or the “no Realtors” remarks, go after every FSBOs and expired you can find; you have a lot to win and very little to lose.

4. Take it Easy. Have you ever seen a zombie with high blood pressure or nervous? No, they are cool and collected; no matter what circumstances they just go after what they know they need, food. Many salespeople stop working or concentrating on new business as soon as things get a little stressful. Slow down, take it easy, don’t allow your business to control your emotions and stop you from growing; remember even if you are going through a very difficult situation you still need to produce and this will get you out of the hole.

5. Stick to Your Zombie Guns. Remember one thing “It makes no sense to negotiate with zombies”. The next time a seller wants to make their house un-sellable, don’t give in, stick to your guns; it’s the best way to get their house sold.

I hope you enjoy these zombie techniques but most importantly that you implement at least one. Have a great and safe Halloween.

The Secret of a Successful Salesperson.

What is the secret of a successful salesperson? Many people say the knowledge of their product, some say that the way in which he or she speaks, others say you must be born a salesperson.

However, after having trained thousands of sales professionals, in my opinion the secret of a salesperson is repetition.

The person, who has become a true master of the sale, is the person who has memorized their presentation and can recite it with eyes closed and even while sleeping.

This is the only way by which a professional salesperson can deliver a presentation that people buy every time. There are people who want to change their sales presentation for fear of sounding repetitive, however they run the risk of doing a sloppy job and not getting the sale.

So if there is one advice I can give is this. Practice, practice and practice your presentation until it becomes an extension of you.

Is Sales Training Important for Your Company?

Without sales there is no revenue, no profit and even the best marketing program in the world will not prevent you from failing; therefore sales are the single most important part of any business. Granted, all aspects of business are important, but without sales you have no business. So unless you want to go out of business, you need to have a very well trained sales staff. Sales training programs where your agents learn, internalize and practice with real customers while in class is one of the best ways to make sure that your sales staff masters the techniques and methods that will increase sales.
There are many ways to get your sales force trained and depending on the size of your staff you may want to consider hiring a sales trainer exclusively for your company; I am not referring to hiring a full time an in-house trainer, I am talking about bringing a sales trainer exclusively to train your agents. And against all beliefs hiring a sales trainer it is not that expensive, especially compared to the additional revenue your sales staff will bring.

Every business operates differently and sells a different product or service. However, the sales process is the same: “lead generation (marketing or any other way), present and close” the method never changes regardless of the product or service we promote, however this is why it’s of paramount importance that the trainer has a clear understanding of your goals and biggest challenges you are currently facing, so they can be included in the training program.

Another important aspect of sales and (commonly overviewed as well) is repeat customers and referrals; make sure the programs includes techniques to keep your past clients as clients and referring you new clients.

One more thing you should also consider is the length of the training program. In my experience a two to three day class is best, keep in mind that your sales people will not stop working during the training; they’ll continue to work and generate new business.

There are companies that seem to think that training their sales staff is not worth the money or justify it with not having the budget right now. However, they make this decision to their own detriment. The company with the best trained sales force has a sizable advantage over those that do not. Another and often less expensive choice is online training and although it is cost effective we need to consider the other side as well. Because the trainer cannot see the people’s facial expressions or hear their comments, the risk of your agents not understanding and therefore not applying the techniques increases. Technology it’s fantastic and it has brought our lives to a different status however the human touch is always needed.

In summary, everyone in your company can benefit from some degree of training but specially your bottom line.

Tips to Make 2010 a Very Successful Year.

“Would you mind telling me please, which way I ought to go from here? That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where” -said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

It’s been said that most people are too busy to plan their goals. Goals are just as important as everything else. Here are six steps to help you make 2010 a great year.

1. One step at the time. Identify what is it that you would like to change in the following areas: Business, family, personal, spiritual. Focus on one small goal at the time and when you reach it, move on to another one.

2. Set a date to reach each objective. Be specific.

3. Make a list of the obstacles you must overcome to reach your goals.

4. Work a plan of action to reach your goals.

5. Visualize yourself reaching your goal; feel the empowerment, hear the cheers.

6. Write your goals down and read them out load every day.

Have a wonderful 2010 and I hope to have the opportunity to help you become more successful.

 To your success,

Oscar Marquez.

How to List the FSBO Vampire.

They have arrived and are here to stay; they are getting ready to put their house on the market, they are the FSBO Vampires.  Following are five ideas to overcome their powers. 

  1. Don’t let them Glamour You.  Be careful, Vampire FSBOs are known for glamouring people and making them do things they wouldn’t do otherwise.  So when a Vampire FSBO tries to talk you into believing they don’t need your help to get their house sold, don’t fall under their spell.  As a professional Vampire FSBO slayer, you already know this is just folklore.  It takes a lot of effort and money to sell a property.
  2. Don’t Fear Them.  FSBO Vampires can’t exist in the light; they are creatures of the night.  Show them how much work and effort is involved in selling real estate, it goes well beyond posting a “for sale” sign, and that is just the beginning.  Realtor slayers don’t get paid to sell houses they get paid to insure the sale closes.  So next time you encounter a Vampire FSBO bring them out to the light.
  3. Don’t Waste Your Weapons.  By using all your weapons (garlic, silver, wood) at once, you will only weaken them but they will not die.  The best way to slay a Vampire FSBO is by bringing one weapon at the time.  Each time you visit them, bring one extra weapon (MLS, prequalification forms, marketing, etc) and soon you will turn them into a listing.
  4. Watch out for their Fangs.  Vampire FSBO’s most powerful weapon are their fangs.  They will use theme to attack you and ultimately get rid of you.  So when they ask you to take the listing at a very low commission or very high price, protect yourself, don’t let them suck you dry.
  5. Don’t Become One of Them.  Many times good agents join their ranks and put their own houses for sale as a FSBO.  If they don’t have enough confidence in the power of being a Realtor slayer, how can they succeed in the business?

 As a final note, I would like to ask you not to become a werewolf and try to overpower them; remember you are only strong during the full moon and if you try to overpower them you will lose the opportunity to list them.

 Have a great Halloween.

Zombie Tips for Real Estate Agents

I am a fan of Zombie movies; so to celebrate Halloween I decided to share with some zombie techniques I’ve learned that I know will help you increase your business.

1. Be Adaptable. Zombies have a way of making the best out of every situation. They can be thrown in the middle of the ocean or the desert and somehow they manage to get back to where they know they can find food. They don’t sit down and complain to other zombies about how the environment has changed, they don’t see the negative, they just keep going. If you have been complaining about how little money you are making compared to a few years ago, it’s time to move on.

2. Just Do It. Many zombies come back to life just minutes after they’ve died; still completely outfitted and with all their limbs in place; others are missing parts and pieces, but one thing they all have in common they are fearless. They don’t care that they don’t have all their parts; they are focused on one thing “finding food”. Many sales people are reluctant to go out and find selling or buying prospects, because they don’t know “everything” about real estate, take this zombie lesson and just start talking to people, you’ll be surprised of you can accomplish.

3. Be Fearless. Many times zombies are outnumbered by powerful armies; other times their next victim is bigger, faster and stronger than they are. But I have never seen a zombie stopping to analyze their odds of winning the fight or getting their victim; they know they have a lot to win and little to lose (hey they’re already dead). They continue to charge and very often they win. Don’t get stopped by the “principals only” or the “no Realtors” remarks, go after every FSBOs and expired you can find; you have a lot to win and very little to lose.

4. Take it Easy. Have you ever seen a zombie with high blood pressure or nervous? No, they are cool and collected; no matter what circumstances they just go after what they know they need, food. Many salespeople stop working or concentrating on new business as soon as things get a little stressful. Slow down, take it easy, don’t allow your business to control your emotions and stop you from growing; remember even if you are going through a very difficult situation you still need to produce and this will get you out of the hole.

5. Stick to Your Zombie Guns. Remember one thing “It makes no sense to negotiate with zombies”. The next time a seller wants to make their house un-sellable, don’t give in, stick to your guns; it’s the best way to get their house sold.

I hope you enjoy these zombie techniques but most importantly that you implement at least one. Have a great and safe Halloween.

Profile of the Internet Consumer

With an estimated of 67 million people looking to buy, sell, rent or finance a home on the Internet, and real estate professionals who want to land their business are making a huge mistake, they are treating them all the same way. They are treating them as someone who is ready, willing and able; instead, we should look at them as four distinct audience segments.
A white paper commissioned by Yahoo Real Estate, “Embracing the Online Real Estate Market,” offers loads of practical advice about marketing to each group.
Passionates. Are the smallest group, an estimated 6% of the audience but the most attractive target as well. The study found 79% are in the market to buy, 82% to finance, and 45% to sell real estate in the next six months; their average income is $202,000.
Passionates are “advanced” Internet users, early adopters who visit multiple real estate sites early in the buying process with specific goals in mind, the study found.
“Since Passionates spend a lot of time online on multiple Web sites, it is important to reach them where they are online,” the study recommended. “Authoring your own blog, being present on mainstream social networks and industry-targeted communities, and participating in other consumer focused (question-and-answer) sites are great ways to reach Passionates.”
Conventionals. Because they tend to use offline sources such as printed advertising as a first step in the real estate research process, real estate agents are the most important source of information for “Conventionals.” This segment represents about 14 % of in-market real estate consumers. Average income for the segment is $69,000, with 82 percent owning property with an average value of $349,000; 53 percent are male. Although Conventionals may begin the research process offline, 83 percent eventually get online when buying a home, and 40 percent turn to MLS sites as the first place they do research.
Because they may start the process offline, it’s important to think of reaching Conventionals online “as an extension of your offline marketing efforts,” the study said. Offline marketing copy “should reinforce your presence online, including your Web site URL, your blog URL, your e-mail address, or your social network profile names. Keep in mind that even though their name implies that they are offline, Conventionals spend time researching online to supplement their offline activities.”
Actives. Actives are the second-largest group of real estate consumers, at 19% of the audience. Most Actives, 71% are financing properties, while just over half are buyers and about one in four are sellers. The typical Active is a highly educated 44-year-old married male with an income of $87,000, and 82% own property with an average value of $410,000.
Actives seek out information in a thorough way, often using online sources as a first step. Most use multiple sites and many tools, with no single source considered a “one-stop shop,” the study found.
Because Actives use multiple sites, “you should have a presence on many real estate Web sites,” comScore recommends. “In particular, real estate professionals should distribute their listings to as many real estate search and portal sites as appropriate. Actives are also busy financing, so partnering with mortgage brokers, both online and offline, is a great way to reach them by sharing referrals.”
Online real estate agent directories are also used by Actives, an important consideration since repeated “impressions” in front of this group “is critical, as Actives are still contemplating what service providers to collaborate with.”
Future Prospects. Future Prospects who are “just looking” are the largest group of active real estate consumers, comprising 61% of the category. They mostly go online to view listings and follow the market, and less than 10% are working with or even looking for a real estate agent. But that doesn’t mean they should be ignored.
“Once this segment becomes more serious about home shopping and buying they will rely on a real estate agent to assist them, so investments that get you in front of their selection process are important,” the study recommended. “For this group, awareness is the most important marketing objective, and marketing investments should be geared toward consistently putting your brand front-and-center. Graphic media campaigns on newspapers sites and real estate sites that enable local targeting, search-engine marketing in your local market, and listing your profile in the emerging category of online real agent directories should be considered in the marketing mix for this segment.”
The typical future prospect is a 45-year-old married female with an average income of $69,000, with two-thirds owning property worth an average of $324,000.
“Since they are the least knowledgeable about real estate compared to the other segments, Future Prospects are more likely to enlist outside help,” the study advised.
Treat them all different, create different approaches and most importantly don’t stop marketing.

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