Adventures in Cold Calling #33
I listen to a lot of gurus. On podcasts, CDs burned to my iPod, on Stitcher, on YouTube…I’m constantly looking for nuggets of wisdom which, when applied, can supercharge my business.
There is one problem with this though. Gurus and experts tend to exaggerate the importance of whatever hobby horse they are focusing on at the moment. Their “pet issue” will always be framed as the thing which needs to be given the utmost attention. Drop-everything-you’re-doing-and-address-this-now type of attention.
So what do you do when two of these priorities clash?
[insert_php] $path = $_SERVER[‘DOCUMENT_ROOT’]; $path .= “/images/fbpromo.html”; include_once($path); [/insert_php]Let me give you an example. Fast lead response time and dedicated, uninterrupted prospecting time. Both are held up by as imperative, but the the two cannot coexist. At least they cannot for solo real estate agents and as most agents are flying solo, that means that holding to both of these standards is an impossibility.
Think about it. If you follow the advice of the gurus that tell you to make prospecting time sacred, blocked off, with no interruptions being allowed in (and you should) then how are you going to fulfill on the call to respond to leads that come in off of sign calls or internet exposure in 5 minutes or less as other gurus are saying is essential?
You’re going to have to pick one or the other. Or you’re going to have to hire help.
You’re Going to Need Help
There will come a time where hiring help is going to be a requirement. I’ve said before that this is not a one-man job. I meant it when I said it and I still believe that this is true today.
Leads are going to pile up and they are going to need a LOT of follow up. Taking care of transactions details which could be handled by a transaction coordinator, making the actual cold calls which could be handled by a phone canvasser, or printing up info packs for follow up which could be done by a follow up coordinator will bit into the time you can director toward the most important aspects of this business…building relationship with seller prospects in person or over the phone and continuing that relationship with your sellers so that they are so happy with your level of service that they sing your praises to all their friends and family.
You’re going to need some help.
Beware of Team Building
The team giveth and the team taketh away.
There’s an agent in my area that is spending tens of thousands of dollars per month on marketing. He closes a lot of transactions from the leads this marketing brings in. He also has a LOT of people helping him. Essentially the guy runs his own brokerage within his official Keller Williams brokerage. He even has to have his own separate offices on the other side of town because his team is so big. It’s crazy.
Everyone knows who this guy is. Everyone. The problem is just what I was talking about yesterday; while everyone knows his name, he is not well known. There is a difference and the difference is significant.
I caution everyone to be very suspicious of building large teams. Every person you add to your team is a mouth to feed. You’re no longer allowed to have a month or two without any closings. GOOD employees cost about $3,000 per month. Paying just two of those for two months is a $12,000 bill. You better be closing deals EVERY month.
Do not go crazy with money spent on marketing either. Do NOT follow Dan Kennedy’s advice and start building out your marketing budget not based on how much money is in the bank but based on how much you THINK you’ll earn from your customers over time.
There will come a time when you can’t boost the number of transactions you close each year any more without bringing on a LOT more people and spending a LOT more money in marketing to get the listings you need to close the extra transactions you need to feed those hungry mouths. When you reach that point, it’s time to STOP thinking about how to close more transactions each year and start figuring out how you can create different revenue streams. Passive revenue streams.
I’ll talk more about that in the future.
Cold Call Tracker
On Tuesday of this week I had an all-day training event that I had to go to, so my morning call session was cut short and I didn’t make it to 100 contacts. I couldn’t have made it up with an evening calling session either because the training went straight through to 9pm.
Both yesterday and today I was able to reach my 100 contacts though. Today was a bit more difficult. Three times I picked lists that were loaded up with residents who don’t speak English. It pretty much destroyed my 8:00am prime-time calling and had a negative impact throughout the rest of the morning too. I ended up having to do a split session today to get them all in. I always feel better when I hit my target though.