Michael Sheargold michael

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Nov
06

How to Become a Real Estate Area Specialist

Do you want to win more listings?

Make sure you stand out as the specialist in your area by implementing these 4 steps.

The fastest way to attract more clients and sell more property is to become THE go-to real estate agent in your area.

In this article we will share with you the 4 key steps to becoming a real estate area specialist, plus why you should aim for this goal.

Firstly, think about the type of agent you really want to be….

Do you want to be the agent who wins the most listings, sells the most properties?

Do you want to get quoted in your local media, become a visible leader in your community and have every other agent scrambling to keep up?

Do you want sellers knocking on your door, already sold on the fact that you are the best person to sell your property?

If you’ve graduated TurningPoint you will know; to truly be the best, you have to be prepared to put in the hard yards to get there.

I’ve not yet encountered a single agent at the top of his or her game who hasn’t put in a great deal of work and focus into setting the benchmark for being the best in their local area.

The great news is, by setting that goal and by following some simple steps, becoming an area specialist is highly and quickly achievable.

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Why focus on local?

When you become a visible area specialist, you are setting yourself apart from your competition and giving yourself a key point of difference in your market.

What’s more, it translates to real estate gold; word-of-mouth referrals!

Your local area is full of potential buyers and sellers. As an agent you fulfil a much needed community role, you are the person your community turns to when they need to buy or sell a property – so make their decision to work with you an incredibly simple one.

When you stand out in your community as the agent who has their finger on the pulse, the agent with the best information, and the one with the greatest knowledge, you can have the most powerful conversations.

So let’s dive into the 4 steps to becoming a real estate area specialist and grow your market share.

1. Gather the history of each property you sell

I’m talking about a lot more than the price history here. You want to introduce your buyers to the home in a powerful way so you can gather key history such as:

  • Previous owners (are any of the previous owners important/known/famous)
  • When the house was built and what was unique about it at the time (the original owners built a fireplace that is still in use through winter and warms the entire home)
  • Local area information and how it relates to the particular property (for example: did you know this was the second home built on this street?)
  • If the house has any stories that can help buyers to emotionally connect with it when you meet them on open house day.
  • What the current owners love about this home (the current owners have really enjoyed the garden and made it a central entertaining area.)
  • Any major repairs or renovations that have been carried out recently (go back to the history with things like where the kitchen used to be)
  • Any plans that have been approved by council for the home but haven’t happened yet (there is approval to build a carport/granny flat/pool etc)
  • Any council plans for the local area (in the next 2 years the local council has committed over $X to X activity)
  • What are the nearby points of interest? So things like schools, universities, local parks, beaches, libraries, shopping centers, restaurants and cafes. (For example: Great news: it’s a 5 minute walk to Bar Beach)

The goal here is to help buyers feel like they have little known information about their soon-to-be home and are connecting with its history.

2. Form genuine community connections

How many people do you know locally?

I can tell you now; it’s not enough!

To truly be the stand out specialist in your area you need to be the person who knows everyone – not just know about them – but really get to know them.

Chat to local business owners and come to understand the challenges that they are facing.

Integrate their services into yours by forming meaningful partnerships.

What you are doing here is creating your Circle of Influence.

3. Stay ahead of local developments

In the past, I’ve found the agents who know the most, sell the most.

Information about new developments, infrastructure changes, school catchment areas and council bylaws should all be stored in your head so you are ready to answer any questions you are asked.

What’s more, to be the font of all local knowledge, you should be regularly scouring sites like CoreLogic.

You can also check places like Microburbs to find stats gleamed from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Drive to the office a different way every now and then and look around at what is happening in your area – have your finger on the pulse.

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4. Be visible and communicate

The more time you spend out of the office, the better.

Have you ever heard the expression ‘out of sight, out of mind’?

It definitely applies to agents who want to nail their local market and retain that all-important repeat business from their community.

Leaders in real estate keep themselves in the spotlight at all times by turning up to local events, by sponsoring community initiatives and by simply taking the time to say hello and ask people what is happening with them.

Something that I share repeatedly during any of my live training workshops is that setting yourself goals and creating a strategy will keep you on the right path.

Make a plan for regularly communicating with your area that you are THE person, the go-to agent who knows the neighbourhood inside-out and upside-down.

 

There you have 4 steps to becoming a real estate area specialist.

These steps will help you stand out in your market, become the go-to real estate agent, and grow your market share.

A final tip from me – instead of communicating and posting your latest listings and open homes on social media, communicate your love and interest in your local area.

Strategies as simple as sharing snaps of iconic local places and sharing the story behind them serve to keep you front of mind while giving your community something to feel proud of about their suburb.

 

For even more strategies on how to become an area specialist, step up to your best ever results and be known as the Number 1 Agent in your market, click here.


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Sep
09

To Get More Clients, Make More Friends!

Transactions pay bills, relationships build businesses.

If you are a principal I think you would agree, you can’t be successful in the real estate industry and not be a people person. This is partly because trust is such a huge factor – your clients are putting their biggest asset in your hands with the understanding that you will do what is right. You need to genuinely want the best for them in order to manage this responsibility.

“Business success depends, like any relationship, on personal connections. Building trust, understanding the client needs, and connection are essential”

The necessity of being a people person is also because the true greats of real estate have long-standing relationships with their clients. This is essential in the property game more than any other business, because each client’s transactions are spaced out with gaps of up to ten years.

After many years helping real estate businesses succeed, I’ve noticed that any real estate agent worth their salt doesn’t focus on generating transactions, but instead puts time and energy into nurturing relationships. Real Estate might look like a numbers game and it feels good to be at the top of your game, but if you want to stay that way your customer service has to come from the heart.

Making those personal connection, building trust, and understanding client needs is essential for longevity in real estate. Here are five quick ideas to allow you to demonstrate that your clients mean something to you.

1. Ask questions (and listen to the answers)

Find out what makes your clients tick. Get an understanding of what they do for a living, their passions in life and what things mean the most to them. Jot down a few notes in your CRM to jog your memory for the next time that you speak and refer to what they’ve told you in the past during your conversations.

If you are like me and truly love getting to know people, you won’t need the notes with your best clients.

2. Share your contacts

Most vendors have a high sale price in mind, but not much of an idea of how to achieve top dollar. As well as providing the standard advice of decluttering, freshening up the paint and tidying the garden, put your clients in touch with your network of trade providers. Get them a great deal on that deck repair and introduce them to the best tree pruner in your area. This will take a huge amount of stress out of the selling process for them.

3. Go the extra mile

As with your family and close friends, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to demonstrate that you value your relationship with someone.

Additional and unexpected services can really make an impression. Make the process as smooth as possible for your vendor; help them present their property to the best advantage. For example forming partnerships with local services such as interior designer and landscapers to help prepare houses for sale so your client has a few less things to think about.

Moving day for a new homeowner can feel like a footnote to you – however this is an oft-overlooked opportunity to leave people with a very favourable impression of your agency. A meal voucher at a local restaurant, fresh flowers or a complimentary pre-move cleaner will make people feel cared for – and give them a reason to refer you to their friends.

4. Refer them business

Friends help each other out. Your position as a real estate agent also enables you to be a matchmaker extraordinaire. Got a client who does interiors? Introduce them to the couple who bought that fixer-upper. Put the client who mentioned he’s starting a business in touch with the vendor who specialises in marketing for start-ups.

Use your client’s services yourself if you can and make sure you give them a great recommendation on platforms like LinkedIn. As they say, “what goes around, comes around”.

5. Provide helpful information

Even though most property transactions only happen every few years, the ever-changing property market is always a hot topic. Providing updates is one way to stay connected with your clients.

Create a newsletter that shares market updates with your clients and also gives them tips for maintaining their home, minimising their tax (if they’re an investor) and staying on top of trends for inside and outside their house. Remind your clients / friends that you’re never more than a phone call away if they have a question, even if they’re not thinking of selling.

If you are a principal and you want to discover more ways to create lasting relationships with your clients and build a brilliant reputation for your real estate agency at The Business of Real Estate conference – tickets on sale here.


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Sep
08

Great teams are made of extraordinary people

Why a happy team is essential for a successful real estate agency

When it comes to your real estate agency team, a great saying to remember from Real Estate Leadership expert Megan Jaffe (Ray White’s #1 office in the world) is this:

“A good business contains great people, but a great business is created by extraordinary people”.

The business of selling houses attracts like personalities. During my years in this industry, I’ve found that at its best this can make for an enthusiastic, dynamic group within an agency. These are the agencies that really fly. At worst, there can be clashes between people who are vying for the same results in a commission-based field.

In any agency, whether it’s a small family owned venture, a franchise outlet or a boutique brand, you need a team that works well together in order to be successful. A happy working environment allows people to focus directly on their work. It can be challenging for an agency principal to establish the right agency culture, but it’s by no means impossible.

Over the years, I’ve noticed 4 key tactics that successful real estate principals and directors use to build and cultivate a successful team:

1. Hire With Care

When recruiting a new agent, don’t base your decisions entirely on merit. Evaluate any candidate’s attitude and ask detailed questions about their philosophy towards selling property in order to ascertain whether or not they will be a good fit.

Consider consulting with the other members of your team, including other agents and the business managers who will be working closely with them. They can give you their opinion on whether they believe the person will meet expectations while adhering to your agency’s values.

2. Get Together Regularly

I know all too well how easy it is to get caught up in your daily tasks. But holding regular meetings allows your team to share ideas, celebrate wins and reconnect with each other as colleagues – and as people.

Schedule a weekly, fortnightly or monthly catch up and make it casual by holding it in a local coffee shop. As well as talking about business, have discussions to refine your company mandate and encourage contribution from everyone on your team.

Don’t forget – not all gatherings have to be about work. Organising quarterly or biannual drinks allows everyone to relax and connect with each other off the clock.

3. Define Roles

There can often be overlap in the tasks for people around the office in a real estate agency, which is why it really helps to clearly define each person’s role in writing. Eliminating the confusion around who does what means that everyone understands what is expected of them and will be able to get through tasks quickly and efficiently.

For agents, you may find that to prevent them from competing with each other to win listings, there needs to be a strategy for dividing work by area or demographic.

4. Lead By Example

To foster a group that works together, is supportive and that celebrates each other’s’ successes, you have to present yourself as enthusiastic and every bit the team player. Focus on communication and display respect for everyone you come into contact with on a daily basis, regardless of their position on the team.

Transactional or relationship based? What kind of business do you want yours to be?

Learn how you can create your business to be more successful, enjoyable and impactful at Principal BootCamp.


Hugh Bateman, known for being active in the community. The Property Shop won Community Achievement of the Year in the Australasian Real Estate Results Awards 2016.
Sep
08

Building A Reputation Within Your Community

Your place in your local community is not what you think it is – it’s what the community thinks it is.

One of the things I love most about real estate is that it can allow you to have a highly fulfilling career without having to travel out of your local area every day. Real Estate agents are often some of the best-known figures within their community, simply because they spend so much time there.

I believe community engagement and community reputation are vital for anyone in the business of selling houses. Reputation really is everything and if you are not seen as a trusted person in your local area, you are going to struggle against your competition.

So… what is your community reputation? If you’re sitting back and thinking “people believe I’m the top real estate agent around these parts”, that might not actually be the best thing. Why? Because the way you are perceived needs to go a lot deeper than how many houses you pass under the hammer.

I stand by the old saying “Don’t make connections, make friends.” People are more likely to want to help out their mates, whether it be by lending a hand with their deck-rebuilding project or referring them business.

Your community engagement strategy shouldn’t be a strategy. It should spring from a genuine desire to be a helpful neighbour, fellow business owner and friend.

Some of the ways that you can take steps to be truly valued by the community you work in include:

Sponsoring Local Clubs and Teams

This goes beyond donating money. Get to know the leaders of the organisations. Turn up at events with genuine enthusiasm and promote what these clubs are doing to your client base.

Contributing to local scholarships and donating prizes for fundraising events is another way to boost your support of the people around you.

Host Free Community Events

This could be as simple as a bi-annual sausage sizzle to raise money for a local cause, or as upmarket as an end-of-year cocktail evening. It could be an ‘expo’ style event that promotes local small business. You could organise Santa to turn up for a special children’s’ event prior to Christmas.

These events aren’t about promoting your own business, but about getting to know people in a relaxed environment.

Form Partnerships With Other Local Businesses

Brokers, builders, interior designers and even cleaners are all business owners that you can connect with locally. Promoting their businesses to your clients (provided they are reliable and trustworthy) will organically result in a better referral rate for your own agency.

Be the Best Agent

And I don’t mean by breaking sales records (although yes, that does help). Be the best agent by providing the advice and support that all your clients need to get through the stressful experience of selling their home.

Being the best can be as simple as turning up with a bottle of ‘Spray N Wipe’ or bringing some of your own throw cushions from home to brighten up a living room on open day. Going above and beyond in order to make your vendors’ experiences as good as possible will foster a positive reputation for you in the long term.

Focusing on becoming “the person who has time for everyone” and “the local real estate who has all the best connections” will by default cement your reputation as the best in the area.

The Business of Real Estate has been designed to bring you the best speakers, the latest information and the most effective ways for you to build a brilliant local reputation and a successful real estate business. Book now.


Aug
30

Why leadership is your ultimate competitive edge

Are you only pushing for results, or are you leading your team to success?

One of my favourite quotes is “Your business will never out-perform your leadership.” This is always true in real estate, where a strong crew is universally the result of having the right person steering the ship.

I’ve seen more than my fair share of agencies during my two decades working with real estate leaders. Along the way, I’ve taken in exactly what those performing at an exceptional level are doing. I’ve also been able to review the flaws within the businesses that are struggling to remain relevant.

When I reflect on what I’ve seen over the years, it’s fair to say that the quality and consistency of leadership really is, is the deciding factor in whether or not your agency has the edge. This is because it is up to the leader to set the benchmarks for everyone to strive towards. These benchmarks are set in all areas of your agency.

As a real estate agency Principal, the overall performance of your business should always be on your radar. Here are ten questions to ask yourself that can give you an understanding of how well your business is doing.

10 Point Business Reality Check

1. Does your agency have a strong focus, with consistent vision and values?
2. How steady is your performance culture?
3. Are you effectively positioned for positive momentum in your market?
4. How good is your recruitment and how quickly do new team members hit their stride?
5. Is there a constant drive for productivity and accountability?
6. Does your team have access to training and coaching?
7. How well does your agency retain talent?
8. Do you regularly recognise and celebrate achievement?
9. Could you describe your systems and procedures as “excellent”?
10. How effective and productive are your sales and team meetings?

(Hint: if you’re a great leader, your answers should be along the lines of “Yes”, “Very well” and “Never better”)

All these points are driven (or jeopardised) by the strength of your leadership. Each area needs to be locked and loaded. Yes, it means a lot of work for you as the person in charge, but the payback can be extraordinary.

In a buoyant real estate market, it is easy for a leader to become complacent. But nobody can tell what is around the corner. Want to know how to always pip the competition to the post? Stay rock steady on the above ten points. This means you and your team will be able to deliver above average results in any market conditions.

At The Business of Real Estate, you’ll get up close and personal with some of our industry’s leading thinkers and performers. These people are the cream of the crop in their respective markets and they never lose sight of doing things better. I’ll be there throughout the two days, helping you to maximise the value of the experience and showing you how to grab the top 10 leadership habits and make them work for you. Book your place here.


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Jul
06

The 6 lists you must carry as a leading agent!

Here’s a strategy that may help you manage your pipeline in super effective way…. The 6 Lists You MUST Carry (at all times)!

  1. Priorities for the day
    This is your to-do list for today. If you have a SuperTeam – list their priorities here as well. This should be made the day before.
  2. Current Listings
    You should be looking at having an on-going communication with your current sellers.
  3. Hot Buyers
    These are the buyers that are either hot on a property or they’re cashed-up and looking to buy in a specific time-frame.
  4. Pipeline A’s
    These are clients getting ready to sign an agreement to list with you.
  5. Pipeline B’s
    These are clients you are positioning yourself to as the agent for them to choose when the time is right.
  6. Change Overs
    These are separated from the pipeline because Change Over buyers are the ones that buys a property this weekend and wants to have their property on the market yesterday.

These 6 lists are the Go-To lists to focus on and have on your person anytime you’re meeting a potential client!


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Jul
02

The 7 Key Systems of SuperTeams

Here are the 7 Key Systems to have in place with your SuperTeam!

You either have in your business “a system to do it” or you have a “remember to do it” – how well do you think remembering is working out? At some stage, something will fall through the cracks! And as soon as you introduce someone other than yourself into the business, you need to introduce systems – because if you rely only on what you’re remembering, you are setting yourself up and your support person up, to fall flat.

Ask yourself this question: “Is it worth doing these things again?” If the answer is; Absolutely, then create a system for it!

If we look at the word “SYSTEM” it breaks down into:

  • Save
  • Your
  • Self
  • Time
  • Energy and Money

That’s what a system is designed to do – the purpose of any system is save yourself time, energy and money. Therefore, the question that you might ask is: “What are the key systems that we need to have in place?”

Your 7 KEY SYSTEMS with SuperTeams

  1. Generating System
  2. Pipeline Management System
  3. Listing Management System
  4. Seller Management System
  5. Buyer Management System
  6. Negotiation System
  7. Financial Management System

These are the obvious systems with a SuperTeam. If you’re investing time, energy and effort into a SuperTeam you want to make sure you’re getting excellent ROI from that team. So, if you’re a Lead Agent in a Superteam, you would have; your Client Services Manager, your sales assistant, sales support, all in place in such a way that you got every single one of these systems clearly defined and in place.

The power of an idea is in its implementation!” – Michael Sheargold

PS – If you want to know the best strategies to establish and work within a SuperTeam and you’re interested in attending my SUPERTEAMS workshop, feel free to call the team on 1300 273 875 or visit the website for more information.

 


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Jun
29

Clarity = Power

“I’m pretty clear that it’s going to be the most motivated agent, who uses the most effective strategies and who takes massive actions to the direction of their goals who wins in the end” – Michael Sheargold.

By identifying the keys to creating greater clarity in your year, you can continue the great momentum you’ve started at the beginning of the year and best handle the real estate rollercoaster. Get really clear – Motivation, Strategy and Action.

5 key clarity points for greater action and results:

  1. Business Generation.
    Look at your Business Generation plan. Is it targeted and focused? Is it going to give you a healthy flow of listing opportunities for your pipeline?
  1. Pipeline Management.
    Does your Pipeline Management need an upgrade? If you look at your pipeline management last year, what is the area that you can actually tweak and hone to see results now?
  1. Time Management.
    Almost certainly there are 1 to 3 things you can do from a time management point of view to give you a greater clarity and a greater focus on what you’re doing on a daily basis to reach your goals.
  1. Listing appointments.
    Are there any upgrades needed to be done with your listing appointments? Check out your listing tools, upgrade your notes, anything clunky at your listing appointment that can literally help you get better results out there in the marketplace.
  1. Service upgrade.
    That’s a service upgrade to your buyers and your sellers. If property management is a part of your business, then what would be a service upgrade to your landlords and your tenants.

These 5 Key Clarity Points are such an important framework for you to be effective and hitting goals right now. Mid year is a great time to review your Top 5 Goals from a Business Point of view and your Top 5 Goals from a Personal point of view and then see what key upgrades come out of the review session.

If there’s something you know that you need to upgrade that will give you the biggest room, the biggest bang for your buck then make sure your put that in place now!


Houses On Business Section
May
06

Growing Your Market Share

Real Estate is one of the fastest industries to grow market share. You can rapidly change your circumstances in a month or two. If we picture Real Estate as a river, it sometimes flows more and sometimes less, depending on the volume of properties being sold. The volume is driven by the marketplace – based on supply and demand.

And because of this – it is not about increasing the flow, it’s about responding to the flow that is there.

There are three keys to growing market share:

Be There

Where specifically? ATT or “At The Table”. If there people thinking of selling in your marketplace and you are not ATT, you remove your chances of winning that business. The main issues of not being there is that your Generating and Pipeline Management is ineffective.

Be the Best

Being the best choice for the client. Make it easy for the client to choose you as opposed to making it hard for them to choose you.
There 4 issues about this:

1. Connect with the client(s)

2. Understand their needs

3. Demonstrate Value

4. Ask for the Business

Sell Through

This comprises the whole sell price, days on the market and so on. To have excellent Sell Through, it should be driven by 4 key components:

1. Process

2. Seller Management

3. By-Out Management

4. Skills and Strategies

That’s what it takes to grow your market share! Be ATT, make it easy for the client to choose you and have excellent sell through. Now, because the market volume is set, every property you list, that’s one less for other agents – and you will quickly grow your market share with the use of the three keys above.


influence
Mar
09

Influencing by Michael Sheargold, CEO Real Estate Results

The fastest way to get what you want is helping other people get what they want.

Real estate is the ultimate win-win-win business. That means, when the seller wins and the buyer wins, then YOU win. Your focus therefore is when you’re on the phone with a buyer is to help the buyer get what they want. Same thing when talking to an owner – and when you come in with that energy, then you can achieve your results faster.

Influencing is basically moving people in direction of a decision.

This works two ways:

  1. Helping people move positively towards an effective decision – specifically an effective decision for them!
  2. Helping people make better decisions.

This is the essence of influencing.

Having completed over 7,000 coaching sessions in the real estate profession I’d like to share with you the Results Influencing Model. As you review the model, ask yourself the question… “How well am I using these points in my current influencing strategy?” And give yourself a score out of 10 on each.

Obviously from there, build for yourself a simple action plan based on what you are going to Start doing… Stop doing… and Continue doing… to make the biggest difference in your results.

Enjoy reviewing – I’d love to hear your upgrades!

Results Influencing Model

  1. Connecting – this is about building positive rapport. If we don’t achieve positive rapport, they will not listen or respect what you are communicating.
  2. Framing – this is the most powerful underutilised influencing strategy in the world today (according to me!). If you master this you will be able to communicate more effectively, negotiate more effectively, be stronger across the board. Framing is about you setting the scene.
  3. Discovering – Stepping into the client’s shoes. Let me ask some questions, tune in and listen to what you are communicating.
  4. Validating – or summarising what you have heard the client say in the discovery process.
  1. Solution – or presenting a strategy to achieve great results – again, based on the steps that have come beforehand.
  1. Commitment – you want to gain a commitment to whatever the next step is.

It works on a 5 minute call, at a listening appointment, at a buyer enquiry – generally in any communication! This is the process of influencing and when we hone our skills at this area, we’ll go to a whole new level.

Some examples of conversation lines you may use:

Setting the scene or Framing… “So I can help you best, do you mind if I ask a few questions?”

Validating… “I have a much better understanding now of what you are looking for in a property. Could I summarise that for you?” Then you go through what it is, and you can then ask them “Is that about right?”

Solution… “Based on what we discussed, let me show you some properties” …”the next step is…” “We can put a good strategy in place to achieve your goal”

Remember to present a solution and ask for a commitment.

Think about how you’re influencing right now – and what you could enhance or upgrade right away to start seeing some positive results. Keep in mind the first point – the best way to get what you want is to help others achieve their goals. Be great at influencing and see your results soar!

For more information about Michael Sheargold, visit: www.michaelsheargold.com