Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Keeping Score

That Which You Measure Improves
Accomplished athletes keep accurate statistics about their performances so they can measure their improvement. Times for the 100-yard dash are recorded for the sprinter who trains week after week for a big track meet. The goal each week is to shave off a few one-hundredths of a second off of the previous low time. The sprinter may even have a time goal that he or she strives to reach.

We can apply the same principles to our real estate sales activities. We know that we need to contact people on a regular basis to develop leads that can turn into sales. We contact people through a variety of media appropriate to our industry. The people we contact fall into categories of sphere, FSBO, expired, neighbor, etc. We can tract the number of contacts made and the number of leads generated from those contacts.

Tracking the number of contacts keeps us accountable to activity goals that we set for ourselves. Tracking the number of leads per contact can give us a measure of our effectiveness. Both measures are important. Each reveals different aspects of our business that can be improved.

Agents that create and maintain a scorecard of their prospecting activities succeed. Agents that do not keep score are relying on luck and/or fate to bring business their way.

Keeping a scorecard can be easy and fun, if you want it to be. Some agents simply use their daily calendar and record hash marks with different color ink representing categories of prospecting activity. Some agent use spreadsheets where they record daily activity and formulas to calculate weekly, monthly and quarterly statistics. A scorecard could be scratched out on the pages of a pocket-sized notebook.

In my coaching experience I have found that many agents have become addicted to the flexible schedule the real estate profession offers. The addiction has unintended side effects, in particular, it creates the result of less time spent working on real estate activities. Many agents who claim to be full time agents are only putting in a part time effort.

Based on this experience I recommend that all agents record the amount of hours worked each day on their scorecard. This is also valuable for the overworked, overstressed real estate agent who needs to take some time off.

A scorecard for your real estate business could be the key to increased effectiveness and higher production.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Property Presentation, Sometimes Called Home Merchandising

How to prepare your home for a quick sale. Presenting your home for top dollar.

There is no doubt that the presentation of a property does influence its marketability. A good presentation can go a long way to achieving a higher sales price or a quicker selling time. Higher and quicker are relative to the overall market, in other words, compared to the competition. Depending on the market conditions one might over-improve a property in preparing it for sale.
You don’t want to put a dime into the property you are selling if you are only going to get a nickel back out.

So, while the preprinted guides and internet articles may be helpful guides, they may also be costing you a lot of money and a lot of time. An experienced real estate professional not only has a keen insight on the market but also has the wisdom to know what improvements will be most effective in your particular case.

This wisdom and experience does not come free and one should not try to take advantage of a Realtor’s experience. The smart Realtors have learned not to give the information away for free and will likely not volunteer too much advise on home prepartation until after they have a signed listing agreement. This is in part what you pay for when you agree to pay a full-service commission. Advice in the area of property presentation alone can net a seller thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of dollars from the sale of their property.

They say free advice is worth what you pay for it. Paid advice may be similarly valuable.