Real Questions, Real Solutions

I’ve just been sitting here down on the farm, pondering this thing called the "Economic Downturn." While this has probably scared the success out of most people including a lot of the real estate salespeople you probably know, the REAL SUPERACHIEVERS see this as yet another opportunity for VICTORY!

I just received an email from a Florida homebuilder sales team who are finding themselves in a tight spot right now. They asked me to give them some feedback on their traffic goals, they want to get about 1/3 of their traffic from referrals, 1/3 from corp traffic, and then hope that the last 1/3 will be "self-generated."

Well, I told them that those numbers might be viable and achievable—if there is a referral process and team members participate in a weekly one-on-one breakfast or lunch with realtors.

One weekly breakfast would add up to be about 50 realtor breakfasts per year. And by my experience, if you had 50 realtor breakfasts you could end up with approximately 5 realtors that would send 3 to 5 buyers a year. The breakfast would be one-on-one; they submit the receipts, and you pay.

Now, it’s easy to have 50 realtor breakfasts, but little will come of it unless there is some strong "How To" lesson provided each time. Like most programs that management proposes, without the "How To" lesson, we simply eat breakfast and waste time and money. The reality is that most sales managers do not fully explain the process and teach "How To." Or, if the salespeople do get referrals, often the customer service is so lacking that the buyer would never lend their reputation because of their poor experience.

In regard to referrals, a reasonable number is one referral for every three sales. Here’s the truth from the guy who knows: If you are not getting a referral from every third customer, either your service is non-existent, or the delivery of the home is late, or punch is tremendous.

So you must ask yourself: Are we doing our part? Is the customer service great? Are we providing timely delivery? Are we minimizing or eliminating punch? Do our buyers love the experience? Basically, are our sales people doing their jobs?

If my observations appear harsh, you must accept that these are the hard questions we all must consider every day to reach success in this market. If your customer experience is extraordinary and your salespeople are willing to tirelessly work on improving relationships, one third is achievable. If you are doing more, actually training with real-world "How To" lessons, than just saying "get more realtor business" or "work your realtors" over and over, you may realistically expect one third.

Myers Barnes

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