Mind over Matter

Mind over Matter

Are you still in doubt about the power you possess in your mind? Are you ruining or building your life by your thoughts?

As “enlightened” human beings we always look to science to give us the answers or to “prove” that something is true. However, it is often the case that whatever science discovers or proves has long been known by the more wise people around us and even revealed and talked about long before science ever thought to investigate it.

Mind over matter – ageless wisdom

The theory of mind over matter is one example. The teachers of positive thinking and those who believe in God’s word have long said that the mind and thoughts have the power to influence the physical and to bring about what we think about. This belief has been based on nothing more than faith and has worked for countless numbers. Now science has jumped on it and is starting to “discover” what has already been known for thousands of years to those that are truly enlightened.

Mind over matter – scientific support

“Researchers are just starting to appreciate the power that the mind can have over the body,” says Tor Wager, an assistant professor of psychology at Columbia University in the States. This statement was made after it was found in studies that some people actually got better when they were being given placebo drugs, which are actually not real drugs but harmless pills meant to make the patient think they are taking medication for their illness. Chuck Park was a depression patient who got better after a few weeks of taking sugar pills which he thought were antidepressants. After he was told that he was not getting the real drug Park said “I guess I wanted it to work — and in a way, it did.”

In a very big way it did. Just the thought that he was getting medication and the expectation that he would get better actually made him better. “There have always been people who have said that we could make ourselves better by positive thinking,” says Dr. Michael Selzer, professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “After pooh-poohing this for years, here are studies that show that our thoughts may actually interact with the brain in a physical way.”

Just to add more understanding to this phenomenon, science has taken this knowledge a step further. Using PET scanners and MRIs to look at brain activity in patients who respond to placebo; researchers have found that the dummy drugs actually lead to changes in brain chemistry. So the thoughts that these patients have of getting better actually leads their brains to get better physically in a very visible way.

 

“An emerging idea right now is that belief in a placebo taps into processes in your brain that produce physical results that really shape how your body responds to things,” says Dr Selzer. “The brain has much more control over the body than we can voluntarily exert.”

Mind over matter – positive thinking works

The point is that positive thinking and mind over matter work. All you need to do is believe this truth to utilize its immense potential. The book of Proverbs says of a man, “as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Many people have utilised this truth that don’t even believe in God and it has worked for them. Now science is starting to understand the immense power of thought. Do you still doubt, Thomas? You do so to your own peril and destruction.

Believe in the truth that your thoughts are the key to your destiny and your future. It cannot be put any simpler. But you must first be clear on what your thoughts are. What is your dream? Have you thought it out in all the detail that is required to enable your mind to feed on it and bring it to pass?

Mind over matter – practical application

Jim Rohn gives a great example of this process of being clear on your dreams and your thoughts. He says before he built his first home he would take friends and associates over to the vacant property and give them a tour of the house. That wasn’t just pointing out to them where the house would be, but actually taking them through the house room by room and describing everything in the house in great detail. He says “One day, I made the house so real that one of my friends bumped his elbow on the fireplace. I mean, it was that real.” In his mind it was so real that he started interacting with it long before it was physically there. Needless to say he did actually build the house in no time.

That is how clear you need to be with how you want to live your life. Leave nothing out. Make it detailed in your mind. Fill in all the gaps. Whether it’s a wonderful family, a successful career, a thriving business or a luxury car you want, you must have it very clearly in your mind. Most importantly, once you have the right thoughts, you must think them often and believe that they will materialize in the physical world.

Mind over matter –turning nothing into something

Rohn calls this turning “nothing into something,” but he goes on to add that thoughts are really something and belief or faith is also something tangible. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen,” according to the Apostle Paul. So if you believe something, then you have its substance and you have evidence that it exists. It’s just a matter of time before it fully manifests. As long as you don’t give up and don’t doubt this fact.

Mind over matter – amazing power

So powerful is the realization that thoughts have the ability to influence the physical that scientists are now using this knowledge to control pain. Using the same MRI techniques, one patient who was having severe pain for years following an injury she had had to her arm was made to watch images of her brain and see which areas are most active when she was feeling pain and then to see which areas became more active when she thought pleasant thoughts that lessened the pain.

Over time she learnt how to voluntarily switch on the parts of the brain that relieved the pain through her thoughts. The patient later said “I think the most incredible thing was to see that scan of my brain constantly producing pain. And then to actually gain control over the pain, to see that I had that power — even when I was making myself feel worse — was amazing to me.”

Mind over matter – conclusionWilliam James gave a great conclusion to the matter when he said: “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

You are all you can be. Go on and be it.

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How Long Does It Take for Content Marketing to Work? A Case Study.

How Long Does It Take for Content Marketing to Work? A Case Study.

One of the top questions we get asked on our sales calls is “how long does content marketing take to work?”

Most people have probably read answers online, or heard from agencies or in-house marketers something like: “it takes 3 months, 6 months or even a year before content marketing will work.”

The truth is: you shouldn’t listen to some random figure that anyone gives you. The answer depends on what you measure success by, your business/ business model, and if you have product/market fit. Then there’s even more variability when you consider differences in domain authority, SEO competitiveness in different industries, promotion channels unique to certain niches, fame and following of founders or key executives, and other specifics.

That being said, in this post we’ll attempt to shed light on this question (”How long does it take before you start seeing results from your content marketing efforts?”) by showing you real data from our client engagements.

We’ll explain how we got these results and also share why, for certain companies, we think we can get results faster than almost any other options out there.

Your Metrics for Success Will Determine When You Start Seeing Results from Content Marketing

One reason why I think people blurt out random answers to the question “how long does it take to see success from content marketing” is because everyone has a different definition of success.

What does “content marketing is working” mean to you?

  • A blog post ranking #1 for a keyword in multiple search engines?
  • A click-through to another page on the blog? (We recently had a company tell us this was their measure of success for their blog)
  • Organic traffic growth?
  • High time on site?
  • People sharing your post on social media?
  • Blog engagement (ie. people commenting)?
  • A 15% growth month-over-month when you start from 0? (Hint: this would take a long time before you started to see results)
  • When “you feel” like it’s working?

While some of these metrics might indicate that things are moving in the right direction, most of them are vanity metrics. For us, results from content marketing means only two things: leads/signups and traffic growth (in that order).

Why do we only care about leads and website traffic? The answer is because:

  1. Leads: If you’re not getting conversions from content marketing, it doesn’t make sense to invest in it.
  2. Traffic: Measuring conversions is hard and gives you only a lower limit of the total conversions generated from content marketing (detailed below), so also measuring traffic helps complete the picture. Obvious: Without traffic, you won’t get conversions.

We believe that while there are a lot of other definitions of “success” from content marketing, those two metrics are the only ones that matter.

The Method We Use to Attribute Leads to Content Marketing

Whenever we say we measure success by conversion (lead/signup) growth, especially as an agency, we always get the question, “How do you measure that? Attribution is so hard from content marketing.”

That’s true, it’s no perfect science (hence we’ve written 3 separate articles on this topic, all linked to below). We had the same attribution challenges when we first started our agency, but we also felt like telling clients “some fraction of the traffic you generate should be converting” wasn’t a good enough answer to the question: “what’s the ROI on your content marketing service?”

So we set out to find a better way of attributing leads — and we found a method that can report on both first click and last click conversions within GA.

We first set up goals in Google Analytics to the main conversion action that the company wants a user to take. This is typically:

  1. Free trial signup, signup, request a demo (for SaaS)
  2. Talk to a salesperson request form (for services)
Many people take the approach of collecting email signups and then try to nurture those people over a period of time. They define email signups as “leads.” We don’t. These email optins haven’t expressed any product interest, they’ve only signed up for more content. There’s a big difference. We believe that you can get directly attributable signups from content marketing (we’ll show you why with real client data below). We also believe that the email signup to lead nurturing approach that many Hubspot and inbound marketing agencies use usually lead to lower conversion rates and worse results (mainly because you have to convert people multiple times — once to an email subscriber, then to open an email, then to click through, then finally to your conversion goal). We wrote an entire article explaining the math behind direct conversions vs. nurturing conversion strategy here.

Then we use the model comparison tool inside of Google Analytics to measure first click and last click conversions from content marketing. By using the model comparison tool, we’re able to see which URLs brought in what conversions, so we can see which pieces drive the majority of the conversions and optimize our strategy as we learn what works for a particular client.

We measure by both first click and last click conversions because first click tells us that a user’s first touch point with the brand was one of our blog posts (then they converted at a later point in time). Last click tells us that the conversion happened directly after reading a blog post (note: most people exclusively measure via last click, if they can measure conversions at all, because most GA default reports do this).

Together, measuring first and last click give us a much better picture of conversions than just last click, but a few months back, one of our readers (Ryan Walters) taught us another useful model for attributing leads to content. Using GA’s segments feature, you can create a segment that says “show me data for all users who converted who saw a blog post at any point in their journey”:

pasted image 0 1

The “Any user interaction” dropdown can be used to switch between “first user interaction” and “any” as you see above. First interaction will essentially give you first click attribution numbers, but “any” is interesting because it let’s see you see how many conversions were influenced by the blog — in that the user saw a blog post at any point in their journey to converting. We’ve been calling this “any click conversions” internally.

Together, these three ways of measuring conversions, give us a ton of confidence that we (and our clients) have a solid, holistic picture of how our blog posts are directly leading to or influencing conversions.

Lastly, note that we don’t ever ask the question “which model is right?”. The models don’t “fight” with each other, they are just different ways of looking at content’s influence on lead generation or conversions.

So now that you understand what we measure success by, and how we measure success, let’s dive into some real client examples to help answer the question: “How long it takes for content marketing to start working?”

Here Are Some Content Marketing Results from the Beginning Months of a Few Client Engagements

In the beginning of our agency, we had the hypothesis that we should start off a new account by focusing on top of funnel content that generated links and then come back around to focus on the bottom of the funnel content once we had built some authority.

This is still a good strategy if you’re starting from scratch and doing content marketing for a brand new blog or website.

However, since most of the companies we work with have domain authorities ranging between 25-60+, we believe starting on bottom of the funnel (long-tail high conversion intent) content gets results faster.

We’ll describe the exact approach we took for each client below.

Content Marketing Results for a VC-Backed Subscription Business Thats Target Audience is Startups and Small Businesses with a $500/Month Sub Price Point

The strategy:

When we started working with this company, we realized there was search volume around comparing this company to competitors and there wasn’t a post or a page on their site objectively explaining the difference between them.

We also realized they hadn’t created a blog post that discussed various options consumers had in their product category.

Taking a page out of our pain-point SEO strategy post, we decided that the first few blog posts that we should create are a comparison post (very “bottom of funnel”), a post that targeted category search terms (also “middle to bottom of funnel”), and a couple of posts that went after product use cases (we define this as “mid-funnel” but some may call it “bottom”). We also decided to create a story that outlined the founder’s vision for why he started the company and the problem he was trying to solve in the market (we’ve found that these typically do well from a promotion standpoint).

So overall, we can say our strategy for this subscription business was skewed towards bottom of funnel, with some mid-funnel pieces thrown in. We haven’t done any real top of funnel (little conversion intent, high traffic potential) posts for them. They sell a known service with existing demand — they aren’t creating a new product category, so there is plenty of search volume for higher intent keywords. The top of funnel strategy would make more sense if there was heavy education needed about the category or service they’re in, and we had exhausted most of the bottom/middle of funnel SEO terms.

The content promotion tactics:

We take a three-pronged approach to content promotion. We focus on Facebook advertising and community content promotion for short term traffic. Then we focus on link-building to our pieces for long-term traffic.

On the Facebook side, we typically create 3 separate audiences.

  1. One that goes after cold traffic — we back into who to target based on the data we get from our customer research session at the beginning of an engagement with a company.
  2. We create a lookalike audience that goes after traffic that looks like the audiences that have already converted to a product signup.
  3. Then we also do straight retargeting.

This has been our primary source of short term traffic, since as I outlined in this post, community content promotion is getting harder. That being said, we also found some communities to share content in.

For long term promotion (some call it “content distribution”), we focus on SEO, and use active link-building to do this strategically. First, we optimize a post around the keyword we’re targeting, wait to see where it ends up in the SERPs organically without link-building, and then prioritize articles for link-building that have high-conversion potential and could use a couple of links to boost the results to page 1 or 2.

Using this combined approach, you’ll see in the first few months of working with this company, we were able to start driving thousands of visitors to their blog within the first 2 months.

content marketing traffic1 2

The traffic then starts leveling off around 3,500 pageviews a month because, like we said above, we focused on conversion-intent, bottom of funnel content that’s not highly shareable, traffic driving content. Even our keyword driven posts were prioritized on the conversion-intent of search queries, not search volume (see our Pain Point SEO article linked to above, or this one on content ideation for more on this technique).

So what about conversions?

As you can see from our Google Data studio dashboard below, we started seeing signups come from our blog posts in the first month of working with this client. Typically it takes longer to start seeing conversions, but this told us that our conversion-centric strategy was on the right track.

In the very beginning, most of the signups will come from paid or social, and then the longer that we work with a company, the sources typically change to almost completely organic conversions as we focus more and more on pain-point SEO.

content marketing results leads1

Month 1 Conversion Sources:

As I mentioned above, you won’t typically see conversions within the first month, or it’ll start slowly with conversions coming from paid or community promotion.

month 1 content marketing conversions

Month 2 Conversion Sources:

In month 2, we were surprised to see that our comparison post that we created already yielded a conversion from organic.

month 2 content marketing conversions

Month 5 Content Conversions:

By month 5, you start to see a lot of the sources of traffic diversify. (Note: The company also decided to start testing other forms of promotion such as Reddit ads — beyond what we were doing. But I wanted to point out that now you start to see an increase in organic conversion volume due to us starting to rank for the keywords that we went after via pain-point SEO.)

month 5 conversions

Content Marketing Results for a B2C Concussion Treatment Center with a Physical Location

The Content Marketing Strategy:

When we started doing content marketing with this company, we knew this was going to be an uphill battle from an SEO perspective. The sites ranking for a lot of the keywords that we needed to target were large content sites like WebMD, Healthline, MayoClinic, etc., with domain authorities of nearly double what our client had.

We decided to take a two-pronged approach for this company. We decided to create case studies that showed the value someone received from getting treatment (these stories would be perfect on Facebook and for short term traffic — again, we call these “mid-funnel” — yes they are product related, but they aren’t targeting a keyword with buying intent, or any keyword at all typically), then we were going to go after longer-tail, high conversion intent keywords that were easier to rank for to gain long-term traffic (mid-bottom of funnel).

Once we had exhausted a lot of the longer-tail high intent keywords, we’d use those pages to link back to some of the head keywords that we were targeting that were more competitive keywords.

The Content Promotion Strategy:

We decided to start testing some of the case studies on Facebook with some cold audiences around headaches, brain fitness, cognitive science, etc. Simultaneously, we published some of the keyword focused content and started building backlinks to it to see where it would sit in the search rankings.

To our (pleasant) surprise, the stories on Facebook started taking off and had super high engagement, click-through, and share rates — so we decided to double down on the case study strategy as a way to drive short term results while we were waiting for some of the SEO pieces to start ranking for various keywords that we were targeting.

1 Ad Experience Preview

We also decided to start testing advertising some of the keyword-focused pieces on Facebook to see how those would perform. To our surprise, those pieces took off, too, and were shared sometimes over 90 times.

Ads Manager Manage Ads Ads

This strategy helped drive an initial surge of traffic for our client while we waited for SEO traffic to start gaining steam.

concussion treatment G C Dashboard Page 1

Look at the difference in pageviews for this client versus the first one above. (Note: all of these graphs are showing pageviews to our articles only, not the overall blog, so they’re all starting from scratch with ‘0’ pageviews.)

B2B subscription vs b2c service business traffic

This is why it’s so difficult for us to answer the question: “When can we expect results from content marketing?”

As I mentioned above, “results” is ambiguous, it means different things to different companies. But even if you use a single metric like “traffic” to compare, it’s hard to say a priori how much you can expect.

Yes — there are some general trends. For example, B2C in general can get more traffic than B2B. But you can’t predict how much traffic you’ll get before starting. We couldn’t have predicted the concussion treatment center would have yielded over 8,000 visitors per month on a handful of articles in just month 3.

Remember: it’s the strategy that’s important, not setting arbitrary traffic goals.

Organic Traffic Growth:

Since we knew that we were competing with larger health content based sites, the approach we took was to go after long-tail high intent keywords right from the beginning. We needed to produce content that was extremely detailed, structured properly, and thorough enough to outrank the other pieces of content.

SEO rankings

As you can see from the Ahrefs screenshot, we started ranking within the first 5 or so months for multiple keyword variations on the first page for the low-volume, high intent keywords. As of this writing, for some of the harder keywords we’ve been targeting, we’re starting to gain traction in getting those pages on page 1 or 2 for various keyword variations as well.

The result? Organic traffic started growing quickly using this approach and we’re targeting the harder pages for link-building efforts over the next few months — which should help those pages eventually reach page 1 of the SERPs and thus drive tons of qualified traffic to those pages.

Concussion treatment G C Dashboard Page 2

From a Conversion Standpoint:

Being this is a services company, the main CTA is a form to have a consultation with a doctor at the clinic. In month 2, we started seeing conversions from our Facebook ads as well from the stories being shared on other social channels.

Even though the sources of traffic say direct/none on a couple of the URLs, we can see that those leads originated from Facebook due to the FBclid which is appended to the URL.

Analytics 2

In month 3 of doing content marketing, the volume of signups for this company started to pick up from all of our paid efforts.

month 2 concussions

Now at month 5, we’re starting to see a lot of our organic efforts pay off.

This is why we think it’s important to have a multi-pronged approach to both content strategy and promotion. If we only focused on SEO content from the very beginning, it would’ve taken us 5 months to start seeing any conversions result from our efforts. If we only focused on case studies and paid promotion, we would’ve seen an initial influx in traffic and signups, however you’d hit a ceiling both in terms of traffic and leads  — unless you kept increasing budget.

pasted image 0

With our approach of focusing on multiple content frameworks and multiple content promotion tactics, we’re able to see growth from the beginning that scales over time.

month 5 concussion treatment

Content Marketing Results for a B2B SaaS Company That sells to Marketers and Salespeople

Now that we’ve shown the strategy and approach from two newer clients. I want to share how we’ve approached content marketing with one of our clients that’s been with us for nearly 2 years.

The Content Marketing Strategy:

As I mentioned in the first case study, our content marketing strategy has changed a ton since we first started our content marketing agency. As we continue to work with different companies, we test things and scale what works. When we started working with this company, we focused almost exclusively on top of funnel content creation as a way to drive traffic and “thought leadership.”

However, about 5 months in, we had created a couple of blog posts that were along the lines of our pain-point SEO strategies and those posts outperformed all others on the site from a conversions standpoint. So, we decided to double down on that approach because the main goal for this client was to increase the signups per month that they were receiving from the blog.

The Promotion Strategy:

When we started working with this company, our main promotion tactic that we used was community content promotion. As you can see from our traffic graph, it worked well in combination with the top of funnel content we were producing. However, about 5-6 months into working with this company, we started to hit a traffic ceiling so we had to switch our approach.

Around March of 2018 is when we started making the switch to focus on more pain-point SEO content based on the couple of wins we had when testing that approach. We doubled down on that SEO strategy, continued to share content in communities, and started testing FB promotion as well to try to increase traffic over time.

Now, almost all of the traffic comes from our pain-point SEO strategy. First, here’s total pageviews:

traffic growth 2years

And then here’s organic pageviews in the same time period:

Screen Shot 2019 08 15 at 11.16.35 AM

Look at the ratio of organic traffic to total traffic over time. In March 2018, it’s 1,652 Organic sessions on 7,378 total pageviews, that’s 22%. But in the last month on these graphs (July 2019) we see 13,845 organic sessions on 20,829 total pageviews, for a ratio of 66%!

Aside: The big traffic spike in January on the organic side came from moving the blog from a subdomain to a subfolder (for those that still wonder if that’ll make an impact, this graph proves that it does).

In terms of SEO strategy, you may think that after two years of content marketing organic traffic should be much higher than ~14k/month. Yes  — there are a lot of other case studies that show traffic increasing much faster than what we’ve done here. But the reason why we don’t have massive increases in traffic is because our focus has been to increase signups, not go after head keywords that drive tons of traffic and produce little to no signups.

A Look at Conversions:

For this company, we have to measure conversions out of a spreadsheet since they have so much traffic that GA samples their data.

That said, we’ve been measuring conversions volume since the beginning of the engagement and have seen a fairly linear increase now crossing over 150 signups/month.

Screen Shot 2019 08 15 at 11.21.46 AM

Again, I want to drive home the point that many in-house content marketers and agencies chase traffic volume, however, more traffic does not mean more conversions. In this post on content ideation, I shared that “The biggest determinant of whether a blog post will convert is not the call-to-action (CTA) that you place inside of a post, but rather the idea behind the blog post itself.”

This graph proves that point. The strategy we’ve been using has been to identify high-intent keywords to target. We don’t care whether they show ‘0’ volume in any SEO tool, or whether they show ‘100’, or ‘1,000’ traffic potential. What we care about is owning keyword terms that would be likely to convert.

Hence, we don’t only chase traffic, we chase ideas and create quality content that we think will convert. Since working with this company, we’ve been able to increase the conversion rate from our blog posts from a little over 0.2% conversion rate, to now right under 0.8% — a 300% increase in conversion rate. This wasn’t through content upgrades or A/B testing lead magnets, button colors, or some other “hack”, it was just through focusing on the right content strategy of using pain point SEO.

conversion rate of grow and convert blog posts

What You Should Takeaway from This Post About How Long It Takes to See Results from Content Marketing

As you can see from the various case studies we shared, every company gets different results. In the beginning of doing content marketing, you should be looking for indications that your strategy is working by seeing a few conversions coming in — and then over time, you should be looking to compete with yourself on a monthly basis to see traffic and conversions increasing.

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Five Key Customer Service Tips for Real Estate Businesses

Five Key Customer Service Tips for Real Estate Businesses

Providing excellent customer service is imperative in any service-oriented business, but perhaps even more so in real estate. More often than not, the reason a customer chooses one particular real estate agent over another is simply a better rapport and comfort level of being treated right. If you are in the real estate business, you need to be aware of the following five key customer service tips, and be prepared to implement them immediately.

1. Listen

Don’t just stand there with the appropriate head nod inserted every ten seconds or so, actually listen closely to what you customers are telling you. Focus on the details and store them away in your memory bank or even make a note in your smartphone for later. Don’t necessarily start writing down every word they say though. By doing this, you may be paying too much attention to note taking and not enough attention to what they are actually saying.

2. A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

Gone are the days of the pushy real estate broker who tries to sell a broken down, 100-year old shack as quaint and cozy to the family of seven. Lay off the sales persona for a little bit and let the customer service professional shine. Be friendly and approachable instead of smarmy and aggressive. If the property is right, the customer will want to buy it, and all you have to do is be likeable enough for them to want to buy it from you. Alas, as everything else is in life, a little kindness definitely goes a long way.

3. Communication Skills

To be a successful realtor, you are going to need elite communication skills. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and speak confidently, infuse appropriate facts, and ask poignant questions when you need information. You should be an equally effective communicator in email, which is a whole different ball game because you can’t always accurately express the proper emotion or tone in email. Therefore, the need to choose your words carefully is even larger for electronic communication. It’s not much of a leap to say, the better communicator you are, the better realtor you can become.

4. Be A Social Media Butterfly

The great thing about social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is that they are all mostly free. The only thing you might have to pay for is some premium membership plans, which probably aren’t even necessary. Invest some time into establishing yourself effectively on social media, so customers can find you and continue a conversation with you online. Post your listings on your own website and as many social media outlets as you can to acquire the greatest amount of business traffic.

5. Relationship Management

Especially in the world of residential real estate, you are likely to be involved in some of the biggest moments of your client’s lives. Buying a house is a huge investment and buyers are going to want to share that with an agent they trust and feel they have a good business relationship with. Take the time to get to know your clients. Don’t be afraid to ask personal questions, without getting too personal of course. It doesn’t hurt to even spring for a light lunch every now and then, or even buy a gift basket if you remember a special day for them. It’s the little things that will build and manage an effective business relationship. This will allow you to separate yourself from the masses of cold, strictly business realtors out there.

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Elite Salespeople are 200% Better in These 3 Sales Competencies

Elite Salespeople are 200% Better in These 3 Sales Competencies

Professional athletes have one trait in common – they are all very athletic and their skills are among the top several hundred in the world in their particular sport.  For example, in Major League Baseball, there are 30 teams with 25 players each, making those ball players the top 750 in the world.  Dig a little deeper and in each sport there is an even smaller subset of players who are all-stars. Among the top 750 baseball players in the world, just 34, or just a little shy of 5% of that group are named to the all-star team each year.

Professional salespeople have one trait in common – they are all professional salespeople.

Since there are 16 million of them in the USA alone, they are hardly a rare breed and everyone knows someone or a lot of someones who are in sales.  However, once we look at salespeople as a profession, much like sports, around 5% are all-stars.  The difference between an all-star baseball player and a bench player or substitute for one of the 30 teams is that the all-star hitter consistently crushes the ball, the all-star pitcher consistently dominates hitters, and the all-star closer consistently shuts down hitters in the final innings of play.  

In sales, we don’t have substitutes, but we have lots of weak salespeople who are far less effective than subs.  First, there are so many of them it would be like including all 2,500 or so minor league players (A, AA, and AAA leagues), 1,110 or so independent league players who aren’t good enough to play for a minor league team, all 50,000 or so college baseball players, and all 500,000 or so High School players and you still wouldn’t come close to the 8 million inferior salespeople in the USA!

That said, there are some things that the elite salespeople do which weak salespeople aren’t able to do and it doesn’t involve hitting a baseball.

The table below which shows how comfortable salespeople are when it comes to money and related discussions with their prospects, including whether or not they are speaking with the actual decision maker.

talking-money

There are so many take aways from this!

  1. Strong across the board correlation to Sales Percentile
  2. Elite salespeople are score 613% higher in the competency Comfortable Talking about Money
  3. Elite salespeople score 86% higher in Money Tolerance – their concept of how much is a lot of money
  4. Elite salespeople score 23% higher in the competency Buying Habits Support Selling Value – they buy value instead of buying based on price
  5. Elite salespeople score 74% higher at uncovering actual budgets
  6. Elite salespeople score 55% higher in the competency reaching actual decision makers.

When you put it all together, elite salespeople are 200% more likely than their weaker colleagues to succeed at selling value, while having a financial conversation, with a decision maker.  Put another way, a weak salesperson has very little chance of having any kind of financial discussion or even reaching a decision maker.

That begs the question, why do so many companies put up with having so many weak salespeople?

You can see data for hundreds of thousands of salespeople in more than 200 industries in all 21 Sales Core Competencies.  If you want to get serious about selecting and hiring better salespeople you can take OMG’s accurate and predictive Sales Candidate Assessment for a test drive here.

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Pressure on New York City Commercial Real Estate Worries Investors

The real estate market is booming in South Florida. Here are tips for buyers and sellers looking to jump in

Luxury homes in South Florida.
Luxury homes in South Florida. (FloridaStock // Shutterstock)
 

South Florida’s housing market is booming through the COVID-19 pandemic as homebuyers flock from cities in the north with a new ability to do their jobs remotely from anywhere.

While it’s sellers who have the advantage right now — demand is high but supply is limited — there are opportunities for buyers to benefit, as well and local real estate agents are weighing in on how to best take advantage.

A new report shows that Florida has become a popular destination for home buyers from areas like New York, Chicago and Boston. Even rentals of single family homes are up in South Florida, as some families opt for a safer option until the market stabilizes.

Chuck Luciano with South Florida Luxury Advisors in Boca Raton said he hasn’t seen anything like it in the 21 years he has been in the industry.

“Florida has always been a destination where people plan to move. Covid-19 accelerated that, I believe,” Luciano said. “This past four month stretch has been the busiest four months of my career. Most of my buyers are from the big cities trying to get out of the densely populated areas.”

 

The current market with its limited stock of homes has been more beneficial to sellers who haven’t had to lower their prices.

But there are still steps sellers should take to ensure the best price. Jackie Tedesco with United Real Estate Advisors in Weston said the biggest thing sellers can do is get their property appraised by a professional.

 

“It doesn’t matter what type of market it is, price your property at market value and get a professional opinion,”Tedesco said. “You have to compare with other properties in the area.”

Sellers market or not, there are still advantages for potential buyers. Interest rates are lower than before, allowing buyers to purchase more in a house than they would have been able previously, Luciano said.

“Interest rates are historically low. Even though prices are rising, interest rates are still low so they can buy more than they did a year ago,” Luciano said.

He advises that before starting to hunt for a property, buyers should get pre-approved for a loan, as lending requirements are tightening as banks try to protect themselves. Tedesco also advises potential buyers to shop around for the best possible rate.

Both recommend connecting with a local real estate agent rather than going through the process alone. A local agent can find a home that fits a buyer’s specifications, helping them to get properties in better school districts or finding homes in with the best bars or restaurants for younger couples.

Most importantly, a local real estate agent can also find a property in a location that won’t lose much of its value in a cyclical market, something Luciano stresses.

“Take a look at the areas that have historically maintained their values in up and down markets and if you are going to invest when the market is on the higher side, do so with those parameters in place,” Luciano said. “There will come a time when the market will revert. “

Even though the pandemic has changed the way people interact, there are still safe ways for people to look at potential homes. Tedesco recommends wearing a mask at all times and suggests that sellers offer booties to go over shoes to prevent germs from being brought in from the outside.

“Some sellers also already leave their lights on so no one has to touch anything,” Tedesco added.

 
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Bringing the outside into the office: Coronavirus bolsters push towards healthier building design

Bringing the outside into the office: Coronavirus bolsters push towards healthier building design

  • The coronavirus pandemic has bolstered corporate interest in redesigning work space to simulate nature, have better air filtration systems and use more sustainable materials.
  • More companies are embracing biophilic design — the concept of bringing the health benefits of the outdoors inside.
  • Buildings are also adapting to demand for more outdoor work space like terraces, and widespread expectations that employees will be more mobile after the pandemic is contained.
  • “We’re blurring the line between work and home. Your office doesn’t have to be enclosed at your desk, said Asheshh Saheba, a managing partner at the architecture firm Steinberg Hart in San Francisco.
CookFox Architects, a firm in Manhattan that works on sustainability and green spaces in designing buildings, is a showcase for biophilia, with its office building in Midtown equipped with three rooftop terraces.
CookFox Architects, a firm in Manhattan that works on sustainability and green spaces in designing buildings, is a showcase for biophilia, with its office building in Midtown equipped with three rooftop terraces.
CookFox Architects

Even as the coronavirus pandemic worsens in the U.S., stay-at-home orders in some areas have loosened and companies have sent some workers back to offices with social distancing restrictions, temperature checks and plexiglass sneeze barriers.

These new health precautions amid Covid-19 are new for offices. But architects and office designers have long worked on innovations to make corporate space healthier and better for the environment — projects they say will be in higher demand even as millions work from home and corporations rethink their need for future office space.
 

“When you go back, when I go back, people will look at office buildings differently,” said Joseph Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“The plexiglass will go away, but the attention to air quality, water quality, lighting and acoustics will stay,” Allen said.

Designers say the pandemic has bolstered corporate interest in redesigning work space to simulate nature, have better air filtration systems and use more materials that are better for the environment.

“Covid-19 accelerated our corporate clients’ interest in health and wellness. These are inextricably linked with work that is better for the environment,” said Gail Napell, a sustainability specialist and leader in design resilience at the architecture firm Gensler.

Napell said the company’s projects, which focus on lowering the carbon footprint of buildings and creating a healthier working space, have been accelerating.

 

“We believe our goals will create great places for people and for the habitability and health of the planet. At this point in history, this is essential. We are where we are,” Napell said. “The real estate community has the opportunity for enormous positive global climate and well-being impact.”

The Titan Student Union in the Cal State Fullerton campus has a central triple-height atrium nearly entirely daylit with skylights and other sustainable features including a cool roof, solar shading, daylight sensors and a HVAC system.
The Titan Student Union in the Cal State Fullerton campus has a central triple-height atrium nearly entirely daylit with skylights and other sustainable features including a cool roof, solar shading, daylight sensors and a HVAC system.
Steinberg Hart / Lawrence Anderson

Push towards biophilic design

Companies have been increasingly embracing biophilic design — the concept of bringing the health benefits of the outdoors inside while cutting down on energy costs and boosting employee health and performance.

“The basic theory of biophilic design is enjoying the richness and complexity of nature and using the amazing ecosystem as a stress reduction tool to make our lives better,” said Rick Cook, the founder of CookFox, a Manhattan-based architecture firm that works on sustainability and green spaces in designing buildings.

“We discovered people have higher cognitive performance when you design with these ideas in mind,” Cook continued. “We started out trying to make buildings and spaces better for the environment … what we stumbled on is how to make buildings quantifiably better for people.” 

Biophilic concepts include incorporating green walls with plants that help clean the air; natural materials like wood into spaces; indoor water features like ponds and waterfalls; and circadian lights that provide different color temperatures to keep the body’s internal clock in line, such as lighter white lighting to mimic daylight.

“All of these things were already on the rise. Covid-19 happened and no one could have been prepared for it,” Cook said. “Now, the option for outdoor space will be in higher demand and high quality air filtration — people will pay much more attention to this.”

Pictured is an energy efficient LED module that supplements a main ceiling lighting system set on circadian rhythms. Lights that have different color temperatures and intensities throughout the day help keep the body's internal clock in line.
Pictured is an energy efficient LED module that supplements a main ceiling lighting system set on circadian rhythms. Lights that have different color temperatures and intensities throughout the day help keep the body’s internal clock in line.
 

Americans spend over 90% of their lives inside, where indoor air pollution is up to five times worse than outdoor pollution, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Indoor pollutants like smoke, dust, mold and chemicals from certain paints, cleaners and building materials are particularly harmful.

Research shows that offices with artificial lighting, a lack of windows and poor ventilation create more stress for workers and impair decision-making abilities, according to research published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

However, working in a room with natural light helps boost productivity and mental health, and employees who are exposed to natural light in offices sleep better because the light improves circadian rhythms, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

“Covid-19 has accelerated the healthy buildings movement,” Allen said. “Every sector is now talking about what they need to do for health in the building, for Covid-19, infectious disease transmission and beyond.”

Constructing healthier buildings

The pandemic has also put a spotlight on constructing new spaces that are adaptable to changing workplace norms and a need for more sustainable buildings to mitigate climate change.

Asheshh Saheba, a managing partner at the architecture firm Steinberg Hart in San Francisco, said his company has been working on designing buildings with parking and garage structures that can adapt to changing commuting habits, as the pandemic has bolstered transportation practices that are better for the environment, like biking and walking.

Buildings are also adapting to demand for more outdoor work space, such as terraces, and widespread expectations that employees will be more mobile after the pandemic is contained.

“To be in an office and step out onto the terrace — that interaction with nature is something that for a while has been missing from office building design,” Saheba said.

“We’re blurring the line between work and home,” he added. “Your office doesn’t have to be enclosed at your desk.”

The San Francisco office of firm DCI Engineers incorporates sustainable and natural materials like cross-laminated timber and highlights the visual connection with the outdoors through curated view corridors out to the San Francisco Bay.
The San Francisco office of firm DCI Engineers incorporates sustainable and natural materials like cross-laminated timber and highlights the visual connection with the outdoors through curated view corridors out to the San Francisco Bay.
Steinberg Hart / Vittoria Zupicich

Building developers are also turning to more sustainable and natural materials like mass timber, or solid wood panels, rather than concrete or steel that emit more carbon dioxide.

Offices built with more mass timber store carbon and offset greenhouse gas emissions, reduce labor resources and produce a light and natural interior, which can have positive health impacts on the people working there, partly by enhancing biophilic design.

“The environment feels different, being surrounded in a space that’s of a natural material made of wood, there’s a sense of warmth that you get with these materials,” Saheba said.

“People who work or live in an environment like this, they’re more inclined to take less sick days, they’re also more inclined to feel that they’re still connected to the outside,” he continued.

Better ventilation

One way to add nature to an office space is adding houseplants, as the office of CookFox Architects in Manhattan did here.
One way to add nature to an office space is adding houseplants, as the office of CookFox Architects in Manhattan did here.
CookFox Architects

When people eventually return to offices after Covid-19, a major challenge for designers is to bring in more outdoor air and better ventilate office buildings without increasing the building’s energy consumption.

Modern office buildings typically have tightly sealed windows to increase energy efficiency, a positive design for the environment but one that traps in and circulates airborne contaminants, an issue builders are increasingly tackling because of Covid-19.

“For a long time, we were building hermetically sealed office buildings that kept us inside and the outside outside,” Saheba said. “What we’ve discovered, especially with the pandemic, is that a hermetically sealed environment puts us at some level of challenge.”

Marta Schantz, senior vice president for the Greenprint Center for Building Performance at the Urban Land Institute, said Covid-19 has increased the demand for high quality air filters in ventilation systems and more elevator usage because of social distancing requirements.

“With the big push towards healthier buildings, there is a risk that it ends up causing more energy usage in the building,” she said. “Balancing the need for extremely healthy buildings with extremely sustainable buildings is something the real estate market is still working through.”

Author:

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Emma Newburger

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Does Money Really Affect Motivation? A Review of the Research

Does Money Really Affect Motivation? A Review of the Research

How much should people earn? Even if resources were unlimited, it would be difficult to stipulate your ideal salary. Intuitively, one would think that higher pay should produce better results, but scientific evidence indicates that the link between compensation, motivation and performance is much more complex. In fact, research suggests that even if we let people decide how much they should earn, they would probably not enjoy their job more.

Even those who highlight the motivational effects of money accept that pay alone is not sufficient. The basic questions are: Does money make our jobs more enjoyable? Or can higher salaries actually demotivate us?

Let’s start with the first: does money engage us? The most compelling answer to this question is a meta-analysis by Tim Judge and colleagues. The authors reviewed 120 years of research to synthesize the findings from 92 quantitative studies. The combined dataset included over 15,000 individuals and 115 correlation coefficients.

The results indicate that the association between salary and job satisfaction is very weak. The reported correlation (r = .14) indicates that there is less than 2% overlap between pay and job satisfaction levels. Furthermore, the correlation between pay and pay satisfaction was only marginally higher (r = .22 or 4.8% overlap), indicating that people’s satisfaction with their salary is mostly independent of their actual salary.

In addition, a cross-cultural comparison revealed that the relationship of pay with both job and pay satisfaction is pretty much the same everywhere (for example, there are no significant differences between the U.S., India, Australia, Britain, and Taiwan).

A similar pattern of results emerged when the authors carried out group-level (or between-sample) comparisons. In their words: “Employees earning salaries in the top half of our data range reported similar levels of job satisfaction to those employees earning salaries in the bottom-half of our data range” (p.162). This is consistent with Gallup’s engagement research, which reports no significant difference in employee engagement by pay level. Gallup’s findings are based on 1.4 million employees from 192 organizations across 49 industries and 34 nations.

These results have important implications for management: if we want an engaged workforce, money is clearly not the answer. In fact, if we want employees to be happy with their pay, money is not the answer. In a nutshell: money does not buy engagement.

But that doesn’t answer the question: does money actually demotivate? Some have argued it does, that there is a natural tension between extrinsic and intrinsic motives, and that financial rewards can ultimately depress or “crowd out” intrinsic goals (e.g., enjoyment, sheer curiosity, learning or personal challenge).

Despite the overwhelming number of laboratory experiments carried out to evaluate this argument — known as the overjustification effect — there is still no consensus about the degree to which higher pay may demotivate. However, two articles deserve particular consideration.

The first is a classic meta-analysis by Edward Deci and colleagues. The authors synthesized the results from 128 controlled experiments. The results highlighted consistent negative effects of incentives — from marshmallows to dollars — on intrinsic motivation. These effects were particularly strong when the tasks were interesting or enjoyable rather than boring or meaningless.

More specifically, for every standard deviation increase in reward, intrinsic motivation for interesting tasks decreases by about 25%. When rewards are tangible and foreseeable (if subjects know in advance how much extra money they will receive) intrinsic motivation decreases by 36%. (Importantly, some have argued that for uninteresting tasks extrinsic rewards — like money — actually increase motivation. See, for instance, a meta-analysis by Judy Cameron and colleagues.) Deci et al’s conclusion was that “strategies that focus primarily on the use of extrinsic rewards do, indeed, run a serious risk of diminishing rather than promoting intrinsic motivation” (p. 659).

The second article is a recent study by Yoon Jik Cho and James Perry. The authors analyzed real-world data from a representative sample of over 200,000 U.S. public sector employees. The results showed that employee engagement levels were three times more strongly related to intrinsic than extrinsic motives, but that both motives tend to cancel each other out. In other words, when employees have little interest in external rewards, their intrinsic motivation has a substantial positive effect on their engagement levels. However, when employees are focused on external rewards, the effects of intrinsic motives on engagement are significantly diminished. This means that employees who are intrinsically motivated are three times more engaged than employees who are extrinsically motivated (such as by money). Quite simply, you’re more likely to like your job if you focus on the work itself, and less likely to enjoy it if you’re focused on money. This finding was true even at low salary levels (remember, as per Gallup and Judge et al, there’s no correlation between engagement and salary levels). Now, a skeptic might ask if this is just a correlation showing that people who don’t like their jobs have nothing to think about other than the money. This is hard to test. Yes, that could be one reason; another could be that people who focus too much on money are preventing themselves from enjoying their jobs.

This research also begs the question: Is this a money-focused, engagement-eroding mindset one that employees can change? Or is does it reflect an innate mindset — some people happen to be more focused on extrinsic rewards, while others are more focused on the task itself? We don’t know. But my guess is that which you’re focused on depends mostly on the match between your interests and skills and the tasks you’ve been given. And in theory, your mindset should be malleable — the brain is remarkably plastic. We can try to teach people that if they focus on the task itself and try to identify positive aspects of the process, they will enjoy it more than if they are just focused on the consequences (rewards) of performing the task. The analogy here is that it’s much more motivating to go for a run because it’s fun than because I must get fit or lose some weight.

The fact that there is little evidence to show that money motivates us, and a great deal of evidence to suggest that it actually demotivates us, supports the idea that that there may be hidden costs associated with rewards. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we should work for free. We all need to pay our bills and provide for our families — but once these basic needs are covered the psychological benefits of money are questionable. In a widely cited paper, Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton reported that, in the U.S., emotional well-being levels increase with salary levels up to a salary of $75,000 — but that they plateau afterwards. Or, as Arnold Schwarzenegger once stated: “Money doesn’t make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.”

But one size does not fit all. Our relationship to money is highly idiosyncratic. Indeed, in the era of personalization, when most things can now be customized to fit our needs — from social media feeds to potential dates, to online shopping displays and playlists — it is somewhat surprising that compensation systems are still based on the premise that what works for some people will also work for everyone else.

Other than its functional exchange value, pay is a psychological symbol, and the meaning of money is largely subjective. For example, there are marked individual differences in people’s tendency to think or worry about money, and different people value money for different reasons (e.g., as a means to power, freedom, security, or love). If companies want to motivate their workforce, they need to understand what their employees really value — and the answer is bound differ for each individual. Research shows that different values are differentially linked to engagement. For example, income goals based on the pursuit of power, narcissism, or overcoming self-doubt are less rewarding and effective than income goals based on the pursuit of security, family support, and leisure time. Perhaps it is time to compensate people not only according to what they know or do, but also for what they want.

Finally, other research shows that employees’ personalities are much better predictors of engagement than their salaries. The most compelling study in this area is a large meta-analytic review of 25,000 participants, where personality determined 40% of the variability in ratings of job satisfaction. The more emotionally stable, extraverted, agreeable or conscientious people are, the more they tend to like their jobs (irrespective of their salaries). But the personality of employees’ is not the most important determinant of their engagement levels. In fact, the biggest organizational cause of disengagement is incompetent leadership. Thus, as a manager, it’s your personality that will have a significant impact on whether your employees are engaged at work, or not.

Author

Harvard Business Review

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is the Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup, a professor of business psychology at University College London and at Columbia University, and an associate at Harvard’s Entrepreneurial Finance Lab. He is the author of Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (and How to Fix It), upon which his TEDx talk was based. Find him on Twitter: @drtcp or at www.drtomas.com.   

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6 MUST HAVES FOR A GREAT COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE MARKETING PACKAGE

6 MUST HAVES FOR A GREAT COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE MARKETING PACKAGE

I was car shopping recently. It’s an activity that I don’t particularly enjoy. For me, cars are a utility. Something that I need to own in order to live a modern, suburban lifestyle. It is a means of getting me from point A to point B; which most often imparts transporting children from home to school, school to practice field, to friends homes and so on. So, it struck it me when I left the dealership and sat in my soon-to-be-traded-in Volkswagen, thumbing through the new car marketing package, just how captivated I was by the glossy feel of the paper, the smell of freshly printed ink, the beautiful photographs and mostly by the general completeness of the materials I’d been handed. Everything I needed to make an informed decision, or at least make an intelligent comparison against competitive brands was right there.

In his book Value Added, Successful Strategies For Listing And Selling Investment Real Estateauthor Brad Umansky says“A great marketing package does not have to be a book, but rather it should include information that will help you sell your deal”. My experience sitting outside the car dealership exemplified this. I wasn’t handed stacks of paper with emissions ratings, nor was I given excruciating details on the manufacturing processes, I was provided with just the information that I required to move toward a purchase decision. Granted, presentation was important and the Mazda marketing team had done a super job of that, but that aside, I was holding the information I needed. The same should be true in approaching your commercial real estate marketing package.

Winning a new listing, your instincts are probably to get it communicated to the marketplace as quickly as possible. Maybe you’ll do some direct mail, postcards or an email marketing blast to get the word out. But as buyers and investors start to make inquiries, you’re going to need a marketing package to communicate the full details of your offering and give your targeted audience the tools they need to begin making a decision.

A thorough, high-quality commercial real estate marketing package says a lot about you as a company. This is the time where you want to consider making an investment in a professionally designed package. If you don’t have the resources in-house to do this, a commercial real estate marketing company with a track record of successfully helping their clients can be just the thing you need. A high quality marketing package will increase your chances of actually selling your listing. It will also make your company stand apart from the competition by differentiating your brand and clearly presenting your offering. In the end though, remember that it’s function and not form that matters most, so be sure to check for these elements in developing your package.

Overview – This is the first section a prospective party will see, so be sure that it includes a great photo and some high level deal points such as cap rate, price, and the property address. Remember the property, not your brokerage, should take center stage here, so make sure it is clearly featured.

Highlights – Be sure to have a section that quickly conveys the most salient points of the offering at a high level. More specific information can be addressed deeper in the offering package or during face-to-face meeting. If the prospective client reads nothing else, this should give them enough information to have a good sense for the potential deal.

Maps & Photos – A map should be big and clear and convey some market intelligence. Just including an aerial from Google Earth is not enough. Maps are an excellent opportunity to show the value your add. Use overlays to distinguish key demos in areas surrounding the property or illustrate traffic flow patterns to give a sense for potential drive by business for the location. Be sure to use clear labels. A few professionally taken photos will build interest, but hopefully stimulate a desire for a site visit as well.

Financials – If your offering is for an income-producing property, you should include a rent roll that briefly profiles each tenant, painting a picture of current and future opportunity. The financials section should also include a proforma that projects income and cash flow. A brief accompanying narrative telling how you came to your numbers will instill the prospect with confidence in your approach. Keep the presentation of this information clean and simple, this is ultimately a marketing piece not an IRS filing.

Market data – Tell a little more about the area surrounding your offering. As always, it’s location that matters. If an area is developing, show that trend and tell that story. Also include employment trends, demographics, an economic base analysis, major employers in the area, population growth figures, as well as some data on local rent and vacancy trends.

A little about you – We’ve come back to this idea a lot, but commercial real estate is all about personal relationship building. Take an opportunity to briefly tell about your firm. Try to avoid the boiler-plate stuff and let the prospect know your company and its people a little more personally. As business people, that probably flies in the face of how we’ve been programmed, but if selling is all about connecting, then a little discomfort could pay dividends.

These are just the essentials for a great commercial real estate marketing package. It would not be unusual to vary these elements and include others depending on your offering, your firm and the current market. With a little experimentation, you’ll likely find a seventh essential that’s important for your marketing package.

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Want A Steady Stream Of Income From Investor Clients?

Want A Steady Stream Of Income From Investor Clients?

What if you had a steady stream of income by having several investors as customers?

Customers who bought and sold multiple properties per year through you. Month after month… Year after year. Would this dramatically increase your income? Absolutely!

A secret to sales is saying the exact right words in every real estate situation.

For instance it’s a skill to effortlessly turn sign calls into in-office appointments. By asking carefully worded questions, you may bring out the latent investor in all of your prospects. Working with investors is an easy way to multiply your real estate sales income

What are the magic words to say to investors?

Watch the video below for the secret to working with investors, then call me (here’s the number: 480-385-8810) to see how using the exact right words in every real estate situation will get you:

• more sellers,
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• more contracts written,
• more contracts accepted,
• more listings priced right, and yes…
• more investors —faster!

Let’s have a short (and super-friendly) phone conversation so I can get to know your business and show how to ramp it up with more listings, more referrals, and more closings for an incredibly profitable real estate business!

I’d love to to talk about your business, and answer any questions you may have. I’d love to explain what it is we do, and, if it’s a good fit, how we can help you build your business to make more money than you every imagined possible!

Our Coaching offers a completely different alternative to old fashioned, overpriced, traditional coaching programs where you are constantly asked about your “Big Why” and constantly asked to report your numbers. When your coach is doing that, you know they have run out of skills to teach you. Their answer to your problem is always just to “do more”.

We are completely different than Mike Ferry coaching, Tom Ferry Coaching, Kevin Ward Coaching, Craig Proctor coaching, Corcoran coaching, The Core Training, Market leader coaching, By Referral Only coaching, MAPS coaching, Bold Training, GSD Mode, Joshua Smith coaching, Tim and Julie Harris coaching, Brian Buffini etc.

What we do instead is focused on your sales skills, your schedule, and your systems, all aimed at dramatically increasing the dollars per hour you are earning.

We will not be selling you on spending money on marketing, websites, real estate lead capture platforms, social media, Zillow, Realtor.com, running Facebook Ads. None of that has anything to do with your Sales skills or you making money in real estate as a Realtor!

Call me at 480-385-8810. I’d love to hear about your business!

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5 “Golden Rules” of Excellent Real Estate Customer Service

5 "Golden Rules" of Excellent Real Estate Customer Service

 

photodune-267921-thank-you-note-coffee-s“I’m never too busy for your referrals!” This popular tagline is front and center in countless real estate agent email signatures.  Though I agree it doesn’t hurt to remind clients to recommend you to their friends and family, referrals should be a natural outcome of providing excellent service and a job well done. When you provide a great customer experience, people can’t help but boast about you!

As a customer service manager, I analyze how I am treated during interactions with vendors (both in personal and professional settings) and use my experiences to motivate my own behavior and guidance on how customers should be treated. I draw from THE Golden Rule we are all taught as children: Treat others as you would like to be treated. The easiest way to learn how to provide great service is to act like a customer, an especially critical thing to remember when you’re working in an industry where emotions and stakes are always running high.

I recommend everyone in a customer-oriented position follow this practice. Become aware of what a great customer experience feels like and use that insight to identify what it takes to create that experience. I used my experiences to develop 5 “Golden Rules” that you can use to build a pipeline of lifelong customers.

  1. Let empathy be your guide:

    Having empathy means having the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand what that person is feeling. No matter the circumstances (first time buyer, investor, downsizer, re-locator) a real estate transaction is a big deal and it’s always personal. Whether you have to deliver bad news or you feel like a client is being a pest, take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. Empathy not only helps you to relate to your clients, but feeling empathetic will also help guide your ability to communicate, problem-solve, react and at the very least make the customer feel understood.

  1. Be engaged & responsive:

    Clients expect immediate follow up (which makes lead nurturing software like Zurple great, especially for new leads). In real estate, you aren’t treated like an organization with business hours – you will get calls and emails after hours and on weekends.

    The key isn’t necessarily being available to answer emails at 1am (work/life balance is a great topic for another day). Instead, the key is reacting in a timely manner – and if you don’t have all the answers don’t leave your customer hanging. Keep them updated and try to give accurate timeframes whenever possible. Make it a priority to follow through when you say you will.

    Pro Tip:
    Let Conversations help! Our intelligent software automates fast, relevant, effective  lead follow-up. See how it works

  1. Remember abc – always be communicative:

    Good, clear communication is highly underrated in a high speed world of “lol” and “omg”. How you communicate and how well you communicate will leave a strong impression on a client. Taking time to construct a thoughtful, well-written email or calling instead of texting for more important discussions will give your client great comfort that they are in good hands.

  1. Go the extra mile:

    Give your clients a “wow” moment whenever possible – and keep in mind that wow moments don’t have to be complicated. They can be as simple as providing additional information that was not requested. Think beyond the stated question and seek the implied follow up question – so when your client asks “what are the HOAs at this condo?” don’t just provide the HOAs for that one unit. Follow up with more information – maybe some comparable condos where HOAs are lower and ask questions about what amenities are important to them so you can guide their search.

     

  1. Show your appreciation:

    You are nothing without your customers so be sure to show them how much you care. Make sure your clients feel appreciated for choosing to work with you. Many agents do this with a closing gift (already a great concept), but rather than going the generic route, choose something meaningful. We compiled a list of a few ideas here.

    A handwritten “thank you” note makes a great impression too. To show true appreciation let them know why you enjoyed working with them (i.e. were they patient, funny, knowledgeable, easy-going?). Also try sending them a note or give them a call to wish them a “Happy Anniversary” to celebrate the date they closed or moved in. There are countless ways to make people feel special but these small acts of kindness can go a long way in building personal connections with your clients.

Empathy may sound easy, but if you are having a bad day it can be difficult to see someone else’s perspective. It’s easy to have a great idea for a closing gift but it takes effort to make the purchase. It’s easy to find out the HOA fees on that condo but it takes enterprise to dig deeper. Real estate is all about relationships and the strongest relationships take effort.

Providing great real estate customer service is an incredible way to build trust and loyalty. Apply these “Golden Rules” diligently to wow your clients and increase referral business.

Author:

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Michelle Salatto


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