Gary Elwood

Author Archives: Gary Elwood

How to Kill a Sale: 5 Stupid Tactics

Buying and selling real estate in a recession is no easy task. You have to work hard. And your margin for error is a whole heck of a lot thinner than when things are good. I’ve been in real estate long enough to see my fair share of booms and busts. And I’ve been in real estate long enough to know which sales tactics will lead to success–and which will lead to failure.

These latter tactics, the ones that kill deals, are all too common in our business. If you are not familiar with them, take a peek to see if you are making any of them. And see how you can avoid them.

1. Chase Dead Leads

Getting a warm body on the phone or in person in today’s economy can make some salespeople giddy. And it can blind them. Real estate agents are no exception. We get someone interested in us to help him buy a house. He’s got a few picked out. You immediately agree, jump in your SUV and pick them up. Three weeks and ten homes later you learn he’s got a poor credit score and is underemployed.

That would be a dead lead. You didn’t just kill a sale. You never had one to begin with. It was DOA. Next time around find out if they both have the desire and ability to buy. Stick them in your marketing funnel if they don’t.

2. Sell Features Before Benefits

Fireplace. Low utility bills. Close to downtown. In-ground pool. All of these are great things. They are also features. And can mean a thousand things to a thousand different people.

An in-ground pool sounds like work. Come to think of it, so does a fireplace. And what does low-utility bills mean to me? And close to downtown–so what? Next time around sell them on the benefits. Save money. Be the most popular guy in the subdivision. Romance your wife with a fire in the fall. Save time commuting so you can spend it with your family. Those are the benefits of the features I mentioned above. That’s what will sell him. Not the features.

3. Raise Objections Too Soon

Answering objections that your prospect or client raise is essential. But don’t get ahead of yourself and answer those objections before they have even been raised. Sure, you can cover some obvious objections, but leave the other stuff for them to raise. Don’t hide anything illegal from them. Just don’t point out issues that they may not being looking for.

4. Wait for the Prospect to Move

There are a hundred ways to skin a cat. There are a hundred ways to kill a deal. Some quickly. Others slowly. Putting the ball into the client’s court–and leaving it there–will more than likely lead to a dead deal. Keep the ball in your court and you keep the sale alive. You keep the sale moving. Tell them you will call them at such-and-such date and time to follow up. Tell them what you need them to do next. Control the sale and you won’t kill the sale.

5. Fail to Listen

You can, however, control a sale to death. In your passion and excitement to keep the deal and live and moving forward you might find yourself talking over, around and through your client. You say you hear their concerns and desires, but you aren’t listening to them. You are too busy moving forward. Too busy to listen. This is a great way to shoot yourself in the foot. Don’t do it. Slow down. Listen to your client. Ask questions. Check his pulse every once in a while. What’s he thinking about? Anything he needs to share? Probe, and then listen carefully.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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6 Easy Ideas to Spark Engagement with Social Media

Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Google+?

Do you struggle with what to share on those platforms? If it doesn’t come natural to you it can be very hard to use social media to promote your business.

I know. I’m kind of in that boat. That’s why I thought I would share with you six ideas that I’ve found worked exceptionally well when it comes to getting your social media fans to engage with you.

1. Comment on News

Whether it is a long-form rant on your blog or a simple blast on Twitter, take to the social media air waves when something in your industry happens. Follow all of the normal sources, but always look for those little-forgotten voices for unsuspecting and interesting commentary.

2. Tell Them What You Do

You’ll notice that I didn’t add the word “New” to this sub-section. Why? Simple. Most people don’t know the full scope of what you offer, so it pays to educate them. Every so often explain an area of your work. It could be that you help in relocation or land acquisition. Maybe you have a background in commercial or experience with military families. Let your followers know.

3. Invite Clients to Events

Social media is a great place to make special announcements about events or promotions. I like to tell agents to follow an approach where they sprinkle in invitations months a head, and then as the event or promotion nears, they can pick up the pace of the invitations, thus building anticipation.

4. Share a New Video

Video is the new–and most popular–kid on the block, so you’ll want to take advantage of this technology. What makes it so popular is that all you need is an iPhone to make a video. You can spend a few hundred dollars for a semi-professional set-up. Your choice. What should you record? Treat the videos like market updates or customer testimonials. Really, you are only limited by your imagination.

5. Give Thanks

It’s always a good idea to tell current and former clients how much you appreciate their business. Use social media to ask them for referrals, too. If you grease the wheels with flattery and thanks, then getting that recommendation comes a lot easier.

6. Offer Free Information

Finally, give stuff away. It could be a book or a $40 Lowe’s card. It doesn’t have to be that expensive. You could offer to do home evaluations or give away a a PDF you put together about home staging tips. Free stuff draws people in. You don’t have to, but it’s always a good idea to ask for an email in exchange for the free gift.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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7-Step Checklist for Growing Your Real Estate Business

You’ve been in real estate for a number of years. You’ve managed to stitch together a successful little one-man or -woman shop where you make one-and-a-half times more than you made when you worked for someone else. You’ve even hired an assistant or two. And the growth bug starts to bite.

What should you do to grow your real estate business? How do you go about it? This 7-step checklist is a great place to start.

Know Your Mission

It all starts with what you are trying to accomplish. And it’s not just about buying and selling houses. Provide high-quality service in a market trained to believe that real estate agents are snake-oil salesmen? Help families get out from bank-breaking mortgages fast? Bringing joy to low-income families?

Get the Infrastructure

A good business is built on a good foundation. That foundation includes basics like contact management systems to the office space you rent. Look for partnerships that will fill your weaknesses and leverage your strengths.

Get the Right Team

Hire and fire fast. The best interviewers admit that they make bad hires–even after they’ve filtered candidates through a rigorous process. My opinion is to find the right people and get them on the bus. If after three months they are not working out, fire and re-hire.

Create Strong Purpose and Ethics

Why do you exist? How are you going to put a dent in the universe? Are you hoping to turn your city into the best place to live in the U.S.? Do you want to make a difference for families with disabled children? That purpose and ethic will energize you and your team.

Pay Attention to the Details

Some people tell you NOT to sweat the small stuff. That’s rubbish. You need to obsesses about every word you say and speak, every move you make with body language. Be meticulous with what you say on your business card, real estate listings and website. Make sure you smile every time you meet someone, and ALWAYS compliment them.

Listen to Your Prospects and Clients

Ask for feedback from people you meet on the street and talk to on the phone. Monitor the social web to see what people are saying on Twitter or Facebook. Send out an email survey two or three times a year to past clients.

Act on Feedback

Pull all that feedback into a central database. It could be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet. Create columns for good and positive feedback and bad and negative feedback. How can you use that information to grow and improve? Are there opportunities you could jump on? Are there threats you need to avoid? Do you see your strengths? What are your weaknesses?

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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How to Attract and Keep Clients with Facebook Groups

One of the most basic strategies for improving email newsletter conversion is segmentation: breaking your list down into relevant groups, and then creating targeted content for that audience.

That narrow focus can give you double-digit percentage bumps in your conversion rate. So, if it works so well for email, will work with your Facebook audience?

Great question, right? Well, the answer is yes. It will work.

How to Create a Facebook Group

Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to set up a Facebook Group. Here are the steps:

  • Login into your Facebook Page.
  • Land on the Home page.
  • Navigate to the left column.
  • Click on “Create a Group.”

Voila! You are done. Now you just need to do that two more times. Let me show you what I mean.

Open Groups: Finding New Clients

An open Facebook Group is just that: open to anyone to join. But there is a secret to creating a lively and engaged Group. If you are appealing to a large audience, then it’s going to be messy and unweildly.

Or it may be unresponsive.

Instead, you need to tighten up your focus. Center the Group around a niche. This doesn’t have to business related. For instance, it could be “Seattle Classical Music Lovers” or “Austin Marathon Runners.”

A business related Open Group could be “Austin Minimalist Lifestyles” or “Seattle Bungalow Addicts.”

Member-Only Groups: Networking with Past Clients

The member-only group is how you can create a close-knit community of people. Give them personalized, private messages and content and in return they’ll give you focused feedback, input and even referrals.

The members of this club have exclusive access to you and your team. Other members can help other members, too.

Closed Groups: Supporting Current Clients

This group is really just another members-only…except this time the members are your current clients. When you segment this way you end up cutting down on clumsy email clutter, and get to centralize all your information.

Unlike the members-only group, people can see who is in this group. They just can’t see what is being shared. Questions and comments and thoughts shared do not go public, making your clients feel comfortable to share–and not have what they share end up on someone else’s stream.

You can share documents in this group, announce new listings, events and closings. This gives a lot of people an opportunity to celebrate successes, and help others through certain failures.

New home owners, for example, can ask experienced home owners advice about how to navigate through particular obstacles.


Segmenting your Facebook Groups will lead to more productivity and profitability. It really is worth biting the bullet and setting up segment-centric groups inside Facebook.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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Get What You Want: 4 Steps

Do you know what these five things have in common? Houses. Marriage. Cars. Flights. Raises.

They all involve two or more people. They all require an exchange of some sort. And they all involve negotiations.

Being successful in negotiations is all about getting what you want. The car, the raise, the girl. But this isn’t all about ruthless selfishness. No. Successful negotiation involves something deeper.

Here are the steps you need to take to get there.

Step #1 – Build rapport with your partner

Because there is always someone else on the other side of the table when it comes to negotiations, that person needs to like you. They need to trust you if you want to walk away with what you want.

How do you get someone to trust you? Here are some tips:

  • Mirror body language. Is your partner leaning back in his chair with his hands folded? Do the same. Is your partner standing with his hands on his hips? Do the same. Is he drinking coffee? Do the same.
  • Look into his eyes. Shady and insecure people avoid eye contact. They stare at the ceiling, the wall or out the window, but rarely look at their partner. This will rob you of trust with that person. Who wants to deal with someone they can’t trust? If you are insecure, then they may try to take advantage of you.
  • Mimic the voice. Is your partner soft spoken? Then lower your voice. Is he a fast talker? Then speed up your cadence. Does he avoid foul language? Do the same. Match speed, tone and flavor to make your partner like you.

Know Both Position and Interest of Other Party

Knowing your partner’s position is one thing. Knowing their interests takes the game to a whole new level. Let me explain.

Position trades in the mechanics of a negotiation: “I need a house. I only have $90,000 to spend.” Interest trades in the why: “I just re-located for a job in an economically depressed region of the United States. I have eight children and my wife has cancer.

You, as a real estate agent, are no longer trying to help them buy a house. You are trying to help them make life easier for this struggling family.

Take the time to understand both the position and interests of your clients and you can get what you want.

Get on the Same Page

Failing to reach a satisfying conclusion often occurs because two people are not on the same page. One is thinking about moving into the house right now while the other is crunching monthly mortgage payments and calculating annual taxes.

These two people will not come to a satisfactory conclusion unless they both get on the same page.

If you find yourself in this situation, seek to help that person on their level. Suggest that you will help them think through the numbers, and when you are both satisfied, then you both will talk about moving in.

Overcome Objections with Conditions

Even after all that hard work your partner may still resist closing the deal. One or two red flags still nag at them. You have to alleviate their concerns with a condition.

Fore instance, if your client is holding off on an ideal home (and you’ve already looked at eleven) because of concerns about radon treatment, instead of losing the deal, suggest something like this: “If we can convince them to pay for the radon test and installation, will you put in an offer right now?”


Negotiations are really not that hard. In fact, developing a relentless curiosity on the other person’s needs will actually make the negotiations fun. It’s sort of like figuring out a complex puzzle.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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5 Time Management Tips to Make You More Profitable

Productivity is key to making more money. The more productive you are the more profitable you are.

On the other hand, the longer it takes you to finish a task, the less money you make.

This is why it’s key to learn ways to manage your time. Here are five that will help you do just that.

1. Difficult Things First

Leaving the hardest or most difficult task for the end of the day when you are tired and stressed out is not the best use of time. Instead, jump on your most challenging project first. And promise yourself a reward when you get done. That reward could be working on the fun part of your business. And that reward will motivate you to stay on target and get the most difficult things done first.

2. Be Stingy

Don’t let other people encroach on your to-do list. And don’t let them elevate their to-do list above yours. If it is a client, again, tell them that as soon as you finish X,Y and Z (which should always be high-dollar productivity tasks), then you can help. Client emergencies will rob you of time and money. Be stingy.

3. Do Things in a Quick and Dirty Fashion

We are most productive when in 90 minute busts of work. This means you should set a timer on your phone–and then work your tail off until your time is up. The secret to this productivity trick is not getting interrupted. No phones, texts, email or Facebook. And if someone walks into your office then look at your timer and say, “I’d love to help you but give me until X.”

4. Touch It Once

One of the biggest time wasters in the world is covering tracks you’ve already covered. You can usually spot these people because their desks are piled with paperwork and their inboxes are clogged with open emails. Instead, make a decision on the spot on what you need to do with any kind of report, request, letter, email and so on. Can you throw it away? File it? Respond? Knock it out? Delegate it? Put it in a to-do pile for the following day? This will keep items from piling up on you and overwhelming you.

5. Set a Deadline with Every Expectation

First things first: make sure you and your client are on the same page by setting up expectations. Spell out exactly what you will do–and then put a time limit on it. For example, say to a client, “I will do X and Y by Z.” And expect the same from them. Say to a client, “I need you to do A and B by C. Can you do it?” If they agree, confirm it in your calendar and send a reminder email that summarizes what you agreed on.


Productivity and time management are all about getting work done so you can make more money. The less time you spend on a task, the higher your per hour rate will go up.  That’s why it truly pays to be more effecient and effective.

What other ways have you found that help you to manage your time better?

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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How to Leave Compelling Voice Mail Messages

Cold calling is probably the least favorite activity of most real estate agents. At any given time you could get on the phone with an irrate caller who wants to do nothing but chew you out.

More than likely, though, you’ll get dumped into the voice mail box. See, in today’s world people with cell phones will look at the incoming call–and if they don’t recognize the number they then ignore the call.

That’s your opportunity to leave a persuasive little voice mail message that gets people to call you back. Let me show you how.

Step One: Who You Are

Right off the bat you need to identify yourself. So, leave your name, your phone number and the name of your company. For example, “Hi, this is Gary Elwood from Coldstar Realty here in Grand Forks Rapid. My number is 000-111-2222.”

The key here is to say it slow enough so that the person can write it down. And if your name is difficult to pronounce or spell, then spell it out for him or her.

 Step Two: Why You Are Calling

Now’s your chance to indicate the value you can bring to the table for the client. This is not about you–it is about them. “I just wanted to let you know that I recently helped your neighbor sell his home for five grand above asking price, and to let you know if you are thinking of selling this may be a good time to get the most value.”

Step Three: When You Can Help

I need to point out that in the last step you not only told them why you are calling (the value you can deliver), but you also gave proof that you could deliver on that benefit. Now is the time to use the principle of scarcity. If you want them to take your offer seriously, then you need to create a sense of urgency. You need to give them a reason to act now. “These conditions were perfect but may not last  since I hear in the next couple of months that a new development across the street might drive down values in your market.”

Step Four: Close with Call to Action

At this point you’ve stated who you are, why you are calling and why it’s important that the caller act now. This is where you tell them to act…and how. In other words, you tell them to give you a call, and then re-state who you are.

“Give me a chat if you’d like to talk or have any questions you’d like me to answer. No obligations, just want to help you in anyway I can. Just give Gary Elwood a call at 000-111-2222. Look forward to hearing from you!”


I porbably don’t have to tell you that enthusiasm and joy will go a long way when leaving a voice mail message. If you mumble and sound like you’d rather be somewhere else, then I don’t care if you nail the above script perfectly–few if any people will want to talk to a dead beat.

So get perky. Call during the time of day you are the most upbeat. Drink a cup of coffee or two (but make sure you talk VERY slowly) or have a beer or glass of wine. Something that gets you in a good mood.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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An 8-Step Painless Process to Selling More

You want to make more per year, but you are stuck in a rut. And you can’t figure out what is wrong. You’ve tried to work longer hours to sell more houses, but that just ends up killing you, your family and ultimately your business.

What you have to do is get smart about selling more. The following eight steps will help you do that without you having to sacrifice more time or family.

1. What you sell is a verb–not a noun.

Whether you are on the buying or selling side of the market (or both, for that matter), think of what you do as an action–instead of thinking of it as a noun. For example, your product isn’t a house. That’s a noun. Your product is selling that house–helping the owners get out of it so they can move on to their next phase of their life.

Why is this important? If you focus on the house, then you will only focus on the features of that house. You’ll try to sell the kitchen rather than the world-class cooking that could happen in their. You’ll try to sell the fireplace as a thing of beauty rather than the wonderful Christmas’ the family can have in front of a roaring fire.

2. Pre-qualify your leads.

Just because you have a dozen leads coming in a week doesn’t mean that you will get more sales. You have to ask yourself if those leads are qualified–or are they just tire kickers? More than likely they’ll just be tire kickers.

Naturally you’ll want to be able to spot poor leads quickly and kick them to the curb, but that can be time consuming. A hotline is a great way to vet leads before they even reach you.

3. Maximize your time with clients

Next to having the ability to quickly vet leads you also lead the ability to vet clients as well. Even after a qualified lead comes in you should still be on the alert for whether you can help them or not. They may have demands that are too high and unrealistic or want to look in a market that is unfamiliar to you.

Discover whether you can help these people quickly. If you can, great. If you can’t, kick them to the curb and move on to the next lead. Forcing someone to look at or even buy something they don’t way is not a good long-term strategy when it comes to getting more sales.

4. Learn how to listen.

Your time with a lead or client should be spent asking them carefully-crafted questions that will help you understand their needs. Don’t discuss everything you’ve accomplished in the past two years or how you’ve helped some clients find the best houses. Get to know your lead by finding out what it is they want and need.

5. Hire an assistant–delegate everything but selling.

When you are working with more qualified leads you are closing more sales. And when you are closing more sales you are naturally doing less of something else. This something else could be paperwork, marketing or cold calling. Hire someone else to handle these for you. What you pay them per hour will be small compared to the amount of money you can make selling more.

6. Shorten your sales cycle.

One of the things you should constantly strive to do is make your sales process more efficient. If a typical sale occurs in four months, shaving 15 days off will give you room for another sale in a 12 month period. Of course you’ll have multiple sales going on, but that time you shaved off will earn you more.

7. Go for the big sales.

If you focus on moving $150,000 homes, you’ll have to move over 7 houses in order to make a million dollar sale. That’s a lot of work–at least not as hard as moving just one million dollar home. Of course there are more $150,000 homes available than a million dollar home, but even if you moved up to the $300,000 to $500,000 market you’ll make more in less.

8. Keep the leads coming in.

Never lose site of where your leads come from–and never let that source go dry. Whether you are churning out leads from referrals, direct mail, internet or event marketing, constantly keep that pipeline full.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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Setbacks Suck: 10 Simple Ways to Bounce Back

They say there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes.

I’d like to add one more to that: failure.

Like death and taxes, failure is guaranteed in your life. Some people experience few, if any, set backs. Others experience enough failures for ten people. Setbacks may come sooner than later, and they may come fast and furious.

You might be the type of person where failure rolls right off your back. In no time you are back in the ring. For others, setbacks may cause a different reaction–one that is painful and hard to get over.

Well, real estate is full of setbacks. From something minor, like the rejection in cold calling, to something major, like the entire collapse of your greatest deal ever, you will suffer setbacks.

So the question is not when will setbacks occur? But how will you respond when they occur? With that in mind I want to share 9 techniques that have helped me in my 20 plus career to deal with both minor and major setbacks.

Please enjoy!

1. Accept it.

Your first reaction when a deal falls apart might be to fight tooth and nail to keep it together. You may resort to screaming, cussing or throwing things. You might not sleep that night and even skip a meal or two.

That’s fine: you are in the fight mode.

But if things aren’t coming together after a day or two, then determine when you can wave the white flag and just accept the fact that this is a setback.

Why is it important to do this? Simple: nothing in this life is worth losing your peace over. Sure, it sucks to lose a deal, lose a client or lose money. But it will happen to everyone. Even you. Don’t let the setback eat you alive.

2. Think about people in a worse situation.

My wife and I have gotten into the habit of reminding each other of what is truly important in the world: each other, our children, family and friends. If I’ve suffered a severe business setback she’s quick to point out that it could be worse: one or both of our children could have a life threatening disease.

That’s a sobering thought, especially since there are thousands of parents who’s children are threatened by a disease. Just visit any children’s hospital.

In order to keep things in perspective, Tim Tebow will spend time after every game with a child or teenager with a disability. That can certainly take the sting off a loss, but it also grounds the QB from getting a big head when he gets a win.

3. Relish it.

Failures are great opportunities to learn. They are the only moment in your real estate career that will allow you to look back and carefully examine what went wrong–and then to figure out how to make it better.

Besides, when was the last time you learned anything from a success? Chance is probably low.

Furthermore, some people have said that ten failures equals one success. In other words, you’ll experience ten setbacks before each success. That means it’s better to hurry up and get all the failures out of the way so you can get to your success.

There certainly isn’t any scientific evidence to back this up, but there is some truth in it. It’s another way of saying “you can make your own luck.”

4. Read something inspiring.

Bouncing back isn’t always that easy, though. And even when we do get ourselves out of the pit, we can find our minds wandering back into an hour later.

To help combat negative thoughts that creep back in, and the havoc they can create, keep a book of inspirational quotes near by. Or read a book about how somebody overcame a truly difficult challenge. Most biographies these days are in this category.

5. Talk to someone positive.

Another way to pull yourself back from a failure is to get around positive people.

Invite them out for a dinner and drink. Ask them if it is okay if you tell them what is bothering you. If they give you the go ahead (good friends always will) spend no more than five minutes dumping.

Once you’ve purged that, then don’t return to that topic. It helps getting that out of your system. But it gets toxic if you keep revisiting it. Ask your friends to hold you accountable for not re-visiting it.

6. Watch something funny.

If circumstances don’t allow you to get around someone positive, jump online and watch a couple of funny videos. Go to sites like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Funny or Die or Saturday Night Live. Laughing is a great way to help shift you out of a dark mood and into a more light-hearted mood.

7. Never live with regrets.

Sometimes failure is in our control…other times it is out of our control. If you are at fault–or at least partly at fault–then it helps to know and recognize that so you can improve and hopefully not fail again.

Sometimes, though, there is nothing you could’ve done, so the failure is not your fault.

Either way, don’t live with regrets. If you committed a royally stupid mistake, accept it, relish it and don’t regret it. Laugh at it if you can. It was a great learning lesson. Be grateful you got to learn and nothing worse happened (something worse can always happen).

8. Move on.

Financial setbacks send me into a black hole. I don’t know what it is, but all my wife needs to do turn my bright day into a dark day is to say we don’t have enough money for something.

Now, I’m talking about essential stuff. This doesn’t happen when I wish for a new moped and she says, nope, cash is not available. It happens when we get the bill for the emergency room visit. Or even when a client drops me.

I go dark.

One lesson that I’ve learned in my nearly 50 years of life is that I have to literally get up and change my situation. If someone emails me and says they don’t need me anymore, then I have to get up and engage one of the activities above, namely accepting.

9. View it as an opportunity.

Today’s setbacks are tomorrow’s opportunities.

Do you remember those opportunities that you had to decline because you were too busy? Follow up on them. Perhaps you can now use the time to pursue another project.

10. Create a worst-case scenario plan.

Expect it. Good planning and goal-selecting always includes a portion of worst-case scenario thinking. This is a tactic that corporations use [probably not nearly as much as they should], and that we can use, too.

A worst-case scenario plan is preemptive. You are not waiting for the setback to occur. You are planning for it. That kind of thinking will get far because when you are blindsided, you can respond with a set of rules in place once you get your bearings.

In other words, a worst case scenario plan will soften the blow. You saw it coming. It came. Now you are responding.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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10 Signs That Your Real Estate Website Is a Lead-Generating Machine

Your website exists for one purpose…and one purpose only: generate leads. And it’s only as good as the number of leads you are generating. If you are producing 100 leads a month, then you have a pretty good website.

If it’s only generating two or three a month, then something is wrong. What you need to do is look at your website and see if it has the ten common signs of websites that generate a lot of leads.

1. Submission Forms on Every Page

Each page of your website should have a short form that asks for the minimal amount of information. For example, your form could offer a free home evaluation. To request one all the visitor had to do was drop his name and email address in the form. When this form is on every page visitors will find them hard to ignore. Also use arrows to increase the chances someone will submit their information.

2. Contact Number

After looking at your site, did you see your contact information on every page? If so, get it on their now. A segment of your visitors will be okay submitting to the form or using the contact page. Others will prefer the phone number, so make sure it is available and obvious.

3. Testimonials

Real estate websites that generate out of leads will also include lots of testimonials. These add credibility to your site. It’s a way of building trust with your visitor. Plus, if your real estate market is small, then the chances are higher that visitors will see a testimonial from someone they know…lending you even more credibility.

4. Trust Badges

These are simple icons that demonstrate you are trusted by authority organizations. For example, the REALTOR and Better Business Bureau badges on your website will articulate to people that you are in good standing with credible organizations.

5. Videos

Videos are touted for increasing conversion because they introduce a  human element that people can virtually touch. A good video will speak to the person who is watching and offer a solution to a problem he might have. A good video may also re-enforce another aspect about your blog–like the submission form to request a home evaluation.

6. Original Design

People can tell if you are cutting corners and using a generic template on your website. This can ruin your credibility and steal away from your professionalism. Spend a couple of hundred of dollars on website design. It will pay for itself.

7. Strong Language

No, I don’t mean curse words. I mean provocative and compelling words. Words that show emotion and help the visitor “see” what you are saying.

8. White Space

Bad websites are uncomfortable with white space. They try to cram every pixel on the page with an image or word. That cluttered space will drive visitors away. Instead, each page should be focused on one simple task–and nothing else. Make it simple and clear what each visitor must do.

9. Clear Goals

Speaking of white space, each web page should have one goal. One thing that you want that visitor to do. Maybe it’s to share the page. Or subscribe to an email newsletter. Whatever it is, make it clear, concise and compelling.

10. Changes

A great lead-generating website is always changing since you are always testing out new ideas. Testing is one way you can tell if your goals are actually working. A good test can help you identify which words resonate with visitors, which colors they like best and which offer converted the most.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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