Archive for March, 2012

My Top 20 Must Have Real Estate IPad/Phone App’s

March 29th, 2012

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann Business Development Coach for HBE and Vortex Sales Solutions™

If you are not using an I Pad for your presentations, you would be amazed at how it will change your life!  It  can:

  • Help you be more efficient with your customer
  • Stand out from the competition
  • Perform follow up with little or no effort
  • Increase your sales, making you a Top Producing Agent

As one of my Agents said, it also offers up a third party view of the world which makes my case more relevant!  With the internet at your fingertips, when you are in action with your client you will have access to any article you may need to make your case more relevant to a client.  Whether it be a first time homebuyer article or the tax advantages of homeownership article.  With the swipe of a finger, if you have already preloaded the article you can have it up and ready for your client to view or ready to email to them.

I have spent some time loading up my IPad with apps and playing with them so I can share with you, my favorites, so far.  This one article will save you a ton of time when it comes to research and help you to be the best you can be!  So enjoy, compliments of The Queen!

Google EarthYour Map – Cost Free

Plug in your community address and google earth will always open up to it with one touch. Then you can use it as a live, in color, rich, 3D, map to show them with a swipe where the shopping is, where the schools are, where the theatre is…Far different from the map that might be on the wall in the sales office.

Drop Box  – Your BrochureCost Free

You can upload your brochure or any PDF documents that you want to show your clients while you are in the field.  One press of the button and your plans, elevations, builder story…comes up for review. It’s also great for sharing documents.

Eye JotAmazing Follow Up Possibilities – Cost 99.00 per year

Eye Jot lets you send video emails.  My friend Mike Lyon turned me on to this app and I love it. I have actually discovered some new ways to use it other than video email.  Not only does it give you the opportunity to send video emails to your clients, easy to follow up but can you imagine being on site with your IPad and their flooring is going in and you are saying Hi via an video email and you turn the Ipad to show them the flooring guys laying their new floor!  Can you imagine how excited they might be to get an email from you like that?  Who else would do that?  Or you could send them a video of you standing on the lot they are going to buy and as they drive away you have sent them a video ( memory) of their lot and you are congratulating them on their purchase and giving them something to share with family and friends, thus giving you more exposure to new clients! » More: My Top 20 Must Have Real Estate IPad/Phone App’s

Hiring a Top Producing Sales Force

March 22nd, 2012

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann Real Estate Sales Coach of Home Builders Edge® and Vortex Sales Solutions™ ©2012

Many of the resumes that cross my desk are pieces of paper that list education, experiences, and skills. Many are professional prepared, many are not, I have found, though it may be easier on the eye, how it is prepared doesn’t assure I am hiring a Winner. You get so many, they all start off with so much hope, then comes the interview and all the right answers are given, there is some interview enthusiasm, once on the job… bam, wrong hire!

Here is one of the biggest mysteries of the hiring: How can you attract and identify, Top Producers, in the application and interview process?

Well first of all, being a bit particular about your resume submissions details and asking for proven track record of production will weed out low producers. It will at least reduce the volume somewhat.

So how do you weed out the top producers from the masses? And how can you distinguish them from the rest? Naturally you want an intelligent, energetic employee with enthusiasm and integrity, one whose values are in line with those of your organization. Finding a Top Producing thinker also means looking for a professional resume, with writing that is impressive and to the point with confidence.

The interview is where you can really get a sense of top producer… Here are some things I look for.

  • Have them sell you something. Did they ask you a lot of great questions or try to cram the product down your throat.
  • A top producer will sell you and you won’t know you have been sold.
  • They Listen very well and talk less.
  • They have confidence.
  • They have an aura about them, where you want to be around them.
  • They don’t hesitate when asked a direct question because they know what they’re talking about.
  • They are normally polished, self-motivated and self-taught.

Here are a few useful interview questions to ask to identify Top Producers

When a sales quota is a month away, how do you plan to meet it?

A top producer will reply quickly and with confidence something like, “First, I call all my immediate prospects that I expect to buy soon and create urgency of some sort to get them in for a second time. I get my quick closings on a board so I have something to talk about with walk in’s and talk about the same quick closes by making calls to my Realtors. Then I work with my marketing department to come up with ideas for a campaign I can target. I do so many hours of prospecting each day to achieve my goals. This system has worked well for me in the past.

Tell me about your Goals, monetary and otherwise.

Most Top Producers take days, sometimes weeks to lay out their goals for the year. If you have one sitting in front of you, they will not hesitate to pop off not only their goals for work, but home, health, family and other important topics. They like nice things, cars, real estate, you name it, if you have someone who is hungry to achieve their own goals, and you can bet your company goals are going to get met.

How do you handle a problem with a client?

A top producer will usually not only put the fire out but access how they can learn from the problem. What things can they change in their sales routine so that problem doesn’t happen again. Because Top Producers are interested in a streamlined process, they know their sales process and live by it! They work hard for referrals and don’t want any client to be unhappy with their service level.

An applicant’s behaviors are also important to understand, ask yourself…Are they a team player? Will they fit in with my team? Will I work well with this person? Are they talking too much? Because if you can’t get a word in edgewise neither will your client. Because even though someone may be a Top Producer, they can also be full of themselves, which can be a problem with the rest of the team. Keep in mind, sometimes you can take a newbie and with the right hunger, attitude, training and environment shift them into a Top Producer.

In addition, Top Producer job applicants will most likely ask you where you expect your company to be in ten years. They may ask how many products or communities you have introduced, whether or not you have awards for Top Producers and will want to know those thresholds, benefits, compensation and bonuses will probably be on their question list. They also may ask if they can talk to other management and employees about the quality of the company. All of which you should be ready for.

If you want a top producing Sales Force, to surface in your company, it is your job to cultivate an atmosphere in which they are valued and can thrive. Before you hire your perfect candidate, make sure your organization is truly ready to receive them with competitive compensation packages, benefits, systems and an aggressive “Sales Come First” attitude.

Could 2012 be the best time to buy a home in Decades?

March 20th, 2012

By Teke Wiggin AOL Real Estate

As spring buying season approaches, potential first-time homebuyers would be excused for feeling uneasy about jumping into the real estate market. After all, pretty much all housing news since the bubble burst has been, well, bad news.

But this may be the perfect time for prospective buyers to test the waters.

As of December, home prices had plummeted 34 percent since the housing bust, according to the S&P Case-Shiller index. That means you could buy a home, on average, for the same price it would have cost in 2002. Along with retro prices, mortgage interest rates continue to hover around re

keep reading…

Traffic is UP… Are you?

March 17th, 2012

By Shirleen von Hoffmann Business Development Coach Home for Builders Edge and Vortex Sales Solutions Copyright 2012

We are seeing more sales happening in our world in California, traffic is up as well.  So it’s starting to wake us up, get us on our feet, out of our winter/recession doldrums.  Finally, yeah!!

That’s the good news, right.  I’ll bet some of you out there forgot how to write a contract and handle traffic control!  So now the fun begins.  Now is the time Sales Pro’s start to shine.  Now is the time to get your Sales Game Up! So let’s keep a few things in mind as we go forward.

Maximize your Time

Make sure you are asking the right questions up front with your buyers to get them to the place where they are going quicker.  With higher traffic, you need to be in more places than one.  So asking the right questions upfront will save you time and energy with each prospect.  With things picking, you really need to start getting organized and think about everything you are doing in your day, in your presentation, with each prospect and buyer to make sure you are maximized!  You don’t want to miss any opportunities to sell!

I have an acronym I like to use with the Agents…ATM=$

I use an acronym so the agents remember it, while in sales mode. Fit these questions in UPFRONT among some rapport building before you head out with the clients.  Save time by getting to know them a bit in the beginning, before they see your product.

A  – Area (What area are you coming from today?)

Is a bit of an ice breaker and tells you a lot about them and where you need to go with them. You may be telling them about your area if they are from out of town or if they are from down the street, it may tell you they are looking at decorating or underwater…it depends!  Most agents like asking this question.

T – Time Frame questions (Tell me when do you plan on making a move?)

You will save time with this question by taking them to a model or standing inventory, depends on when they are moving.  If they are moving in 45 days why take them to a model and show them a bunch of options they can’t have?  Take them to inventory and show them your standing inventory and save time!

M – Model questions (Let’s talk about what you are looking for briefly, Give me an idea of the type of home you are wanting? 1 or 2 Story, Size, Lot, must haves, so I can better direct you?)

Instead of walking three models, you take them to the one that fits their needs.

$ = Money questions  (Tell me about the price you have in mind?

Have you been prequalified with a lender yet?  If so, what was the amount they approved you for? )  Don’t be afraid to get to this question upfront, you can’t spend an hour with someone when you don’t know the answer to this question.

Selling isn’t Telling

March 14th, 2012

Here is a funny spin on product dumping for all you Vanna White’s out there…

Selling isn’t Telling…

Be Alert – Stay Strong

March 9th, 2012

TGIF!!  I hope the sales are as good this week as they were last week.  Sales are up!  We are coming back people!!  Yeah!!  Have a great weekend!!

Create some urgency, spread the word, and Maximize your time with each prospect, cause they are out to buy right now  grab one or two!

Happy Selling!

Are you Talking or Listening?

March 2nd, 2012

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann Business Sales Coach for Home Builders Edge and Vortex Sales Solutions ©2012

Recently I was interviewing a Sales Agent for a Builder Client.  The Agent talked the entire interview and barely left air for me to ask questions.  He went on and on about himself.  And while I am sure he may have been nervous, I couldn’t help but think, “If he talks this much to me, how will the customer get a word in edgewise?” I definitely look for good listeners when I hire.

You have heard the old saying,  “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”  And boy is that true with sales.

A Sales Presentation should be called a Sales Attention Session, because  you should be paying attention to what the prospect is talking about, not Presenting.  Many Sales People worry about dumping all the features of their product as soon as possible, almost as if throwing out lots of chum hoping one of the bits will catch a fish.  But you can fish smarter than that in in Sales you must be smarter than that, especially this day in age.  If you are going to worry about anything, worry about the next question you are going to ask to deepen the conversation or acting on buying signals they give you. By the way, you can hear buying signals if you are talking.

Prospects aren’t interested in what you have to sell, they are interested in what they want to buy.  It’s your job to figure out, via questioning, what they want to buy and sell it to them. Through active listening and great questions, you can build rapport quicker and thus get to the “close” quicker.

» More: Are you Talking or Listening?

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