Alex Perriello, President and CEO of The Realogy Franchise Group joined us at our recent Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate brand conference in Las Vegas and shared insights into the housing market and advice on how real estate professionals can succeed in 2013.
Below are highlights from the main stage conversation between Alex Perriello and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC President and CEO Sherry Chris, including specific business strategies that agents should incorporate within their business plans to meet and achieve their personal goals.
Sherry: Alex, can you please share with the audience some things you like about the market?
Alex: Year-over-year increases in home sales and home prices across the country clearly demonstrate that the housing market is in a recovery mode. We are also seeing a significant number of move-up buyers jumping back into the market.
• The market is in recovery mode
• Broad-based; across all price points from lower-end to luxury
• Home price affordability at record levels
• Inventory levels very low
• Mortgage credit still has tight parameters
• Uncertainty about housing policy at the federal government level in Washington
Sherry: What should agents be doing in 2013 to help build their business?
- Get back to the basics – Today it is vital to be proactive and build your listing inventory. Get in front of potential sellers by farming, door knocking, cold calling on FSBOs, and working expired listings. Don’t expect the potential sellers to come to you, you need to approach them aggressively.
- Sharpen your skills - When you go out to meet with potential sellers, you have to be well prepared. Hone your presentation skills and practice your delivery. Role play with other associates in your office to gain confidence.
- Understand the market - Clearly there is a shortage of supply, so study and understand your local market. Find neighborhoods where there is a short supply of homes for sale and focus your prospecting activities within those areas.
- Use the tools available to you – Sellers want to know what you are going to do differently than your competition, so leverage the brand tools and technology you have access to that no one else has.
Sherry: Goal setting is an idea everyone talks about, but it is important for people to keep in mind that it’s not the same thing as your business plan. What advice can you give to agents on how to create a plan?
Alex: The most important aspect to reaching your goal is that you make a plan and then work that plan. Work being the key word. You can have a lofty goal, but if you don’t work a plan every day that moves you towards that goal, it is meaningless.
For example: Lets say you are creating your income goals for 2013. It isn’t enough to just set that goal. You must put together a detailed plan that includes the steps you will take daily to achieve those goals.
Let’s use listings as the example for how to effectively plan. Take the following steps:
- Start with identifying what your dollar income goal is for the next 12 months– this should be specific to you and no one else.
- Now determine what you must do to get there. Calculate how many sellers you will need to work with and how many listings you must take to get to your income goal based on your average sales price and commission.
- If you need 12 closed listings to reach your goal, first determine what percentage of your listings will actually sell and make sure you account for those that don’t sell.
- How will the listings that don’t sell impact your bottom line? If 20% of your listings don’t sell, then in reality you will need 15 listings to meet your income goal.
- Once you determine how many listings you must take and sell, figure out how many listing presentations you must go on to earn that business. This is where it becomes very important to pay attention to your conversion numbers. If you know you will earn 50% of the sales you go on, then you know you will need to go on 30 presentations in order to meet your goal.
- Finally, break down how many sellers you need to talk to in order to set a presentation appointment. If you have to talk to 8 people to get one appointment, then your goal is to speak with 240 people per year or 20 per month.
Researching and understanding your numbers will help you build your foundation, but speak with your broker or manager if you need help as you construct your plan.
In this competitive market, you must continue to capitalize on the tools and tactics available to you in order to stay in front of your competition.
To succeed in 2013, you need to remain agile, responsive and innovative within an industry rife with change.