January 23, 2018

How Can Real Estate Agents Become Top Producers?

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Most full-time professional real estate agents want to become top producers, but not all agents reach that goal. Becoming a top producer takes time, education and a lot of hard work. Agents must develop their skills, systems and tools to reach that lofty goal.

Top Producer Skills

Developing top producer skills is easier if you're a natural at running a business and working with people, but keep in mind that you can learn these skills. These are some of the most critical.

1. In-Depth Real Estate Transaction Knowledge

There's a lot more to know about managing a real estate transaction than what you learned to get your license. Consider acquiring advanced knowledge by obtaining additional designations such as a CRS or GRI in addition to the required continuing education credits.

2. Real Estate Market Knowledge

A top producer is an expert in the real estate market in their area. You need to know about different neighborhoods, the types of homes in your area, lifestyle amenities, HOA fees and more.

3. Sales Skills

Even if you're not a natural salesperson, you can always improve your skills. Today, successful real estate agents use some type of a consultative selling approach. They're not selling things people don't want or need. Instead, they're helping people make informed decisions. These are just some of the skills that fall under the sales category.

  • Preparing listing presentations and conducting effective listing meetings. Talking to a homeowner about listing their home doesn't need to be an adversarial process. Top producers focus on uncovering and meeting the homeowner's needs.
  • Following up. Top agents know that follow up is critical. They understand that it takes multiple contacts in order to turn a lead into a client. They don't get discouraged and commit to lead follow up as a normal part of doing business.
  • Versatility. It's not always possible to work with people you like. Top producers study their interaction with different personality types and strive to work effectively with a wide variety of people.
  • Always be closing. Top producers know that even when using a helping approach, it's still necessary to ask for the appointment, the contract, the listing agreement and more.

4. Organizational Skills

There's a lot going on when you're a top producing agent. You need the skills to choose the right systems and tools to keep a schedule and run your business rather than letting it run you. Then, you need the energy and commitment to using them to the fullest.

Top Producer Systems

Systems are key to getting everything done. Successful agents use marketing approaches and technology like the ones described below to help them accomplish their goals.

1. An Online Presence

You know that consumers are using the Internet more all the time. Ensure that you have a website with integrated MLS search capabilities. Top producers also take advantage of other online systems, such as social media websites and rating systems like Zillow and Trulia.

2. A Contact Database

Top producers don't keep track of their contacts on the back of envelopes. They set up a database that will help them manage relationships with leads, clients, and people in their sphere of influence.

3. Automated Lead Generation

Lead generation can be extremely time-consuming. To be successful, you need to establish multiple sources of leads coming from systems that don't require you to chase each one personally. There are many automated lead generation systems and you need to choose those that work best for you. Examples include Facebook and LinkedIn ads, home valuation websites and email marketing.

4. Transaction Management

Successful real estate agents don't bother with paper offers that contain written edits and are initialed a number of times during a negotiation. Online signatures and central storage of transaction documents save time and frustration.

Top Producer Tools

A number of tools are available to run the systems you need to be a top producer. Here are some that hit the top of the list.

1. Customer Relationship Management

A CRM system is useful for managing customers, but it also acts as a contact database to manage communications and activities related to prospects and your sphere. Contactually is one of the premier CRMs used by top producers today. It will help you convert leads into clients, stay top of mind with past clients and your sphere. It's also useful as an automated lead generator and helps you track your deals to improve pipeline productivity.

2. Transaction Management

DocuSign and DotLoop are two applications that make transaction management a breeze. DotLoop is now owned by Zillow and is probably the dominant software used by successful real estate agents today.

3. Interactive Media

Video is growing in importance; research shows that video gets more attention than plain text. YouTube is an excellent place to host videos you make yourself for neighborhood tours, informational videos and more.

Matterport is a relatively new technology that is really catching on. It provides you with 3D and Virtual Reality tours of your listings. Brokers are purchasing the Matterport camera for use by all of their agents.

4. Team Productivity

Top producers invariably end up creating a team of agents and administrative support staff. Tools like Slack help a team communicate, coordinate their efforts and work together more effectively.

It can be a long road to become a top-producing real estate agent. However, you'll be prepared for success if you develop the right skills, set up systems to make your business run smoothly and use tools that will save you time, improve your marketing efforts and let you focus on building your practice.