New Feature – Ask Me a Question

One of my desires this year is to make this blog more interactive with my readers…with you.  I recently stumbled across a really cool app/plugin that is going to help me do so.

SONY DSC

You can now ask me a question, via your computer, directly through this blog.  Here is how it works.

  1. Click on the Send Voicemail button on the right middle of any page on my blog.BoBarron.com Speakpipe
  2. Make sure your mic is on.
  3. Record a question up to 90 seconds in length.  The app lets you listen to your message and re-record so don’t fret about flubbing up.
  4. Be sure to include your name, location, and your website – so I can send traffic your way.
  5. Feel free to ask me anything about main topics of this blog – or anything else.  Prospecting, Productivity, Personal Development, Creating Presence, or Life Lessons.
  6. At least one a month, I will choose a question to answer.  And if you are really lucky, I will post my response with video!
  7. The chosen question will receive a prize!

So what has been on your mind?  What would you like to ask?  I certainly don’t have all the answers, but we can all learn together.

The 4 Needs of Every New to the Business Broker

On March 18 at 2pm EST, Rod Santomassimo and I are hosting a free webinar – How to Thrive as a New to the Business Broker. We will be covering in more depth the content of this post. You can register below!

I remember the first day I started in commercial real estate.  I got out of the Marine Corps the day before.  All of the sudden, I’m wearing civilian clothes and standing in a blank office.  There was a phone and a laptop on my desk and little else.  If I’m being honest, I didn’t have a clue what to do.

The 4 Things Every New To The Business

I spent the next two years trying to figure it out.  I shadowed my dad constantly.  I noticed how he handled situations – what he said to clients and prospects.  I was soaking it all in.  I battled the nagging thought in my mind that said, “Why would anyone want to work with you when they could work with your dad.”

I lacked confidence.  I lacked a framework.  I lacked understanding about what were the most important things.  I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Commercial real estate is not easy.  Most new to the business (N2B) brokers don’t make it past their first year.  I was fortunate that I had a dad who wouldn’t let me fail.  Everyone doesn’t have that.  This is why Rod Santomassimo, founder and president of the Massimo Group, and I are hosting a free webinar later this week on How to Thrive as a New to the Business Broker.

We believe any N2B broker can thrive if they focus on 4 critical needs.

4 Needs of Every N2B Broker

  1. Pipeline – A broker’s pipeline is the bloodline for his/her business.  In fact, a 10-year study showed that the amount of time between a broker’s first and second deal accurately predicted the long-term success of their career.  A N2B broker needs deal flow in a full and vibrant pipeline.
  2. Prospecting – Prospecting is how you fill up your pipeline.  I spoke with a N2B broker last week who said his shop gave him a phone and a book of property owners.  His directive was to start calling.  Is that the best way to prospect?  How do you learn and apply the best prospecting practices of top-producing brokers?
  3. Production – Prospecting is one thing, but what do you do when you start to win some business?  How do you get that exclusive to the finish line so you can actually get paid?  In many industries, you gain a client when the prospect buys something.  There is an added step in real estate.  You have to find the business, then win the business, and then fulfill the business.  Then you get paid.
  4. Planning – How should a N2B broker spend his/her time?  Should it be on research?  20 hours a week prospecting?  Networking? Oh that someone would have given me a blueprint at the start of my career that could have accelerated my success.

8 Reasons Why You Need Digital Presence

My dad started developing self-storage units somewhere around 1980.  The name of this company is AAA Rent-A-Space.  About the same time, my mom had one of four or five Century21 franchises in our town.  The name was Century21 A Barron Company.  Both of these companies were named so they would be listed first in the yellow pages.  How do you think the yellow pages business is doing right now?

Business man surrounded by people

One of the comments I hear most often as I engage with experienced brokers across the country is this.  “These kids are coming out of nowhere and taking my market share.”  They are lamenting that the presence that took them a decade or more to develop is being eroded by younger, new to the business brokers who are creating dominating digital presence.

Presence is being known – being top-of-mind.  You know you have it when the most influential and connected people in your market are sending business your way.  You know you have it when people are glad you called and don’t need to ask who you are.

It is no secret that commercial real estate is behind the curve when it comes to digital presence adoption.  We have an industry that is dominated by white men who aren’t in their 20’s or 30’s anymore.  That is just a demographic fact (though I see this changing.)

There is a reason why younger brokers are having this kind of success.  What used to take a decade or more to build, can now be accomplished in a year or two.  But this is not just a younger person’s game.  The landscape has changed. Anyone can take advantage of this powerful aspect of building your business.

In fact, everyone in a sales or service profession should create a digital presence.  Here’s why.

The 7 Steps to Knowing the Best Time to Prospect

Last week I received an email from one of my coaching clients.  He asked a question that we receive on a regular basis.  He asked when is the best day and time of day to call.

Great question.

iStock_000000350369Medium

The answer is there is nothing that says a certain day at a certain time is the best time to call.  To be sure, you can google this topic and find information that will tell you many different answers.  But the truth is, there isn’t a magic bullet.

There is, however, optimal times for you to call your database of prospects.  You simply have to figure out when those times are.

Before I get into how that is done, I want to address a fallacy.  Many who are in sales try to time their prospecting like someone would try to time the stock market.  This is a bad idea.  Your results will always be better – over time – if you consistently prospect on a daily basis.  You just need to keep doing it.

The 3 Ways to Build Your Prospecting Database

I coach new to the business (N2B) commercial real estate brokers with the Massimo Group.  In my web-call with my newest group today, I was asked the question that I get asked most often.  How do I find the numbers for the prospects I need to be calling?  That is a key question, is it not?

For those of you who have never seen one of these - it is a Rolodex.  Ask your boss about it.

For those of you who have never seen one of these – it is a Rolodex. Ask your boss about it.

Do you remember the second half of 2008 – when the economy completely tanked?  You may recall how the sky was falling.  Everything changed.  Many in the CRE industry didn’t make it.

For the number of years before that time, a monkey could have made six figures.  Transactional velocity was everywhere.  Cap rates were compressing.  Capital was cheap and readily available.  Deals would just walk in your door.  But when the market turned, top producers kept succeeding while others fell away.  How did they do it?

How to Win More Business with the Jehoshaphat Close

My family and I started going to church when I was 10.  That year, 1987 or ’88, I was in my first youth musical. It was called Fat Fat Jehoshaphat. I still go to that church.  In fact, I met my wife in that youth choir.

shhhhh

Many of you may not know this about me, but I am a Sunday School teacher.  It may be the most fun and rewarding thing I get to do every week.  I’m going to share with you my favorite closing technique, and it is straight from the Old Testament.

Now I understand some of you aren’t the bible-believing type.  That is fine.  I challenge you to hang with me for the next couple minutes.  I promise you there is something for you in this post.

Win More Meetings with the New AIDA Technique

“Put that coffee down.  Coffee is for closers.” ~ Blake

In 1992, a movie came out titled Glengarry Glen Ross based on a play of the same name.  It is a classic sales movie – more for the cast than the ethics for sure.  You get to see Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, and Alan Arkin.

putthatcoffeedown

In one scene, Blake, played by a young Alec Baldwin, holds a meeting with the sales staff.  In that meeting, he introduces to the team the AIDA method of prospecting.  (If it weren’t so R rated, I would provide a youtube link to this scene.)

  • Attention – “Do I have your attention?”
  • Interest – “Are you interested?  I know you are ‘cuz it is…”
  • Decision – “Have you made your decision for Christ?”
  • Action – “And action.”

You can trace the first iterations of this method all the way to the 1900’s.  At the Massimo Group, we believe this method is outdated.  So we’ve come up with our own version.  Our version allows anyone in sales to secure more meetings through their prospecting.

Increase your Prospecting Effectiveness by Utilizing these 11 Triggers

When an emotion is triggered in your brain, your nervous systems responds by creating feelings in your body (what many people refer to as a “gut feeling”) and certain thoughts in your mind. ~ Mary Lamia, Ph.D., clinical psychologist

From 2002 – 2004, I was stationed in Georgia.  One day, a door to door salesman came to our door selling a “world-changing” vacuum cleaner.  The first thing he did was offer me a free hat because I had opened the door.  He then went into his pitch.  I politely interrupted telling him we weren’t interested.

Maximize your prospecting with emotional triggers

Maximize your prospecting with emotional triggers

He then asked me a second request.  Would I allow him to give me a demonstration?  If nothing else, he would clean part of our house for us.  I said yes.

One hour later, he was still in my home.  Truth be told, I’ve never been more impressed with a vacuum cleaner.  The only thing that kept me from buying it was it was very expensive.  We simply didn’t have the money.

This salesman did a fantastic job using emotional triggers to get a desired result from me.  And it worked…almost.  Emotional triggers fall in the realm of evolutionary psychology.  Essentially, triggers are events and tactics that “trigger” certain emotions.  If you understand emotional triggers, you can use them to your advantage.

How to Find Your Specialty by Answering 3 Questions

At the end of this post, I will share with you how to download a free worksheet of the exercise I describe in this post. It will allow you to visually see where your sweet spot lies.

I am continually surprised by Commercial Real Estate brokers who lack a specialty.  All top performers in CRE have a specialty.  Yet, those mired in mediocrity refuse to hone in on what they can be awesome at doing.  In fact, business owners of all kinds often have this problem.

Image courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

Image courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

I had a call last week with one of our advisors on the East Coast.  He was traditionally a specialist in hospitality.  Because of some changes in his life, he needed to shift his specialty to something he could practice locally.  His question was what should he specialize in.  What would you tell him?

Many of my coaching clients face this question as well.  It doesn’t matter if you are new to the business or you are mid-career.  Making this decision correctly will have a profound impact on your career.  Not only can it determine the amount of income you can make, but it can determine if you will like going to work every morning.

A CRE broker, or any business owner or salesperson, can find his/her sweet spot by answering 3 questions.

Three Questions to Find Your Specialty/Sweet Spot

1.  What do you like?

You should always start here.  What product type do you like?  What would you own if you could?  For me, I love multi-family.  I love to broker these deals.  I own this property type.  I understand it.  I don’t like industrial properties.  They don’t fit my eye.  I don’t enjoy being in industrial parks.  It just isn’t my thing.

You need to answer for yourself – what are my favorite 3 product types?  Write them down.

2.  What are you good at?

This is completely different than what you like.  Consider what you are good at.  Do you enjoy intense underwriting and analysis?  If so, multi-family might be your thing?  Do you enjoy fast paced prospecting and deal making?  If so, then maybe Single Tenant Net Lease (STNL) is your thing?  Maybe you love evaluating how the business aspect of hospitality properties and convenient stores impact value?

Again, list what product types fit your skill set.  Write them down.

3.  Where is the market velocity?

I did this exercise in 2009.  The market had dried up everywhere.  My business was suffering.  I looked around and saw that Dollar Stores were still trading at a rapid rate.  That was the only market velocity I saw anywhere in Kentucky.

Now I already told you that I love multi-family and it fits my skill set.  But no apartments were selling.  If I would have chosen apartments as the object of my prospecting campaign, I would have failed.  Instead, I began focusing on Dollar Stores.  It was a great move, and I learned to love that product type.

Look around your market.  Where is the transactional velocity?  Write those down as well.

Now look at your lists.  Where the answers to the three questions overlap is where you should specialize.  This is your sweet spot.

I ask that you to do two things:

  1. Regardless of what industry you are in, what benefits would you realize by finding your sweet spot and being known as the expert in your specialty? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

  2. You have a friend that needs to find their sweet spot. I challenge you to email this post to them so they can do this simple exercise. It could change the trajectory of their career.

To download a free worksheet that will allow you to work this exercise and visually find your sweet spot, click the button below.

Download Your Free Worksheet