Building Your Business


Building Your Business Posts

What a wonderful word especially right around tax time. Numbers are such a vital part of every business.

 

We must know the number of sales, the number of clients, the numbers in our budget and the numbers we put aside every month for a rainy day.

 

How intimate are you with your numbers? Do you know your conversion numbers? How much more is coming in than going out? How about your break even numbers or the numbers that would shut you down and loose everything? If you have a business and you don’t know your numbers, this worst scenario is more credible then you think. It’s like owning a corner store and never knowing your inventory or what’s in your cash register.

 

I asked my accountant one time “what software do I use, there’s apps, there’s leading programs there’s even digital devices, what do I use?” “Just a pencil and a ledger is all you need” she replied (simple and back to the basics, what a novel idea). “Find something simple that works for you and use it consistently” she repeated.

 

And once you know your numbers better then you know yourself, keep checking in with them to be sure they are on track, on target and on time. When will you start?


So just how quickly do they forget you?

 

I received a newsletter from a REALTOR® the other day that I had almost bought a condo from in Whistler. I had forgotten all about her. She had done a great job, but the timing wasn’t quite right for us so we stopped looking (we are every REALTOR’S® nightmare). But 3 years later here came a newsletter, unannounced, unsolicited and out of the blue. “Is she still in business?” was the first thing out of my husband’s mouth.

 

I think of all the times we had had friends that had gone up to buy a property in Whistler, or acquaintances that had wanted to sell and move away from there, but we hadn’t remembered her for a moment.

 

What do you do to stay in your clients’ and peers’ forefront? Are you like that old saying “out of sight out of mind”, or do you have a consistent and constant way of keeping in touch so that when someone thinks of the business you’re in, your name comes up with high regards instantly?

 

What is your strategy to not only grow your business but to remain in business?

 

I’ve always loved the #5 Rule.

  • Start every week with 5 goals to focus on.
  • Start every day with 5 goals to focus on.
  • Talk to 5 people every day about your business and ask for referrals.
  • Write a personal note to 5 people every day and remember something great about them.
  • At the end of each day write down 5 things you give gratitude for that day.

Depending on what your long term business goals are, you may very well want to remain prosperous in your business, and the best way to achieve this, is to not be forgotten.


One of my favourite people of all time to follow is Seth Godin. I love his writing because it's straight-up and right to the point. He recently published "On Pricing Power", a great read.

 

On pricing power

 

If you’re not getting paid what you’re worth, there are only two possible reasons:

  1. People don’t know what you’re worth, or
  2. You’re not (currently) worth as much as you believe

 

The first situation can’t happen unless you permit it to. If you’re undervalued, then you have a communication problem, one that you can solve by telling accurate stories that resonate.

Far more likely, though, is the second problem. If there are reasonable substitutes for your work, and those substitutes are seen as cheaper, then you’re not going to get the work. 'Worth' in this case means, "what does it cost to get something like that if something like that is what I want?"

A cheaper substitute might mean buying nothing. Personal coaches, for example, usually sell against this alternative. It’s not a matter of finding a cheaper coach, it’s more about having no coach at all. Same with live music. People don't go to cheaper concerts, they just don't value the concert enough to go at all.

 

And so we often find ourselve stuck, matching the other guy's price, or worse, racing to the bottom to be cheaper. Cheaper is the last refuge of the marketer unable to invent a better product and tell a better story.

 

The goal, no matter what you sell, is to be seen as irreplaceable, essential and priceless. If you are all three, then you have pricing power. When the price charged is up to you, when you have the power to set the price, there is a line out the door and you can use pricing as a signaling mechanism, not merely a way to make a living.

Of course, the realization of what it takes to create value might break your heart, because it means you have to specialize, take risks, create art, leave a positive impact and adopt generosity in all you do. It means you have to develop extraordinary expertise and that you are almost always hanging way out of the boat, about to fall out.

 

The pricing power position in the market is coveted and valuable... The ability to have the power to set a price is at the heart of what it means to do business profitably, so of course there is a never-ending competition for pricing power.

The curse of the internet is that it provides competitive information, which makes pricing power ever more difficult to exercise. On the other hand, the benefit of the internet is that once you have it, the list of people who want to pay for your irreplaceable, essential and priceless contribution will get even longer.

 

Source: Seth Godin's Blog - On pricing power

Reprinted with permission.


Eagerness to help, while appreciated, is not always enough to run a productive and thriving business.  Skill set and application needs to be present so that both you and your assistant are functioning at your best. In turn, your business runs at its best.

Without proper training and skill building we are left to micromanage, and frustrated. As business owners, we don’t always have the time to train our personnel the way we would like.  We can however, invest in our business by investing in the training and advancement of our support personnel.

Encourage your assistant to consider workshops or courses they feel they could benefit from, and take them to a level that will best support you. Do you know their strengths and weaknesses? What do they enjoy doing? What do they dislike doing?

Afraid of the upfront costs? Many large companies have policies in place where the employee may pay for their course up front, and then if they are in their position more than 6, 8 or even 12 months with the same employer, they are reimbursed. Some companies will also have policies in place where if the employee leaves after a predetermined time, they must reimburse all educational costs.

So what do you have to lose? What will you gain by investing in your assistant?

Be sure to check out the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development’s “Workplace Training for Innovation Program”, a pilot program designed to give eligible employers funding to have their employees trained. Information can be found at http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/workplace_training_program/welcome.htm.


How are you marketing your business? Is it by process of trial and error? Are you relying on another 'expert' to do it for you?

STOP!

First, ask yourself, "Who are my customers?"
Then, consider why they buy what you have to offer, and more importantly, why they don't.

Your clients hold the key to your understanding of how to build better value, no matter what product or service you offer.

Do you regularly gather feedback?
Do you send out surveys?
Are you listening and evaluating?

Once you know your customers, and you understand their "pain points", (the things that keep them up at night), you can then begin to structure your marketing more clearly and accordingly to attract more business. By understanding your client and their needs, you help yourself determine the method to reach them.

Marketing is an activity that can drain a considerable amount of your finances, therefore, you want to approach it with focus and  clear direction.

What makes your business successful?

Why do your clients choose to do business with you rather than go elsewhere?

Why do you get repeat clients?

This is your competitive advantage. It is the position you hold in the market place. Take the time to define what it is that gives you a unique position.

Is it the service standard and level of expertise? Maybe it's your pricing and the quality of your products or services? Perhaps even the uniqueness of your features?

By understanding and identifying your competitive advantage, it reinforces your position and creates clarity on how and when to best implement appropriate strategies to achieve even greater results.

Successful business owners need a written plan and vision to direct them, and a solid team to support them.

A business plan is the cornerstone of a successful business. It is a map for the owner, employers, investors, as well as advisors. It doesn't have to be long, just straightforward and concise.

Why is it so important?

  • It keeps the business focused and on course for its goals and visions;
  • uncovers strengths and strategies to leverage, and weakenesses to mitigate;
  • creates a forecast to anticipate both growth and potential hurdles;
  • becomes the basis of conversation with lenders, investors, key employers, suppliers and potential clients;
  • and evaluates the business progress.
It's important to review your business plan regularly and refine it as your business grows or changes, to mitigate business and financial challenges. You always want to be prepared to cater to your business needs.

Being a self-employed REALTOR® does not always give you the free time you thought it would.

Is your time focused on income producing activities? Or do you find yourself hooked into time wasting tasks that you could otherwise outsource?

Having a part time or on contract per project already trained Professional Real Estate Assistant helps you gain important time to focus on what is most important, your client relationships.


Not sure who we are? Check us out at www.pratraining.com.

Have your assistant create a daily list of prospecting leads for you to consistently contact.

The first call can be the worst. If you get a rejection, dust yourself off and move onto the next person. Prospect 5 days a week, for just 1 hour per day, and watch your business soar.

Looking to give a great assistant more knowledge on how to support a REALTOR® in marketing & prospecting activities?
Want to add fresh perspective to your already talented assistant?


Check us out at www.pratraining.com.

  1. Growth: Real Estate continues to be a growth industry with many opportunities.
  2. Jobs waiting: A PRA™ Professional Real Estate Assistant is a fulfilling career option, with many job opportunities that pay well and offer flexibility.
  3. Two-weekend training: to succeed as a Professional Real Estate Assistant, training is essential. PRA™ Training Inc. offers fast, comprehensive training.

Real estate is an important employer the Lower Mainland, with more than 9,500 licensed REALTORS® in Metro Vancouver and 3,000 licensed REALTORS in the Fraser Valley. Prospects for employment as a trained PRA are very good. Appraisers, property developers and property managers also hire PRA s .


Whether you’re a mid-life career changer, a new university, college or high school grad or a mom wanting to get back into the workforce, there is likely a job waiting for you if you take the two-weekend PRA™ Training program.


What do our students learn?


PRA™ Training’s six-day (two-weekend) program gives students the knowledge and expertise they need to hit the ground running and be productive right away.


Day 1: introduces students to organized real estate, legislation and rules, industry regulatory bodies, the roles and responsibilities of unlicensed assistants and efficient office management.

Day 2: students learn ways to manage a proactive vs a reactive operation, the real estate sales cycle and the PRA’s role, standard forms, strata documentation, computer and filing systems, records management and ways to decrease liability.

Day 3: marketing - from targeting through print, online and social media to industry advertising rules and regulations, as well as farming, prospecting, promotional packages and more.

Day 4: the listing process, from the inquiry to the listing appointment, helping the licensee land the listing, to processing, showing and managing the listing for maximum exposure.

Day 5: buyers, from the prospect to happy client, including drafting the CPS, standard clauses, preparing transaction kits, conducting successful tours and auto-notifications.

Day 6: putting it together so the REALTOR® is prepared for completion and possession. Includes building lasting client relationships, sourcing gifts; collecting feedback for testimonials, and s tools.


Love real estate? Think you or someone you know would be great at it? Register early to secure a spot

Visit PRA™ Training to find out how you can have a fulfilling career with a job waiting in just six days of training. www.pratraining.com.


  1. Productivity and profits. A properly trained assistant will make you more productive and your business more profitable.
  2. Time is Money. Before Professional Real Estate Assistant Training existed, REALTORS® had no choice. They hired untrained assistants and then spent countless hours training – sometimes unsuccessfully – in complex topics such as legislation and regulation, marketing, computer and filing systems, records retention, and legal and ethical guidelines.
  3. Professional Real Estate Assistant Training is the Solution. We will train your assistant or if you don’t have an assistant, we sometimes have fully trained graduates who can hit the ground running, ready for hire.

REALTORS® who have hired a trained unlicensed PRA know that you can indeed put a price tag on the value of top-performing support staff.

A trained PRA helps a REALTOR® to become more productive, which leads to higher profits.


In contrast, an untrained assistant will cost you many unproductive hours – not just in the assistant’s time, but in your time – since while you are trying to train, you’re missing out on profitable business opportunities.


At PRA™ Training Inc., we’re the experts in training real estate assistants and administrative personnel.

In just six days, over two weekends, assistants gain the expertise and skills they need to help a REALTOR® take their business to the next level.

PRA™ Training provides grads with a community, networking opportunities, and a possible match to potential employers. As well, we keep our grads up-to-date with valuable information such as changes to regulations or industry standards.


Love real estate? Think you or someone you know would be great at it? Register early to secure a spot.

For information about PRA™ Training, visit www.pratraining.com or phone 604.601-2002.

The road to success is paved with a million details. To stay on track, appraisers, developers, property managers, brokers and REALTORS® need skilled, competent assistants. Here’s why:

 

  1. You’re busy and you don’t have time to train an assistant. You need an assistant who is ready to go – with no learning curve required.
  2. PRAs know how to make your business a success. From day to day systems to marketing, they’ll start improving your productivity right away.
  3. A trained PRA will turn your dusty filing cabinet of contacts into profitable leads, customers and valued clients.
  4. The PRA Training Program was created and reviewed by experts who know exactly what skills an assistant needs to make a positive impact to your bottom line.
  5. PRA Training is designed to produce competent, skilled unlicensed Professional Real Estate Assistants-reducing your risk.
  6. PRAs are continuously learning best practices and innovative approaches through exclusive online access to resources and opportunities.

Give yourself a career edge.

Register today!


"Thank You" goes a long way. Whether it’s for the REALTOR® who has helped you find your new home, the potential employer who has given you the interview, or your neighbour lending you that cup of sugar, gratitude is always appreciated.

 

And while they never go unnoticed, grand gestures aren't always necessary. A simple thank you note or phone call, even an email, can be enough to express your appreciation of the other’s time and actions. The act of kindness determines what would be suitable for recognition.

 

Regardless of how you thank them, always make sure to take a moment and acknowledge the effort of the other person. Personally and professionally, to know that someone is grateful for what they’ve done makes the action worth repeating.

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." 

-G.B. Stern


Have a look at your website and marketing material. Are you promoting all the incredible ways your visitors can benefit from Your products or services? Or how great Your company is and why You are their best choice?  Or does it focus on your Customer? Do you focus on Their needs, wants and desires? Do you focus on THEM or on YOU?


By focusing on the visitor more and you less, you have a higher chance for conversion. So check your language.


Just imagine being cornered at a party or networking event and only hearing about Me, Me Me Me Me. After just a few minutes you’re plotting a plausible reason - any reason, to escape.  The next time you spot Mr. Self Centered, you sprint for the nearest hideout.


This same feeling can happen when the primary focus on your promotional material becomes centred more on You rather than on what you can do for Them.


At PRA Training we train our students to audit your website and promotional material because we know how important your bottom line is.


Speaking through your promotional material with an emphasis on Them instead of You, will guarantee more interest and a higher conversion rate.

For more information visit us at www.pratraining.com


Bill C56, the federal government’s new Fairness for the Self-Employed Act is now law, and that’s great news for PRA professional real estate assistants .


This new legislation provides Employment Insurance (EI) “special benefits” to self-employed Canadians, including PRAs .

Special benefits include maternity, parental, compassionate care and sickness.


This is a voluntary program and if you want to participate you have to make monthly premium payments, and you must have earned at least $6,000 during the preceding year.

Self employed Canadians, including PRAs are not eligible to access “regular” EI benefits.


This initiative was the result of lobbying by the Canadian Real Estate Association.


For information, contact Services Canada at http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/ or 1.800.206.7218



For REALTORS® in today’s busy market having an assistant is not all about being successful, having time off, or even being organized. Having an assistant today is about adding value to not only what a REALTOR® does best but to the relationships of the clients that they serve and serve them back in the form of referrals and ongoing positive reference.


"Having the assistance of a REALTOR® assistant is extremely important in today's busy real estate market! I feel very fortunate to have Bryn Ward on my team. She is a very hard worker, creative and a very important part of the whole picture. Her people skills, positive attitude, and helpful nature make her the perfect REALTOR® assistant. By having her help with the client care, ensures that I am able to market myself and my listings effectively and work productively for all clients.

I am very thankful to have Bryn alongside of me, and enjoy the teamwork atmosphere!"

Tracey Davies
Licensed Realtor with Park Georgia Realty

More and more I see REALTORS® acknowledging the value of an assistant’s support as an integral part of their team. And it is not only full time support….just a few hours a week sometimes is all that is needed.

Where it becomes a disconnect is when the REALTOR® is so busy that they just don’t have the time or sometimes the know how to hire and train the assistant effectively. Then it is just easier to do everything alone, but not always is that the most efficient or productive way.


Realty assistants add value to our business, trained and skilled assistants take our business to another level and add value to our profession.


Let PRA Training do the training for you.
www.PRAtraining.com

Do you have Kudos that you would like to share about your assistant?
Email us at info@pratraining.com to share your testimonial!


Did you know that as real estate professionals, if you work 35 hours per week, 47 weeks per year, and you sell 3 houses per month at an average sale price of $650,000….


Your average hourly income works out to about $200 per hour.


If that is your value, are you getting out there to get more buyers and sellers, or are you doing office tasks that are worth about $20-$25 per hour?


We train your assistants for you, or we offer an exclusive job match service.


Let us do the training for you so you can get back to doing what is most important.