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Posts made in September, 2014

5 Things Real Estate Agents Can Learn From Shark Tank

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My wife and I love to watch the television episode Shark Tank. It’s fascinating to watch people pitch their ideas, dreams and other business products to the panel of judges. The sharks have an amazing track record of success, and it’s always interesting to watch how they approach approving or rejecting a contestants idea.

As I was watching Shark Tank the other night, it dawned on me how the program provides some basic principles that could help any small business and specifically in my target group, real estate professionals, in making their businesses more profitable. This blog post will explore five principles you can take from Shark Tank to grow your business and receive a greater return on your investment.

#1 – Knowledge

My wife and I both comment regularly about the need for knowing your product inside and out if you plan to be a contestant on Shark Tank. The sharks ask a wide variety of questions that each business professional must be ready to answer.

How well do you know your product? If I was to ask you what your average commission per transaction is can you answer that? Do you know how many homes you have sold in your marketplace in the past year? What’s the average sales price for your city? How many transactions close in your multiple listing service each year per agent?  How are your numbers compared to that statistic?

Yes, each shark wants to know specific questions about the contestant’s product or service they are pitching. You, as a real estate agent must also be knowledgeable about your product! You should know your product inside and out. Not only the financial numbers on how your business works, but also what’s going on in the marketplace regarding real estate. Even knowing the economic perspective, the census data, and what’s happening through your local Chamber of Commerce would all be beneficial.

The reality is the sharks won’t purchase a product from a contestant if they don’t have the financial numbers for information to answer their question quickly and convincingly. The same principle can apply in your life as a real estate professional. Why would consumers want to let you handle their listing if you cannot answer the most minute and specific details about your product, your service, and how the entire transaction will work?

#2 – Visuals

The second interesting characteristic that I have noticed by watching Shark Tank is that most of the contestants will have some very interesting visuals and product samples to share with the sharks. A prototype, photos, even actors and actresses who come along with the contestants to pitch the idea are beneficial in winning approval with the sharks.

How do visuals aid the real estate professional? Let me ask you, do you use any type of visual listing presentation aid in your current business model? Just like visuals for the contestants on shark tank, you as a real estate professional must consider using visuals to help win more business.

Examples might include a listing presentation, an agent bio packaged in an interesting trifold brochure or a one page about you and your company could all help when you are talking to consumers and asking for their business. After all, what is more convincing to a consumer, telling them the average days on market is nearly six months or 180 days, or showing them the visual from a property report printed from your multiple listing service? I’m sure you will agree; visuals are an important part of winning business. In fact, many studies have shown that the majority of consumers learn through visuals.

Consider creating some interesting visual type marketing accessories that you can use when working with buyers, sellers, for sale by owners, and the general public. Think outside the box and look at ways that you could create stunning graphics and visuals that will help tell your story and why you are a real estate professional they should hire.

#3 – Preparation

Having knowledge is one thing, bringing along a visual is also helpful, but the lack of preparation for your appointment will show if you have not rehearsed. You must put the time and preparation into your presentation skills if you plan and want to earn new business. Creating a list of possible objections, questions and the other points you feel the customer or client might ask you, along with preparing answers for those questions will allow you to look professional and shine among the competition. After all, what will you say if they want you to reduce your marketing fee? How will you respond when they ask you about the various types of marketing activities you will be performing for them? Each and every potential customer could have a slew of questions they are ready to throw at you, and by preparing in advance how you will handle and what you will say to each question will be extremely helpful.

By the way, whenever you go on a listing appointment, and a new question or objection comes up, write it down and craft the best possible response for that objection.

It’s interesting on shark tank to watch and witness those contestants prepared versus those who have not. As noted earlier, the sharks will throw out a wide variety of questions, and they want to know each and every detail about the product or service being pitched. Unfortunately, some contestants are completely blindsided and have no idea the sharks might ask such specific questions. Others, especially those who took the time to prepare, are always ready to provide a quick, efficient and intelligent solution for the sharks. And yes, they are usually the ones who will find an investor on the show.

#4 – Testimonials

Although the sharks are not necessarily asking for specific testimonials on the program, they will almost always ask the contestant what their track record is. In other words, many of the sharks want to know if they have gone out and sold their products in the marketplace? If so, what kind of results did they have? Some of the contestants will have limited or no numbers to share with the sharks, and that never goes over well. Others will have lots of sales, and this always tends to get an eyebrow movement creating interest and excitement among the sharks.

Have you ever thought about creating some type of visual page in your presentation book with names and phone numbers of people who have used your service that the client or customer could call? Have testimonials and a track record from your multiple listing service to show during your sales call.

With the power of today’s business world and the Internet, you should have your clients write testimonials for your Google plus page, Zillow and These testimonials and your track record can go a long way building credibility with this new customer.

If you’re a new agent and you don’t have a long track record or history to lean upon, consider using your company’s historical data. Often, you can toot the Horn of your office and how well your company has done over the past few years and ride the coattails to close the transaction.

Remember that with product sales and a track record, your testimonials and your production levels will work in the same manner that product sales work and help convince the sharks that they have a good solid winner!

#5 -Negotiate

Each contestant on the Shark Tank must be prepared to negotiate if they want to win the business of one of the sharks? Not true all the time. When a contestant has a very good product, a great track record or testimonials, the right visuals and Proto-type of their product, along with answers for the many questions each shark throws at them, many times the negotiation goes in favor of the contestant!

My wife and I have watched many Shark Tank episodes where two or three sharks like the product so well, they offered them exactly what they wanted, and even sweetened the pot when more sharks were trying to get in to snatch up the business opportunity.

It’s a great point to remember for real estate professionals, in that if your product or service you pitch fulfills all the items we discussed, normally the client or customer will want to do business with you! You have to prove through your knowledge, through visual presentations, and by your preparation, along with your proven track record that you are the person they need to do business with, you will win more real estate business!

In closing, you can clearly see the five principles I have discussed from the shark tank, and how they can also apply to you as a real estate professional. I encourage you to think about these five principles, and hope that you will look for ways to increase your knowledge, create new visuals, practice your presentation, and keep track of your business to share with others

Best of luck and thanks for reading my blog! – John Mayfield, “The Business Tech Guy!”




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Hyperlapse from Instagram and the Smoothee Steadiecam

Instagram has a new application out for the iPhone that is really cool!  It’s called, Hyperlapse, and it uses time lapse photography to create stunning videos.  I created a new Hyperlapse with my iPhone, and the Smoothee Steadicam.  Check out the video below.

By the way, I shot this entire video from my iPhone.  I’m offering a new Mobile Video Virtual Workshop this month.  It’s FREE, and you can sign up by clicking on the link to the right, “Virtual Training Workshop.”  Please join me for some awesome ways to create video movies with your iPhone.  Most of the apps are FREE!  Learn how you can profit from mobile video by signing up for this FREE Virtual Training Workshop!


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