Business Planning

  • How to Use The New Instagram Guides Feature In Your Real Estate Business

    EPISODE 41

    How to Use the New Instagram Guides Feature In Your Real Estate Business

    In this episode Jennifer shares tips and ideas around how to create cornerstone content that helps you get found online and then re-purpose that content using the new Instagram Guides feature.

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    • Learn more about my ATTRACT™ coaching program for women in real estate here.

    • Learn more about EXP Realty here.

    • Purchase my Planned with Purpose™ real estate planner here.

    Episode Transcript:

    Well hello there, you’re listening to the women rocking real estate podcast, I’m so happy to back on the air. You may have noticed that I’m publishing less episodes these days and I so appreciate everyone that has reached out and all of you that have left me amazing reviews. Don’t worry I’m not going anywhere, but this year I am going to be launching a youtube channel. Hey I preach about you guys doing it, so I have literally spent the last 6 months learning everything there is to know about youtube and the formulas and the algorithm and the do’s and the don’t’s. 

    Alright you know me, I don’t like wasting time, so let’s get to it. Before we do though…..

    If you are one of my coaching clients you are not allowed to listen to this episode, because it is a shiny object that will only get you distracted from implementing your Big 10 in your business. So turn this podcast off, stay in your lane with your blinders on and focus on what we agreed you’ll be working on.

    As for the rest of you, today we are going to be chatting about yet another new feature that Instagram has released called Guides. I will be posting a youtube video on how to actually create one step by step, so you can check out my channel to watch that.

    What is Instagram Guides?

    Been around since May of last year but only recently rolled out to everyone Kinda like a collection of posts that all relate to the same topic.

    You can create three types of guides: Places, Products and Posts. For us realtors, we’ll be mostly using the places and posts types.

    In order to create a guide You need to use existing posts, reels or IGTV videos to create them so you can only create a guide from posts you’ve already created. No you can include posts from other peoples pages as well, but ideally you want a lot of the content inside the guide to be your original content.

    Why is it a great new feature for Realtors?

    It allows you to resurrect old content and get it working for you again.

    It allows you to create value with your content. Instead of just throwing content together for the sake of posting, if you are thinking you want to create a guide, you’ll have to be much more intentional about the types of posts you’re uploading. It will force you to have a bigger purpose for your content and I love that. I think so many of us do it backwards. We feel like we should be posting something, so we try to think of something to post. Whereas if you start at the end and think about what you want to ultimately create and then figure out what posts you’d have to make to put it together, that’s much more efficient and purposeful

    Alright before we get into the nitty gritty of how we can actually use this new feature in our real estate business, I really feel the need to back up the bus and put some parameters in place.

    You should not spend time and energy implementing this new feature if you do not already have a solid core content strategy in place. You will hear this from me over and over again and it’s that real estate agents are infamous for spending an inordinate amount of time on social media creating posts and stories thinking it’s going to help them grow their business and attract leads. In the vast majority of cases it won’t. Why?

    Social Media Platforms are not search engines.

    People do not go onto Instagram and do a search to try and find a real estate agent.

    Where do they go? To google. If someone wants to educate themselves on the process of buying or selling a home, they don’t search on Instagram for that information. They search it up on google which is the biggest search engine in the world and often they will also look for information on YouTube which is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world and it’s owned by Google.

    So the very first thing that you need to be focus on in your business if you want to start attracting leads without door knocking, cold calling or bugging your friends and family for business is to figure out how to GET FOUND. The fastest way to grow online leads is to go after what I call the low hanging fruit first, and create real estate specific content that people are actually searching for. To do this, you research what people are searching for and then you create that content, so that they find you when they’re searching. They are the low hanging fruit. They are warm leads who are already in the market and they are actively searching for someone just like you. Make it easy for them to find you. Where’s that? Your website.

    You’ve got to have your core content optimized on your website first. What is that content? It’s your about page, it’s your services pages, it’s your neighbourhood and community pages and it’s any pages you have dedicated to the type of properties you want to specialize in and farm. If you want to specialize in new development, you need to have pages on your website dedicated to every new development project in your area. If you want to be the main listing agent in some condo buildings, well you need to have dedicated landing pages on your website that go into great detail about those buildings. I have one page on my website that I created about 8 years ago and it generates about 50% of the online leads I receive. One page that I haven’t touched in years and it still ranks number one in the search engines when someone googles it. When you’ve got the right content on your website and you have figured out how to get it to rank high in the search results, it is a money train that will work for you on autopilot for years. Would you rather generate leads on autopilot in the background or would you rather get on the marketing hamster wheel where you’re constantly having to work to generate leads?

    Once you have your cornerstone content done, the next content you need to prioritize is blog content. If you’re not creating blog content or you’re not being strategic about the type of content you’re creating, you’re missing another opportunity of attracting that low hanging fruit. One mistake a lot of realtors make when creating content like blogs, is when they write about things that interest them. Once again, you need to create content that people are searching for. Now there is a whole strategy around how to figure out what type of content you should create and I do cover it in detail in my ATTRACT Coaching program, but I will completely hijack this episode if I go into more detail.

    My point here, is that I don’t want you to do any of this stuff I’m going to be talking about in this episode until you have your core content basics down pat. Focus on getting found first. If you don’t have a solid foundation of core content on your website, that will help you get found, you shouldn’t be focusing on your social media strategy. Yes of course social media content is important but only AFTER you’ve got your core content strategy nailed down and it’s starting to generate business for you.

    Alright the other thing I want to emphasize when it comes to creating any type of content is that I want you to start thinking about creating content that is going to work for you in multiple ways, not just one. The key is to try as much as possible to create one piece of content and then to repurpose that content across multiple platforms and use it in different ways to kind of squeeze everything you can get out of it.

    I promise there is a method to my madness and I am going to get to how all this works with Instagram guides, but we have to back up before we get there.

    Let’s use a real live example to see how those would all work.

    Let’s say one of the things you wanted to specialize in your business was lakefront properties in a particular area. You want to be known as the go-to agent for anyone looking to buy or sell a waterfront property on the lakes in a region.

    The first thing you would need to do is create a landing page on your website for each and every lake that you want to focus on. This is called cornerstone content. So if there’s 10 lakes in that area, you’d create 10 pages on your site and then you’d provide everything anyone could ever need to know about the lake, the community, the types of properties, the fishing, the water depth, the boat traffic. Everything. 

    Once you’ve got the content set on the page, Next you would create a YouTube video about that lake and the community. You would turn all of the written content into a video for people to learn visually. Well now when anyone searches anything about that lake, if you’ve done it right, chances are high that your website will rank pretty high in the search results. 

    But we don’t just want to use that content once on your website. We want to repurpose that content across other platforms. So we post that video on Facebook and on LinkedIn and on IGTV on Instagram.

    The next thing you might do is write a blog about your Favourite 5 places to visit on the lake. In that blog you would reference the lake numerous times and link back to your cornerstone content page. Say one of your favourite places was an ice cream shop and another was a home design and decor shop. Well you would feature both those business in your blog with links to their site. From this piece of content, you would create a graphic about the blog and you would post it on your Instagram feed with a link to your blog article. You might also create an Instagram reel highlighting the five favourite spots and again referencing the blog.

    So now you’ve got two pieces of permanent, evergreen searchable content on your website that is going to get you found. And from those 2 pieces of content you have created posts for facebook, linked in and a post, an IGTV video and a reels on instagram. And now you are finally able and ready to create your first guide.

    I told you I would eventually get here.

    On Instagram you would now be able to create a guide on Lakefront Living in Happyville. And in that guide you would collect all of the content you created about Happyville in your posts, in your reels and in your IGTV videos and you would put them in order and with captions and more details about the posts. When you’re creating the guide, you could also include posts from the profiles of some of the businesses or places you visited in original blog as well. So you could for example include pictures from the ice cream store’s Instagram profile.

    The purpose of these guides, is to create unique, authority-building, valuable content that is going to resonate with your ideal client.

    But you’ve got to do it in a way that you are maximizing your efforts. You’ve got to create this content on your website first and then repurpose it from there. That way it’s going to be working for you on your website to get found AND on social media to build authority and those know like and trust feelings. Doesn’t that make so much more sense? You’ll get twice the results with half the effort.

    Ok so the example I just gave was how you can create an Instagram guide around a location. But you can use the same concept to pretty much create any type of guide. 

    I want to pause for a second though and shift how you think about this. Here’s what I don’t want you to do. I don’t want you to finish this podcast and go brainstorm a bunch of guides that you could create. I want you to brainstorm what type of content you need to create to get found on your website first. And then I want you to think about how you could repurpose that content and turn it  into a variety of posts, reels and IGTV videos. Once you’ve got that content on Instagram then think about how you could collect them all together and create an Instagram guide. Your first priority is to create content to get found. 2nd priority is to maximize your effort and repurpose that content on social media.

    So I gave you an example of how to turn a location niche that you want to specialize in into a guide, but what about your ideal client. What type of content should we be creating to attract our ideal client?

    Let’s use another example. Say you wanted to focus on working with first-time home buyers. In order to create content that really resonates with them, you have to understand their pain points and how you can solve them. Content that doesn’t answer a question, address a worry or concern or provide a solution to a problem, falls flat. It’s content for the sake of content and it won’t resonate with or therefore attract your ideal client.

    However when you create a piece of content that addresses one of your their worries or fears, it feels as though you are speaking directly to them, the content resonates deeply for them and they grow those know, like and trust feelings. 

    So when you’re thinking about attracting a first-time home buyer, you brainstorm all of the things they should know about the process of buying a home and you create blog content answering those questions, addressing those concerns and educating them. Ideally you create videos for each of those blogs and then once again you repurpose that content across your social media platforms and on Instagram through carousel posts, IGTV videos and reels. Once you’ve got a bunch of content for First time home buyers, you create an Instagram guide and collect all of the content under one guide. Voila. Now you have an educational guide to attract, provide value and build authority with your ideal client.

    Now one thing I will point out. At the time of this recording you can only use posts and IGTV videos or reels that you have either shared to your feed or that you have saved. So as you’re scrolling through Instagram, if you see something from someone else that you’d like to add to a future guide, make sure you save it and you’ll be able to add it later.

    So hopefully this will start to get your creative juices flowing. But again, please please focus on creating your core content first and let it be the source of most of your social media content. Not all obviously, but most. Trust me, it will actually take a big wait off your shoulders of wondering what to post all the time. Use your core content on your website as inspiration and have a strategy about it. Everytime you post something ask yourself what it’s purpose is. If it’s not to educate, entertain, build authority or nurture your audience, don’t post it.
    If you’re ever feeling like you have so many ideas but find yourself going in circles and not really making progress on anything. If you feel like you need help getting clarity and an action plan for what to focus on first and how to better manage, organize and run your business, you can book a discovery call to learn about my ATTRACT coaching program. Although my one-on-one program is completely full, I do have a few spots available in my small group program which only has 5 women per group, so you still get loads of one on one time, but you also get the support and accountability from the small group.
    Also don’t forget to look me up on Clubhouse and follow me to be notified the next time I host a room. I’d love to be able to talk with you live!
    Alright that is all for today, I hope you’ve got some inspiration for content you can start creating to get found and to nurture your leads. Remember the more you learn, the more you’ll earn.
    Until next time.
  • My Secret Goal Setting System & Productivity Plan

    EPISODE 37

    My Secret Goal Setting System & Productivity Plan

    In this week’s episode am going to be sharing my secret goal setting system and productivity plan. If you want to get your business bootie in shape for 2021 and be the most productive you’ve ever been, pull over the car, grab a pen and paper and let’s get you in tip-top shape.

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    • Get started with Acuity Scheduling here
    • Learn more about my ATTRACT™ coaching program for women in real estate here.
    • Learn more about EXP Realty here.
    • Purchase my Planned with Purpose™ real estate planner here.

    Episode Transcript:

    Hello, hello. You’re listening to the women rocking real estate podcast. I’m your host, Jen Percival and I really appreciate you tuning in. All right, quick shout out to you ladies that took the time to write me a five star review on iTunes. It is very much appreciated. It’s always appreciated, but it’s especially appreciated this week, because someone in Canada gave me an anonymous one star rating. So much for Canadians being nice, friendly, supportive people, I guess not. You know, I get that not everyone is going to love this podcast, they might not think it’s a five star podcast, maybe it’s a four or a three. But like, most people would only give a one star rating to a free podcast might I add, if they think it is nothing but a total piece of crap. You know, it takes me a full day to write, record and edit these episodes, and I don’t get anything for it. So it is incredibly demotivating to want to continue producing them when you receive a one star rating. So thank you to whoever gave me that. But I really wish you could have written something to give me some at least constructive feedback around how I could improve the thing.

    Anyways, it didn’t get me down for a while, but I do try to practice what I preach. And I know, I know that success in business is rooted in resiliency. So I’m gonna carry on. With that, let’s get to today’s episode, I’ve got a question. How many of you out there suffer from what I call S.O.S – Shiny Object Syndrome. If you’re anything like me, you’ve always kind of got a bunch of ideas of things that you want to do in your business or think you should be doing in your business. And just as you get sort of started executing on one of those ideas, something else comes up and you get distracted and start focusing on it. And before you know it, and before you’ve made any real progress on it, something else captured your attention and you change direction yet again. And before you know it, you’re going in circles and making no real progress on anything and have nothing to show for all your work. Sound familiar? Well, today, I am going to be sharing my secret goal setting system and productivity plan. I will say the one thing that everyone who knows me would agree on even the one star rating person. If they do know me, they would agree that I am a very productive person. The amount of stuff that I’m able to accomplish is kind of mind boggling if I do toot my own horn and say so myself. Even with four kids and running multiple businesses, I am able to get a shit ton done. And I attribute most of that to my goal setting system and my productivity plan. Now I might be a wee little bit of a workaholic as well. But my systems are a big part of my productivity. And that is what I’m going to be sharing with you on today’s episode. So if you want to get your business booty in shape for 2021, and be the most productive you’ve ever been, pull over the car, grab a pen and paper and let’s get you into tip top shape.

    Okay for starters, there are hundreds of different goal setting systems out there and I honestly feel like I’ve tried them all. But I always felt like they were all missing a piece of the puzzle. Let’s use the SMART goal system. For example, if you make your goals specific and measurable, and it’s attainable, and it’s realistic, and it’s time bound, that is considered a SMART goal. So if I set a goal of making $100,000 in gross commissions by the end of this calendar year, that would be considered a SMART goal. Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but it doesn’t tell you a damn thing about how to actually make it happen and that is where we all get tripped up. We know what we want to accomplish. We have no problems setting goals, but we don’t know how to make it happen. And that’s where shiny object syndrome comes in. And where we start kind of throwing darts at everything that we think could help us reach that goal. But unless we have a plan of exactly what we need to do to reach that goal, we won’t get traction. We just end up kind of starting a bunch of projects and going in circles accomplishing nothing. And this is where my goal  setting system comes in, it is a proven process for turning a high-level goal into a manageable daily steps.

    Now for the purpose of this episode, we are not going to be looking at all of your goals in life, you very likely have got health goals and personal goals and relationship goals. However, we are only going to be focusing on your business goals in this exercise. With that said, you absolutely can use this exact same framework for any goal you have and I do encourage you to do so. Okay, so I Oh, w-wait actually, I kind of forgot, as of this morning, my new planned with purpose real estate planner is available to pre order. It is structured around my entire goal setting system and productivity plan. So if you’re ready to clear your mind set goals and have purpose every single day, my daily planner is going to simplify your schedule and allow you to plan and track the actions that you’re taking so that you can finally start getting the results that you deserve. It is a beautiful hardcover planner that is undated, so that you can start using it anytime you wish and you’re never going to waste pages, that’s been a huge pet peeve of mine with planners, I can’t stand dated planners. It’s also got a whole section dedicated to my secret goal setting system. It’s got monthly spreads so that you can see your entire month at a glance. And it’s also got cute little stickers to mark things like your closings and your content marketing and your vacations. It allows you to track your leads so that you’ll know where they’ve all come from. And it’s got a full page daily spread, with plenty of space for appointments to dues and notes. This is a planner that I created from scratch. And I have tweaked and modified over the years to help me stay organized, focused, super productive and purposeful every single day. 

    It was custom designed for real estate using this goal setting system and it also comes with a free online workshop where I basically teach the entire system and how to use the planner to be more productive. So if you’re interested, I am going to be by the way teaching this on this episode. But if you want to get the planner so that you can incorporate it into your day to day, there is a workshop that like specifically teaches you and has all of the worksheets and stuff like that. It Like I said will be available for preorder starting today. And it will be shipped to you in the beginning of December. while supplies last there are limited supplies. Unfortunately, I will be ordering more again, but they will not be new here until the new year. So you can find a link to it in the show notes below this episode. Or you can go to my website and go to the shop tab and order it there. Okay, so the first step in the goal setting system is to determine your annual freedom metric. I’ve talked about this in the podcast before but this is your monthly revenue target that will allow you some breathing room in both your business and your life. So instead of kind of feeling overwhelmed, and financially stressed and busy all the time, you can sit back, take a breather, and sort of enjoy the financial and lifestyle benefits that your business is providing.

    For this to work though, we’re not just going to pluck some random number out of the sky and say, yeah, that seems about right. No, we need to base this on your current reality, so that you can have true confidence in your freedom metric, and avoid any nasty surprises in the future. Now, I do not need you to complicate this and complete like a 100 line detailed budget. But we do need to capture an idea of your big expenses. So you’re going to identify one your personal expenses, all this like high level stuff like your mortgage or rent, kids expenses, car loans, groceries, fun things like that. Number two, your business expenses, all of your advertising and fees, and dues and maybe any staffing expenses or computer or program expenses or office expenses. Now those ones are probably pretty obvious to you. But I also want you to factor in savings, you should always have six months of saved income. So once you figure out your monthly expenses, start to put aside money every single month until you’ve accumulated at least six months of income, and then put it aside and don’t touch it. Lastly, this axe man, every country is a little different. Some are greedier than others, but put in whatever percentage you need to set aside for your taxes because nothing is more debilitating than getting a colossal tax bill at the end of the year. You don’t want that to happen, put that money aside, so you don’t have to think about it.

    Now again, I don’t want this to turn into a big project. I just want you to put rough numbers in. And like I said, it’s always worthwhile to just round up to the next even number to keep it simple. So once we know what your freedom metric is, we have to take that number and apply it to your business. So if your freedom metric is $100,000 we’re just going to use that for sake of an easy number of years might be last year’s might be more. What does that mean in terms of transactions, how many listings we have to sell and how many buyers or leases will you need to close? These are your numbers that you should always have a really good handle on in your business by the way. So let’s use an example of that hundred thousand dollars. So when you’re looking at your past years in real estate, and if you are new to real estate and you don’t have any, you’re gonna have to estimate this stuff based on average price sales and average commissions and all of that stuff. But if you look at your past business, or you are guesstimating this stuff, what percentage of your business has come from buyers, from listings and from rentals. So when you’re newer in the business, you’re going to have a higher percentage of rentals, and then buyers and then listings. And as you get more and more deals under your belt, let’s call it you will end up doing more listings, less buyers and even less rentals. So if 60% for use of a number comes from your buyers, then you know, if you want to make 100 grand, you’re going to need to earn $60,000 from buyers. If 30% of your business comes from sellers, you’re going to need to make $30,000 from your sellers. And if 10% comes for rentals, you’re going to need to make 10% from or sorry, $10,000 from leases. So if we once we know that we know exactly how many dollars we need to make through buyers, sellers and leases, then we need to look at what your average transaction dollars are. So if your average buyer transaction is $10,000 in commissions, then you’re going to need six buyers to hit your freedom metric. If your average listing, you make about $6,000 in commissions, then you’re going to need five listings to hit your freedom metric. If your average lease is $1,000, then you’re going to need to do 10 leases. Do you see how I’m doing this exercise, it takes a high level goal and turns it into something tangible. Once we know how many buyers listings and leases it’s going to take to reach our freedom metric, we have one other super important number that we need to know and that is your lead conversion rate. 

    If you know that you’re going to need to get six buyers, five sellers and 10 leases. Well, how many leads will you have to generate to get that number of clients. Now industry standard is somewhere between 1 to 5%, depending on who you ask and how they’re generating leads. In my opinion, those conversion rates are based on very cold leads. I was personally never a like lead generating machine. But the leads I did generate were really high quality. And my lead conversion was usually between 10 and 20%. So if your business is based solely on referrals, you’re probably going to have a pretty high conversion rate. If your business is just cold referrals, or cold leads, you’re gonna have a lower conversion rate. Either way, it’s really important for you to know what your personal lead conversion is and the more specific you can be the better. For example, you might have the highest lead conversion with leases, and then buyers and then listings. And I do want you to think of those types of clients as completely different types of business, because the activities that you do to generate lease leads will be completely different than the activities that you’re going to do to generate listings. Make sense?

    Okay, just to put this in perspective, so that you clearly see the relationship between your freedom metric, and the leads that you’re going to need to generate to get there. So in this scenario, with $100,000 freedom metric, you’re going to need to get 21 clients, this is what the scenario that we just went through. So with an industry standard conversion rate of let’s call it 3%, that would mean you’re going to need to generate 700 leads from a cold source. Now, if you have a warmer audience using a 10% conversion rate, you’d still need to generate 210 leads. And with a super warm audience using a conversion rate of 20%, you’d need just over 100 leads. Now again, this is probably confusing to you trying to follow along in a podcast. But if you do get one of my planners, I go through this exercise in detail with you in the workshop that you get with the planner. So once you know how many leads that you need to generate to hit your freedom metric, well, then you can brainstorm your big 10.

     These are the 10 things that you’ll need to do in your business to generate that number of leads, so that you can reach your freedom metric. 

    These are the top 10 things that are going to get to move that needle the most. Everyone’s big 10 is going to be different depending on where you are in your business. If you’re starting your business growing your business or scaling your business, what are your gaps? What have you done well, what are you missing? Have you got a website? Have you got listing presentations? Do you do online advertising? Do you do content marketing, everyone’s kind of starting from a different place and so your big 10 is going to be different than the next person. Now I go through this exercise with each of my one on one coaching clients in like extreme detail but I do encourage you to spend at least 30 minutes brainstorming all of the things that you could implement in your business that fall into one of three categories. The first category is things you can do to increase sales. second category is things you can do to increase your time or productivity. And third category is things you can do to decrease your costs. Now, when you do this exercise, you might come up with more than 10 ideas, that’s awesome. Basically, you need to brainstorm until you’ve got nothing left, the vast majority of your ideas should be in the first two buckets. But I definitely want you to think through at least five ideas for that third bucket. So they were increase sales, increase your time or productivity, or decrease your costs. So once you’ve got your master list, you’re then going to narrow that list down to the 10 most important projects or goals. 

    Again, these are the 10 things that are going to move that dial the most towards reaching your freedom metric. Once you’ve got your big 10, then you’re going to prioritize them from one to 10. So put them in order of what you’re going to do first, what you’re going to do second, what you’re going to third, etc. So now that you’ve picked your first goal, it’s time to figure out all of the steps required to complete it, I recommend that you use a post it note strategy for this exercise, you go get a pad of post it notes, and you start brainstorming every single task that you’re going to need to complete that goal. If a task takes more than 30 minutes, or an hour max to complete, you’re going to need to break it up into smaller tasks. The goal here is that anytime you sit down to complete one of the tasks, it’s not going to take you more than half an hour to a max hour to finish. So you put each task on a post it note and you stick them up on a wall. And once you’ve got every single task that you need to complete, the last step is to pull them down and put them in order, starting from first task, working your way all the way through to the last task. And once you’ve got them in order, then you write them all down in your goal sheet in your planner, or just on a piece of paper if you don’t have the planner. So now that you know every single task you need to do to complete that first goal and you know what order you need to do them in, all you need to do now is kind of change gears and chat about how to be more productive. So let’s face it, it can be really hard to be productive in real estate, we don’t have set hours, we don’t have a boss looking over our shoulder keeping tabs on what we’re doing and we don’t really have deadlines. When it comes to our business, we’re not really accountable to anyone, we are accountable to our clients and that’s the main reason most agents don’t actually have a hard time completing tasks needed for buyers and sellers and leases, etc. on time. But when it comes to working on your business, not in your business, but on your business, the vast majority of agents are not very productive. And the biggest reason is that we usually don’t have a plan. We don’t have purpose, every single day when we wake up. We don’t know exactly what we’re supposed to be working on every day. So we kind of start one project. And as soon as we get bored or stuck, we move on to another one. And we simply don’t start anything and end up staying sort of in our pajamas until 11am. So the first step in writing this ship I call it is to start treating your real estate career, like a job like a real j.o.b, you wouldn’t dream of rolling into the office at 11am in your PJs, if you had a corporate job, would you? Of course not. So the easiest way to start being more consistent and productive is with a morning routine. Now I know I’m not sharing some earth shattering new theory here. This is been though proven time and time and time again, to be a super effective way of being more productive. 

    So if you actually want to achieve the financial freedom metric that you’ve set, having a morning routine that you stick to is the first step. So what you do in your morning routine is kind of up to you. But whatever it is, do the exact same thing. Every single weekday morning, weekends are your cheat days, but Monday to Friday, same thing. So my morning routine uses the word BEGIN as an acronym so that I can remember so I begin every single morning the exact same way. So the B stands for brain priming. Any of you that are in my coaching program also know that brain priming is the foundational tool I use to turn our success switch on. It is nearly impossible to reach the goals that we set for ourselves without rewiring some of the kind of old neural networks in our brain. Because if we have a subconscious belief that we are not worthy enough or not smart enough or not confident enough or not outgoing enough, if we’re just not enough, then we will inevitably self sabotage our own efforts. 

    So if you ever find yourself falling victim to distraction and overwhelm and perfectionism, or lack of focus, or procrastination, those are all signs that your brain is getting in your own way. And if you don’t learn how to unwire it, you’re just going to go in circles indefinitely. Okay, so the B stands for brain priming. Next up is E and it stands for exercise. Now, again, I’m not sharing anything new and exciting here. And I don’t think I need to elaborate too much on the exercise thing, other than to say that if we want to be healthy, physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy, we got to move our bodies at least 30 minutes a day, it makes such a massive difference in our overall well being, and our overall well being. So if you can, can bind also getting exercise with learning even better. And this is another one of my productivity things. I end every one of my podcast episodes with, the more you learn, the more you earn. And I am a huge believer in always learning. So if you’re going to go for a walk or run, listen to a book or a podcast while you’re doing it. If you’re on a treadmill bike or elliptical, watch videos. That way, you’re not just getting in 30 minutes of exercise every day, you’re getting 30 minutes of learning into at the same time, Super productive, right? Okay, next up is the G. So B is brain priming, E is exercise G is gratitude, you know when people are grateful. And again, I’m not sharing anything, I did not create this stuff. When people are grateful, they acknowledge the goodness in their lives. And in the process, they usually recognize that the source of that goodness sometimes lies, at least partially outside themselves. And as a result, gratitude can help us kind of connect to something larger than ourselves. Whether it’s to other people or nature or higher power, it doesn’t matter, it helps us connect. And in psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness in life. It helps people feel kind of more positive emotions and relish good experiences and improve their health and deal with adversity and build strong relationships. So beginning each day with gratitude should become a part of your morning routine. All right, next up is I. And it stands for intention. You’ll hear me talk about this all the time in my programs and in the podcast that you’ve really got to decide to be intentional about things. And it’s also about being intentional around your purpose, every single day. If you know what you want to achieve. How can you be more intentional about your days to make sure that you’re taking the actions you need to take to get the results that you’re looking for. 

    All right, lastly, begin each day with nurture, that’s going to mean different things to different people. But what are some ways that you can nurture yourself in your morning routine, it may mean brewing a delicious cup of coffee, I make bulletproof coffee every morning and that’s part of the ways that I nurture myself. And it might be even more nurturing when you take 10 minutes to enjoy it in peace nurturing to you might mean meditating, or it might mean praying, it might mean cooking a nutritious breakfast, it might mean having a steam shower with aroma therapy after your workout. Whatever your morning routine looks like, try to nurture yourself for a more productive day. When you do it, it’ll also make you much more likely to begin the next day the same way because it releases those brain chemicals that make us feel good. So that’s how I recommend you begin each morning. I then recommend that you block off two to three hours in your calendar every single day in the mornings to work on your business. Because here’s the beautiful thing about real estate ladies. It’s not typically a morning business. Buyers and sellers are not usually requesting morning appointments. But even if they wanted to, you need to honor your hours and have some boundaries around your time. This is the biggest pitfall that people fall into in real estate is having no boundaries around their time, no set hours and they end up when they start getting busy. Basically working 24 hours a day, seven days a week and that is just not sustainable. You also become what I call a pop tart agent. And you’ve got just no control over your own life. And like I said, when you get really busy, I can’t tell you how quickly you will resent this business and burnout. Not only that, but your family will really resent you too. And I can say if you asked my children do you want to be a real estate agent when you grow up, all four of them will like scream “Oh my god, no”, they think it’s the worst job ever.

    There’s a really easy fix here, block your mornings off and protect that time. I have done this on and off throughout my entire real estate career. And I can’t tell you how much happier I was when I was doing it and how much more miserable I was when I wasn’t. I use a program called acuity schedule to manage my entire calendar with showings and bookings and listing appointments and my personal calendar. And it is a complete lifesaver. I’m also going to link to it in the show notes. But I do have step-by-step training on how to use it included if you do buy my planner. 

    Alright, so when you sit down every morning to work on your business, that’s different than in your business, in your business is all of the things that you need to do with buyers and sellers and leases. So it’s staging, it’s paperwork, it’s trade records, it’s all that stuff on your business is how you’re going to grow your business that your systems and your processes at your presentations, it’s your lead generation, it’s your sales, it’s all that stuff. So when you sit down every morning to work on your business, instead of just staring at your plan or not knowing what to work on, you are going to go to your task list for your very first goal. And all you’re going to do is write down the first three tasks into your three must dues in your planner, then that’s all you’re gonna focus on. It’s just those three tasks, nothing else, three tasks is not a lot, you can do three tasks in a day, right? If you finish the three tasks, give yourself those three, lovely checkmarks. And then feel free to if you’re feeling productive, add more tasks from your list or move on to the rest of your day. If you didn’t finish them, move the incomplete task to tomorrow’s must do and then add two more, then you do this every single day until you’ve finished that goal. It’s just three tasks a day. But when you actually commit to doing this, you will be shocked by how much you’re able to accomplish. Because you’ve got a plan. You know what you need to do. And then all you need to do is execute your plan. You don’t need to sit at your computer wondering what should I be focusing on today, every single day, you have a purpose. You just take those three actions every day and you’re going to look back at the end of the month and at the end of the year, and be blown away by how much you’ve accomplished. This is how to take that high-level goal of a freedom metric, and turn it into daily actionable steps.

    Once you’ve completed your 10 goals, you move on or sorry, once you’ve completed your first goal, then you move on to your next goal and start brainstorming all of the tasks for it. Press repeat. That is the key though, when you are working on one of your goals, you just focus on it and nothing else. You don’t even start brainstorming the tasks for your other big nines. You just focus on the first goal and what you need to accomplish to get it done. 

    Now, if you try this and you find yourself getting distracted by other shiny objects, well that’s an SOS signal that your brain is getting in your way and if it keeps happening and you keep finding yourself in the same pattern, it’s time to get some help sorting that out. Alright ladies, hopefully, that wasn’t too confusing. Like I said sometimes these things are hard to explain in a podcast versus sort of seeing it visually. But if you are interested in ordering one of the planners Like I said, I do have a free workshop that accompanies it, that explains the whole system from start to finish. You can get a copy of it on my website or in the show notes for this episode below.

    Remember, the more you learn, the more you earn, until next time.

  • The #1 Lead Generation Tool You’re Not Using Properly

    EPISODE 25

    The #1 Lead Generation Tool You're Not Using Properly

    In this week’s episode, Jennifer talks about the number one lead generation tool you may not be using properly. She’ll also share the 6 questions you can ask yourself to know.

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    • Get the free worksheet – Lead Sources Worksheet
    • Learn more about my ATTRACT™ coaching program for women in real estate here.
    • Learn more about EXP Realty here.
    • Purchase my Planned with Purpose™ real estate planner here.

    Episode Transcript:

    Hi there and welcome to the women rocking real estate podcast, I’m your host Jen Percival and I really appreciate you tuning today.

    I hope you are all doing well and that you’re staying healthy. I know 1 personally felt a lot better the last week or so, but I’m also expecting to have more periods of not doing so well. At first it was a shock and then I think people started getting used to it and adapting, but I’m sure if this goes on for more than just a few weeks, we’ll go through another period of despair.

    You know I talked about this being similar to the grieving process and to not underestimate the toll that it can take on you emotionally. That process has 5 stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. People don’t go through the stages in order necessarily and they may not experience all 5 stages, but it is important to be aware of them and to recognize they are all a normal part of the journey to eventual acceptance. So make sure you’re taking care of yourself. We can all kind of go into protection mode and worry about our kids and our loved ones, but if you’re not taking care of yourself first, you won’t be able to properly care for others.

    I know that I personally started feeling a lot better and found myself much more motivated and hopeful when I got distracted with purpose. Waking up with a purpose everyday has allowed me to focus on that, instead of what’s going on around me. It’s not that I’m sticking my head in the sand, it’s that I’m trying to focus on stuff that is productive and that I can control.

    Ok onto today’s episode. Of all the surveys I’ve done and questions I’ve asked agents, and conversations I’ve had, the number one thing that agents say they struggle with is lead generation. I’ve tackled this subject a bunch of times in previous episodes, so if you haven’t already listened to episodes 8 and 12, tune into them for more details, but to give you a quick recap, it’s pretty simple… you can generate your own leads through referrals, door knocking, cold calling, open houses, farming, networking, online marketing and advertising. That’s pretty much it.

    Now you do also have the option to buy expensive leads through tech companies, but today we’re going to be talking about why I believe relying on that is one of the biggest mistakes you can make and why when you rely on buying leads, it is actually setting you up to fail in this business. The key word there, is relying on buying leads as your bread and butter. In order to build a long term real estate career, you must implement a strategy to generate your own leads and you must be generating them consistently and on auto-pilot. When you rely too heavily on any one strategy, it’s like building an uneven foundation. You need to diversify your lead generation.

    I’ve talked about this before, that business is going to come to you from 3 different buckets: Bucket 1 – people you know, Bucket 2 – people they know and Bucket 3 is people who don’t know you.
    In order to build a successful real estate career, you need to be tapping into all three of these buckets.

    A lot of coaches will tell you to focus solely on working your sphere of influence – which is your friends and family and then to ask for referrals from those people to tap into the second bucket which is are the people they know. But here’s the problem with this logic…First of all, you have to know a pretty big sphere of people and in order to build any relative momentum, those people all need to be in a stage of life where they’re buying and selling homes AND all those people ideally need to be all buying and selling in a localized area. When your business is solely based on your sphere of influence and how much they refer to you, you aren’t in control of your growth. You might be really well networked, but on its own, this old school approach simply doesn’t fly in today’s competitive market.

    The key to a thriving real estate business is to tap into all 3 buckets, but to generate at least 33 to 60% of your business from people you have no connection to. Think of your sphere of influence business kinda like the gravy, not the meat. So the first thing you need to have a clear understanding of, is where your business is coming from. If you don’t already know what your percentages are, you need to. You need to know your business inside and out. So look at the last 3 years and put every single deal you’ve done – buys, sells and leases and look at where that business came from. Was it from your network? Was it from a referral from your network? Or was it from someone you had no connection to?

    For all the people that fall into that last bucket, I want you to break it down even further. Where did they come from? Here’s the thing that throws a lot of agents for a loop. If you were given that lead because you work on a team or you purchased the lead, it doesn’t count. Do not fool yourself into thinking you’ve got a business that is building momentum, if you are not generating the leads through your own efforts.

    This is something you should be tracking carefully and paying very close attention to. I’ve got a worksheet you can downloaded here. Seeing this stuff visually is super helpful for you to see patterns and more importantly gaps. Again the goal here is to be generating 33 – 60% of your business from people you don’t know and have no connection to. Tapping into that bucket will help you scale your business the fastest and the biggest.

    Again there are a number of ways to generate leads from that bucket, but today I want to focus on the lowest hanging fruit and the one that the vast majority of realtors are either not taking advantage of or they think that they are, but they’re doing it all wrong….and that is through your website.

    One of the things that I started discovering last fall when I launched my online marketing masterclass, was how many agents didn’t have effective websites. There’s sort of three groups of agents out there that everyone falls into – a small percentage have sites that are being used properly and their websites are consistently generating leads for them.

    Then there is a really big group that have websites that they either rent from their brokerage or a third party that are really just being used to have an online presence. If someone googles them, yes you’ve got a site they can go to, but that’s it. The website basically just sits on the internet, but doesn’t do anything to actually generate leads and then there’s the 3rd group of agents that don’t even have a website at all.

    So what group do you fall into? Does your website generate consistent, free leads for you? Remember if you rent your site, those are technically not free leads, because you are paying for those leads when you could be generating them yourself.

    To know whether or not your your website is working for you the way it should, I have 6 questions you need to ask yourself.

    Question 1:

    The Number one and the most important question you need to ask yourself – do you own your own website or do you rent it from your brokerage or from a third party? If you don’t know, you probably rent. So many agents, new ones in particular and those that aren’t super techy are incredibly intimidated by websites and so they opt for the path of least resistance. Which is a real estate website that gets them up and running quickly from either their brokerage or a third party that they rent on a monthly basis.

    Why is this a problem? Number 1) a lot of the sites provided by brokerages and third parties don’t have the basic capabilities that they should. Beyond lack of security, some sites don’t even allow you to upload blogs or videos or install live chat capability or pop-ups for lead magnets. What is the point of having a website if you can’t take advantage of the tools available to help you generate online leads?? Remember the purpose of your site is not just to have a presence online…it’s ultimate purpose should be to generate leads and to do that properly you need to have access to all the tools available.

    The second reason it’s so crucial to own your own custom site is Because if you rent your site, you don’t own the platform that your website is based on. If you ever decide you want to change brokerages or providers, you will likely lose all of your content, It’s like renting a house and spending thousands to furnish it, but then being told you can’t take your furniture with you if you decide to leave. That’s how they handcuff you! Can you imagine losing years worth of data and content – all your listings, all your blogs, all your videos. You’d literally have to start from scratch and that would be catastrophic for your future lead generation.

    Number 3) You don’t have control. We all know how fast technology changes and new tools become available. When you don’t own your website, you are at the mercy of the provider and you can’t implement new tools that could be hugely beneficial for your lead generation. You are not just a realtor, you are a business owner and you need to have full ownership and control of your assets.

    So the bottom line is that If you don’t own your own website, you likely can’t market yourself properly online.

    Question 2:

    Are you consistently creating unique, authority building weekly content on your website through at minimum a blog, but ideally videos? What about Cornerstone content? I’m not talking about content on your social media platforms, if you want to start generating online leads, content marketing is the foundation of your strategy and that content has to sit on your website.

    Question 3:

    When you’re creating that content, are you conducting keyword research to make sure that people can actually find your content? If no one is searching for the keywords you’ve put in your blog titles and content, then they’ll never find your site, so all of that effort is for nothing.

    Question 4:

    The next question you need to ask yourself is whether you have a strategy to grow your email list. If you’ve just got a ‘sign up for my newsletter opt-in form on your website, I can assure you that you’re missing a huge opportunity to grow your list. You need an enticing lead magnet to encourage people to opt-in to your list so that you can start effectively nurturing them and building know, like and trust feelings.

    Question 5:

    The next question you need to be asking yourself is whether you’ve got a Facebook pixel installed on your website, but more importantly are you actually using the data it gives you to market your business? If you don’t understand the power of the pixel and how you’re supposed to be using it to grow your business online, you’re not doing it properly.

    Question 6:

    The last question I want you to ask yourself, is whether you have a Google tag installed on your website and whether you’re using it to create super affordable re-marketing ads? I spend about $3 a day, that’s just slightly over $1000 a year and I generated about $50,000 in business from that in 2019. That’s a pretty incredible return on investment. You might not be able to have for sale signs all over your neighbourhood, but your brand awareness ads can show up all over the internet.

    If you can’t answer yes to most of those questions, you have a gap. You are not using your website to market yourself properly online and you are missing a huge opportunity to start generating consistent leads. I don’t understand why someone would buy online leads, when with a little bit of effort, they can generate their own. That’s how you build a consistent, predictable real estate business. That’s how you build enough momentum to scale your business.

    There are not a lot of realtors in this day and age that have been able to grow their business where they can build a team, by solely relying on their sphere of influence and referrals. Because that is the end goal right? Being a one woman show, especially a successful busy one, is not all it’s cracked up to be. This business is exhausting after you’ve been doing it for awhile. New agents don’t realize the toll it takes on your family when you’re constantly gone in the evenings and weekends. When you can’t go on vacations without stress and guilt, when you can’t ever really turn your phone off. Your ultimate goal, should be to build a thriving business, where you can eventually take a step back and get your life back a little. Whether that’s through having an assistant, a buyer’s agent or a whole team, that is the end goal.

    But even if you just want to build a business that pays your bills and puts food on the table, having an effective website strategy is one of the cheapest ways to get you there.

    So many agents, new ones in particular and those that aren’t super techy are incredibly intimidated by websites and so they opt for the path of least resistance. Which is a real estate website that gets them up and running quickly from either their brokerage or a third party that they rent on a monthly basis.

    They go this path versus building their own custom website for 3 reasons typically:

    Reason #1:

    Some agents do it just to check a box that they have a website and a presence online and some of them are falsely empowered into thinking that’s going to help them generate leads. Yes you absolutely, positively need to have a website if you work in real estate. At bare minimum just for credibility, contact information and the ability to advertise your listings. But that alone is never going to start generating online leads for you.

    The next reason agents often rent a real estate website site, is because they’ve been sold that if they have an IDX feed on their site, it will generate leads for them.

    For those of you that don’t know IDX is basically an agreement to have your real estate boards listings on your website. In exchange you have to agree to share your listings with the IDX feed and hence your listings will show up on 1000s of other real estate websites.

    The theory is that if someone is searching for a listing that’s on the market, they may find it on your site and contact you instead of the listing agent. The reality on the other hand is that you will never be able to compete on search rankings with the tech giants like zillow, Redfin and 100s of other tech companies that invest millions to rank high on google searches. If they have the authority to advertise that listing, they will always outrank you. You’re fighting a losing battle. So having a fancy IDX is also not the solution to your lead generation problems.

    The 3rd reason many agents opt for a rented site vs building their own custom website from scratch is a misconception that it’s either really difficult or really expensive or both. Which is simply not true! There’s a whole lotta brainwashing happening out there when it comes to websites and it comes from two groups of people. Both like to make it feel like it’s a really complicated process to build a website and one that only experts who specialize in web development can do. They want you to believe this because that’s their business and they need you to believe that to thrive. So they either charge you and arm and a leg to build a custom site for you or they charge you an arm and a leg to rent you a pre-built real estate website.

    Either way, they need you to be intimidated by the process in order for them to stay in business.

    But website technology has changed and nowadays anyone can build a real estate website.

    I’m just a realtor mom from Canada who taught herself how to do it and you absolutely can learn too. Is there a bit of a learning curve to it? Yes of course, but no more than learning a CRM program or Facebook advertising. If you can follow a recipe in a cookbook, you can build your own custom real estate website.

    So if it’s not that difficult or expensive, why is it so crucial that you seriously consider building your own site?

    Number 1) a lot of the sites provided by brokerages and third parties don’t have the basic capabilities that they should. I can’t tell you how many I’ve seen that aren’t even secured with an SSL certificate. What’s the implication of that? Soon enough Google will be warning everyone that tries to visit your site, that it is a security risk and it will certainly not rank well in the search engines. Not exactly good for your brand image or exposure. Beyond basic security though, some sites don’t even allow you to upload blogs or videos or install live chat capability or pop-ups for lead magnets. What is the point of having a website if you can’t take advantage of the tools available to help you generate online leads?? Remember the purpose of your site is not just to have a presence online…it’s ultimate purpose should be to generate leads and to do that properly you need to have access to all the tools available.

    The second reason it’s so crucial to own your own custom site is Because if you rent your site, you don’t own the platform that your website is based on. If you ever decide you want to change brokerages or providers, you will likely lose all of your content, It’s like renting a house and spending thousands to furnish it, but then being told you can’t take your furniture with you if you decide to leave. That’s how they handcuff you! Can you imagine losing years worth of data and content – all your listings, all your blogs, all your videos all your cornerstone content and all of the search engine rankings you’ve acquired. You’d literally have to start from scratch and that would be catastrophic for your future lead generation or you’d have to manually copy and paste everything from your old site to your new site. But you’d still lose all your Seo rankings.

    Lastly, Number 3) You don’t have control. We all know how fast technology changes and new tools become available. When you don’t own your website, you are at the mercy of the provider and you can’t implement new tools that could be hugely beneficial for your lead generation. You also may not have control of your content. When you own your website you can quickly and easily change and add new content to your site, without having to rely on anyone to do it for you. Creating new content on your site is the only thing that will get it ranking high in the search engines. They like new, fresh, valuable content, so your website is not mean to be a static thing that you finish and it just sits there. It needs to be a constant growing hub of valuable content filled with your personal insights and knowledge.

    If you want to start generating consistency and predictability in your business, it starts with having a solid website strategy. Remember, You are not just a realtor, you are a business owner and you need to have full ownership and control of your assets and then you need to use their full capability to grow your business.

    As I said When I launched my online marketing masterclass last year, I realized there was a huge gap for agents around websites and I decided I needed to create a resource to teach women step by step, how easy it is to build their own custom real estate website. But I could just never find the time to create the program and get it done.….well I’m happy to say that building that program has been my purpose for the last 2 weeks. It’s gotten me out of bed every day and it’s gotten me off the news and off social media and I’m really excited to say that it’s finally done.
    So if you currently don’t have a website or you rent one from your brokerage or a third party and you want to create a gorgeous custom real estate website on the WordPress platform, I can teach you step by step how to do it. I really want to make this program affordable and accessible for everyone so I’m offering it 50% off for $49 while we’re dealing with the effects of coronavirus.

    To learn more about the program and to see a live sample of the website you’d be creating, you can visit my website at I want to make sure you understand that I didn’t record this podcast telling you that websites are important because I wanted to sell you a course. I passionately believe that websites are the foundation of your online marketing strategy and I saw a need to help women learn how to build their own site and to do it for way cheaper than it costs to rent one. That’s why I created the program.

    Alright ladies, that’s it for today. I hope you all have a safe, productive week and I will see you here same time, same place next week and remember the more you learn, the more you’ll earn.

    Until next time.

  • Your 10-Step Action Plan to Rock 2020

    EPISODE 10

    Your 10-Step Action Plan To Rock 2020

    In this week’s episode, Jen walks you through a 10-step action plan to turn your 2020 goals into a reality. You’ll want a pen and paper for this episode, but you can download a worksheet for the exercise.

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    Episode Transcript:

    Well hey there and welcome back to another episode of the Women Rocking Real Estate podcast. I’m your host Jen Percival and I’m so genuinely grateful that you’re here listening to me. In the last few weeks, I have had a bunch of ladies reach out to me with the most kind, encouraging and sweet messages. I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me. When I’m creating these episodes I have absolutely no idea if they’re resonating or helping people, so getting messages is so incredibly rewarding. So I just wanted to give a shout out to Megan, Nicole, Melissa, Lisa, Sarah and Anna…thank you so much for your messages and to Oresta, Jessica, Angie, Gail and Heather thank you so much for leaving such nice comments on my website.

    Alright before we dive into today’s episode, I just wanted to warmly welcome all the ladies that joined my beta launch of Online Marketing Made Simple.

    Here’s the thing about working in real estate, not everyone that gets into this industry comes from a business background. In fact the vast majority don’t. A lot of women get into real estate thinking that they’re just going to be buying and selling homes and they haven’t really considered that they are going to be running a full fledged business and real estate is just the service you offer.

    Running a business successfully is no small undertaking. When you get your real estate license you’re basically taught how to transact in real estate, but most programs out there don’t remotely teach enough about how to run a business. And that is where so many people fall short.

    You need to have a solid understanding of finance, operations, sales, systems and processes just to have a proper foundation to build your business on. But then there’s the whole branding, marketing and advertising side of things and it is probably the most underestimated aspect of most agent’s businesses.

    Before getting into real estate, I spent 13 years in the corporate world being trained by some of the best branding and marketing experts in the country. Then I spent the last 11 years honing that craft in my own businesses. That’s almost 25 years of direct marketing training and I’m still learning. Do you know how many courses I’ve taken this year? I’ve spent about $10,000 to keep myself up to date. Because that’s the thing with marketing, it’s always changing.

    So if you are not an expert and you’re not hiring someone to help you with your branding, marketing and advertising, you really should be learning how to do it properly yourself. Do not underestimate the impact this stuff will have on your success, it’s huge.

    So that’s why I created Online Marketing Made Simple. I wanted to provide an option for those women who don’t have marketing backgrounds and who can’t afford to hire someone to do it for them yet.

    There’s lots of marketing training out there, but it’s either not specific to real estate or it’s taught by someone who’s never worked in real estate and doesn’t really understand the nuances of this business. The other stuff out there is taught by companies that are trying to get you to use their services or sell you on their tech platform. There’s a bias there.

    I wanted to do the research on all the options out there and provide unbiased branding, marketing and advertising advice for women in real estate. And then I wanted to create a course the simplifies the whole process in a way that is really easy to understand and implement. So that’s what Online Marketing Made Simple is all about. I’m so excited to take my beta group from zero to online marketing hero. Unfortunately there are too many of you to mention, but I’m excited to get to know each and every one of you!

    Alright, enough about that, let’s jump into today’s episode….

    It is now November and things tend to slow down in real estate this time of year, so this is the perfect time to start planning for how you’re going to make 2020 your best year ever.

    When I say that, I’m not talking about dreaming of lots of listings and lots of numbers in your bank account. I’m talking about getting crystal clear on where you want to go and EXACTLY how you’re going to get there. In order to do that though, you need to know where you’ve been.

    So in today/s episode, I’m going to give you the 10 steps needed to make your 2020 plan not just a dream, but a reality.

    So let’s get started…

    Step 1 – Historical Analysis

    In order to effectively plan for the future, we have to look at history. So step 1 is to do recap of 2019. You’re going to want to look at all the business you did and create a spreadsheet with the quantity of listings, buyers, leases and referrals, the commission income you earned, the percentage of your overall business and what your average commission was for listings, buyers and leases. I know this is hard to visualize when you’re listening to this, so I will link to a cheat sheet in the show notes to help you work through this exercise.

    You want to do this exercise every year you’re in business, so if you don’t have these numbers for past years, go back and complete it for every year you’ve been in business. If you’re new to the business and you don’t have historical data yet, you’re going to need to make some assumptions based on average sales prices and commissions in your market.

    The next thing you need to really understand, is where business is coming to you from and is it different for buyers, sellers or leases? I create a pie chart for buyers and one for sellers in a spreadsheet and I go through every deal I did and every lead that came in and I put in where they came from It’s a great visual way to see your business from a distance and really helps you to understand where to focus your time and investment.

    The last thing you want to do in this step is write down what you did really well. What were all the things you accomplished this year? If you made a plan for 2019, what did you get done that you said you were going to do? Next what did you want to achieve but didn’t and why not?

    Step 2 – Your Freedom Metric

    Ok moving along to Step 2 is setting your goals and targets for 2020. But before we get to that, it’s a good idea to understand what your freedom metric is. We talked about this in the last episode, but it is #1 thing we all strive for when we first got into real estate and that is creating freedom.

    Freedom To live life on your own terms..
    Freedom To be able to do what you love each day..
    Freedom To live where you want to live..
    Freedom To spend quality time with the people in your life that really matter.

    Achieving this lifestyle comes down to just ONE NUMBER in your business.
    A number that you must focus on solely with all your energy until it is reached.…and that is your freedom metric. It is your monthly revenue number that allows you to finally take a step back and breathe.
    To know that the bills are going to be paid and that there will still be money left over at the end of the month. Money that will start affording you that lifestyle you dreamed of when you first started your business.

    So what is your freedom metric? Calculate the amount of money you need to make, to pay able to pay for your business and personal expenses and still have enough income left over to live the lifestyle you desire.

    The next step is where many agents fall short. They’ll set a target, but they don’t really do an analysis of what it’s going to take to reach that target. So you want to take your freedom metric and figure out exactly how many listings, purchases and leases it’s going to take to reach it. This is where you look at your historical numbers. For illustration purposes, let’s say you want to make $100,000 and you know historically 60% of your business comes from Buyers, 30% from sellers and 10% from leases.

    Then that means you’re going to have to make $60,000 from buyers and if you know on average you make about $10,000 from each buyer, you’re going to need 6 buyers.

    Same exercise from sellers – if you want to reach your $100k target, you need to make $30k from sellers. If you make on average $10k from sellers, you need 3 listings.

    For leases if you make an average of $1000 per lease, you need 10 leases to make the remaining $10k

    So now you know you need 6 buyers, 3 listings and 10 leases to hit your freedom metric. I want you to write those down on a whiteboard somewhere and put little stick figures beside each category. This will keep it front and centre and as you do those deals, cross off a stick figure. Make sense?

    Alright now that we have targets and we know exactly what numbers we have to achieve, you need to put that aside and focus on what activities you’re going to do to reach those targets. At the end of the day, you don’t have control over whether you actually make those numbers, but you DO have control over whether you did what you said you were going to do to try and get there.

    The next 5 steps are all about brainstorming. I want you to get a notebook and find a dedicated an hour or two of quiet, undistracted time where you can start brainstorming all of the following things. This isn’t a time to make decisions, it is just a brain dump. So don’t judge the ideas that come to you, just let them flow.

    Step 3 – The More you Learn the More You’ll Earn

    Ok let’s get started…..I end every single podcast with the same saying – who knows what it is? I wish I could hear you yelling it out. It is The more you learn, the more you’ll earn. The reason I end every podcast with that, is because it’s true and probably the biggest influencer of your success. The more you learn, the better you’ll do in this business, so step 3 should be is to brainstorm all of the ways that you’re going to learn more this year. Think about courses, workshops, conferences and seminars you could go to. Mentors you could job shadow. I want you to Look into all the books you could read – target one a month. Oh as an aside, I have zero time to read books, but I have loads of time I spend in the car driving to appointments, carpooling my kids around and driving back and forth from our cottage and audible is my best friend in the whole world. If you’re not using audible to learn more, you’re missing out!

    Obviously I’m also a big fan of podcasts. There is so much great free information out there, but don’t just listen to real estate related podcasts and books. The real learning will come from listening to things you might not know much about, so spread your horizons.

    While I’m talking about free vs paid education…it is important to note that studies have shown that when people invest in their education they get a lot more out of it. When people pay, they pay more attention.

    Step 4 – Grow Who You Know

    Ok So now that you’ve listed all the free and paid ways you’re going to invest in your learning for 2020, step 4 is to list how you are going to grow who you know.

    As you’ve probably heard me say on repeat by now that to succeed in this business you have to be focused on growing who you know, ideally by one new person every single day. Unless you make a conscious effort to do that though, it won’t happen. You actually need a plan of how you’re going to increase your network by over 300 people a year. So in this step you’re going to brainstorm all of the ways that you could meet new people in 2020 and the definition of meeting someone is that you find out their name. It is not to tell them you’re in real estate, it is just to meet them.

    So start getting into the habit of striking up conversations every where you go. Do you know how many people I have met doing my hair and makeup at the tennis club I belong to? I’m sitting in the same spot with someone else for about 20 minutes – great opportunity to strike up a conversation.

    But the more repetitive the interactions are and the deeper you get to know someone the better, so when you’re brainstorming this list, try to think of activities where you’re can get to know a group of people on a regular basis – think book clubs, classes, sports teams, moms groups, church events, the dog park, running groups, you get the picture. When you can combine exercise with networking that is very productive and efficient!

    Alright before we move on to step 5, I’ve said this a million times, but Remember you are meeting people for the sake of meeting people, not to try and push your agenda to let them know you’re in real estate and fish for business. No you’re only agenda is to meet them, get to know them and add value to their life every chance you can. That’s it. Nothing more.

    Ok just to recap where we’re at, because this has been a pretty actionable episode and if you’re not writing this stuff down, it can be hard to keep track.

    Step 1 was to look at your past years in real estate and to analyze them to better understand where your business has come from and what your average business metrics are.

    Step 2 was to understand your freedom metric and to determine exactly how many buyers, listings and leases you’ll have to have to get there.

    Step 3 was to brainstorm all the ways you’re going to invest time and money into educating yourself more.

    And Step 4 was to create a list of all the ways you’re going to grow who you know in 2020.

    Step 5 – Marketing & Advertising

    Moving along to step 5 now which is how you’re going to reach your targets with marketing and advertising. If you watched my webinar, you know about my 5 step formula for generating online leads using evergreen content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, Facebook advertising and google. You also know that the 3 rules for it to work is that you have to do all 5 steps, you have to execute each properly and you must do them consistently.

    The trap a lot of realtors fall into, is thinking they can only really market themselves when they have listings. But your listings don’t actually differentiate you. Buyers can find those listings on a plethora of other websites. The better way to differentiate yourself with your online marketing is by building authority as a local expert in your community by creating valuable, relevant evergreen content and then infusing that content with your personality, knowledge and insights.

    You’re also going to plan out any Print advertising that you could do. There is still a place for print in real estate as long as you are targeted in what you do and consistent. Here in Toronto it’s comical how many real estate postcards I get in the mail, it’s very much a me too strategy and is basically just killing trees. But every market is different and in some communities unaddressed ad mail is still effective. If you’re going to do it, as I said do it consistently for the year and get creative with it. Make your print materials stand out and encourage engagement by running contests or giveaways.

    Lastly you’ll want to explore ways that you could grow your business with Events & Promotions. It’s a good idea to research all of the community events going on throughout the year and to see if there are ways that you could leverage them. So in this step you need to brainstorm all of the ways that you’re going to use marketing and advertising to grow your business.

    Step 6 – Client Retention

    Next up, is Step 6 which is about client retention. This is where you’re going to brainstorm the ways you will stay in touch with current and past clients and prospects. You’re also going to list all the ways you can strengthen relationships so they don’t forget about you throughout the year.

    Step 7 – Operations

    In Step 7 – I want you thinking about the operation of your business and to brainstorm all the ways that you could implement new Systems & Processes into your business. Think about Technology you could be taking advantage of, or productivity tools, or time management strategies.

    So after you’re done all that brainstorming, you should have pages and pages of written ideas. Now obviously you can’t implement all of those ideas, but I want you to go through them and put a plan together which is Step 8.

    Step 8 – Make a Plan

    From each of those categories decide what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it.

    Use whatever tool works for you whether it be a digital tool or a planner that you actually write in. I personally need to physically write this stuff out, so I still have an old fashioned printed planner and it’s actually a custom one that I developed for our brokerage. The key here is to plan everything out for the year and put it in writing in a way that you can track it. At the beginning of every month you will know exactly what you have committed to doing and that will help hold you accountable to actually completing it.

    Step 9 – Develop Your Budget

    Once you’ve got a plan in place, Step 9 is to create a budget for your plan. The magic number you should allocate to expenses is 30%. So if your freedom metric is $100k then you should expect to spend about $30k on your business. So you’re now going to assign costs to everything in your plan and if it comes out to more than 30% of your freedom metric, then you’re going to need to dial some stuff back.

    The way the profit first strategy works is to take 30% of every commission cheque you get and put it in a separate account. That is what you’ve got to work with at any given moment for your marketing and advertising budget. So you’re not going to go spend $30k at the beginning of the year. You’re only going to spend what is in your expenses budget. Make sense?

    Alright just to recap all the steps for your Action Plan:

    So Step 1 was to look at your past years in real estate and to analyze them to better understand where your business has come from and what your average metrics are.

    Step 2 was to understand your freedom metric and to determine exactly how many buyers, listings and leases you’ll have to have to get there.

    Step 3 was to brainstorm all the ways you’re going to invest time and money into educating yourself more.

    And Step 4 was to create a list of all the ways you’re going to grow who you know in 2020.

    Step 5 was to brainstorm all of the ways you can grow your business with marketing and advertising

    Step 6 was all about Client Retention and how you’re going to stay top of mind throughout the year

    Step 7 was about your business operations. The systems and processes you can implement to keep a tightly running ship.

    Step 8 was to go through all the things you brainstormed and to put a monthly plan together of exactly what activities you’re going to be doing to reach your freedom metric

    And Step 9 was to create a budget for your business plan and to allocate 30% of every commission cheque towards your business expenses.

    Step 10 – Personal Goals

    Last but most importantly is step 10 which is identifying your personal goals. What do you want to accomplish personally this year? I recommend you brainstorm things in the categories of health both physical and mental, relationships, family, recreation, habits, leisure, balance, etc. Get crystal clear on who you want to be at the end of the year and how you spent your time. Then write it down at the beginning of every week as a reminder to stay on track.

    Alright ladies that brings us to the end of this weeks podcast. I hope that you found it helpful and that you’ve got an action plan ready to make 2020 your best year ever.

    Next week’s episode is all about setting yourself and your transactions up for success. We’re going to dive into all the things that you can do in your business day to day to keep clients happy and to ensure you have a glowing reviews for social proof all over the internet. When it comes to real estate, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so make sure you tune in next week.

    I will see you next monday same time same place and Remember the more you learn, the more you’ll earn.

    Until next time!