Building A Business Off The Basics

Greg Harrelson and Abe Safa of C21 The Harrelson Group share key concepts in this week’s Facebook LIVE Coaching session, “Building A Business Off The Basics.” Harrelson and Safa discuss the importance of business fundamentals in real estate and how often agents are led to focus on “enhancements,” such as social media, direct mail, calling COI, and open houses, rather than what really drives volume: the basics. Tune in to hear the basic mindset, skillset, and activities that will ensure you start the new year out right!


"When we think about basics,” Harrelson said, “It's more of an active strategy." Safa agreed, explaining that when he started out, "We were handed a phone... That’s the basics in my opinion." Safa went on to explain that nowadays agents are told to be on social media and use other techniques. This approach “...doesn't teach the basics of what to say, who to call, etc.,” said Safa. Agreeing but also recognizing that social media is a valuable tool, Harrelson explained, that social media is an enhancement instead of a basic business builder. The basics of business require understanding three elements: mindset, skillset, and activities.

First, Understand Basic Mindset
Harrelson shared that the basics are what he’s lived, which is why he knows they work. That’s why he shares his scripts with his agents. This doesn’t mean that conversations need to be completely scripted, Safa and Harrelson agreed, but they need to start off that way to get the client engaged. "There's always going to be buyers, and there's always going to be sellers out there, doesn't matter the market or economy,” said Safa. “You just need to find them and get in the middle..." Talking about the need for fluid conversation with pricing and market fluctuations, “The conversation is always evolving, depending on the market,” Safa explained. “Expectations and outcomes change, so the conversation just as well.”

“When the market shifts, the only thing that changes is the conversation,” stressed Harrelson.

"Agents may get less than they normally get when the market goes south,” Harrelson said. “But it's because their mindset goes south."  When you adjust your mindset and realize that “real estate is a contact sport,” Safa said, “the more business you will do.” Harrelson explained that real estate originates from contact and that it’s important to remember that, “Every deal we’ve ever done originated from a contact... so now it’s a matter of how many deals do you want?" Safa also encouraged that as you meet with each contact, it’s important to deliver an excellent experience and "create advocates" and "raving fans."

Second, Understand Basic Activities
1. Show up early. “Yes, granddaddy was right when he said the early bird gets the worm! There’s no doubt.” Harrelson said as he explained that, “people see the success, but they don't see what made the success."
2. Make your calls for 3 hours. “If you're not making calls which is something you can control, then you're waiting for someone else to control you and your business,” Greg said. The calls represent your freedom and allow you to determine how the faucet works on your lead flow.
3. Go on as many appointments as you can, Harrelson encouraged. He suggested that agents call every buyer lead and ask whether they want an appointment at 4 or 5. “You set the appointment in pencil and then do the research,” he said. If not qualified enough, then Greg has someone else call to qualify and then schedules it in pen. As soon as you set the appointment, the caller feels that they’ve accomplished their mission. “Once the appointment is set, the caller feels they accomplished their goal, and then you can have the conversation.” Greg shared a story of a lead that requested information and was told that the information would come on a callback. Once the information was obtained the agent called back, only to be told that the buyer found another agent. The buyer found an agent who prioritized setting an appointment first.
4. Massive lead follow-up. “You’ve got to follow up like a mad person,” Greg said. Abe added that you need to let the “cream rise to the top” and separate it from the rest. Harrelson agreed, saying, “Segmentation allows you to prioritize." Safa said, "Make sure the people that are closest to the end  of the funnel are getting called every day." Discussing workflows, Safa said to use the hot leads function in Real Geeks. Greg's definition of a hot lead means he doesn't let them go 2 days without talking to them. If he calls every day and it feels uncomfortable, he moves them to B or C. Safa agreed on the importance of segmentation, saying, "Don't let your As and Bs get mixed in and diluted with the Cs and Ds. Then you’re missing out on business." Harrelson wanted people to understand that tagging and segmentation need to be simple. The challenge with tags and segmentation, Harrelson said, is that we have too many tags and then we don't follow the rules for the tags. Following the tag, rules are more important than tagging.

Third, Understand Basic Skillsets 
1. Talk to strangers - “You’ve got to develop the skill of talking to strangers,” said Harrelson
2. Use scripts - "You only use a script to get into a dialogue… with the lead," explained Harrelson. "We need to know the scripts so we can get into the dialogue and have the conversation. That's where the magic happens." He added every script book will work. "Don't fear the script... it's just temporary to get you in the dialogue."
3. Ask for the appointment - “If you never change your skills, but ask for the appointment 100% of the time... your business will change,” said Harrelson. Safa agreed and added, "The whole point is not to lose track of your best leads."
4. Outbound prospecting - “You need to follow up and make sure you are top of mind,” said Harrelson
5. Negotiations - Practice them! “If a buyer wants to buy and a seller wants to sell, you can always put the deal together. The only thing keeping the deal from coming together,” Harrelson said, “Is that the right option hasn't been presented yet. Fight tooth and nail to keep the deal alive."
6. The art of asking questions
- “We can never get good enough at asking the right questions,” said Safa.?

What Is the Secret?
In closing Harrelson shared the secret to success in real estate. “If there is a secret,” Harrelson said, “the secret is in executing on the basics.”