Craig Reger has been selling real estate in Portland, Ore. for nearly 20 years. For the past fifteen years, he has been consistently recognized as one of Oregon’s top-producing Realtors and coach of the KW Maps Coaching 90-in-90 listing challenge.
Best known for his understanding and knowledge of the market, Reger served as the 2011 President of the PMAR Million Dollar Club (MDC) and was honored as the 2008 PMAR MDC Broker of the Year. In addition to running the Craig Reger Group, he is the Operating Principal of the Keller Williams Sunset Corridor brokerage office and Keller Williams Eugene- Springfield brokerage. He also coaches and trains other real estate brokers throughout the Portland area.
He recently shared some of his tips, tricks and insights about prospecting with Mojo.
What is the importance of prospecting?
In a nutshell it’s consistency in your business. I feel many agents do some form of prospecting, they get some business, then they work on that business, they wake up with some paychecks and then they’re out of business and they more or less repeat that process.
And it’s just not a very good quality of life. The importance of prospecting is if you can time block and commit, one hour a day, two hours a day, three hours a day, whatever it is, commit to reach your goals, the business becomes so consistent. It’s not perfect, but it’s consistent.
If you get in front of enough candidates, you’re going to get someone who is a 10 to buy or list this weekend and you’re going to find somebody else whose motivation is a 2 or a 0. So prospecting allows you to work with the people you enjoy working with at a price point you enjoy working with at a motivational level you enjoy working with. And geographic areas you enjoy working with. All of that becomes controllable through prospecting. And without prospecting, you’re kind of just at the whim of, ‘Hey I got this one lead, and whether it’s good or bad I guess I have to work on it.’
What are the challenges of prospecting?
I think there are more roadblocks than there are open lanes sometimes. I think it’s our mindset, I think it’s fear of rejection, a lack of confidence or a lack of knowledge about what we’re going to say. I think those are the biggest reasons we feel intimidated. The mindset that it won’t work. Those are the most common roadblocks I see with my team or with people around the country.
So what do you do to overcome them?
I think script practice is key, I really do. I use sports analogies to explain this. Imagine if your favorite football team just showed up on Sunday to play the 49ers– they had no practice, they didn’t work on their positions, they didn’t work on their plays, didn’t watch game tape– they just showed up and hoped to have a good game against the 49ers. That would not be a very good situation for them.
Yet in our business we don’t take 15, 20, 30 minutes a day to really master what we do. We go to work, which is basically like playing the game on Sunday. We don’t take any time prior to going to work to, or most of us don’t take any time, to feel extremely confident and knowledgeable in what we’re going to say or do at work.
So I think script practice is a really big one that can take away those fears and to give us confidence in what we’re going to say.
Talk to me about getting started, should agents new to prospecting have a plan?
Personally, I think you dive in. My take on it is, so often people do what I call getting ready to get ready to get ready and they never actually do anything. So in some cases they are spending days and weeks or months or years, coming up with a plan, which is a form of work I guess.
They are making a plan for, wow this is going to be the best conversation and the best phone numbers and the best scripts and the best everything and that’s all they’re working on and they never actually pick up the phone.
To me at its simplest form, if Mojo Dialer can give me even just 500 numbers, and if I have zero scripts, I simply call up 500 people and I say, ‘Hi, I’m Craig and I’m a real estate agent have you thought about selling your home?’ which is not the most powerful script, right? At its most basic form, any one of us can say those 10 words.
And, if I call 500 people and say those 10 words, odds are that two or three or five or seven or worse case, if it’s just horrific, one, is going to say yes. If you want to be successful at it, you pick up the phone and maybe you have a slightly better script than, ‘Hi, I’m Craig do you want to sell your home?’ But at the end of the day, that script would work if you did it 6 hours a day. There’s no gray in my mind it would work.
I think that over time you develop your scripts, you develop your confidence, then you grow towards mastery, and at that point certainly your closing ratios and conversion ratios and appointment ratios will go up exponentially.
What are some tips you give agents when it comes to prospecting?
Recognize it’s a numbers game. I think a lot of people get frustrated, of, ‘Oh I called up 30 or 50 or 70 people and I didn’t set an appointment.’ So they stop. But what if the next three were the three that would have said yes?
It comes back to consistency. If you want to find motivated buyers and sellers, then you have to go through a bunch of non-motivated buyers and sellers. It’s consistency and it’s also in the quantity. And that’s what I love about the Mojo dialer. It gives my team an opportunity to dial thousands, if not literally tens of thousands of numbers a week.
And if we get in front of that many people, then we are going to find people who have some level of motivation.
What is the biggest prospecting mistakes agents make?
They don’t do it, they don’t do it, they don’t do it. I mean, seriously.
Another is, they give up too soon. They just feel like, ‘I did it for a day or a week or three weeks and that’s good enough.’ They give up too soon on that expired, and they give up too soon on the for sale by owner.
It’s like, if I go to the gym for two weeks and work out really hard, and I haven’t done that before, I’m going to be in a bunch of pain- my body’s not going to change that much in two weeks. But if I go to the gym every single day or even four days a week for the next 90 days- tell me I won’t look and feel totally different 91 days from now.
I think prospecting and lead generation is the exact same thing. A lot of people will do it for a day or a week or two weeks and, just like going to the gym, they’re not seeing those immediate results. They are like, ‘Well this sucks and oh by the way it’s painful,’ and they stop right as it’s going to get really good.
To me that’s the biggest mistake, it’s not consistent they only do it when they are at a place of, ‘Oh my gosh I just woke up with no or few deals in Escrow,’ and they do it and it’s not always an immediate results. It has to be consistent and they need to stick with it. I think those are the one and two biggest mistakes that people make with lead generation.
[Interview has been edited for length and clarity]
We know how busy Craig is with coaching and running his real estate business and we’d like to thank him for sharing his knowledge. Keep an eye out for more real estate agent Q&A:)