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How to write $1 million in fees: the modern day way

By Rocky Bartolotto
30 July 2014 | 1 minute read

There has been a lot of hype this week with the report on Johnny Lin, a Harcourts agent who is writing $810,000 in gross commission annually.

But if we look into this a little, we can find out what gets him to a figure like that and what makes an agent write hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to the struggling.

Before continuing, it's important to note that writing $810,000 in gross commission doesn't mean $810,000 goes into your pocket; you then need to pay expenses, your staff, tax and so on. So before you finally get to take a dollar home you may be looking at a figure more like $250,000 or so - still great, but not $810,000.


But how do you get to that figure? Here are the key take away points:

1. Every listing needs to be integrated: Every listing should follow a formula. What are you doing for social? What are you doing for print? What are you doing for online? There needs to be a strategy and KPIs to measure along the campaign. If a certain stat isn't getting enough traction then you need to boost it up. A lot of agents tweet a listing, let it sit there and hope that person writes back. Agents need to find a database of consumers searching across different channels and target them.

2. Have an efficient CMS to hit the ground running: One of the biggest mistakes agents make is they win a listing.... and then what? Most agents don't know who to call. The chances are your buyer is someone who has walked through a previous listing or one of your colleagues. Agents go through this massive marketing campaign without looking at who they have to start. Therefore, having a CMS where your prospects are coded will get you on the track straight away. Each person should be coded with:

  • Approximate budget range
  • Desire to buy in the next 0-6 months or 6-12 months
  • Primary needs (space, bedrooms, etc)
  • Current living arrangement (e.g if they are renting their movement may be quicker than needing to sell before they buy)

3. Delegation: It is important that you build up the people around you and have them effective at what you do, purely to save time. It's important you have a good system for leads/enquiries. You need to train your team as to what should be acted on immediately and left. If a consumer is a hot lead, ensure that they code the message accordingly and it allows you to act upon it. On the flip side, if it doesn't require immediate action then ensure you wait and act when your time is not flooded with other enquiries.

4. Routine: It's really easy to get caught up when you get five listings all at the one time that you need to stop doing business development and just work on what you have. However, pipeline management is essential for a few reasons: firstly, because it keeps your routine, but secondly it ensures that you get more leads and listings when your hot patch is over. Whilst you may not be able to service these leads immediately, having them prepared to list later in the year will keep your pipeline strong.

5. Make social time work time: This one may be a little intrusive for some people, but if you want to write $1 million you need to always be breathing real estate. Therefore, ensure you can work in your social time to do non-obtrusive business development. Get to a gym where you can spot someone and talk business. Also look at other social occasions or events where you can get involved to boost your brand. Use this as an opportunity to give free advice and build trust.

6. 80/20 rule: Remember this rule with life: there are 20 per cent of your clients that will give you 80 per cent of your revenue. Therefore, spend your time on them, you are going to get a lot more value taking a strong client out for lunch than an extra hour of business development for people looking at $200,000 apartments. Chances are they won't buy, and one further interaction with Mr 20 Per Cent may be a better investment than all of the other business.

7. Have actions for triggered outbreaks: A lot of people avoid their own internal symptoms. When they start to get stressed they take a Panadol and keep going. To write $1 million in fees you are going to be busy, and if you think you know what busy is then dream on. Instead of being reactive, be proactive. Undertake things like meditation, yoga and other exercises. The reason for this is because it will de-stress you, release endorphins and have you better prepared to deal with stress. Taking 10-minute pre-planned meditation sessions daily can help improve your stress management and ability to deal with stress overload.

Whilst there are many more tips that will help you write $1 million in fees, this is a good shell to start. A lot of these actions will be common but maybe not that well practised by a lot of you out there. Going back to basics and attempting to implement these strategies may not get you to $1 million tomorrow, but it will start the ball rolling.

How to write $1 million in fees: the modern day way
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Rocky Bartolotto is the national sales director for homely.com.au. Rocky's extensive experience in introducing new product offerings to the market and client management abilities makes him one of the most knowledgeable property specialists in the country. In addition to his time working in the online space, Rocky is also one of Sydney’s top auctioneers, with over 4,000 auctions performed through his business. He is the director and chief auctioneer at Property Auction Services.


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