We’re excited to share a new episode of rokrbox TV with all of you! Today’s guest is Barbara Laib of Century 21 Affiliated. Barbara joins the call from northeast Wisconsin, where she has been selling real estate for 15 years.
Thanking Barbara for taking time out of her busy schedule, Josh commends her hard work, adding that Barbara consistently closes 45-50 transactions each year on her own as a solo agent—and has some fantastic tips, tricks, and best practices for success to share with our listeners today!
[1:00] Inviting Barbara to take charge, Josh encourages her to dive in by sharing a bit about her real estate background. “What inspired you to get into real estate?” he asks.
“You’ll probably laugh about this,” Barbara says with a smile. “I was actually downsized out of a company I’d worked with for 30 years.” After undergoing this shift back in 2005, Barbara was forced to consider new career opportunities. “I needed to find an occupation [where] I could still make a good living,” she explains. “I saw people in management going down to lesser-paying jobs, and I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to get into real estate’—because I can control my own income.”
She adds that she had no clue of the upcoming recession to follow in 2006 and 2008. “But to me,” she clarifies, “those were good times, because I learned the real estate business.”
Like most real estate professionals in the industry, Barbara confesses that she wasn’t a natural “order-taker”: like so many other realtors, she was drawn to the appeal of freedom, independence, and the opportunity to be her own boss.
“I really learned how to [call] people,” she says. “You know—making business happen. So that was a good thing for me, and I was profitable every year. Real estate is a wonderful profession: you can create your own income, you know where you want to be, [and] you can actually live the life you want.”
As far as her career goes, Barbara tells Josh that she does a lot of repeat and referral business, adding that some of her clients have completed 4-5 transactions with her alone. She makes it a point to connect with her clients’ family and loved ones, adding, “I’m always trying to make sure I maintain that customer base.”
[3:00] But, Barbara stresses, she noticed a significant shift over the last couple of years—one that led her to explore new options for her growth and success in real estate. “I noticed that, if I want to continue being successful, I had to look at where buyers and sellers are going,” she says. The answer? The internet. It was this realization that led Barbara to get started with online lead generation.
You can guess what happened next: Barbara discovered a partner in Josh’s team at rokrbox. “I’m busy,” Barbara tells Josh. “I’m a solo agent. I needed to find a company like rokrbox that could the phone calls, so when I’m spending money on [online] advertising, it’s not being thrown away.”
[4:00] Josh agrees, praising the excellent key points she’s touched on. “I love how you [spoke to having] to learn the business during hard times,” he replies. “I’ve always said that sometimes, great markets can overshadow bad business practices, you know? If people are just buying and selling, and money’s just flowing everywhere, [it can] mask or overshadow bad business practices.”
The fact that Barbara was immediately challenged upon entering the industry, Josh points out, was exactly what showed her how to do things “the right way”: to pick up the phone, to make the calls, to follow up with the leads…and to achieve 4-5 transactions with the same clients and their families.
“The best form of marketing is just delivering a great service,” he concludes. He invites her to share some of the best practices that have allowed her to nurture her database, and ultimate achieve that consistent “repeat and referral” business.
[5:00] For starters, Barbara explains, Century 21 offers a “preferred client club,” in which Barbara enrolls her clients after helping them close or sell their home. “I touch all of my past clients about 130 times a year,” she says. “Whether it be through a vendor, a newsletter, a phone call, text…I also do weekly videos now, just to share what the national real estate market is doing, what the local market is doing, and [other real estate] information.”
Although Barbara is a long-time pro in the repeat and referral realm of business, she is also aware that you can only do so much with your existing database—which is exactly why she recognized the profitable opportunity to dive into online lead generation. After all, it’s crucial for real estate agents to go where the people are…and in this day and age, people are on the internet.
Like most of us can probably relate to, people are browsing the internet all the time in search of answers to their problems. Google, Facebook, and other internet platforms have given people the chance to access a variety of information at their fingertips. As you can predict, the internet offers a wealth of opportunities for real estate professionals across the country—however, a good realtor understands that they often don’t have the necessary time or resources required to adequately follow up with millions of home-seekers, and convert online registrations into a commission check.
[7:30] “As a solo agent,” Josh tells Barbara, “you’re out spending all this time, and all your high-income producing activities, working with buyers and sellers, negotiating contracts…This is creating a bunch of extra work for you, and that’s why you decided to reach out and hire rokrbox. Why don’t you talk to us a little bit about that?”
Barbara replies that after choosing a CRM for her database, she briefly worked with another company that made the calls for her—but they didn’t work inside her platform. Instead, they sent her the occasional spreadsheet to communicate the results.
[8:30] “But I didn’t want to spend evenings typing [those numbers] into my platform,” Barbara points out. “I did it for about a year, and I wasn’t as successful. So I thought, ‘There’s got to be a better way,’ and [that’s when] I stumbled upon rokrbox.”
Barbara continues to say how impressed she was the rokrbox strategy, particularly the ease involved within the partnership. She was particularly drawn to the transparency within her CRM: the convenience of the talented young rokrbox ISAsmaking the calls, texts, and emails from inside the platform, offering Barbara a clear view of all activity.
The transparency of the rokrbox processes not only provides agents like Barbara peace of mind, but also gives a new meaning to the concept of “partnership”: the seamlessness of Barbara’s relationship with rokrbox not only allows her to maximize the full potential of the relationship, but also provides real estate professionals like Barbara the opportunity to work with the rokrbox team to maximize their successes—rather than simply investing in a service, and crossing their fingers for desired results.
“That was a game changer to me,” Barbara declares, and goes on to recommend rokrbox for anyone out there looking into an ISA service, and “anybody who is going to use someone to [make] calls…Which I’d encourage you to do, because agents don’t really like to call leads, you know? It’s scary.”
Barbara proceeds to recap the tried-and-true rokrbox strategy, explaining that all of her new leads receive multiple calls, texts, and emails in the first 14 days of registering on her website. Assuming rokrbox doesn’t reach that lead in the first 2 weeks, Barbara continues, those contacts will continue to receive long-term follow-up until they respond—meaning that Barbara is only working warm, motivated buyers and sellers.
[10:00] “I’ve got a few right now in my funnel,” she says. “I can’t say enough about rokrbox.” With the help of her personal Client Care Manager and rAMP-UP Coach, Kelsey, Barbara explains that her internet lead conversion has been far more successful.
“It’s been unbelievable,” she exclaims. “Kelsey set up labels for me, she keeps me accountable—which was good, because it’s easy to not be accountable to yourself.”
Josh tells Barbara how happy he is to hear that, and takes a moment to elaborate on Barbara’s comment about Kelsey and the rokrbox rAMP-UP Coaching Program.
[11:00] “What we’re teaching you is how to really fine-tune your real estate CRM,” he clarifies, “to make sure you’re getting the best results from those internet leads. It’s a numbers game: there are a lot of people registering, and a lot of people who aren’t necessarily interested, but it’s [about] tuning it down to that small list of people that do need your [agent’s] expertise.”
Being able to focus on that “small list” of motivated prospects—in addition to Barbara’s database marketing of 130 touches per client, per year—has provided her with a truly insightful “big picture” perspective in real estate.
Josh also expresses his gratitude to Barbara for highlighting rokrbox’s transparency inside a team’s CRM of choice, identifying that as one of the greatest values to the work the rokrbox team gets done 7 days a week, for 80 hours a week.
“That’s one of the ways we’ve been able to scale our solution from coast to coast,” he says. “We’ve mastered and specialized in the technology that already exists, and we just log into CRM and work it every single day. So it’s easy for you, because everything we’re doing, you can see.”
A large part of the rokrbox strategy’s success can be attributed to working with the technology in the way it was meant to be used, rather than emailing agents a spreadsheet once in a blue moon to decipher and input on their own.
“I’ll tell you,” Barbara states, “when I was getting the spreadsheet emailed to me, I didn’t have the time to [input] the data. Of course I could’ve hired somebody, but then I’d have to train them. Using rokrbox? It was just there, night and day. You’re either getting a text notification, or you’re getting a Live Transfer call, and that’s where the magic happens.”
Agreeing wholeheartedly, Josh invites Barbara to share her experiences since “shifting gears” and partnering with rokrbox, and what advice she’d have for those who might be navigating the same challenges she faced beforehand.
[13:00] “The first thing I’d say,” Barbara replies, “is to connect with rokrbox, because I think the big key is to call right away. And most agents, if they’re out on appointments, aren’t going to stop and make phone calls when you’re in front of a live person…You need that backup to make those calls first, so [rokrbox] can hand you a warm lead—and that lead knows you’re going to be contacting them. It’s just so much easier.”
Nodding, Josh takes a second to elaborate on Barbara’s insightful points, and the convenience of having that “backstop” to make sure your lead follow-up is timely and effective. That’s where the rokrbox ISAs come into play: by being that “backstop” and introducing themselves as the assistant on Barbara’s team.
[14:00] The result? “You’ll always have that assistant there,” Josh concludes. “To acknowledge the lead, to greet them, to give them that energy and enthusiasm, to ask all the pre-qualifying questions to figure out the best resources available to them. And then to move them along down the pipeline while you’re out [working] with clients face-to-face.”
Thanking Barbara for taking the time to share her success story with us, Josh reminds listeners that if they have a referral who needs a great agent in northeast Wisconsin, they can contact Barbara on her cell at 920-585-5400, or connect with her online at www.connectwithbarb.com.
Thank you for tuning into this latest episode of rokrbox TV! We look forward to reconnecting with you guys later in the month. Until then, keep grinding, keep hustling, and keep closing those deals!