S1 E13: Proven Strategies for Real Estate Prospecting & Lead Generation
In this episode, we’re excited to have coach Joe Bowolick from Tom Ferry join us! Get ready to elevate your real estate game as we dive deep into the secrets of taking more listings, boosting your earnings, and truly enjoying the process.
- Expert advice from Joe Bowolick of Tom Ferry
- Proven strategies for becoming a top listing agent
- The do’s and don’ts of successful real estate prospecting
What You’ll Learn:
- How to nail listing appointments more consistently
- Why focusing on sellers is the key to a thriving business.
- The art of effective prospecting and how to close more deals.
- Why you should incorporate circle prospecting into your routine daily
Joe Bowolick (00:00):
I’m a huge, huge fan of Circle Prospecting.
I love Circle Prospecting and I love it for many ways. I have fun with Circle because to me it’s just talking to random people. It’s doing it from a position of you don’t want to pressure them. I would say in some way, you probably pulled pressure off. That’s the name of the game right now. Okay. If you could have a conversation and ask some questions with no pressure at all, that’s where you’re going to have that reaction and that strength come in from the calls. So the one way to do that is focus on your mindset and look at what’s throwing your mindset off.
Noel LaFerme (00:38):
Hi, I’m Noel with Today’s Brew. We’re top producing real estate agents share their tips and tricks on taking more listings, making more money, and having fun doing it. On today’s episode, we welcome coach Joe Bowolick from Tom Ferry.
Joe Bowolick (01:00):
How are you? Hi Noel, how are you? Good. Well thanks.
Noel LaFerme (01:02):
Did I do okay with your last name?
Joe Bowolick (01:05):
Yeah, yeah, Bowolick.
Long as it’s close, I’m happy with it.
Noel LaFerme (01:09):
Okay. So Joe, you’re out of Connecticut? Yes,
Joe Bowolick (01:13):
Noel LaFerme (01:14):
Okay. And how long have you been a coach?
Joe Bowolick (01:18):
I’ve been a coach and trainer since about 2010.
Noel LaFerme (01:22):
What led you in that direction?
Joe Bowolick (01:25):
I think that’s a good question. I think it was, I started producing and I started very quickly seeing the challenges that other agents had. So it was, Hey, let me try to help out as well. Let me try to be involved with that portion of it and take those good agents that were just struggling with doing the certain things to get ’em past that.
Noel LaFerme (01:47):
What are those certain things then? Are there probably the same things now, but for people that aren’t familiar with coaching so much? What are the things that you help people do?
Joe Bowolick (01:59):
Well, the thing that I fall back to all the time, it’s the thing that I started with, it’s prospecting, lead generation, having conversations, making calls, call it what you will, it’s all the same thing. When I looked at it, it’s the quickest way from point A to point B, quickest way to a paycheck, quickest way to business. So that obviously hit home for me. Plus I was also that agent in the beginning that my database really wasn’t established. I didn’t know a lot of people. I didn’t know a lot of ways to go into my database. So it just made sense and honestly, nothing’s changed. That call challenge that, making the phone calls, that reluctance. It’s always been there and it’ll always be around. It’s just a matter of getting past it.
Noel LaFerme (02:44):
I know. So you kind of hit on a couple things right off the bat. So call reluctance. How do we handle that? How do we get past it?
Joe Bowolick (02:53):
Well, and that’s a good question. I think we have to look at two different things. There’s call reluctance where we kind of hesitate to do it. That drunk monkey inside of us that wants us to be comfortable doesn’t have us move forward. And then there’s call avoidance. I call it CCA, it’s creative call avoidance. It’s when we do things and put things at a different weight to stop us from doing it. As far as a couple of things that you could do right off the bat that I’ve seen that help me, and it helps a lot of the agents I coach and train is number one, making sure that you have a process and a presentation and then strengthening that process and presentation. So it’s so tight, so strong that you want to go out there and present it to the world. You want to go out and get them involved in your process. As weird as that may sound, that sometimes is what holds a lot of agents back because let’s be real, if you don’t want to go do a presentation or do anything beyond that, you’re either not going to make the calls or you’re not going to have success in the calls.
Noel LaFerme (03:56):
So do you think that it’s people that are not prepared for the listing presentation itself or scripts not being used or a combination of both?
Joe Bowolick (04:08):
Well, I think it’s a combination of both. And I think the big thing too is looking at the scripts. People look at scripts, agents look at scripts and it looks like this big daunting mountain that’s in front of them. And when you look at what a script is, and I’ll simplify it really quickly, when you look at what a script is, it’s simply the intro is who you are and who you’re with. It’s why you’re calling them. And then one great lead in question that leads to discovery questions, the bridge to the close and then the closing. It’s really not that complicated when you look at it. And every script starts the same with that who you are and who you’re with, why you’re calling. And the one great question.
Noel LaFerme (04:50):
So why do you think people still are so hesitant to pick up the phone? I mean, I know that I am an agent too. I don’t know if you know that. So I was listening to your two different kinds of call reluctance and I’m like, hmm, which 1:00 AM I? Because it happens to newer agents and seasoned agents, it is that fear a little bit or just maybe you get out of touch. So how do you get people involved?
Joe Bowolick (05:21):
Well, it’s looking at those two things. One generally leads to the other and vice versa. And it could be this big daunting task by the time you get to it, it’s simplifying the process. I don’t always believe, I know people use the word fear. I don’t think it’s a fear as much as it’s a discomfort, it’s uncomfortable. We’ve all been there. I mean, no matter what level you get to as a prospector, you have that beginning where it’s a little uncomfortable. And I’ve told the story many times, I came from the Marine Corps, so I didn’t have this fear of people yelling at me. I was yelled at by yellers in the Marine Corps, you’re ready for it. But I still had that uncomfortable thing because it’s that thing we haven’t done. It’s that fear of the unknown. So the easiest way to get past that fear of the unknown is prepare for every single thing that could possibly happen. And in a call, there’s not many, it’s they’re going to go one way or the other. They’re going to say one thing or the other. So be very prepared on what they possibly could say.
Noel LaFerme (06:24):
So it’s really just getting out of your own way.
Joe Bowolick (06:28):
Yeah, I like to say sometimes you just have to Nike it up and just do it, but lead into that preparation. Make sure. One of the things that I did that helped me in the beginning was I took my script, my questions. The strength of a script isn’t just the questions, that’s just an outline. The strength comes in, the questions between the questions. That’s the conversation. Okay. So I looked at my initial question, whatever it is, is it still an important goal for you to get the home sold? They’re either going to say yes or no or some variation of that.
Noel LaFerme (07:04):
Joe Bowolick (07:05):
I just wrote down in a Word document, I had my script, I put down what their possibilities could be and then what my questions back to them were.
Noel LaFerme (07:14):
So what objections are, I know you are your own broker and you have your own realty company, which is Premier. Yes.
Joe Bowolick (07:23):
Yep. Premier Realty Group.
Noel LaFerme (07:24):
I’m not sure if you’re still making calls, but as a coach you are talking to people who are making a lot of calls. What are the objections that they’re hearing lately and how are you encouraging them to get past that?
Joe Bowolick (07:35):
Well, and it’s funny that you asked that too, Noelle, because the objections don’t change. I say this to my coaching clients and I tell them the exact truth that I’ve told my agents in my office. If you ever get an objection that is new that I’ve never heard of, not a variation of all the other ones, I’ll sell that person’s house for free. I’m pretty confident that they’re all the same objections. I mean it’s, we’re going to keep the home off the market. We know an agent, where would I go? I don’t know what my options are. I don’t know if I can get that much money from my home. Whatever those things are, it’s going to be the same. So if we know what the objections are going to be, which we do, why not just be prepared for ’em? Why not have a conversation point to talk to ’em about it?
Noel LaFerme (08:24):
You make it sound so
Joe Bowolick (08:26):
Easy. It’s simple, simple. It’s just not easy.
Noel LaFerme (08:29):
It’s not easy at all. But you do have to show up and do the work.
Joe Bowolick (08:34):
Yeah, that’s how it starts. I mean, I would say to that though, it is showing up and doing the work, but it’s also making sure that you’re prepared and having a skill development plan. Make sure you’re role playing, make sure you’re practicing. As funny as it sounds, I can’t tell you how many times that I said to myself in the beginning, hi, my name is Joe and I’m with Banana Realty. My name is Joe. I kept saying that over my intro over and over again so I can make it me. I can make it sound like me
Noel LaFerme (09:05):
And not like a robot. Make it sound personable. There’s a lot of other Joe from Banana Realty calling them that day
Joe Bowolick (09:13):
And every agent has that thing in their head that tells them it’s not you, it’s going to be scripted. It sounds like a robot, whatever it is. Well, you internalize, personalize and then memorize the script. So if you internalize them, it’snot going to be scripted, it’s going to be you
Noel LaFerme (09:32):
No used to write. So I used to write my listing presentation every single day for 30 days to memorize it, just like you said. And you really do remember it. It’s really that easy. And then like you said, there were times when I would read things and I’d be like, is this really for real? I’m supposed to say this. That’s not what I would say. I would never say that. I don’t even understand why I am asking this. And then like you said, eventually you’re like, oh, okay, this does work. And people do respond. And then it does lead into more questions like you said, in between the scripted part of the questions. Well, you talked a little bit about database too. So what if you’re a newer agent and you don’t have a database? How do we find people?
Joe Bowolick (10:15):
Well, that’s where you guys come in.
Noel LaFerme (10:19):
If you weren’t just prospecting and you don’t have a database, but you have a prospecting bootcamp. So we’re pretty much going to stick to prospecting on this show, right?
Joe Bowolick (10:29):
Well, yeah, but when it comes down to if you don’t have a database, how else you’re going to be prospecting in some way. The thing that I don’t want agents to get so knee buckled over all the time is the fact that the word prospecting, we’re always prospecting. So whether you’re making a call, it’s just a different way to do it. Or knocking a door or having a one-off conversation at a coffee shop. Whatever it is you are prospecting, it’s just get that script down, get that ability. But if you’re an agent that doesn’t have a database, then you’re starting like I started. And that’s where you’ve got to get a number provider like you guys, you’ve got to get comfortable with it. You’ve got to practice it. You’ve got to get your skill development plan and just start talking to people because then you could take that list of people you don’t know and turn it into that list of people and literally build your business from that to where you do the hard now and then it’s easy later on.
Noel LaFerme (11:27):
So a coach and prospecting scripts, those are the three main things maybe. Is there anything that I missed?
Joe Bowolick (11:37):
Tie your why to it. Just make sure you understand why you’re doing it. The one challenge that we have is one of the challenges we have is a lot of agents will break that chain, that daily chain between their why and having the discipline to do what they need to. So keep that chain strong. Keep your why in front of you. I mean my why in the beginning well still is wife, kids, family, those kind of things. There would always be pictures around my prospecting area. I’d have my average commission, I’d have my vision board, I’d have everything around me. So I was comfortable in that environment and I knew why I was in that environment. And then accountability, adding a layer of accountability or if you’re like me, multiple layers of accountability. I was a slippery snake, so I had to have multiple layers of accountability because I’d rather, back then, I’d rather be going to a late lunch with an attorney or golfing or going to the beach or doing something like that.
Noel LaFerme (12:37):
It’s really easy for something else to come in the way of what you’re supposed to do. I think everybody that watches this, including myself, is guilty of that. I mean, laundry. Laundry becomes fun. You’re like, do I want a full laundry or do I want to prospect? And all of a sudden you like your house chores because you’re stressed out about prospecting.
Joe Bowolick (12:59):
Yeah, that’s the creative call avoidance. That’s where we take those things and we give them a higher value, we give them a higher weight. So obviously if you’re doing that where you’re putting weight and value on things, the lowest weight and the lowest value is going to go to the thing that you don’t like to do or you’re uncomfortable doing. So a lot of agents, including myself in the beginning, I take that time block of prospecting and Oh, I’ll do it later. I got to do this right now. And then all of a sudden later turns into that time block falling out of the day and oh, I’ll just hit it first thing in the morning and then it never gets done.
Noel LaFerme (13:34):
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Joe Bowolick (13:35):
Noel LaFerme (13:36):
So alright. So then I would say that prospecting in the morning is what you’re going to say most likely, but if you’re just getting started, when would you schedule it? How long would you schedule it for to be realistic and make it a goal that’s reachable?
Joe Bowolick (13:52):
Great question. And that’s a question I get all the time. What’s the best time to prospect? And I’m going to go with the old saying, whenever you’re going to do it, oh, you’re surprised me. Well, your morning time is strong. Your morning time is usually when you have the most energy. But quite honestly, Tom said something that caught me years and years ago. I don’t care where your money comes from as long as it comes. I don’t care when agents prospect as long as they prospect. So if you’re saying that you are going to prospect at 4:00 PM and that’s where you have it in your time block, well then walk the walk after that. Yeah, just walk the walk. I mean that’s fine. And then track and measure. See what you’re getting back. If you want to have fun with it, because prospecting is fun. You want to have fun, do it at a different time. Do the same lead pillar, see what you get, the better results. And there you go. In your market for what you’re doing, that’s where you should be prospecting.
Noel LaFerme (14:47):
I like it. I like it a lot. And you surprised
Joe Bowolick (14:49):
Me. I like your
Noel LaFerme (14:52):
Answer. That might be my favorite answer.
Joe Bowolick (14:54):
Well, because I think it’s been ingrained in our head that morning is money, time and morning is the time you do that and everything else. And that’s fine. I’m fine with that. Let’s just be realistic about it for a minute. Okay. When I first started back 17 years ago, I was one of a few agents calling expired. Okay. I watched the progression. I watched the fact that all of a sudden I was the fourth agent, the fifth agent, the 25th agent, the 30th agent. I mean, let’s be realistic, whether you’re the first agent or the 400th agent, and no matter what time you’re calling, you’re going to get the same reaction generally. So it comes down to your skills. It doesn’t come down to time of day or where you are positioned in the call or anything else. It comes down to your skillset. Can you have a conversation and convert them and sell them on why they should meet with you? That’s what it comes down to.
Noel LaFerme (15:48):
And I think sometimes personalities prevail through the phone a little bit too, and some sync up better. I mean, I know that I’ve made my calls and I’ve had a few people be like, I don’t know why I’m talking to you. You should hear what I say to the other people. And I’m like, well, I don’t know, but I like it. When do you want to meet? But then I’ve also been on the receiving end of some unhappy people, which is normal. So you have to keep your mind healthy. And do you have any best practices for keeping a healthy mindset throughout the day?
Joe Bowolick (16:21):
Yeah, so it used to be where, and I’m going to kind of pivot off of this. It used to be where if you were calling expired, you would call your database and do those things to kind of break it up and stuff. That’s one thing you could do. I’m going to pivot that into, I’m a huge, huge fan of circle prospecting.
I love circle prospecting and I love it for many ways. I have fun in prospecting and I know that may sound kind of sick and demented to some watching this, but you’ve got to make it fun. And when you look at it, I have fun with Circle because to me it’s just talking to random people. It’s doing it from a position of you don’t want to pressure them. And what you said a few minutes ago about, you’ve had really great conversations where the person said, I don’t even know why I am talking to you. I literally told everybody else to go pound sand. Well, I would say, in some way you probably pulled pressure off. That’s the name of the game right now. If you could have a conversation and ask some questions with no pressure at all, that’s where you’re going to have that reaction and that strength come in from the calls. So the one way to do that is focus on your mindset and look at what’s throwing your mindset off. And if it’s somebody that’s giving you a hard time on the other end of the phone,
Noel LaFerme (17:41):
Joe Bowolick (17:41):
At how much of that you possibly could be feeding into if you’ve got a need for the business, if you sound like you’re pushing them, make sure your script, the questions that you’re asking, they’re not too direct, they’re not too pushy. Make sure that that is something that you’re doing. Personalize your conversation where use the words that’s appropriate in your market. And not just because it’s on the script. That’s what I have to say.
Noel LaFerme (18:07):
Joe Bowolick (18:09):
That’s huge. So do those things and generally mindset won’t falter too much. And if it does and you start to have some mindset challenges, take a break, refresh, put it in perspective, what’s really going on and what you’re really doing and just kind of tie your why back to it.
Noel LaFerme (18:27):
Well, I’m sold on you, coach Joe. I’m serious. I’m serious.
Joe Bowolick (18:31):
Let’s go, let’s prospect.
Noel LaFerme (18:33):
You’ve said so many awesome things and I’m thrilled. I’m happy I got to have you on the show and I really appreciate you and your busy schedule coming out and doing this for everybody today. How can other agents like myself reach out to you?
Joe Bowolick (18:50):
You could email me, you could shoot me a text, you could email me at JBowolick@yourcoach.com. You could shoot me a text to my cell, 860-378-4920. However you need to reach me, I’m pretty easy to find. If you go onto tomferry.com and you look at the Speaker bureau, I’m one of the speakers in the speaker bureau, you could reach out to me through there.
Noel LaFerme (19:15):
Alright, cool. So prospecting bootcamp, I might have to give it a try.
Joe Bowolick (19:19):
Yeah, it’s fun. We have a great time.
Noel LaFerme (19:21):
Yeah, no, it sounds like it. I mean, you’ve been wonderful, so I bet it’s a good time to show up for. Thank you so much for coming on today.
Joe Bowolick (19:30):
Yeah, thanks for having me.