And the Real Estate Auction Summit on Feb. 7-8 in Atlanta might be one of the best resources for learning how to get it back.
Two well-known real estate trainers plan to discuss how to build successful, long-term relationships, how to properly use the latest technologies and how to increase sales and performance.
Verl Workman, technology and sales guru, says his presentations will provide auction professionals with the knowledge that they’re not alone — the tools, processes and people are out there to help them achieve at the highest levels.
“When I’m done, we’re going to blow them away with what they’re capable of doing,” Workman says. “There’s going to be a frenzy of Auctioneers that are going to raise their hands and say, ‘I want more.’”
Workman, known as the “Freaking Sales Animal,” has experience as a small business owner, entrepreneur and corporate executive. He’s a real estate sales expert who also specializes in marketing, self-promotion, management and technology.
He is co-founder of Pinnacle Quest Consulting and Automation Quest, a company sold to homes.com in 1999. Workman also has experience in online real estate auctions.
He says his training sessions focus on the following:
• The proper application of technology
• Sales tactics and client relationships
• Business efficiencies and project management
• Lead tracking, follow-up and conversion
A lot of people, Workman says, use technology just because it’s available, and that’s not the correct approach. Instead, salespeople should focus on practical applications of new technologies and ways in which they can maximize return on investment.
In his presentations, he plans to recommend software and web-based technologies, particularly those available through cloud computing, that will help auction professionals improve sales in a difficult real estate market.
Salespeople, he says, place too much focus on miscellaneous tasks within their businesses, and the most important part of their jobs — selling real estate — often gets the smallest percentage of attention. Like other entrepreneurs, he says auction professionals get bogged down in paperwork and spend too much time on $15 an hour tasks when they should be working for $1,000 an hour.
“This is an exciting speech for me to give,” Workman says. “It’s outside of my normal presentation, and it’s allowed me to do a deep dive into the Auctioneer business.”
He recommends that business owners rely more on assistants, virtual assistants and technology to take care of various tasks on which they could be losing money. At the Real Estate Auction Summit, he plans to share best practices for making this happen.
His humorous, hands-on presentations will help auction professionals learn how to create value for their clients and drive people to respond favorably to their messaging, he says. He plans to present practical marketing tactics that will keep clients engaged on an ongoing basis.
Engagement is a key topic for the summit’s other featured trainer, Terri Murphy, e-communications strategist and entrepreneur.
A real estate veteran with 28 years of experience, Murphy is a consultant to the National Association of Realtors and an author who recently penned a book with Donald Trump. She is a contributor for many national publications, and she has appeared as a guest on several national television news programs.
Murphy is Chief Information Officer for U.S. Learning Inc. and President of Terri Murphy Communications Inc.
She’s a proponent of creating long-term, meaningful strategic partnerships through the use of electronic communications.
“Strategic relationships are built on mutual respect, admiration and confidence,” she says. “Just asking people for referrals or just having your resources isn’t enough.”
During her Real Estate Auction Summit presentation, she says she will present auction professionals with a matrix that provides step-by-step instruction on identifying, engaging and creating relationships with new clients.
Online social networks can help salespeople build the trust necessary to foster current and future relationships; however, it’s still about people doing business with people, she says.
Therefore, it’s essential business owners understand that a simple Internet presence on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is not enough. Salespeople must be active online, and they must know how to use these tools effectively.
Content, including video, must be relevant in order to create rich relationships with clients and increase profits. Murphy recommends marketing and editorial content with a purpose — auction professionals must convince social media followers to check back with them on a regular basis.
Then, using several social media tools, clients should all be invited to a central location: a blog-based website at which the “party,” as she calls it, is occurring. At this site, auction professionals should serve as expert resources that provide concise and relevant information, such as tips for buying or selling a home at auction in a turbulent market.
She says she plans to offer summit attendees resources and best practices for making the most of their social media efforts. Her training sessions will include examples of real-world success stories, actionable ideas and instruction on communications strategies.
Murphy compares the opportunities in the auction market to those that retailers have during the holiday shopping season, in particular Black Friday.
“The basis for auctioning is competition,” she says. “That creates excitement. That creates a concern that you might not get what you want. You have to be able to create the energy around what you do.”
In addition to presentations from Workman and Murphy, the Real Estate Auction Summit program includes panel discussions with some of the auction industry’s top real estate professionals.
Stephen Karbelk, CAI, AARE, of National Commercial Auctioneers, Tulsa, Okla., plans to moderate “Real Estate or Information Technology: Which Business Are You In?”
This session will help auction professionals better understand how to balance the demands of real estate businesses while they manage information technology at the same time.
Another panel discussion, “From RFP to Closing the Deal on Complex Sales,” includes the following National Auctioneers Association members:
• J. Craig King, CAI, AARE, of J.P. King Auction Co. Inc., Gadsden, Ala.
• R.D. Schrader II, CAI, of Schrader Real Estate & Auction Co. Inc., Columbia City, Ind.
• Max Spann Jr., CAI, of Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., Clinton, N.J.