Interview with Richard Robbins, CEO of Richard Robbins International (RRi)

Richard Robbins is Co-founder and CEO of Richard Robbins International, a global sales and business coaching organization. Richard is an author, business mentor and sought-after expert in the field of personal and professional performance, and has trained and coached tens of thousands of Agents worldwide to higher levels of sales performance and personal satisfaction.

I caught up with Richard earlier today and asked him a few questions about his Achieve 2010 event that starts tomorrow, and about his thoughts on the future of real estate sales.

IXACT: I’m sure you’re excited about Achieve 2010 that starts tomorrow. Can you tell me a bit about it? Why this event and why now?

Richard: Real estate sales associates are having more trouble than ever differentiating themselves from the competition especially in light of the recent CREA/Competition tribunal settlement and publicity it has brought to the consumers. Real estate sales associates must learn to identify and communicate their unique and distinct value to the world in order to avoid the deadly trap of competitive convergence.

IXACT: So would you say heightened competition and transparency are the biggest challenges faced by Agents today?

Richard: Yes I would.

IXACT: How have you seen real estate marketing evolve over the years? Is there still a role for effective contact management in the day of Facebook and Twitter?

Richard: Having an effective customer/contact management system has always been important but it’s even more so today with the bombardment of media in our culture. We must know our clients. We must know everything we can about them and be able to customize our communication to their specific needs and interests. In fact, our information age demands that we communicate with clients in a relevant and personalized manner. The old days of generic “batch and blast” emails to our entire contact list are over, and that type of communication can actually do more harm than good.

IXACT: I’ve heard your talk about the concept of an Agent’s “Winning Team”. Can you tell me a bit more about that?

Richard: A Winning Team is a highly qualified database of supporters. They are not only supporters but what I call active advocates of your services. You bring tremendous value and service to this group of people even when they are not requiring your services.

IXACT: I like this concept. It’s really taking the old “Sphere of Influence” idea to the next level. So do Agent’s need a contact database to implement their Winning Team, and if so how does it help?

Richard: I don’t believe they could do it effectively without one. How can you keep track of the personal information that team members share with you as relationships develop without a contact management system? Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, kids’ names, that sort of thing – and also past conversations, and of course, referrals. You can’t afford to forget these things with your winning team.

IXACT: There are a lot of real estate databases out there. Can I ask you why, after 15 years as a real estate trainer and coach, did you choose IXACT Contact as the first CRM you’ve ever endorsed?

Richard: Very simple really. Before IXACT Contact I’d never been able to find a real estate contact management system that I felt was easy enough for the average agent to learn and use on a day to day basis, while still offering all the functionality an agent needs to manage and grow their business. IXACT is simple, fast, easy to use, and provides everything that the agent needs without unnecessary complication or complexity.

IXACT: Well, we certainly appreciate your support. Tell me, what do you like to do outside of work?

Richard: Mostly, I love spending time with family. I have a wonderful wife, Sue, who is my partner in business and in life, and two extraordinary teenagers, Jaimie and Tanner. We are all avid readers, fitness/health enthusiasts, and personal development junkies. I also love to play golf and ride my Harley when the weather is right.

IXACT: Thanks for your time, Richard, it’s been great chatting with you. Break a leg at ACHIEVE 2010 tomorrow!