Whether you have been in the business 70 days or 7 years, I often hear the same questions:
- What do I do now?
- My lead generation is inconsistent!
- How do I get better organized?
- What’s my purpose?
So, here are a few suggestions to consider as you start this week:
First, who do you want to be 90 days from now?
It all starts with deciding what you want to achieve in the next three months. Have you created very clear, specific, measurable, and trackable goals? Are they up and visual as a constant reminder?
My research shows there are three types of goals:
- Outcome goals – I want to be #1
- Performance goals – I’ll run the race in 8 minutes or less
- Process goals – I’ll connect with 10 people a day
Process goals win the day. Over 650 studies in goal achievement show that people who break their goals down to a daily process achieve the goal faster and more consistently.
Action #1: Break your goals down to daily actions
Second, understand where the business comes from.
The National Association of REALTORS® conducted a survey that shows nearly 70% of consumers FIND you from a friend, family, referral or past business relationship. And nearly 70% CHOOSE you based on your perceived reputation, trustworthiness and results. These facts have significant implications for your personal branding and direct response marketing activities.
It’s shocking how many clients I have acquired through the years — just because I made a call or sent a message.
According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5 to 20 percent, but the likelihood of selling to an existing client is 60 to 70 percent. It’s much cheaper and easier to retain a client than to go prospecting for a new one. Studies show 90% of consumers would do business again with their REALTOR® yet only 25% do. Why? Because you suck – no systems in place – at staying in touch and building long term relationships with past clients.
Action #2: Stay in touch at least 4X per year, build relationships and the sales & referrals will follow.
Third, track everything in a database to stay organized
Make it a habit to get contact information from every person you meet. Your goal is to move folks you meet from your outer circle to your inner circle. Create a system – like this.
If you are buying a new car, get the salesperson’s card. Ask your bartender or server for their information when you go out. Every person who gives you their contact information should be placed into your database and contacted – a note; text; card; social media engagement – least 8 times in the first 8 weeks of meeting. This can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet. It should include the following
- Full name
- Email address
- Mobile phone number
- Preferred social media handles
- Your Notes
In your notes section, you will want to write in things like what the potential client is interested in, first and last time you corresponded with them and how you met them. Relationships matter and relationships create referrals in a personal service business like real estate sales.
Action #3: Take one step to get better organized
Fourth, be like Fred.
Fred Shea was a postal carrier from my home state of Colorado. Apart from the fact that he personally welcomed every new resident, he appeared unremarkable. Yet, a book has been written about him and thousands have been taught his “system” to drive purpose in their life and their business.
Fred had a purpose.
Fred demonstrated you don’t need a promotion; you don’t need anything but creativity to reinvent yourself and add value to yourself and others.
Fred the Postman was quite remarkable in attitude with a warmth and sincerity that was apparent immediately. And his dedication to serving his customers made him extraordinary.
Daily Fred put into practice the principles that became the foundation for the best-selling book, The Fred Factor, namely that:
- Everyone makes a difference,
- Success is built on relationships,
- You must create value for others, and;
- Reinvent yourself on a regular basis.
Fred the Postman taught me that by bringing passion into our work and life we can all turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Action #4: Be like Fred!
As we wrap up, I have no control over what you do with this information – nor do I want that control. Yet the gift of what I shared today, has helped me in so many ways, and I trust this gift will help you too. So, until we meet again may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
Bonus Action #5: Accountability… who is your accountability partner?
As we head into this Thanksgiving week, many of you have probably started putting together your shopping list to prepare your favorite family recipes. Perhaps some of you have even already fought the grocery store lines while others cross their fingers that the store will be open Thanksgiving morning to get the last minute missing ingredient.
While you balance the thoughts of the pending home invasion of long-lost relatives to your personal desires to increase your productivity from 0 to 20 after being inspired by Travis Robertson’s motivational lessons in the real estate playbook.
Whether you’re the one who has already fought the grocery store line and has their 2020 business plan in its final review or you are secretly dreading putting pen to paper to write out next year’s goal and all the while are hoping there is enough butter to make grandma’s famous mashed potatoes, here is a “recipe” to win your new year.
Warning… this is a long one, full of nuggets. It may take a few passes to pick up the points that apply to you and your current situation.
Are you interested in GROWTH or COMMITTED to growth? If you are committed to growth, this is one you may want to bookmark and revisit from time to time.
As you think about it, your favorite dishes more than likely aren’t just thrown together but have been perfected over time. From heating the oven to adding the extra teaspoon of ground pepper to the final cooling time, everything is deliberate. Your real estate practice is the same way.
What is your real estate business secret recipe? Perhaps you don’t have one or are just looking to perfect your own. Unlike grandma, I’m here to share my “secret,” but not so secret recipe for success.
Before you even begin to cook, you will need to pull the recipe out read it over a time or two and prepare a plan of action. What ingredients do you need to shop for, when will you start the oven in order to ensure the food is prepared just in time for Aunt Mildred to show up fashionably 30 minutes late.
Step 1: Mindset and Time Management
“What Would Happen When You Shift Your Focus?”
This first image of today’s blog comes from the work of Stephen Covey who wrote a great book about how to put first things first. My biggest learning was “understanding that increasing my personal productivity is a process, not a destination.” Where are you spending the majority of your time? Are you spinning your wheels doing a not urgent and not important task because it’s easier or maybe you just don’t have to face a dreaded phone call that is urgent but unfortunately bearing bad news? What adjustments need to be made? Take a step back today and look at what activities are capturing your attention and what you have pushed aside. Perhaps you need to reorient yourself and focus on that task or even hire someone to do it that you can manage. Or else you need to eliminate the fluff that has had your undivided attention.
The next step in the preparation is looking at your mindset. “Do You Have A Fixed Or A Growth Mindset?”
In the second image, you’ll see the Mindset, Attitude, Actions, and Results circle. As nouns, the difference between mindset and attitude are clear: mindset is a way of thinking; while attitude is how that mindset shows up in your approach, language, the position of the body or way of carrying yourself. To illustrate, remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?
The hare was so certain that he would win that he sat down and went to sleep during the race.
The tortoise just plodded on and kept going, always thinking that he had a chance of winning. When the hare woke, he started running as fast as he could, but he was just too late: the tortoise had won.
The hare had a fixed mindset. He believed that his innate ability would always mean that he would win whatever he did.
The tortoise had a growth mindset. He believed that he needed to work hard and keep going if he was to win. He was also not afraid of failure or he would never have agreed to race the hare.
Develop that growth mindset to get on the winning track. Now that you have developed your mindset, you can start heating up. Do this by warming the oven, or in real estate terms, develop yourself before you even begin to combine the ingredients or in this case, work with clients.
Step 2: Preheat the “oven” with Product Knowledge
A common trait among all top producers, they know the market. Success leaves clues, you need to know as much about your product as possible. Know the current inventory of properties offered for sale or lease. Spend time learning the different aspects of the neighborhoods and surroundings in the areas in which you have the most business. Be confident in your knowledge of the product. Know more about it than any of your competition and it becomes a differentiator. Constant challenge agents and brokers have is being different, as Seth Godin says, “Be different, or charge less.”
While the oven is preheating and you’re filling your head with market knowledge, you need to look over your entire recipe and lay out all your ingredients. Perhaps there are steps that overlap, but you want to make sure you’re ready to execute multiple steps at the right time. You need to have a mindset when you go into
Step 3: Combine your winning ingredients
- 1 cup of Purpose, Passion & Strategy
- 2 Tbsp Selling Skills
- 3 tsp Marketing Skills
- 4 cups Sweat & Financial Equity
1 cup Purpose, Passion & Strategy
All the product knowledge in the word won’t swerve you or your clients if you lack passion. ‘Passion’ is a word so excessively used and almost always blindingly paired with work, that if you actually ask around you may find that not everyone really gets what passion is. At the root of it all, it points to that strong emotion you have inside of you, for someone, or something. And anyone who has ever succeeded in making a name for themselves would probably state their passion as a reason for their success, but do you know yours?
When it comes to passion – a strong emotion of desire – there is a need to be brave enough to both acknowledge and embrace it. Some let their passion take over the wheel and do things that challenge the status quo, push boundaries, wreck tradition and ultimately reshape the world as we knew it. To strive for your passion is to be different from the rest.
Yet we know passion is NOT a strategy. We can name political battles, wars and other activities where both sides were passionate about their cause yet LOST. Consider implementing these strategies in your business so that you can see massive growth and maximum success this year.
The Planning Strategy: Create a business plan — and actually work it.
The Reconnection Strategy: Reconnect with your sphere of influence and stay connected.
The Social Strategy: Tighten up your social media.
2 Tbsp Selling skills… knowing what and how you say it matters
There is a subtle art to influence and persuasion, especially in the emotionally-charged world of residential real estate sales. It is essential to be looking for the lessons in your exchanges with others. Become a “student of engagement.” Our unique B.A.N.K. code training helps you master engagement.
Developing trust relationships requires continuing engagement which helps build human trust and confidence, so essential to real estate transactions. Not all of your database needs to hear from you every day, but contacts do need to hear from you based upon the depth of your relationship and their need for your services. And don’t forget the friends of your contacts, referrals have always and continue to be one of the strongest ways to earn new business.
3 tsp Marketing Skills
I’ve seen so many struggling teams and solo agents trying to “brand themselves” into the business using passive and influence strategies. It simply won’t work. Marketing a physical product is much different than marketing a professional service.
Professional services respond to direct response marketing, like “Curious About The NEW value of your home? Find out by…” With a clear and concise “call to action” CTA you will gain your fair share of appointments and sales.
4 cups Sweat & Financial Equity
I don’t know your current financial situation, yet I do know if you have read this far you have the desire to grow your business. And whether you have no money or lots of money it doesn’t matter. What matters is your RESOURCEFULNESS and your commitment. We just released to our JPAR family, a video training on 6 lead generation strategies you can execute today with ZERO dollars. Resourceful people are imaginative, pro-active, open-minded and persistent.
I knew an agent once that was dead broke, she printed a bunch of Zillow Zestimates by addresses in her area, walked around and handed them out with a handwritten note that said “I wonder if this is accurate? Let’s talk to find out.” That’s creative, resourceful and cost her only her time and a few low-cost materials. And yes, it created a business.
At the same time, dumping money into any new shiny marketing opportunity or lead source is worth nothing if you don’t act upon it. You could have all the financial equity in the world, but if you don’t put the sweat in the investment was a poor one.
Now you have mixed all the ingredients and are ready to pour it in the pan. A bowl of batter is just that before it’s poured into a pan to be molded into a cake. It bakes because of the adversity it faces in the heat of things. In real estate, you will grow by jumping into the heat and working with your clients. But just as any good chef that knows the heat of the oven before they put their dish (or any wannabe that just doesn’t want to burn dinner) you need to know your clients.
Step 4: Prep the pan and Know your client’s and your personality
Understanding your B.A.N.K. code and how to use it
Would you feel more comfortable going in for a listing presentation if you knew the homeowner highly valued numbers and formulas or if they prefer not to talk about how the sausage is made but rather how much of an emotional connection they have to their home and how they want to pass it on to the next “first time homeowner?”.
87% of real estate sales professionals don’t feel adequately prepared for sales calls and 66% of customers are turned off by most buyer and listing presentations—all because many of us struggle to effectively communicate the value of our offer, your promise. B.A.N.K.’s personality sales method helps you beat the odds and master the science of communication, negotiation, and closing more sales for increased revenue that will transform your life. Crack your code and receive a special report, click here
Your EQ is higher than your IQ
In his 1996 book Emotional Intelligence, author and psychologist Daniel Goleman suggested that EQ (or emotional intelligence quotient) might actually be more important than IQ. Why? Some psychologists believe that standard measures of intelligence are too narrow and do not encompass the full range of human intelligence.
We all understand the IQ test… yet EQ, on the other hand, is a measure of a person’s level of emotional intelligence. This refers to a person’s ability to perceive, control, evaluate, and express emotions. Researchers have helped shine a light on emotional intelligence, making it a hot topic in areas ranging from business management to education. EQ is centered on abilities such as:
Evaluating how others feel
Controlling one’s own emotions
Perceiving how others feel
Using emotions to facilitate social communication
Relating to others
If you knew how to effectively communicate with your sellers and how to interact with them on an emotional level, how much further along would you be than the next agent
The time has come to put your dish in the oven, it’s time to execute!
Step 5: Execution
A business leader’s job is to successfully move forward and improve business performance. This requires a continuous process of reflection, analysis, planning, and execution. There is no better way to learn/practice these skills than “by doing”. It doesn’t matter how good your strategies and tactics are if you don’t execute them well it won’t really matter. Much has been written about execution, and many tools and frameworks exist. One of our favorites is FranklinCovey’s 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX).
Focus on the wildly important goal – WIG
Act on the lead measures (levers you can influence)
Keep a compelling/fun scoreboard (of lag & lead measures)
Hold each other accountable (weekly reviews/commitments
If you have gotten to this point in our “recipe,” your one step closer to meeting your goal. Now you have to commit to it. You have to commit to putting everything you have read above into action.
Commitment requires being all in. If you are committed to your dreams and your ambition, you make it the priority and allocate time for action.
Commitment requires you to do whatever it takes whereas “interest” means you’ll do just enough but not more. Entrepreneurs like you, are committed to the following traits:
- Commit to being “all in” even if they don’t know how to achieve the goal.
- They take action with deep resourcefulness, trusting that they get outside of the box to find answers and resources.
- Have beliefs, thoughts, and ideas that are congruent with the success of the goal.
- Let go of needing approval and validation from others.
- Invest fully in achieving the goal (like hiring a coach, expert and other support personnel.)
- Address bottlenecks and roadblocks quickly. If there is a situation in the way that is stealing time or energy, committed goal-seekers will resolve the issues so they can get back to business.
- Focus on the positive outcomes of achieving the goal instead of lamenting the cost of pursuing their dream.
- Align goals to their values and priorities which creates limitless energy and inspiration during the pursuit.
- Willing to get uncomfortable and take action (even though it might be scary) to achieve the goal.
- Refuse to let any excuses be bigger than your commitment.
When you are committed, you will be relentless in your pursuit of the goal. Obstacles don’t take you out of the game. They simply become a learning opportunity so that you get better at your game.
Some of you, if you have come this far – experienced, new and mid-career – are in survival mode at this very moment. It’s hard to talk about your “why” or “passion” or the “recipe” of success when you are making rash decisions just pay the bills. In fact, for some of you it’s hard to even think about planning for next week much less next year. One solution to consider… find your sous chef or perhaps your Gordon Ramsay to motivate you in your kitchen. Perhaps there is a group of you in your first cooking class together or you’re in advance pastry class, this is your tribe. They are the people who know you, who are rooting for you and are there to listen. This can be a lonely business and having a community or a class of chefs behind you is how we were designed live and to thrive.
We have a few other resources on the recipe and ingredients for success in real estate sales, check them out:
7 Steps for Success in Real Estate Sales
What Does Your System Produce?
6 Steps To A Better Business Plan
7 Steps To An Appointment Setting Breakthrough
Coaching? Get a free consult at www.jparcoaching.com
These statistics will shock and surprise you. So, get ready. We recently did a blind study on incoming leads. 85% of the new leads received a follow-up, 15% got crickets.
So what is the psychology of the 15% of sales professionals that never follow up on a new lead? Even more shocking is we found that of the 85% that did make the initial follow up, only 25% made a second attempt! And of that 25%, only 12% made a third attempt. So what’s going on here?
It’s the voice inside your head. It’s a growth vs. fixed mindset.
- 2% of sales are made on the first contact
- 5% of sales are made on the third contact
- 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
- 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact
Persistence is the key to your success. In a study specifically related to real estate sales, sales professionals that made three attempts vs. those that made five or more attempts had more than a $100K difference in annual income.
Today we are bombarded with information. We are in information overwhelm. But that does not mean someone doesn’t want to buy, sell or invest. It might be, like me, right now, it isn’t a high priority.
Staying connected is the key. Using content from tools like Keeping Current Matters can help, yet so can a casual check-in call, text, or video chat. It’s you vs. your baby, and nothing is in your way except for your growth vs. fixed mindset.
There are 84 days left in 2019 and 60 productive working days, depending on how many days you work, how many holidays you celebrate, and so on. Regardless you have about 84 days to wrap up 2019. 84 days!
What will your bank account look like on January 1 of 2020? Is it your desire to have a more significant bank account or a smaller one? Whatever your goal is, NOW is the time to make that happen.
The next 60 days will be critical for setting yourself up for strong close to 2019 and a fast start to 2020. What you do in the next few days and weeks will determine the size of your bank account on January 1 and your momentum for the first quarter of 2020.
CHALLENGE 1: What would happen to your business if, for the next 20 working days, you made one new appointment each day?
Let’s face there are two types of agents today: hobbyists and CEO’s. This article is not for hobbyists, those part-time agents who dabble. For those of you that run your business like a business, those of you that know your daily number and know what it takes to generate one sale, then this article is for you.
CHALLENGE 2: Get clear about the next 84 days:
- Write down the number of sales you’ve made so far this year.
- Write down the source of those sales.
- How many listings will you earn between now and the end of the year?
- How many additional families or investors do you want to serve between now and the end of the year?
- How many contacts do you need to make to drive that number
- One rule of thumb is 40 contacts to 1 sale.
- Who are they, and how will you go about connecting with them?
- What systems do you have in place to create the result you desire?
After completing the quick exercise above, here are 5 actions you can take so you’re not broke on January 1:
- Decide Now. Decide now how many days you will work, how many days you will be off, and how many “flex days” you’ll have between now and the end of the year. Decide what direct response marketing campaigns you will run. For example, if you will create an investor campaign to take advantage of year-end investment buyers.
- Up your CRM game. There is no excuse for not having your CRM updated and working for you. It takes discipline; yet once you realize your CRM is the engine that drives your train, that task becomes less negotiable.
- Delegate. Is it time to find some help? An office or virtual assistant. Your highest and best use is prospecting.; lead generation; going on appointments and negotiating contracts. Everything else delegate. Scared? Get resourceful, many new agents I know are sharing a fractional assistant to split cost yet keep them fully employed.
- Diversify your lead generation sources. Too many struggling agents rely on ONE, maybe TWO lead sources. FOUR sources of business – split between influence strategies and control strategies – provides diversity and stability to your real estate practice. Note, don’t add four sources all at once. Start with one new source, get it working and stable then add another until you reach four sources.
- Target Market Clarity? Any market rewards the hyperlocal expert. Are you an expert in a community? Are you an expert in a profession like Nurses, FBI agents, CPA’s? It’s probably time to get hyperlocal and specialize.
So, I’ll leave you today with three final things to consider:
- Knowing what you know now, what immediate adjustments do you need to make?
- Cash is king. Are you building your cash reserves? Are you reducing bad debt? Investing in marketing? (Hint: You can do all 3.)
- Have you started a small weekly accountability group with like-minded, goal-oriented CEO’s like yourself? If not, what’s holding you back?