The paradox is this: we need both uncertainty and certainty in our business and our lives. I’m sure you would agree – without a doubt – we are in uncertain times.
It seems at this moment in time; we have more uncertainty than certainty.
So how can we create a little more certainty?
Get Clear On What You Really Want?
- Create a picture of what it is that you truly want
- Does this excite you?
- Does it move you emotionally?
- Envision it, see how it makes you feel
- These steps help you regain balance and drive
Connect Emotionally With Your Why.
- Getting clear on the purpose of what you want
- You know you found it when your purpose resonates and moves you emotionally
- When you feel stuck or lost, two questions:
- “If I don’t do this, this is what it will cost me,” or
- “If I do this, then this is what I can gain.”
Make It Part Of Everyday!
- Create your daily action checklist and follow it
- What’s the ONE routine you must do every day to win the day?
- Like your P.E.D.S.
- What’s are the critical activities that move the needle?
- Marketing that creates NEW appointments
- Building and maintaining relationships
- Servicing existing clients and prospects
- Anticipating and solving problems BEFORE they arise
- Completing that project
- Place it all in your calendar and protect your time blocks
Have you ever worked backward from Friday? At the end of the week, you are sitting down and looking back… what would make this week great? Vision that and block your calendar accordingly. I like to say work backward from yes!
If you show up for the day with no structure in your calendar and decide to do “urgent” tasks like returning calls and texts and checking Facebook, those activities will expand and eat up all the time you hoped to devote to more “important” activities. You will end the day unfulfilled and have more uncertainty.
We know that work will expand to the time you give it! So assign time blocks to every task. And remember DONE is better than PERFECT every time!
The best way I’ve found to make the “important” significant – and create more certainty in all that you do – is to prioritize them and build them into your calendar first.
Are you tired of not getting what you want? If so, you might want to read this article about Mario Lemieux.
What is your next step?
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” ~ Stephen Covey
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 celebrate Memorial Day, as we honor those who have fallen, we are reminded that freedom isn’t free. One of my traditions about this time each year is watching “Taking Chance.” A touching story about one marine escorting a fellow marine on his final trip home.
Another movie came to mind: “Rudy.” Rudy is a true story about persistence, tenacity, grit, and football. A football game isn’t won on the field. The game is won in the days, weeks, and even months leading up to the actual game. The game is won in preparation. Watching films of previous games, memorizing plays, hitting the gym, eating correctly, and even getting enough sleep.
Professional real estate sales is no different.
I’ve been spending some time with our top 1% documenting what they do. Curious?
Here are the top six things our top 1% do consistently:
- They do their research & marketing.
- They’re genuinely interested in and understand others’ personality style.
- They’re prepared for anything, especially the objections and most frequently asked questions.
- They leave their ego in the car.
- They are a master of managing expectations.
- They debrief and learn from every situation.
Research and Marketing
We know from the National Association of REALTORS® that 63% of consumers find us through a referral from a friend or a past business relationship. And 68% of consumers choose us based on our perceived trustworthiness, experience, and reputation.
Top producers know these numbers and invest their time, energy, and effort into where the business is most likely to be generated.
What we have observed from top producers to those struggling is glaring. Top producers genuinely care about the relationship while those struggling care about making a buck.
We use a unique system called B.A.N.K. to pinpoint anyone’s personality in nanoseconds. It’s fun, engaging, and creates instant rapport. Crack your code now, it’s easy: www.jparcode.com
This high emotional intelligence approach leverages the best assessment tools, high-energy training, and cutting-edge technology to maximize results.
Leave Nothing To Chance
Our top performers rehearse or role-play frequently; many do this every day! Here are some tips I picked up:
- Make a list of every question, concern, or objection that your prospect might bring up. Create a list of everything that could go wrong.
- Develop a clear, logical, and persuasive response to every possible question, concern, and objection.
- Think of how you can get ahead of these circumstances by using stories and anecdotes, case studies and testimonials, statistics, and facts.
- Have your information, ideas, and documentation well organized so you can reference the appropriate notes and materials at any time.
Gary Vaynerchuk put it well: “When you care more about the other person than you care about hitting your quota – when you make that shift – you go into the Jedi-ness of becoming a great salesperson.”
The professional real estate salesperson with a massive ego can easily mistake refusal with rejection. When you make this mistake, it’s all too easy to take it personally. The truth? Far more people will say no than say yes.
So, how do you deal with this?
Our top 1% have learned not to internalize rejection. Top performers exert power over their emotions and know this is a critical skill to master.
As the Chief Executive of a large organization, I get the problems that others have not solved. And literally, I’ve been tracking these and guess what – they all have a common root. Uneven expectations!
Many things have to happen, often in a specific sequence, before a transaction closes. Do you know what these things are? Do you know where you’re at in the process with each client, prospect, and partner?
- Seek to understand what has come before each step
- Don’t assume everyone knows what will happen next
- Anticipate needs before others
- Communicate constantly and clearly
- Under-promise and over-deliver
Debriefing is a structured learning process designed to evolve plans while they’re being executed continuously. It originated in the military as a way to learn quickly in rapidly changing situations and to address mistakes or changes in the field. Infact I shared this document with my team – glad to be here – after the Blue Angels flew over Dallas.
In business, debriefing has been widely documented as critical to accelerating projects, innovating novel approaches, and hitting challenging objectives. It also brings a team together, strengthens relationships, and fosters team learning.
Our top producers have this concept mastered and execute this discipline more often than others. As such, these high performing teams are more tight-knit than those who don’t.
The game is won or lost way before you step on the playing field. So, before you play in sales again, do your research, be genuinely interested in others, be prepared for anything, leave your ego in the car and become a master of managing expectations. Finally – just like the Blue Angels – debrief and learn from every situation.
My Dad was a Navy man early in his life, and when he passed away, I was able to read his journals from that era and review some of the Navy material in his memory box.
One of the pamphlets he kept was “Surviving In The Water, A Sailors Guide.” I can’t imagine being overboard in the water, and the nearest lifeboat is 100 meters away. Yet, during this time of crisis, we’ve set the intention to be a “virtual lifeboat” for our JPAR family and others. We all need that lifeline, especially in times of crisis.
So how do we keep our business and our lives afloat during a crisis? Running our lives, operating our real estate practices these days, looks different for all of us.
People are doing the best they can, but these times aren’t without emotional and financial struggles. This isn’t a time to reach out and ask for business, but to be a resource.
Check-in with your tribe, prospects, and past clients.
Share credible stories and information on financial assistance and timely news updates, like:
NAR Resource For Property Owners
Keeping Current Matters
Your Local University – Like Texas A&M
It’s always been an excellent strategy to be the “HUB” for your tribe, yet now more than ever, this is our time to shine as professionals who care about people first.
Adhere to state and local guidelines when running your business.
It’s more important than ever to keep your business in compliance. Like we say here at JPAR “Do Your Part. Have Patience. Stay Safe.”
Pivot and Adapt.
Embrace the uncertainty and take this time to adapt. That comes easier for some of us, yet we know it’s a critical survival skill. Redesigning your comfort zone has never been more critical.
Focus on your business strengths and evaluate weaknesses. We have the gift of time now more than ever before. While it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of social media and news coverage, focus on productivity. Tap into virtual listing appointments and buyer consults.
- Who needs the most help in your community? Help support and promote.
- Look up your favorite local restaurants and businesses and share their posts on social media.
Get on camera
- Create a one-to-one video.
- Use Zoom for group video chat, virtual happy hours with your neighbors, past clients and sphere.
- It’s time to dig deep and get creative, like:
- Host a live video tour and virtual open house, send email blasts or pay for professional virtual tours or video marketing for your active listings.
- Create and drop off “care packages” with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and or more.
Sharpen Your Axe
Dig into your CRM, practice your presentations, refine your marketing, refine your social media strategy, figure out how to use Zoom, and FaceTime for listing presentations and buyer consultations.
That stack of books you’ve piled up and haven’t read yet? Start now.
What about those dialogues and conversation tracks you haven’t quite mastered? Jump on the David Knox library and then Zoom with a partner and practice. Even Julie Roberts and Richard Gere practice their scripts!
Tech skills you’ve wanted to learn. Take an online course like the Real Estate Playbook and your CRM offering.
As I said on today’s – Quarantine Relief Series – being intentional has never been more critical. Tough times don’t last yet tough people do!
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?
Friday night reading – you know I love breakthrough stories.
I knew Louis Pasteur was the father of microbiology and known for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, pasteurization, and the causes and prevention of diseases. I knew his discoveries have saved many lives. I didn’t know the sacrifice, the danger and the obstacles he had to overcome:
- To find the cure for rabies he had to endure working with mad dogs and overcome extreme doubt about the first test injection;
- He was mocked and ridiculed for suggesting hand washing to prevent infection and the spread of disease. It took 19 years before that practice was widely accepted;
- One of his colleagues died helping stop the spread of cholera in Egypt, he wrote “he died on the battlefield of science passing through this life with a higher thought to which he sacrificed all else.
I know most of us aren’t solving such complex problems, yet our obstacles have the same impact on whatever we are trying to accomplish.
What I learned from Louis is:
• Despite his doubts and fears, he continued to take action
• Despite the confusion, lack of clarity he kept moving forward
• He stepped backed to gain perspective vs becoming overwhelmed
• He became resourceful, seeking out the necessary help
• He distanced himself from any drama
• He stayed focused on his commitments despite his feelings
• He developed and refined a growth mindset
My biggest takeaway is: it is vital you take consistent action in spite of your fears and doubts.