Over my career, I’ve coached many real estate professionals and entrepreneurs who just feel uninspired or flat. There is one common theme:
Settling for safe!
When they were new to the business, they pushed their comfort zones, tried new and innovative things to launch a new realty business. They pushed through uncertainty to achieve a goal. Then what? Certainty creeps in, settling for safe creeps in, and suddenly you feel flat.
We all need that balance of certainty and uncertainty.
Yet, in my practice, I’ve seen a direct relationship between business success and uncertainty. Ironically, the more you grow, the more uncertainty surrounds you. This is because, as your business grows, everything else does too: more team members, customers, partners, competitors, and more decisions that can go right, wrong, or indifferent. Because there is no certainty about what will happen during a time of change, many leaders either try to control events or simply shut down. Both can be problematic and lead you to sub-optimal results. I’ve observed that my most thriving associates deal with change and uncertainty by focusing on daily progress – which provides comfort and clarity – that allows them to embrace and create uncertainty.
How? Consider these four steps:
Winning the day
You can embrace uncertainty with healthy daily habits like taking your M.E.D.S. Meditate, exercise, diet (nutrition), and sleep.
Give the status quo a jab, jab, hook
The associates I’ve worked with that struggle have convinced themselves that their status quo is precisely what they deserve. And they go about and base their identities around that belief. I’ve observed that my associates live where they have attached their identity. The good news? We have the power to choose the meaning we attach to anything. Make a compelling choice and give the status quo a jab, jab, hook
Connecting to a compelling vision and reason
We all solve problems for a profit. What does your ideal day, week, and month look like? It’s proven, you will face hurdles when embracing uncertainty, and it is the reason “why” that will push you through to the other side. What matters most is that your reasons resonate with you deeply, not just superficially.
Burn the boats
In 1519, Captain Hernán Cortés landed in Veracruz to begin his conquest. Upon arriving, he gave an order to his troops to burn the ships in which they arrived. In essence, he gave them no other option but to succeed at the goal of conquering. Burn the boat is a concept in which you leave no other option for yourself in context to something that you would like to achieve.
So, there you have it embracing uncertainty. Win the day; give the status quo a jab, jab, hook; connect to a compelling reason and burn the boats!
Taking it to the next level.
- What’s ONE thing you can add to your daily routine to win the day?
- Set an intention for how you’ll handle a situation that might trip you up this week.
I’d love to hear from you, win the day!
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?
The art and science of goal achievement are driven by your desire, your decisions, your determination, and discipline. Let’s dig in.
Tony Robbins said it best:
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
And Price Pritchett, the author of “You2” wrote it best:
“You don’t have to know how you’re going to get there, but you do need to know where you want to go!”
There is magic in operating with a sharply defined mental image of the outcome you seek.
Visualize your arrival.
When you visualize, it is like a magnet to the ways and means and the methods to get there. The solutions begin to appear, and the answers come to you.
A young man asked Socrates the secret to success. Socrates told the young man to meet near the river the next morning.
The next morning, they met. Socrates asked the young man to walk with him toward the river. When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The boy struggled to get out, yet Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue. Socrates pulled his head out of the water, and the first thing the young man did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air.
Socrates asked, ‘What did you want the most when you were there?” The boy replied, “Air.” Socrates said, “That is the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you wanted the air, then you will get it.” There is no other secret.
Just like a small fire cannot give much heat, a weak desire cannot produce an excellent result. A burning desire is the starting point of all accomplishments. If you genuinely want to achieve your stated goal, the first step is desire. You must want it badly enough to make an unshakeable commitment and to be willing to make sacrifices.
I have found from my own experience that I was getting in my way. Can you relate? You know the doubts, anxieties, ego, fear, and those never-ending critical inner voices. The very things that keep us from taking action. And not taking action is a decision in and of itself, yes?
And thus, the second D is Decision. Getting out of my way meant becoming more self-aware of those thoughts that held me back and the courage and mental toughness to step forward.
Some time ago, I was worried about whether or not I should take on a new consulting assignment. By this time, I was learning how I could get out of my way, so I stopped for a moment of reflection and gratitude. That time allowed me to be curious rather than being consumed by fear and worry. I reflected on the meaning I was attaching to things associated with this new assignment. The shift drove my thoughts away from the distractions and simply allowed me to be present and aware. By doing so, I was free to find clarity and to make a more rational decision about this new assignment. Fear and worry became optional for me, and the clarity to make a decision and move forward powerfully became easier.
Are you ready, right now, to decide to do whatever is necessary, to be willing to pay any price, go any distance, to achieve your goal?
The third D, Determination.
- Richard Branson has dyslexia;
- Walt Disney spoke with nearly 300 possible investors before anyone took interest;
- Bill Gates’ whose first business failed;
- Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four;
- Jim Carrey was homeless, and
- Stephen King, the first novel was rejected 30 times.
So, what is more, significant in your life right now. Excuses as to why you are not achieving as much as you want? Or mega doses of determination to get what you want?
I have learned that determination is a function of three factors: a goal, a commitment, and a focus.
Let’s BREAK that down:
Goals – Goals are like magnets that attract us to higher ground and new horizons. They give our eyes a focus, our mind an aim, and our strength a purpose. Without their pull, we would remain forever stationary, incapable of moving forward.
A goal is a possibility that fulfills a dream.
You know the importance of setting goals, so why is it so hard to keep and reach them?
We have all felt the excitement that comes with setting a new goal, but then, as time progresses, excitement can morph into anxiety. Is this because we are facing the reality that we are so far from our goal, and we have no framework or strategy of how to get there. Let’s start with the three types of goals:
Outcome Goals An outcome goal is one that is not really under your control. Instead, it is based on outside circumstances. For example, your goal is to the #1 selling agent in your market. Great goal, you just don’t have any control over what other agents will do.
Performance Goals Performance goals are personal achievement goals. They are the building blocks that help you reach your outcome goal. A good performance goal example is to “beat my record of 21 homes sold in a year.”
Process Goals Process goals are entirely under your control and are composed of the things you do daily, like habits and routines. Think of these as the small steps you take to get to your performance and outcome goals every single day. An example of a process goal would be to “spend 90 minutes prospecting daily” or “call 30 FSBO’s every Monday.”
In over 650 studies completed with over 50,000 participants, scientists analyzed what worked best when goal setting. Overall, individuals who focused on Process Goals had more success in reaching their goals than those who simply set Performance or Outcome Goals.
Commitment – The Scottish mountaineer, William Hutchison Murray, wrote about commitment in his book, “The Scottish Himalayan Expedition.” He wrote: “Until one is committed there is hesitancy…the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves in. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”
Finally, Focus – Dr. Allen Zimmerman wrote about focus this way. It is merely another way of saying you have got to keep your eye on the goal.
One of my three boys learned just that. As they were playing in the deep snow, a neighbor asked them if they wanted to race. He said he would give a prize to the winner.
It sounded good to the boys, so they gathered around the man to learn more. He told them the winner would not be the one who ran the fastest but the one who ran the straightest line. He said he would go to the other end of the field, give a signal, and have them race to him.
The boys took off. The first one looked at his feet as he ran to make sure they were pointing straight ahead. The second boy wondered how straight the boys on either side of him were running and tried to line himself up with them. The third boy just kept his eyes fixed on the man at the end of the field. He kept his sights set on the goal. And, of course, he won the race. His line was by far the straightest.
Two of them lost their focus. They got distracted from the goal. They made the two most common mistakes people make when trying to achieve their goals.
The first boy became self-conscious. He spent too much time worrying about the possible mistakes he was making.
The second boy spent too much time wondering how his competitors were doing.
Do not make those mistakes. You will not only lose the race, but you’ will also lose your determination for other races in life.
The fourth D. You know what you need or desire to do, yet you derail yourself with unaligned behaviors! Can you relate?
Typically, those that succeed in goal achievement follow a pattern.
A pattern of having a compelling reason why they want to accomplish the goal; they develop an unwavering commitment and accountability; that create rewards and penalties; they develop personal standards, and they gamify or create a competitive environment.
Those that succeed in goal achievement know that we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
In “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg said it best. In the book, he delivers a framework for understanding how habits work and a guide to experimenting with how they might change. That framework is:
Triggers: the event that starts the habit
Routines: the behavior you perform (and how you can switch that if it does not serve you)
Rewards: the benefit that is associated with the behavior
Once we understand our triggers, our routines, and our rewards, we can proactively make the change. Switching out poor routines with more empowering routines and thus create disciplined behaviors that are more aligned with the goals.
Primarily, this all comes down to making simple agreements with yourself. Agreements about what you will and will not accept are the cornerstone of discipline. It then requires holding yourself accountable for following through with these agreements.
All of this boils down to regulating and correcting your behavior whenever you get off track.
Excuses are like noses. We have all got one, and they smell.
Are you going to continue to settle for safe or take a different direction?
Some practical steps to consider this week:
These are undoubtedly UNCERTAIN times, yet our on-going Quarantine Relief Series has both provided direction and relief for J.P.A.R. agents, staff, and business partners as well as our guest audience.
It’s so easy to wake up at these times and not know what to do… one thing to do is join us every morning at 8 AM CST!
Stephen Covey said it over and over throughout his career,
“If there’s one thing that’s certain in business, it’s uncertainty.”
That quote was accurate then, and it’s so real now.
- Is it business as usual? No, JP, Geoff, and I call it… “business forward! Be safe, be smart.”
- Develop an all-new plan? For sure, as your new brand is being developed now.
So, this is what we will address today: “how to grow your business from the inside out.” I recently interviewed Coach Tom Ferry for episode #112 of Success Superstars, and he shared five actions inspired agents are executing during this time of uncertainty.
Inspired Action No. 1: Increase your P.E.D.S.
Carl Jung told us all – and our guest speaker on the Q.R.S. session #16 Greg Bowles – reinforced how you feel on the inside is what you radiate to those on the outside! So, it would help if you took care of yourself first. And that means taking your P.E.D.S. daily:
P-rayer – nourishes your soul in beautiful ways. There are 13 powerful ways to pray.
E-xercise – strengthens your heart, mind, and improves your circulation.
D-iet – eat healthy to stay at the top of your game.
S-leep – keeps us healthy and functioning well. It lets your body repair, restore, and reenergize.
Inspired Agent Action No. 2: Intentional communication
Now is not the time to retreat into a foxhole and go “radio silent.” It’s time to step up and communicate smartly and consistently. Communicate with clients; prospects; your database; investors and your community at large.
But you must be smart about it. It’s not about reaching out like everything is normal and asking if they are considering a move. Instead, consider this:
- Consider adding the “investment property of the week.” Many investors are in the market and can use your guidance and expertise at this time.
- Clients under contract: Tell them, “I’m here for you. I have your back. What would you like to do?” If they want to pause, let them do so. Doing the right thing is always the right thing
- All your recent leads: Call, text, or send a personal video to EVERY LEAD! Reach out with care and say, “I was thinking about you. I wanted to reach out and say, Are you OK? I want to let you know I’m here for you.”
- Database: Then, send a similar message to members of your database. But not a mass email. I want you communicating personally with ten or more people in your database every day.
Inspired Agent Action No. 3: A New “How’s the Market?” Dialogue
You hear it regularly, but now people are going to be even more genuinely curious, “How’s the market or What’s My Home Worth Now?” At J.P.A.R., you can increase the number of these conversations by executing our unique B.U.Y.S.I.D.E. home value ad campaign. Here are some dialogues to consider:
- “Here are the latest stats from M.L.S. and Altos Research. Not all, yet some of my buyers, sellers, and investors are telling me they want to hold for now, and I’m supporting that decision while I continue to communicate and keep them aware of what’s next. And some of my clients need to sell, buy or invest right now, and they’re doing that with the protocols for safety and smart marketing, virtual showings, and virtual open houses.”
- “More importantly, how are you and your family doing? Can I help in any way?”
- The best path for the future of your business is bringing humanity to our industry during these trying times.
Inspired Agent Action No. 4: Sharpen Your Axe
Now is the time for you to work “on” your business and your personal skills, consider these actions:
- Complete your C.E. credits
- Dig into your CRM – at J.P.A.R., we provide basic kvCore, so you have no excuses.
- Practice your presentations – jump on a zoom each day with a fellow agent
- At J.P.A.R. we provide the David Knox Library with over 300 role-plays from handling objections to listing presentations that work
- Refine your marketing plan with execution dates and expected outcomes
- AT JPAR we provide as a standard curriculum the Real Estate Playbook with 2 modules on “Marketing Mastery” and a bonus module on “Lead Generation.”
- Develop your social media channels… we recently added a YouTube Channel
- Master the use of Zoom for listing presentations and buyer or investor consultations
- That stack of books you’ve been meaning to read? What are you waiting for?
- Tech skills you’ve needed to learn? At J.P.A.R., we are offering 100 on-demand courses!
Your income is in direct proportion to the VALUE you bring to the market.
Remember, work expands to the time allocated. Set a deadline and a specific time to address each item in your plan. If your business is being disrupted, make sure you come out of this crisis better prepared to deliver value when things return to normal.
Inspired Agent Action No. 5: Your Next 30-Day Marketing Plan
Marketing in today’s environment requires a whole new approach and must include empathy for those you reach. Here are three actions you should be taking now:
- Ten handwritten personal notes daily and schedule virtual “pop bys” weekly.
- Two or more QUALITY new connections DAILY on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram
- Email your entire database every single week. Send them current information, coronavirus-related housing statistics from Keeping Current Matters, N.A.R. and T.R. offer content, help, videos, and more.
- Mail to your geographic farms twice a month. Take the info K.C.M. is sharing and make it into postcards to educate and inform homeowners about the realities of today’s market.
- Increase your social media activity! Be the voice of reason. Do video! Do it on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.
- What you do NOW will make or break your brand for 2020 and beyond.
So much has changed, yet so much has stayed the same. Consider these additional fundamentals:
7 Steps To A (Virtual) Appointment Setting Breakthrough
What Does Your System Produce?
The Recipe… The Ingredients For Your Real Estate Practice
Not sure about you, for me, it is overwhelming to see how the world has come together in this crisis. As McChensey, Covey, and Huling wrote so well in the “4 Disciplines of Execution,” when you have “singularity of focus,” the trivial gets minimized.
Yet, for me, it’s also a paradox, the dichotomy of our lives right now as we push forward in adapting to new work routines, new ways of connecting, and new ways of contributing to our communities. At the same time, we watch first responders, doctors, nurses, and even the local grocery store staff pour their hearts each day into serving others. It’s been inspiring to see the greatness in humanity.
This week at JPAR, we started a free series called the 8 AM club. The intention was to help our associates, staff, and business partners adapt to new routines, new ways of working and delivering empowering messages to help adapt during this time of transition.
On Monday, Seth Denson shared the power of a solid foundation. “Did You Build It Right?”
Tuesday, Tanya Waymire shared “How You Choose To Show Up Is Everything.”
Wednesday, Jose Ruiz shared the science of “Being Intentional.”
Thursday Germaine Gaspard shared a powerful message about: “Know This: What You Are Becoming Is What You Are Doing.”
Friday, we capped off the week with Sylvia Marusk, who shared: “Stress – the Silent Killer.” Getting Out Of The Stress Response & Getting Into Restore & Rest.
The series is just one step we are taking to ensure our JPAR associates, staff, and partners don’t just survive – they thrive.
Next week’s theme? How to deal with things when they go out of control.
If you don’t like it, change it.
If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it!
It seems we are all spending a lot more time sharing, talking, and communicating on video platforms and social media. This virus event will change us in ways we’ve never imagined. Yet here’s what I know – we are all in it together.
As I was thinking, just a few weeks ago, most of us would say, “we don’t have the time!”
Time is currency.
And now we have all the time in the world. What will you do with it?
Here are a few action items to consider:
Throw out the OLD rules
One of my favorite movies – Apollo 13 – has a scene where ground control is calling up a new procedure for the astronauts. “Aquarius this is Houston, we’d like you to rip the cover off your flight plan!”
Your 2020 business plan just changed, and I’d like you to rip the virtual cover off your plan and write a new procedure.
At JPAR, we have written a 21-question digital business review, now is the time to dig into that review and rewrite the plan.
First, make sure your database is ready to support you and your growth. My surveys show 50% still work off sticky notes and spreadsheets… now is the time to get organized.
Second, find a market that fits your selling style. Then, find an area ready for your focus. Hyperlocal expertise will never be more important. Be a specialist, not a generalist.
Third, leverage video. A bad video is better than no video. Consistency and value are key.
Fourth, social media. Be helpful. It does not need to all be about business.
Fifth now is not the time for marketing as usual.
- Leverage the free resources at KCM and NARConsider starting a FB group for your neighbors, moms’ group, guys groups.
- Host a weekly happy hour or weekly virtual meetups
- Send texts, calls, or ten handwritten notes a day – thinking of you, how about you doing, is there anything I can do to support you?
- Pause the door-knocking & flyer drop-offs
- Use FB groups as a way to be helpful not to sell yourself
- Turn off or update any automation
Build a solid ROUTINE
One size does not fit all! You’re probably tired of hearing the same old line… do these four things in the morning. The truth is my routine may or may not work for you.
There have been a lot of successful people over the centuries of human history. And if you look at just a few of them, they certainly don’t do the same things. But what they do have in common are daily routines, something that they do day in and day out, without fail.
The key is finding the routine that works for you.
In his book, “The Miracle Morning,” Hal Elrod outlines the science, system, and secrets of a powerful routine, even if you are not a morning person! One of the most powerful concepts I learned from Hal is to “set your intentions before bed!”
You know that feeling of connection when shared goals and interests bind us together? During this time, there has never been a greater need for connection, for services, for innovative solutions.
Wants and needs are all around you. We know the problem; can you provide the solution for your sphere of influence?
One example – a JPAR agent is featuring a virtual interview each day on Facebook with a local business owner that has a drive-through, delivery of drop off services.
Rely on EXPERTS to strengthen your voice
Separating charged emotions from facts and data is an essential skill these days. One of the best ways to amplify expertise and convey calm is to leverage other voices of authority.
One of the best is my good friend Steve Harney, Founder of Keeping Current Matters and, of course, our National Association Of REALTORS®.
And of course, we can all review reliable information from national sources such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
PASSION OVER PERSUASION
Do you find yourself getting mired in detail of this crisis? It is not uncommon – as I recommend above – to surround ourselves with technical experts and forget the power of human nature.
Crises are not solved with reason and data alone. We must never forget we are first and foremost humans with emotions. We have families and lives outside of deeply important work. When we lead with empathy, we demonstrate dedication and compassion for those we serve.
There you have it. Time is currency. And now that we all have some extra time, what will you do with it?
Throw out the old rules; build a new solid routine; rely on the experts to strengthen your voice and remember the most: your strategy matters and your passion rules!