In one of our major markets, recently our company learned it was performing nearly four times better than the market average. That’s a big win amid a global pandemic.
That got me to thinking how did our real estate sales associates do it? What is in our culture that makes this type of result possible? Well, five things came to mind:
- Done is better than perfect
- Redirecting after accepting mistakes
- Growth mindset
Done is better than perfect
Psychologists Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill studied more than 40,0000 people from 1989 to 2016 and found that perfectionism has increased by 33% since 1989. We seem to be internalizing a myth that life should be perfect, when, in fact, that is an impossible outcome.
The research shows those who become preoccupied with perfection set themselves up against challenges.
The key to moving ahead is to follow through, and our associates performed exceptionally well during this crisis.
Redirecting after accepting mistakes
So, you made a mistake, now what?
- Recognize that sinking feeling
- Assess: what happened and why
- Make it right
- Adjust the system or process
- Be kind to yourself.
“If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.” ~ F. Wikzek
Curiosity is the art of questioning everything without judgment or assumptions. With this approach comes continuous improvement and learning. As I look at our associates, they have a mindset of constant improvement. They participate in an ecosystem that encourages life-long learning, sharing, and best practices.
The human brain is programmed to narrow its concentration in the face of a threat. We are designed for self-protection.
The trap is that your field of vision becomes restricted. Leaders need to intentionally pull back, opening our mental aperture to take in the mid-ground and background.
As a veteran, it’s what we call – situational awareness — taking a broader view of both challenges and opportunities.
During this crisis, we’ve provided our associates with clear communication on:
- What was
- What is
- And what will be
There was a past of relative stability and predictability. There now is disruption and uncertainty. There will be a different future state. As this future unfolds, our associates are preparing to be resilient. To be gritty. That’s a competitive advantage.
According to a 2015 study, laughing makes us more open to new people and helps us build relationships. And real estate sales are a relationship business.
We booked a virtual comedy night in the quarantine, and a virtual American Idol knock off event. Laughter can improve our health and make us better learners. And what’s more: laughter is contagious.
The truth is we all have our fixed-mindset triggers. When we face challenges, receive criticism, or compare ourselves with others, we can easily fall into insecurity and defensiveness, a response that inhibits growth.
To spend more time in a growth zone, our team and associates have worked hard in small groups to identify the triggers that do not serve us. It’s hard work, but during the quarantine, our associates gained a lot by deepening their understanding of growth-mindset concepts and putting them into practice.
It seems our most effective associates during this crisis followed a pattern:
- They controlled the controllable
- They prepared, planned and trained
- They had situational awareness
- They kept the human factor in mind
- They guarded their mind & heart
At the end of the day, they ensured their choices reflected their hopes and not their fears. You can do the same. Join us.
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?
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
On episode 110 of Success Superstars, real estate agent Amy Lilly talks with Mark Johnson, CEO of JP & Associates Realtors about her passion not only for real estate but also taking real estate to the hard of hearing and deaf.
“It’s okay to be proud of who I am.” – Amy Lilly
Now available on the go: listen to inspirational stories on all podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, just search ‘Success Superstars’ anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts.
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!