Weekly Newsletter – JP & Associates REALTORS®
 
Business Plan Failures

Business Plan Failures

It’s that time of year where we are finalizing and shaping up our 2020 business plans. It’s an exciting time of dreaming, planning, and strategizing what’s possible. Here’s a couple of things to consider as you look to see what’s missing from your plan so you can minimize failure and maximize success:

EARN MORE LISTINGS

If you want to run an efficient real estate business, focus on gaining more listings, not more buyers. Double down on listings in 2020.

Remember that age-old saying? Whoever lists the most properties, wins!”

Listings require less time and allow you more scheduling flexibility… you don’t have to work around the clients’ schedules nearly as much as with buyers. You can also be more confident in your ability to collect payment as a seller’s agent than as a buyer’s agent. We’ve all had buyers cut us out of a deal at one time or another. And even with a buyer’s brokerage agreement, forcing payment of commissions can quickly get contentious. It’s a headache you don’t need.

One of the best resources I’ve run across for a listing system is Hoss Pratt’s book LISTING BOSS.

So, work with well-qualified, sense-of-urgency buyers, but focus your efforts on earning listings from sellers.

CHECKLISTS FOR EVERYTHING 

Aren’t you glad pilots have checklists? Even after hours and hours of detailed training and years and years of practical experience before every takeoff, before every landing and during every flight, pilots & crew follow a #checklist.

Checklists are “job aids” to reduce failure… to reduce variation in a process. A method of leaving nothing to chance.

Checklists ensure you get your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks done on time, helps you keep track of projects on deadline, and provides you’re organized throughout the day.

Are you leaving your goals, your business to run by chance by “winging it?”

TECH TO STREAMLINE YOUR BUSINESS AND PRODUCTIVITY 

There is a technology solution for everything. From your CRM to your calendar and tracking systems, even social media applications can simplify your life and add productivity to your business.

So, here is my one question? Are you using everything you need to streamline your business and lessen the burden on you? What’s the one tool you can master in the next 30 days?

HIRE HELP

Have your goals outgrown your current abilities? It might be time to hire an assistant. Does your business endure peaks and valleys because you sometimes get “too busy” to manage your marketing efforts?

Hiring your first employee can be filled with fear, yet so rewarding. Watch this video interview to see how a fellow agent doubled her business by taking this critical next step.

A Marketing Coordinator is a quarterback all of your marketing efforts to keep leads rolling in regardless of how busy you get. That way, you don’t suddenly find yourself wondering where your next client will come from when the next busy spell is over.

Getting help in your business will free you up to focus on critical, dollar-productive activities such as booking appointments, going on appointments, and negotiating contracts. These positions don’t necessarily need to be full-time. If you need to start with part-time help, share with another agent, arrange with someone to work on a part-time basis.

LEAD SOURCES AND CONVERSION

Are you casting a wide enough net to achieve everything you want to achieve?

Regardless, If you run an influence strategy business (mostly referral) or a control strategy business (mostly lead creation), agents who rely on one to three lead sources do not fare as well as those who have four to six sources.

We recently conducted a study of our top 100 agents and found – even the best of the best – missed over 30% of prior customer sales opportunities. What if you implemented a lead-nurture program that engaged people with the valuable information they need and want, and in turn, demonstrated your value?

Business planning is nine parts execution and one part strategy. The rest of this year and 2020 is yours to create, and now is the time to set those plans in motions. Consider this, your system will produce what a system will produce, nothing less nothing more. If you are not happy with your results year to date, update your system so you can create the best year ever.  

 

Persistence – All The Reward Is In The Follow Up!

Persistence – All The Reward Is In The Follow Up!

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. 

 

Behind Every Success Story Is A Back Story

Behind Every Success Story Is A Back Story

Behind every success story is a back story. Perseverance.

Thomas Edison – his teachers, said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs. He made 1,000 attempts before inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I did not fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was invented with 1,000 steps!

Henry Ford went broke five times before he succeeded.

Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4, did not read until he was 7. One of his teachers said he was slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams.

Coaches Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh, and Jimmy Johnson accounted for 11 of 19 Super Bowl victories from 1974 to 1993. They also share the worst record of first season coaches in NFL history. Their collective record as first-year coaches is one win and 45 losses.

Speaking of football – remember Vince Lombardi? An expert at the time said, “He possesses minimal knowledge and lacks motivation.” Lombardi would later write, “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.

Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, yet he made 714 home runs. He said, “every strike brings me closer to the next home run.
Michael Jordan was “cut” from his high school basketball team.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong was cut from his high school football and swim teams. He turned to cycling and finished last in his first race as a professional.

Van Gogh – sold only one painting during his life to his sisters’ friend for $50.00.

Abraham Lincoln went to war as a Captain and returned as a Private. He failed at business. As a lawyer, he was too impractical and temperamental to be a success. In politics, he was defeated in running for congress, in his application to be commissioner of the general land office, for the senate on two occasions and, for the Vice Presidency. He wrote a letter to a friend, “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would be not one cheerful face on earth.” Two years later, he was elected as President of the United States, where he successfully led the country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union, ending slavery, and rededicating the nation to nationalism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy.

 

I’m SO Busy!?

I’m SO Busy!?

Have you ever told yourself, “I don’t have enough time to do that?” Or “I’m so busy!?” When out of time or overwhelmed, it often can mean, “I don’t know what’s important right now.” Can you relate? If so, this article is for you. 

I recently ran across a fantastic author, Amber Rae. What I like about Amber is she is not a therapist, a neuroscientist, or even a life coach. She is a woman who is obsessed with the human condition, with what our emotions are trying to tell us, and how you and I can express the fullness of our gifts. Her book, Wonder Over Worry” is an official invitation to face our fears and create a life that reflects who you are. 

I’m SO busy! Here are a few questions to ask yourself intended to align your behavior with your ambition and goals better.

  • What is my #1 priority right now? 
    • Are my behaviors consistent with my priorities? For example,
      • Is there anywhere I’m saying “yes” right now when I need to say “no”?
      • Is there anywhere I’m saying “yes” to that is not serving me or my goals at this time? 
  • How much of my time and energy is devoted to things that feel like a burden?
      • Can I make them feel less of a burden?
      • Can I delegate or do less of these activities? 
  • In terms of where you are investing your time write now, what brings you the most fulfillment and joy? 
    • How can you do more of that?   

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ”  ~ Coco Chanel

“I’m so busy” — three little words many of us use all the time as a way to decline invitations. Think about it, and it makes sense, though: Time is the most precious commodity because unlike money, we can’t make more of it.

But guess what? Everyone is busy, so while you might think the message you’re sending with “I’m so busy” is, “I’m slammed,” what the other person hears is,

“What I’m working on is more important than you!”

Wow – is that the message you want to send to others? Stop saying ‘I’m so busy.’ Harvard researchers say this is what successful people do instead:

Take a rain check.

Let the other person know what you have going on. Telling others what you’ve been doing (even if it’s unrelated to work – for me like preparing for a Spartan Race) also allows them to get to know you better. In turn, the other person is invited to share updates of their own, which can help to establish rapport. 

Be honest and lend a hand.

Showing complete honesty and sincerity can boost the relationship. Depending on what the invitation is, here are a couple of examples:

  •  “I can’t make it to the brainstorming meeting because I have a few deadlines to meet. I’m not finished and to be honest, I’m a bit overwhelmed. Would it be helpful if I send my ideas tomorrow morning?” 
  •  “I can’t make it to your networking event next week because I have dinner plans that night. I’ve rescheduled it twice already, and I’d hate to do it again. But I know a few colleagues who would love to attend your event. Can I extend the invitation?”

The key is to show that you trust the other person enough, to be honest and that you care enough to offer support.

Be honest about your condition 

In a study from Harvard, participants found two valid excuses that resonated with others:

  • I don’t have the money right now for that activity… with some context. 
  • I don’t have the energy right now for that activity… with some context.  

The significance of the Harvard study is that it provides valuable insight into how we can be more protective of our time without making others question how much we value the relationship. 

Rule the day or the day rules you! 

 

The “No Vacancy” Syndrome

The “No Vacancy” Syndrome

One of my favorite leadership authors is John Maxwell. Looking at my own leadership development, I found this list of five leadership syndromes from John very helpful. Take a look, I’ve recapped all five below:

The “No Vacancy” Syndrome

Being content with the status quo leads to no growth. You and your team are either growing or shrinking. There is no way to just hover. If you are trying to hover you will get blown backwards. #Growth

The “Nostalgia” Syndrome

You will achieve what you plan to achieve. This dramatically affects most people. We spend more time reviewing the past then planning for the future. We all need to review the past so that we are able to invest our knowledge of our past into our future. The only way to effectively invest is to have a plan. Make sure to schedule in 30 minutes of daily planning. #Discipline

The “Problem-Solving” Syndrome

This is where we spend vast amounts of time on problem-solving. It is important that we solve the big ones quickly and efficiently. Often we get caught up trying to make things perfect. We try to solve all the minutia overnight. Work to improve a little bit daily. There is no such thing as an overnight success. Progress not #perfection

The “Big Enough Now” Syndrome

We are overloaded. We don’t have the ability to lead because our plate is too full. Leadership goes out of the window because we are reacting to our business and lives. Staying in the reactive mode for long periods of time relinquishes control of your business, prospects, clients. It allows the marketplace to take control and steer your business. Either the day rules you or you rule the day. #WinTheDay

The “Lazarus” Syndrome

This is where too much time and energy is spent trying to resuscitate dead plans or programs. We need to evaluate carefully the value of spending more time in a losing cause. Real estate agents live in this syndrome. They will continue to work on leads that are dead. Agents will take dead, overpriced listings and they work with buyers who are not qualified. Don’t waste your time working with the dead. #Qualify

John Maxell’s suggestion is to evaluate your operational style regularly. Check yourself, your staff, and your procedures to ensure long term growth and long term wins. Great coaching, now it’s time to take action.

Let me know which syndrome you will conquer this week.

 

 

Ask Why – Five Times

Ask Why – Five Times

Have you ever had a tough decision to make in your real estate practice?

As the CEO of your realty enterprise, have you ever delayed a decision and looked back and said, what took me so long to take action? Think about it:

  • To delay is to make the right decision harder.
  • Indecision is a decision… not to decide is a choice.
  • Decisions are made whether we make them or not.
  • Time is our enemy and time ALWAYS wins.

The desire to make the best decision can paralyze us. In truth, there really is no way to know which the best decision is. Every decision will have consequences, so what we end up doing is comparing the consequences. This is all well and good, but it makes for an unclear decision. It doesn’t actually get anything done.

Think about it, from experience we know it is much more useful to consider whether a particular decision will be effective or not. By studying critical situations, we can quickly learn the keys to success in decision-making skills.

I’ve studied military personnel and Gary Klein has studied firefighters and medical personnel, all professionals who make decisions in life or death situations. So many times, these first responders just don’t have time to weigh every pro and con. They are asking themselves about the effectiveness of a particular option.

Based on instinct, if they think it will work, they go for it.

If at any point along the line they realize it is not working, they choose a different route that they think will work. Then they do that. They will cycle one option at a time until they find one that works. They improve their decision-making skills with experience in their area of expertise, so their first option is not random. It is the one most likely to work.

So, we can conclude it’s much more useful to be effective and get the job done than to spend endless hours trying to determine the best decision.

Leonard Bernstein famously said:

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.”

What I’ve found working with myself and others, decisions are delayed by fear of making a poor choice. Fast Company, wrote a great article on the 4 Common Traps That Lead To Bad Decisions. In summary, making good decisions is as much about recognizing and avoiding traps as it is about evaluating available options. What are those traps?

  • Anchoring – Research suggests that our minds give disproportionate weight to these first impressions, and we end up with a bias centered on that perception
  • Overconfidence – We have an innate tendency to be overconfident in our judgments, especially when we think we’ve made all the right choices so far.
  • Confirmation bias – We become attached to our opinions, instincts, and points of view and try as hard as we can to find evidence that supports them.
  • Sunk Cost Trap – It’s easier to keep throwing good money after bad in the hopes that your bad decision may turn out okay. It rarely works that way.

How to move forward? Follow your instincts and ask why 5 times!

Ask Why 5 Times

Sakichi Toyoda, the Japanese industrialist, inventor, and founder of Toyota Industries, developed the 5 Whys technique.

The method is remarkably simple: start with a problem and why it occurs, you drill down to its root cause by asking “Why?” five times. You make sure that your answer is grounded in fact and then ask the question again. Continue the process until you reach the root cause of the problem, and you can identify a counter-measure that will prevent it from recurring.

Follow Your Instincts

Research shows that people who make decisions quickly, even when lacking information, tend to be more satisfied with their decisions than people who research and carefully weigh their options.

Some of this difference is simply in the lower level of stress the decision created, but much of it comes from the very way our brains work. The conscious mind can only hold between 5 and 9 distinct thoughts.

That means that any complex problem with more than 7 factors is going to overflow the conscious mind’s ability to function effectively – leading to poor choices.

Our unconscious, however, is much better at juggling and working through complex problems. People who “go with their gut” are actually trusting the work their unconscious mind has already done, rather than second-guessing it and relying on their conscious mind’s much more limited ability to deal with complex situations.

So, what decisions do you need to make about your real estate business today?

What’s holding you back?

Here is what I know:

  • To delay is to make the right decision harder.
  • Indecision is a decision… not to decide is a choice.
  • Decisions are made whether we make them or not.
  • Time is our enemy and time ALWAYS wins.

What’s your choice?