At a recent conference, the speaker Scott Harris, The Millionaire Mentor and Coach, asked a crowd of more than 3000 people to finish this sentence: “Rules are meant to be …?”
Immediately, a loud wave of “BROKEN!” echoed around the conference hall. Anticipating this response, Scott smiled and then responded with a resounding NO!
Was your immediate response the same? Rules are meant to be broken. But is that true?
Consider these questions:
Do you want to chew your own food when your 80?
Do you want to leave a long and health life?
Do you want to arrive home safely after work?
If you answered Yes to any of these questions, ask yourself these questions:
Do you ever drink soda, eat sugary foods, or forget to brush and floss your teeth?
Do you ever over eat, drink too much alcohol, or choose not to exercise?
Do you ever drive over the speed limit or forget to wear your seatbelt?
If you answered Yes to any of these questions, you are breaking the very rules that will help you achieve the goals you want to achieve (healthy teeth, long and healthy life, arrive home safely).
Think about it, if you have children, do you want them constantly breaking the rules? No!
Scott reminded us that rules are in place to protect, provide guidance, and help you succeed. Rules are meant to be FOLLOWED, not broken.
If rules are meant to protect, provide guidance, and help you succeed, what are the rules for success in real estate? There are many, but here are a few core rules that successful agents follow for long lasting success and personal achievement :
1. You must have a plan
The first and most important rule of business is to have a clearly defined plan. It is important to set and know your goals and what step you will take to accomplish them. There are plenty of online resources to help guide you.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
Most people start with revenue goals. What do you want to close each month, quarter, year?
Simply stating “I want to make $150K in commissions this year” is not a clear goal. Instead, ask yourself a series of questions. How many homes do you need to sell this year in order to hit your goal? Break your goal down into quarterly and monthly quotas. Next, determine how many listings will you will need to meet your sales goal. Then determine how many listing appointments, prospecting calls and internet leads you need to get those listings.
The idea is to break down each goal so that you know exactly how many calls, listing appointments, listings, and sales you need each month and quarter to hit your annual goal.
How much time are going to prospect each week?
Notice how the question is not, “should I prospect this week?” Prospecting needs to be the core of your lead generation. Prospecting is what puts YOU in control of YOUR business rather than waiting for other outlets to send you leads. Commit to a specific amount of hours each week (or even better, each day) and then determine which type of prospecting you are going to do. Don’t forget to commit a specific amount of time for follow up calls.
How will you balance your time and resources between online vs offline marketing?
On one end of the spectrum, consumers are spending more and more time on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. On the other end, the majority of people value human interaction. What is your plan to do both? How do you balance marketing online and offline at the same time? The first question you might ask is, “what is the best way to communicate with my target market?” Where do they spend their time? If you are focusing your marketing on the growing number of millennials buying homes, you probably need to spend more of your time on social media and other online outlets (providing value to them, not just asking for deals). Answer questions and provide free tips. However, you may need to do the exact opposite for other niche markets, such as wealthy baby boomers. The key is finding where they are and how they prefer to be communicated with.
Write it down
Too many people say, “Its all upstairs. I have it all in my head.” There are way too many tweets, texts, conversations, emails going into our brain every day to risk keeping the marketing plan to your business in your head. Your marketing plan, your road map to success, must be written down and be displayed to remind you where you are going. Then, if you aren’t having as much success as you anticipated, compare what you committed to doing to what you are actually doing and make necessary changes. Review it regularly and hold yourself accountable to that plan. Many people benefit from an accountability partner. This can be a spouse, partner, coach, mentor, broker, etc.. They know the plan and can remind you when you get off track and cheer for you when you succeed.
2. You must “play full out”
“Playing full out” is giving your all, all the time. Leaders in any field didn’t get to the top by doing things half way. For real estate, that means being deliberate in everything you do, including the things you may not love doing. Maybe that is prospecting, or thank you cards, or sending emails. Truly great people play full out, especially on the things they don’t immediately enjoy.
Having a rock solid marketing plan is great, but you need to have the right attitude and effort put into implementing it. Just like walking into the gym doesn’t mean you are going to walk out with abs of steel. Or dialing a FSBO doesn’t mean you are going to list more properties. In this case, it’s prospecting with a purpose.
Just showing up isn’t enough bring you success. It is consistently putting in the effort that separates the hobbyist and the pro. Calling FSBOs just because a coach told you to do it is very different than calling FSBOs, really caring about them, helping them find solutions, seeking to understand and overcome each objection, asking for the listing appointment multiple times, and then practicing your script when you get off the phone over and over again. Don’t go through the motions. Play full out.
3. You must be persistent
Real estate can be extremely rewarding and lucrative, but it takes work. Any agent that has been around a few years knows that repeat success rarely happens over night. You must be persistent.
Calling 40 FSBOs and getting 40 No’s can be tough. Call 150 and getting 150 No’s is even harder. Most agents will give up. That is why the average agent only makes about $45,000 a year. But persistent agents, agents that have the right attitude, know that the 5th, 57th, or 189th contact could be a Yes (and a $600K listing!). Persistent agents never give up, they keep calling, texting, posting, chatting, and doing all the things that fall in the prospecting bucket today. Be creative, be persistent.
Real estate is about working with people, not properties. Working with people can be difficult. It requires deep listening, marketing and selling, and people (including yourself) following through on commitments. There are ups and downs, but if you have a plan, play full out, and are persistent, you will reap the rewards of working with people, people who will time and again pay for your real estate skills.
Remember, rules are meant to be followed, not broken. Follow the rules of real estate success.