Your greatest asset is your ability to learn. There can never be a day that you’re not learning something new; if that day comes it may be the beginning of the end. You need to have a lifetime of hunger, to push yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of, to allow failure and keep going.
It’s not rocket science; you can tell if people love what they do. The best become great students of the game. They are hungry to learn and even to fail, because failure is the greatest teacher.
Attitude shapes your life, and the way you work is the way you run your business. How you take feedback determines just how fast you grow. Systems are put in place to help you avoid making mistakes in the first place. Let’s look at 10 ways you can get ahead of failure and practically solve the pain points in your business.
1 BUILD SOCIAL PROOF
You need to become a brand in your area and put yourself in a position where you’re placed where the action is – that’s at open homes, auctions and enquiring online. There’s no doubt that speed of response counts; remember that convenience trumps loyalty, so if you’re good at what you do, and you’re there, it’s the perfect recipe for success. Whoever has got the signboards up with Sold stickers wins the market. You meet most of your future sellers first as buyers.
People love both the underdog in every market and the high achiever. Not many strive for the middle-ground agent.
2 LEVERAGE YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK
Too many people chase new leads when they haven’t done anything with the existing people they already know. To build a business fast, you have to leverage every relationship you’ve got. Consider that your database is your community. Every person you’ve ever met lives somewhere. Every contact, no matter where they’re stored – social media, phone contact list or database – is a future referrer, buyer or seller.
Why call people you don’t know when you can call people you do?
The secret is to move from one-off prospecting to consistent actions that build relationships through relevance over time.
3 THE BASICS MATTER
Champions are good at the basics. The core of your business must be great before you start adding in the layers or the icing. How you run your diary is how you run your life. Plan ahead, work the time you’ve got, put in all your commitments. Make sure you work when you work and holiday when you holiday. Nothing happens in business until a sale is made, and the first sale that’s made every day is booking an appointment. Think 3:15:60 – three appointments a day is 15 a week, which is 60 a month. Hit that, and you’ve got a business.
Start with buyer appointments, progress to market appraisals, end up just doing listing appointments. Measure what happened last week; it will keep you honest about your success and effectiveness on the phones.
4 DON’T LEAVE PROSPECTING TO CHANCE
Know where your leads come from, so you can adapt to what’s working and brush up on your skills for what’s not. Three great places to start are just-listed or just-sold calls as they happen, to nurture your database; open for inspections for new lead generation, and key referrers to drive your referral business. Get clear about how you acquire your customers. You need three lead generation sources, ideally open homes – people bring trade-ins; key referrers – people who know people – and a strong lead magnet, like video, that people love and refer to others.
5 KNOW YOUR MARKET
Know what’s listed, what’s sold and the state of play so you can negotiate for your owners with potential buyers. You’ve got to want to own your market. To do that your market needs to know who you are and others who want to move to the market need to get recommended to you.
The important thing is to choose a market that is big enough for your aspirations. Average sale price, fee and volume are critical to you achieving your goals. Too many take on the industry dogma of 1,000 homes, but never look to see the ten-year average of the number of those homes that turn every year, regardless of market conditions.
6 GET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT
Show me your diary and I will show you what you value. You’re in control of how you’re spending every minute of your time and, at the end of the day, you will be the one sick, tired and run down if you don’t take care of yourself. You will be the only one at the end of your life who will have to deal with a lifetime of regret. For me, it’s very simple and straightforward. I use three factors in prioritising my time: 1: Health; 2: Family; 3: Career.
Why? Because if you don’t have excellent health you can’t be great in anything else, so that’s the first appointment in the diary: exercise, sleep and diet. Family comes next because they’re your first line of support, then career third. If you put the other two first, your career will be amazing because you will be primed and ready to crush it.
7 STOP PROCRASTINATING
Stop the stop-start in your business and get consistent. We all believe we are capable of doing far more than we can with our current level of capacity. Focus on the three things you do all the time that make your business move – that’s prospecting, listing and directing your team. So what are your big three? And why are you doing anything else? As a sales agent, if you just did those you’d have a great business.
8 TIMING ON YOUR SIDE
A great agent understands that they are more powerful in the mornings. Prospect in the morning and book appointments in the afternoon. Work in 45-minute sessions and be clear about the number of calls you need to make to get the appointments in the diary.
9 BUILD YOUR BRAND
Marketing positions the brand and the brand positions the fee, so what you do when you serve the customer is to set the brand experience.
To do that you have to be clear and intentional about what you do and don’t do in serving buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords. What are the steps you take from when the appraisal call comes in until you turn up at the appointment? From using a market appraisal form to cover the essential questions – so anyone in your team can become great – to communicating who you are, what you do and how you help through a video or pre-meeting information pack to speed up the consumer decision-making process.
Then there’s the detail of the SMS or calendar reminder, sending your correspondence in a branded or non-branded envelope; that’s the kind of detail high-fee agents pay attention to.
10 KNOW WHERE THE CUSTOMER HANGS OUT
Do you know where your customers hang out well before they need you? Open homes can be a major lead source, but they are not the only one; there’s also your personal network, buyer conversion, past clients, market appraisals and key referrers, including your mum. The key is to always work at least three lead sources at any one time, so if one dries up you’ve still got plenty coming in.
You have to know how the customer thinks and acts if you want to anticipate their needs, fears and aspirations. The challenge I see are too many one-off actions; individual calls, door knocks or letterbox drops that are random acts of prospecting.