Early in your real estate career, you can be forgiven for not understanding how your business really works. For many, their first few months is a baptism of fire with little formal training, little guidance and little forward planning. Most fumble through each day picking up what they can and literally “learning on the job”. Getting “good” at what you do is often a result of making plenty of mistakes and quickly learning from them.
I am often quoted as saying that what we do as real estate agents is amazingly simple; it’s just not that easy. Many may choose to disagree on the “simplicity” of it all, as there are so many moving parts and processes one must learn. I just choose to believe that if you are committed to real estate as a long-term career, you must make the effort to learn and master every aspect of it. Failing to do so will just see you continually spinning the wheel and failing to get traction.
Not being clear and strategic with what and how you do things adds to wasted time, energy and, most importantly, missed opportunities. Understanding the fundamentals of how to build a successful real estate career will help fast-track your success and avoid costly and time-draining mistakes. These are my top suggestions.
- You are the brand.
You are your unique selling proposition. Invest heavily in quality self-promotion at every opportunity. This includes how you present yourself, the quality of your personal photography and personal marketing. If you are not prepared to invest in yourself, why should anyone else?
- Do it now.
My absolute favourite. How often do we go to training events and get excited about implementing new ideas into our business only to find that we attend a future event and realise that we had not implemented the same great ideas from the last one? (Do not worry, you are not alone!) In the very first instance, either scrap ideas or act on them. Become an implementer. Procrastination leads to complacency, and complacency leads to mediocrity.
- Pull it apart and put it back together.
One of the best workshops I had ever participated in was one that made you complete a timeline of each of your processes. As an example, detail every aspect of your listing presentation, from the initial phone call, the questions you ask, delivering a prelist kit, the day of the appointment, the walk up the driveway and right through to signing the authority. Document it as a visual timeline of action steps and trigger points. Complete the same process for your buyer work, after-sales client engagement and any other critical processes. When you invest the time to do this, it will pay you dividends for the rest of your real estate career.
- Focus on the vital few.
In my opening paragraphs, I mentioned that real estate is amazingly simple; it’s just not that easy. To further clarify, I find that many agents are in the constant search for the next shiny toy, the magic bullet (whether it be a tech app or the latest script and dialogue) that will help take their career to the next level. And the reason they get so distracted by “the next best thing” is that they want to avoid the “vital” few. They are looking to replace the vital few activities because they are either lazy or find them difficult and uncomfortable. The vital few are the key habits and disciplines that produce 80 per cent of the results. The commitment to the phone; the commitment to always be learning; the commitment to the critical conversations; the commitment of doing high-value activities instead of activities that make you feel that “you’ve had a busy day”. Eliminating the excuses and just getting on with what’s important is the defining characteristic of those that consistently reach their goals from those that don’t.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate.
Success is not and has never been a solo performance. The more you allow yourself and entrust others to assist you, the more you are willing to learn how to work with others; the more you are willing to invest in others to help you, the more rewards you will receive. Not only from a financial point of view, but more importantly, from time-saving, personal growth and, as critically important, from a satisfaction and enjoyment aspect. Learning to work with a team either directly or indirectly is at the top of the list of every high-performing individual. You can never shrink yourself to greatness; you need to take people with you.
Applying the above principles comes with a caveat. It requires the commitment of time and resolve to “get it done”. It needs to be scheduled into the diary and scheduled into the planning calendar. It cannot be handed over to anyone; it must be done by the leader. Get your colleagues and team together and make a day of it. A year from now, your future selves will thank you for it.
Manos Findikakis is the CEO and co-founder of Eview Group.