There are several common denominators that separate the high-performing agents from the rest, according to a Top 100 agent.
Speaking at last week’s AREC conference on the Gold Coast, Harris Real Estate’s property consultant and auctioneer, Angelo Nickolas, urged agents to shift their thinking if they want to improve their results.
Reflecting on his own journey through real estate, the Adelaide agent said: “The thing that started to shift the needle, for me and my business, was the moment that I started to model the behaviours, structures and the systems of the person of whom I wanted to become.
“So, not the person who I was, but the person who I wanted to become.”
Previous to that, Mr Nickolas said he had been very sporadic and reactive in his work and his business — mainly due to a lack of focus and a lack of direction.
He said it was a few months in when he said “if I’m going to be serious about this career, I need to get a serious plan in place”.
It led the now high performer to start looking into the key attributes of top performers, and consider how he could insert them into his own marketplace, and his own work ethic.
He found three major drivers of real estate success:
1. Total self-responsibility
According to Mr Nickolas, “all successful agents that you meet, they’ve all got a plan in place and they know exactly what they are working towards — in terms of GCI, appraisals, listings and sales”.
That plan is not just geared towards the 12 months ahead, but it looks towards the next two, three, four, five years.
From his perspective, “it’s about creating that vision of where you want to go and how you want to get there”.
While goals are all well and good, that plan should include a breakdown of t hose goals from an annual basis to a daily level.
“When you’ve got that market that you want to achieve throughout the year, if you don’t know how you are going to get there, or if there’s no direction, it can be quite overwhelming,” he acknowledged.
“What I find, by breaking down your goals from an annual basis through to a daily basis, just allows yourself to keep you on track.
“And if you are off track, you know what you need to be doing to get back on.”
2. No end game
Following on from the importance of having a long-term plan, Mr Nickolas believes there’s value to be found in not limiting yourself by time.
Particularly relevant to prospecting, the agent said that “when you prospect like this, the conversations that you are having with each of your clients are very different”.
“You’re not just the agent that’s calling, asking for the appraisal. You’re the agent that’s adding value to the client. You are giving them information on what’s just sold, what’s just listed in the area, auction results… Whatever it may be,” he said.
Citing the words of Tom Panos, Mr Nickolas emphasised the idea that “frequency builds trust”.
“So, when it comes time to sell for that client, whether it’s in a year, two, three, four, five, 10 [years] or whatever it may be, you’ve at least earned yourself the right to get in the door.”
According to the agent, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to get the business, “but you’ve earned yourself the right to get in the door”.
He said: “It’s all about constantly building your pipeline, [and] nurturing that database as much as you can.”
3. Daily improvement
Mr Nickolas believes that the third trait of great agents is “they’re always just focused on daily improvement and all work with business humility”.
Reflecting on his own business, the high-performing agent said it’s not about going out there and attempting to be the best of the best in the industry.
He said: “We just simply want to be better than we were yesterday: better people and better agents.
“We know that if we are that 1 per cent better than we were yesterday — in our skillset, in our structures, with our systems and our client service experiences, organically we’re going to get the growth that we are looking for.”
Mr Nickolas reminded attendees that “we are working in a day and age where training and development is so accessible — which is great!”.
“It’s very easy to jump online to a training platform, develop your skills, listen to podcasts, [and] get in contact with agents that you want to learn from,” he said.
All in all, it’s about “constantly developing and constantly improving”.