There is no bigger chasm in the real estate industry than what you can control and what you can’t.
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But I guarantee that controllables will defeat the uncontrollables every time without exception in every market. Living in the uncontrollable space will cause you to die a very slow death within the industry. Understanding this and acting on it will make you a Teflon agent.
The uncontrollables include interest rates, inflation, reluctant buyers, and the war in Ukraine, for example. Do we have any control over those events? The answer is no. Do some agents immerse themselves and focus on those events? Absolutely. I understand these events are objectively real, however, you have 100 per cent control over whether you allow them to affect you or not. It’s like something is happening that could make you angry. Deciding to be angry is a choice — part of our ego, actually — where you could equally make a decision not to be angry and just respond rather than react. There have always been uncontrollables during my 35 years in the industry, which I decide to exclude from my thought process. I understand it; I acknowledge it, but I choose not to allow it into my psyche or business, despite being sympathetic to those who they may directly affect.
What I choose to focus on are the controllables. Here are my top five tips you should focus on to be a “Teflon” agent who will survive any market condition.
1. Set aside a minimum of two hours a day to focus on making contact with and adding value to people that have nothing to do with your current listings. This includes calling past buyers, past sellers, past appraisals, pipeline sellers and your hot list.
2. Have an 11-out-of-10 listing process. If you master this, it will absolutely change your life. We have the opportunity to earn as much as barristers, surgeons and forensic accountants who invariably need to master over 100 activities. We only need to master maybe half a dozen and the listing is the most important of them.
I still do listing roleplays with agents, and I’m blown away by how poor some are at being both comprehensive and compelling when it comes to listing. So practice this, take two weeks off if you need to, and become an 11 out of 10 listing agent. Talk about your USPs, talk from the heart about why you think you’re the most suited agent for their property, do research on the client before you get there, have impeccable marketing materials and collateral with you, and have a five-point plan on how you’re going to market the property. Talk about the method of sale and talk about pricing strategies. You’ve got one job: to get this right and absolutely nail it. Practice on your phone, with a peer, your partner, with a mentor, with your spouse — whatever it takes.
3. Your vendor management skills need to be impervious. They need to be absolutely spot-on in terms of communicating. If you’re not meeting with your vendors once a week, you’re off track. If you’re not calling your owners every day, you’re off track. If you’re not providing detailed reports, you’re off track. If you’re not displaying high evidence of effort by having multiple private inspections, you’re off track.
4. Buyer’s work. Gone are the days when you could just call buyers and say, “Hey, come and have a look”, “How’s your finance going?” or “Are you still interested?” Not gonna happen. The uncontrollable will take over every single time, so sit down with buyers and have a very pragmatic, professional, transparent, and high-integrity conversation about exactly where they are at, exactly where you think their competition is, and ask them what can you do to help you secure this property.
5. Have a personal marketing budget. You are not an agent or an employee, you are a business owner, and there’s no business on the planet that doesn’t put aside a marketing budget. Project what your income is going to be for the next 12 months, put aside 5 to 10 per cent of that, divide it by 12, and presto! There’s your monthly marketing budget. Spend it on things that you’re passionate about, whether that’s boosting videos on social media, geotargeting through letterbox dropping, email campaigns or local sponsorships. It’s absolute insanity if you’re not setting aside money to reinvest in yourself. This is an insurance policy for the next 12 months.
Put these five actions into practice and become a Teflon agent.
Adrian Bo, CEO of Adrian Bo Real Estate Training & Auctions
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