Learning how to maintain a positive attitude and retain your concentration are critical when selling property, says 2011 REIA residential sales agent of the year Tim Heavyside
Practising a positive mindset is my best habit.
It lays the foundation for success and enables you to enjoy your work. Never indulge in self-doubt, and never worry about what others think.
Real estate and sales in general is like playing golf. Most agents are part of an organisation or team, and are measured against what other colleagues are up to. But like sales, at golf you’re on your own, playing against yourself via a handicap system. In other words, you are always trying to beat yourself (your handicap). It doesn’t pay to get too hooked up with what other players in the market are doing - have your goals and play hard to achieve them.
My business is selling residential homes for mums and dads in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. If you boil it right down, I’m in the business of relationships, not selling houses and, as such, real estate is really about people and personalities. If you form a close bond with a potential client, you’re on a winning formula. Trust, relationships and attitude make an enormous difference.
Enthusiasm will beat experience nine times out of ten. This may surprise you as you’re often told how you must focus on being the property expert in your market. Yet your clients don’t care ‘what you know’ - the big picture is ‘how you make them FEEL’ - that’s what’s important. And, if you don’t feel your best and lack confidence, your clients will smell it on you. So keeping fit both physically and mentally is critical for a balanced, positive outlook.
Keeping upbeat has a gravitational effect - it draws people towards you. It’s infectious. The more you smile, nod your head, ask questions, listen and take interest in your prospects, the better the chance of closing the deal.
The correct mindset empowers you to focus and become organised so you can concentrate on important things. All successful people have some form of structure and diligently follow it through. Self preparation of your mind as well as your working day is the key here. Start the day on a positive note, you can always find something to make you smile if you look hard enough, and plan ahead.
Keep negativity and distractions in control. If something upsets you, be courageous to address it rather than letting it take up your entire day. When prioritising, be careful with technology. I find people are now constantly distracted by emails and iPhones, which break your concentration. Discipline yourself not to check them too often. Either allocate a specific time to check emails or use an assistant to attend to most of them, so that you can give your full attention to clients and winning more business.
And, by the way, if you don’t have an assistant, don’t use this as an excuse. You can be your own assistant by simply setting aside time in your diary to ‘wear a different hat’ for your administrative tasks. It’s important to keep this time quite separate from other activities.
Being disciplined requires intense concentration. And nowhere was this skill better displayed than at the most recent Australian Open tennis tournament. I closely observed the way tennis star Kim Clijsters went about her game. Other than an amazing athlete, she had terrific concentration skills. Clijsters developed a habit that after each point, no matter if she won or lost, she would adjust her tennis racket strings whilst showing no emotion.
This would go on, point after point – focussing on her strings, not allowing the outside in.
What she was doing mentally was closing that point and preparing for the next one. By briefly stopping and not allowing her emotions to take over, she maintained her equilibrium and went on to win the championship. Just like Kim Clijsters, are you ‘adjusting your strings’ in your business? Or are you on an emotional roller coaster ride each time you win or lose business? Let the past be the past. Look at the overall picture of your success and pat yourself on the back every now and then.
Be positive, plan your goals, and go for it.
By Tim Heavyside, Director, Fletchers Real Estate