When it comes to real estate sales, individuals are often lured by the prospect and promise of being able to “write their own paycheque”, and to a realistic extent, it is true.
With little to no experience, many can reach income levels that place them in the top 1 per cent of Australian income earners in a noticeably short period of time. In fact, we are seeing a significant rise in the occurrence of first-year agents achieving gross commission incomes of well over $500k and some $1 million. It is no wonder it is raising the eyebrows of mature professionals from other industries who are making a switch to real estate and bringing with them diverse talent and new ideas which equally accelerate their impact and success.
Many view this as an extraordinary opportunity (and it most definitely is); however, as we all know, many have dreams and aspirations to reach such lofty levels, but quickly find that the journey is not “free”. The initial dream is, but they soon realise that there is a price to pay (i.e. hard work and perseverance) in the pursuit of the dream. For some newcomers, the “price” stops them in their track and hence why we see so many leave the industry within a 12-month period. Others seem to persevere with the “price” but are not able to break through and reach a sustainable momentum point. They always seem to struggle to find the next listing.
The good news is that there is a simple three-step solution. Whether you are brand new or have a few years under your belt, applying the following three strategies will accelerate and dramatically increase your probability of success and reaching the $500k GCI club and beyond. The only caveat is that you will need to do the work.
Strategy 1: Reverse engineer
Probably my favourite of them all is to reverse engineer your end-of-year goal with a primary focus on one single KPI: “number of appraisals per month”. Numbers never lie and by mapping out a business plan using the key metric of appraisals, you exponentially increase the chances of reaching your end-of-year goal (so long as you back it up with actions!). Simply calculate the number of appraisals you need to conduct to reach your sales target. As an example, if you want to write $500k GCI, with an average sales commission of $15k per sale, you need to sell 33 properties. To sell 33, you may have to list 35 to allow for a couple of withdrawals. To list a property, you may have to appraise at least five properties; that is, you secure a listing every five appraisal appointments. Therefore, to list 35 in a year, you need to complete 175 appraisals, or just on 15 per month. It is that simple, but I can already hear many say, “How do I get the 15 appraisals?” Moving to the next strategy.
Strategy 2: Getting called in
This is the one most sales agents get stuck on — getting in front of enough potential and future sellers to pitch, too. Again, using the reverse engineering method, evaluate the lead sources of your past appraisals. If you are brand new, evaluate your team’s or office’s primary appraisal lead sources. It could be telemarketing, direct mail, social media campaigns, buyer follow-up, withdrawn listings, referral partners, and the list can go on. Uncover the highest-producing “appraisal” activities and double down and just do those to reach your minimum monthly appraisal number. For every appraisal conducted, ensure you have a world-class follow-up system. (On a side note, from what I have witnessed, our industry does not have a lead generation challenge, it has a “follow-up” challenge.) Do not overcomplicate this part of the process and those that understand that activity generates appraisals, always reach their goals. And I guarantee, always!
Strategy 3: ‘One-for-one’ selling
A little-understood part of the sales process is what we call the “one-for-one selling”. That is, every time an agent lists a property, a primary focus (besides selling the property) is to replace that listing with a new listing directly coming off the back of the current listing. In many of our studies and surveys, we have found that 60 per cent of all sellers are influenced in making their agent selection based on the most recent success of a sale in their local area. This is a profound finding and therefore those agents who have an effective marketing and prospecting strategy around recent sales amplify their success rate. Many successful agents often refer to the “listing that got their careers started” and it was having the foresight and ability to leverage that success that generated even more success.
Of course, the above is only a brief overview and requires more detail, such a personal branding and working towards becoming an attraction agent in your marketplace, but in essence, this is what it takes to reach the top 1 per cent in our industry. The opportunity truly lies in the simplicity of each strategy and, when applied, provides the framework to achieve any level of success. As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, there are many professionals outside our industry looking at the numbers and opportunity and we will see newcomers enter our industry and make a big splash in their very first year. If you are already in it, you’ve got a pretty good head start.
Manos Findikakis is the CEO and co-founder of the Eview Group.