Extreme (Personal) Makeover

As a new year begins, there is no better time to review the previous 12 months and take your life to a whole new level. Real Estate legend, John McGrath, shares his tips for making this year your best ever.

If nothing changes, nothing changes. One of my favourite reminders to myself has always been that if we want something new in our lives we need to do something new in our lives. Or put more bluntly by General Eric Shinseki, General in the US Army “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like extinction even less!”

As I think about the real estate industry and what effective agents are doing, I thought I’d offer just a few ideas to get you started on your 2012 Extreme Makeover.

Increase your energy. Sales is 80% attitude and energy, and 20% skill and thinking in my opinion. So to compete at the highest level or to take your business to a new level, find ways to increase your passion and energy. Start with the physical. Lose any excess weight, start an exercise program, and get your body moving on a daily basis. Then shift to your attitude. Appreciate the gift of every day. Realise that by some genetic ‘Lotto win’ we find ourselves in the greatest country in the world, in the greatest time to be alive, in the midst of the best time in history to grow market share. That’s right, the best time ever to double your business. Then write down a list of all the wonderful gifts you have in your life and read it each morning. When you combine exercise and gratitude, you will take your energy to a whole new level.

Call every vendor daily. Most agents wait until they have good news to speak to their vendors. By then, it’s often too late. You may have lost the connection and confidence in the relationship through (perceived) neglect. So this year pick up the phone each day to let your clients know what’s happening and that you’re on the case.

Give everyone you meet the best service experience of his or her life. If you want to build your business, it won’t happen off the back of letterbox drops or crossed fingers. It’ll happen when everyone you meet becomes a raving fan and makes two decisions. One – that you will be their agent for life. And two – they will tell everyone who’ll listen that you are the agent of choice. It makes life and work delightful knowing that you are over-delivering on your promises and building an army of advocates. And each month your business will grow exponentially.

Think bigger. Whatever you had in mind for yourself as a target for this year, double it. Cross out the old number, and multiply it by two then put an exclamation mark after it. You are now on the way to growing your business. All you need to do is figure out how to do it. Seriously, once you have set the goal, it’s just a matter of how. But I see people all around under-selling their potential. Setting themselves unrealistically low targets.And unfortunately, often achieving them. Smart and great agents know that anything is possible; it’s just a matter of how. Stop living below your best and decide to be the number one agent on the planet.

See five qualified customers face to face each day. It doesn’t matter if it’s buyers or sellers, if you’re in front of five people a day who can say ‘yes’ to your question “Would you like to proceed?”. Then you will be in the top one percent on the planet. Consistently high activity, if it’s focused and qualified, creates results. James Tostevin, one of the country’s legendary agents, is a machine when it comes to dollar productive activity. Day in, day out, he sees and speaks to as many possible customers or potential customers as he can, and as a result is one of the world’s leading agents.

Develop “Hyper Local” knowledge. I heard that phrase from Tom Ferry at AREC last year. Tom is one of the world’s top real estate coaches, and when I heard that it hit me: Having good product knowledge only let’s you into the game. Having “Hyper Local” knowledge gets you into the one percent club (that’s top one per cent in the world – not charging yourself out at one per cent. The addition of the word “Hyper” sends the signal that you need to know every single thing there is to know about anything relevant to your craft. Not just values and legals, but all the small but important things about your customers, the community, local business activity, what’s happening on the ground, the hottest young designers, and furniture stores available and so on. You get it I’m sure. It’s the small stuff that’s often not talked about that can really set you apart.

Get seriously organised. Most agents (and people in general) are disorganised. They muddle through work and life and never really get their organizational mojo happening. They make excuses. Say they are on top of things (knowing they aren’t) and end up wasting 50 – 75 per cent of their life looking for keys or wondering what to do next. I say spring clean your world. All of it. Your home, your office, your car, your systems, your headspace, your everything! Throw out anything that isn’t really necessary or important to you. Remove negative elements from your life. Develop simple systems, checklists, and agendas for the things you do regularly. You’ll pick up an extra 10 hours a week minimum if you do this and live a far happier and more productive life.

Be the best student you know. I’ll be talking more about these things and other ideas at AREC2012. A conference I believe will be the best conference on the planet this year and give your more quality, relevant information and life-changing inspiration in two days than you have been exposed to in the last two years. Which brings me to my final point.

Become the best learner you know. Spend at least 30 minutes a day invested in developing your mind and attitude to a far greater level. Read or listen to the best books. Go to the best conferences. Meet people who can change your world. If you combine all these things, the two times target you wrote at the top of the page will become something you fly past half way through the year as you head towards a whole new set of results and more importantly, a whole new life.

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John McGrath

John McGrath is a chairman of McGrath Real Estate and a founder of AREC (Australian Real Estate Conference) held annually