Welcome to 2010! I’m sure you’ve had a great break and you’re ready to take 2010 by storm. In this article I’ll share seven important keys to get 2010 off to a brilliant start. When you apply these, I know it will have a positive impact on the results you produce in 2010. So here we go…
1. Decisions x Actions = Results
This is as simple as I can make success for you. If you want to produce even better results in 2010, then simply reverse engineering will focus you on making better decisions and following through with better actions. In my workshops I ask people,Can you make better decisions this year compared to last year?– the answer is always “YES”. And of course then the follow through on any decision is powerfully putting it into action.
So let’s look at a couple of key points… for you (and your team) it’s essential for you to create for yourself a set of goals that can become your benchmark for a great 2010.
I strongly recommend your goals are a combination of business and personal. The reason for personal… well when you’re making prospecting calls or calling back a list of buyers on Monday from the weekend opens, it’s important to remember the goal behind the goal – which could be a brilliant holiday, kids through private school or maybe another investment property. Whatever it is, your goals need to motivate you to take action on a daily basis.
The other point with this very simple formula is that every decision you make and action you take is either moving you closer to or further away from your goals and the results you want to achieve. And given that, the more your decisions and actions are aligned to your goals, the better results you’ll achieve faster! If you haven’t done so, take some time out, go somewhere and sit down and write your goals for the year – this is a MUST DO strategy!
2. Expanding your ‘BE’
We’ve just spoken about what you want to HAVE in 2010, my question now is this,Is your ‘BE’ up to achieving those goals?You see, what you have in life is a direct reflection of who you are BEING in life. So when you expand who you are BEING, you become more attractive to your clients and to the marketplace in general.
Just imagine for a moment that you read or listened to one audio book per month on the subject of negotiation (in my mind this is the number one skill you are paid for). In just twelve months (even though all the information would not be 100% relevant to real estate) your approach to every negotiation would be dramatically enhanced. In other words, who you would then BE in a negotiation would be radically different.
Your confidence, knowledge, language and mindset would go through a significant upgrade. As a result, you’d make it so much easier for a client to select you to sell their property or bring more deals together.
So what am I asking you to do? Well it’s simple, if you want to HAVE more, you must BE more for your market. I’d like to do an honest review of your skills and knowledge and move away from doing just enough to get by, but really accelerate and expand who you are being. Maybe ask the people around you if there were one or two areas that you could work on that would create the biggest improvement in results, what would those areas be? Then simply focus and study in those areas and your payback will be huge. Of course, unless you put time, effort and energy into increasing your BE, you’ll never gain the real power of it.
3. Review your best business sources
This is an incredibly important part of your success this year. Go through a review of all your listings and write down a summary of where they came from – the source of the listing opportunity. Now you might be surprised when you do this. Look for areas where a strong listing flow is coming from and check if these areas need more attention to potentially generate even more in 2010. Once you’ve done that, I recommend you increase your activity on the best business sources and then speak with some of your colleagues you respect and find out one or two other business generating sources for you to add into your mix for 2010.
4. Become a relationship nurturer
If you’ve heard me speak live, I’m sure you’re familiar with the real estate orphanage – this is where once the transaction is complete, you send your clients (both buyers and sellers) away. A sort of “I’ve finished with you or you’re history!” The good news is when you upgrade your nurturing, you also have a direct impact on the amount of repeat and referral business coming your way.
Now sometimes there’s a level of guilt in the fact that you haven’t looked after your existing clients well. My coaching on this is simple – get over it and get on with it!
Get a list of your clients and add them to your mobile phone and start calling them! Do a ‘touch base’ call and check in on how they are enjoying the property. If it’s been a while, you might start with, “It’s been ages since we’ve touched base, just wondering how are you enjoying the property?” This is so simple yet so powerful in building even greater mindshare with your clients. They need to know you are there for them – just do it!
Just a couple more tips here… my recommended frequency is a ‘touch base’ call every three months with your existing clients. Of course, if you have a large client base, you may need to categorise your clients into Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. From there you’ll put more energy into nurturing your Platinum and Gold clients and maybe use newsletters and reports to keep in touch with Silver and Bronze with a call once a year.
5. Listing reality check
I call the listing appointment the ultimate job interview, where the real question being asked is, “Will you hire me to sell this incredibly valuable asset?” Your goal at the listing appointment must be to make it easy for the client to choose you. If, at the end of your appointment, they can’t see the difference between you and your competitors, then you’ve done a poor job.
So doing a listing reality check is putting your listing under the microscope of success and exploring how you can do it better. This would include:
- How you position you and your agency
- Do you have a structured agenda for the meeting?
- Do you provide up-to-date marketing information and statistics for your clients?
- Do you sell the points of difference of your agency over competitors?
- Understand the needs, wants and desires of the sellers
- How well do you walk through the pricing conversation?
- Explaining the best method of sale for their property
- Talk through how you will manage the process
- Share with the seller your buyer management strategies
- Handle objections and concerns the sellers may have
- Powerfully ask for the business
- Reassure the clients they are making the right decision choosing you
Once you’ve explored these questions above, it will hopefully give you a path to upgrade your listing success. An important point here, I’ve had agents say to me, “Well Michael, I win a large percentage of my listings so I don’t need to improve or work on my listing skills.” This is like a sporting team saying, “We’re winning most of our games, therefore we don’t need to improve.” It’s a sure sign of arrogance or over confidence – and we know where that sporting team will end up!
6. Selling reality check
When I appoint you as my agent, there is a real expectation you are going to do a sensational job – that’s why I chose you! So reviewing your performance in how you’re achieving great results in the selling process is absolutely essential. One thing I talk with my clients about is ultimately, the service you’re offering to the buyers is the service you’re offering your sellers. You see, when the clients handed over the keys to you, they felt you would look after their interests in a professional and low stress way.
So there are really five areas for you to look at and explore here:
- Your overall campaign management
- Your buyer management and communication
- Your seller management and communication
- Your property marketing
- Your negotiation strategies
By tweaking your performance in each of these areas, it will achieve two things. Firstly better sales results and secondly better relationships with a stronger flow of referrals.
7. Upgraded service standards
I guess we’ve been skirting this issue with a number of the other points. Specifically, you need to take a real look at the standards you are applying in your business and see where an upgrade would enhance either the relationships you have with people or the results you’re producing.
Here are some areas for you to look at:
- Response time to emails and phone calls
- Buyer call backs from opens
- Email market updates
- Regular marketing communications
- Proactive calls and reports to sellers
- Your listing pipeline communication
- Hot buyer management
- Preparation for opens, auctions and listings
- Training time
- Client and database nurturing
If you’re operating in a team, this would be a great team meeting discussion so you have a consistent delivery in the marketplace. Your standards should be less than a page and put them somewhere you can see and review them regularly. That way you’ll be reminded of what you’re committed to.
So there you have it! Seven extremely important keys to get you on the fast-track for even greater results. Coming out of this article I’d like you to create a Performance Plan document that basically has a summary of the outcomes, decisions and actions you are going to take to make 2010 a brilliant year for you.
Editor’s note: Need some help getting started? You can download Michael Sheargold’s 2010 Performance Plan template at eliteagent.com