CONFIDENCE IS A POWERFUL THING. When abundant it can propel a boom; when lacking it crumbles markets. Optimists with a plan lead in real estate, so how can you take charge in a more challenging market? Claudio Encina shares his eight steps to local area market domination.
This year, if you are finding yourself in a less confident marketplace with lower auction clearance rates, or your number of days on market is increasing, more buyers are sitting on the fence, or even just the number of total listings contracting, here is my eight-step plan to help you survive and grow in the next few months.
1. GOALS. Create a clear plan for the next 90 days. Evidence shows that you are more likely to achieve sharp, short-term goals than long-term goals. Write down what you would like to achieve over the next 90 days in sales, listings, presentations and market appraisals. Draft a ‘new business’ prospecting or canvassing plan to create new and future opportunities. No plan and no goals lead to coasting through another year at the same level as before.
2. URGENCY. It’s time to change pace. In slower markets fast-paced agents clean up while others stand back as if nothing has changed. I’ve seen many agents unable to adapt to a changing market because they didn’t lift the pace. Increase your sense of urgency and this will be a market to harvest.
3. CONTROL. A slower market means buyers will be fussier and less compromising with their expectations. They will also increase their perception of value. You will need to control your listings, set to sell meetings, marketing and negotiation skills. Control your inner market: you. As Brian Buffini says in his article What’s Your EQ? on inman.com, “For buyers and sellers, the process brings emotions to the surface that, when misunderstood by their agent, can lead to feelings of frustration and anger by all involved. Clients aren’t the only ones at the mercy of their emotions; even the most level-headed, seasoned agent has moments where his or her emotions bubble to the surface. Agents with a high EQ, the measure of emotional intelligence, are able to manage their emotions as well as those of their clients.”
4. SKILL. Some agents will take listings on at any price in a changing market. This doesn’t mean you have to overprice to list; on the contrary, you need to be an expert at showing how your process and company will optimise the result.
Agents without real benefits and resources only have overpricing and low fees in their tool bag. Points of difference between you and the competition will be key. You will need to provide substantial evidence to set yourself apart and then massive success will come your way. Learn, practise and rehearse your listing presentation, commission objections, marketing objections and negotiation dialogues. I recommend spending 15 to 30 minutes on this daily.
5. ACTION. Stock is everything. Want to double your business? Then hold double the conversations, double your profile marketing, have written goals and a simple, committed plan. There is no way to make more money without more stock, so start listing like a maniac. In addition, expired listings will be a great resource of new and future business in the real estate market this year, so identify them in your area.
6. DOMINATE. In this market you want to be seen as the expert. You must have a farm area, patch or BDA (Business Development Area) where you can build your name and profile and ‘specialise’. Agents who have market share, or have a plan to build market share, will lead in this market. To dominate an area you must be touching people in your farm, patch or BDA a minimum of twice per month, from a call to action letter to a DL card creating branding and profile. Your plan should cover at least the next 12 months, as studies show you need to reach people over 11 times before you begin to buy a piece of their mind. Consistency creates trust; even though they may have not have met you, they will feel like they already know you.
7. FOCUS. The acronym FOCUS stands for Follow One Course Until Successful. In a changing market it’s so easy to get distracted with different ideas. The super-achievers in this industry do four things 4,000 times, as against doing 4,000 things just four times. Stay focused by choosing four things you will excel in.
8. ACCOUNTABILITY. Daily discipline is the key to owning this market. Hold yourself accountable to your set goals. Review and record your progress daily to be in a conscious state of your actions. Then analyse your progress and make any proper adjustments in relation to your skills, strategies, systems and mindset to ensure your success in the first 90 days.
If your mindset is still switched onto ‘but the market is tough!’ you need to lose it today. The market is no longer an excuse. If you have enough conversations and say the right thing you will win. Six hundred outbound conversations per month is the minimum number you should be having. There’s no point blaming anything else for your income and results. Drop the word ‘prospecting’ – we just have to talk to people who own property.
Every market is still showing activity; the only thing that can stop you is you. There will not be a single dollar won easily this year, but there will be many more to earn if you make positive, planned and actioned changes. You will have to punch above your weight to move through a challenging market, so at the end of the year your outcome will be defined by how you show up on a daily basis. Aim to be your best. Every day.