How to come back from a setback: Travis Williams

Travis Williams is the founder and CEO of Box+Dice - an Australian company which has pioneered cloud-based real estate technology over the past two decades to become one of the country's leading CRM and transaction platforms.

Box+Dice CEO Travis Williams is no stranger to the peaks and troughs of real estate. As a former agent he knows only too well ‘the slump’ that is the downside of the real estate game.

In this Saturday’s podcast with Elite Agent Managing Editor Samantha McLean, Travis explains for many agents the troughs have been more evident during COVID-19, but he does have a few key tips to avoid them.

Par for the course, but avoidable

 “Agents get listings, they sell them and then they have nothing in the pipeline,” Travis reflects. It’s par for the course but avoidable.

The lows are further compounded when a winning streak dissolves into a series of knockbacks. Then those peaks and troughs aren’t just business-related, Travis explains. They are personal as well.

“There’s a new conversation evolving around depression in real estate. When you lose that listing, it’s like splitting up with your partner,” he notes.

“Sometimes it’s such a thump. And if you have several rejections like that, it can really take its toll.”

The age-old industry advice is to get back on the horse, but even Travis concedes it’s not that easy.

So how do change the playing deck when the cards seem stacked against you?

Roll up your sleeves, get back to basics

Travis explains the way to come back from a setback is to roll up your sleeves, start working, and above all, believe in yourself.

“Ring those buyers, ring those people that bought from you five years ago or bought from your company five years ago and introduce yourself,” he stresses.

“Those clients that haven’t received a contact from you in X number of days, weeks, or months, contact them and just start a conversation.

“When they receive a call from you in non-business times – in dormant times – people really appreciate it.”

This is where tools of the trade like a great CRM come into their own. It’s about focussing on the database, knowing past conversations with clients, and about putting people skills to work.

 “You can also see the troughs coming if you manage your database properly,” Travis notes.

Work smarter, not harder

It’s not about working harder, but instead working smarter, Travis says. And that involves drawing on the right tools to dig yourself out of the slump.

A key tool is your real estate community, and it’s something agents should be building throughout their career.

“You start your real estate community when you find the time to ring those dormant clients and build those long-term long-lasting relationships,” Travis notes.

“And that’s the rewarding part of the job – when you turn up to the front door and you don’t have to introduce yourself.”

Travis notes community building and creating connections is particularly important to agents just starting out.

Once they have that connection, the troughs aren’t as bad, and the rejections aren’t as frequent.

Re-instilling self-belief

Contacting the people that you have previously done a good job for isn’t just about touching base, it also serves as a way to re-instil self-belief.

“My Dad used to say the best time to win a listing is when you’ve just won one. The best time to make a sale is when you’ve just signed one up,” Travis says.

“So if you ring an old friend who’s a past client that you really got along with, the best time to make the next phone call is straight after that one and get on the roll and build it into your daily routine, so that an hour or two every day is making those phone calls.”

Ask the question

Most importantly, when you’re having the conversation, don’t forget to ask ‘the question’: Do you have a house to sell? Do you know anyone with a house to sell?

Travis explains every agent might phrase that question differently, but it needs to be asked non-the-less.

“There’s nothing wrong with that. They know you’re working. They know that you’re not ringing them on your personal clock, you’re not catching up with them for a beer,” he notes.

“You’ve got your role in this community to play.”

And that role? Well it’s ‘market maker’.

You can gain more insight into that and other great advice from Travis Williams on Saturday, when our latest Elevate podcast goes live.

For more podcasts, visit the Elevate podcast page.

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Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer for Elite Agent Magazine with over 15 years’ journalism experience in metropolitan and regional newsrooms. She has a specialist interest in real estate, tech disruption and a good old-fashioned “yarn”.