We’ve all said it: ‘I’m going to start on Monday!’ This is the banner cry for people who are momentarily inspired to make some big changes, only to run into difficulties when Monday arrives. But if you prepare in advance for the obstacles that you may find in your way, you will be more likely to succeed. Chris Helder explains.
Whether it’s a new fitness plan, a diet or changing a negative habit, people frequently set these goal posts when they want to redefine some aspect of their lives. In real estate, this is often a goal that will inspire them to prospect for new business. They are excited and print out their database. Monday will change everything.
Then Monday comes. They made a crucial mistake. They forgot to think about all the obstacles and temptations that come up. At 9am they planned to pick up the phone, but they were overwhelmed with a deluge of advertising proofs, emails and Toxic Boy wanting to share a cafe latte.
The land of the real estate training notes
It’s no different with real estate conferences. Agents go away to conferences and are inspired to change their fortunes. However, when they get back to the office they go right back to the same patterns of behaviour.
Their conference notes are never looked at again. Worse yet, they are filed in the saddest, loneliest place on earth: The Land of the Real Estate Training Notes. Those poor training and conference notes, yellowing in the filing cabinet.
How can you make goals work and use the information you take from conferences to change your business? Simple: focus on the obstacles.
What do I mean? The studies show that goal setting only works when you have pre-planned for every obstacle. Imagine trying to lose weight. It’s easy to set a goal, but people get tripped up when they haven’t planned for the reality: that at 9:30pm they crave chocolate.
If they are unprepared and haven’t thought this possible obstacle through, they will eat the chocolate. However, if they know that at 9:30 this obstacle will appear, they can pre-plan for this.
In their preparation for their goal of losing weight, they prepare an if-then plan. ‘If I feel like eating chocolate, then I’ll have a cup of tea instead.’
This is absolute gold when it comes to real estate. There are so many distractions and obstacles that stop agents from achieving what they want. Imagine that you have every intention of having a good prospecting day. All of a sudden one or more of these things come up:
- You decide to go out for coffee with a group of average performers at the office.
- You decide to avoid prospecting and choose to read the paper instead.
- You decide to make the easy choice to avoid prospecting and do any number of non-income-producing tasks, such as market research, respond to emails or proof ads.
Instead, successful people set a goal and prepare for the obstacles that will stop them from achieving that goal. How do you do this? Simple. Write down a list of all the things that might stop you. Put down everything that will distract you from achieving that goal of prospecting. If that happens, what’s your plan?
The amazing thing is that when you are totally prepared for every scenario, there is no stress. You are prepared for every situation, so there is no reason to panic.
Obstacles to listing
It is no different with listing. Prepare for the obstacles. Imagine going into a listing situation and being totally prepared for everything that could be thrown your way. Those obstacles may include:
- Your knowledge about the most recent sales in the area
- Market share for your office
- Why you are more expensive than the competition
- The competition believes they have the buyers in this demographic
- Can you afford not to go with a ‘Super-agent’?
The key is total preparation and pre-planning for the obstacles. When you are prepared for every possible scenario, there is nothing to be stressed about. Once again, you can use the if-then planning for a listing. If the potential vendor brings this up then I will respond with this answer.
I meet a lot of agents who get excited about their brand new real estate career and I want to support them. The key to their success is that they plan every scenario.
Plan for the obstacles. If you are prepared, you are ready to win.