It was a dark and stormy night in 1908 when a young, struggling journalist called Napoleon Hill was issued a challenge by Industrialist Andrew Carnegie, at no pay. As the legend goes, he had about 30 seconds to accept. The challenge was this: for Carnegie to introduce Hill to the 500 wealthiest people in the world, find the ‘elements in common’ to them all, and write a book on the subject. The result of that 20-year study, ‘Think and Grow Rich’ is considered by many to be the most influential book on wealth in history.
Inspired by that, I set out to duplicate Hill’s strategy and find out the elements in common to some of Australia’s top Real Estate performers. When agents like Mat Steinwede, Chris Gilmour, Aaron Shiner, Edgar Natolo, Amber Werchon, James Tostevin and others agreed on certain things, I took note and found out truly what it takes for any agent to become number one in their area.
The main commonality is that they have what I call a ‘Well systemised Real Estate business.’ What this means is, they find things that work, and instead of those things getting done in a manner consistent with how they ‘feel’ on a given day, the successful element becomes systemised and duplicated again and again – until it stops working, gets changed, improved or re-invented.
So let’s dig in. Here are the seven systems, behaviours, and habits that I found in common with top agents. Not all of them had all seven, but when two, three or more stars had something in common, in went onto the list, so disagree with these elements at your peril.
COMMON ELEMENT 1- ‘A WELL PROGRAMMED MINDSET’.
This is probably the one they all agreed upon 100%. In one way, shape, or form, they had ways to keep themselves positive and energetic most of the time.
Many #1 agents use seminars, books, audio programs, training, goal setting, accountability, or a coach to keep their mindset moving them towards their targets.
Coach Josh Phegan even suggests some of his stars use negative punishments to achieve goals, like setting a realistic target and if the agent fails, something bad happens, like an anonymous gift to a competitor or something.
COMMON ELEMENT 2 –‘A MAGNETIC MARKETING SYSTEM’.
Top agents have figured out a way to have people contact them. The guns all found their own way to accomplish this. Chris Gilmour has had between 1000 and 5000 ‘Sold’ flyers strategically sent to his target area every week for years on end, resulting in a stream of phone calls to his phone every week.
Mat Steinwede has his patented ‘10 a day’ CMA system.
Other agents like James Tostevin, are prospecting machines – and James himself is said to take fortnightly days, where no other activities occur, for an entire day of outbound prospecting calls.
Whatever system they have installed, they set it, test it, and make sure it is done each week, and making sure this system results in a bucket load of appraisals or listing presentations each week.
COMMON ELEMENT 3- ‘WEAPONS OF FIRST IMPRESSION’.
The two most common ‘first impression’ tools top agents used to great eect, were ‘killer open homes’ and brilliant, systemised ‘pre- listing’ systems and kits.
When clients first meet a top agent, they certainly know it. Top agents stand out. Open homes are often more like performances with extra service, follow up and other outrageous features. Videos playing, flags flying, models serving hors d’oeuvres, eskies full of drinks, and other innovations designed to thoroughly impress their target market.
Pre-listing actions kits, delivered quickly, were also common among agents like Mat, Chris, Glen Couthino and others. Packed with great information, classy marketing examples, and reports, they are all designed to set them apart from their competition. (Chris even had lollipops for the kids, and Smacko’s for the dog in his pre-listing kit).
COMMON ELEMENT 4- ‘POWER PRESENTATION SKILLS’.
Top agents all have their own style of doing listing presentations. Some are more formal and scripted; some are more relaxed and improvised on the spot. Some are more technology and ‘iPad’ based, and some are pen and paper and asking questions. But no doubt, every agent who gets to the top in their area has mastered the art of demonstrating their service to a seller to show they are worthy of the job.
COMMON ELEMENT 5- ‘SURGICALLY PRECISE NEGOTIATION SKILLS’.
The most prominent area top agents pride themselves in is their ability to achieve the highest price for properties. The agents who could demonstrate their value by past history of successful negotiations, and some even demonstrate their negotiation skills with their sellers, proving their value to the sellers.
COMMON ELEMENT 6- ‘AUTOPILOT SYSTEMS’.
Many top agents have a large database (refer Element 2) and hence they have more people who need and want the ‘agent love’ than they have hours to deliver it. So most of the superstar agents have
some of the contact with their buyers, sellers, and prospects on complete or partial ‘Autopilot.’
Email, SMS, letters, even greeting cards all have the capacity to be put on an automation trail, so the client gets the contact needed but the agent’s ‘hands on’ workload is minimised through the use of technology.
Having a system of sta, personal assistant(s) also fits in this category of ‘Automation.’ Eectively, the agents that are leading the way often do not work as hard as the agents that are struggling do.
COMMON ELEMENT 7- ‘INFLUENCE AND PERSUASION MASTERY’.
Rounding out this list is one of the hardest of these elements to duplicate. Some agents are naturally born persuaders, and others have had to hone their persuasion skills over the course of their careers. Several (including myself ) have studied advanced persuasion skills at seminars, using skills like Neuro- Linguistic Programming (or NLP – made famous by Anthony Robbins) where they learn to use certain words in a certain way to model the success of others and persuade more effectively.
While Hill’s original study spanned 20 years, and this study spanned 20 months, the results are clear. Success does in fact, ‘leave clues’. By studying the best of the best, and doing what they do, there is a very good chance you too can craft your career for success in the same way.
To find out more about a new event in October being hosted by Glenn Twiddle (and friends!) visit www.qreas.com.au.