MICHAEL CHOI LOOKS at how to protect your most important source of income.
DO YOU remember the fable about the goose that laid the golden eggs?
There was once a very special goose who laid a golden egg every day. The couple who owned her were becoming rich because they could sell the beautiful golden eggs and make a lot of money. Then it dawned on them that if they killed the goose and cut her open they could have all the eggs at once, making them rich much faster. However, once they had killed her they found that she was just like any normal goose. There were no golden eggs inside her, and they had lost their supply of beautiful eggs.
This metaphor relates to so many principles in our real estate lives. Some great questions to ask ourselves are: In my business, what is my goose that lays golden eggs? What key tasks produce the majority of my income? How long could I starve those tasks before it affects my business?
I would say most agents know the answer to these questions; yet for some reason they still choose not to feed the goose every day or, even worse, they make the conscious decision to kill the goose.
In my business we have ‘feed the goose’ sessions, which is what we call our team prospecting sessions. We commit to three hours a week outside our normal sessions that we do on our own account. Our team culture treats these appointments as $20,000,000 appointments.
What I mean by that is that they are precious appointments with ourselves that take full priority and are non-negotiable. We feed the goose that lays the golden eggs so that we can have a predictable income, and we have found this diary discipline has resulted in consistent performers throughout our team.
Who do we call? People in our database who own real estate in our core area. They don’t have to have any real estate plans; they just have to own real estate. Our goal is to become their agent before they need one by adding value through our interaction with them. We add value through running fundraiser community events, charity auctions and property market updates. Everybody is considered a seller, whether it is now, in six months or even 10 years away. They are all selling – they just don’t know it! In fact, if you ask somebody if they are selling they will say ‘no,’ either because they don’t want you to annoy them or because they think you mean right now. The answer to the question ‘Are you selling?’ should always be a ‘yes,’ as ever yone will sell one day; you just need to ask the question in a better way. Some key dialogue to f ind out what people’s plans are is as follows:
‘I know you’re not doing anything right now; however, hypothetically, if you did move later on down the track, would you stay in Xville or would you move out of the area completely?’
‘Would you get a bigger, or smaller, home?’
‘Would you move closer to or further away from the city?’
‘When do you think you might be ready for that?’
The above questions are all ways to ask ‘Are you selling?’ They are aimed at breaking the barriers of the prospective client and are open-ended questions that need answering by the prospective vendor.
Initially the ‘Feed the goose’ sessions were not favoured amongst my team. One year later we have seen results directly related to ‘feeding the goose’ and my team wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a matter of not liking the process but loving the outcome, just like waking up early and going to the gym. On average each team member makes approximately 100 connected calls a week, with some members exceeding 150. As much as I’d like everyone to hit the 150-plus mark, I’m a realist and take the viewpoint that consistency and longevity are more important than bursts or sprints in prospecting.
It can sometimes be hard to get inspiration to ‘feed the goose’; however, a concept I call ‘expansion to the ridiculous’ can help. Basically what it means is rather than saying, ‘I can’t be bothered with prospecting ’ when it pops up as a reminder in your diary, you think, ‘Would I be happy with the ramifications of not prospecting every day?’ It’s about looking at every decision in your day as a decision for the rest of your life and not just for the moment.
The best time to start feeding the goose was 10 years ago. The second-best time is today.