Think, Train, Succeed!

A real estate success story is very rarely a short story. It is usually a lengthy one with twists and turns along the way. You can limit the twists by focusing on positive thinking and industry-specific training. Story by Tony Rowe

Here’s a novel thought on the business of real estate – if sales are up (or down) it isn’t because of the weather, or the season, or the global economic crisis, or climate change. Nor is it to do with Kevin Rudd or any particular State Premier. The success (or otherwise) of your business, has everything to do with how you choose to run your business. How successful you are as a sales or management agent depends on YOU!

The power of positive thinking
Performance is profoundly influenced by thinking – by the things we imagine and say to ourselves. Thoughts are the building blocks from which we create our beliefs, attitudes, behaviours, and every aspect of our performance at work.

Few people recognise the enormous power of their moment to moment thinking, and fewer still actually use this awareness in their daily life. Every thought affects us in some way – either empowering, or limiting us. There are no ‘neutral’ thoughts.

Picture the faces of athletes as they prepare for a 100m sprint, or the concentration of swimmers as they wait at the end of the pool for a race. Their focus is on the race before them, and how they will perform. Their concentration on the end result is complete. Those who revel too much in the adulation of the crowd – before a race – don’t usually feature in a podium finish!

Some people indulge in negative thinking, and ‘problem focus’ – rather than aiming for a ‘solutions focus’. Part of the problem is, of course, that negative thinking has become a habit – not only for individuals, but for society in general. Like any habit, it takes effort and willingness to change.

So, the issue is to take personal responsibility for the impact of negative thinking on their performance and in their lives, and of the enormous advantages that can accrue to those who continually focus on positive, ‘possibility’ thoughts.

Targeted training

A good real estate business should aim to spend about 2 – 3 % of its budget on training. That keeps the skill development focus firmly ‘front and centre’. Where appropriate, have an external party provide that training. However, you have an obligation to your staff and to the business viability, to make sure the training is suitable for, and applicable to, your specific requirements. It should not be delivering what the training provider deems appropriate for your business (unless they’ve had detailed discussions with you about what your business needs and whether they can meet those needs).

CPD training has in the past been prescribed by Office of Fair Trading. The current rules and regulations allow training to be provided which is relevant to the business needs. Consumer protection is important and not to be underestimated; upskilling of knowledge and skills is equally important in providing a better level of service – especially in a competitive environment.

It’s good to have external providers of your training – that’s a biased view of mine! However, if you are to spend money on your training, you need to be comfortable that the provider has some idea of what goes on in the industry. It’s good to have a finance expert advise you on better business practices, but if they come from a public health sector background (as an example) it isn’t really going to help your real estate business if they haven’t sat down and found out about the processes and requirements of the property industry.

The same applies to your training requirements. You are the client. You are the one paying the money. You are entitled to get what you need, in the way you need it. The training you undertake should be interactive, proactive and have immediate impact on the performance of attendees.

Be a success story
Why are some agents more successful than others? Here’s seven things successful agents do:

  1. Successful agents consistently set themselves higher goals – once a goal has been achieved, then it’s on to the next goal (bigger and better than the last).
  2. Successful agents step out of their comfort zones and try different approaches. Doing things the way you’ve always done them, is guaranteed to at least get you the same result. Successful real estate marketing, selling and management require you to be constantly looking to improve the way you do things.
  3. Successful agents are driven by achievement, not money. Money is a key motivator – and to pretend otherwise would be foolish, but job satisfaction has to be a more important consideration if there is to be longevity in this business.
  4. Successful agents solve problems, not place the blame – “It’s not our fault” or “Why didn’t we…” gets quickly substituted by “Let’s look at what we could have done better” and see it as a learning experience, figure out how to make it work next time, and move on to making the next client happy.
  5. Successful agents undertake a risk analysis on every opportunity – they ask What could go wrong with this situation” and then make a decision to accept that risk or not. Having made the decision to proceed, it’s onwards and upwards with the confidence and expertise necessary for a successful outcome.
  6. Successful agents have a vision of where they want to be. Athletes practice the skill of mental rehearsal – where they “see” themselves winning the race, scoring the goal, sinking the putt. This visual image gives them the courage and impetus to achieve the goal they have set for themselves.
  7. Successful agents consistently look for opportunities to be better than their competition by learning new things – marketing strategies; selling skills; technological developments; compliance requirements.

How many of these characteristics do you have? The more you have, the higher degree of probability that you will be doing more business than the other agents in your area.

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