AREC14 presented many memorable moments; so many great speakers and an audience that was pumped and ready to go from the moment they walked in the door on Sunday morning. I sat in most of the sessions taking copious notes like many of the attendees, and here are 12 of the top things I took away from this year’s amazing show.
1. Listen, Diagnose, Prescribe. From the moment he walked on stage and told everyone to “pretend they knew nothing, and start afresh”, there was not a moment when Tom Panos didn’t fulfil his promise of constantly summarising and adding anecdotes from his vast experience to what some of the presenters. My favorite yarn of Tom’s is to be “like the doctor”. Listen, diagnose, prescribe. Your solution, your fees, are an outcome of the diagnosis – and are not up for debate. And one more thing… forget ABC (always be closing), it is now ABE: Always be Educating. Summary of most of the panel sessions from the event. “Stop selling, start helping” (with thanks, I believe to the master, Zig Ziglar).
2. Say “Yes”. When Chip says “get switched on” you have no choice. Amazing energy. Chip pointed out that it’s “what you learn after you think you know everything”. People are too short term focused and not detecting/correcting small rookie errors. If you need to go from good to great you need to detect these errors early and correct them. Good is, in fact, the enemy of great. Chip focused a lot on health and well being: the best gift you can give others is to take care of yourself. Start today.
3. James Tostevin and Michael Pallier. Two amazing agents able to write millions in GCI in two very different markets (Sydney and Melbourne). One a prospecting machine the other possibly the ultimate attraction agent, both working in very different ways. The takeaway from these two sessions from my perspective is that you need to be authentic to what works best for you and really work hard at whichever way you go. A couple of great scripts: “I want the opportunity to represent you” (and not “I want your business!”), “We won’t be the cheapest out there, but our fee will be competitive for the service and expertise you will get!”. A few other nuggets here – “Choose an area that’s growing, be a good agent, stick with a top brand and use plenty of mini closes in your listing presentations.”
4. Familiarity breeds contempt. Chip again! Look at what has become too familiar to you. Whether it’s your team, your spouse, your family, your customers. Start really paying attention before moving on to your next thought or action. Key takeaway: treat established customers like new ones. Remember that no one ever complained because you showed them too much appreciation.
5. Change your career, but don’t take a holiday. We heard from a number of agents who had changed to from other careers to successful careers in Real Estate (Kirsten Mueller and Vivien Yap). A great quote from Kirsten: “Don’t just be good at starting, be good at finishing as well. Do the stuff you need to do whether you feel like it or not!” And Vivien, what an absolute delight in her honesty and poise on stage. One of her best scripts, “are you researching buying or selling at the moment?” She noted a couple of interesting things – firstly that OFI’s are still the best source of leads, and also that even if you are your own business unit you still need to treat it like a proper business. As the owner of a successful pharmacy business, she noted that she realised she had to treat it in the same way. Invest in staff/stock. Make every minute dollar productive. Invest in marketing. Invest in yourself.
6. While we are on the subject of marketing…there wasn’t one person we heard from that said that direct mail, flyers, direct telephone marketing or anything like that were a waste of time. Again, you need to make sure that you communicate and build relationships with your farm area using a variety of different methods, print, digital, social, face to face. Sitting on Facebook or Twitter just won’t cut it. And lastly, don’t “do it yourself” if the result is not going to be spectacular. Outsource it or leave it to the professionals. Think world class. (We’ll get to what John McGrath said in a sec).
7. OK. Let’s talk about the Wolf. I only saw Jordan present on Day 1 (I was in charge of our stand on Day 2!) Was there a mass audience walk out? No. I watched the general press walk in and then walk out of his presentation (they were sitting right near me), and really there was nothing that controversial in the content of Jordan Belfort’s presentation. In fact, everything he said was nothing that new in terms of selling theory or the ‘Laws of Persuasion’ or how to get people to trust you. I’m in no way condoning any of his actions, but content-wise it didn’t appear to be any different than the stuff that we usually hear. I’m just guessing it was the fact that ‘he is who he is’ attracted so much attention. He was reasonably entertaining in a talking-really-fast-kind-of-way.
Funniest moment was when he stated rather emphatically that the worst thing a man could wear was a pinkie ring. Umm, no. Alison Levine, one of the other speakers quipped on Twitter very soon after that there were other things that Belfort had worn himself that were in fact worse (colour: orange). Again, the very strong takeaway here: Persuasion may get you the listing, but ethics are everything.
8. Personal trainers are for everyone. Do you know they have a personal trainer on retainer at Highland Property, paid for by the business? They regularly run fitness challenges for the staff, encourage healthy eating and habits and participate in a number of team events. David Highland says it’s amazing what the results are when you have happy, healthy, fit people coming to the office every day. They also invest in video training for staff to make sure they come across at their very best in each and every property marketing video. For them, it’s 4P’s: Preparation, Practice, Presentation, Presence. Sounds like a great investment to me.
9. The doctor was in the house, and gave us plenty to think about. I had been looking forward to hearing from Dr Fred since interviewing him a few weeks before AREC. What was really interesting about Dr Fred’s presentations were that they made us all think about about how we really feel about ourselves, where we are at and what we think we deserve. Do we all truly believe that we were born to be successful? Or are we scared to look under the rocks we call our dreams that we’ve left in one place for so long? (while we have been busy polluting our mind with TV shows that were meant to appeal to a 7-year-old brain, as well as other trivial things that distract us from our life’s true purpose?) The good news is there is still time. If you want to achieve the destiny you were meant to fulfil then it’s time to start making that 20-year plan of what you’d like to achieve by 2034 and you can get there. It will take some effort and sacrifice but it will be worth it.
10. You heard the man. When John McGrath takes the stage, sit still and pay attention! Fear is not the enemy. Paralysis is the enemy. You can’t 2x or 10x your income without fear or risk or event some failures. There is a level of discomfort which is a gift. The same time management strategy will not 2x or 10x your income, you need to think about what’s the next step and how to get there. How many of your customers/prospective customers leave you and say, “That was the best service experience of my life?” The experience for your customers must be world class. The results must be outstanding. And the experience and results need to be greater than the person’s expectations. I could go on and on and on with some of the other things he said but then this article would really, really long. If you’re going to 2x or 10x your income, if you are going to be the best on the planet, you need to get back to work. I mean, like now.
11. Auctions do work no matter what the market. One of my fave quotes from Andrew Sorensen from Raine & Horne Charmhaven – (not a traditional “auction” area, and not far from where I grew up so I get it) said, “an auction is a for sale with an end date”. Never thought of it that way before, but yes. Simple in a way. I see that now.
12. Implementation. Sorry about this. I know I’ve mentioned him a few times, but for me Chip was one of the true stars of the show, and I think this might be a good place to wrap up. “If you don’t change the direction of where you’re going you are going to wind up where you’re headed.” And we’ve all heard the cliche “a year on you’ll wish you had started today”, well Chip goes one better: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away, 30 apples in one day does not!” Wise words indeed. Time to get cracking now!
One very last and super clear message: You have to commit. You can’t go into anything half-assed and you can’t go in on a maybe. Taking a risk and failing is better than not committing. Alison Levine said “Fear is good. Embrace it. Complacency will kill you”. Someone else also said, “Two pains in life. The pain of discipline and pain of regret. Which one would you prefer?”
So thank you AREC 14, I guess you made me set some dates and some goals. Fear? Yes. Excited? You betcha. But, it’s time.
For more AREC check out some of our videos from Elite Agent TV: