We asked our friend Neil Schwartz to get candid with us about why some Real Estate agents prosper and why some flounder. We knew it took dedication and the willingness to ‘go after it’ but it’s more than that, Neil has passed us along 5 of the traits that don’t help you succeed in Real Estate and gives great advice about ‘Going to work to work’. ~Enjoy!
Most agents come into the real estate business with energy, enthusiasm, and high hopes; some do great, while others leave the business disappointed and depressed. It is very disheartening to see agents leave the business. In my over 30 years in the business I have learned that working as a real estate agent is very different from a “normal” job. I have noticed that many of the agents who leave the business share some “traits;” below I discuss those which are most prevalent and costly.
1. No Structure and Lack of Discipline
If you had a conventional sales job paying you eight thousand dollars a month how much would be expected of you? What activities would your boss expect of you? Would you have to work 5 days a week, at least 8 hours a day? Would you have to come in on time? Would you need to know your product, the competition and what to say to get things sold?
Some agents come into this business and forget that they have a “job.” Because they don’t have a “boss” telling them what to do and holding them accountable, they do not set a schedule and/or fail to stick to it. Successful agents keep in mind that they are their own bosses, they set a schedule for themselves and abide by it, just as they would if they worked in a “conventional” job. Successful agents make sure that they preview properties and prospect. They follow up with their leads and know their scripts, dialogues and how to handle objections. Since you don’t have a “boss” other than yourself, you need to be disciplined and self motivated. You have to let others know that just because you don’t punch a time clock, you still need to be at work, you cannot always be available to pick up the dog food or take Aunt Sally to the doctor.
2. No Systems
Successful businesses have one thing in common, systems. Systems allow a person or a company to create predictable and “duplicatable” results, because agents don’t have a boss who tells them what to do to earn money, they need to set up their own systems. Successful agents have a structured outline of their day, week, month and year. The more detailed the plan the more effective and efficient they are.
Real estate agents must create systems for:
• Lead generation
• Lead Follow up
• Listing appointments
• Buyer appointments
• Negotiating contracts
• Pending Transactions
• Tracking Numbers
• Practicing/ Role-play
3. No Accountability
Without a traditional “boss” there is no one to hold you accountable; oftentimes this causes agents to be easily distracted, confused, unsure and uncertain about getting work done. Agents need to stay focused on their goals and hold themselves accountable for working their schedule. If you’ve committed to making 40 contacts during a prospecting session, hang in there, don’t stop at 39, and remind yourself that quitting is not an option. Many successful agents “make bets” with themselves or other agents to keep them on-track. Some write multiple checks to their least favorite cause, competitor, or rival political party, place them in a preaddressed and stamped envelope and send it out if they fail to complete what they set out to do.
4. No Ability to Anticipate the Market
Wayne Gretsky was one of the greatest hockey players of all time. While everyone else skated toward the puck, Wayne separated himself the rest and skated toward where the puck was going to be next. In a market that constantly fluctuates, successful agents pay attention to what will happen a few weeks or months from placing themselves in a powerful position. Anticipation is a skill that gives you the confidence you need to close more of your appointments and get homes sold.
5. Not Being Honest with Themselves
Successful agents are honest with themselves. If you only make a few calls during your prospecting hour, but you tell your broker/coach that you’ve done more, who are you really hurting? If you find yourself telling yourself what you want to hear, you can’t expect improvement. Remember, you are where you are because it is okay with you.
This market is difficult and competitive, in order to survive; you need to work harder than your competition. In order to do this, you need have structure and discipline, powerful systems in place, strong accountability, skills to anticipate the market, and to be honest with yourself. Every agent who walks in the door is capable of doing the work necessary to succeed, the ones who succeed work harder than those who fail.
What do you need to work on? Make the commitment to start working on it today, put it in your schedule for tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day…
What 2 or 3 things will you commit to change before the year ends?
Neil Schwartz has been in the real estate industry for over 30 years. He is the broker of Century 21 Masters, the #2 Century 21 office in the Nation. He blogs on neilschwartz.net, providing valuable information to agents regarding sales training, real estate marketing, social media, and technology.