The 2019 Spring Market is right around the corner. What changes to your habits will you need to make in order to achieve your goals this year?
To achieve long-term success as a real estate agent means you need to develop good habits. Habits are the things we do in regular practice. They are the things that we do that are so routine we couldn’t imagine not doing them.
Practicing good habits will:
- make you a more productive sales representative or broker
- help to increase your overall drive for success
- contribute to the level of service you provide for your clients
Practicing good habits will help you to become a better real estate agent which will help you to achieve your goals, it’s as simple as that.
Have you read the book, 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey?
Yes? GREAT! The internet is in endless supply of different versions of his concept. Here we have written our own:
The 7 Awesome Habits of Top Producing REALTORS®
Awesome habit #1 Prospect!
The top Sales Representatives and Brokers in any Brokerage devote a significant amount of time to prospecting for new business. This habit will help to prevent the peaks and valleys that many other sales representatives experience throughout the year.
- Book time to prospect every day
- Find and focus on your target market
- Actively work your call lists
- Use social media effectively
There is a difference between working on your business and working for your clients. If you don’t take time to build your pipeline then it will eventually run dry. So, just as you would block time in your calendar for appointments, you have to block off some time to prospect.
Although inbound marketing and marketing automation have gone a long way in helping to generate good leads for businesses, we must still embrace traditional ways of prospecting, remember it’s about creating conversations. The goal of prospecting is to create interest in your services and then to convert that interest into a meeting. If you can get a meeting with a prospect you will have a better chance to convert them to a client.
Who are you working with presently? What conversations can you start with them that will help nurture your relationship with them?
Awesome Habit #2 – Resist procrastination
The biggest attraction to a career in real estate is its flexible schedule, no boss to report to, and no ceiling on your income. It’s perfect for the motivated self-starter type. There are degrees of motivation, though, and sometimes it takes diligence to prioritize the important tasks.
We were recently reading an article written by James Clear titled, “The Daily Routine Experts Recommend for Peak Productivity,” where he states that we often fall into procrastination problems because we do not have a system for deciding what is a priority or where we should start.
The best real estate agents have developed a way to do just that. They list their tasks in order of importance and tackle them each, one at a time. The method in which you do that doesn’t matter, and quite frankly, it will be different for everybody. The whole idea is to do something! James says, “basically if you commit to nothing, you’ll be distracted by everything,” which is incredibly true.
A couple methods of managing procrastination he shared are Warren Buffet’s 25-5 Rule and The Ivy Lee Method. The first has you focus on just 5 critical tasks and the second 6. In either case, the systems of which you develop your task lists might actually be more ritual in importance than the tasks themselves.
Here’s a breakdown of the Ivy Lee Method:
- At the end of each workday, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
- Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
- When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
- Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
- Repeat this process every working day.
There may not be anything magical about Lee’s number of six important tasks per day, it could just as easily be five tasks per day, however, there is something magical about imposing limits upon yourself.
The biggest hurdle is getting started and the method of starting your task list the night before removes that hurdle. It removes the friction of starting and forces you to start with the most important task first.
Awesome Habit #3 – Listen to your clients
The best REALTORS® we know are excellent listeners. It’s no secret that many real estate transactions are full of emotion for both home sellers and home buyers. It’s important, not only to protect the interest of your clients but to listen to them as well. Excellent listening skills is a practiced skill, this is something we can always strive to do better at.
So here are some tips to become a better listener:
1. Ask good questions!
If you have never worked with a business coach before, you might think that it’s their job to give you all the answers, but the truth is it’s their job to ask good questions! A coach is a great communicator, listens, cares, and provides education, knowledge, support, and compassion to their clients. It’s exactly the type of relationship that is needed to ensure your client’s best interests are met. Asking more thoughtful questions can help you to determine a buyer’s ideal home or a sellers motivation for selling.
2. Make good eye contact
When we say make good eye contact, we do not mean to stare your client down. The proper amount of eye contact tells the speaker you are paying attention to their words.
3. Don’t interrupt
Interrupting your client is a very bad habit. It sends the message that what they are saying is not important to you and actually stops communication in its tracks. Interrupting is rarely helpful even if that is your intention. Interrupting people all the time is a surefire way to upset them.
4. Don’t just listen to respond
Often our main concern while listening is to formulate ways to respond. This is not a function of listening. We should try to focus fully on what is being said and how it’s being said in order to more fully understand what the person is saying.
5. Pay attention to body language
Have you said something to make your client feel uncomfortable? Some topics of discussion in real estate are deemed private. Topics like personal finances can put people on edge. If you notice the person looking around the room, slumping their posture, crossing their arms across their chest, raising or lowering their eyebrows, there’s a good chance you are losing their interest or have said something they don’t like.
Becoming a better listener is a good habit to work on. It can build rapport, understanding, and trust. Active listening requires the ability to focus what is being said and not just absorbing what the other person is saying. It’s not just about remembering the words of what someone is sharing but actively seeking to understand the complete message.
Awesome Habit #4 – Take the time to prepare good presentations
In all our years as Broker/Owners, we’ve seen many sales presentations. The best sales presentations focus on the client’s situation and clearly demonstrate how they will benefit by using your service.
It’s true that some people may only ever interview 1 real estate agent. We strongly encourage you to approach every appointment as though you were competing with at least 2 other Realtors. It’s crucial to show people that you have taken the time to thoroughly prepare for your meeting with them. A well-prepared presentation is the best way to earn respect, trust and ultimately their business.
Get in the habit of customizing your listing presentations for each of your appointments.
Have you listened to our PodCast where we feature Rob Kelly, Broker from Royal LePage Meadowtowne as he hosts a mock listing presentation with me? It will change how you handle listing presentations forever! We promise.
It’s good to include a variety of media in your presentations to appeal to different personality types.
Including, but not limited to:
- Current Market Data
- Charts and Graphs
- Colour Photos/Images
- Detailed information pertaining to their specific home and neighbourhood
- To go fully digital or not depends on your audience
- Consider including a video
Always use a pre-appointment introduction package, email or video. It helps to give an overview of you, your experience, and your company. Include testimonials (this is MOST IMPORTANT!) from previous clients. Your introduction package can also serve as a confirmation for your appointment time and provide an agenda for your meeting.
Awesome Habit #5 – Be persistent (but not pushy)
We all know that it takes more than one call, one letter, or one email to connect with a prospect, it’s been reported that it now takes up to 14 touchpoints to connect with a potential buyer or seller. Successful salespeople know that it takes persistence and diligence to make contact and they use a variety of strategies and mediums to achieve this goal.
Think back to awesome habit #1 – prospecting is about creating conversations. Persistence is the key to achieving that goal. Persistence is, almost by definition, the one trait salespeople need to overcome the difficulties of their job.
Persistent people understand they have to work hard and setting daily tasks and smaller goals can help to accomplish that. For example, if you know you need to prospect for 2 hours every single day, make it a daily requirement and don’t ever skip it.
Persistence is a skill that can be developed like any other. People develop bad habits they never had, but can also develop good ones too. Practice doing a little more every week to become more persistent.
Awesome Habit #6 – Ask for referrals
Most salespeople don’t actively ask for referrals even though they know the importance of doing so. The challenge is that they don’t know how to ask or they are afraid of what their customers think. Top salespeople ask consistently for referrals because they know a referral is more likely to develop into a sale than a cold call.
The power of a good review is also often overlooked. There is nothing is better than a happy client! Happy clients spread the word!
One of the benefits from awesome habit #1 is that during the process of prospecting we have usually set ourselves up with systems such as social media, websites and Google business pages. These online platforms, usually used for lead sourcing, can also be used as a tool for feedback.
Quote from HBR article “the value of any one customer does not reside only in what that person buys. In these interconnected days, how your customers feel about you and what they are prepared to tell others about you can influence your revenues and profits just as much.”
A good review can have a similar value in the mind of a prospect that a referral can. In marketing, it’s a concept called social proof.
Our suggestion to you is, that if you are having a hard time asking for referrals, make it a habit to ask for a review. Tell your clients that you build your business on referrals and would really appreciate a good word on your social media profiles and on Google.
Awesome Habit #7 – Always follow up
Many sales have been lost due to lack of follow-up and given the technology we have at our fingertips today, this should be a no-brainer. Too many sales representatives fail to follow up after a deal— mistakenly thinking that the client will call them if they are interested again in the future. News flash! It’s up to you to follow through afterward and we guarantee that you are losing sales if you are waiting for people to call.
If you are serious about increasing your sales you MUST be proactive in your follow-up. This is a habit that is important to master.
Let’s look at a few facts.
- The average homeowner owns their home 5-8 years before moving.
- The average client only ever interviews one agent, and it’s an agent that was often referred to them by friends and family
- The average person forgets 10-20 things every day.
Ok, that last stat we made up! Honestly, just as we said in awesome habit #6 – asking for a referral, it’s up to you reach out and ask for your clients business. This is true for 1 day, 3 months or 8 years after a deal is done. People by nature are forgetful. If you want their business, don’t let them forget you. And don’t you forget about them!
There is technology that can help with this; a good CRM, for example, can make all the difference.
There you have them!
We hope you have enjoyed the 7 Awesome habits used by Top Producing REALTORS® to win more deals and stay productive all year round.
Which of these 7 habits will you be working on in 2019?
- Resist procrastination
- Listen to your clients
- Take the time to prepare good presentations
- Be persistent but not pushy
- Ask for referrals
- Always follow up
Contact a Fully-licensed Real Estate Agent
Looking for an experienced REALTOR® who specializes in real estate across the GTA? At Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty we are here to help you with your real estate needs!