We all love making excuses. In the case of real estate, agents often try to pin their lack of success on market conditions, lead quality, lack of training, their team, unskilled assistants, and the list goes on etc. These excuses try to justify our own shortcomings and lay blame on everyone and everything around us. Excuses are rationalizations we make about people, circumstances and events which are meant to validate our behavior and actions, or lack thereof. Excuses are a reason why we are unable to grow in our business. The first step in rectifying a problem is to identify and accept it.
That being said, real estate agents are risk takers by profession. They take risks every day. They stake their reputation on every interaction and every transaction they make. To become an agent extraordinaire and to truly excel in real estate, agents have to change their mindset and challenge their limits. They have to put a greater effort into their career, upgrade their lifestyle choices and set higher standards for themselves. Agents need to exceed client expectations so that when the client is either in need of further services or asked for a recommendation by a friend, family member or colleague, the agent is the person who immediately comes to mind.
Here are a few things that can help you become an extraordinary real estate agent:
Extraordinary Agents Are Creatures of Habit
In real estate, establishing a structured system and following it, day after day, is critical for success. Plan your day, for example, organize at what time you will go to the office; at what time will you network and when you will focus on marketing. Being consistent in planning your day and then executing it properly will help you achieve better results. Have a system for farming, prospecting, marketing and following-up to grow your business. Plan to learn something new about the niche market you are working in everyday, whether it’s the luxury market or condominiums in order to stay up to date with what is happening in the industry. This will enable you to know the facts and figures about the area, the value of the houses, general market trends and development plans which might impact the home prices. This will help you to position yourself as an expert in that particular segment of real estate.
Follow Your Heart
Loving what you do is the cornerstone of wealth and happiness regardless of your industry. The very basis of the real estate business is emotion. Buying, selling or investing in property can not only invoke strong feelings in customers but agents as well. Real estate offers huge potential through its niche markets. One agent might prefer working with first time home buyers while others may be more interested in dealing with seasoned customers. As a certified real estate agent, you need to understand in which area you want to work and what you want from that particular area. This will help you connect with your clients on a much deeper level, understand and truly assist them. Being a specialist in a niche market will help you to stand out from the competition as well. Here is a breakdown of real estate niches which you can target:
Find a Mentor
Now that you have identified the area of your interest and are working on becoming a specialist, find someone who is experienced in your field and learn with them, or from them. This can be someone in your social circle, your team or your brokerage. Having a mentor who can guide you through the real estate business is priceless. You will learn about the challenges you will have to overcome and the pitfalls you should avoid in your specific niche. No matter if you are a new agent or a veteran, there will always be someone who has more experienced than you. Learn from them.
Real estate involves a lot of field work and it’s easy to forget about your health while you are networking, giving presentations, or hosting open houses. Agents need to keep themselves in tip top shape so they are more capable, mentally and physically, while performing their job as a real estate specialist. Something to note is after 25 minutes of continuous exercise, your brain begins to release endorphin into the body. This serves as a natural high, releasing what is known as ‘feel good’ chemicals making you feel happier, healthier and allows you to be more productive. Exercising on a daily basis will keep your body and mind healthy. Always keep a bottle of water with you to stay hydrated. Eat a balanced diet to give your body the right nutrients in the right quantities. When you are on the go, avoid junk food. Choosing healthier fare will help to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic health conditions. As a healthy real estate agent, you will be more successful in both personal and professional arenas.
A lot of agents make the mistake of being passive in the field which can lead to the demise of the agent’s career. Agents need to be active in all aspects of their job, whether marketing the property or finding the right home for clients. If you have won a listing presentation and put the property up for sale, don’t just wait for the right buyer to come along who could offer a great price for house, engage with real estate buyer representatives, market the house through various channels and be persistent until the job is done. You can make faster and better deals by going out to get the buyer, rather than hoping for buyers to come to you.
Fewer Excuses and More Hustle
There is a common misconception that a career in real estate doesn’t require as much work as other industries like law or medicine. That just isn’t true. While mediocre agents do exist in real estate, there is no limit to what you can achieve with hard work. If you want to be one of the top producers in your area, city or state, put your heart and soul into your career. Agents who hustle succeed. To become an outstanding agent, get out of your comfort zone, invest in your career and achieve success through hard work. Perfect your skills whether it’s negotiations, staging, marketing or dealing in a certain type of property. Practice your sales pitch again and again until you are ready. Get a real estate designation to build credibility and promote yourself as a specialist. Fewer excuses with more hustle is the road to advancement in real estate.
Plan Your Business and Then Execute Your Plan
To become an exceptional agent, you need to have a solid strategy from which you will accomplish your goals in the long term. To execute that strategy, you will need to define tactics which will keep you on track in the short-term. In the initial planning stages, you will have to define the things like:
- What are your SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time bound) goals?
- What are your unique value propositions?
- How you will market yourself using your value propositions?
- From where will you generate leads and how?
- How will you convert those leads into customers?
- How will you deliver more value to clients compared to other agents?After creating a proper business plan, you will have a road map to follow for success in real estate. The next step would be measuring and then optimizing it based on its effectiveness. Knowing what you want and how to accomplish it will help you to close more transactions and delight your customers.
Raise The Bar
It has been known that some people tend to settle for less in life and seek the easy way out. This attitude requires less effort and brings fewer returns, but for some this is an acceptable trade off. That is why most agents quit because they can’t make enough money in real estate. To be an exceptional real estate agent, to stand out, standards need to be challenged and higher goals need to be set. The biggest challenge real estate is facing right now is the value agents deliver to customers. Real estate agents are stereotyped as useless and greedy. To be an agent extraordinaire, you need to deliver more value through specialization in a real estate niche and set higher goals for yourself.
Networking is crucial for success in real estate business as it allows agents to generate more leads and get more referrals. This requires an agent to master the art of ‘elicitation,’ a technique of both encouraging others to talk and being oneself an active and willful listener, often employed by law enforcement professionals. Before attending an event, make a list of the people you want to meet. These can be mentors, trusted professionals or community leaders. After every event, manage the leads you received in a CRM and make notes according to the conversations you had with these contacts. This will help you in the future.
Honesty is important in any profession, but it’s of paramount importance in real estate. Unfortunately, the real estate industry has been saddled with a poor reputation and agents are stereotyped unfairly as greedy liars. As a professional, never misrepresent your past experiences, your skills, or listings you have online or offline. Puffery is a short-term tactic which can damage your real estate career. Be honest with clients about yourself, their property and their expectations.
In conclusion, actions speak louder than words. Differentiate yourself through value propositions unique to you, earn real estate designations and demonstrate your worth through results. Success in real estate depends on consistency and hard work.