Knowing and acting on what you need to hear, Jimmy Burgess writes, instead of what you want to hear, is key to growing and optimizing your professional performance.
Sometimes what we want to hear is not necessarily what we need to hear. Here are seven truths about this business most agents don’t want to hear.
1. Success always follows the ‘suck’
If you’re serious about building the business of your dreams, you will have to walk through difficulties and overcome challenges. There is no easy button, and it’s as if this business tests you to see how serious you are before allowing success to come your way.
Whether it be making phone calls that you don’t enjoy making, having the pain of a “friend” listing with someone else, or enduring the transactions that fall apart at the last moment, keep moving forward. Yes, there will be times when this business will suck, but the success that follows will make it all worthwhile.
2. You must prune for new growth
The definition of pruning in horticulture is the removal of parts of a plant that are no longer helpful to the overall growth and output of the plant, or that are injurious to the growth of the plant. What are the areas of your business and life that are either no longer helpful or are even preventing your business and your life from being as productive as possible?
The process of pruning or removing these problem areas also makes room for new and productive people and activities. If you are going to produce at the highest level possible for you, pruning is a must.
3. Quit being forgettable
The National Association of Realtors research shows that 89 percent of homebuyers say they would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others after their purchase. But the statistics also show that only 27 percent of homesellers use the same agent they used when buying their home. How can this be?
It’s because agents who work with buyers allow themselves to become forgettable. In the busyness of a homeowner’s life, unless an agent continues to stay in touch and add value after the sale, the homeowner easily forgets the agent they used to buy their home.
The answer to this problem is a systematic, consistent, after-the-sale follow-up program. This can and should involve follow-up phone calls, inclusion in your monthly or weekly newsletter, client appreciation events, annual unsolicited video CMAs to keep them abreast of their home’s value, and annual recognition of the “house-iversary” (date of purchase). By continuing to add value after the sale, you will become unforgettable.
4. Be a bridge, but understand that bridges get walked on
Our job is to help buyers and sellers get from where they currently are to where they want to be. In other words, we are the bridge that helps them make this transition. The problem is that we forget bridges get walked on.
To do our jobs at the highest level, the service we provide needs to be focused on their needs. Focusing on their needs oftentimes means putting our needs to the side. The problem is that when you are fully committed to helping others, sometimes that can be abused.
Ever experienced any of these scenarios? Serial lookers who want to see five houses every Saturday for a month but never buy. A buyer who you show 10 houses to who walks into an open house and writes an offer with another agent. A seller who asks you to provide a CMA and marketing plan for their home to then decide to sell FSBO. These things happen, and we can feel walked on.
I’ve found even though some people can abuse our generosity, it’s worth it in the end. Despite the disappointing times, I’ve found when you focus on serving others, you are ultimately surprised by unexpected, good things that happen as well — an unforeseen referral, a difficult client who writes you a glowing review, a client who becomes a lifelong friend.
I’ve found that, though I can’t control how others act or handle themselves, when I stay true to providing as much value as I can give to the market, the market always rewards me in kind.
Understand that there will be times when you are walked on, but don’t let that keep you from being the bridge you need to be.
5. Everything you want is on the other side of your fear
What are you afraid of? Making phone calls? Then the level of success you desire is on the other side of making those calls. Are you afraid to shoot videos? Success is right on the other side of that camera. Are you fearful of what other people will think if you market yourself at an elevated level on social media? You will be amazed at the success you can have by tastefully marketing yourself through social media.
Pain comes in one of two ways in life. The pain of overcoming your fears in the present or the pain of regret, wondering what might have been in the future. Don’t live a life of regret. Everything you want for your business and your life is right on the other side of overcoming your fear.
6. If nothing changes, nothing changes
If you want different results, you must do different things. Doing what you’ve done at the level you’ve been doing it at won’t take you to the next level. This is where self-awareness comes into play.
Sometimes you’re doing the right things, you just need to ramp up how much you are doing. Other times a complete overhaul and a new set of activities are needed. Whatever the case is for you, if nothing changes, nothing is going to change. Make changes. Move forward. Step into the next level of success you desire.
7. It’s not about you
To find success in this business, you must understand that it isn’t about you. It’s about the clients and their needs. It’s about understanding their pain points and helping them overcome the obstacles standing between them and their desires. When you can focus on their needs, provide solutions, and help them achieve their goals, everything else takes care of itself.
Zig Ziglar famously said it this way: “You can have everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.” I’ve found this to be one of the most profound statements ever uttered regarding success in real estate sales.
Push through the challenges this business throws at you, surround yourself with other growth-minded people, and serve at the highest level possible. When you do these things, success beyond your imagination awaits.