In the month of August 2012 I, Key Yessaad, continued the focus on The Thoughts of The Day around the topics of Time and Business Management and how they affect the growth of the Real Estate Agent. This ongoing daily Blog is nurtured by my coaching and training seminars and no matter how much technology is put in the hands of Real Estate Agents, there is one fundamental truth that seems to persist – preparing for one’s Business Day gives an edge to highest percentile of Real Estate Professionals. The theme of Prospecting and full integration within an agent’s Internet Marketing is also a continuing focus of the series. Share your thoughts and comments, and if you wish feel free to ask me a question.
written August 31st, 2012
"Can you anticipate the unexpected? Well at least the unexpected in your Real Estate Business? It is argued by business planners that you can! 60 to 80% of most sour deals stem from poor communication; worse communication that could have been anticipated rather than assumed that it would take place on time. The glue to making deals work is the Real Estate Professional; so if an inspector does not show up to do their job, it is always the fault of the Real estate Agent. The Business of Real Estate can be reduced to a set of communications and mastery of one’s time to be on top of them. Unfortunately most Real Estate Agents choose to be reactive with their communications rather than being ‘anticipatory.’ They run their day catching up and never having enough breath left to anticipate the looming breakdowns. The smart professionals review their files weekly and plan all the potential breakdowns, then start communicating with those who can forward their projects."
"The small tasks that make up your projects are at the core of your daily business growth. When these so-called small tasks have been done correctly and repeatedly a muscle memory develops and you are no longer at the mercy of trying to recall the steps; they come to you naturally – much like riding a bike; this is why it is said that we are what we repeatedly do. The diligence you place on taking Superb photographs of your Real Estate Listings; writing rich organic property descriptions; measuring and documenting all the features of your listing; Blogging and creating Video Narrations etc. these tasks form a larger whole in your marketing success; don’t take these steps for granted – they speak of your commitment to excellence, preparation, perseverance, and love of your profession."
"Why is No so much harder than a Yes? Have you noticed that lots of people can say Yes to you, in other words, approve of you – yet your mind will hone in on the one that said No? The one that disagreed with you feels like an emotional rejection. We must never forget that we are Social Beings who are part of local fabric of family, friends, and business colleagues; when we are affirmed by others a sweetness and energy bubbles up and we feel that our connections are rich and meaningful; but when a being says No, or rejects us as we seek to sell them something, a bitterness sways us and throw us off our center. Statistics will confirm that if you choose to be in the business of Selling you will hear No, and sometimes outright hostile rejection – I am sorry to tell you that choosing to become a Real Estate Professional means choosing to be rejected and told No more often that you can emotionally handle it. Those who thrive in the a Real Estate Business expect and get 10 to 20 No’s for every Yes they get and they do so so well – so go out there and get a bunch of No’s; your business will flourish!"
"A Good Business Plan does not anticipate what is going to go perfectly, it maps out what is going to go wrong and the strength and diligence of your competition. Fools will trash their competition, smart business owners will respect, admire, and emulate their local competitors. The Real Estate Market is fairly predictable; there is a fixed predictable number of listings that a particular community will generate and it is driven by your ‘Market Turnover’ – those who become the go-to Real Estate Offices to transact Listings will edge out their local competitors. Real Estate Agents and Brokers do not create listings; they take them away from other Real Estate Agencies – there is no charm you can create that will make a Homeowner Sell their property if they are not moving; yes in 2005 you could tell them that their home was worth a Gazillion Dollars so they should think about selling now to make a Gazillion Dollars; but we are now in trends where ‘market share’ means more than the fluff of marketing."
"There is never real good news about failure, but it is a fact that it is rampant in the Real Estate Business. The worst kind of failure is ‘the perception of failure’ and many Real Estate Agents are paralyzed by it – and this fact lends itself to potential opportunities. Take Prospecting for example; we know that a typical neighborhood of 500 homes will have a typical turnover of 4% to 6% or 20 to 30 homes per neighborhood. In other words 1 in 20 homes is thinking or preparing to list – this translate to getting about 19 No’s for every potential Yes. The 19 No’s that an agent gets, while door knocking, should be expected and not viewed as a rejection or failure; these are expected No’s. Yet many agents door knock with the illusion that success means getting a Yes for every second or third door (this is pure lunacy and a lack of understanding of Statistics.) This illusion of failure, which not failure at all, cripples many agents and they end up quitting before truly giving prospecting a chance; the failure is not the No’s – the failure is the quitting."
"In order to become a successful Business Owner and Entrepreneur you have to master the skill of Motivating your employees and Real Estate colleagues, and money is not always the main catalyst. Passion for your job, and enthusiasm in your business dealings, are first and foremost; no one wants to work for, or with, a complainer; someone who wants to motivate others but is not motivated and excited about their own business. Let me share one more idea: Start catching people doing something Right, rather than just obsessing about them doing something wrong; and do praise them for a job well done! Money is important but our Social Glue is more important to our soul."
"Approaching projects and tasks with at sense of irritation and trepidation suggests a buzzing of negativity hovering over one’s reality. Take this thought: ‘Why should even bother door knocking, I know it is a waste of time, and it never works for me!’ This is self-fulfilling negative loop that runs in your mind and absorbs all your potential opportunities. If you choose to nurture one of these thoughts you will notice that similar ‘icky’ thoughts will find a way to enter your reality as well. You are in fact in charge of the loops that play in your mind, and only you can choose to play other thoughts to empower your success in your endeavors. What trepidations and dull thoughts have entered your reality? Are you aware of them? What are you afraid of confronting? Don’t be intimidated to come to terms with your negative loops, it is a necessary step towards bringing clarity to your Business Success."
"Leaving Work and Feeling Good about it… There is a special hour at the end of your workday that you know you must honor and leave work; a time that will allow you to join your family for for supper; maybe play a game of basketball with your kids; or a time to chat and share with your spouse about the wrangling of life. Because many of you are in the Real Estate Business it will be very difficult for your to do so every single workday; so why not start small; pick a day, say Wednesday, and from now on every Wednesday you will leave work at a specific time – say 5:30pm. Make sure that you also not take any work with you on Wednesdays and why not give that day a name – Family Night on Wednesdays. By starting with one day you force yourself to organize your workday with more diligence and planning; your hours on Wednesdays will become precious because you can’t dilly dally beyond 5:30pm; try it…"
"Are you validating the company you work for? or have you fallen into the trap of taking for granted that which is really close to you? I have had the privilege of meeting, and training many Real Estate Agents who truly love working for their Brokers, and they genuinely share those feelings with the people they work with; yet they fail to realize that we live in a Social Media connected world. For example, when was the last time you visited a broker website that had a page that shares the Testimonials of the agents who work there? Some Brokers and Regional Franchisors have 'Website Hubs' in which Real Estate Agents can visit an add impromptu testimonials but few ever think of this. Many will post such thoughts on sites like Facebook and Google+ but don’t realize the power of local web aggregated testimonials. Show the love you feel for the companies you work for and start creating influence for your brand."
"‘My Desk is Not a Filing Cabinet!’ ‘The Space under my Desk is not Permanent Storage!’ ‘The files on the window sills and the corners of my office have a better place in Cabinets, and/or long term-storage!’ We all know that we break these common sense ideas daily, and few of us truly recognize that it takes a fraction of daily time to clear our desks. The angst to leave work for meetings, or head home at the end of the day is so alluring that a good habit of filing becomes a hording habit of files piling on top of files. How about starting a new mantra that respects our desks and offices: ‘I rule my Business Empire from this Desk – The cleaner and organized it is the larger my Empire!’"
"The easiest time trap that many business professionals fall into is the one that says: ‘I’ll stay at work longer to finish my work;’ or the one that says: ‘let me take my work home to catch up over the weekend.’ If you were capable of doing so once in a long while that would be fine, unfortunately most people turn this into a regular habit that starts hurting their families and quality of life. The other casualty of this time trap is your sleep; the less you sleep the worse your decision-making. Your job must be tamed to fit your 8 to 10 hours days you have chosen to give it; yes it is hard when you are an entrepreneur because you do not get paid hourly. Step One of taming your job is knowing your job – spell out your job activities and if they take more than 60 hours a week you are doing someone else’s job and you will eventually have to realize that the price of Stress and family discord will have to be paid."
"Being overwhelmed is a state of mind that takes hold when we create chained activities that work sequentially and dependently, and stop seeing them as parallel activities. You find yourself stuck in an infinite loop of despair; example: You need to make sure you organize your files; but that means that you need to clean up your desk; but that means that you must put the sticky notes in your computer; but that means that you must send emails to the people you are working with; but you don’t have the time because you need to enter a listing in the MLS; but that leads to you piling your papers in the corner to have space on your desk so you can finish writing your listing contract… and after a while that pile of paper is no longer visible to your consciousness and when it does it becomes scary because you may have something valuable hiding in there needing your attention. We cause our own stress by allowing our minds to create infinite loops of unfinished projects, and so we experience a mental paralysis that solidifies our anxiety. Break up your false chained loops…"
"Growing a successful business is grounded on your ability to manage and respond to the requests of others. Some of these requests require your attention and others demand your firmness to say No; a balance that is very difficult to excel at but nonetheless important to your sanity. Start identifying the requests you are saying Yes to and ask yourself the following questions: Is this request part of my job? Is it urgent or frivolous? Is it coming from someone who I feel is abusing my time? but the most important question you must ask is: Am I saying Yes to be nice and costing my business growth and prosperity?"
"Many seek Winners and Losers and choose camps to stake their claim with the right alliance, I prefer seeing things with Winners and Winners and how they push each other to get better for the benefit of all. Case in point the new battle that is soon to emerge in the mini tablet devices, namely the Google Nexus 7 and the yet to be confirmed Apple iPad Mini. I see a win for consumers when both of these giants compete, and I happen to love both of their products..."
"Understanding Systems and implementation are at the core or designing strong Business Plans. The confusion of system implementation comes from the fact that some processes at Post-Facto (follow) and other are Pre-Facto (precede). Let us take the example of Real Estate Listings; the marketing of listings is a series of carefully planned steps to maximize visibility and layered with pricing strategies in order to reach the desired goal of a closed transaction; this is an example of a Post-Facto System, because it happens once the listing has been secured. The challenging and more demanding system is the Pre-Facto System of acquiring listings in the first place; it is in ‘Activity-based’ System that has failure designed into it. A system designed with failure simply means that a series of No’s is confronted before the eventual Yes’s are gotten; and the activities of Listing acquisition should be designed with failure in mind. Successful Real Estate Agents have a proper relationship with the No’s of business."
"Father Desmond Wilson shared that ‘It is the act of forgiveness that opens up the only possible way to think creatively about the future at all.’ We sometimes associate forgiveness with the being wronged or the wronging of others, but seldom, do we realize that many of us do not forgive ourselves for falling short of our goals and ideals. When we choose to be grounded in our authentic self and realize that perfection is not reality, we can then go seeking our goals with hard work, determination, and a joy of being alive."
"The battle that many Real Estate Professionals and Brokers must wage is with themselves; you will know that they are engaged in such a battle when you hear them talking about topics such as better Time Management, Better Time Blocking, being more organized, etc. What these Time-driven desires hide is the reality that many of them allow Time-Wasters in their lives and then complain about not having enough time. Stop deflecting your lack of results on how you are not controlling your time and acknowledge that you allow Time-Wasters to suck it dry; and that you are to blame at some level. You have the same 24-hours as those you have come to respect for being successful; draw the line between what you must do and what you want to do."
"No matter how often your Broker motivates you, or a training event inspires you – You MUST strive to Motivate Yourself! You are responsible to yourself to succeed. Sharpen your presentation skills; Prospect daily; Start your day early and with purpose; Laugh a lot; Be courageous in the face of No’s; and Read good books in sales and motivation. You will get lots of Yes’s to your Sales Presentations because you are good at what you do, focused, deliberate, self-motivated, and accountable to yourself first!"
"There is a beauty when the need of Marketing and desire for Service find a way to intertwine. For me the Internet, Search Engines, Blogs, SEO, and Video Marketing are not of great value unless they serve the purpose of organic exposure and service. Our Real Estate Agents and Brokers ought to go beyond the vacuum of Lead Generation; and into the realm of Internet Prospecting – which is basically an enhancements of the traditional farming prospecting that most agents learn at the beginning of their career. Static Websites destroy your marketing because they simply focus on the gotcha of registering for leads – Prospecting Websites help agents tell their story and connect Marketing with Service. We must continue to encourage and empower our Real Estate Professionals to prospect, Prospect, PROSPECT!"
"Why not play, for a couple of weeks, as an actor playing the part of a successful you? Since you are who you are, you probably take you for granted, but if you were an important character, in an important play or movie, you would act with lots of flair and exuberance; Well… You can! Why not play you, as a successful version of you; one who embraces accomplishments, and turns everything you touch into gold… just for a couple of weeks. You are capable of being your successful you, because you know what it takes to succeed and contribute to those around you!"
"If you wish for the future to be generous to you; hold the present tightly, respect it, don’t waste it, and do what you know you are supposed to do today! You already know what you need to do, and you know that sometimes you get in the way of your own success. You are needed ‘now’ for tomorrow to be glorious – Success is calling!"
"The stress of learning emerges more often than not from the desire of information gathering and memorizing in the present, for future application at an undefined time. There are two types of Real Estate Agents and Brokers; those who apply what they learn very quickly and reap the rewards of what is called muscle memory (learning by doing; such as driving); and those who learn intellectually and hold on to the information for future implementation. The second group does not realize that this type of learning causes a sense of being overwhelmed with too much information (this is a cause of stress), and fail to realize that they are the ones chasing the hoarding process of information for future implementation. Make a conscious effort of applying what you learn as soon as possible so you can reap the rewards of the information you have acquired!"
"There is a big difference between Business Complacency and Laziness; you can fix Lazy very quickly because the focus is purely on doing your job or being dismissed. It is a little more challenging to jolt Business Complacency because the participants are not lazy – they just feel stuck in a rut that has stopped producing results. All of us have work habits, ways of approaching our workdays, actions we take daily, and actions we never think of taking and all these form a whole – Our Business Footprint. Many try to fix Business Complacency emotionally and fail to gather the proper perspective before taking the next steps; you must start with good solid Statistics. Sales Numbers; Prospecting Agenda; Listing Inventory; Lead Management Statistics; Business costs; Business Activity Plan; Marketing Dollars and Marketing Plan; etc… These stats must come first. But before one can reshape the Business Plan one has to go further and study local competitors; in the case of Real Estate you can find out where and how your competitors have edged you out in your MLS Reports. So take time to breath, do not panic, and become a little Methodical and Statistical with your Business Plan."
"Marketing that is manipulative tends to be driven by complexity, difficulty, or gimmickry; solution-driven marketing is usually nurtured by Simplicity, Clarity, and Ease of use. Many Website vendors desire to convey that Real Estate Agents don’t have what it takes to understand Internet Marketing and SEO; they do so to hide that their interests are to sell pseudo services, rather than true solutions – Agents must learn to ask lots of questions. Charles Mingus said it best: ‘Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.’"
"The job of a Real Estate Agent is never finished; it is a fact most brokers and long time professionals will tell you. This reality causes in some the breeding of bad work habits that is blamed on Time Management. Time is neither your enemy nor is it easily manipulated; but your habits and your approach to each day can be. So why not start at the end: Do you know that to leave work at a decent hour to have supper with your family, and spend time with them, can a great source of Time Management Planning? When you focus on what is important in your life the hours that lead to being with those your love will become precious, and you will start with developing a great perspective toward the balance of work and family. Start feeling good about going home at a decent hour and being with your family."
"Gradual, subtle, consistent, and natural change is more powerful than the illusion of One-pill transformation. It took years of schooling, parenting, and doing homework for you to master reading and writing – some think that’s because your brain was young and you needed most of that time – No! We learn gradually by absorbing and methodically implementing what we have just intellectually learned. In fact most of us learn more by ‘doing’ than just intellectualizing. So how do you go about mastering your business time to become more successful with managing your projects; start with simple changes. Here is one: Go to sleep 15 minutes earlier this week and wake up 15 minutes earlier; you can do this simply by watching 15 minutes less television – try it, you will notice that even this simple change will require time to become a new habit!"
"One of the insidious tricks your mind will play on you is to converge your procrastinated projects into complexity; something like this: You have projects that you know you are supposed to complete, but you keep pushing them day in and day out - this procrastination will start generating in your mind that the projects you have yet to complete have a high level of difficulty. But, what is most interesting is that the day you wake up and actually tackle said projects you will notice that you will finish them quite quickly, with great ease, and with very little drama – you will even catch asking yourself why did I spend all that time procrastinating. Don’t be afraid to boss your mind from time to time; you are in charge!"
"What is work and why do some have an aversion to it? If the only definition you attach to work is making a living than you may miss the beauty of becoming a meaningful contributor to society; your work is not you but it is an important reflection of your values. Margot Fonteyn, one of the greatest Ballerinas said: ‘The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous.’"
"The thinking and work habits you bring to the Internet are equal, if not as important to the interactions you have with your clients face to face. Yes the biggest hurdle while working on a blog, or enhancing a listing is that you are by yourself and not aware that you are being noticed. You don’t have that immediate feedback that makes you feel good about what you have just accomplished. You must push past your desire for instant gratification – some of your work will happen behind closed doors and no one will ever know you were doing it – but it is those who are resilient, consistent, and tenacious in all aspect of their work that produce the best results for the long term."
"Progressing to a place of no leftover broken business agreements is a difficult but important part of your work day; and probably most of your broken commitments are with yourself - you need to consciously grab them as they float in your mind; anchor them to a calendar-driven to-do list; get in communication with the people affected by this broken agreement; and make peace with yourself with those agreements you know you broke but have no way of salvaging them – let them go! Broken Agreements that are not acknowledged create a recurring angst in your being, and stop you from becoming who you desire yourself to become."