July 2012 Ideas, Thoughts, and Real Estate Business Nuggets of the Day written by Key Yessaad. This ongoing conversation is being nurtured with the expressed vision of nudging Real Estate Agents into the ‘doing’ mode of their daily business – Not just the learning and the routine mode. The source of Key’s writings are grounded in his Real Estate Trainings, Business Coaching, Internet Marketing background, and SEO Strategies developed over 3 decades of teaching and business management. I hope you are enjoying the series; if you wish to ask key a question go ahead.
written July 31st, 2012
"The most powerful energy you can unleash is Intention… The most draining and consuming energy you can unleash is Intention… This is not a dualism it is a realization that when you align your desires, work ethics, with a solid Business Plan the next piece of the puzzle that must fall into place is Intention. Unfortunately you cannot buy Intention, you cannot steal it, you cannot pretend to have it – you have to will it from within the depths of what makes you you and ground it in your values."
"Unfinished Projects and incomplete communications are the norm in business, and many professionals get into such difficulties because they don’t know how to say No. By nature you are polite and wish to please, so saying Yes to a colleague's request is natural, when deep down you needed to say No so you can go on with your core business projects. Saying No is not a selfish act, it is part of managing your time and projects efficiently – and yes you can say No politely and thoughtfully."
"Thinking, the most natural of activities for all human beings, is useful when it leads and cultivates Action. In fact business thinking becomes an obstacle when it is used as a replacement for taking action. Good ideas abound in all of us but it is the actions we take that make the biggest difference; so let me ask you: When was the last time you reviewed your business Plan? Is it one of those Business Plans that was designed to tell you how much money you are going to make – so you can get excited?; or is your Business Plan focused on the Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly Activities and Actions you must take to reach your goals?"
"What if every business result that you get, Good or Bad, is okay? Think about of it for second – it is a result, therefore you cannot change it, and as such must accept it. The beauty of results that are gathered and reflected on, is that you can learn from them and get a little better next time. You are not in the business of being infallible you are in the business of getting a little bit better with every presentation and business dealing. In the Real Estate Business batting a 1,000 is not only impossible it is absolutely unrealistic – much like baseball batting over 300 is huge. Track, Measure, Map, and Reflect on your daily Business Results and you will start getting better and producing great results."
"You will notice a quandary in Sales – Customers don’t like to be sold yet they like to buy. It is not a contradiction it is mostly a question of timing; it is obvious that Salespeople need to sell now to earn a living now; yet customers don’t want to be told when to buy because they are afraid of the consequences of rushing the buying process. This leads Sales Relationships to become driven by Incubation – and one of the most important habit Salespeople need to develop is Patience and Drip Education. Think of how Amazon let’s you hold to your items in your shopping cart and even notifies when prices go down; The Sales Business is no longer a quick Sprint but a long haul Marathon."
"The French Philosopher Bergson wrote: 'Think like a person of Action, and Act like a person of Thought.' There is an important Ying and Yang effect when it comes to Thinking and Taking Action. You need to know that your brain does not get tired, it loves to constantly process and gobble ideas – and I can prove it to you; when you go to sleep your brain activity does not stop, it is in fact more active. Good Real Estate Professionals talk for a living, they spend most of their time in action – as it should be; that Ying of Action requires the Yang of Thinking – don’t be afraid to seek out time for yourself to think, write, and ponder – your business will thank you for it!"
"For the longest time work meant showing up at your place of employment and doing the tasks in front of you; if it was assembly line work – you stood in your spot and performed your steps as the line roared; if you were a bookkeeper you received a pile of receipts and invoices and you processed them following the directions you learned, and at the end of the day you went home; more importantly you left work behind - then the cycle started up again the next day. Those days of that type of work mentality are gone; we live in new paradigm of knowledge-based implementation and that requires decision-making, planning, and organization. You have to train your mind to become an ally on your ‘Next Action’ activities NOT become a Storage bin; – unfortunately many Real Estate Agents are doing the reverse; they use their mind to remember (Storage) much more so than for Processing (Decision-Making and Next Action Activities.) This is one major source of most of the Stress our agents suffer from – we can do better."
"Productivity is not driven by machinery – it is driven by Thinking, and thinking in Real Estate is not nurtured enough. Many Real Estate Agents have been trained to robotically learn scripts and discouraged from truly bringing to the fore their thinking. The Internet has forced consumers to keep practitioners of ‘Gotcha Sales Techniques’ at bay because they got tired of being roped into transactions they did not want when they show up in Sales Offices. This is an excellent opportunity for true Real Estate Professionals to shine and show they ‘Mental’ Mojo. Nurture Thinking and Skilled Presentation in your offices, and your Sales force will become highly valuable!"
"Out of Sight, Out of Mind – everyone knows the meaning of this well known idiom; but do you know that many professionals use it as a means not to confront what they know they are supposed to do. Many of them avoid looking at their inbox messages, folders on their desk, or mental drawers in their mind because they will need to confront an unpleasant person or event. If you catch yourself in such a situation know that your mind is working hard to keep that event from coming to the fore, and in so doing you are putting your mind to work on a negative draining event, and foregoing your ability to bring creativity and prosperity in your life."
"What is Mental Preparedness and why should you partake of it daily? Your Real Estate Business is designed to be stressful; it is a series of hurdles with each player pulling you in their own direction – Sellers want high prices and no concessions; Buyers want low prices and lots of extras; Mortgage Brokers demand Mountains of paperwork; Lawyers want hundreds of legal documents; shall I go on…? Your job is by design Stressful because you have to deal with people; you can’t avoid it – what you can do is to mitigate its effects in your life. Pure Silence and Quiet Meditation can be a great beginning to your day; running, walking, gardening, swimming, walking your kids to schools, – all moments of either physical exercise, or caring for loved ones. Come back to your center as often as you can!"
"Productivity is Not a Hands-Off process in a knowledge-based economy; you may think that the Real Estate Business is not the same as the Software Business – yet they are; you are in the business of information and knowledge. A simple but crucial habit when handling information is the concept of ‘Next Action’ – each time you get a call, an email, a txt, a piece of mail, etc… you should train yourself to ask yourself what is my next action. What gets most professionals in trouble is the stacking of these items and deciding the next action at a much later date. Sometimes the best next action is the trash bin or the delete key."
"Many Real Estate Agents and Brokers don’t realize that what they believe about their ‘local market conditions’ is hurting them; those beliefs blind them to amazing opportunities that others are leveraging. This mistake is perpetrated because they fail to look up their local Real Estate Statistics on a Weekly and Monthly basis; I had a broker try to convince me that in his local market the listing inventory had gone down so low that there was no need for his agents to prospect. When we logged in together to his MLS he could see that 25 listings were being added on a weekly basis, and that his share of listings and contracts was less than 1% - he had convinced himself, and his agents, that sitting in the office was the only thing left to do and to work on internet leads. So go surprise yourself and dig into the true picture of your local market statistics!"
"Start catching yourself doing something right, especially while running your business. These moments of productive actions must be accumulated and reaffirmed, so they become reinforcing mechanisms of success in your life. Deep down you know the work you need to be doing right now, I even argue that you know how to do it right… so go for it and set aside mediocrity – it does not become you!"
"Your mind is your best friend but it is also deeply flawed; and it is so by design – it likes to work on what is in front of it right now. This insight should help you realize that some of your best ideas are flying in the ether of forgetfulness, and they do so by design. Say you are driving and you get this profound idea about how to generate new sales by making a video focused on some important local statistics, and you truly get excited about it. Pull over and write it down; this idea is so important to your business that you assume that ‘of course’ you will remember it. You will not remember it – the biggest mistake you will make is not to jot down your thoughts – get in the habit of writing down you important ideas, email yourself using your Smartphone; or call yourself and leave yourself a message about what you need to do to act on your ideas. Ideas require action; and the first action is the writing of them!"
"How do you become good at something new? Say you are new to Real Estate and you have just started prospecting; your broker gave you some good coaching with great dialogues – what’s next? Obviously you go out there and start applying the principles your broker taught you; and you do it as often as your broker asks you to do it. There is one more thing you ought to do as well – keep a log of notes on each event; every time you knock on a door and talk to someone; before you go on to the next one take 3 to 5 minutes to write down what happened, how you felt, what worked, what did not work, and/or to schedule the next activity with the person you just met. In your log write the address and time and date of that event. If you are diligent at tracking your activities you will gain two insights: 1. A pattern will emerge and your broker or coach will be able to guide you towards more successes. 2. Every time you choose to take notes about what happened you are cleansing yourself from what happened before you go on to the next event – it is like taking a mental sorbet between meals. Happy Prospecting!"
"What makes organizations crumble from within is the assumption that processes are getting done, and/or that these processes are getting done the right way – this is a major blind spot for many managers. Auditing your processes is a necessary evil in growing your business. For example some Real Estate brokers assume that their agents are displaying their listings properly on the MLS, and only react once something goes wrong. Auditing your listings once a week is crucial; reviewing your bookkeeping once a month is a must; meeting with your agents and reviewing their production once a quarter is imperative."
"Shining a light on our Real Estate Industry is a constructive endeavor that all of us should participate in; and it starts with Character. The Character and Moral guidance of our professionals cannot be forged by the escalation in the number of laws; it starts with hiring Brokers of Records and Real Estate Owners who go beyond the letter of the law, and truly embrace the spirit of the law. We must not only offer training driven by Sales techniques and technology, but on Moral Leadership and Virtue; we must not only inspire success but also be examples of how to lead with a true moral compass. There are many examples of such wonderful leaders in your organizations but they may not be given enough of a platform to offer change from within; after all being of moral character is not always as sexy as being a Multimillion Dollar producer."
"A Challenge faced by Real Estate Professionals and Brokerages is the over-sized attention the ‘Urgent’ gets, and the back seat the ‘Important’ is relegated to. It is by nature that urgent events cause agents to be derailed from their daily plan of action; Sellers and Buyers are driven only by what is happening with their contracts, and they demand that all the attention be on their transactions, and who could blame them. These ‘urgent’ demands cause many brokerages to adopt a ‘Reactive’ Business Model and tend to suffer in the long run – they never get to implement their business plan which is made of the ‘Important’ ideas of growing the business, prospecting for customers and agents, attending important meetings, planning their financials, etc… You must balance the urgent demands of your business and never forget the important anchors of your Business Plan."
"What is one attribute that a systems' person must have to run as your Chief Operating Officer or Administrator? There are many but one that makes for most efficiency is their ability to process emotional happenings and reset to zero. They have the ability to integrate an emotional event like the sickness of a colleague and get back to the work at hand; process a lawsuit that is handed to the company with the diligence and set aside the drama that usually accompanies it; share a moment at lunch of friendship and companionship and return to work with no lingering emotional highs or lows. Some may think that these people are cold – they are not; they focus on the job at hand when they are at work because they know that efficiency is muddled by emotional tangents that add nothing to the resolution of problems, or the opportunity of methodical solutions. Basically they know how to quickly reset and get back to the tasks at hand."
"Without any effort from any of us our brains are wired to seek and see patterns, but they do so at a higher order of magnitude when we choose to ‘focus’ on a particular outcome, ever better than that, when we choose to shift our focus from the mundane to the possible. Yes great intelligence is what most seek, but it is your desired targeted focus that triggers Solutions, and dare I say Innovation. If you desire Creativity and Success start focusing on activities that you know nurture opportunities then act on them – trust that you know what you need to do!"
"What is the most deliberate question a Real Estate Agent or Broker must choose to confront during their business day: ‘What is the most important activity I should be engaged in at this moment?’ It is not an easy question to confront, but everyone in the Real Estate Business knows one obvious truth - Real Estate Agents know what they are supposed to do, but many of them are easily distracted from doing it. Many of them are so driven by The Socializing Side of the Business that they don’t realize that are hurting their core business. So, do you control your day? or is your desire to socialize controlling it?"
"Real Estate Prospecting is not fun, it was never fun, it was never meant to be fun, and will never be considered a fun activity – it is a necessary process for growing your Real Estate Inventory and staying at the top of your Real Estate Business. Many brokerages are making a huge mistake by flooding their agents with internet buyers that force their agents to have an excuse to not prospect because they are too busy. Teach your agents to understand that hearing ‘No’ while door knocking and prospecting does not hurt, it just means ‘not right now’ and that the exchange needs to be pleasant. Prospecting is a numbers game - the more people you talk to the more listings your get."
"To do your best maybe more profound than being the best; when you embrace doing your best you enter a world that is dynamic - not static; you are choosing to engage your mind and spirit on the tasks at hand; you are climbing away from being robotic; you are choosing to do damage to self-doubt, lethargy, and mediocrity. May you espouse to do your best today!"
"Sleep, regular restorative sleep… Athletes and trainers will tell you that to qualify for the Olympics you need hard work, talent, and determination but the most secretive weapon of endurance is Sleep. Our Real Estate Professionals are not sleeping enough… they are tired all the time and end up making bad judgments. Yes, Sleep can be your best ally towards a successful career! In order for you to control the time of your waking you must control the time you go to bed, reduce your intake of late night television, read great books of fiction, and gently fall asleep… you have no idea how much this will help your career."
"When was the last time you reviewed your procedures? Are they still relevant? Are you still deriving benefits from their implementations? Are there newer ways of doing the same procedures that are more efficient? Or are you on automatic mode and have forgotten to review the relevance of your procedures? One simple procedure that is still relevant that has lost its shine in today’s age of Smartphones and IPads is the trusted in-basket and out-basket; Whether you like it or not, in Real Estate we must shuffle paperwork – it comes in, get processed, must go out, before it is filed. Take some time to review your procedures, I am sure you can gain some efficiencies that will allow you more time for prospecting."
"Precision brings Clarity and Creativity! Something happens when you force yourself to know ‘why’ you are doing what you are doing, your mind starts seeking connections, pathways, and creative ways of expressing your ‘why’ into reality. The surest thing to get to where you want to go is to not only know were you are going, but also why you are going there. The clearer your ‘whys’ the clearer the journey."
"American Playwright and Nobel Laureate Engene O’Neil wrote: ‘We fought so hard against the small things that we became small ourselves.’ When your days, weeks, and months are not planned you will be reduced to working and fighting the ‘small stuff’ and fail to see the big opportunities. Find a way to always zoom out your view of your current projects, and see the big picture of your career and business direction."
"Honesty hides in people who speak the least and attract little attention to themselves; they understand that doing the right thing happens when no one is watching, and that it is the true measure of integrity. let’s attract these quiet hardworking people to our organizations; they are not usually flashy, yet they offer so much more in their own quiet way."
"Have you noticed that every time you go visit your doctor he or she carries a chart of your medical history, and they write notes based on every conversation you have with them? You see doctors are smart, they have realized that using their brain as storage for every piece of information is not reliable, and that patterns emerge when you are able to view the whole history of your patients; which makes you better at diagnosing and curing your patients. Real Estate Agents hardly ever take any notes when they meet with their clients, work on a listing, or work with a buyer – they stuff all the information that is given to them either in their email inbox, or in their mind – believing that they can retrieve it at a moment’s notice; and they wonder why their clients are upset with them. We can do better!"
"Your ability to focus your mind and heart on what you want was best shared by Francis Bacon: ‘Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest will either be supplied or its loss will not be felt.’ It is not easy to rule your mind, but it is absolutely achievable – it starts with little steps. Put planning your day in front of you everywhere you can – Get some ugly large fluorescent sticky notes and write yourself this note: ‘Don’t start your day today until you spent 10 minutes preparing for it!’ Write it on multiple sticky notes and place them on your path to the beginning of your day; example: Bathroom, Kitchen, Inside Front Door, Car, Computer Screen, etc… You want to stop yourself from getting your day going until you have planned it; you are trying to become disciplined about becoming a planner for the long term, and this is your first step. Try it, it must become a habit – you will be amazed, down the road, how you functioned without this simple trick!"
"The first spark on an idea is just that - a spark, it needs to find an environment that nourishes it so it turns into a practical solution. Whether you are learning new concepts during a workshop, or reading an informative book on a Sunday afternoon; these sparks of ideas will fizzle if they do not have the incubative environment of your focused mind to turn them into something meaningful. Learning is not enough, flashes of ideas are not enough, putting your attention to your sparks and fanning their flames in your focused mind is what produces concrete solutions."