Wow, 8 years in real estate! I went from working a part-time job at Michael Kors as a stock boy supporting my "real estate habit" to running a team of 34+ agent partners, and co-founding an e-commerce business with the love of my life. I’m blessed to have made it this far and I know I have ways to go, but in the last 8 years I have learned principles and lessons that I would love to share with you.
I wish someone shared these lessons with me back in 2013 when I got started. Some of these lessons I’ve learned the hard way. Some of them were taught to me through mentors and other amazing people that I have met along my real estate journey. Here we go:
1. YOU SHOULDN’T WORK WITH EVERYONE
This one I learned the hard way. I’ve worked with clients that were rude, unrealistic and down right straight rotten. (This exists...let’s not pretend everyone is your ideal client…) As a new agent we are so happy for ANY opportunity to list a property. I get it! However, once my mindset shifted from scarcity to abundance, and once my marketing and prospecting strategies got more strategic – I was able to pick and choose my clients.
The joy of working in this industry can easily be sucked away by people who show you no respect. We all know that extremely grumpy agent who’s been in the business for 25+ years. I’d bet they didn’t start off so grumpy. Over time I learned to simply avoid them and only pursue my ideal clients or people who really need the help. This change in mindset made the last 8 years way more enjoyable than had I continued to stress myself out with non-ideal clients.
2. YOU NEED TO DO MORE THAN JUST BUY AND SELL HOMES
Real Estate is quickly changing and the everyday consumer is becoming more empowered by the internet. Almost 90% of real estate agents fail in their first 2 years in the business purely because they think all a Realtor® does is help people buy, sell and rent properties. If you think that is all you're going to provide and be successful you are very wrong.
You need to become a real estate resource. You need a network of professionals that you can provide to your clients at the drop of a hat. You need Investors, Lawyers, Accountants, Roofers, Plumbers, Contractors, Security Systems, and Financial Advisors on your team. You need to be a plug of business. This will lead to more conversations, more appointments, more trust, and a larger network.
You also need multiple income streams, but that’s another lesson.
3. GIVING BACK IS THE KEY TO GROWTH
If you stop viewing your clients as prospects and start focusing on connecting and building relationships your business will change dramatically. Being a resource and connecting people is 90% of the battle.
Your job is to find people to build relationships with and grow your Sphere of Influence. You can do this in many ways: attending community events, educating at a seminar, social media, making calls, sending out mailers, etc. Just make sure that whatever you decide to do you come from a place of giving. Provide value and give more without expecting anything in return. Things will naturally come back to you.
4. YOUR STORY AND YOUR WHY ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR IQ
This business for sure has a learning curve and is filled with rejection. You're going to need more than just grit to make it to the Promised Land. Obviously, you are going to need to learn skills and fundamentals but one the biggest issues that I see in this industry is over training and over thinking.
At the start of my career I shared openly how I was a brand new agent. I shared openly what my WHY was. This meant that the people around me could become part of my story and participate in my business’s growth! It allowed me to connect on a deeper level with my sphere of influence, new prospects and my community.
The person who connects with more people does more business than the person that has all the answers. Remember that.
5. IT ALL WORKS, YOU JUST NEED TO DO SOMETHING.
Most agents are looking for the magic marketing/prospecting strategy that is going to blow up their business overnight. The truth is almost every strategy works! Mailers, Cold Calling, Networking Events, Standing on the Corner with Flyers, Social Media Ads, Organic Social Media Posting, Wearing a Buy. Sell. Invest. Hoodie… As long as you consistently do something, that's what really matters.
6. FAIL, IMPROVE AND FAIL AGAIN.
Again, rejection and failure are going to be a part of your journey as a real estate entrepreneur. Sometimes you come up with amazing ideas and they don’t perform as well as you hoped. The listing presentation hit on everything, or so you thought, and the prospect wanted to see some statistics on the effectiveness of facebook advertising and you didn’t have it...
You can take it as a failed attempt or add some facebook ad statistics to your presentation for the future. Your business should always be in some type of growth. In the wise words of Tony Robbins if you are not growing you're dying.
7. THE VALUE YOU BRING DETERMINES THE VALUE YOU GET.
I quickly learned that the reason why so many realtors fail is because they do everything the same way as everyone else. What you think is “value” is just the things that everyone else is providing. If you are trying to justify your commission because you provide professional photos, professional drone footage, and you throw it up on the MLS and 350 real estate websites...I’m sorry, but everyone does that.
You need to become a specialist, and provide services and value that most agents can’t provide. Once you have proven methods you can justify your commission and investment to your clients without a problem. Be different, and you’ll stand out. The competition isn’t as over saturated as you think.
8. IT DOES NOT HAVE TO COST YOU AN ARM AND A LEG
I used to pay so much for leads through websites like Zillow, Streeteasy and Realtor.com. I then decided to learn how to obtain leads for a fraction of the price through different sources. With a combination of KvCore, Landing Pages, Facebook ads, Google ads, and Organic Social Media posts I was able to up the amount of leads I could obtain and save money doing it.
9. OVERTRAINING AND OVER THINKING WILL DESTROY YOUR PRODUCTION
Taking what you learn and applying it to your business practices is a skill that everyone should master. I know many agents who train 30 hours a week and actually work almost 5 hours a week on non-money making tasks. They know what to say and how to say it, but they just don’t take enough action.
I was guilty of this as well. I felt I needed to know everything before I could get started. Sometimes it's just better to get on the job training. Go out there and build the courage and resilience you will actually need to succeed. The knowledge will come.
10. PSYCHOLOGY IS 90% OF THE BATTLE 10% IS SALES
Mastering the space between your ears is really what will make you successful in real estate. Understanding your motivations and the motivations of others will put you 2 steps in front of the competition. Learning empathy, The DISC profiles, body language and social cues will really allow you to build rapport, and find leverage as a sales person, and as a resource in general. Knowing what to say and how to say it is great and it will help you sell. Knowing how to provoke emotion and connecting with someone on a deeper level will grow your business 100x.
Robin Arzon, the VP of Fitness Programming at Peloton said it best, “It doesn't get easier but you get stronger.” In this business you are going to go through ups and downs before finding the fortitude and skill to maintain a steady growth. Just remember that your journey is your own and you are a master of your own faith.
Real estate will teach you more about who you are. It will help you create a stronger mentality and help you develop skills that will make you a better person overall whether you stick with it or not. I hope these 10 principles help you scale your business faster and avoid some of the pains that I have gone through.
As always I wish you many happy clients and closings! See you in year 9.