Hacker Connect January 16 in New York
An event for and by the real estate tech community

Editor’s note: This is the second of a four-part series.

When most agents set their goals for 2012, they focus on their business and forget to set goals for their personal lives. If you want to attract higher-quality clients and do more business in 2012, raise the bar by setting personal goals, not just business goals.

Top performers always work on becoming better. The challenge is that many people who achieve stellar success in their professional lives often see it unravel due to issues in their personal lives. The reason this happens is the same reason many agents fail: lack of a plan.

A key principle of attraction is that like attracts like. In other words, if you’re stressed out from personal or business events, you are going to attract clients who are stressed out as well.

To minimize the probability of attracting high-drama clients, be willing to say "no" to clients who don’t tell you the truth, don’t value the services you provide, or refuse to be realistic about prices. In addition, if your radar picks up that a potential client will be extremely high maintenance or just downright difficult, refer that client to another agent and take a referral fee.

The second step is to raise the bar in terms of your personal care. Calm agents generally don’t attract high-drama clients. In case you need some assistance in terms of how to improve the quality of your personal life that will ultimately result in a better business life, here are more "raise the bar" tips on how to do so.

Tip No. 3: Use the 4-3-2-1 approach for your personal plan.

In 2011, how many days did you actually take off? If at all possible, declare four "real estate free days" per month. If you can’t take a full day off, consider taking two half days, preferably giving you 24 consecutive hours off. For example, take off from 1 p.m. on Friday until 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Sadly, many agents soldier through week after week with no time off whatsoever. When you fail to take time off, you may believe that you are functioning at full capacity, but the research shows otherwise. When you take time away from your real estate business, you actually achieve more during the days when you do work. While it is not always practical to do this, make your best effort to create a full day off every week.

As part of your four days off per month, allot at least two of those days to spend in activities with friends and/or family. Often agents will skip a family event to take a client out to look at property. As I look back at the 20 years that I engaged in that behavior, I can’t even remember those clients’ names. What I do remember are the special times spent with loved ones.

In addition to those days with loved ones, take one day per month that is exclusively for you. Go to a movie, play golf, get a massage, or do whatever is necessary to escape from business for a day.

Tip No. 4: Cut the adrenaline.

When you stress your body, adrenaline levels increase. This, in turn, increases cortisol levels. High levels of cortisol have been linked repeatedly to heart disease and cancer.

To reduce the adrenaline in your life, do your best to eliminate or to cut back on caffeine. Furthermore, allot at least 10 percent more time for every task that you must complete than you believe it will take. This way you’re not rushing to appointments or panicking when an emergency pops up that you need to address.

Another way to reduce adrenaline is to let go of your attachment to any decisions that your clients may make. A great way to do this is to always remember that it is their house, it is their mortgage, and it is their decision.

A closing statement that supports this approach is, "It’s your choice, what would you like to do?" This takes the pressure off of you and makes the client responsible for their decision.

Instead of trying to influence your clients’ decision, you can raise the bar and reduce your stress by shifting your role to be a trusted resource for your clients. Provide them with the best information possible so that they can make the best decision possible. Remember, you are a resource, not the decision-maker.

Do you need more tips on how to raise the bar in your business in 2012? If so, see Part 3 on Monday.

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of the National Association of Realtors’ No. 1 best-seller, “Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success.” Hear Bernice’s five-minute daily real estate show, just named "new and notable" by iTunes, at www.RealEstateCoachRadio.com. You can contact her at Bernice@RealEstateCoach.com or @BRoss on Twitter.

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