As the real estate market improves, agents see more opportunities for sales and listings in local markets, and as they continue to push forward in their careers, a subtle transformation is occurring. You might not notice it at first, but if you look closely, you’ll see a change in perspective in today’s agents, who are leaving the survival mode thinking behind and once again reaching for the stars.
I’ll give you a couple of examples: Julie and I recently interviewed two very different agents, with completely different backgrounds — both of whom are on their way up in today’s market. They shared their tips and tricks for success, but we also spoke at length with them about their perspective and mindset — and how the way that they view real estate shapes their performance in the industry. We explored what works in their businesses through a series of questions that we hope will shed some light on not only what they’ve done to achieve success, but also their motivations and inspiration for doing it.
Brandon Jackson, Easy Street Realty, Charlotte, North Carolina
Jackson is an experienced agent who not only actively lists and sells homes but also works as the regional president of the Carolinas — a management role that puts him in charge of a team of agents. He’s been in the business since 2007 but worked primarily as a buyer’s agent until recently, and typically listed only about three homes a year. This year, he’s made a commitment to change that, and during 2014, he increased his listing volume to 10 homes a month — something he’s working to take even further in 2015.
He credits this change to a combination of shifts he’s made to his business approach, including incorporating scheduling and structure into his daily routine, working to overcome a fear of rejection, establishing achievable goals, and visualizing the big-picture possibilities in his career.
“You know, I think we all battle a fear of rejection … we don’t want to hear the word ‘no,'” says Jackson — and cites the accountability that came with coaching as the tool that pushed him through that. He set the goal of becoming a listing agent for himself, and he took on new prospecting activities that he’d avoided before — such as calling expired for-sale-by-owner listing ads. “I got on the phone, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” he says. “I never had someone screaming at me or hanging up on me, or any of those things that I was afraid would happen. In fact, the opposite happened; I was having great conversations, and I was feeling in tune with what I was doing.”
Jackson credits a change in mindset to helping him prospect: Rather than worrying about rejection, he focuses on thinking about how he can help that person the most effectively. He sets his ego aside. Instead of worrying about his fears, he focuses on the person he’s talking to and how he can help to put that person in a better position. And he believes that this focus comes across on the phone while he’s talking to prospects as well. “I’ve really grown in my awareness that I’m here to be of service to people,” Jackson notes, “and I’m getting that opportunity — I’m getting more of those opportunities because I’m able to help so many more people now.”
In addition to mindset, Jackson cites the importance of preparation in getting listings. He knows the market, studies the trends, discovers as much as possible about his prospects and brings along a detailed prelisting package every time he arrives at a seller’s home. He has a polished listing presentation and leaves as little to chance as possible — which means that he’s usually the one who gets the listing, not his competitors. According to Jackson, it’s not “mindset over matter,” but a combination of mindset, preparation and action that’s making the difference in 2015.
Andrea Quyn, SunCal Real Estate Group, Roseville, California
Quyn got her real estate license five years ago, but left the market to focus on her family and just recently got back into selling. She felt out of touch with the industry due to her absence from business and the market changes over the past few years. And that made her job difficult until she changed her mindset to focus on being of service, which she credits as being a real epiphany.
She uses whiteboards to track her leads — a good, large visual reminder of what she’s doing. She doesn’t rely on a single source for leads; she has multiple spokes of lead generation. She also uses the whiteboard to track her listings and deals with sticky notes for each client, moving them from column to column on the board to show where they are in the process. A final board is a commission board, which includes the selling price and the commission earned, which helps her focus on money earned, not just units sold.
Her strongest spokes for lead generation are her sphere of influence, past client referrals and open houses. Her most useful tool is “not being a secret agent” — in other words, taking every opportunity to educate the people in her personal, professional and social life about what she does and how she can help them. She provides a reminder for people in her network that’s led to many, many referrals. As an active parent participating in many children’s’ activities, she also credits that network alone as being a tremendous source of leads — especially as growing families in her network look at buying larger homes.
She says the service mindset is also an asset for her. “I care deeply about the people in my network, so when it comes to real estate, I tell them, ‘Come to me — nobody cares about getting you the best home more than I do,'” she says. “That alone helped me transform from being a secret agent into being somebody who honestly just can’t wait to tell people about how I can help them.” She credits the mental shift that came with adopting a mindset of service as generating sales naturally — without having to rely on the scripts she used to use.
So what’s Quyn’s secret? Energy, enthusiasm, and a deeply rooted belief in doing the best job possible for each and every client. Her attitude attracts clients, and her practice is growing rapidly as a result. What’s her biggest piece of advice for other agents? “Don’t be a secret agent — be confident, don’t hold back, and give it everything you’ve got.”
If there’s a takeaway from Jackson’s and Quyn’s stories, then it’s this: In real estate, your mindset is a real, tangible mental state that directly affects the daily decisions you make. Many agents — especially after the tough financial times we all experienced — find it easy for their mindsets to justify negative, pessimistic and ultimately self-destructive behaviors that will undermine your success.
However, if you consciously make an effort to adopt a positive mindset that helps you explore new options, overcome your fears and self-doubt, and embrace the full potential of your career as an agent, then you’ll be on track to greater success in today’s marketplace.
Tim and Julie Harris have over 20 years’ experience in real estate. Learn more about their real estate coaching and training programs at timandjulieharris.com, or tune in to Real Estate Coaching Radio every weekday at realestatecoachingradio.com.