• Lack of consistency in income starts with a lack of consistency in activity.
  • Real estate agents should be able to list their numbers in several categories including listing appointments, listings sold and buyer sales at all times.
  • Make a list of three must-do items every day; keep it short, and make sure you focus on those three things first.

Most real estate agents already know what to do. They say it all the time. The usual comment is: “I know what to do — I’ve just got to do it.” But they aren’t doing it.

So let’s do a success checkup and look at 10 selling mistakes you shouldn’t make if you want a healthy real estate business.

Avoid these 10 habits for a fruitful real estate business

1. Forgetting to sell when you are presenting

When in presentation mode most real estate agents fall into the trap of telling — not selling. It all boils down to showing the benefits of your offering rather than telling them what you do.

Here’s the key: focus on telling your prospects what they will receive as a result of your efforts. Don’t focus on what you do so much as answering what’s in it for them.

2. Not following a daily routine

Lack of consistency in income starts with a lack of consistency in activity. If you are not prospecting — doing lead follow-up and presenting every day — then your income will be unpredictable.

Make sure you have a daily routine that you stick to five days a week. Most real estate agents say they have a daily schedule, but most do not follow it. This is one of those no-excuses items.

3. Not helping your prospects ‘off the fence

Lots of prospects have trouble making decisions. Lots of them hesitate to move forward. Here are four questions to help them off the fence:

  1. I’m sensing some hesitation in your moving forward; is that true?
  2. What specifically is holding you back?
  3. Tell me, if we were able to deal with that particular issue to your satisfaction, would you then be able to put in an offer/list your property with me?
  4. Great, let’s sit down for a few minutes and go over some strategies I have that I know will make a difference. Do you want to see me today at 5 p.m., or would 7 p.m. be better?

4. Neglecting to visit your money every week

By looking at your finances on a weekly basis you will accomplish one of two critical tasks:

  • You will feel good about your results so far, and this will inspire you to stay on track and not get complacent.
  • You will realize that you have fallen behind, and this will motivate you to dig deeper and push harder not to settle for good enough.

5. Not investing in the future with your database

Your past clients and center of influence database is one of your most important assets. This is your most consistent source of business.

Here are two must-dos:

  1. Keep your database up-to-date, and consistently add new names.
  2. Always be asking for referrals. Don’t expect clients to remember to send business your way.

A very conversational approach to asking for referrals goes something like this:

“As you know, I’m always looking for more people to help in real estate, so I was wondering — who do you know that needs my help to buy or sell a home this year?”

6. Not knowing your numbers

“Shark Tank” guru Kevin O’Leary (“Mr. Wonderful”) said it best:

“Every single entrepreneur who is successful knows their numbers. Those that don’t are going to fail — no exceptions.”

Make sure you are tracking your results every month on the wall of your office — use a whiteboard. You should know your targets and your month-to-date results for these five categories at any given time:

  1. Listing appointments
  2. Listings taken
  3. Listings sold
  4. Buyer sales
  5. Closings and income

7. Having too many priorities

The reason that people get off track (see point no. 2 above) is because they’re trying to get it all done every day. Make a list every morning of the three must-do items for that day. Keep it short, and make sure you are focusing on those three items first.

As financial wizard Warren Buffett said, “If you have more than three priorities, then you don’t have any!”

8. Forgetting your ‘sweet spot’

What are your main strengths? Take advantage of those. Don’t try to be good at everything — focus on doing more of the items that you do best.

Are you a great presenter? Strong at asking questions? An effective networker? Whatever it is, remember this — there are things you are better at than 75 percent of the population naturally. It’s in your DNA.

9. Putting your annual business plan in a drawer

You can’t run a business without a business plan. Most people know that and start the year off with a solid plan to follow. The problem is most people put the plan together and then forget about it. They put it in a drawer.

Part of knowing your numbers is constantly comparing your current results to your year-to-date targets.

Keep your business plan front and center. Make sure you know at all times where you are on the road to success.

10. Trying to do it all on your own

There is no prize for succeeding without help. Outside support shows up in two ways:

  1. Guidance: Advice on what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Get a coach or an accountability partner. Find someone who has already done what you are trying to do — not someone who is teaching you out of a book. This will add structure to your business and enhance your skills and natural strengths.
  2. Accountability: Outside support makes sure the dog has teeth as they say. It is a strength — not a weakness — to have someone hold you accountable day after day. I guarantee you will do more when there is a third-party holding your feet to the fire.

Having your own business has many rewards. There is tremendous upside. The financial rewards can be enormous. Also, there is tremendous freedom in operating on your own.

The entrepreneurial spirit is not for everyone. Just make sure you are prepared to pay the price. Consistently take inventory of how you are doing. Start by looking at three of the above 10 items, and make sure you have them under control. Next, take on three more.

Before long, you will be operating at a whole new level. My view is that about 10 percent of private business owners are really making it happen the way they originally intended. Be one of those — there’s nothing holding you back! No excuses.

“Find what you are good at without trying; then try like crazy to do it every day.” – John Addison, Success Magazine

Bruce Keith is a speaker, sales coach and author at Bruce Keith Results. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Email Bruce Keith.

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