It’s OK not to want to be in the industry’s top 1 percent, but you can make a good start in the industry — or up your game as an experienced agent — according to agent-trainer Julie Nelson’s new book, Success Faster: Quickly Launch or Relaunch Your Real Estate Career.
Nelson, formerly a high energy trainer and Realtor at Keller Williams, who taught hundreds of new agents at the Austin-based real estate company, moved over to eXp Realty in November during the most recent of her own seven restarts.
The agent-trainer, who runs nationwide coaching through The Nelson Project, and has her own real estate business, has identified an urgent need in the industry for advice and guidance for those agents “working it out in the middle,” around 80 percent of all agents, she estimates.
And Nelson is happily one of them.
“I knew I was a good agent, and I wanted more; not all, just more,” she writes in the book. “I did not desire to be in the top 1 percent, I just wanted to achieve and push my financial and life balance goals.”
So much of what franchise owners and brokers send their agents to inspire them comes from the top 1 percenters, but this can be incredibly demotivating, Nelson said.
“It’s like looking at a fashion magazine and only seeing supermodels,” she writes in Success Faster. “Where are the models with gray hair or the models who fit into a size 12? Can you at least show us photographs of the supermodels when they were in high school before they were super?”
“I believe you have to see yourself in the mix, in the shoes in the story,” she adds.
Nelson relaunched her own business a little over a year ago — when she came off a leadership position at Keller Williams — and the book lays out a road map of what to do in this situation and what she herself did beginning in February 2017, when she set herself a stretch goal of a $10 million sale volume for the year.
With her years in agent career development, Nelson has found a few critical differences between agents who do well and those who do not. Put simply, those who succeed, acquire clients faster than those who do not. It’s a race, and it’s all about results, she said.
“The speed with which you gain your first 10 clients has more to do with your longevity in the business than talent and intelligence. Gaining a few clients quickly will do more for your psyche than the best self-help book out there,” she writes.
Nelson, who includes a number of relatable agent case studies in the book, gives readers a number of actionable tasks to help them gain clients. Her minimum recommendation is to host three open houses a month, spark 10 conversations every day and make one FSBO outreach every day. Do a confidence check, she recommends. How are you “showing up” — do you exude confidence or just muster it up, she asks. She advises those looking for a reboot to revisit those parts of real estate that bring them joy to help with this.
One of the key platforms of Nelson’s advice is to identify 100 friends or contacts in your network — those who you would invite to a party if you were having one — and make a plan talk to them more regularly. Become more comfortable about asking for their help when the time is right.
Success Faster even has a script for what to say when you call your mother, or another loved one, who is typically on this list.
Nelson suggests whittling that list of 100 down to your five biggest fans — people who are always going out of their way to send clients. Nelson calls them “bird dogs.” In her case, her bird dogs are her spouse, a former teacher who now runs an antique business, her financial adviser, a lender, a music band and her vast Realtor network.
Slow patches happen in any real estate business, and your top five will help you get out of them — but you have to “stir the pot,” Nelson advises.
Once you have identified this top five, it’s about “loving on them,” taking care of them and possibly cultivating a couple more to have on your radar, said the author. Think about what you can do for them, adds Nelson, who explains how to talk real estate and personal stuff with these important people in your life.