“Plan your work, and work your plan,” they say. But when you are a new agent, what is your plan? At this stage in the game, there is a shiny distraction around every corner and someone touting a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.
Everyone believes their way is best, but what really works? The answer is: everything and nothing — it depends on who you ask.
The issue most new agents have is that, with all of the distractions and opinions on what they should be doing, they lose sight of the basics. Pick an activity with a high degree of contacts and commit to mastering it. If you let yourself follow the easy route, you will still be looking for the magic bullet in six months to a year.
With that in mind, there are a few important things to know in order to plan for success.
It’s all about time on task
You have to give yourself time to master knocking on doors, talking to private sellers, working with expired listings, hosting effective open houses and any other activity that involves dealing with people; making one call or trying one open house is not mastery. Ten is not mastery. Commit to 20 for sale by owner (FSBO) calls every day for a month, or to five open houses a week for two months (borrow listings from other agents in your office), or to meeting 10 new people a day for three months.
If you want massive results, make a massive, consistent effort and commit to absolutely crushing whatever you are doing. Then, and only then, move on and tackle your next skill.
And remember, if you have to pay for it or it doesn’t involve direct contact with people, it’s probably not what you should be doing as a primary business activity.
Build an incredible database
Everyone you meet should go into your contact database with a plan to stay in touch — they should hear from you at least twice a month for as long as you are in business. And whatever you do, don’t email them to death.
There are a lot of great ways to stay in touch without being overbearing. Add in a personal note every now and then, pick up the phone and call, include them in a just-listed mailing, add them to a monthly newsletter or just pop by to say hello when you’re in the neighborhood.
Everything you do should be about the people first, and the business second. If you lead with the relationship and commit to bringing value to the people in your circle, the rest will follow naturally.
Start every day excited about who you will meet and end every day by asking yourself who you met, talked real estate with and added to your database. Don’t let yourself off easy once you get busy — if you had two closings but didn’t meet anyone new today, you didn’t go to work.
Focus on the activity, not the results
In other words, don’t focus on needing two sales a month or a certain amount of income. Instead, focus on the activity that will get you there.
For example, two listing sales every month probably means you’d need six listing opportunities a month as a new agent. So how many people would you need to talk with to find six potential sellers? Sixty? A hundred? That’s three to five new people every day over a 20-workday month.
Make your goal 10, add them all to a database, create value and stay in touch. Massive action equals massive results.
Live the two-part secret to success in real estate
This is not as elusive or difficult as you may think. First, the agents who become successful are those who are able to be a demanding boss and a diligent employee at the same time. Embrace and live both roles.
If you can play the role of boss for yourself — knowing where to be, when to be there and what to do when on the clock — you’ll be one step ahead, and much more capable of business planning even early on in your career.
The second part of the secret to success is simple: he or she who builds and maintains the most relationships wins. Period.
Your real estate license can be a passport to a new and better life by design if you focus on one skill at a time and on the steps you must take to get your desired result. Build a strong network and embrace the real estate secret to success.
Now, commit to planning your work and working your plan!
Holly Lovett is the broker owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Main Street Properties. You can connect with Holly on Facebook.