Spring is in full gear, competition is fiercer than ever, and a lot of you are operating at peak stress levels. From white-knuckle negotiations to nervous buyers to low listing inventory to mental fatigue, there’s a lot to take in every day right now.
To help you stay grounded, focused, and ready for whatever the market throws your way, let’s take a look at some simple, effective and actionable activities that can make all the difference.
1. Be kind to yourself
Guess what? There are a lot of learning curves going on and not just for new agents. There are people who have been in this business for decades and have never encountered what they are seeing right now.
It’s stressful. I hear it in agents’ voices every week. That “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good at this” conversation with yourself can wreak havoc on your mindset which shuts down both your productivity and your ability to problem-solve.
Talk to yourself as kindly as you would a stranger; you’ve got this. Give yourself time and grace to learn and grow in this business. We live in the best time on earth to have the information we need at our fingertips.
What you don’t know now is temporary. Every day is a new opportunity to get better and stronger at what you do. Give yourself that opportunity by leaving your inner critic at the door and diving into possibilities.
2. Be open to new ideas
Consider how much has changed in the last few years and how adaptable and agile all that change has helped us to become. I love taking new marketing ideas for a spin and putting new spins on old marketing ideas as well. Never, ever get so stuck in “the way things have always been done that you’re not open to new ways of prospecting, presenting, communicating and skill-building.
How many of you couldn’t “Zoom” to save your life two years ago but now can create face-to-face experiences easily from anywhere in the world? One of the things I love most about brand-new agents is that they have not yet been jaded by the “that won’t work” agendas. They aren’t sure yet what works or what doesn’t, so they try all kinds of things. Approach your business with that same zeal; you might surprise yourself.
3. Clear the calendar for cold calls
Most agents have a love/hate relationship with prospecting calls. I get it. Picking up the phone can be intimidating and uncomfortable, especially for those who are not used to it.
The best way to get past that fear is to make it a new normal. Get into a habit of making prospecting calls daily. I tell my students to commit to at least two conversations per day about real estate. By the end of 30 days, that’s 60 conversations.
When you are first starting, just commit to the activity of making the calls, the skill will come. It’s about making connections and building relationships.
Agents tell me all the time they don’t want to feel like a “bother” when they are making calls. If that sounds like you, I’d like you to consider that all this market change means that a lot of people have questions about what those changes mean for their families and their investments. As a real estate professional, you have answers that can help them make important decisions.
When you call with that in mind, it makes it so much easier to connect. You are just offering help, support, and resources. Those are all good things.
4. Plan a series of open houses
Right now, open houses are a tremendous source of leads, especially if you do them right. My suggestion is to host at least one every weekend. If you don’t currently have any listings, ask around your office. There are usually top producers who are too busy to do them or agents who don’t want to do them. Jump in and host for them.
Pick a time that doesn’t compete with other open houses. If “regular” open house hours are from 10-2, choose 9-3 or 3-7. Invite the neighbors for a “neighborhood open house” — it’s a great way to find future sellers. Use a lot of signage and make your presence known.
5, Zero in on the neighborhoods you want to farm
Here are a few solid rules of thumb for choosing a farm area:
- Consider the competition. Choose a farm that is not currently “owned” (10 percent to 15 percent market share) by another agent.
- Pick your price wisely. It’s about as much work to farm an area with $100,000 properties as $300,0000 — but the return on your investment is so much greater!
- Check for turnover. Choose a neighborhood with a turnover rate of around 7 percent to 8 percent. To calculate the turnover rate, add up all of the properties sold within the past 12 months and divide by the total number of homes in the area.
6. Invest time in your skill sets
I get it — time is super crunched right now. One of my favorite quotes on this topic is by Abraham Lincoln who said, “If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe.”
Invest at least one hour per week in skill-building via webinars, seminars, podcasts or reading. Better yet, invest a little more and mix it up. Not only will that training help you become a stronger agent and bypass your competition, but the confidence boost you get from increasing your skills can be transformative. Sharpen your axe.
7. Connect with past clients and sphere
One of the best ways to stand apart in your market and build a reliable, sustainable book of business is to make sure that the people in your sphere, those who already know, like and trust you also remember you.
My definition for self-promotion is when people know your name, face and what you do for a living. If you’re not connecting with at least 10 percent of your past clients and personal connections per month, you’re not only leaving business on the table, but you’re also missing valuable opportunities to build relationships.
Come from a place of service. Check-in. Ask if there is anything you can do for them. How is their business? What do they need during these crazy times? What you’ll find is that little check-in can pay off in new business, new referrals, and powerful human-to-human connections.
Week after week we love when our students show a picture of them creating what we call “Smile Stops” with their clients. Simple, stop-by opportunities with a small gift and lots of warm gratitude. It’s changing the game for them. It can for you, too. Pick up the phone or stop by. Both can lead to incredible things.
Spring is a time of new beginnings, and for real estate agents, that means planting seeds for success and fortifying your ability to stay “hopping” during this busy selling season. This year, play full-out. Give your business, your future, every chance to get to the next level.
Darryl Davis is a speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, as well as the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars. He currently hosts weekly free webinars to help agents navigate market change and design careers worth smiling about. Learn more at his website or connect with him on Facebook or YouTube.