With fewer deals to go around, many markets experiencing a downshift and more agents than ever, it makes business sense to reach for the fundamentals. That’s why at Inman, we’re going Back to Basics with curated throwbacks to some of our most-read stories as well as new insights from agents in the field — all culminating in Inman’s Playbook for the Fall Market, a two-day virtual event that you should make plans to attend.
There are certain things top agents do that average agents usually do not. These activities lead to results that are envied, but rarely achieved. If you aren’t getting the business results you want, odds are it can be traced back to your daily actions.
The following is a list of seven things top producers do that you probably don’t.
1. They track their numbers
The best of the best agents track the numbers for their business. They know, on average, how many real estate-related conversations they need to generate a transaction. They know how many calls, on average, they need to make to set an appointment and what their conversion rates are for the appointments.
They know the ROI on their marketing campaigns and ad spend. They know how much net revenue they keep versus the gross revenue they receive.
What we inspect, we can expect to grow and become more efficient.
- Do you track how many calls you make on a daily basis?
- Do you know where you are today in relation to the goals you set for this year?
- How long has it been since you reviewed all of your marketing expenses to track the return, or lack thereof, that you are receiving from them?
There is no better time than the present to start tracking your numbers whether you’ve been lax lately or you haven’t done so before.
2. They reinvest back in their business
The best agents reinvest a portion of every commission back into their businesses. This could be in the form of marketing, tools/technology, staffing, or training. They understand that constant upgrades to their businesses lead to exponential growth. Are you reinvesting in your business?
A good exercise is to make a list of the items or expenditures that could help you take your business to the next level. Rank them by value and impact to your business, and stick to your investment plan. This will keep your investment focused and disciplined instead of emotionally spending your investment funds on products and services that happen to market to you at the right time.
If it is hiring an assistant or additional staff, then saving a portion of every check to build a savings account with three to four months’ worth of that salary is wise. If it is a tool or technology, then purchase them as the funds come in. Your desire to attend a conference is also often a good motivator when it is predicated on the funds for the event coming out of a portion of closings you need.
Reinvesting in your business is a leading indicator for future growth.
3. They time-block their schedules
The best real estate agents always time-block their schedules for prospecting, follow-up with past clients, and appointments. They understand that if they don’t control their schedule, their schedule will control them.
Top agents have specific times in their schedule for every revenue-generating action item. They identify whether the morning, afternoon, or both are the best times for them to make calls, then they write those times in pen in their calendar.
They have specific times when they schedule appointments and although our business requires some flexibility when it comes to appointments, they do their best to stick to their schedules when possible.
Designating specific times every day for revenue-generating tasks is a characteristic of every top agent I know.
4. They study their local market daily
Top agents are consistently studying the sales activity in their local markets. They know the properties that have recently come on the market, gone under contract, and that have sold.
They know the average days on market for homes sold, what the absorption rate is for their local market, how much inventory (homes for sale) is currently available versus past months, and the current pricing trends as well.
By being students of their local markets, they can communicate valuable information to their clients and prospects. They understand their job is to provide information and guidance so buyers and sellers can confidently make the best decision for themselves.
This confidence leads to smoother transactions and lifelong clients. Lifelong clients not only use these agents themselves, but they also send referrals.
The value of market knowledge is never underestimated by elite agents.
5. They consistently communicate with other top agents
In the real estate industry, we truly are better together. Elite agents build relationships with other top agents in their existing area, as well in other markets. They develop these local relationships with other top agents, understanding that these are the people they are most likely to do business with on a professional and higher level. They understand the value of other professionals in their market and how they can help each other serve their clients at a higher level.
They develop relationships with high-performing agents in other markets so they can identify trends and strategies that they may be able to apply to their own market. The relationships with agents that are in other markets can also lead to referrals.
Some of the best agents I know have even developed farming techniques for agents in feeder markets. Their efforts to build those relationships through monthly emails to the list, mailers and personal phone calls lead to a consistent flow of referrals in the same way farming a neighborhood leads to consistent listings.
Communication leads to relationships. Take the time to check in with a few other agents in your market and others. These calls and relationships always enhance your business.
6. They hire for their weaknesses
I’ve never known anyone that achieved all they could achieve without the assistance of others. Successful agents hire people for positions they are weak in or that keep them from the highest possible income producing activities.
They hire assistants to help with organization, system execution or scheduling showings. They hire transaction coordinators to manage the contract-to-close process, and they hire marketers to build their personal brand. They understand the value and leverage that hiring others gives them and their businesses.
For every $100,000 annual earnings you make, that breaks down to roughly $50 per hour. Top agents understand the leverage of hiring someone for $15 to $20 per hour (or more) to do lower expense activities that keep them from doing the highest dollar producing activities they could be doing like communicating with clients, showing property or going on listing appointments.
If you are serious about growing your business, hiring people to assist you is a must.
7. They work harder than anyone else
You may have heard that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But I would go a step further, don’t judge a book by only reading one of the later chapters. Oftentimes we focus on what top agents are doing now and miss all they did to get in that position.
Although you may see agents that are top producers now and think they aren’t the hardest working agents in your office, at some point in their career, elite agents worked extremely hard. They put in the work, the time, and at some point, they almost always worked harder than anyone else around them.
If your business isn’t where you would like it to be, pick up the pace and work harder than you ever have before. Understand that there are seasons in every business. The season of growth always shows up after the season of work. The business of your dreams is right on the other side of your hard work.
If you want to be a top producer, do what top producers do. By modeling your activities after theirs, your results will soon mirror their results as well.