Your pipeline in 180 days is a reflection of the work you are doing today. Based on the work you are doing now, what do you expect your pipeline to look like in six months?

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The continual search for new business — motivated buyers and sellers — is second only to your commitment to providing great customer service to your current clients.  

  • Note the word “continual.” This is not a time block. This is not a task to get over and be done. This is a lifestyle and a way of thinking. This is your priority. 
  • Note the word “motivated.” You have to market and prospect continually to find the people out there who are ready to transact. 
  • Agents waste incredible amounts of time on people who are not ready to transact. Thousands of people, at any given time in any market, are ready. Go find them.

The list does not stop with these, but here are some of the most important components for keeping your business alive and healthy with new opportunities: 

1. Provide stellar service

Future referrals come from great customer service. If you are not prepared to provide great customer service, you will find yourself very frustrated by this business.  The foundation of every successful agent’s business is that they provide excellent customer service. The best of the best create raving fans for life. 

2. Take action

This is a business of action, and to learn, you must take action.   One of the biggest traps I see agents fall into is, “I need to learn more, take more classes, read more, before I start to generate new business and transact.” This is a trap.  

If you wait until you know more before you take action, you will never take action. You will never know it all. You learn every day.  

3. Try something new

Knowledge comes from trying new things and testing them, seeing what works and what does not work, then iterating and trying again. If you “set and forget” people, they will quickly “set and forget” you.

It is a busy, noisy world. A world full of advertising and clamoring for attention. An economy driven by views, impressions, and likes.  Maybe there was a day when canned, unmanned, “set and forget” campaigns worked (I doubt it, frankly), but those days are gone. We have all been conditioned to ignore them.

If you want marketing campaigns to work, roll up your sleeves and be ready to do the work because a cheesy spammy campaign will not do it.  

4. Don’t be afraid to work

They call it work because it is difficult. If it was all “fun,” they wouldn’t call it “work,” and you wouldn’t get paid to do it.    

5. Get your database together

If you don’t have an organized, evolving, healthy “database” (central place and system where your clients and prospects live) you don’t have a business, you have a hobby.  

Be on purpose, not by accident. 

If the size and scope, and health of your database correlate to the size and health of your business (it does), then how do you increase the size/health of your business? You develop and sustain new relationships and insert them into your systems to do so. You grow your database.

6. Lead gen is Job 1

Prioritize lead generation as a non-negotiable (in your morning(s)).  Generating new business is hard work. Emotional work. It is a “belly-to-belly” business with a ton of interpersonal dialogue.  I don’t know a single agent who successfully and consistently performs lead generation in the afternoons. The day is already too blown apart and chaotic. More importantly? We don’t have the energy we need to do it.  

Side note: I don’t believe in time blocking. I believe in prioritization. What’s the difference? People who have three or four-time blocks in their day say they have three or four priorities. In my experience, we have the opportunity to get one priority done in a day, maybe two at best, rarely three. Never four or more.  This business is too variable, and you must be adaptive to the changing conditions. That doesn’t mean you throw it all out the window and let chaos rule, but it does mean you cannot afford to be overly rigid with your activity periods.  

7. Focus on the 80/20 rule

The Pareto Principle states that approximately 80 percent of outcomes come from 20 percent of causes or activities. In other words, a small percentage of activities have an outsized effect on results. 

Were you aware that the same thing applies to your referral relationships? Eighty percent of your referrals come from 20 percent of the people you know. 

Who is responsible for 80 percent of your referrals? If you don’t know, you better find out. That group of people should be a separate classification in your CRM and needs VIP-level attention, or they will cease to be responsible for 80 percent of your referrals. 

Relationships are not equal and according to the Dunbar Number, as well as the basic constraints of time, you cannot maintain the same level of connectedness to very many individuals. You have to prioritize. Who is the priority? 

Your pipeline in 180 days is a reflection of the work you are doing today. Based on the work you are doing now, what do you expect your pipeline to look like in six months?

“The customer’s perception is your reality.” – Kate Zabriskie

Nick Schlekeway is the founder of Amherst Madison, a Boise, Idaho-based real estate brokerage. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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