Real estate coaches and the value of ongoing training have never been more crucial. As 2023 winds down, level up with advice from top coaches, training resources and so much more during Inman’s Coaching and Training Month in October.
What does it take to succeed in today’s chaotic low inventory, high interest rate environment? Based on tips from the world’s top coaches both inside and outside the real estate industry, four key areas to consider include eliminating tolerations, creating a positive mindset, making having a great life your top priority and removing the obstacles that prevent you from operating at peak performance.
1. The most important step you can take to have a great life and a great business
The late Thomas Leonard, the founder of business and personal coaching, believed that “Tolerations are the universal access point for all coaching.” Tolerations can include minor items such as a missing button on a shirt, a dirty car, or all those stacks of paper in your office.
They can also include major issues such as divorce and illness as well as people who zap your time and energy. (Coaches sometimes call these people “psychic vampires.”)
For example, you may have a stack of business receipts that you haven’t scanned. Every time you look at the stack you think, “I’ve got to handle this.” Each time you delay in handling that task, every time you tolerate it, you waste energy by first noticing it, and second, by reminding yourself that you haven’t handled the issue.
Since most people have at least 100 tolerations in their lives, many coaches have likened tolerations to dying by 100 paper cuts. While a single paper cut or toleration can be aggravating, the combined effect of 30 or 40 tolerations can have a profound negative effect on both you and your business.
In terms of handling tolerations, it makes no difference where you begin — it’s the cumulative effect of removing them that yields the results.
Creating a positive mindset
2. Begin by asking the right questions
Creating a positive mindset begins with asking yourself these three questions:
- What’s your intent?
- What’s your focus?
- What’s your purpose for yourself and for your life?
When you have clarity about these answers, you’re well on your way to a better business and a better life. While these issues can be quite challenging, working with a coach can make a tremendous difference.
3. You attract who you are
Take a hard look at the types of clients and people that you’re attracting right now. If you’re attracting chaotic people, either there is chaos in your life that you need to eliminate, or you said “Yes” to a client or person when you should have said, “No.”
Escape the toxic people in your life — it matters tremendously to your physical, mental, emotional and financial well-being.
4. Create an ideal client list
Make a list of at least 50 characteristics you would like your ideal client to have. Be sure to include basics such as honesty, reliability, fully qualified to purchase, easy to work with, appreciates your services, willing to send you future referrals etc.
Once you make that list, go back through it to see how many of those characteristics describe you. To attract your ideal client, focus on characteristics that you want your ideal client to have that you currently lack.
5. Develop a resilience mindset
Rejections and failures are part of the real estate business. Instead of becoming disheartened, view them as learning experiences. Adopt a growth mindset, which can help you bounce back stronger.
6. Embrace continuous learning
Almost all top producers are voracious learners. They regularly attend sales seminars, watch webinars, listen to podcasts and read books, all with the goal of strengthening their ability to defeat the competition.
7. Rid yourself of the ‘I didn’t get anything done today’ mindset
Here’s a quick way to dispel this myth because it’s almost always false:
- Write down the most important tasks that you need to accomplish today on separate post-it notes.
- Take the three most important tasks and stick them where you can see them while you’re working.
- Once you complete each task, take the post-it note and put it in your “completed” container.
- At the end of the day, take the “completed” notes from the container, crumple them up and toss them in the trash.
- This does two things. First, it ends the day for your brain. Second, it’s a reminder that you did accomplish the top tasks that mattered most today. Congratulate yourself on your success.
8. Stop procrastinating
If you are procrastinating about calling that difficult seller or dealing with the bad news on an inspection report, ask yourself, “If not now, when?” If you choose not to do it now, go to your calendar and schedule the date and time when you definitely commit to handling the issue.
9. Remove ‘can’t’ and ‘impossible’ from your vocabulary
The word “can’t” keeps you from owning your choices and taking responsibility. Replace “I can’t” with “I choose not to,” which puts you firmly in control.
Second, replace the word “impossible” with “I’m possible.” This opens up your thinking to more possibilities as opposed to “I can’t,” which leaves you with no other options.
Having a great life
10. Compile your most special memories from 2023
Chances are they’re events that took place outside your business. In general, the richness of our lives comes not from how many houses we sell, but from the times spent with friends and loved ones. To have a great life, focus on consciously creating great memories every day throughout the year.
11. Heed the warning signs: The feather, the baseball bat, and then you go ‘splat’
Are you working seven days a week and missing family events to handle client business? Are you feeling totally stressed out? If so, you might be on the road to having a “splat moment” that can have serious consequences for both your health and your business. Here’s how it works:
- The feather: The feather is that little voice inside that says, “You’re working too much, you’re not eating right, and you really need to take time off.” When your body starts telling you that you are doing too much, pay attention. You can’t help your clients if you’re home sick in bed or if something else goes seriously wrong and you can’t work.
- The baseball bat: This occurs when you come down with a bad case of the flu, you have an abscessed tooth that requires a root canal, or your hard drive crashes and your data is wiped out along with it. Businesswise, you may be plagued with difficult clients, problem transactions and computer issues.
- Then you go splat: If you ignore these warning signs, you may go “splat” by having a major car accident, serious illness or something that keeps you from working for weeks or even months.
To avoid having this happen to you, be proactive about preventing problems by having regular physicals, visiting the dentist every six months and having your eyes checked annually. Also, work on implementing as many suggestions from this article as possible.
12. Take time to refuel
When you push seven days a week or work long hours, it’s the same as running your car 12 to 14 hours per day. Sooner or later, you need to replenish your fuel. The only proven way to do this is to take time off. As Ann Lamont observed, “Almost anything will work better if you unplug it — even you!”
13. Develop 10 delicious daily habits
Make a list of at least 10 activities that you enjoy doing when you’re not working. Whether it’s reading, taking a long bath, playing games, attending a sporting event, listening to music, meditating — no matter what they are, make sure that you engage in at least two of these activities every day.
14. Have dinner with family or loved ones at least 5 days per week
Paul Pearsall’s heart transplant research shows that adults who dine with family and/or friends have 50 percent fewer heart attacks than those who dine alone. Even if you have an evening appointment, make time to have dinner with someone you care about.
15. End your day by 7:00 p.m. at least 3 days per week
This means no phone calls, texts or other work of any kind. This is your time to recharge with a relaxing meal and activities that make you feel good.
16. Schedule at least 1 weekend day off from your business at least twice monthly
This is your day to enjoy playing a round of golf, go to the spa, or have fun with family and loved ones. It’s not for doing errands or activities that drain you rather than replenishing your energy.
17. Keep your work and relaxation areas separate
When you work, concentrate on work. When you leave the office, “close the door” on your work activities. Never take calls or do any type of work-related activities in your bedroom. This is the area in which you rest and unwind.
Conversely, keep your office and desk area clear of personal distractions. If you want to play a computer game or spend time on a personal phone call, go to a different room or location.
18. Keep a ‘great life’ journal
Each day, no matter how difficult the day was, write down at least three things that were perfect in their own way. Whether it’s a huge win or something as simple as listening to a bird’s song or watching a butterfly flitting through the air, noticing the simple, beautiful things in life can make a huge contribution to having a great life.
19. Create a happiness mindset by strengthening your neural pathways
Research into how the brain works has shown that repetition strengthens neural pathways. On the other hand, the corollary that, “If you don’t use it, you lose it” is also true.
Consequently, when you’re feeling unhappy, you can stop your “unhappiness circuit,” by identifying five things that make you happy. It can be simple things such as “I slept well last night,” “The sun is shining” or “Lunch was so good today.”
Maximizing business performance
20. Practice active listening
When clients talk, listen intently. Understand their needs, concerns and aspirations. This not only helps you to close more deals, but it also fosters long-term relationships and future referrals.
21. You know what to do. What’s keeping you from doing it?
Coaching is about removing the blocks that keep you from achieving success and building on what you do best. It’s not about trying to force yourself to do something that you hate doing. Focus on your strengths and delegate or dump tasks that you do poorly.
As Joeann Fossland says, “No one ever got to the top by developing their weaknesses.”
22. Create more time during the day by dumping non-essential activities
Whether it’s office gossip, a friend who keeps you on the phone too long, or someone who wastes your time and energy, the best strategy to get rid of them and create more time in your schedule is to say, “I have another appointment” (even if it’s with yourself).
23. Deal with problems immediately, no matter how uncomfortable it is
If there’s a difficult problem that you’re having trouble resolving, write down all the potential solutions, select the best approach, implement it and then let it go. Needlessly rehashing the problem only reduces the joy and happiness from other areas in your life.
24. Offer value beyond the sale
Provide clients with insights on home maintenance, local market trends or investment opportunities. This can set you apart from the competition and make clients more likely to refer you to others. It also helps you to create customers for life as well as generate referrals for many years to come.
If this list seems overwhelming, eliminating tolerations is an excellent place to begin. After that, it makes no difference where you begin, since this is a process rather than a race.
As Lao Tzu said, “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” Why don’t you begin by taking that first step today?
Bernice Ross, president and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateC