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Friday, January 7, 2011

How to Ensure Your Success
by Dirk Zeller - Thu, Jan 6, 2011
There are as many models, trainers, and philosophies of how to be successful in real estate as there are people. Each one of these people, including myself, has strong beliefs on the path one must take to be successful. The truth is there isn't just one pathway to achieving success in real estate sales. There are a number of ways to prosper in the business. That is one of the exciting aspects of real estate sales. If anyone (Agent, Trainer, Manager, or Sales guru) tells you his or her way is the only way, run the other direction.
The real question is what will be your way? There is a right model or right pathway for you based on your experience, database size, market, commitment level, behavioral style, sales skills, and competitive nature. The way to ensure your success is to evaluate your unique factors I just listed and build your business in a complementary way.
For example, for the last ten years, we have been the leader in behavior assessments in the real estate industry. Through working with thousands of Agents and benchmarking their behavioral style, we have discovered patterns in how the different behavior styles can build a business that is effective and comfortable for them.
Not everyone should call FSBOs and expireds as some Trainers profess. In fact, there are a few behavioral styles that the success rate in prospecting to those sources is so dismal that it would be counter-productive. There are other behavioral styles that are so competitive and focused that they struggle to create referral-based relationships even when they go to numerous seminars to learn referral techniques. Some Agents sell more effectively by using facts and figures, while others use emotional connection and emotional techniques.
Being able to build your business around your natural gifts and natural skills that were given to you at birth and that you have spent years perfecting is the mark of a Champion. I once had a client who was frustrated because he didn't generate as many referral leads as his friend whom I also coached. Both of Agents were Champion Agents in their market. It really gnawed at my client, Eddie, that he couldn't generate as many referrals as Fred. When he finally shared that with me, I told him he needed to get over it because he would never get as many referrals as Fred. After he calmed down, I explained that his intensity and focus, based on his behavioral style, was not as relational and people oriented as Fred's. The outcome would be fewer referrals no matter what he did.
Because of his high desire for competition and intensity, I convinced him to try working expireds. Within weeks, he was taking at least six listings a month from working expireds. He started loving his business and was less frustrated. We then put a new Assistant on his team to love on his past clients and sphere and keep in frequent personal contact and ask for referrals. She had the same behavioral style as Fred, and the number of referrals increased by 25% in less than 60 days.
The way to ensure your success is to find your system, strategy, tactics, and lead generation and conversion sources. Too many Agents are looking for an off the rack solution in a tailor fit world. We need to be willing to pause, to evaluate, research, and design the right long-term solution. Anyone can do what he or she finds incongruent with their behavioral style for a short period of time, especially if they are broke. The problem is that it's not sustainable. When we have made enough money or feel comfortable, we stop doing activities we don't want to.
The search for your system and the perfection of that will ensure your success. It still means you need to attend seminars and training, listen to CDs, read books, and participate in coaching. If you work with a coaching company that is focused on helping you uncover your system, rather than forcing you into theirs, you have a higher probability of long-term success once coaching is completed. There is not one system or way to be successful in the real estate sales business.
The second step to ensure your success happens once you have made the best decision on how you are going to generate leads. For example: past clients; sphere of influence; strategic alliances with other professionals like Accountants, Financial Planners, Family Law Attorneys; community involvement; FSBOs; Expireds; REO properties. There are unlimited sources to choose from. Once you have finalized, stick with your decision. A Champion Agent tests the new strategies for a long enough period of time to modify the strategy a few times and test and monitor all of the results. A huge error I see most Agents make is the error of impatience. They change strategies and tactics so quickly that they never get past the steepest part of the learning curve. They are moving from one ice mountain to the next, trying to find the secret path to the top. It isn't there; you have to climb to the top.
Most Agents try a farm for three to four months, don't get any business, and scrap the farm. They will try a new newsletter to their past clients and sphere for three to four months and decide that doesn't work. They will call FSBOs or expireds for a few weeks, not achieve the result level they want, and stop that practice. In order for you to know if something new you are trying works, you have to try it for at least six months. It takes that long to gauge the return on investment. It takes that long to tweak and perfect it. You won't get all the facts to make an informed decision if the strategy works or not before a six month period of time.

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