By Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing, ProspectsPLUS!
Way back in the day, when I started my journey into real estate, there was a speaking sensation sweeping North America with a passion, purpose and a can-do message of perseverance. That sensation was Danielle Kennedy and from everything I’ve seen, she hasn’t slowed down one bit. Hot off the release of her new book WorkingMoms.calm, I caught up with this real estate super hero to learn a little about what she had to share about creating life balance, tackling action plans and what the right to-do list can do for you! So, hold on to your hats, and join me for a little Kennedy magic!
Q: Hey Danielle, great to talk to you again, it’s been a long time! When I first heard you speak, you were a single mom making big waves in this business while juggling the pressures of family vs. career. Tell us your thoughts on creating a good life balance.
A: I believe life balance is about perspective. You have to always remind yourself of the big picture. What may seem like a catastrophe right now, in the greater scheme of things is usually pretty minor. Losing a buyer or a low appraisal may seem big at the moment but compared to what? Losing your health, your ability to be active and alive, or the loss of a loved one? Those are big. Keep things in perspective. Having lived on this planet for awhile certainly helps as well. You soon learn: “This too shall pass.” That is a good mantra for a bad day, upsetting news or what seemingly appears to be a temporary setback.
Q: Words to live by! I remember reading and re-reading Og Mandino’s book, The Greatest Salesman in the World, and repeating that scroll a time or two in my life as well! Tell me, what would you say to agents grappling with making a living in this business in today’s economy?
A: Well, I joined the real estate industry in a tough market, which was truly a blessing in disguise. I learned quickly that there was no free lunch. You HAD to get out of the office and prospect. I am a believer in the niche marketing. In my newest edition of How To List and Sell Real Estate, I lay out a viable action plan.
I recommend you work eight niches and additional ones that may appear during certain market conditions–such as working with lenders on REO properties and short sales. And I believe you should work those niches EVERYDAY. No matter how slow or busy the market is. I give that same advice to new and experienced agents. When we look at those who’ve left the industry through this market, I think many probably never learned the discipline of niche marketing. They might have gotten in during easier markets and EXPECTED business to fall in their laps. You have to self-generate business in real estate. Not easy to begin with but once you begin and it starts to take hold, it’s amazing how you can flourish.
Q: Great advice, Danielle. You and I share the same passion for niche marketing. Explore that a little more for our readers, please!
A: As I said, I believe in working eight niches:
- Past customers
- Open houses
- FSBOs and expireds
- Social networking
- Local business network
- Past life acquaintances
I just listed them in order of payback. For example if you are coming out of a slump or want to take your business to the next level, you need to devote 3-4 hours per day on niches 1-4: past customers, open houses, FSBOs and social networking. Your return on those niches happens faster than the bottom four, but don’t neglect the bottom four! Once you have generated more business in your pipeline from the top four, start on those. You’ll find there’s a big difference between action and activity. ACTION leads to transactions for example: business development, prospecting. ACTIVITIES leads to time wasted, for example: gossiping, long lunches, obsessively checking emails etc.