Sunday, August 20, 2017

UncertaintySix Secrets to Keeping Your Balance, Your Business and Your Humor
 
By Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing, ProspectsPLUS!
 
If you’re like many agents, today’s market has you feeling like a contestant on Survivor, Real Estate! Unfamiliar challenges, uncommon objections and nagging uncertainty can throw you–and your productivity–right off balance.   
 
What you might not realize, however, is that uncertainty can be a good thing. It can force us out of our comfort zones and propel us to get creative, be resourceful and–most important–take action. If you’re ready to loosen the grip of uncertainty on your career, then I invite you to adopt the following six success strategies:    
 
1. Maintain a positive attitude. Attitude is everything. Well, almost everything. A recent Harvard Business School study reported the four key elements for success in life: experience, knowledge, intelligence and attitude.

Think for a moment how you would answer that survey if polled. How would you rate each of those factors in order of importance? Harvard found that experience, knowledge and intelligence comprise only 7% of the elements for success. Leaving attitude to represent a whopping 93%! Imagine that! The most critical facet is the one we have the MOST control over. So take control. Rid yourself of the negative and empower yourself with the positive, and you’ll be well on your way to keeping uncertainty at bay. 
 
2. Over-prepare. What happens when you know for a fact that you are ready for anything? When you’ve done your homework, practiced, drilled, rehearsed, dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” on your to-do list? Over-preparing for your next listing presentation, price reduction, face-to-face meeting or negotiation gives you the confidence and certainty you need to win. Our company president, Jim Morton, always teaches the importance of going the extra mile to be prepared–so prepared that even if someone were to wake you in the middle of the night from a sound sleep to ask if you would be willing to cut your commission, your words and mannerisms would flow naturally and effortlessly–and, of course, your commission would be intact! 
 
3. Know your numbers. There’s never been a more important time to be up to date on statistics. Successful agents–especially in today’s market–are masters of information. They bring to the appointment table all of the ammunition they need to make their point, prove a position, price effectively and help the consumer understand better than anyone else the reality of the local market. Use visuals such as graphs and statistics to chart market changes over the past month, year, two years and more. What does all of this homework afford you over your competitors? Confidence and credentials–two extraordinary essentials for surety and success.
 
4. Stick to a schedule. Without one, it’s too easy to get off track and find yourself in a rut–and nothing can fuel uncertainty quite like a good old-fashioned rut! Put yourself on a clear, concise, tight schedule that includes the all-important must-do prospecting time each day. A precise and practical approach to working ON your business (not just IN your business) will not only make you more productive, but it also will eliminate a great deal of stress. Prioritize your to-do list, being sure to keep “money” activities such as prospecting, presenting and closing on top.
 
5. Master your ABCs. I am reminded of an article by Floyd Wickman that features this idea: In today’s market, you must Always Be Closing. In a market that’s constantly changing, shifting and adjusting, you must help your customers make the decisions that are right for them rather than play the procrastination game. To close is to ask. Ask to list. Ask to accept. Ask to reduce. Ask to buy. Sound simple? It is. Yet most agents today are not asking–which means they’re not closing. Go ahead and ASK!
 
6. Do more. Times have changed. The economy is shifting. These factors are far beyond our control and represent the change we are feeling today. It’s OK, though; it’s the nature of the beast. Nothing lasts–not the good or the bad–but how we react to change certainly plays a large role in whether we barely survive, continue to thrive or find ourselves looking for “a real job.” The not-so-secret secret here is to do more. Be better. Get stronger at your skill sets. Master your dialogues. Do your homework. Start earlier and stay later when you have to. Readjust your calendars. Create more value for your customers. Consistently stay in touch with your sphere of influence.  Commit to learning, fine-tuning and crafting your presentations and your presence. Challenge yourself to step outside of “what you’ve always done,” and seek to go further than you’ve ever gone. 
 
I found an interesting quote by Ilya Prigogine this week: “The future is uncertain, but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity.”   What a great reminder for us to ignite our ingenuity. Tony Robbins tells us that resources don’t control and shape what we do and how well we succeed, resourcefulness does. In other words, it’s not your broker, not your colleagues, not the market and certainly not the new stationery that determines your success or failure. It’s that deep-down emotion that allows you to really want something that powers your resourcefulness to make it happen. 
 
Finally, keep your sense of humor. If you implement the strategies above, you are bound to feel some change, some growing pains and, uh-oh, some uncertainty. Roll with it. Laugh out loud with your friends and your family.  Let your hair down, and gift yourself with the medicinal power of laughter.  Whether you are a “Jack” or a “Jill,” all work and no play makes for a dull life and a sure case of burnout. 
 
I hope you’ve picked up a secret or two that will help you thrive in this market. And by the way, they aren’t REALLY secrets–they’re just reminders–so feel free to NOT keep them to yourself. Share them with the people you care about, the new guy or girl who’s just starting out, that old-timer in the corner who can’t seem to get out of a rut and anyone else who could use a little “shot in the arm.” One of the best ways to create abundance in your life financially, emotionally, spiritually and in your career is to share the wealth. It will boomerang back to you in extraordinary ways. 

For even more ideas on how to thrive in this and ANY market, contact Julie Escobar today at 866.405.3641.

“I used the April Newsletter as a ‘Spring Into Spring’ tool to spark some interest. I sent the newsletter in PDF format via email to my sphere of influence. I received several positive replies about how nice the newsletter was, and 2 people replied to tell me ‘We were just thinking about starting to look.’ We now have appointments scheduled to start looking for homes!

“I think this form of marketing is wonderful for those who are tech savvy and communicate through email. I have also printed these out and used them as part of my handouts at my open houses.”

scaredI know it’s a changing market, and there’s much to worry over, struggle with and think about. But truly, who needs TV’s Fear Factor when you can get a real fright just listening to a few of the agents in the office! Spooky tales of declining markets, terrorizing sellers, freaky FSBOs and the real estate version of Chicken Little’s “The sky is falling!” are almost enough to make you want to hide under the covers until it’s all over!

Choose instead by shaking it off, my friends. Develop a wicked sense of humor, and know that it doesn’t take the supernatural or super sleuthing skills to be a Market Whisperer! What it does take is a passion to succeed, a commitment to consistency, an eye on the trends and the ability to tune out the depressing drone.

Step away from what they say. Have you ever noticed that the ones most caught up in the drama and doom were never really all that productive or successful, even when the market was booming?

The truth is that in any market, there will be homes sold and homes bought and clients who need your expertise and–quite frankly–could use an optimistic self-motivator over the profoundly pessimistic. After all, who would you rather talk to?

Look to those who refuse to get caught up in the chaos and continue to track real results month after month, market after market as your mentors or examples. How do they stay on track regardless of trends? They sustain the right mindset, continuously develop new skill sets and maintain their momentum.

What GOOD happened today? Take some time each day to chronicle your business–and your day. Some of the world’s top motivators recommend keeping a journal as a way of staying on track and maintaining perspective. Don’t be the one to lay your head down at night filled with regret, doubt or fear. Whatever life hands you–good, bad or indifferent–there are lessons to be learned.

Gratitude is an incredible gift we put forth in this world. It blesses those we are grateful for and fills us with warmth. Did you close a deal, list a home, talk to a friend, tell someone you loved them, hug a child, realize a goal, make someone laugh or have an incredible meal today? Look at each day for the good it brings. Count your blessings, large and small, and write them down as a reminder of how full life can be. It will enrich your life more than you can imagine.

Commit for the duration. Don’t be afraid to commit for the long haul. Your ability to see past today’s trouble and recognize tomorrow’s opportunities will give you the traction to be a fierce competitor and provide much-needed peace of mind when the going gets tough.

Consistently staying in touch with your BusinessBASETM or book of business is not a suggestion; rather, it is a must-do for agents who want staying power throughout their careers. Clients are as inundated with market trends as we are, and they need to know that you are there with the answers.

Adopt the “what have you done for them lately” mindset, and make sure that you touch everyone on your VIP list at least monthly. Send them something, call them, see them in person. Mix it up, and make sure they know that you are not a fair-weather agent, but someone who takes your career and your commitment to clients seriously enough to weather whatever comes your way.

Need ideas on what to say and when? Tap into your BusinessBASETM, filled with reasons to call and ways to stay in contact–found in the Lead Masters section of your ProspectsPLUS! software. Or you can download your FREE copy today by visiting www.prospectsplus.com and clicking on BusinessBASETM.

Scare up some new business. First, take the time to reach out to your customers. Segment your database to those who are most likely to need you or refer a friend in the next six months. Look to people who have been in their homes for at least six years, are tops on your list of referring clients or who you know have special circumstances.

Open your conversations by letting them know that you are available to answer any questions they have about today’s changing market. What can you help them with? What do they find most challenging? Let them know that you are there if they need you and are happy to assist their friends and family with questions or concerns, as well. Remember, people don’t care what you know until they know that you care, so show them that you are there for them–always.

Find a new audience. The key to expanding your business is to expand your base. Keep what you have, but add a new avenue. What demographic really interests you? What new segment would you like to tap into? For some it’s new home owners, for others it’s investors, and still others like the feeling of helping hometown heroes such as teachers, firefighters, police and military.

There is a tremendous feeling associated with really loving what you do. Find the people you most love to work with, embrace that challenge, be the best at helping them, and your career will be exciting, challenging and rewarding on more levels than you could possibly count.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Go ahead! Exercise new techniques and reach out to new segments. This market is only scary to agents who are unwilling to take personal responsibility for their success or failure. Those who are accustomed to seeing what is wrong can’t possibly search out what is right. That is not you.

Picture Glinda from the classic Wizard of Oz, asking in that oh-so-high pitch, “Are you a good agent or a bad agent?” Being the BEST agent in your marketplace reminds your clients–beyond a shadow of a doubt–that there is no place like home.

Above all, keep your sense of humor. Each day is an opportunity to share who you are and what you do, and it never hurts to laugh along the way. It’s easy to fall into the drama, but know that happy is the life that is filled with humor. It is a tremendous equalizer known to put people at ease, release tension and forge friendships. In the words of Will Rogers, “We are all here for a spell; get all the good laughs you can.” Don’t buy into the scary; expect the extraordinary instead.

Whether you are part of the Fear Factor crowd or are enjoying the warming weather, keep your wits about you, the time is now to conjure up a few customers. The only thing scarier than a tough market is not having the ability to reach out to the people who matter most to us. Know that we believe in you. You are remarkable, resilient and ready to realize all of your dreams. And we are here to help you every step of the way!

Download our FREE BusinessBASETM system and learn more creative ways to boost production while saving time and money at http://www.prospectsplus.com/.

Your Attention PleaseEvery month, we at ProspectsPLUS! sponsor a book revivew for our clients through our Master Marketing Newsletter. 

This month’s book?  Your Attention, Please: How to Make the Most of Your Mistakes
by Paul B. Brown and Alison Davis

Your Attention,Please is the new strategy guide for communicating to the reluctant consumer.  It shows you who the new audience is, how to reach them, and how you must communicate differently–or risk losing mind share and market share. You’ll find this easy-to-read resource chock full of the facts you need to succeed!

Our book club has reviewed some of the best books in the business for growing, competing and realizing your personal best. 

Please feel free to discover all the books we have spotlighted to date by clicking here:

READ YOUR MIND:  WHAT’S IN YOUR LIBRARY? 

“Help me help my agents.” Training experts across the nation are scrambling to answer this challenging plea as our markets continue to shift and normalize.

Savvy management professionals understand that in ANY market, the strongest teams are built when leaders passionately seek the best available resources, solutions and skill builders-then deliver the goods to their associates each month, each week or, when necessary, each day. 

How do you help your agents adjust to challenges, turn obstacles into opportunities and excel in their careers? Consider these four strategies:

1.    Believe. Norman Vincent Peale taught us that “belief is the most powerful of all problem dissolvers.” Now more than ever, you have to believe in your agents-oftentimes more than they believe in themselves.

As expressed by Steven Covey in The 8th Habit, “Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.” Shine the light on what is possible, then project the belief systems, path to success and foundation for staying the course. Help your agents develop and sharpen their lead-generation and negotiating skills in an environment that assures them both collectively and as individuals that they can do more than survive-they can excel.

2.    Shock the system. Many agents demonstrate avoidance behavior when markets tighten. They start coming into the office later, leaving earlier or immersing themselves in the busywork of “getting organized.” Breaking the habits of complacency, apathy, fear and/or monotony sometimes requires unorthodox or “outside the box” methods of shocking the system.

There’s no time like the present to shake things up a bit and get non-producers out of their comfort zones and into production mode. For example, approach your agents and say something like, “For the next week, we are going to meet in the office at 7:00 a.m. every day. We’re going to role play for two hours, then block out some group prospecting time. We’ll have coffee and bagels and every tool you’ll need to effectively handle the phones.”

Sure, it will be uncomfortable at first; however, that’s how we grow-both as sales professionals and as people. Somewhere between the coffee, the phone calls and the shock, your agents will emerge ready for a challenge and on the path to greatness. As John D. Rockefeller said, “Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.”

3.    Specialize. Whether you have a team of 10, 20, 50 or 100, challenge everyone to specialize in one area for a week. Or start a contest that tracks appointments, listings, sales, buyer referrals and listing referrals for one segment such as FSBOs, expireds, geographic farm areas or first-time homebuyers.

If your entire office was on the same page for just one week-prospecting together, sharing ideas, collecting data and competing for prizes-three incredible things would happen: First, your agents would acquire new skills and overcome fears. Second, statistics and other valuable information gleaned from the experience would allow your agents to present themselves and your organization as “specialists” when they face the same types of prospects in the future. And third, your entire office would enjoy a renewed (and very energizing) sense of pride and teamwork.

4.    Take massive action. Action overcomes fear and uncertainty. Jump into the ring, set the standards, shine the light on what can be and then-together with your agents-act, act and act again. You can think, strategize, plan and believe all day long, but until you act and lead your team to act, your entire organization will lack the forward momentum necessary to achieve and sustain excellence.So lead the way for your agents, and heed the words of E.M. Kelly: “The difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says, ‘Go!’ – a leader says, ‘Let’s go!'” Focus your agents on the fundamentals of our industry, and challenge them to:

•  consistently stay in touch with their sphere of influence

•  make Just Listed/Just Sold marketing an “every time” action item

•  develop a niche market or neighborhood they can “own”

•  practice what Anthony Robbins calls “CANI-Constant and Never-ending Improvement-by    attending and absorbing any and all training and skill-building opportunities

You will be helping them do far more than simply weather our current market; you will be helping them build strong, saleable books of business that will sustain them throughout their careers.

Take these four strategies to heart-and put them into action-and you will play an invaluable role in helping your agents become their personal best. Lead by example, and remain open-minded in your approach to inspiring, training, recruiting and retaining. You might be surprised at how many managers close the door on new solutions, tools and strategies simply because they assume that they won’t work, are afraid to admit that they don’t know or lack the experience to view their role as anything more than “gatekeeper.” 

Believe in your agents. Challenge them, and help them develop the skills that eliminate fear and encourage exponential growth. Then ask them to listen to the voice of Og Mandino in his powerful book, The Greatest Salesman in the World: “I will act now. I will act now. I will act now! This is the time. This is the place. I am the person.” 

ProspectsPLUS! develops the systems, tools and training managers and leaders rely on to create momentum, inspire greatness and promote achievement in their organizations. Visit www.mastermarketingmeeting.com for more ideas on how we can help you help your agents. If you would like to explore the in-office or webinar workshops we offer on a wide variety of topics, call Julie toll free at 866.405.3641, or send her an email at Julie.Escobar@prospectsplus.com.