If you didn’t read Creating A Business Plan (Part One), please do so before reading this blog so you’ll better understand how to build your business plan. As I told you last week, if you follow these instructions, you will be able to complete your own personal business plan. Since you must know where you are currently before you can create a plan for where you want to be in a specified time in the future, there are a few areas you need to evaluate your current performance. I suggest you take some paper and write down numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 or you might want to use 1-10. In each of the areas we discuss, grade yourself 1 or 2 if you’re very poor, and 5 or 10 if you’re extremely proficient in that particular area. Most of us will need some or maybe much improvement so you’ll grade yourself somewhere in the middle.
First let’s look at how you contribute to team spirit with other agents in your office. We all have different personalities. Some people are very laid-back and quiet while others are very out-going and loud. Some are leaders and some are followers. Some are very likeable while others seem to portray less desirable or even hatred characteristics. Some people are very easy to talk to and some leave the impression they don’t care if you ever speak to them. Just as important, there are those that will share their knowledge with anyone that asks, while some people won’t give you the time of day. None of us invented the way to become multi-millionaires. We are following productive techniques that we learned from someone else. Grade yourself on the quality of team player you see yourself.
There are basically only two types of attitudes that I know of. One is a negative attitude and the other is a positive attitude. Look at any office with three or more people working there and you’ll probably see examples of both. Only an individual can change their attitude! People might be able to do things that depresses us, or causes us to have negative thoughts but it’s up to us to control our own attitude. In almost every situation, behind negativity lies opportunity. We must seek out those opportunities and act upon them by possessing a positive attitude. If there were 10 agents working in one office, one would have more business than they can handle while several others can only find things to grumble about. It seems that we are taught from birth to be negative. The weather man will predict 30% chances for rain rather than predict 70% chances that it won’t. When was the last time you watched the evening news and it was filled with positive things happening around the area in which we live? No, it’s filled with killings, robberies, and negative information. Grade yourself on the type attitude you have.
Personally promoting your business is one of the most productive and most proficient marketing tools we have. Something as simple as wearing a name badge that cost less than $10 can yield thousands in commissions. There are people everywhere we go. When was the last time you went to the grocery store, or any public business that you didn’t see other people. Did you take the time to introduce yourself to them, and find out if they were interested in buying or selling real estate? I have a statement that tell all agents in every class I teach; “If you don’t have a name badge on, you’re not in business.” It cost you nothing to wear one, but it tells everyone that you are proud of you company and you are proud to be in real estate. I personally sold two properties within a four months period that came from people seeing my name badge and expressed an interest in buying a new house. Grade yourself on your personal performance for promoting your business; not by mail or the internet, but personally.
Listing properties for sale is the backbone of the real estate business. Listings bring in prospective buyers. Listings get your name out to the public. Listings, when sold, produce income. The way one markets a property produces multiple incomes through referrals. So many agents collect the commission they earned and never contact that seller again. Listing a property for sale provides the perfect opportunity to establish a fruitful relationship with the seller and all their friends and neighbors that will produce referral incomes for many years in the future. Of course you have to ask for referrals before anyone will give them to you. Notice I said, “give;” yes referrals are a gift. Yet after the sale closes we concentrate on finding new business and let all the former opportunities vanish. Grade yourself on how well you take advantage of referral opportunities.
Most real estate agencies have a monthly sales meeting to inform their agents about the level of production in listings and sales for the past month. They inform the agents about new laws, rules and regulations that affect the business in general. Granted some sales meetings are boring but there is always a tidbit of information that is helpful and useful to increasing our productivity. As a general rule, 35-50% of the agents will attend while the rest think they are too busy, or they don’t need the information that will be shared. For whatever reason they don’t attend. Their absence affects the unity and team spirit of the entire agency. I can accept missing one a year but not attending the other 11 is negligence your part. Grade yourself on your attendance habit.
Participating in a company caravan of newly listed homes for sale is a perfect opportunity to improve your knowledge for establishing market values. More times than not, when participating in company caravans, an agent will see a property that triggers their mind about a prospective buyer. That wouldn’t have happened had they not gone on the caravan. If your company doesn’t have caravans following the monthly sales meeting, it is a good way for you to improve your leadership qualities by starting a caravan yourself. Caravans are beneficial to sellers, buyers, agents, and they loudly for the quality of sincerity of the agency. Grade yourself on this educational technique.
Next week, in part three, we will grade ourselves on our initial conversation with prospective buyers and sellers. Until then, I wish you a very successful and productive week.
Should you have specific questions concerning various issues, please let me know and I’ll research the answer for you. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to our “News & Updates” weekly report so you can stay abreast of issues that might affect you when buying or selling real estate. If you haven’t visited my website, please go to www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and view previous articles.