By Denise Lones M.I.R.M., CSP
You’re experienced. You’re good at what you do. You know real estate. You’re an expert.
But you’re starving for business. You know that there’s more out there for you, but it’s elusive and you can’t seem to grab hold of it.
What is wrong?
You’re probably making the same mistakes other experienced agents make. Just because you’ve been in the business for a while doesn’t mean you’re immune to mistakes. Put your ego aside for a second and let’s talk about some of them.
Here are five huge (but very common) mistakes that experienced agents make day-in and day-out:
1. Inconsistent Follow-Up.
Agents always ask me, “Denise, why is real estate such a feast-or-famine business?”
They’re always surprised by my answer: Real estate is NOT a feast-or-famine business. In fact, it’s a very consistent, if not the MOST consistent, business on Earth. There always has been, and there always will be a need for housing.
The reason it seems to be feast-or-famine is that when agents are out working with buyers and sellers, they feel busy. When they’re not out there, they don’t. This creates a roller coaster rhythm that creates this false feast-or-famine mindset.
This is the wrong way to look at the “busy-ness” of your business. The real core of your business is your automated follow-up program. If you’ve done all your automated follow-up tasks today, then you’ve been busy today-regardless of how many buyers and sellers you’ve physically been with.
We all know that in real estate, there are days when your phone rings off the hook and other days where it doesn’t ring at all. This is unimportant. I repeat-this is unimportant! What IS important is that you take steps EVERY DAY to create and maintain your automated follow-up systems.
When you have a system in place, you master the art of consistency. Consistency is everything in real estate.
This is an easy trap for experienced agents to fall into. Experienced agents fall into patterns of doing the same things over and over again. When I ask about it, the response is usually, “Well, that’s the way I’ve always done it.”
This phrase is the way of mediocrity. If you want to stay at the same level and never reach the next one, then that’s the attitude that will keep you stuck there.
But there’s always another level. And it’s easier to get there than you would think. All it takes is looking at what you do now, cutting out what doesn’t work, and adding what does work.
The best way to avoid complacency is to have goals. Most agents are not goal-driven. They have been conditioned to never “Think big”. Rather, they have the undefined goal of “being successful”. Well, what does that mean? What is “successful”? Proper goals should have an exact dollar amount, a deadline, and an action plan.
3. Solo Syndrome.
This is the disease experienced agents suffer from when they believe that they are better off doing everything on their own. Printing their own materials. Doing their own transaction management. Creating their own marketing materials. Buying and selling their own office equipment.
This is a dangerous mindset. The more an agent tries to do, the less effective he or she can be. The more an agent can delegate to others, the more effective he or she is.
I’m convinced that most of the agents who suffer from “Solo Syndrome” were the kids who would never share their marbles with you on the playground. This is an ego-driven problem that creates workaholics who become slaves to their business-instead of having their business work for them.
A better way is to hire the right people, delegate your tasks, and outsource almost everything. When you do this in conjunction with follow-up systems, you truly find success without sacrificing your life.
4. Lack of education.
Experienced agents are so “busy” playing in their disorganized businesses that they do not carve out enough time for education. A huge percentage of the real estate community only thinks of clock-hour classes when it’s time for license renewal or when they want a designation next to their name. Very few agents actually seek out education to better their careers and get to the next level.
We all know that work piles up, but we can never let it get in the way of growing our knowledge. Knowledge will set us free from all the piled up work. Knowledge teaches us new ways to streamline and simplify our work.
Agents that truly “get it” take classes to find out how to improve their businesses, increase their income, and simplify their lives. Most agents don’t realize how much one class per quarter would increase their business. Even such a small investment can make a huge difference.
5. Lack of marketing.
If there is one industry that is notorious for putting out poor-quality marketing, it’s real estate. It’s understandable because most agents haven’t created Madison Avenue marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies.
But marketing is essential. You must get “outside the box” when it comes to your marketing. It needs to be exceptional. If it’s not, you’re going to get lost in the shuffle. It’s a plain fact of life in the business world.
And unfortunately, exceptional marketing costs money. That’s a fact. Sorry to burst your bubble. To do things right, you’re going to have to substantially invest in your marketing up front.
Some agents tell me, “Denise, I get all my business from referrals.” To those agents I say that referrals are great, but they can only go so far. If we’re not growing a steady stream of new clients, we will all go out of business. The only way to find this steady stream is effective marketing.
Experienced agents face different challenges from new agents. Take these five mistakes to heart and use their solutions to move your business to the next level.
Any questions? Need clarification? Got something that’s burning a hole through your brain? Let me know. I love questions. Just drop me an email at [email protected]. I’m here for you.