I love this time of year… a time of reflection and redirection. A time where everyone is just a little bit kinder, gentler and more giving. As we enter the last 2 weeks of the year, I trust your kindness will be known to all. That others will pay it forward to you and you will pay it forward to others.
Speaking with so many of you, your business plans are ready… you are reflecting on what worked, what didn’t and the adjustments you will make in the New Year. Here is what I know from working with agents, teams, and brokerage business plans over the last 7 years. 6 mistakes you can avoid, 6 things you should double check on your 2019 plan:
One – Most of us are not thinking BIG enough, if your plan is too comfortable it’s probably too small. Everyone reading this – and has the desire – can DOUBLE their business in 2019.
Two – Not being very clear on where the business is coming from today – and how you will continue or expand that – AND the few TESTS you will do each 90 days to create new sources of business in the new year.
Three – Doing more of the same thing and expecting a different result.
Four – Not breaking down the details to a DAILY ACTION
Five – Not having the leading and lagging indicators UP and VISUAL
Six – Not being clear on the benefits – the why – and what happens when you do or don’t achieve the outcome.
Creating a 90-Day Hustle
The point of a 90-day hustle is that it stops you from focusing on all your goals for the year. Instead, the 90-day hustle allows you to take your goals for the year and then break them down into 90-day stretches, 30-day stretches, 2-week sprints and finally DAILY ACTIVITIES.
STEP 1: Review your goals
Research shows your goals should be no more than 3 (major ones) for an entire 12-month period, and then you’ll break down those goals into all the steps needed to achieve them… those become part of your 90-day stretches.
Take your business plan, look at what your main goals are for the next 12 months and then think about how you’re going to break them down into smaller chunks, so achieving them is just a little easier.
This would be a good time to review the difference between outcome, performance, and process goals.
STEP 2: Review your business plan
Make sure your plan is consistent with your goals and avoids the 6 biggest mistakes outlined earlier.
If you need help coming up with a more concrete plan or aren’t really too sure what you want to focus on, then I’d recommend using this workbook by Amber McCue. It costs a few bucks yet well worth it… it’s called “Fresh Start” and many people call it a secret weapon for planning out the year.
STEP 3: Put it all together into a 90-day hustle!
Once you’ve reviewed your goals and your strategic plan, think about the first three months of 2019 and what you want to focus on to achieve your 2-3 main overarching goals.
Pick 1-3 steps to focus on for the next 90 days. Don’t try to do it all. Less is MORE.
In fact, research shows you shouldn’t be doing any more than 3 main things over the next 90 days. Less is more and proven.
Break these down further into daily, 2 week and 30-day stretches. You should end up with 30 day, 60 day and then 90 day’s worth of goals. Consider using an APP like PRODUCTIVITY to get accountability on daily actions.
Include all the nitty-gritty details in your 90-day hustle. Work backward… start with your overall goal for the next 90 days and then break this down into all the steps you need to take to achieve it. Don’t forget to schedule in your downtime, family time and charity obligations. Then SCHEDULE IT. You can then create all your to-do tasks as well and add them to your Google Calendar.
So there you have it, 6 checkpoints to validate your business plan and a format for a 90 day hustle.
I’m often asked, Mark what should I add to my business? Consider this: always be testing… pick 1 promising idea (grove it) and then considering adding another promising idea every 90 days.
Have you considered testing:
• A consistent process to re-working previous leads from ALL sources?
• More Personalization in everything you do? (We are in a relationship business, yes?!)
• More use of VIDEO? (Community and local business highlights)
• Leveraging BUYSIDE or Home Value models?
• Building your out of market referral network?
• Driving curious neighbors to open houses?
• On-line lead generation you control – FB, LinkedIn, Insta?
• Is this the year to wear a name badge or other branded swag?
• Leveraging or building your consumer REVIEWS?
• Becoming the HUB of all things in your area?
So, what is YOUR 90-day hustle going to look like?
I spent some time this week in our Austin, Texas market where one of our REALTOR® team leaders is also a “coxswain” and a rowing coach. He was telling me a story about a new rower, who was placed on a boat with 8 others… he noticed she appeared to be working very hard and sweating profusely, yet her technique was so off it wasn’t helping the team.
Can you relate to a time where you’ve been working hard and not getting the result you intended?
A rowing team – and your business – needs more than just quality, skilled resources. You also need all your resources in the right seats, doing the right things.
Here’s the thing I learned about rowing: in an eight-person boat, each rower has one oar—four on port and four on starboard. If one side pulls harder that the other side, the boat turns. If one side’s oars are raised higher than the other side, the boat tips. In order to find the set and create swing, everyone must work together to balance the boat and have exact timing. Your hands must be at exactly the right height as you slide up to the catch. Every oar has to drop into the water at the exact same time. Everyone needs to pull at equal pressure. All the blades need to come out of the water and release in unison. Any deviation disrupts the boat.
So, what can we learn?
First, have a clear direction, but an easy hand on the steering
The “coxswain” job is to keep the boat on course and steer the straightest line possible. Steering too much means zig-zagging over the course and rowing far more than 2,000 meters, which adds to time. The trick is to keep the end in sight and steer to a center point far down course, not trying to keep coming back to the center every stroke. To do this, the coxswain calls out increased pressure for a few strokes on one side of the boat or the other to correct the course rather than use the rudder, which slows down the boat.
Learning: High-performance teams always keep the end in sight and know the ultimate objectives of their work. Without a clear picture of the goal, teams thrash with process and fail to achieve proper alignment in their activities. Going in the wrong direction as fast as you can doesn’t get you any closer to the finish.
Second, it’s not how hard you work, it’s how hard you work together
It turns out that pulling as hard as you can, without pulling together, actually slows the boat down. Imbalanced power will veer the boat one direction and throw off the timing of the catch and the release. Uncontrolled straining at the oar can tip your weight left or right and toss the boat side to side. A successful team pulls in perfect balance and with perfect timing.
Learning: Successful teams know that performance is a function of collaboration and coordination, not a sum of individual effort. Knowing how your contribution is affecting the final outcome and staying highly aware of what others are doing while staying in sync is critical to delivering results. Reacting quickly, deliberately and in a coordinated fashion allows teams to adapt to changes, handle new information, and stay on target.
Make it a powerful week and looking forward to hearing your success stories.
PS: Are you looking for a playbook that is guaranteed to help up your personal mastery, business mastery or marketing mastery? If so reach out to us at [email protected]
Need a one on one coach? See if coaching is right for you, schedule a complimentary consult at www.jparcoaching.net
Like many of you, I’m coming off a major Thanksgiving holiday. Full of friends, family and the food coma. A study from 2007 found that eating a meal with a high glycemic index shortened the time it took for people to fall asleep by about 50% when compared to those fed a low glycemic index meal.
But there’s likely more than one reason a Thanksgiving feast can end in sleepiness. A study from 2009 suggests that cross-talk between the gut and the brain after a meal activates the hypothalamus, which indirectly stimulates regions responsible for sleep while simultaneously suppressing regions responsible for wakefulness.
In last week’s blog, I wrote about the Mindset, Attitude, Actions, and Results circle. That’s kind of like the cross talk between your gut and the brain after a big meal, yes!? Here is what we know, the difference between mindset and attitude are clear: mindset is a way of thinking; that in turn drives your attitude which shows up in how you approach things, your language tone and posture. That in turns drives your actions and your behavior which ultimately delivers an outcome or a result.
So, IF your business is in a food coma, or you are being proactive to avoid the holiday business coma, here’s 2 steps to consider.
1. Improve your posture and increase your daily physical activity over the next 4 weeks.
2. Make sure your business plan is relevant and up to date by 12/1. And in that process ensure you:
a. Define YOUR unique value
b. Trouble shoot any issue holding you back
c. Be clear and FOCUS on a clearly defined target market
d. Get in a small group
Move your body MORE
Tony Robbins, consultant and coach to CEO’s and self-help guru believes that what the body does, the mind follows. Wake up your body and your mind is awoken.
Example: what is your posture at this moment? When was the last time you went on brisk walk? How do you carry yourself? How do you dress yourself? How does your face look at this exact moment? Change your physical state: Take a daily walk, sit up straighter, put a smile on your face, dress the part for your industry and see if that doesn’t have an immediate effect on your mindset.
If you’re interested, look into the book “Presence” where author Amy Cuddy explains the science behind all of this and even shows you a couple of power poses. Here is a link to her amazing Ted Talk.
Is Your Business Plan Relevant?
Define your value and remember it’s NOT all about you! Be TOTALLY clear about how choosing you as a real estate agent benefits your prospect. When someone asks you what you do, it can be tempting to list your awards and accomplishments. Try to be mindful about naming specific ways your services benefit sellers, buyers or investors. Benefit-focused value statements resonate with prospects in a meaningful way. For example:
I specialize in helping empty nesters find the luxury downtown condo that’s just right for them.
I am a ninja negotiator with a track record of selling homes at an average of 2 percent over list.
Want to sell fast? Then I’m your real estate agent, as my listings sell in 26 days on average, 13 days faster than the norm.
Troubleshoot any issue holding you back. Unless you are a hobbyist in real estate, you’ll need systems for:
Consistent quality – for you, your clients and your partners.
Simplifying your workload – like a checklist for a pilot before takeoff
Saving time – less time wondering what to do next and more time doing it
Highlighting and eliminating inefficiencies
Growing your business – serve more people, make more money
Do you have a clear TARGET?
When we see agents and teams struggling, too often their target market is just not specific enough. Many agents and teams may have several different types of target markets. Yet, for the purposes of marketing your business, you want to start with a laser focus on sellers and buyers. Your target market profile should be specific enough to answer basic questions like:
Where can you find sufficient numbers of them in groups?
What media do they consume? (How to reach them)
What blog sites, websites, forums do they frequent?
How engaged are they on social media and which platform?
What associations do they belong to?
The power of a small group. If your business is struggling – or you want to avoid the holiday coma – as the business owner, it can be tough to see the forest between the trees. It’s easy to get in overdrive mode putting in more hours working in the business with little or no time left to work on the business. This is where it would be wise to seek expert from like-minded individuals, a business coach or BOTH.
What action will you take to get out of OR avoid a business holiday coma?
As we head into this Thanksgiving week, many of you have probably started putting together your shopping list to prepare your favorite family recipes. Perhaps some of you have even already fought the grocery store lines while others cross their fingers that the store will be open Thanksgiving morning to get the last minute missing ingredient. While you balance the thoughts of the pending home invasion of long-lost relatives to your personal desires to increase your productivity from 0 to 20 after being inspired by Travis Robertson’s motivational lessons. Whether you’re the one who has already fought the grocery store line and has their 2019 business plan in its final review or you are secretly dreading putting pen to paper to write out next year’s goal and all the while are hoping there is enough butter to make grandma’s famous mashed potatoes, here is a “recipe” to win your new year.
Warning… this is a long one, full of nuggets. It may take a few passes to pick up the points that apply to you and your current situation. Are you interested in GROWTH or COMMITTED to growth? This is one you may want to bookmark and revisit from time to time.
As you think about it, your favorite dishes more than likely aren’t just thrown together but have been perfected over time. From heating the oven to adding the extra teaspoon of ground pepper to the final cooling time, everything is deliberate. Your real estate practice is the same way. What is your real estate business secret recipe? Perhaps you don’t have one or are just looking to perfect your own. Unlike grandma, I’m here to share my “secret,” but not so secret recipe for success!
Before you even begin to cook, you will need to pull the recipe out read it over a time or two and prepare a plan of action. What ingredients do you need to shop for, when will you start the oven in order to ensure the food is prepared just in time for Aunt Mildred to show up fashionably 30 minutes late.
Step 1: Mindset and Time Management
“What Would Happen When You Shift Your Focus?”
This first image of today’s blog comes from the work of Stephen Covey who wrote a great book about how to put first things first. My biggest learning was “understanding that increasing my personal productivity is a process, not a destination.” Where are you spending the majority of your time? Are you spinning your wheels doing a not urgent and not important task because it’s easier or maybe you just don’t have to face a dreaded phone call that is urgent but unfortunately bearing bad news? What adjustments need to be made? Take a step back today and look at what activities are capturing your attention and what you have pushed aside. Perhaps you need to reorient yourself and focus on that task or even hire someone to do it that you can manage. Or else you need to eliminate the fluff that has had your undivided attention.
The next step in the preparation is looking at your mindset. “Do You Have A Fixed Or A Growth Mindset?”
In the second image, you’ll see the Mindset, Attitude, Actions, and Results circle. As nouns, the difference between mindset and attitude are clear: mindset is a way of thinking; while attitude is how that mindset shows up in your approach, language, the position of the body or way of carrying yourself. To illustrate, remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?
The hare was so certain that he would win that he sat down and went to sleep during the race.
The tortoise just plodded on and kept going, always thinking that he had a chance of winning. When the hare woke, he started running as fast as he could, but he was just too late: the tortoise had won.
The hare had a fixed mindset. He believed that his innate ability would always mean that he would win whatever he did.
The tortoise had a growth mindset. He believed that he needed to work hard and keep going if he was to win. He was also not afraid of failure or he would never have agreed to race the hare.
Develop that growth mindset to get on the winning track. Now that you have developed your mindset, you can start heating up. Do this by warming the oven, or in real estate terms, develop yourself before you even begin to combine the ingredients or in this case, work with clients.
Step 2: Preheat the “oven” with Product Knowledge
A common trait among all top producers, they know the market. Success leaves clues, you need to know as much about your product as possible. Know the current inventory of properties offered for sale or lease. Spend time learning the different aspects of the neighborhoods and surroundings in the areas in which you have the most business. Be confident in your knowledge of the product. Know more about it than any of your competition and it becomes a differentiator. Constant challenge agents and brokers have is being different, as Seth Godin says, “Be different, or charge less.”
While the oven is preheating and you’re filling your head with market knowledge, you need to look over your entire recipe and lay out all your ingredients. Perhaps there are steps that overlap, but you want to make sure you’re ready to execute multiple steps at the right time. You need to have a mindset when you go into
Step 3: Combine your winning ingredients
- 1 cup of Passion & Strategy
- 2 Tbsp Selling Skills
- 3 tsp Marketing Skills
- 4 cups Sweat & Financial Equity
1 cup Passion & Strategy
All the product knowledge in the word won’t swerve you or your clients if you lack passion. ‘Passion’ is a word so excessively used and almost always blindingly paired with work, that if you actually ask around you may find that not everyone really gets what passion is. At the root of it all, it points to that strong emotion you have inside of you, for someone, or something. And anyone who has ever succeeded in making a name for themselves would probably state their passion as a reason for their success, but do you know yours?
When it comes to passion – a strong emotion of desire – there is a need to be brave enough to both acknowledge and embrace it. Some let their passion take over the wheel and do things that challenge the status quo, push boundaries, wreck tradition and ultimately reshape the world as we knew it. To strive for your passion is to be different from the rest.
Yet we know passion is NOT a strategy. We can name political battles, wars and other activities where both sides were passionate about their cause yet LOST. Consider implementing these strategies in your business so that you can see massive growth and maximum success this year.
The Planning Strategy: Create a business plan — and actually work it.
The Reconnection Strategy: Reconnect with your sphere of influence and stay connected.
The Social Strategy: Tighten up your social media.
2 Tbsp Selling skills… knowing what and how you say it matters
There is a subtle art to influence and persuasion, especially in the emotionally-charged world of residential real estate sales. It is essential to be looking for the lessons in your exchanges with others. Become a “student of engagement.” Our unique B.A.N.K. code training helps you master engagement.
Developing trust relationships requires continuing engagement which helps build human trust and confidence, so essential to real estate transactions. Not all of your database needs to hear from you every day, but contacts do need to hear from you based upon the depth of your relationship and their need for your services. And don’t forget the friends of your contacts, referrals have always and continue to be one of the strongest ways to earn new business.
3 tsp Marketing Skills
I’ve seen so many struggling teams and solo agents trying to “brand themselves” into the business using passive and influence strategies. It simply won’t work. Marketing a physical product is much different than marketing a professional service.
Professional services respond to direct response marketing, like “Curious About The NEW value of your home? Find out by…” With a clear and concise “call to action” CTA you will gain your fair share of appointments and sales.
4 cups Sweat & Financial Equity
I don’t know your current financial situation, yet I do know if you have read this far you have the desire to grow your business. And whether you have no money or lots of money it doesn’t matter. What matters is your RESOURCEFULNESS and your commitment. We just released to our JPAR family, a video training on 6 lead generation strategies you can execute today with ZERO dollars. Resourceful people are imaginative, pro-active, open-minded and persistent.
I knew an agent once that was dead broke, she printed a bunch of Zillow Zestimates by addresses in her area, walked around and handed them out with a handwritten note that said “I wonder if this is accurate? Let’s talk to find out.” That’s creative, resourceful and cost her only her time and a few low-cost materials. And yes, it created a business.
At the same time, dumping money into any new shiny marketing opportunity or lead source is worth nothing if you don’t act upon it. You could have all the financial equity in the world, but if you don’t put the sweat in the investment was a poor one.
Now you have mixed all the ingredients and are ready to pour it in the pan. A bowl of batter is just that before it’s poured into a pan to be molded into a cake. It bakes because of the adversity it faces in the heat of things. In real estate, you will grow by jumping into the heat and working with your clients. But just as any good chef that knows the heat of the oven before they put their dish (or any wannabe that just doesn’t want to burn dinner) you need to know your clients.
Step 4: Prep the pan and Know your client’s and your personality
Understanding your B.A.N.K. code and how to use it
Would you feel more comfortable going in for a listing presentation if you knew the homeowner highly valued numbers and formulas or if they prefer not to talk about how the sausage is made but rather how much of an emotional connection they have to their home and how they want to pass it on to the next “first time homeowner?”.
87% of real estate sales professionals don’t feel adequately prepared for sales calls and 66% of customers are turned off by most buyer and listing presentations—all because many of us struggle to effectively communicate the value of our offer, your promise. B.A.N.K.’s personality sales method helps you beat the odds and master the science of communication, negotiation, and closing more sales for increased revenue that will transform your life. Crack your code and receive a special report, click here
Your EQ is higher than your IQ
In his 1996 book Emotional Intelligence, author and psychologist Daniel Goleman suggested that EQ (or emotional intelligence quotient) might actually be more important than IQ. Why? Some psychologists believe that standard measures of intelligence are too narrow and do not encompass the full range of human intelligence.
We all understand the IQ test… yet EQ, on the other hand, is a measure of a person’s level of emotional intelligence. This refers to a person’s ability to perceive, control, evaluate, and express emotions. Researchers have helped shine a light on emotional intelligence, making it a hot topic in areas ranging from business management to education. EQ is centered on abilities such as:
Evaluating how others feel
Controlling one’s own emotions
Perceiving how others feel
Using emotions to facilitate social communication
Relating to others
If you knew how to effectively communicate with your sellers and how to interact with them on an emotional level, how much further along would you be than the next agent
The time has come to put your dish in the oven, it’s time to execute!
Step 5: Execution
A business leader’s job is to successfully move forward and improve business performance. This requires a continuous process of reflection, analysis, planning, and execution. There is no better way to learn/practice these skills than “by doing”. It doesn’t matter how good your strategies and tactics are if you don’t execute them well it won’t really matter. Much has been written about execution, and many tools and frameworks exist. One of our favorites is FranklinCovey’s 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX).
Focus on the wildly important goal – WIG
Act on the lead measures (levers you can influence)
Keep a compelling/fun scoreboard (of lag & lead measures)
Hold each other accountable (weekly reviews/commitments
If you have gotten to this point in our “recipe,” your one step closer to meeting your goal. Now you have to commit to it. You have to commit to putting everything you have read above into action.
Commitment requires being all in. If you are committed to your dreams and your ambition, you make it the priority and allocate time for action.
Commitment requires you to do whatever it takes whereas “interest” means you’ll do just enough but not more. Entrepreneurs like you, are committed to the following traits:
- Commit to being “all in” even if they don’t know how to achieve the goal.
- They take action with deep resourcefulness, trusting that they get outside of the box to find answers and resources.
- Have beliefs, thoughts, and ideas that are congruent with the success of the goal.
- Let go of needing approval and validation from others.
- Invest fully in achieving the goal (like hiring a coach, expert and other support personnel.)
- Address bottlenecks and roadblocks quickly. If there is a situation in the way that is stealing time or energy, committed goal-seekers will resolve the issues so they can get back to business.
- Focus on the positive outcomes of achieving the goal instead of lamenting the cost of pursuing their dream.
- Align goals to their values and priorities which creates limitless energy and inspiration during the pursuit.
- Willing to get uncomfortable and take action (even though it might be scary) to achieve the goal.
- Refuse to let any excuses be bigger than your commitment.
When you are committed, you will be relentless in your pursuit of the goal. Obstacles don’t take you out of the game. They simply become a learning opportunity so that you get better at your game.
Some of you, if you have come this far – experienced, new and mid-career – are in survival mode at this very moment. It’s hard to talk about your “why” or “passion” or the “recipe” of success when you are making rash decisions just pay the bills. In fact, for some of you it’s hard to even think about planning for next week much less next year. One solution to consider… find your sous chef or perhaps your Gordon Ramsay to motivate you in your kitchen. Perhaps there is a group of you in your first cooking class together or you’re in advance pastry class, this is your tribe. They are the people who know you, who are rooting for you and are there to listen. This can be a lonely business and having a community or a class of chefs behind you is how we were designed live and to thrive.
We have a few other resources on the recipe and ingredients for success in real estate sales, check them out:
7 Steps for Success in Real Estate Sales
What Does Your System Produce?
6 Steps To A Better Business Plan
7 Steps To An Appointment Setting Breakthrough
Coaching? Get a free consult at www.jparcoaching.com
Contributing authors: Danielle Reese: @austin_propery_addict and Chenoa Barhydt: @chenoa_b