Do you count yourself among the successful real estate agents in your community?
Success is in the eye of the beholder, but for many it hinges on having a good income. If you haven’t quite gotten there – or if you’re there but agree with Joe Vitale when he says “I have all I need; I just want more,” then consider developing more of these habits.
Surveys done by Active Rain and by the National Association of REALTORS® reveal big differences in habits between agents who earn $100,000 or more per year and those who earn $35,000 or less. (Of course, what you would label “financial success” does depend upon where you live.)
First, most successful agents own their own websites – but since that can’t be called a habit, it’s not one of the seven.
Today it’s difficult for any small business to become known without a website. Among other things, this is the place where you can showcase your knowledge, offer advice to buyers and sellers, provide information through comprehensive community pages, share important community links, create pages for each of your listings, gather leads with “capture boxes” on buyer and seller pages, and tell the world who you are with a well-written bio/profile.
Onward to the habits…
Survey results found that successful real estate agents:
- Follow up on leads immediately
- Stay in touch with people in their sphere of influence, and with their past clients
- Become experts in their geographical territory and/or niche
- Hire help
- Protect their reputations with clients, agents, and other service providers
- Spend money on marketing and technology
Successful Real Estate Agents follow up on leads, plus other calls, texts, and emails, immediately.
When they can’t do so personally, they have autoresponders to answer email, and assistants, partners, etc. to answer phone calls. They then respond personally at the first opportunity. If there’s no one to take phone calls, they have a message that assures callers that they’ll respond within a specified window of time. Then they do it.
Unsuccessful agents are likely to leave the response for later – when they have more time or when it’s more convenient. They have messages that say things like: “I’ll return your call at my earliest convenience.” That’s not a typo – I did call an agent whose machine gave me that message. I didn’t bother to leave the message.
We all know that leads need fast follow-up, because if they can’t reach you they’ll move on to someone else. But returning calls to everyone else is important too. It ties in with #6: protecting your reputation.
Successful Real Estate Agents stay in touch with everyone who could become a repeat client or send them a referral.
Surveys show that most home buyers say they’d use their agent again, but only 13% actually do. One reason is that the agents don’t stay in touch. If a few years have passed, the clients forget them or forget how to reach them.
Highlights of one study revealed that the typical REALTOR® earned 13% of their business from repeat clients and customers, and 17% through referrals from past clients and customers.
When you don’t stay close to people would give you referrals and repeat business, you’re giving up a good share of your possible market.
Successful Real Estate Agents become experts.
They know their territory inside out and can answer questions on everything from zoning to the availability of high-speed Internet and where to find a good dog groomer. They keep up with the news and know about new developments, new regulations, and anything else that affects home values in their territory or niche. Of course they keep on top of the market and know the current trends.
In addition, successful real estate agents have a list of URL’s and other resources to give clients who have questions they aren’t allowed to answer.
They hire help.
Successful real estate agents prefer to spend their time with clients and prospects, so try not to waste time on things that could be done by someone else more easily.
Unless those are activities they love, they get someone else to take care of tasks such as writing prospecting letters, writing community pages, entering MLS data, uploading photos, maintaining their websites, putting up and taking down signs, filling flyer boxes, and washing their car. When they get really busy, they hire transaction coordinators to make sure everything stays on track.
Think of how much you can earn per hour being with clients and compare it to what it costs to hire some help.
Successful real estate agents blog.
When you create an online presence through your blog, it enhances your agent bio by adding more to the story of your work and your personality. It helps future clients get to know you better. Blogging also showcases your knowledge of the community and your interest in community affairs.
While it’s true that you can hire someone to write a portion of your blogs, choose wisely. Blogs about topics like community events, new restaurants, or the fun you had at your family reunion, need to come from you.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
Successful people aren’t born that way. They become successful by establishing the habit of doing things unsuccessful people don’t like to do.”
William Makepeace Thackeray
“Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”
Successful real estate agents protect their reputations.
Protecting your reputation covers several topics, beginning with always doing what you say you’ll do. It doesn’t matter whether the topic is important or trivial, if you say it, do it.
When it comes to clients, returning phone calls, texts, and emails as quickly as possible is vital. One of the biggest complaints real estate consumers have is that they feel ignored by their agents. You don’t need to respond at 1 a.m., but when they try to reach you at a reasonable hour, reach back!
Successful agents are known for completing paperwork correctly, making sure their clients understand every clause in the contract, and staying on top of transactions so clients never miss a deadline.
When it comes to dealing with other agents, successful agents return calls, emails, and texts, and they become known for doing their share in every transaction. When a problem arises, they pitch in to help get it solved.
They also cooperate fully with setting up showings on their listings, and show up on time when showing another agent’s listings. They’re careful to leave things as they found them and lock up when they leave (unless otherwise instructed, of course).
Successful agents spend money to make money.
Surveys reveal that the most successful Real Estate Agents spend more in one month on technology, marketing, and prospecting than unsuccessful agents spend in a year.
Successful real estate agents know that these things are not an expense, but an investment. They also know that in order to work efficiently, a person needs tools.
For real estate professionals, technology provides the tools that make work more efficient. From smart phones, to tablets and computers, to software programs that automatically send emails and keep track of everything from leads to transaction details, technology streamlines the processes.
Many use technology in the form of social media to promote themselves and bring more and more people back to their websites.
Top agents prospect and market themselves and their listings via both direct mail and email.
They aren’t afraid to pay for printing and postage because they know they’ll get a substantial return on that investment. One NAR survey said that top agents spend approximately 10% of their income on prospecting and marketing.
They prospect via direct mail to their farm area and to people in their chosen niches – and they use systems in order to do so consistently.
Unsuccessful agents think postage costs to much, so they either don’t do it at all or they mail once or twice and give up. That’s a shame, because in mailing, it’s consistency that brings results.
In order to remain top of mind, they prospect via email to leads gathered on their websites, to leads they’ve purchased, and to prospects who have personally given them permission to email. They use technology in the form of autoresponders to keep their messages flowing consistently. In addition to pre-written prospecting messages, they send market updates, newsletters, and personal notes.
When you need a little help…
I can’t help you develop your expertise, create an enviable reputation, or find an assistant to take over some of your routine tasks. However, I can provide the words to help you maintain contact with important people, and prospect to bring more important people into your life. I can also write your bio, community pages, and buyer and seller advice pages.
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