If you’re an experienced agent, you may have gotten the shock of your life this year: Instead of selling homes like hotcakes, you’re slumping like watery syrup drifting off pancakes! I know why: The hot market brought you sales ‘accidents’, and you capably help those people buy and sell. But, in a challenging market, people don’t just ‘turn themselves in’. It’s time for you to get ‘on purpose’.
Do you have the ammunition to change from ‘on accident’ to ‘on purpose? Here are 10 questions that will reveal whether you have the plan and the support to pull yourself out of that slump and provide yourself the insurance plan that allows you to thrive—no matter the market:
- Do I have a ‘start-up’ plan—a plan that tells me what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and why to do it? (Or, do I just come to the office and ‘go with the flow’)
- Am I waiting for someone to tell me what to do each day, or do I have focus and purpose with my plan? (it doesn’t work to ask your manager what to do each day, and, as a newer agent just told me, your manager answers, “Mail some postcards.” You wouldn’t expect a Starbucks franchise to ‘guide’ the new franchisee that way, and you’re not going to get a business start with that kind of piecemeal ‘advice’!)
- Do I have a daily schedule that is prioritized with the business actions most important to me to assure I make money? (If you’re just relying on your office for its floor time and meeting schedule, you aren’t in the business!)
- Do I know the best methods of lead generation—and how to implement them? (You can’t wait for ‘training’ that starts in 3 months to start your business!)
- Do I know the numbers? (how many contacts does it take to get a lead, how many leads to get an appointment, how many appointments to get a listing, showing, how many showings to get a sale, how many marketable listings will sell) (If you don’t, you are destined to be an ‘on accident’ agent—only selling someone something when the stars are aligned).
- Do I know how long it will take to get a sale? To get a listing? To get a listing sold? (so you can project your income) (New agents tend to wait, and wait, and wait, to get into the business ‘stream’, thinking that there is no time frame to buyers’ decisions—wrong!)
- Do I have a method of setting goals and tracking accomplishments in the areas above—so I can analyze my specific strengths and challenges in this business? (Most agents never track what they do, so they don’t know what worked—or why what they’re doing isn’t working).
- Do I have a budget so I know how much money I should be spending in marketing myself/marketing my listings?
- Do I have someone to talk to regularly, to coach me, to keep me on track, and to help me if I fall off my start-up plan (to keep me from failing)?
- Do I have a method to keep myself motivated and inspired to keep on keeping on (like a coach or your manager)? If you can’t answer the questions above with authority and confidence, you need much more business direction than you’re getting now. It’s time for you to get serious about real estate as a business, and grasp a start-up plan and the support you need to assure your success.
Resource: See Up and Running in 30 Days, www.carlacross.com. It’s a comprehensive new agent start-up plan with enough training to get you into the field, and focused, starting with your first week in the business. It answers all the questions above. Most people would call it a ‘business plan’, but it’s not. It’s specially created as the appropriate ‘start-up plan’ for the new agent, just as all successful franchises provide their start-up plans for their new franchisees. Managers: My survey of hundreds of agents under 3 months in the business showed that the majority expected a sale their first month in the business. Guess in what month they are mentally and emotionally out of the business? Month two.
Especially in a challenging market, it’s your job to provide them a comprehensive start-up plan and coach them to it, to assure your investment in them pays off—and their investments in themselves pay off, too.