I recently read an article that really sparked my interest. The article was simply a basic list of the ways that someone could re-invent themselves by investing time and effort into the one asset that all agents have - Themselves.
The key principle to this article was the fact that, despite this uncertain market, there are people that appear to be striving to make their own abilities better and five ways to do so. Below is the list that was in the article...and a good healthy dose of my own explanations as to why this is so important in this uncertain market.
IMAGE: You chose a career in real estate to be an independent business person. So, do you carry yourself in a professional manner? Do you "look the part"? Do you have your business cards on you? Are you showing that you are proud of whom you work for or what you do? Whether you want to believe it or not, your image IS your first impression. Make sure that the impression you are making is the on that you actually want to make. There are some places where you can get away with blue jeans and a nice shirt. There are other places where a suit is more appropriate. Dress the part! Maintain your personal image. Get your hair cut or styled. Ladies...get your nails done. Guys...shave every day. (Believe me, I realize that sucks ...I'm a guy...I understand. But, its 2 or 3 minutes...and it makes a ton of difference to those around you.) I actually know of one agent that wears a tuxedo to all of his closings. That is part of his image. It is what sets him apart from the rest.
TRAINING: Aside from the mandatory requirements involved, you should try to find as many different options to better your ability as you can. Take the time to sit down with your broker to discuss some in-house training options. If you know of any free options for training, jump on it. Any training you involve yourself in will only re-emphasize the skill set you already have developed. So, it will not be wasted time or effort. You never know, you may learn something. (Also, anything that you can learn about social networking...that is a must! Trust me on this...this is a skill that does require some time to master, but you will not regret it!)
NETWORKING: Making yourself known in the community by getting involved with community events is a great way of networking with some of the more influential people in your market. Get involved with the community. Start working with the Chamber of Commerce. Go to PTA meetings. Join Toastmasters. Get involved in your local neighborhood activities. Surrounding yourself with such innovative, like-minded people will help you with both your image and your over-all success. Most people do business with people that they know on a social level. So, networking like this is a key to success in a troubled market.
MENTORING: They say that the teacher will always learn something from the student. Become a mentor for younger agents. Help them be successful. This will cause you to make sure that what you are doing is what you SHOULD be doing. It will help you cross your ‘T's and dot your ‘I's, as it were. Besides...there are times when you can actually team up and work together for the success of each.
YOU: Seems weird that I have to add this since this entire post is about you. But, if you are not taking good care of yourself, you will not have the energy or the will to commit to the rest of this list. Take care of your own body and mind. Get sleep. It is probably more important than anything else you can do for yourself. Make sure you get some exercise. (In this industry with showing property and running from one location to another, that usually isn't hard...but you should do 30 minutes of cardio every day.) Eat right. (Did you know that eating an apple will actually wake you up better than a cup of coffee??) Bring fresh fruits with you on your appointments and eat them when you can. Avoid the drive-thrus. If you don't know where else to start in your investments in you...look in the mirror and start there.