Thriving or Surviving???

Education & Training with The Real Estate Masters Institute

Thriving or Surviving???  That seems to be the question of the week that keeps swirling around in my head.  The average agent is disappearing faster in this market than the middle class is from the United States.  I have the pleasure of visiting with dozens of experienced agents every single day, and it has become increasingly evident that they are either having their best spring kick-off ever, or they are contemplating staying in the business at all.

What is it that seems to make the difference between success and failure?  Simple answer:  the basics.  The challenge for many agents is they never learned the basics.  Over the last 5-7 years Realtors have gotten fat off the well fed hog of a sellers market and rapid appreciation.  If you were fortunate enough to have a listing fall in your lap, you were pretty much guaranteed a sale.  Even if you didn't have inventory of your own, and you sat an open house or two, you could pretty much guarantee falling into contracts with hot to trot buyers.  So, the "basics" of real estate seem like a foreign language to many agents in the marketplace because along with the real estate boom came the real estate agent boom.

The basics are always the basics and ultimately what I ask even Top Producing agents is, "why did you ever leave the basics?"  The cold hard truth of the matter is that real estate is a contact sport, and during difficult markets the one who has systems implented enabling them to contact the most people wins.  This business is all about lead generation and mastering a few key techniques that work within your preferred style, but there are really only two key areas you can focus on.  The only two commodities that have an impact on your success while lead generating are your time and your money.  You have to trade in one, or a combination of the two, in order to see results.  And if you don't have the money guess what you're left with:  Time.  Time to prospect, time to network, time to door knock, etc.  What you don't have is time to sit around and behave like a victim, you don't have time to sit around and design the "ultimate newspaper ad that nobody else has ever thought of," you don't have time to complain about why your broker isn't giving you more leads.  What you have time to do is hone your skills:  role play scripts and dialogues for an hour every day with a peer partner; get on the phone and call 15 people from your Sphere of Influence to ask them for referrals; go to Networking events and increase the number of contacts in your database and assign follow up action plans; call 10 Expireds and 10 FSBO's every morning; listen to CD's or attend an action focused class that improves your skills; shadow a top agent in your office for a day and see what they are doing that is making them successful. 

The point is that this business is one of the most rewarding opportunities we have in the United States.  In what other industry can you start a business for less than $5000 and have the potential of earning 7-figures annually?  The results you get are directly related to the strategies you implement and the effort you give.  If you don't engage you will get nothing in return.  I believe Earl Nightingale paints this concept wonderfully in his recording "The Strangest Secret:"  You are like a farmer and the things you plant today are what you will sow tomorrow.  If you are planting positive thoughts, dollar producing activities, and enthusiasm you will sow such tomorrow; if you are planting blame, self-doubt, and victim mentality, you will sow devastating results tomorrow.

The choice is yours.  Make this your best year ever.  Make every year your best year ever.  The shifting market is the truest identifier of those who are skilled in this business and those who are not.  Those that are highly skilled are loving the fact the market has shifted, that you have to know how to price a home, how to handle objections, how to generate leads.  It is for this very reason the middle class of real estate agents is disappearing.  Stay tuned for future blogs where we will go into more detail about how to implement action focused behavior to improve your daily results through mastery of the fundamentals.  A friend of mine who earns high six figures every year selling real estate told me that success in this business is not about being the most creative or the smartest, it is simply about mastering the mundane fundamentals and repeating them on a daily basis.  It may not sound exciting, but it may be just what the Dr. Ordered!

Always Remember, There Are No Limits!

Jeff Bonham


Comments (3)

Maria Holland
RE/Max Homes & Estates, ABR,GRI, CDPE, SFR - Nashville, TN
Realtor, ABR, GRI, CDPE, SFR
Great article.  I was discouraged at first when the market slowed, but decided that really I needed to quit whining and start hustling which is what I did.  My commissions were up last year and are up for the first 2 quarters for this year.  I plan on capitalizing on so many agents leaving the market and coming out a star!
Apr 18, 2008 09:06 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Jeff, The basics work in every market as you have pointed out very well. I think one of the keys is to have the confidence to know they work and the will to get up every day and go to work and implement them.

My biz plan has always been very simple...I work expired listings and I talk to as many people as I can every day. I've been doing this 14 years. I get up every day and mail out expired letters. When that's done I start calling all of my past and present customers and talk real estate. The key of course is I do these things every day with no exceptions. And of course I know my market inside and out.

Real estate is not complicated. It's not so much what you do as it is just doing it.

Apr 18, 2008 09:13 AM
John Disque
RealtyUSA - Syracuse, NY
"Buy or List with Disque"
Jeff, Good stuff. Glad your blogging........ Keep it up
Apr 19, 2008 12:05 AM