Are You in this for the Long Haul? (Or are you planning to quit in six months?)

By
Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Last week, Janie Coffey hosted a teleconference for the participants of my Savvy Prospector program about the magic of niche marketing. I was spellbound by the material and it really made me think about how this business works...run

Back to Janie in a sec.

We're all looking for a magic bullet, myself included. While I know I'll have a mortgage payment due NEXT October, I'm far more concerned with the one due in 25 days, the one due in 55 days and the one due in 85 days. 

But you know what? Next October will be here before you know it, and THIS October will be a distant memory. Where do you want to be next October? Do you intend to still be selling real estate? Or do you reckon you'll be doing something else by then?

Of course, we all figure we'll still be real estate gods and goddesses and we're all optimistic that things will have turned around by then. Those of us who have stuck it out through these difficult times will be talking for years about how we survived the 2007-2008 real estate season and are now better agents for it.

So, if that's the case - if you really wanna be selling some real estate in a year... in two years... and for many years after that, perhaps now would be a good time to start planning to do just that.

Okay, back to Janie. Janie has created a niche market for herself in South Florida as the Horse Realtor. She began her campaign to be the go-to agent for horsey people about a year and a half ago. Today she's working with five developers across the country (the world actually) who want, heck NEED her expertise in horse properties. They're coming after her!

But that didn't happen overnight - nope, it took a year or so to build her reputation as someone who knows horse properties. A year ago, developers weren't beating down her door, but I'll bet if you ask her, she'll say that these last 12 months have flown by and she's thrilled with the long-term results of her efforts.

There are a gazillion things we can all be doing today to ensure a happy next year. And then be tickled with ourselves when next year rolls around and we're enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Okay, Jennifer, Miss Smarty Pantz, what CAN we do today to ensure a Happy Next Year?

 

  1. Nurture your personal relationships. Especially if you've approached the people you know as a salesperson first and a friend second or third or fourth, you may have some repair work to do. Starting today - drop the sales pitch and start reconnecting with your SOI as a real person... who cares about them... who also happens to sell real estate.

  2. Take a little extra time with not-yet-ready-to-buy-or-sell prospects. Treat them respectfully and stay in touch. Never shuttle a potential future client out the door because they aren't leading you to a paycheck within 60 days. They could very well bring you a paycheck in 180 days.

  3. Become a Master of Your Market. The only way to really know and understand your local market is to be out in it. Take three hours a week to preview homes. Visit open houses two Sundays a month. Go to every Broker Open you're invited to. Read the neighborhood newspapers.

  4. Make your current clients your top priority (yep, ahead of your prospecting efforts). Go above and beyond for your sellers and buyers. Believe me, they'll notice and they'll remember. And will reward you for your efforts for years to come.

  5. Blog. Blogging is a long-term prospecting strategy. If you want to become a specialist in your market or in certain property types or certain client types, get blogging about them TODAY. In a year, you'll be glad you did.

It's possible that NONE of the above activities will result in a sale in 30 days or even 60. But if you're in this for the long haul, I guarantee that in a year, you'll be thrilled with the results.

 

 

tsp

 

The Savvy Prospector: Eight Weeks to a Full Pipeline for Life!
          

 

 

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Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Paul - Yep! And I'm happy to be known as the agent who didn't rush someone, was always prepared and knows her stuff!

Sep 08, 2008 09:52 PM #49
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Paul T - I think that's true in most markets, but many agents won't wait that long!

Lisa - Amazing, isn't it?

Kent - I'll admit to having a hare-like personality (I WANT IT NOW), but once you realize the joys of being a tortoise.... this business is a whole lot more fun!

Tracy - Excellent! I'll see you around next year!

Sep 08, 2008 09:55 PM #50
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Jenn - I can't say that I've had tremendous success blogging, but then again, I haven't done an exemplary job blogging for the public. However, I believe if I put my mind to it, I could really maximize the exposure available here on AR. Talk to Karen Rice (she's' also on the SWS forum) - she's had several serious clients from blogging; so does Loreena Yeo.

Jennifer - y'know what? I seem to do much better when I take on more than I think I can handle! I just keep saying YES and I find the time and the energy... and the momentum just keeps rolling!

Bart  - Good for you! Hope to see you there!

Christopher & Stephanie - VERY well said!!!!!

Sep 08, 2008 09:58 PM #51
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Roland - Me, too! Let's keep up the good work!

Georgina - thanks! It was a pleasant surprise.

Marlene - I enjoyed your linked blog - thanks for sending it! And I'm glad I could help you ;-}

Irene - you're right - these principles certainly apply to any self-employed person.

Kim - Thank you!

 

Sep 08, 2008 10:02 PM #52
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Michael - Bring on the good times! They will be back and then we'll really have some fun.

Tim - Nearly 100% of my business is SOI - always has been - and that comes from taking a long-term approach... thanks for your comments!

Lucille - I feel the same way. My business has definitely picked up and I feel an optimism in the air... woo hoo!

Joanna - I need to hear my own advice, too, sometimes! It's easy to get discouraged when your efforts aren't paying off TODAY.

Liviray - You'll be surprised how many agents DO NOT take a long-term view... and yes, many will leave the biz... but YOU'LL still be here!

Ken - I agree. And I love it when people ask me what I do and then ask for a bcard!

Cindy - nothing like a few phone calls to remind you how important those SPC's (satisfied past clients) are to your current (and future) business.

Thank you, Russell! It's a whole lot more fun when you have a postiive attitude toward your clients, rather than always trying to figure out how they're trying to screw you... (oops, parden le french)

Rick - Let's go GET 'EM!

Sep 08, 2008 10:07 PM #53
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Pippa - Just treat 'em all with respect and they'll come thru for ya.

Lisa - hang in there... it truly is worth it once the momentum kicks in.

Lynn - the good part is that it comes naturally after awhile!

Diane - I'm so proud of what you've accomplished in your new market!

Stephen - Oops! Maybe Janie will hold another one!

Frank - good point! Nothing wrong with a little practice!

Mana - I think our industry attracts those looking for a quick paycheck. Nothing wrong with that; I like paychecks, too... but it's a blast when your efforts start paying off BIG TIME in the future.

MIchael - Good to hear! The short term long haul, eh? "Splain what that means!

Bob & CArolyn - You are very welcome.

Sep 08, 2008 10:11 PM #54
Ambassador
342,695
Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Pine Bush, NY
Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY

Great Info Jennifer.  Many newer agents think in immediate terms and forget about nurturing tomorrows deals.  Our new marketing manager explained that the marketing has to be ahead of the curve of need.  If you want $ to live on today and you don't have anything currently in the pipeline, you should find a way to pay those bills (reserves, parttime gig, or loan) to stop yourself from worrying because desperation comes through loud and clear and turns people off.

Sep 08, 2008 11:29 PM #55
Rainmaker
96,200
Yvette Smith
LONG & FOSTER - Williamsburg, VA
Realtor In Williamsburg VA, Homes for Sale

HI JENNIFER!

You are on top of your game!  I bet you do sell with soul!!  Seriously, this is AWESOME information.  You are absolutely right about blogging.  It doesn't happen overnight (like I thought it did!)  But, I've committed to this so yes I'm in it for the long haul.

Thank you, sincerely for sharing your thoughts & expertise.

Sep 09, 2008 03:03 AM #56
Rainmaker
235,927
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

Definitely important to remember it is important to start working now if you want to see results later.  Great story about Janie...you have to work hard if you want to remain a realtor over the next few years!

Sep 09, 2008 07:12 AM #57
Rainmaker
195,327
Antonio & Alexia Cardenas
Alameda County - San Leandro, CA. - San Leandro, CA
"The Realtors In Motion"

Thank you Jennifer for bringing up the issue, this market will not remain like this forever, just like the good days are over, soon we will see the return to "normal" I have been doing this real estate business for over 23 years! What keeps me alive? my farming of a geographical area of about 2200 homes, plus past clients and ballroom dance friends we know because of our hobby of ballroom dancing. Want to buy a house? Let's TANGO first... Slow... Quick Quick.

The Realtors In Motion

Don't look around but be ready, and keep working, whatever you do, keep doing it with enthusiasm! Bloging on AR does pay off! Referrals that get placed here are better than just picking up the phone book. At least you get to know who is here.

 

 

Antonio & Alexia Cardenas "The Realtors In Motion" www.ListedbyAntonio.com

Sep 09, 2008 02:28 PM #58
Rainmaker
122,939
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty / LakeHomes.com

Hi Jennifer, at my first job our department used to split time between bemoaning and joking about management and management's avoidance of the "P-Word".... PLANNING!     Eventually, after several rounds of layoffs that company folded.  Much of it can be attributed by a lack of a plan.  And without a plan, how would any of us ever know where we needed to go.

This post is great.  It is a plan.  It is a map.  It is control of your own future.  Hope all that like to "shoot from the hip" will read and learn.  Great stuff!

Sep 10, 2008 01:27 AM #59
Rainmaker
266,343
Dora & Vincent Kwok
HomeSmart Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
CNE - Chandler, Arizona Real Estate

Hi Jennifer,
I'm seeing the same messages over the last few days...plan for the future.  Sow seeds today for your crop in the future.  Gary Keller's new book, SHIFT.   Begin with the end in mind.

Great post that reminds us to foucs on Quadrant II activities.

Sep 10, 2008 02:48 AM #60
Rainer
6,530
Renee Arnott
Keller Williams - Mount Juliet, TN
Nashville TN Area Realtor

This is a great post for me as I am contemplating how to get my business of the ground after relocating back home to TN.  I find that it is harder here to get my business going then it was in a state where I literally knew no one!!  I know I have to plant my feet firm and just keeping putting my name and face out there over and over again and eventually I will reap that harvest!

Sep 10, 2008 07:33 AM #61
Rainer
16,762
Tracie Mason
Agent Assistant Network - Seattle, WA
Holton, Coach & Virtual Assistant

Jennifer - I followed your post over from Glenn Phillip's post on the importance of a business plan.  He took inspiration from your post, and now I see why.  While I'm not an agent, I found your points both helpful and your attitude very motivational.  Thank you for sharing!

Sep 10, 2008 03:48 PM #62
Rainmaker
52,501
Roy Paeth
Keller Williams Inspire - Geneva, IL
Just a regular guy helping real people!

Great job and good ideas.

Sep 10, 2008 03:48 PM #63
Ambassador
448,173
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX

Jennifer, it's a part (large part) of me an will be eternally. Later in the rain~Deb

Sep 10, 2008 04:04 PM #64
Rainer
63,280
Sonja Adams
Samson Proprties - Purcellville, VA

I'm definitely in it for the long haul...horses are my niche too and its inspiring to see what others can do..

Sep 11, 2008 05:57 AM #65
Rainer
38,221
Sue Paige
ERA Today Realty, Windham, ME 04062 - Windham, ME

Great post. I enjoyed reading it and realize we have to pay attention to our plan an treat everyone as a potential client. ALWAYS.

Thanks for Sharing

Sue from Maine

Sep 15, 2008 10:01 AM #66
Rainer
55,751
Kelsey Barklow
Hurd Realty - Johnson City, TN
423/948-9154

I read this blog a while back and I can't remember if I commented on it but I reread it and it's still great. I love reading your blogs because they inform, teach and remind. Keep em coming Jennifer. You're awesome! 

Sep 16, 2008 01:45 PM #67
Rainer
3,792
Vanessa Igtiben
Grupe Real Estate - Stockton, CA

I like your attitude and your info - well said and to the point! People will find you and want to do business with you as long as you are a genuine, friendly person, and an expert in your area and on top of current market conditions.  You don't have to be in business mode all the time!  Smile more and enjoy while you work! People want to work with someone they can get along with as well as provide the service they need.

Sep 18, 2008 08:00 AM #68
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