Building your Business Instead of Growing your Sales Job
The truth that most Real Estate professionals won’t talk about, and few will admit, is that our industry is and always has been sold, marketed and promoted as sales. I believe that sales are just an aspect of what we do and the real definition of our industry should be more along the lines of a small business entrepreneurship.
I know that’s a mouthful, and it’s probably a foreign term to most in our industry. However, I would ask that you humor me.
I know that nothing about our training and/or titles indicate small business or entrepreneurship, but that is exactly what we do. Now before you go off and start naming all the different coaching programs, books and courses out there that talk about being a small business owner in Real Estate, remember those are usually advanced trainings that one would have to pursue individually or dig deep to find. I’m not talking about those courses or including company-specific trainings or books. Those are great, but still lacking in my opinion.
Now I am sure you’re wondering who I am to have such opinions and why should you even care about them. To give you a brief background, I have been a business owner and self-employed since the age of 17. At the time of this writing, I am 40 years old and have been in the Real Estate industry for over 13 years. I have been doing Real Estate full time as my only source of business/income for this time. I currently own and operate a branch of one of the larger Real Estate brands. I am also a licensed mortgage and insurance broker. I own a small investment company with a partner that focuses on “fix and flip” projects. I own a credit consulting company that helps Real Estate and mortgage professionals get more out of the leads they’re already generating by assisting their credit-challenged clients to get in the right position to be a qualified buyer/borrower. I am a wealth advisor and practice my craft with a global view toward my client’s finances.
So as you can read, I’m not an outsider trying to preach and teach things I haven’t been through and dealt with myself. This brief bio isn’t everything, but I share because I want you to know exactly where I’m coming from. I’m coming from a place of owning and operating businesses both my own and those belonging to others and always turning a profit and making it through difficult times.
Through the latest Real Estate downturn, I didn’t find a part-time job to supplement my income; I found other ways and aspects of Real Estate to increase my income.
I started a short sales negotiations business and did BPO’s for compensation. I made more money than I had previously made during the downturn, and that brought me to new and higher levels. Again I share because I believe our industry is at a crossroads. We are either going to evolve or get left behind by the consumer and the internet.
We, as a society, have more access to more information than ever before. The amount of information that passes through our lives on a daily basis is more than what used to pass through most people’s whole year. The point is, with so much coming so fast, it causes problems that the average person isn’t seeing. This is typically because they’re too distracted watching what’s coming toward them instead of paying attention to what’s happening to them.
I can’t count how many articles, studies and even blogs have been written about how the Real Estate agent is on the verge of extinction. Depending on what side of the issue you sit on, your point of view is probably true and/or couldn’t be supported to convince someone else that your view was valid and true.
My goal is to help you turn your sales job into a business and build a business that can stand alone against the test of time.
Yes, people aren’t buying your brand; and yes, they are buying you. However, they are not buying you just because you’re you. They’re buying you because of how you make them feel. You can tell anyone anything, and they might believe you. You can make someone feel everything, and they will forever follow you.
Stop trying to create an image that you think will bring success and start creating an experience that will guarantee longevity.
My first words of wisdom are to work on creating feelings, experiences and emotions if you want to be top of mind and internet proof.
How do you start and what are the best first steps? Below are just a few ideas. You can read them once and think of me as crazy, or you can read them and try to see how you can implement one or all of them to your business and life.
Be real by loving and believing in what you do.
I know this sounds simple, but it is the most commonly misunderstood and poorly-implemented idea. The answer is not to purchase script books and take interest in the interests of others just to try to create a false connection. This idea is so simple that everyone thinks they can do it. The truth is that everyone can’t do it unless they believe in it.
Do more listening than talking. This was probably one of the hardest things to implement when I first started learning how to truly connect with others. You won’t be able to be interested in anyone until you take the time to listen and find out what they’re interested in.
Everyone can smell BS a mile away. So don’t think that you have some special gift of being able to hide the truth, and that no one will ever find out what you’re thinking. Be open, honest, and up front.
Always deliver bad news faster than you would deliver good news.
Deliver the bad news along with the next step or a viable solution. The worst thing you can do to a client is give them bad news and no way to get through it. Trust me, the experience and feelings that will generate will cost you referrals for lifetimes to come.
Provide consistency and set expectations.
Nothing builds trust and comfort more than telling someone what’s coming and making sure what you told them is exactly what they go through. Granted, things come up, and surprises happen. The idea is to prepare your clients for those potential “one in a million” situations so if in some rare case they do happen, you can smile across the table and remind them how you had discussed this and that everything will be just fine. If you warned them ahead of time, then hearing you say everything will be just fine will be comforting. If you didn’t warn them and act like you’re as shocked as they are, then comfort and calm is not what you will be creating.
Like I previously mentioned, above are just a few basic pointers that we should already know and live by. However, I know with the craziness of our industry, the basics get forgotten often.
Remember, your potential is only limited by how creative your goals and dreams can be.
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