If you really like what you do, you'll never stop looking for new ways to improve. You can’t just "go through the motions" and do things the same way if you want to be the best you can be.
Once you start to implement these habits and tips into your own business, you will start to see some positive changes.
1. Invest in yourself and your business.
This means time and money. How much extra time do you not take advantage of when you are driving, working out and doing mindless tasks like dishes or laundry around the house?
Instead, you could be researching or listening to audio podcasts. Learning and developing your skills and knowledge each day will go a really long way.
Read a business-related book that can expand your horizons in ways that are still relevant to your career. Try something like 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Business books and books about customer relations will do more for you than real estate books, since they will translate to other parts of your life as well.
Learning more about your industry will help you become an expert in your field, the thing we keep stressing. It will then naturally separate you from competing agents in your area and niche.
Other professionals may not be as knowledgeable or up to date about the latest industry trends, rules, and standards.
2. Know Your Neighborhoods In and Out
If you get asked a question about a street, you need to answer with what’s on the market, what sold recently, and the overall status of the neighborhood and its market.
If someone suggests a certain neighborhood and area, be prepared to automatically come up with suggestions of the top of your head.
This is a big part of owning your specific market, if not the biggest. Anyone can look up houses in that area, but you need to know the market inside and out.
3. Practice Listing Presentations and Calls
Roleplay your listing presentation with someone.
Record your appointments and calls and have someone listen to them and critique them.
4. Have a Plan on Listing Presentations
Most Realtors use a CMA as their listing presentation. They compete on price to get a listing.
It’s not unusual for an agent to name a higher price than they feel the home will sell for just to get the listing. Basing your listing of a CMA is a problem for that reason.
What works better is to evaluate the seller’s motivation before going on a listing appointment and then using a proven listing presentation to get the listing.
You can present a problem, such as shaky market, and then solve that problem, showing how you sell homes in a rough housing market, make an offer and ask for the listing.
Ask for the listing. This may seem obvious, but agents stumble around this question or wait for the seller to make a statement first.
You shouldn’t wait for the prospect to decide they want to list before you decide to close. Close the listing with a simple question such as:
“When can I start promoting your home to my buyer list?”
“When can I tell my buyers and the other agents in my office about your home?”
“Can I take pictures of your home today?”
Also, never give up when the prospect says “I have to think about it.”
If you have already answered most of your prospects’ questions and they just seem to be stalling then get them to commit.
Find out what their main objection or concern is by saying something like “Is there anything else holding you back from making this important decision?”
Then address any of their concerns head on. Do your best to overcome all of their objections for waiting and thinking more about the decision.
If they come up with a lame excuse to stall like “I never make big decisions like this until I have slept on it” then tell them that you respect that and say something like “I respect that. Don’t you feel that I can sell your home?” when they answer yes then go for the close again and say something like “then put me to work today and let me start marketing your home immediately.”
5. Explain Everything You are Doing
This goes hand-in-hand with the last step about your listing presentations, but it follows through for every interaction.
People want to know the reasoning behind each thing you do, and they have a right to.
This is one of the things that make clients the most satisfied.
Keep them informed for every single step, no matter how small.
Like good students doing math homework, successful agents show their work. Really go into detail to explain the potential roadblocks and all the scenarios that could occur.
Let your client know how you are negotiating and why you are taking specific actions. Keep in regular communication and let them know when you adjust your strategy as well.
6. Have a Large Sphere of Influence, Keep Track of It and Use It
Good relationships and keeping a lasting relationship with past clients is a huge part of getting referrals, testimonials and other massively important parts that build and expand your sphere of influence.
But there’s a fine line in keeping in touch with your past clients and becoming that annoying pest who’s always calling or e-mailing.
Reaching out to them is a necessary step. Any online or print type of marketing that you do will not appeal or apply to them, the majority of the time. If you call them or email them, ask them real estate questions. See if there’s anything they wish they had known.
See what their favorite parts of their new homes are. The point of these questions is to drive the conversations and learn anything you can do differently.
You can ask for a referral, preferably at the end of the call, but it can’t be the main basis of the phone call. You have to think of it as a relationship building phone call.
Calling them up and asking for that referral as the main objective is just going to shut them off to you.
Old clients are just a part of this pie. You should know the best contractors, appraisers, lenders, and insurance providers in the business.
Your job is to create a hub of a group of professionals that can advise and assist with anything real estate or home related.
7. Have a Morning Routine
Every good agent has a successful morning routine when they get into work.
The structure should spill into the rest of your day, and you need to plan your time out the best you can.
8. Communicate as Quickly as Possible
Clients hate when they don't get a call back in a decent time frame. It's certainly understandable; we all feel that way.
Find out the best ways that they want you to get in touch with them and provide a reasonable timeline so they know when they can anticipate a response from you. Anything over 24 hours is unacceptable.
The most successful agents return calls and emails promptly.
They get a lead and follow up immediately, answering any and all questions a client or potential client may have. They make their clients feel important, maintaining constant contact throughout the life of the transaction and after.
9. Fully Utilize Social Media
A part of your online presence (and a huge part), is conveying your life throughout different social media platforms.
You need to let your clients and prospects see what your personal life is like, and what you are all about. Don't hesitate to share some personal details on your business page.
How you respond to any inquiries, questions and anything online is how you’re going to constantly represent the brand you’re trying to build up. In real estate, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a separate personal and professional life.
Your social media accounts are a giant part of your online portrayal. Use that to help your brand thrive.
10. Know What Your Customers Want
"Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet."
Think of it a bit like gift shopping for a friend or acquaintance. The better you know the person, the easier it is to buy them something meaningful.
Their physical characteristics are only part of the equation.
What are their concerns and fears? Money, stability, mobility, status or image?
Knowing what interests them is key. People do business with people. You can’t relate a client or lead until you know what values and ideals are important to them.
11. Have Decent Insight about Mortgages and That Market
Chances are, your clients will ask a few lending questions. The more information you provide, the better.
You don't have to know every detail about each type of mortgage loan, but you should be able to answer basic questions about them.
12. Get Leads Anyway You Can
This last one might seem like the most obvious, but we're really saying not to refuse or dismiss any ways of prospecting. Be prepared to do things you don't nearly like or you aren't that comfortable with. Cold calling or cold leads drive some agents nuts.
But they're sometimes necessary.
Consider each time you hear "no" that it's another step closer to getting a yes. It is true if you look at it the statistics. Just keep going and never take it personally because that’s when people get down the most on this process.