Are you squandering the best real estate economy in decades?

by Tom Ferry

Big word alert: Trifurcation.

You don’t hear that one too often, but it’s happening in our industry right now.

What’s it mean? Basically that there are three distinct categories of residential real estate agents. The way I see it, one group is scaling their businesses (good), one group is stuck (bad, but hopeful), and the other group is practically dead in the water (what a waste).

Here’s why it absolutely matters: We’re experiencing the greatest real estate economy in decades, if not my entire lifetime. There’s so much opportunity out there right now. But far too many agents are squandering it. Let’s take a look at these three groups and what you can do to “level up” your business…

5 Steps to Kick-Start Your Business

Let’s start by examining the first group: agents who haven’t sold a house yet this year. Maybe they’re new to the business, maybe they’re part time or maybe they’re just not doing the work required.

Here are five steps they need to take:

  1. Interested or committed? The market doesn’t need agents not committed to learning and doing what it takes to successfully help today’s modern customer. So, you have to decide — are you interested or are you committed? Excuse my bluntness, but if you’re not fully committed, it’s time to seek a new career path.
  2. Know the market. Now is the time to really dig in and study the MLS on a daily basis so you can speak intelligently about the emerging trends in real estate with prospects and clients. You need to know what’s selling, what’s not, time on market for various property types, interest rate info and more. By doing so, your confidence will soar, too.
  3. Master your reply for when people ask, “How’s the market?” For many years, I stuck to one specific script for this, but now I’ve introduced a new version during the pandemic. The original response went like this: “It really depends. Are you looking to buy, sell, invest, or rent? Each of those markets is very different.” Then you can follow whichever path they indicate. You may also hear, “Oh, I was just curious,” in which case you look them right in the eye and say, “That’s fine. Who are you asking for?” This often opens up the conversation to someone they know who might be planning a move in the near future. My new pandemic response to “How’s the market?” goes like this: “The market is actually very challenging.” Then continue with some market-related specifics. In most areas, these three elements will be true: “There’s virtually no inventory. There are tons of buyers. And mortgage rates are at all-time lows.” Then the key is to turn the conversation back to them, with an empathetic ear: “But hey, how are YOU doing? How has the pandemic or working from home impacted your housing needs?” The objective in both scripts is the same – to find their motivation. Learn and use them both!
  4. Call everyone in your sphere to check in on them and ask this question: “How has the pandemic changed the way you’re thinking about your home?” Then, don’t say anything. Don’t give them an “out.” Wait until they respond, and listen carefully.
  5. Add two lead sources beyond your sphere from the top five lead pillars used by our real estate coaching members who average 36 transaction sides annually:
  • Your database
  • Geographic farming
  • Digital/social advertising
  • Open houses (including virtual)
  • Marketing to owners of single-family residences
  • Circle-dialing around recent sales with no inventory and the famous “Yikes” campaign – a direct mail piece informing homeowners that you have buyers ready and willing to buy in their neighborhood to see if they’ve had any thoughts of selling.

Getting Unstuck

Those in the second group are busy but “stuck” at a productivity ceiling because of one specific obstacle — they’re simply maxed out on time.

My message to those people: Delegate. The biggest hindrance to growth I see is agents being stuck in an “I’m the only one who can do this right” mindset.

Get over yourself. You should be focused on dollar-productive activities, actions I like to call the “highest and best use” of your time.

Opportunities like today’s market don’t come often, and if you fail to capitalize on it because you insist on handling every last piece of paperwork yourself, you’re going to regret it.

Whether you hire, outsource or partner with others, it’s time to get resourceful and scale your business. Here’s a list of everything an assistant can do for you. You have to let go to grow!

Keep Scaling!

If you’re already part of the third group — in growth mode and scaling — my advice is to push it even further. Today’s top real estate agents are scaling every area of their business: their brand (and the trust forged with members of their communities), the leadership around them allowing them to do their highest and best, which impacts their number of appointments, their listings taken, the size of their team (who do you need to hire?), their market share, their transaction totals, their gross commission income… all of which impact their quality of life.

So… which group are you in? And more importantly, what steps are you going to take next? I’ve laid out the path forward for you. Now it’s just about taking action to capitalize on the best real estate market I’ve ever seen. Go!

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