This has been a brutal winter in Toronto. Not only did we get hit with an ice storm and then successive snow storms that left the sidewalks covered and dangerous all season long, we had extraordinary low temperatures. As a running addict, this is not good news for me. Sure, the stationary bike is ok in a pinch, but to really feel the burn of a good down to earth workout, please… just let me lace up my runners and hit the street. Two years ago I clocked over 1000kms. Last year in excess of 1300km. This year I basically suck. While I have found a couple of opportunities to get outside it’s only now that I can get out and really “get some miles on”.
Last year I also wrote a ton of blog posts on how running and prospecting required the same amount of effort and determination and, quite frankly, I thought I had run out of comparisons…until today. Having been relatively dormant for the last three months has been hard, but today I managed my longest run of the year and I can only assume it is because I haven’t forgotten the principles of running.
It should come as no surprise that prospecting is meant to achieve real estate success and longevity by adding qualified people to your database, then connecting with them and staying top of mind. Imagine filling up a huge bucket with potential and past clients. At some point you just can’t jam anymore names in the bucket. But that’s okay. If the bucket is big enough you may never have to add to it again. But here’s the good news…when business slows down you have the skills, experience and wherewithal to start filling it again. Easy peasy. The habits that you develop early on in your career will allow you to turn it on and off seamlessly.
mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and Director at Large for the Toronto Real Estate Board.
I think I may have come to the proverbial end of the road when it comes to my blogging on prospecting. I’ve said it often enough, prospecting and running are very similar. So on yesterday’s run, my 89th of the year, I decided to figure out how much money I would have made if I stayed true to my rules on prospecting.
Imagine this; Your goal was to contact 10 people for every time I ran. Just so we are clear, when I talk about prospecting I’m talking about meaningful real estate discussions that last more than a few minutes. So you’ve talked to 1000 people (100 runs times 10 people).Now, the general rule of thumb for prospecting is that every 50 meaningful conversations will get you a buyer or a seller contract. That means that you signed 20 contracts over the course of the year. Guess what? If you work in Toronto you are doing better than 3/4’s of all TREB agents already. For simple math lets assume that the average commission is $5,000 because, as a new agent, you are doing a few rental deals in there too. This year you have made a pretty decent living.
Prospecting is a simply thing to do once you sit down and put your mind to it. As I have found, it is much harder to do it consistently. Just like running, there are a lot of excuses for not getting out of bed at 5:30 in the morning and hitting the pavement for an hour. What I have learned is that prospecting, like running, can be habit-forming and that is the true key to success. Sure, lots of things can get in your way, and it’s easy to roll over and go back to sleep. The hard part is to take the first step. You get out of bed one leg at a time, right?
So what’s the goal for the next year? How about keeping it simple. Hear’s the funny thing about consistent prospecting that is a real bonus for the following years. Remember those 1000 people who you talked to? They are still prospects. You still have 980 people who you didn’t sign a contract with, so in year two you can add them into your next 1000. You are bound to pick up a couple from the first 1000 and another 20 from the next 1000. See how it works? It’s the sales funnel in action!
Well, I’m going to keep running as long as my knees and back hold up. Now I just have to think about other things to blog about. Any ideas?
We are officially through the first quarter of the year and this seems like as good a time as any to ask the simple question… how’s it going so far? Have you registered anything in the win column yet? How is your prospecting doing? Are you keeping up? I think it is fair to say that prospecting is one of the easiest things to do but also one of the hardest things to do EVERYDAY. You have probably figured that out already.I talk about the “routine of prospecting” a lot because when you are starting out, it is just like treading water. Stop doing it and you go straight to the bottom.
As you know, I like running. It is part of my weekly fitness regiment and I try to get out as often as I can. Some runs are better than others but the point is that no matter what the quality of the run, I know that I am improving my overall fitness level. On those days that I’m not dialed in, my goal is just to burn calories and if I’m feeling great I work on speed. While agents should always be building relationships with new clients it is clear that some prospecting is better than others. Years ago, my marketing and on-line presence was getting me tons of buyers and I was frustrated with how few listings I was getting. I was spending a lot of time showing properties in a time when where wasn’t much to show. Then I switched up my marketing efforts to find more sellers. I perfected my pitch right around the time when it turned to a buyers market. The lesson then is do a little bit of everything.
The question I want to ask today is; are you prospecting for buyers AND sellers? While the Toronto Real Estate Market continues to frustrate agents with its lack of listings appropriate to our ever-expanding first time buyer clients it seems clear that our efforts should be shifting to prospecting for sellers but does that mean we should forgo prospecting for buyers? I don’t think so.
So, lets take a collective deep breath and focus on the task at hand. Keep prospecting for buyers and sellers. Remember, I’m just a click away if you need to strategize on getting more business.