I have been interviewing new agents for many years now. I enjoy the process immensely. This might sound like a crazy notion, but I like looking for that key trait…that one thing that will pinpoint who is going to be successful and who isn’t. It isn’t black and white or an exact science either. Sometimes they throw you a curve ball. I have hired meek, mild-mannered types only to watch then turn into very successful agents and I have hired corporate types, used to working eighty hour work weeks, only to watch them fail miserably.
Last year I talked to a broker who performed psychological testing on everyone who applied for a job at his office. Depending on the results some would become buyer agents, others would work as seller agents and still others might end up as licensed assistants destined for a life of clerical work. Asking new recruits to sit in a room for an hour ticking off boxes of a questionnaire doesn’t seem like a lot of fun so I ask a lot of questions instead. Not just about work, but about hobbies, and successes outside of the work environment. I’m searching for the special chemical. That ingredient inside people that makes them want to be successful.
So far here is what I have learned. Good real estate agents are entrepreneurs at heart. They instinctively know what the end product looks like ( in the case of real estate it is nothing more than creating a system that will continually reward them with buyers and sellers) and then building a plan to get there. They have the ability to think on their feet, adapt or fine tune their strategy as the environment changes, and never lose sight of the prize. Every morning they wake up with set tasks and don’t rest until every chore is scratched off their list. They look for different ways to do work faster and better yet they quickly dismiss ideas that have no merit. Like entrepreneurs, creative types share similar traits. Whether they are craftsmen, chefs, set decorators, artists or designers, they start off with a vision and know what steps they need to create the finished product. Of course somewhere along the way both creative types and entrepreneurs know that learning the ins and outs of real estate is an important key to their success.
So the question remains, can success be learned or are we born with it? In doing the research for the this post I came across an article in psychology today about perseverance. According to the author, it’s what separates the winners from the losers in both sports and life. What makes us persevere and achieve our goals? It turns out that it boils down to science and something called Dopamine aka the “reward molecule”. Interestingly, scientists agree that we all have the power to increase our levels of Dopamine by forming good habits and having a positive attitude. Could it be as simple as that? Could the key to success be a positive attitude? Well maybe partially. Like in business, runners experience that same reward. If you ask a runner why they run their answer is usually something like “it makes me feel good”. Maybe all an agent needs to be a rock star is to experience the first taste of success.
At our company, we provide additional training for new agents that, amongst other goals, is designed to teach them the basics of day-to-day planning, time management and the art of prospecting. When we studied the agents that went through Bosley U over a three year period we found that nearly 80% had achieved significant success. In our minds that was proof that teaching the techniques of good business was a missing ingredient in standard licencing. A clear goal, a vision of the future, an understanding on what needs to happen to get there, and a strong knowledge of the real estate fundamentals are the building blocks of success. So it seems that the old saying “success breeds success” may have some value. Perhaps that explains why one person sell 40 homes a year and another sell 4.
mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.
I’m a big fan of trying to explain real estate in the simplest of terms, not because my readers have a low threshold for understanding information but because I want them to remember it. So without further ado, I bring you the three R’s of real estate. Relationships, Rewards and Referrals. I talk a lot about prospecting because, simply put, if you aren’t adding 10 prospects a day to your sales funnel (hey I’d settle for 5 a day), then you aren’t doing it right. Of course adding names to a list or a computer program isn’t going to improve your business unless you are prepared to act (or interact) with your prospects. Successful agents manage their prospect lists on a daily basis. It goes without saying that this is about building relationships. Typically you build relationships by building trust. That trust comes from honest discussions, market and product knowledge, how you dress and how you talk and communicate. It can even come from something as simple as returning calls promptly. So you’ve built the trust and your clients have purchased a house. It’s reward time for both of you. Short and sweet. You have found the perfect house, you’ve negotiated the deal and provided excellent post-sale care. You have been rewarded with a commission and your clients have a new home. Time to watch the referrals pour in. It should literally be as easy as that. Lets call it the circle of real estate life. Lets also remember that buyers and sellers are a fickle bunch so keep constant contact with past clients. You never know when their friends or relatives are going to sell and you want to remain top of mind!
Well the holiday season is upon us and this year RealtyLab’s mission is to take the guesswork out of buying for the Realtors in your life. No need to ask yourself “did I buy the right thing?”. We have something for everyone. Ok, ok, I usually have much more serious topics to blog about… just thought it might be fun to shake it up a bit.
The Shoe Inn Fusion shoe cover dispenser is the perfect gift for the open house specialist. This model and is perfect for medium to high-volume uses. This stainless steel and ABS plastic machine, which holds up to 110 disposable shoe covers in one bundle, is easily loaded in bulk, which makes it easy to maintain in higher volume applications. Because it does not require electricity to operate, the Shoe Inn Fusion can be easily deployed at any suitable location. While it is ideal for use in a variety of environments such as a laboratory or healthcare facility, we think it is the perfect gift for Realtors too. You’ll benefit from the added safety, ease of use, and time savings from a Fusion shoe cover dispenser. Just slip your foot it heel first and get covered! $299 http://www.theshoecovers.com/Shoe-Inn-Fusion-Shoe-Cover-Dispenser-p/SI-7150-Shoe-Cover-Dispenser.htm
The oldest trick in the book is now available to the special Realtor in your life for just $8.50. This candle smells just like freshly baked bread. People cannot believe how realistic it smells! These candles have been used for church services, stage productions & open houses because of their realistic aroma. No oven or bread machine required and you get to keep your hands dough free! order on-line at; http://fetosoap.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=18
Dyson vacuum. Ready to go anytime for a quick little tidy up of your ride before meeting clients or a quick vacuum before your open house, the Dyson DC34 Animal is the most powerful handheld vacuum, with a longer run time and a motorized brush bar for pet hair removal. Dual power mode gives 15 minutes of high constant suction, or 6 minutes of MAX power for more difficult tasks. $279.00 at selected retailers.
How about a mini tool kit. Think about it, you just arrived at your open house to find the cupboard door has fallen off. Don’t you wish you had a medium Philips screwdriver to make a quick repair. Mastercraft Multi-Purpose Tool Set, 67-Pc. From $89 at Canadian Tire.
Lockbox. The LockState KD-100 KeyDock Lock Box is a simple and secure way to allow access for homeowners, realtors, repairman, or vacation renters. It has a water-resistant housing that allows it to be installed anywhere without fear of it rusting or becoming corroded. With its easy installation and ability to set your own combination, the LockState KD-100 is perfect for anyone. Pack of 6 for the big lister in your life. $144 at Home Depot
iPad apps iTunes. Are you afraid that the Realtor in your life isn’t going to appreciate the CD of 1001 furniture pieces for home decor? Never fear. Consider giving them a iTunes gift certificate for an app of their choice. Heck, for $50 you can buy a dozen apps.
Want your Realtor to ooze success? Consider iPad holder for the car. Actually holding an iPad is so 2011. Blow client’s minds with maps, listings and video tours of the property before you even arrive. Do you have a bicycle built for two? Don’t worry, you can buy the optional bike handle mount. From about $150.
Do you want the Realtor in your life to OOZE success? Consider the ipad holder for their car. Even that 1987 brown Honda Civic will look decidedly upmarket with the Rammount ipad holder. I mean really, having your client hold an ipad is so 2011. This gift is guaranteed to blow a client’s mind with maps, listings, and video tours of the property before you even arrive. Don’t have a car? No problem. Rammmount has a mount for your bike or scooter. From about $150. http://www.rammount.com/Products/AppleMounts/tabid/1647/Default.aspx#/
Set the mood with some smooth background sounds or awesome lounge music at your next open house with this Bose® SoundLink® Air digital music system with AirPlay. Forget wobbly docking connections. Enjoy music wirelessly from your Apple devices with the Bose SoundLink Air digital music system. Delivering clear, room-filling sound thanks to Bose’ waveguide technology, the SoundLink uses AirPlay to deliver stunning wireless audio with no latency. The Bose SoundLink Air digital music system is fully compatible with iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and computers running iTunes. $379 available at Future shop or online at www.futureshop.ca
The only thing stopping the Realtor in your life from making the BIG bucks is the fact that they aren’t doing video blogging. That’s because they don’t have a Gorillapod. $30 available online from photojoj http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/mobile-gorillapod/
And hey, if you are going to break into video blogging, consider this awesome Microphone boom also available online from photojojo because there’s nothing worse than straining to hear someone speak over the sounds of a freight train zooming by. $40 http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/iphone-boom-mic/
As cheesy as it sounds, agents spend a lot of time on their feet, so why not reward all that time with a foot massager? Just imagine….a long day schlepping through the snow…ah the relief of a nice hot foot massage. Dreamy! TryDr. Scholl’s Hot & cold Shiatsu Foot Massager from Walmart. $58.78
Ever since converting to ipad and iphones, Realtors have been bothered by one simple hassle. Why do I have to take off my winter gloves to operate my device? Well, with a pair of Conductive gloves from Boxwave, you never will. These babies have built-in conductive fingertips so you can enjoy full use of your touchscreen without exposing your bare hands. Elastic wrist cuff. Available in Black and Gray. $19.14 from Amazon.ca
Is the Realtor in your life a religious person? If they are you may want to consider a St Joseph statue, known as The Patron saint of home sales. The custom of burying a statue of Saint Joseph upside down in the yard while one’s house is for sale goes back a long way in the United States. he is the Patron Saint of real estate matters and home sales, and as Saint Joseph the Worker, he helps people find employment. The reason given for these beliefs is that he was a carpenter who taught his step-son Jesus the carpentering trade, and he always saw to it that Jesus was well housed. Hey, when the market slows down, this might be a good thing to add to your marketing package….Just to cover all the bases. Available at HAR Supercenter. www.realtorstore.har.com $6.98
Custom welcome matt. They say first impressions are the most important so why not start wooing them right at the front door with a “welcome to my open house” door matt, or maybe “welcome to another ABC Realty Open House”. You may want to have a slightly different message than the one shown. Try http://www.personalizeddoormats.com/ Prices start at about $60.