I will tell you about five weak points of most real estate business plans that often cause these business plans to fail. I will also give you a few practical ideas on how to mitigate the potential impact of these fault lines.
We are inconsistent executing what’s on our schedules. I looked at the schedule I created in the beginning of the year, which I followed for a few months and then, I started loosing traction with the execution! I am so overwhelmed with daily tasks, that I forgot to self-organize once in a while. I stopped following my own plan. This plan made sense, when I was putting it together for the year and it also worked, when I used it for the first six months of that same year. The productivity was higher and I did not feel overwhelmed … I know most people can relate, since all of us at some point don’t do what’s on our calendar. Especially when it comes to appointments with ourselves. They seem to be always negotiable. No-one to criticize you for not showing up. If we are putting something on your schedule, it is with the intention of executing it on that date. No need to analyze our feelings about what we decided to do. If it is on the schedule, just do it!
Mixing things up. I tend to fall into the comfort of prospecting on the phone and forget to look at our performance dashboards. If I am not seeing the results we saw last quarter or the actual numbers are lagging behind the projections, the dashboard is screaming at you to mix things up. If you are a “Mike Ferry agent”, you prospect. If you spend most of your prospecting time making phone calls, you have to spend less time dialling and more time dialling up our door knocking. This is one obvious change you can make to shake things up. For example if you call Expired listings. Most of the phone numbers you hit are wrong and chances are that the ones that are correct are on the “Do Not Call” (DNC) list. An obvious answer to that is door knocking Expired’s doors. There are no phone number correctness issues or DNC considerations. You talk to leads face to face. You can make a similar argument for other sources of business as well. Whether it is more efficient to talk to people on the phone or through door knocking is an individual decision. Mix it up. Use these two methods of reaching out to people in combination and don’t get too comfortable with one at the expense of the other. You must commit to this change of schedule for 90 days to make it part of your prospecting habits.
Not pre-qualifying well enough. Or even worse, not pre-qualifying at all. Imagine that your seller lead is planning to interview 3 other agents in addition to you. First of all, without pre-qualifying you would likely not know this at all. But let’s assume that the seller volunteered this information. Now they are selecting one agent out of the pool of four. And if there are no irregularities, like “my mother-in-law” is an agent, which we did not find out because of poor pre-qualification, they will choose the agent who will give them the best perceived value. Positive personality, confidence and assertiveness will take you far, but they are no substitute for knowing your seller’s motivation and pricing expectation before you see them. Even if the seller is motivated to sell, which we wouldn’t know unless pre-qualified, we are still fighting for this listing against 3 other agents. If we don’t know the terrain, we will be fighting blind. All we need to do is make a 5 minute call before the appointment to avoid self-reproach and lost opportunities.
Not performing at a listing presentation. Number one performance related issue in a listing presentation is not using a script. Even if you are considering using one while driving to the appointment, it is already good a sign. At least you have a script in mind and hopefully you are rehearsing it as you are going to your destination. Do you actually use it, when sitting down with your client? May be you use parts of it and the rest you either skip or, instead of getting into closing, you get into a pleasant conversational back patting with the seller and forget that you are there to help them achieve their goals. This is the only reason you are there. To help them move. You need to be singleminded with using your question-based script to gather intelligence and to better understand their motivation, pricing considerations, time lines, fears, concerns and personalities. You are building rapport with them at the same time. By asking questions you show your seller lead that you are interested in them, in their situation and you will be providing them with a custom set of solutions to achieve their goals. At the same time you show them our expert level understanding of the market trends. You create a dialog with them when showing them the CMA. You do this with well designed and well practiced questions, where they speak 90% of the time within the context of your listing presentation. In the end it’s simple. The more you practice your listing presentation under realistic conditions, the higher your level of performance will be at a live presentation with a client.
Not paying enough attention to past clients and referral business. These people are the oxygen for the business. Especially so in tough tough market conditions. You need to call them often, take them out, send seasonal gifts and remember their kids birthdays. They will love the service and will only think about using or referring you. If you stick to a consistent execution of these 5 simple points, you will have more business within a quarter and as you know, in sales “more business begets more business”.