Business Building

THREE AREAS OF YOUR BUSINESS

Any successful businessperson, over a span of years, has embraced the focus to build three areas of their business simultaneously. These three areas are the growth areas, working “in” the business, and working “on” the business.

Growth

Growth is the engine that drives sales growth. It’s the part of the business that brings in the revenue of the business. The more time invested in growth daily, weekly, monthly, the greater the resulting income. The vast majority of Agents spend too little time in growth. Growth is the DIPA activities that I have talked about throughout my writings. Growth is the critical part of the business, without growth, a business will fail.

I know a lot of Agents who are highly skilled at growth, but poorly skilled in administration and business planning, who earn large amounts of money. I know very few Champion Agents who are not highly skilled at growth. You can have huge deficiencies in administration and even customer service (I don’t recommend it) but still win the income game through growth. You can’t be deficient in growth and win. Growth is the engine that powers the train; you must first pay attention to growth. Your prospecting should comprise 65% of the time you invest in growth daily. If you don’t prospect, the other growth areas won’t happen.

“In” the business

Working “in” the business is the administration or production supporting activities. These need to be done, but not at the expense of growth. The “in” area focuses on you being an employee working in your business doing functions any employee would do. Our goal through the segment of working “in” our business is producing results for our delighted clients. We are trying to turn clients into evangelists so they generate referrals.   Their transition to that level of customer satisfaction comes from working “in” the business. If you create good systems, processes, checklists, and have highly trained staff you can reduce the time you invest in this area.

“On” the business

This segment is the segments most Agents neglect until they want to retire and find out they have nothing to sell. In Michael Gerber’s book, The E-myth, he talks about the myth of an entrepreneur. He describes that most entrepreneurs have really bought a well paying job and don’t really own a business. Realtors® clearly fit into that category of entrepreneur. We also clearly fit into buying a well paying job.

When we work “on” our business, it really shapes our long-term success and growth from just running faster on the treadmill of your business and life. Your long-term financial wealth is contained in the working “on” your business segment. Your ability to earn a profit and increase the profit is key. Remember, sales is a margins game. The more time we invest to plan, read, strategize, evaluate, and implement new ideas, tactics, and strategies, the more we evaluate the market, our time, our numbers, and return an investment, the more ownership we gain. Becoming the owner of your real estate business only happens through diligent working “on” your business. Instead of being a highly compensated employee who pays the bills, why not become the one who orchestrates the growth of the company? Be the one who has something to sell when you want to transition or retire.

Working on your business is critical to helping you move to the next level of production, or to decrease time worked without reducing income, or finding where to cut expenses by 10%. Working on your business will help you create economies of scale in administration and new ways to produce growth and income in your business. You need one hour per day of working “on” the business. For every minute you plan, you will save ten minutes in implementation.

What do you think your business would look like in 90 days, or even six months, if you were to implement the below daily routine?

Growth:                  3 hours

Administration:   1 to 2 hours

Business:                1 hour

By following the review patterns or pausing at the end of a day, week, month, quarter, six months, and year, you automatically increase the “on” time in your business. Another technique would be to schedule a block of additional planning and execution time at the end of each week. Most of our clients have ninety minutes of planning time each week where they work to improve their business. If you work to employ these techniques, you will transform the results of your business in a few short months.

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COACHING YOURSELF TO THE CHAMPION LEVEL

Too often, as agents, we can feel like an island out in the middle of the sea with no other land in sight. We feel alone and trapped – far short of where we had hoped or imagined. One of the reasons we selected real estate sales is due to the opportunities and flexibility our independent career offers us. We are truly an independent contractor; a self-employed individual and business.

I frequently say that one of the best things about being an independent contractor is nobody can tell us what to do, how to do it, or when to do it. We control our success and also our failure. At the same time, one of the worst things about real estate sales is that we are independent contractors. No one can tell us what to do, how to do it, or when to do it. It’s the yin and yang of the business.

We are self-employed, so we are our own employers and our own employees. This creates a unique relationship with the potential of a “me/me” conflict. There is a personal, internal conflict between diligence and laziness, perseverance and quitting, success and failure. We have the same responsibilities to manage ourselves as we would if we were managing salespeople in a sales manager role. We must manage ourselves as if we are paying someone else an equal amount of money to do what we make or plan to make.

We are in a competitive business. We are not an exclusive source of real estate services. We are in competition because there are more agents than business. We might like and enjoy these competing agents, but we still must focus on taking market share away from them. We don’t significantly influence the number of transactions done annually in our marketplace. Generally speaking, there are a set number of transactions in any given year in any marketplace. If we want to increase our business, we will need to take transactions from someone else. I know many of you don’t like me saying that, but it’s true. If you get more, someone will need to get less.

We don’t own our prospects; they don’t owe us with their business or commission dollars. Our job is to compete to earn their business initially and continually for life. We must use our sales skills, service benefits, competitive points of difference, value, tools, materials, and systems to promote us favorably to our targeted markets, prospects, and clients.

We must be willing to invest in ourselves and in our business. We have all heard the statement “It takes money to earn money.” We also know the wisest investments we can make are in ourselves. You are the greatest asset you have to create income and expand your business. By developing your knowledge, skills, and attitudes, as well as creating systems that are productive, you are guaranteed growth in your business.

If you want to invest in the greatest asset of yourself, kick start a revenue increase and also ensure your success in the future, you need to focus on 3 critical areas that will make a big impact on your level of success and revenue. Learn more here: http://www.realestatechampions.com/thesuccesstrio

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INCREASING YOUR SLICE OF THE MARKET

There is nothing that attracts business more easily than dominant market share. When you have increased your slice of the pie to the point that it dwarfs your competition, the prospects begin to seek you out.

I coach an agent on the east coast who, in the two towns she dominates, single handedly sells more homes than the number two and number three companies in sales and unit volume. One year she listed and sold 66 properties in her market areas, over which time the top competing companies together sold 59. And the balance just keeps tipping in her favor, because success breeds success and nothing indicates success better than dominant market share.

What is market share? Market share is the percentage of sales that you control in your marketplace. Market share can be based on listings taken, listings sold, buyer sales, sales volume, or sales by units. In any case, your share reflects the portion of total market activity that is represented by you or your company.

To calculate your market share, simply divide your or your company’s production against the overall production of your marketplace. For example, if 575 homes sold last year in your market area, and if your company sold 215 of those 575, then your company handled 37% of all transactions and controls 37% of the market activity (215 ÷ 575 = .37).

Also, calculate market share in various market segments. You might find that your overall market share is low but that you have a commanding market share in a certain neighborhood or price category.

Market penetration is another way to describe market share. If you command large share of your market, you’ve achieved significant market penetration. If your market share is minimal, your penetration is minimal as well.

A single agent can’t expect to penetrate a broad market overnight, if ever. For years, I worked the east side of Portland, Oregon – a geographic area that was home to 750,000 people. Even as productive as I was, with 150 home sales a year, my market share when compared to the size of the marketplace was miniscule. I barely scratched the market surface, let alone penetrate it. But within the market niche I’d carved, I was a dominant force.

A niche is a segment of the overall market. Niche marketers serve a select group of consumers whose interests and needs are distinctly different from the needs of the market in general. Think of niche marketers as big fish in small ponds.

You can create a market niche by serving consumers in a particular geographic area, consumers seeking a certain property type, a certain type of buyer or seller, a certain income category, the list is goes on and on. You can create a niche by focusing your efforts and increasing your penetration of FSBOs, Expireds, non-owner occupied properties, or small multiplexes.

The key to gaining penetration in a niche is focus. You have to decide which smaller section of the marketplace you want to work and quit trying to be all things to all people. Then, once you identify your niche, you need to create presence, penetration, and dominance, following these steps:

*  Make contact with prospects in your niche not just once but repeatedly over a compact period of time.

Studies show that it takes six impressions for a consumer simply to recognize or retain who you are. By increasing both the number and frequency of contacts with prospects, you can increase your market awareness, which is a first step in achieving market penetration.

*  Make personal contact. For most agents, the preferred method of contact with people located in a geographic segment is mail. They mail and mail and mail their prospects to death. They send refrigerator magnets, note pads featuring the agent’s name and face, local football, baseball, or basketball game schedules, annual calendars, and more. Guess what? That’s not enough to achieve market penetration.

A few years ago, I started working with a client named Sue who wanted to penetrate a large gated community where the turnover of homes was brisk and the sales prices were high. She’d given herself a tall order because another agent dominated the market and controlled more than a third of all the community’s real estate business. Luckily, though, the dominant agent had gotten lazy and reverted to easier contact approaches than face-to-face visits. Sue moved in with well-designed marketing pieces for use in mailing, but also with a well-crafted personal contact strategy. When all was said and done and her market share goal was met and exceeded, she determined that her success didn’t stem from marketing pieces that were better than the other agent’s pieces. Her success came from the fact that the people who lived in the gated community saw her frequently.

Whenever anyone in her firm listed a property in the community, she’d ask and receive permission from the listing agent to hold it open. Then, prior to the open house, she’d walk around the neighborhood personally inviting the neighbors. In between open houses, she provided the neighborhood with regular market updates. And on a constant basis she was personally very visible in the community, spending a few hours each week meeting and greeting her prospective clients.

When an expired listing came off the market, she showed up at the owners’ front door. When a FSBO sign appeared in a front yard, she was there, as well. In fewer than 20 months she went from a single-digit market share to a share of over 30%. Meanwhile, the once-dominant agent went from 37% to less than 20%. She had been beaten by the effectiveness of personal contact.

How to achieve market dominance

To become a dominant market force, you need to take market share from someone else. Dominance involves growing your percentage of the overall marketplace until you control a greater share of market business than any competitor. In some markets, which are shared by a great number of competitors, a 10% share might be dominant. In other situations, where fewer competitors exist, you might need 30% or even a higher share in order to be the dominant player.

To gain market share and dominance, first you need to gain recognition, which results almost automatically from simply doing more than you are expected to do:

*  Do more personal prospecting.

*  Create more useable market and industry information.

*  Have more communication with your clients.

*  Do more for your community, by sponsoring picnics, baseball or soccer teams, or community events as a few examples.

Doing more than is expected will earn you recognition and create a buzz about how you are different. Your reputation will be enhanced. Suddenly, rather than being an unknown agent you’ll be a “name,” a known entity.

Then, with the confidence you build through your awareness-development efforts go one step further. Dare to do things that no one else is willing to do.

 Sue, my client in the preceding anecdote, was willing to take the risk of rejection by calling on people and meeting then face-to-face. Her competitor, even though she was the market’s dominant force at the time, was unwilling to subject herself to the potential rejection. Of all the approaches I’ve seen, I believe that establishing more personal contact is the easiest, most cost-effective way to move to a position of dominance in a real estate market.

By taking each of the preceding steps – choosing a market segment, establishing contact, gaining awareness, establishing personal rapport, going beyond the expected, and daring to be different in your communication approaches – over a period of 18-24 months, you will penetrate your target market niche and be well on your way to achieving market dominance.

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FOUR CORE PLANS

There are four fundamental plans that any Agent needs to construct to increase their production and quality of life dramatically. It doesn’t matter where you are on the success continuum; you must construct and execute these four core plans or models. Whatever level of success you at in your career today is because of where you are in relation to the construction of these plans. If you are a new Agent, you have a lot of work ahead. If you are inconsistent in your production and income, you might have a rough outline but few details. If you are consistent in your earnings, you have filled in a few of the details, but the big growth for you will come when you complete the construction. If you are already a Champion, you are in the fine-tuning stage. You must be vigilant in your focus to execute and tweak your four core plans. The four plans each Agent must have are time management, business management, personal management, and activity management.

Time management is always ranked as one of the top three problems in surveys we conduct with Agents, Brokers, and Real Estate Companies. I get asked to speak on time management more than any other topic. The implementation of a solid time management plan alone will increase your revenue by well over 30% in the next year if you are a new or inconsistent Agent.

A business management plan is essential to determine the results of your efforts. What does the financial score board say about your business? Too many Agents run businesses that are only marginally profitable. That’s bad enough. The worst part is that they don’t even know it. They don’t have a system of checks and balances to monitor the business results. As you expand your business and include more people, marketing, and advertising, you must be able to monitor the physical and financial results of your team’s efforts. You must have clear standards and practices to evaluate performance and results.

A personal management system is probably the hardest area to work on. This one takes dead aim at you. It is where you are personally in your journey of success. Are you investing in your largest business asset . . . you? Are you holding yourself accountable enough for the things you need to do? Are you able to look at yourself and your performance with a discerning eye?

Champion Rule: A Champion Agent is honest with themselves about where they fall short.

 I am not saying that a Champion is in a constant state of self-deprecation. They just have the willingness to be able to see their shortcomings and work to change them. If they feel they are not as strong on the listing presentation as they should be, they admit it and work to improve it. The people who are Champion Performers are most honest with themselves. They are able to ask themselves this series of questions on a regular basis to create urgency and change.

  1. What are my strengths?
  2. What are my weaknesses?
  3. What new behaviors do I need to embrace to achieve a higher level of success?
  4. What are the key abilities I need to possess to unlock my true potential?
  5. Why am I not taking the action I need to take?

 

These are all the questions a Champion would ask themselves at least quarterly to see how they are progressing. The goal in life is progression . . . moving forward. Earl Nightingale defined success as “the progressive realization of a worthy goal or worthy ideal.” Your progressive journey to the Champion level of income, quality of life, business, and family is worthy. It’s worthy of the investment of time and energy.

I want to share with you my favorite question for Champion Agents. It’s focused on improvement but also on the fact that there are priorities. The question is, “What’s the one thing that, if you mastered it right now, would make the biggest difference in your life?” That is a Champion question for a Champion Agent. It focuses us on our most significant barrier to greater success. We have to look at what creates the biggest return for us if we are willing to change. This question makes us recognize that we could change but might select a less valuable area to change. This lower-priority area would produce a diminished result.

Champion Rule: A Champion focuses on removing the limiting step . . . now!

 Through years of coaching top performing Agents, I have come to realize how powerful removal of the limiting step can be. Each one of us is faced with a bottle neck. It’s a choke point right in front of us that we need to remove. Until we remove the limiting step or choke point, our improvement and change will be minimal. You will make strides of improvement, but it won’t be explosive, exponential, or vast improvement. Major breakthroughs in business and life come from removal of our limiting step. We are all facing one right now. We have to be willing to find that one and remove it.

For example, a few years ago, I was working with a successful Agent in Champaign, IL. He was the top Agent in the marketplace. The challenge was his profitability could have been a lot better. He was a veteran Agent who worked mainly by referral for over twenty years. We traced his problem to over-expenditure in marketing, advertising, and personal time invested into each listing. We didn’t stop there because that wasn’t the limiting step. We traced it back to the fact that his days on the market average for properties was much higher than the board’s. This longer marketing time increased his expenses. It also influenced his average list price to sale price. On average, he had to do 2.35 price reductions on the 123 homes he listed each year before they sold.

His limiting step was his price counseling segment of his listing presentation. The Sellers talked him into taking the home for more, even though he was the #1 Agent in the market, worked for the #1 company, had over twenty years of experience, and did mostly referral business. Mastering that one area in the next few weeks dramatically changed his business and life. He netted over $5,000 a month more, cut his days on the market by 50%, and increased his list price to sale price ratio by 7% in just a few months. He also enjoyed the business more because he was spending less time getting price reductions and had happier clients because they were not set up for failure.

What is the one thing that, if you mastered it now, would make the biggest difference in your life?

Lastly, we must construct an activity management plan. This is where each day’s activities are monitored, counted, and measured compared to your results. There is clearly a cause and effect relationship between activity and results. The question is what are the ratios of connection. What can you expect the return to be?

I was working with a client in Detroit, Michigan. Because the local economy had been affected by the automobile industry, the market had toughened substantially. By reviewing his activity management plan, we determined that the number of leads he was generating through his marketing efforts and prospecting efforts had dropped. In three months, his leads per thousand mail pieces had declined by 33%. His conversion ratio on those leads had dropped another 18%. So he was getting fewer leads overall, but the lead quality and conversion rate had also declined. His telephone prospecting leads didn’t drop as much but still showed degradation at a 21% drop in lead generation and an 11% drop in conversion.

We concluded that he needed to double the amount of contacts he was making in the mail and telephone lead generation areas to make-up for the marketplace change. I can tell you he wasn’t excited about having to do it, but he could clearly understand why he needed to do it. That’s the value of a good activity management system.

Champion Rule: When performance is measured, performance improves.

 If you want to become a Champion Agent, you need to measure your performance. You need to count, track, and calculate your daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly numbers for contacts, leads, appointments, listings, and sales. The sheer act of measuring raises the awareness and improves the results you achieve.

Champion Rule: When performance is measured and reported, performance improves faster!

 As Champions, we want to move beyond the awareness level of improvement. By reporting your performance to your Broker, your spouse, another Agent, or your Coach, you increase the speed of change. You increase the speed of your income and earnings. You must have a way to report your performance and efforts to someone who will help you or hold you accountable for what you need to do.

That is certainly a role that we at Real Estate Champions know well since we are one of the longest running, most established coaching companies in the real estate industry. The vast majority of Champion Performers had coaches or at least mentors at one time or another. I firmly believe that, as an Agent trying to achieve Champion level performance, you need to consider a Coach. I would encourage you, before you make a decision on a Coach, whether internal (through a Coach inside your Real Estate Company) or external (through a coaching company), go to our website www.RealEstateChampions.com to really understand what coaching is and isn’t. There are many imposters who are selling basic training or marketing programs dressed up as coaching. We have the tools to help you construct the four fundamental plans to increase your production and quality of life significantly.

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Problems With Training Today

In talking to real estate Brokers, owners, and executives, I hear this comment frequently, “My agents don’t come to training.” There are a number of reasons why it’s never been more challenging to drive attendance. The agents might feel the internal training is not as valuable. That is either just a perception or could be reality. I have reviewed a number of large international brands’ training courses and there is a high percentage of them that are lacking in instructional design, organization, and content quality.

Let’s assume that the content and value are high for your company’s training, but you still are lacking the attendance numbers you desire. The problem is most likely in the delivery methods of the training. Quality training and skill improvement programs can be segmented into three categories:

  1. Synchronous
  2. Asynchronous
  3. Blended Learning

 

Better than 90% of all training conducted in the real estate industry, whether internal in companies or external providers, is synchronous training. Synchronous training is defined as classes or courses that require the students or learners to be present at the same time as the instructors. The training happens in the exact same hour. Frequently, the synchronous training requires the same location as well. Because most agents’ businesses have shifted to almost 24/7 days due to the technology advancement and open access, some agents plan to attend and then have an emergency come up or become side tracked. Those agents tend to miss your offerings of training. Creating the ability for the synchronous training to be accessible, live without being present in the office, can open doors to agents. Using a live, virtual classroom can increase attendance numbers and participation. Through the proper instructional design, the training can be interactive, fast paced, skill improvement oriented, and fun.

At Real Estate Champions we have done more than 5,000 training sessions in our live, virtual classroom. We have done more than any company in the real estate industry. As good as a live, virtual classroom can be, it’s still synchronous training. Less than 4% of all real estate companies are offering quality asynchronous learning. Asynchronous allows the learner to take a training program or course on their own schedule. Quality asynchronous courses include engagement, feedback loops, contribution and collaboration strategies to create both individual and group learning.  They incorporate scenario learning, gamification, and quizzes.

In today’s learning environment, it is imperative to offer both avenues of learning in the creation of a blended learning environment. The blended learning where there is a clear marriage of synchronous and asynchronous in the design phase of development of the learning is the secret sauce. It’s moving out of the event or “brain dump of information” into spaced or incremental learning. It creates opportunities to implement new technologies and skill sets where agents can at times work independently based on their timeframe, but report results at intervals in the synchronous segments of the blended learning design.

The barrier for most companies, especially smaller companies, is the high cost of development of asynchronous training. Most Brokers and companies can design and deliver synchronous well enough.

It’s when they are faced with building new content, hiring a skilled instructional designer, video production, post-production, integration of games, scenario learning, quizzes and measurement metrics, that’s where the budget can go off the rails.

Companies must create asynchronous and blended learning for their agents. The millennial agents that all brokerages are working to recruit are demanding it. They are natives to online learning. The next generation of agent expects quality, accessible online training and education.

If you are recognizing a donut hole in your training, let me suggest the first step to fixing the issue is awareness. If you understand that your offerings are in one category, synchronous, you know a problem exists. If you want to explore a few solutions to broaden your training offerings into the asynchronous or blended learning categories, I am sure a quick discussion would be in order.

If you would like to understand the ins and outs at a deeper level of asynchronous and blended learning, click on this video link so we can provide you additional guidance in your development of your learning and skill development programming to recruit, retain, and improve your agent’s performance.

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Real Estate Industry Caught Behind the Learning Curve

The real estate industry and how we develop our most important resource, our salespeople, is archaic. The learning and performance improvement methodologies are stuck in the 70’s. Most real estate companies and outside subject matters experts (SME) are still caught in delivery methods that have proven to be less effective. It reminds me of my good friend Zig Ziglar’s classic story:

A little boy asks his mother as they are preparing a holiday meal why she cuts off the ends of the ham. She says, “I don’t know. My mother always did it this way.” Now this four-year-old boy said, “Let’s call Grandma right now and find out.” So they call Grandma and ask why she always cut the ends off the ham. Her reply: Her roaster was too small!

It’s easy to design and deliver the wrong training solution because “we have always done it that way”.   Successful training programs for sales force development are instructionally designed differently in today’s information and mobile agent age. Yet they still must utilize these 5 core principles for success.

1. Incremental:

Personal development, personal and career growth, success, progress and potential concepts. Coach (human resources officer, supervisor) help employee with his growth symbolized by stairs.

Any successful sales enhancement or skill building process is not an event. An event is defined as a one time or even multiple-time training opportunity but delivered in a short duration of time. The attendance live at a 3 consecutive day training program is still an event. This process immerses the learner in a volume of information beyond what can be retained. There is value to events from a motivational, community building, and best practices sharing. They fall short when the intended outcome is in skill development or sales force development. It’s the incorrect instructional design to create learning and new skill development and implementation.

Incremental instructional design is where the learning is spaced out. The salesperson has the opportunity to try strategies, techniques and new skills. Then come back with questions and feedback. If they encounter challenges it creates a vastly better salesperson in skill, strategy, mindset, and execution. The volume of information and skill is not delivered in a one day to multi-day consecutive brain dump event format.

2. Activity Based:

Training and skill improvement, especially in sales, must align with activities. Without activity as the basis for the training and improvement, we are creating professional learners. In a sales based business as real estate, we want to create professional doers. We want to create a culture of learning within our organizations. That learning must connect to action or new actions.

It’s not entirely a salesperson’s fault for not taking action on what they have learned. They leave the typical training program and are inundated with the pile up of email, text and servicing people that was not done for the last few hours or days. The biggest reason is in the instructional design of the training process. In the design process did the creator or speaker:

  1. Create specific activities for the salespeople to do?
  2. What’s the exact order of the steps so a system can be created?
  3. Were those activities aligned with the training?
  4. Do the agents understand the results to expect? How long does it take those results to be realized?
  5. What benefits will the salesperson receive from the activities?
  6. How will success be measured? These need to be set, taught, confirmed then evaluated for success to be ongoing.

 

3. Accountability:

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In the process of performance improvement, accountability is a buzz word. Most salespeople, when you say accountability, they get the mental image of a drill sergeant. Most people don’t actually respond favorably to that type of external motivation; with someone in their grill yelling at them to make another call or to get their sales up. They don’t seek out training opportunities where they might be exposed or embarrassed.

Drill Sgt

In many of our live, virtual classroom programs, we create accountability models and systems. We are very clear in the 1st session how accountability is defined in an adult learning environment. We assure them that the drill sergeant model is not the right style for anything other than an 18-year-old going through basic training in the military. That doesn’t mean there is no accountability; far from it.

Because we have done more than 5,000 training sessions in our live, virtual classroom (yes, you read that correctly. More than 5,000 in the last few years alone). We understand that when performance is measured, performance will improve. When you measure and report performance, performance will improve faster. Accountability is about reporting. The rejection to accountability in many salespeople is based on over-reporting; the requirement of too much tracking of numbers. One of the keys to accountability is to connect sales success in your company to less than a half dozen numbers at the introduction of accountability. When you go from zero tracking to 20 number tracking, you will lose most salespeople. They will reject all this extra work. They feel that tracking is a waste of time until you can tie in analyzing the ratios. The ability to teach them their repeating pattern of success is illuminating.

4. Recognition:

Good job written on a memo at the office

The largest portion of salespeople work hardest for recognition. They want to be recognized as an elite top performer. They want their manager’s recognition, both in sales and service success. They want recognition when they complete training or acquire or demonstrate new skills. What are you doing to recognize all your agents’ contributions?

Because of the more mobile enabled sales force in the last few years in real estate, a sales force meets less frequently in groups or one-on-one with their managers. The recognition opportunities have been reduced. Designing recognition opportunities pre, post, and during training programs is essential for motivation and retention of your sales force. Most people need a 5 to 1 ratio of positive recognition and feedback to negative or corrective feedback. Are you giving recognition enough to your salespeople?

5. Sense of Completion:

Horizontal portrait of a confident businesswoman smiling at the camera with arms crossed

To increase self-worth and self-confidence in a salesperson, they have to feel a sense of accomplishment and completion. As a salesperson’s confidence goes up, their competence goes up in direct proportion. While we want a training culture or continuous improvement culture, we must design completion moments, stages, or levels in our training curriculum.

When you are progressing through a university learning experience to achieve your degree, you take classes in a progression from 101, 201, 301, 401. At each completed course, or even section of courses, as the student you feel a sense of accomplishment because you have moved beyond the 201 courses to the 301 courses.

With the right instructional design in courses and curriculum, your sales force will receive both recognition and a sense of completion. This outcome creates learning implementation and skill based momentum. It fires up the desire for your salespeople to move on in their skill development journey. It refines skills in your agents far beyond what the typical motivational speaker, trainer, or subject matter expert (SME) can design or deliver. When a program incorporates these five elements, it moves the needle significantly in the sales force development area.

Most companies lack the expert knowledge in instructional design to be able to incorporate all five in their training programs design phrase. Unless you incorporate the help of an outside expert, you might only be able to address one of these areas at a time. If that’s the case, then which of the five is first? Which is the largest bottle neck to improving your training systems, strategies, or methodologies? Create an order based on your newfound knowledge. Before you do another thing, rank these 1-5 for your company. Then what can you do this week to bring your #1 issue more in alignment? Success is in the progression or movement…its activity based. We need to create the incremental, activity based, accountability model. Where agents are rewarded with recognition and a sense of completion.

At Real Estate Champions we’ve delivered over 5,000 sessions in our Live Virtual Training classrooms, and from that success we’ve developed a new system that excels in these 5 core areas.

If you want to discover how it will be a true game-changer for raising the sales and performance of your agents, click on the link below to watch the video and get a free backstage pass to the system:

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BUILDING A CHAMPION BUSINESS BY PAUSING

Being able to build a Champion’s Business takes focus, skill, and determination. It takes the desire to move, change, test, adjust, and then change again. One of the ingredients that most Agents fail to execute is the ability to regularly pause. The ability to pause, evaluate, ponder, meditate, and clarify at regular intervals will move you from a good business to a Champion Business. The pause helps you learn and invest what you have learned into your future success account.

Pause at the end of each day to reflect on what went right. If you had to rate the day one to ten, how would it rate? Why did you rate it there? What could have been improved on? What are you most proud of for the day? What are the priorities for tomorrow? I typically spend thirty minutes at the end of the day reviewing the day and learning from the day. Too often, we continue on daily without pausing, pondering, and evaluating, so we make the same or similar mistakes repeatedly over time . . . warning!!

At the end of the week, take an hour to pause. A week is a pretty good chronicle of time that has gone by. Evaluate the prospecting numbers, leads generated, and appointments booked. What did you learn this week?   What would you change? How should next week be approached? What priorities didn’t get accomplished that need to be moved to next week? How’s your energy level and reserve? How’s your attitude at the end of the week? If you have staff, evaluate their performance as well.

Pause at the end of the month for two hours. Invest those two hours in your future wealth, growth, and happiness. Besides the previous questions for the day and the week evaluation, review your leads in your database. Did you miss calling anyone? Is there someone you should call earlier than scheduled? Too often, Agents call someone they have as a lead just after they have made a decision to commit to someone else, or they have bought and sold using someone else. By taking a few minutes to review the leads monthly, you will catch oversight that will cost you thousands. Even today, I review leads in our database quarterly and always catch opportunities about to be lost. My sales manager at Real Estate Champions is required to review calls and leads weekly and monthly.

At the end of the month review your prospecting leads, appointments, and overall numbers for your business. You also want to review the numbers on your market trends report. We must already know where the marketplace is heading in real time, rather than reaction time.

The break at the end of the quarter should be a half day to give you the opportunity to repeat all the steps I have given you thus far on a large, deeper, more focused time frame. When you get to the quarter evaluation, I really believe that it needs to be conducted off site. This time is of paramount importance and needs your full attention without the distractions of being in your office. If you feel you need to be in the office because of the availability of your data to analyze, then come in 4 hours before your normal day would begin, or stay in the evening and evaluate. Again, evaluating the marketplace for the quarter is an integral part of the quarter pause.

The pause at six months should be around a full day. Six months is a significant amount of time. I know Agents who have been way behind initially, but caught up to their goal in the last six months through making the right adjustments. I know others who were way ahead of their goal, but they didn’t take the time to review and weren’t paying attention. They missed the mark on their one-year objectives.

The pause at the end of the year should be from three days to a week. I personally prefer a week. The final week of the year has developed into my favorite week of the year. It is the time I hit the rewind button for the whole year and replay the tape.   I immerse myself in questions and evaluation to guarantee the mistakes remain in the past and the victories flow into the future. I check my business plan, business vision, and values, systems, lead generation source, and conversion. I check my mental state and commitment level to my goals for the next year. This week isn’t to build a business plan for the next year. In fact, if you are doing that in this week, you are too late. Your business plan for the new year needs to be constructed no later than the end of October of the preceding year. To decide a week before the new year to build your business plan is too late.

Take the above steps to execute pausing at regular intervals into your business. You will see how this exercise helps you move your business from a good business to a Champion’s Business.

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