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Breakthrough Ideas for Greater Real Estate Success!

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Could you use this cool Video Camcorder in Your Business?
Share Your Best STUFF!

Real estate can be a tough, lonely business. Even top agents need a continuous flow of guidance, support and new ideas to keep going strong. When you share your best stuff with our community, everyone wins!

AND…remember, each month we hold a drawing to award one amazing FLIP video camcorder to an agent who submits an idea we use. So submit your best prospecting, marketing, horror story, or other real estate idea that makes you more successful, and you'll automatically become eligible to WIN a BRAND NEW FLIP video camcorder. Be sure to include an example if you have one! Click Here

The Secret to Growing Your Production in 2009

What are your goals for 2009? Is it to double your production? Reduce the number of hours you work? Or just to stay in business?

It's that time of year again, where everyone makes lofty resolutions and goals... and then forgets about them before the month is out. This is the quickest way to the poor house in real estate, especially in today's environment.

Back in 1958, a Harvard study of graduates revealed that only 3% had written goals. After twenty years they interviewed the same people and discovered that the 3% with written goals were worth more financially than the other 97% COMBINED!

It's amazing that, in spite of such proof, most people don't first write down their goals. What's more, most people don't tell others about their goals–another crucial step to achieving your goals. Sharing your goals with others creates a deep commitment that motivates you to follow through.

But after this goal-setting groundwork is established, the main question I hear from agents is: “How do I know what to work on each day, week, and month to accomplish these goals?” It's easy to get lost in the process just trying to keep up with each transaction.

The greatest tool you could ever use to achieve your goals is a strategic plan, where you break down your goals into actionable steps and in the process create a...

ROADMAP to Success

I'm not talking about creating a business plan. A strategic plan is about taking a good look at your business and what you want to achieve, and then identifying Strategies and Action Steps that will take you where you want to be.

Here are three steps to take your abstract goals and get RESULTS in 2009...


Trying to schedule what needs to be done each week is difficult if you don't know the major outcomes you want to see happen this next year. And everyone has different priorities for their business (and life).

Ask yourself two questions: 1) “What am I committed to achieve in my practice?” And, 2) “What are the most direct, immediate, effective things I can do to reach these goals?” Where are the opportunities in the market that will help you achieve your goals?

If the year is off to a sluggish start, it's probably because your answers to these questions aren't clear. Writing down the specific OUTCOMES you want to achieve will help you prioritize your time.

  • What exact income do you want this year?
  • What new markets or opportunities will you go after?
  • What new systems do you want to implement?
  • What skills do you want to acquire or improve?
  • How big do you want to grow your house list (SOI)?

In my own business each year I identify 4 or 5 major outcomes, and then assign a specific revenue or numeric goal for each outcome. The more detailed the better as it allows me to track my efforts and be accountable to an exact goal.

STEP 2: Prioritize Your STRATEGIES

Next, organize and prioritize the strategies you will use to reach each Major Outcome.

This may surprise you but I take out a pencil and a sheet of paper, write the name of each major outcome at the top of the paper, and then list out all the things I need to accomplish to bring it about. These are the exact strategies I will use to accomplish these outcomes.

Then, narrow and PRIORITIZE this list of strategies by asking yourself:

  • “What strategies can I use that will make the biggest impact?”
  • “Where could I best spend my time/money/energy to produce the greatest results?”
  • “What are the 20% of activities that will produce 80% of the results?”

When I was 27 I worked directly with some of the wealthiest, most successful businessmen in the world. One day driving in a car with one of my bosses (who ultimately became a mentor) he said to me...

“The difference between those who succeed in this world and those who fail is...the people who succeed know how to differentiate the important from the unimportant as it relates to their goals – then establish and aggressively execute on the most important tasks. That's why they achieve so much.”

So what are your major business “outcomes” or goals for 2009? And have you taken time to break down those outcomes into Strategies you'll use to reach them...then Action Steps to achieve each strategy?

Here's a simple framework that will help you. I've created a one-page Strategic Planning sheet you can print out to use not just for your business goals but also your personal goals for 2009 and beyond.

Download it as a pdf by clicking here.

If you want to identify the strategies to accomplish your income goals, you can first identify and list where the MAJORITY of your business came from the last year. Focus on making those sources grow. Then, list out your projected sources of business this next year. Cut down this list and prioritize in order of the impact each strategy will make to your bottom line.

STEP 3: Identify Your ACTION STEPS

I next take out a sheet of paper and list out the Action Steps needed to accomplish each individual Strategy (from Step 2 above). Do you see what I'm doing here? I'm breaking down the prioritized list of strategies into smaller tasks, or “action steps”... creating a “roadmap” to success that will simplify your life and multiply your effectiveness. Again, you want to prioritize your Action Steps by the most effective, direct way to achieving your strategy.

By the end you'll have just a few pages revealing the specific tasks to be completed to accomplish your goals. And you can start putting these tasks into your normal monthly and weekly schedule to get yourself on track today.

The only thing left is to measure your accomplishment of your goals. Every 6 months, examine your goals to see what you achieved and what still remains. If necessary, take the simple “goal setting system” I've outlined here and make a revised plan for the second half of the year.

If you follow this easy formula, I know you'll have the direction you need to achieve your goals for this year (and each year hereafter).

My warmest wishes for your success in 2009.

A Winning Buyer Presentation

Qualified buyers are difficult to find today and when one is in front of you it becomes essential to maximize every second with them... either selling them a property or making them a client.

New agent Jeff Rogers uses his camera and some old-fashioned leg-work to put together a winning buyer presentation that bonds clients to him and closes deals. Could you use something similar in your practice?

Here's Jeff's description...

“Hi, I'm Jeff Rogers a new real estate agent. A customer had came into the office and asked about lake property. She stated that she really wanted to purchase a lot however did not have a lot of time to look. Would I just print her some MLS sheets and give them to her. I agreed and she said she would be back on Monday to pick them up.

The weekend was a blur to me. I drove to every one of the lake properties that were the best deals and even the ones that weren't. I took photos, digital video and notes. I even called the agent listing the property. I went back to my office and put together a presentation package through slide show and video.

I placed all the paper work in a nice folder made just for her. When she came on Monday, I asked her how much time she had that morning. She said only about 20 minutes. I asked her to wait in the conference room and got her something to drink. In less than 15 minutes. I showed her all the property that she couldn't see right there on a 52 " LCD TV as if she were right there. She was my client for life from then on. She said no one had ever gone to such great lengths before. I really would put that camera to good use.”

QuickTip: How to Make a Fresh Start This Year

“I met with a couple whose listing expired with another agent they never heard from. I brought with me a bouquet of fresh flowers and started our interaction by saying that these were fresh flowers for a fresh, new start. Then, I let them vent! We now have the "sweetest" relationship, and although we've reduced the price on the house, they have expressed great confidence in me.”

Using Your Attitude as A Powerful Marketing Tool

This idea submitted by agent Julia Rivera explains how your attitude can be your best marketing tool to build a successful real estate business. Here she is in her own words...

“As a Realtor you are looked at as a "People Person". The best way to market yourself is to change your mind set from Real Estate being about you to making it about your friends, family, and business partners.

When you are a Realtor you are in the public eye. You are saying, I am here for you, I am caring and respectful, and I am competent and can sell your house. I know what it is to go through the real estate transaction, I do it everyday. I am knowledgeable. Therefore, the best marketing tool is your attitude... How you come across to your prospects once you've captured them is what sets your success.

That is how you build solid, long-lasting, referral-based relationships. Keeping in touch with them via a phone call, a note, a small token of appreciation is key for you being the first person to pop up in their mind, when the words Realtor, real estate, houses, home value, arise in conversations. Real Estate is not difficult; we make it difficult by not doing what every successful Real Estate agent is screaming to the rest.”

Horror Story: Home Occupied by Snoring Beast

“I had a showing experience with a buyer client in the past. I did a last minute additional showing on a property and received permission from the Realtor that it was ok to enter this occupied home.

While we went in, the clients parents went around back and were looking at the yard, we heard a noise while we were entering the foyer area. Unsure of what it was, we proceeded carefully only to pass the master suite, which was in disarray.

We figured it out as we were entering the kitchen that it was snoring but didn't remember there being anyone in the master bed. About that time I spot something on the couch. A very large black dog-snoring!! Well about that time their parents also discover this dog and start yelling through the windows (which were open) to get out.

Guess what -yep- they woke up the dog. We were already b-lining it for the door, tripping over ourselves in the process! Thank goodness the dog was old and slow! Needless to say I called that agent back and had a few choice words for her about the safety of others in her homes and disclosing pertinent information, like animals, when someone does a last minute showing!”

Issue #1144