This year marks my 12th year in real estate sales and my commissions have gone up drastically, even in this down market. This is, in small part, due to many Realtors leaving the industry or taking second jobs, leaving a bigger portion of the pie for the few of us still in it full-time. Mostly, though, this is due to many hours spent prospecting for new business.
The start to the large improvement in my pay was taking a class with a popular, national Realtor training and coaching company. One of the systems they teach you is whom to contact, when to call, and what to say when you call, however, how does a Realtor prospect when the do-not-call list is in effect? Each Broker has a copy of the do-not-call list. We are supposed to check it first, try to find a phone number either in a phone book or on the Internet, and then make the call. This turned out to be extremely time-consuming and not very productive. The day that I gave up on making phone calls was a day last October that I spent three hours making a list of contacts, checking them out on the do-not-call list, and trying to find a phone number(much harder than it would seem), only to come up completely empty-handed.
I knew that using the training and coaching company’s system was what was going to be my breakthrough from less than mediocre production to superstar production, but the phone-calls were not cutting it. I decided to modify the system….and IT WORKED!
One of the most important aspects of raising your production is having a structured day that is directed towards meeting the goals you have set, both professional and personal. For example, my goals were to lose a certain amount of weight and be physically fit, and to make a certain sum in commissions. My day starts at 6:30 in the morning. I get to work by 8:15a.m. and review my business plan. At 8:30 I script with another agent. At 9:00 I start making lists of whom to contact and then do my contacts until 11:00a.m. I found it much more productive to send letters accompanied by my real estate resume’ and client testimonials than trying to make phone calls. From 11:00 a.m. to noon, I return phone calls, check e-mail and set up appointments. At noon I break for lunch. From 1:00 to 4:00 I go on appointments. If I don’t have appointments, I either prospect more, work on marketing, or work on appraisals. At 4:00, I head out to a nearby State Park and hike up the very steep hills and get a very good work out. At 5:00 I am headed home unless I have evening appointments. I spend a minimum of two hours every day prospecting for new business and between 50 minutes and an hour hiking, weather permitting. I’m actually working less hours and making more money. If you don’t know how to prospect, have another agent attend a Realtor training and coaching class with you. They can be a little expensive, however, the money comes back to you many times over.
A down side is that it is extremely difficult to stick to this schedule, especially if a closing is coming up and loose ends need tying up. That’s where having a partner that uses the same training and coaching system is essential. My “accountability partner” and I have given each other permission to hold each other accountable, no holds barred. Our daily business schedules are the same so it is easy to see if the other one is not on track. Because my goal of losing weight was also very important to me, he also keeps me accountable for what I am eating. Each week I hand in a sheet that shows everything I have eaten in the last week. Believe me, you think twice before putting something in your mouth if you are going to have to write it down and show it to one of the young, good-looking Realtors in the office.
Since last October, my production has increased dramatically. So far this year, four of the listings that I have closed on were a direct result of my prospecting. I’ve lost 14 pounds and am much more physically fit. The secrets to a successful real estate career and a healthy body are prospecting for new business on a daily basis, keeping a structured schedule without deviating from it, and giving another agent permission to hold you accountable both professionally and personally.