Adopt a Winning Mindset to Create Success in Any Market

Dec 4, 2019 by

The real estate market is affected by so many factors, and yet, elite and top agents have found a way to always grow and thrive in any market.

I remember my first manager telling me that I could make it in any market because I went out and “made it happen,” and didn’t rely on one particular lead source for all my business.

When you truly know how to add value and deliver Ritz Carlton-level service, you create your own success. It takes grit, dedication, a business plan and a winning mindset. I want to share what I consider the uncommon characteristics of top-selling, elite real estate agents that allow them to keep growing their business, regardless of outside economic factors, so you, too, can be an elite real estate agent! These uncommon but totally necessary behaviors ring true with all elite agents. These secret attributes will be the difference maker you need to go from good to great and from wishful thinking to reality of doubling or tripling your production and income. After all, real estate is easy hard work. It is easy if you like to proactively help people and solve their problems, but it requires a strong work ethic and commitment to work the business and make it happen.

1. An Inner Drive to Succeed
When you want to succeed, you will do whatever it takes to make your goals happen. Know what you’re driven to accomplish. Is it an income goal or an achievement goal?  Knowing what drives you will help you stay committed to the goals you set. Top real estate agents know what their inner drive to succeed is, and it stays alive and drives them each day. Know yours, and share it with another person, your manager or a coach. I can’t motivate a satisfied person—in fact, no one can. What motivates each of us is different, but it is that inner drive to succeed that is in every top agent I know. Find it and embrace it and run with it.

2. Totally Focused and Disciplined
Agents who are successful have a laser focus every day, week and month on what they want to accomplish—how many listings, sales or calls need to be made to hit their goals. Staying focused and avoiding distractions requires discipline, which helps you achieve success faster and with better clarity. Nothing interrupts the top agent’s schedule to create new leads, for example. Get zeroed in with discipline and focus, and watch results happen immediately.

3. A Winning Mindset
Every top agent believes they are already a winner, and that they can and will achieve their desired goals. Your mindset totally impacts your behavior and your daily actions. Develop the mindset that you have a listing or sale this week (you just don’t know the address yet!), you are as good as the other agents in your market and that you can increase your average sale price or break into the luxury market successfully. I remember believing that I was already a $ 10 million-dollar producer before I was, and it gave me the self-confidence to act like I already had achieved my goals. Developing a winning mindset starts your day off in the right direction, and you will see results happen just like you intended them to.

4. A Beyond-Positive Attitude
I love when people say, “Are you always so positive?” I say, “Yes, of course!” A top trait of successful REALTORS® is that they are beyond positive—positive about the market they sell in, positive about any offer they are negotiating and positive about any listing they are trying to sell…just always positive. Other agents love to sell homes with these agents because they are positive, and keep everyone in the transaction positive, too.  It’s a winning trait and it works.

5. Action-Based
Top agents are not talking about what they want to do; rather, they are constantly taking action, trying new things and making success happen for themselves. They are not waiting for leads to come to them; they are going out and finding the opportunities. What types of action will you take to increase your business for yourself? Taking action makes opportunities happen, and top agents know this and live it!

6. Perseverance and ‘Never Give Up’
There is always a way to solve an issue if you have the perseverance and attitude to exhaust all options to help put or keep a deal together. Top agents have a “never, ever give up” mentality, and it’s obvious. They will find a way to bring buyer and seller together for the good of both clients. This trait goes beyond the norm and really shows the dedication of adding value to clients.

7. Passion, Humility and Gratitude
Top agents have a humble and grateful attitude, and my belief is that this is what makes them even more amazing. They are passionate about serving.

8. Focus on Listings
Top agents have always been focused on listings. Listings are the most important business activity an agent can do—all the marketing, name recognition, spin-off sales and listings, all the credit goes to the listing agent. Top agents have mastered the art of servicing seller clients, and the payoffs are huge. Focusing on listings will make you the “name brand” and most recognized top agent in your market. Create a plan to increase your listing inventory and dominate your market with more for-sale signs with your name on them. This will create more and more success for your business.

Adopting these attitudes and behaviors will give you the ability to survive any market, and you’ll be magnetically creating your own success each month. For a copy of my Exclusive Business Plan, click here.

Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. Sign up for a free 30-minute coaching strategy session or visit for more information.

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Pricing Property in a Shifting Market and Selling the Tough-to-Sell

Oct 23, 2019 by

Pricing unique homes is never an easy task, and a shifting market makes it even more difficult.

In a shifting market, you will most likely have to take some listings at a higher price than you feel you should, knowing that if you don’t take them someone else will.

Because any listing can be expensive to carry when you look at the money and money invested, it is critical to make wise decisions when structuring your marketing budget. For this reason, you need to know when it would be best to turn a listing down.

As the old Kenny Rogers song says, “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run!” Certainly, there are some listing opportunities you will want to run away from!

At Excelleum, we encourage our coaching clients to set their budget to know exactly what they will spend per property, and to also factor in the approximate hours of staff time and of their own valuable time. Next, look at each listing opportunity, not out of desperation or fear someone else might take it away, but instead measuring it by the likelihood you will get paid and receive a solid return on your investment.

Standards to Consider as You Determine the Listing You Want to Take On

  • Seller motivation – Even if they are not ready to move quickly, over time, is there a strong enough motivation that they will eventually adjust the price?
  • Seller motivation – Even if they are not ready to move quickly, over time, is there a strong enough motivation that they will eventually adjust the price?
  • The sellers – Are they high-maintenance and likely to drive you crazy? Or fairly easy to work with? Remember, you may have to deal with them for quite some time, so this is an important consideration.
  • The property – Is it hideous, in a poor location or in an area that has low demand? Are there any other strong negatives against it?
  • Will you be able to create other money-making opportunities by having it?
  • Have you told the sellers the truth about where you feel it needs to be?
  • How high above your recommended price is the limit to how high you will go?
  • Will they give you a long enough listing so that you have time to ultimately get it sold?

Once you sign the listing and have it back in your hand, spend another 15-20 minutes preparing them for what is ahead. I call this the “setting the expectation” portion of the meeting.

The 21-Day Point
At this point, it is time for a strong conversation about the market response. Try to obtain the first adjustment, or at least set the stage for one very soon. Remind the sellers that even if they are not in a hurry, days on market are transparent and will work against them as they stack up.

Make sure you have a strong seller service plan to send updates and call them each week if possible. Strong communication keeps them happier! When they ultimately agree to a price adjustment, make it significant enough to make a difference. Years ago, I read something that stuck with me: “If a property has had zero activity, you can assume it is at least 10 percent too high. If it has some activity but no offers, it is most likely at least 5 percent too high.”

I am not sure how the author arrived at this conclusion; however, I have since used it hundreds of times in my career and it actually worked and seemed to be true.

Bottom line, most sellers will only tolerate a couple of price reductions before they lose their mind and start blaming you. Therefore, you need to ask for a big one, knowing they are always going to cut you back anyhow.

As you work the listing, be honest and direct as you do your weekly calls. Remember to instill tough love, practice empathy not sympathy, and tell yourself that you are the doctor and they are the patient. Tell them what they need to do and be calm but firm.

If they keep saying no, you must keep asking. It is your job and you owe it to them to do what they hired you to do: get it sold!

If You Are Going to Keep the Listing, You Must Keep Asking!
If they refuse to adjust, you may want to request an extension on the listing back to its original term, assuming you want to keep it.

Key points to remind your sellers of:

  • The easier it is to show, the more likely it will be to sell.
  • Buyers are demanding when it comes to condition, so clean it and stage it!
  • If the market is responding, move quickly so that you won’t be chasing the market down.
  • If you have an offer and issue a counter, adjust the price to the price on the counter in order to create pressure on the buyer you are negotiating with. This will also notify the market of the seller’s willingness to take less.

And remember, you can’t want it more than they do, so do your best and that’s all you can do!

To learn more about how we can help you through this process, as we do with the clients in our coaching programs, visit

Debbie De Grote is the founder and owner of Excelleum Coaching and Consulting. The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing is a premier independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the upper-tier residential market.

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5 Creative Ways to Market a Luxury Home

Sep 18, 2019 by

Having difficulty selling a luxury home? High-end real estate can be both financially rewarding and challenging to sell. Factors outside of your control, like the economy and market in which you’re selling, can affect your ability to get a home sold. That’s when creativity can be a major asset. Choosing an unconventional method to market your luxury home can help a property spend fewer days on market. Even in a tough market, selling a luxury home at a fair price point is possible when you think outside the box. After all, unusual homes should be marketed in unusual ways.

Ready to sell that stubborn property that has been on the market for too long? Here are just some creative ideas that are shared amongst the members of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

  1. Send Out Stunning Property Brochures
    Instead of an online listing, use an old-school approach and send stunning property brochures to people in the neighborhood. Brochures offer the benefit of a lot of page space, which allows you to include images of the house liberally. Remember, everyone knows what the outside of the house looks like, but include inside shots and you’ll be sure to pique their interest. Plus, if you send out brochures to people who already live in the neighborhood, they might have family or friends who are looking to buy near them. Many people who live in luxury homes or gated communities would prefer someone they know to move in down the street than a complete stranger.

Distributing brochures will alert the neighbors that your property is for sale and increase the likelihood of referrals. Make sure your brochure mirrors your luxury home by using glossy paper, high-resolution images and a cohesive page layout. Choose a professional designer to prepare the brochure to maximize the features of the home—the difference is astounding. Our preferred partner, Real Marketing, provides just such a service.

The Institute provides members with detailed information about local demographics and real estate trends, which you can include on your brochure to emphasize your expertise.

  1. Create a Dedicated Website for the Home
    Your luxury listing is important, so why not dedicate a whole website to it? Choose a website creation service, such as our preferred partner Real Marketing, that can help you make a beautiful landing page for the property. The home’s website is the perfect location to add as much information about the home as you can from pictures to square footage, unique features, local neighborhood amenities and whom to contact for further inquiries.

Making the page online is just the first step of a successful property website. Once you finish the website, you’ll have to get it in front of the right audience. Here are some ways you can make sure your stunning landing page gets seen:

  • Promote the website through your social media channels.
  • Implement a text marketing campaign and link to the website.
  • Hand out flyers with one striking image of the home, and include the URL for the website at the bottom of the flyer.
  • Include the website in an email blast so that your existing contacts see and tell their friends.

The Institute also helps their members network with other luxury real estate agents who, in turn, can circulate your home’s website within their professional network in case a colleague is representing the perfect buyer.

  1. Sell It at Auction
    Some people make the mistake of associating all home auctions with foreclosures, but in this changing world that is no longer the case. Selling a luxury home using auctioneers such as our preferred vendor Supreme Auctions, as opposed to selling in a traditional way, can have a lot of benefits.

Firstly, they tend to have a very extensive network of potential affluent buyers as well as marketing strategies that can connect locally, nationally and even globally. They inspire a sense of urgency with a drop date for possible purchase being the day of the auction. A little bit of friendly competition encourages bidders to commit to properties they love, which increases the chances of the home selling at market value or above.

Buyers must put down a non-refundable deposit, which can help eliminate uncertainty in the selling process. While pre-auction preparation of the home to showcase it to its maximum potential is still incredibly important, properties sell “as-is,” which means there are no long drawn out negotiations about the additional renovations, repairs or extras that need to be done before a sale can be finalized.

Selling through an auction cuts out a number of the tedious tasks and keeps the sale process on the seller’s terms.

  1. Promote It Internationally
    If you can’t seem to find the right buyer for your home domestically, it could be because the perfect buyer lives in a different country. International promotion is key if you’re looking to tap into new markets. You will be rewarded for the time and effort spent connecting with new clients, as every addition to your network brings access to their own connections. It can be hard to know where to start when promoting a property internationally, but, once again, we have teamed up with an awesome partner, Proxio International, to assist our members. Designed for brokers, agents and builders alike, Proxio International helps real estate professionals connect with new markets by offering training videos, webinars and conference calls between agents. By using Proxio International’s services, you can promote your luxury property online with advanced digital marketing strategies to expand your home’s reach.
  1. Stage It Professionally
    Staging a home is standard when it comes to selling a home, but luxury homes give sellers the chance to take it to a whole new level. Affluent buyers want to be able to picture themselves in the home before buying, so consider who you’re selling to and then exaggerate the staging. Does your audience appreciate more modern decor? Update the property with unique furniture pieces and decorative art that will wow them. Do they appreciate luxury cars? Rent a Ferrari for a day to make the garage pop. Furniture, cars and attention-grabbing touches can usually be rented, so you don’t have to break the bank by going above and beyond. The opportunities to stage your luxury home are endless, and prospective buyers will remember the work you put into the details.

Now that you have some ideas of how to get started marketing a luxury home creatively, have fun with it. The high-end real estate market attracts those with an eye for the finer things in life. Use these ideas to make their experience both delightful and impactful as possible. Going the extra mile might not only get the home sold, but result in future referrals.

Learn more ways to think outside-the-box with your marketing at one of the Institute’s online or in-person training sessions.

Diane Hartley is the president of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a premier independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the upper-tier residential market. Hartley brings her passion for luxury marketing and more than 20 years of experience growing and leading businesses to her role as president of the Institute. 

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