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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 Homes.com 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 www.sherrijohnson.com for more information.

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Real Estate Agent Training: The Secret to Your Success in 2020

Nov 13, 2019 by

In today’s rapidly changing real estate market, disruptors are everywhere. With new technologies continually developing and online services promising seemingly instant leads for little work, agents are experiencing a lot of confusion and frustration about how to best guide their business in the right direction.

While the industry is undeniably undergoing these changes, there are some things that should remain the same, and a commitment to training is one of them. The best way to adapt to and handle market disruptors is with solid skills rooted in fundamental business principles. Principles don’t change, tactics do. That’s why, no matter the conditions, great real estate agent training will always be your surefire course to success.

Here’s why real estate training is your secret weapon in 2020:

Boost Your Core Skillset
When your foundational skills are strong, everything else follows suit. If you keep refining and improving your core skillset, you’ll always be prepared to handle any situation and provide your clients with next-level, tailored professional service. In short, when your skills are better, your service is better! As your customers become more and more confident in your abilities, the trust will build and the relationship will deepen. Remember: Strong, long-lasting relationships are at the heart of every good business, so make building them your business!

Make More Money
Who doesn’t love a little more green in their pockets? When you have great skills, you increase your value as an agent. That’s because both past clients and new leads recognize your level of expertise, and are willing to pay for that value by way of referrals. Having a refined skillset means you provide phenomenal service by going above and beyond and always exceeding your clients’ expectations. In turn, your happy customers become walking, talking billboards for your business! They are no longer just clients; they become advocates who will send you referral after referral. As these referrals pour in, you’ll start earning more commissions and you’ll be on the way to building your fortune.

Last in the Business
New technology should empower agents, not replace them. The truth is, if you can be replaced by technology, there’s no way you will last in real estate. Technology has its place, of course, but investing in the kind of training that builds core skills is the only way to create a solid business that lasts and withstands all the challenges of the market. Your skills pay the bills, so you must commit to working on them!

If you want to develop professionally, you must constantly seek out the best real estate training programs that will help you update, finesse and refine your skillset. By undertaking training, you’ll not only boost your skills; you’ll make more money and last decades in real estate. Buffini & Company offers The Pathway to Mastery—Essentials, a real estate agent training program that dives deep into all the fundamentals. Check it out and see what solid training will do for your business.

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Plan for Success in 2020 With These Real Estate Trends

Oct 24, 2019 by

The end of a year means it’s time to start preparing for the new one. As 2019 comes to a close, it’s important to take time to reflect on your areas of success, growth, strengths and weaknesses. Doing so can help you plan for the future, setting you up for greater success.

Reviewing what happened in 2019 can help you see where 2020 is heading, enabling you to plan what you hope to achieve in the new year. One way to start is to review the current and projected trends for the coming year. While no one can be sure what will happen, projections can help you get an idea of what to expect so you can go in to 2020 as strong as possible.

Generational Communities
Baby boomers and millennials are causing shifts in the market, especially when looking at the types of housing. For one, baby boomers are reaching retirement age. In fact, according to a study by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, in 2020, one out of three U.S. households will be headed by someone over 65. While this could mean downsizing to smaller properties, many seniors may also look for active living communities, including upscale apartments.

Meanwhile, since many millennials are now parents, many young families will be looking for housing in what is dubbed “Hipsturbia.” These are suburbs that are evolving on the outskirts of large cities and often consist of a more diverse community. They’re also more pedestrian-friendly, as they promote community transit and keep stores in close proximity.

Technology
iBuyers have been a hot item for a while, now. The point of iBuyer programs is to allow homeowners to sell their home with a quick close, complete some light maintenance, and then the iBuyer resells the property for a profit. iBuyers function on technology (and convenience) by allowing sellers to value and sell their homes without needing to go through the traditional route of listing, showing and waiting. In 2020, new buyers and sellers may look for convenience and may be willing to sacrifice thousands of dollars in equity if it makes their lives easier. For ways to coexist with iBuyers in the new year, watch the Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar with Kenny Klaus to learn how to use these programs as a tool to provide value to your clients.

Smart home technology is also becoming more popular as new devices are released. While this technology was slow to break through, it has recently gained traction in popularity. Currently, security and energy management are still the top uses for smart home devices, but convenience is also a rising consideration. The expansion of this demand could affect both buyers’ interest, as well as increase property values in 2020.

Affordability
Following the current trend, there has been a steady rise in rent and home prices. For minimum wage workers, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), fair market rent for one-bedroom rentals in 99 percent of counties in the U.S. is not affordable. This may manifest as a drop in first-time buyers or even renters, as both millennials and Generation Z struggle to make ends meet. In addition to this, baby boomers, who are now looking to sell their homes to downsize, may have trouble finding buyers. The sale price of an average, single-family home is currently around $ 284,000. While the luxury homes market saw its challenges in 2019, 2020 may be a turning point, as the market saw its first gain since 2010.

While rising home costs may prevent some from buying or selling in 2020, lower mortgage rates may enable others to reach their housing goals. According to NAR, mortgage rates are lower than they were one year ago. These trends are important when determining which markets you’re working with and how to approach future challenges. Now is the time to start preparing your scripts or making any changes to your marketing strategy.

While any year will have its ups and downs, the way you approach it is a determining factor in your success. If you want to add even more traction to your listings in 2020, consider Homes.com’s City Sponsor Ads. These ads connect you with active buyers searching for a home online by prominently displaying your listings among the first search results in your city. Contact us today to check availability near you!

Mark Mathis is vice president of Sales for Homes.com. For more information, please visit www.marketing.homes.com.

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Personality Assessments: A True Measure of Agent Success?

Oct 20, 2019 by

Does being extroverted make a successful real estate agent? Labeling recruits as introverted could be losing brokerages potential top-performing agents.

Various brokerages and team leaders are using personality assessments in their modern-day recruiting efforts. In an industry where the entry-level barrier is relatively low, as anyone can become a salesperson if they pass their licensing exam, brokers are looking for ways to separate the possible rainmakers from the low-producing crowd.

But there are concerns that using assessed behavioral trends in hiring practices could have negative repercussions, such as putting someone in a box that stifles creativity and enforcing stereotypes that suppress personal and business growth.

What’s being used?
While there are a number of assessments, they typically all provide a detailed analysis of an individual’s persona based on several criteria.

DISC, for example, looks at the following elements—Enthusiasm, Collaboration, Support, Stability, Accuracy, Challenge, Results and Action—and then assigns a letter value (D, I, S or C) depending on the mix of results. From there, it builds a big-picture report that gives recruiters a sense of how an individual might function in a certain role.

Some brokerages have their own assessment. Century 21 Real Estate, for example, has Real Estate Simulator, which determines salesperson success according to five categories: Sociability, Assertiveness, Achievement, Dependability and Emotional Resilience.

Then there’s the generalized options that are more widely used, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (M.B.T.I.).

What are the challenges?
The trouble comes with growth. For teams hiring admin, they often choose someone based on assessment results that support this specific role. If, however, that new hire wants to advance into another position in the future, it could complicate things. For example, if the team leader feels the individual did not do well enough in the “Assertiveness” category, they may be wary about allowing them to switch roles, even if real-life experience has shown that the person could adapt and thrive in a new position.

Additionally, some individuals may not be completely truthful when taking these assessments for fear of not being hired or being perceived a certain way. This means that people who have the skillsets and personality to do very well in a salesperson role could be easily overlooked if they don’t score accordingly. That goes for those hired as well—an individual may not be a perfect fit for a role, even if they scored within the desired range.

According to a New York Times article, the validity of results also come into question when things like race/ethnicity, gender, region, socioeconomic status and disability are considered. Life experiences and backgrounds can highly influence how someone interprets the questions in an assessment, as well as how one interprets the score.

What do agents think?
RISMedia spoke with two agents who were asked to take personality assessments at some point in their real estate careers. Marie Santiago is a REALTOR® with Realty ONE Group and Kim Venable (who took a DISC exam) is a REALTOR® with Mathers Realty. Here’s what they had to say:

Tell us about an experience where you had to take a personality assessment when applying for a job in real estate.

Marie Santiago: I took the personality test six years ago as part of an application process. I would not have been able to move forward with the application process without the test. I was applying for an administrative position supporting a real estate team.

Kim Venable: This firm and especially this team wanted to know the personalities of their new hires. I was told that I wasn’t a high enough “D.” The person that was interviewing me said if I was hired by their team, we would need to work on getting my “D” higher. I felt they wanted me to be “in your face” and aggressive (to their standards).

Do you believe your assessment results were accurate?

MS: Most of the results were accurate.

KV: There was nothing that came up that I didn’t already know about myself. I am a high “S.”

What are the benefits of using personality assessments in recruiting efforts?

MS: The results of the test were helpful for this specific interview process as it helped the employer understand the best way to communicate with me.

KV: I believe it’s good for a team to understand their teammates’ personalities. It’s like any relationship: When you understand the other’s “love language,” it’s easier to understand your counterpart.

And what about the challenges?

MS: The purpose of recruiting is to create a talent pool of the best candidates based on skill level and/or experiences, if applicable. When I looked to transition out of an administrative role one year later, there was an attempt to use my results against me. The person tried to say that my results demonstrated that I would not be successful in another role. I decided to pursue a new role anyway and have been successful despite the results of the personality assessment.

KV: It could also be a detriment because the person “on paper” isn’t always the same person in real life. Not everyone is good at taking a test. If the person is nervous about said test, they may not be answering questions to their best ability.

Can you tell us what happened after you took these assessments?

MS: I believe being hired was a direct result of the assessment results. The individual was looking for a particular personality that would ultimately support and match his own.

KV: It wasn’t a good fit for either of us. I have a dominant personality, especially in business. My dominance level didn’t fit the box they wanted. They wanted me to be dominant in sales. My dominance is in negotiations and the ability to get a task done and on time. They were more focused on the production they wanted me to bring to their team.

Using Personality Assessments as a Guide
While these assessments can be helpful in determining how an individual resolves conflict and manages stress in the workplace, brokers and team leaders should use them only as a guide when hiring. As Santiago and Venable have shown, individual personalities can go beyond what is assessed in an exam, and underestimating applicants who don’t score in the ideal range could lead to losing out on profitable agents.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

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The Missing Ingredient to Assure Your Team’s Success in Real Estate

Aug 12, 2019 by

The larger your lead database, the more successful your business will be. We have seen a direct correlation between real estate growth and the size of a lead database. Seems like a no-brainer, right? More leads equals opportunity. In fact, we’ve discovered that teams investing in lead generation efforts experience a compounding growth effect. Over eight years, they typically see growth in production volume by 4x.

So how do you tackle it all and keep up with that treasure trove of a database?

The Time Conundrum
What goes into managing a database?

Say you’ve got 1,000 leads. Maybe 25 percent of those are “nurture” leads you’re reaching out to. You have your eye on a handful of leads that are six months out from being ready to buy. Maybe 25 new leads this week registered on your site, and they’re ready to talk!

On top of that, you have past clients to follow up with, cold leads to circle back with…oh, not to mention the day-to-day of running your business.

Historically, people have turned to technology to make that work easier. But there’s an emerging factor that could be the key to assuring success in real estate: lead support services for agents.

Getting Off the Hamster Wheel
We’ve already highlighted how your lead database impacts your potential for production volume. But now imagine all those leads. An agent has to make the initial engagement. Oftentimes, they have to nurture them for up to a year! They have to constantly engage and re-engage with them. And when they become an active “client,” they have to provide exceptional service.

Don’t have time to nurture leads ’round the clock? Click here to learn about Success Assurance, from BoomTown. 

But, you didn’t get into real estate to chase every new lead, right? To be glued to your phone, at-the-ready to respond at a moment’s notice? No—you got into real estate to make connections, have conversations, solve problems. You got into real estate to sell real estate! But, as we all know, it’s critical that someone chases those leads and that new leads are responded to immediately.

So if you want to squeeze every cent out of your growing database, you have two choices:

  1. Be in 100 places at once.
  2. Invest in the right support.

The Missing Ingredient
Technology can assist with those tasks, but a supporting service, like RealContact for example, would enable agents to focus on the biggest dollar-productive activities: handling clients. This extra “support” takes care of the lead engagement. It manages the lead-nurturing. And when coupled with technology, it accelerates lead conversion.

So when you get a lead at 2:00 a.m. and you’re sound asleep, there’s someone ready to reach out immediately.

Let’s face it: The real estate hustle is real. The more you grind, the more successful you’ll be. But it’s 2019. There’s a way to capitalize without burning out. The way to assure success in real estate is by investing in the right support services that will allow you the time to focus on dollar-productive tasks—to get off the hamster wheel and get back to selling real estate!

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