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Archive for Agent Success

Improve Business Productivity: Eliminate Distractions

Business Productivity - No Distractions

The word we’ve been using at Printerbees a lot lately has been MOMENTUM. We want to help agents build momentum and keep it going throughout 2018.

At this time of year, with the Winter Olympics around the corner, the word MOMENTUM makes me think of bobsledding.

You know how they get started on the icy bobsled track? The team stands outside the sled, takes a huge running start, and then all jump in. From there, it’s just about steering and not losing speed along the way.

I think winter is a PERFECT time to get your real estate business up to speed. If you can get a running start now, by spring and summer you’ll be in the “sled”, steering and not losing momentum!

One Big MOMENTUM Killer: Distractions

When a bobsled team navigates the track, there are many twists and turns. If they don’t handle them correctly, they can lose speed, or worse, get turned over and dumped out of the sled.

In the same way, there are twists and turns daily in your business. If you want your spring and summer to be smooth sailing, you need to be prepared for these. You can start practicing now, and by the time the busy season hits, you’ll be more than ready.

The biggest MOMENTUM killer is distractions. Especially in slower times of year, it’s easy to build up the habit of being distracted. There doesn’t seem to be pressing work to do, so why not play one more round of Candy Crush, or check Facebook one more time?

Unfortunately, these distractions will become habits, and when the busy season does hit, you’ll find it hard to focus on your business productivity.

Boost Business Productivity by Killing Distractions

How do you get rid of distractions? They are so tempting!

One thing to start with is understanding why we get distracted in the first place. There are two main reasons – the fear of missing out (FOMO), and the dopamine hit we get when we see a new message or win a game.

Redirecting FOMO

When it comes to FOMO, it’s all about thinking that other people are doing or saying things that you will miss if you focus on work. It’s why we all obsessively check Facebook and email when we should be doing other things. We are afraid we’ll miss something important!

Instead, think about the things you might miss out on if you don’t make your goals. Do you have a vacation planned, or a fun time coming up this weekend? If you aren’t focused on business, you may miss out on these things – you’ll at least miss out on some of the fun because of the guilt you’ll feel.

Redirect the FOMO to be about what you might miss if you don’t focus on your work during work times. This can help you stay focused and away from other distractions!!

Creating Rewards for Productivity

One of the reasons we’re so tempted to play one more short game or check our messages one more time is that completing a task causes our brains to release dopamine, which gives a sense of gratification and enjoyment.

Instead of pretending that’s not true, work with that urge to boost your MOMENTUM and business productivity. Break your work into small tasks and reward yourself – even with just a small sticker – every time you finish.

In this way, the dopamine and gratification will help you move toward your goals, instead of away from them!

Balance Work and Play

Now, I am certainly not advocating “all work and no play.” Instead, think of it more as “work hard, play hard.” During work time, be totally focused by eliminating distractions. Then your fun time will be wide open and guilt-free!

People who are “workaholics” are unfortunately celebrated in American culture. However, it’s not healthy and does not keep your momentum or success going strong in the long run. Those who work but never play face burn out and grow to hate what they do every day.

Instead, balance work and play! Get your farming postcards ordered for spring, set up a calendar for mailing, and then take a break. Go for a walk, stretch, or get away from your desk for a bit.

Then, come back and refresh your business cards with a new photo and reach out to some prospects online. Just keep taking the next small step toward your success.

Your brain will egg you on as you complete each small task, and by the time the busy season hits, your MOMENTUM will be unstoppable!

How do you boost business productivity and eliminate distractions? Share in the comments!

How to Be a Better Realtor® Next Year Than You Are Today

Better Realtor This Time Next Year

Sit back for a moment and think about your real estate business. Are you improving? Are you growing? Or are you just barely making it, surviving from moment to moment?

Unless you’re planning to get out of the real estate business soon, it’s important to be a better agent at this time next year than you are today. The question is, what steps can you take to improve your skills? And where can you find the time?

Find the Time to Grow with Routines

There’s an incredible book series called The Miracle Morning, and they’ve produced a book specifically focused on real estate agents. The key with Miracle Morning is that it shows you how to create a routine. Part of the morning routine is taking time to read self-development books and journal the insights you gain.

A routine of any sort allows you to save your mental energy for important decisions in your day. They also create habits that streamline specific parts of your day, which save you time and help you incorporate new practices – like becoming a better Realtor®.

Read Books That Help You Improve

There are so many books you can read that will help you grow and develop as a Realtor®. The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller is a classic and worth reading more than once.

You can also read books that help you focus on mindset, such as The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and Reinventing Yourself by Steve Chandler.

Finally, reading books that help you with the skills you need to be a great agent will also help you grow. Two of my favorites are Just Listen by Mark Goulston and The Go Giver by Bob Burg.

Take Action on What You Learn!

There’s only so much that learning will do for you. What’s vital is to act on what you learn. There are three ways to approach this.

The first way you can act on new insights is to pick one thing every day that you want to bring into your day. It can be an insight you gained in your reading time during your morning routine, something that someone mentioned to you the day before, or anything else you’d like. By taking one new action a day, you can test new ideas and see what works for you.

The second method involves creating new habits. If you have something you’d like to do on a regular basis, work on incorporating it into your life by stacking it with an existing habit. For instance, after you walk into your office every day, do your new action first, before starting with the rest of your day.

Finally, you can focus on trying to be 5% better in one area today than you were yesterday. What can you do to make your marketing calls 5% better? How can your social media outreach be 5% better? How can your farming efforts be 5% better? By becoming just 5% better today than you were yesterday, you can get incredible gains over the course of a year.

 

I’d like to hear from you – what are you doing to be a better agent at this time next year? Head over to the Printerbees Facebook page and let us know!

How a Realtor® Can Best Manage Time

Realtor Time Management

As a Realtor®, you’re often required to wear many hats. Between marketing and promotion, generating new leads, showing houses and taking the time to follow up with your clients, sometimes it can feel like your job is never ending.

And this is especially true when you’re not managing your time properly.

But…what can you do about it?

Are there any tried and true time management methods out there for Realtors®?

The answer is most definitely yes – and here are some of my favorite time management tips.

Use Time Blocking for Scheduling

At the beginning of your week, take the time to not only create a loose schedule but actually assign specific blocks of time for everything that you need to get done. For example, maybe you need to be spending 5 hours a week on marketing efforts. In order to accommodate that, try scheduling out an hour-long chunk of time each day (from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. for example) and commit to only working on marketing-related tasks during that hour each day. Or, if you’d rather work on marketing for a longer period of time, dedicate one 5 hour block of time once a week, on Tuesday afternoons for example, and stick to that. The key is to be consistent and stay committed to your schedule.

Designate Time for Lead Generation

However you choose to spend your time, there’s no denying that lead generation is one of the most important things you’ll do to help your business grow. But as a Realtor® with a busy schedule, it’s easy to put off this off in favor of easier tasks – even when you know you shouldn’t be putting it off. So in order to combat this, set aside an hour every day to focus solely on lead generation tactics – whether that be cold calling, reaching out to past clients, following up with warm leads, replying to email leads or however else you generate leads. Stay focused during that hour and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by other tasks. Leads are the lifeblood of your business, so you need to make sure you’re dedicating proper time for generating them!

Only Answer Emails and Voicemails During Certain Times

Going along with the concept of time blocking, set aside time each day to check emails and listen to voicemails instead of doing so dozens of times throughout the day – something that is sure to distract you from whatever task you were supposed to be working on. If you’re worried about people thinking that you are ignoring them, try setting an autoresponder on your emails and a personalized message on your voicemail letting people know that you will be responding to emails and/or phone calls at 10am, noon, and 3pm, or wherever you want to set your office hours. It may take a little getting used to, but doing this will help you stay focused and get more accomplished in the long run.

Plan Marketing Strategies out in Advance

Instead of constantly having to come up with new marketing strategies and print new marketing materials, try setting aside some time at the beginning of each quarter to plan things out for the coming months. Then, once you have a plan in place, do the necessary things to keep the plan running in advance – like ordering all of your print marketing materials and writing out your blog posts and advertisements. Planning ahead will help you stay focused and on track and also free up time later on to work on additional tasks and projects.

Take a Break from Being a Realtor® from Time to Time

Between evening home showings and weekend open houses, as a Realtor®, your schedule can be a little crazy at times, making time management even more important. With the often sporadic hours, be sure that you’re taking enough time to rest and recharge with family and friends by always scheduling a day off during the week. You need this to keep yourself functioning at the level required for your chosen career, so don’t skimp! And if you have all of your time scheduled out for the week, taking a day to rest won’t cut into the items on your to-do list anyway – they can wait for their scheduled time.

Time management isn’t difficult, but it does take a little practice to get the hang of it. Try implementing some of these tips today and watch how quickly your time management skills improve!

How Easy Are You to Do Business With?

Realtor Easy to Do Business With

Realtors® have many stories about nightmare clients. Clients who say they want to buy right away, but then want to see 24 houses over 2 months and still can’t decide. Buyers who claim to be in great financial shape but then can’t get approved for financing. Sellers who insist on pricing using a Zestimate rather than real market conditions.

But the truth is, buyers and sellers have their own horror stories. They often struggle to work with US, and tell their friends and family about how terrible it is to try to deal with a Realtor®. Why? Because sometimes, Realtors® make a key mistake – they fail to communicate well with clients. As a result, buyers and sellers have expectations that aren’t met, are dissatisfied with their experience, and spread bad press about real estate agents. Here’s how not to be “that Realtor®”.

Set Expectations Up Front

We do real estate transactions every day, but the reality is that almost all of our clients do a real estate transaction once every 5 – 20 years. The industry changes tremendously in that amount of time, and buyers and sellers rarely know what to expect. As a professional agent, our first job is to lay out the process for clients and help them know what to expect, when the waiting times will be, and what the average timeframe is for each part of the process.

You should also share your normal working hours and when the best time is to reach you, along with any days or times you won’t be available at all. When you lay out the process very clearly, and then make sure your client doesn’t have questions, you avoid a lot of heartache down the road. Your client doesn’t have unrealistic expectations, and you have your boundaries. If your client starts to stray outside the lines, you can reign them in by reminding them of the expectations you laid out at the beginning.

Communicate Regularly Regarding Progress

Buying or selling a home is a really big deal to real estate customers, and they get very nervous when they feel their Realtor® has “disappeared” or hasn’t given an update in a while. They may or may not understand how many other clients you are serving, but regardless, they deserve regular reassurance. A simple email or phone call – five minutes at most – can help clients understand if you’re still waiting for someone, or where the process is at the moment.

This doesn’t mean you’ll never have a client who pesters you. However, it will take the anxiety off of your normal clients, who will have more faith in you because you are giving them regular updates on the process. You’ll also build more rapport, which will be a great asset when you ask them for referrals.

Stay in Touch After the Transaction

No one likes to feel like a number, and sometimes Realtors® give buyers or sellers that impression by simply vanishing after a transaction has finished. While it’s true that you have active clients that need more of your time, there’s no reason you can’t check in with your former buyers and sellers occasionally. An automated email system can help a lot with that, as can holiday postcards or other marketing mailings.

If you follow these steps, you’ll never be the Realtor® everyone warns their friends about. It doesn’t mean you’ll never have another difficult client – there’s always someone out there with crazy ideas about real estate. But, it does mean that your normal buyers and sellers won’t become problem clients. When you set expectations, give frequent updates, and keep in touch after the sale, you’ll be doing your part to make our industry look great.

How do you keep communication flowing with your clients? Share in the comments!

Is THIS Your Biggest Fear?

Fear of Success

When people are asked what their biggest fear is, most people say “public speaking”, followed by “heights”, “insects and bugs”, and “financial problems”. Those common answers are the top conscious fears, certainly, but many business owners – including Realtors® – actually have a completely different biggest fear. And they don’t even realize it.

They’re afraid of success.

What?? That doesn’t even make sense! How can success be a major fear? Many people believe they fear failure, perhaps, but SUCCESS?

It’s much more common than you think. Often, fear of success manifests itself as subtle sabotage right when you’re on the brink of a major breakthrough. You get in more arguments. You start making mistakes when talking to investors. You feel irritated at every little detail. Why?

In our culture, success can be extremely scary. First of all, it often brings major change to your life, which you may not be sure how to deal with. If you succeed once, people will expect you to succeed again. You’ll get more attention from people, which you may not want. Success demands that you operate outside your comfort zone for a long time – and perhaps permanently.

Fortunately, there are ways to deal with your fears of success. Here are four steps to help you work through this roadblock and become the agent you know you can be.

  1. Envision Success and Write Down How it Feels

The first step is to envision what success looks like for you in your real estate business and imagine it happening today. Do you feel anxious? Explore those feelings, and you’ll often find the roots of your fear. Maybe you think you won’t be home as often, or that you won’t manage your money well. Write them down.

  1. Review Those Fears and Write Down Counter Examples

For each fear that surfaces, write down three specific examples of times you DIDN’T act that way. For instance, if you’re afraid of poor money management, write down three examples of times that you did well with extra money. This will help build your confidence in your ability to handle your profits.

  1. If You Don’t Have Counter Examples, Get Extra Training or Help

Perhaps you really do have trouble spending extra money well, or spending time with your family when you’re stressed. If that’s the case, invest in extra training or help to overcome these weaknesses. When you have done so, you’ll be better prepared to handle success. These become new data points to inspire confidence.

  1. Review Your Confidence Points Regularly

What we do regularly always trumps what we do occasionally. Once you’ve written down examples of how you are capable to handle your concerns about success, review them often. This will help your improved confidence become permanent.

Fear of success is a subtle, though common, roadblock. As you build your real estate business, you can’t afford to be hampered by this fear. Using the four steps above will help you bring out your fears, prove them wrong, and cement that new confidence in your mind. With your confidence strengthened, success will be far easier to obtain.

Do you feel like you fear success? Why or why not? Share in the comments!