Chapter 4: Being an Amazing Real Estate Agent:
A Day in the Life
« Lesson 2: A Day in the Life of a Successful Real Estate Agent »
What does it take to be a great agent? It might be different than you think. If you listen to the conventional sales wisdom, it takes daily cold calls, farming your neighborhood, door knocking, spending tons of money on flashy marketing and doing all kinds of other not that fun stuff.
But we are taking a different approach.
We want you to focus on becoming the most amazing and knowledgeable person you can be. To be a better listener, and thinker, and planner, and do-er, and really be able to put yourself in your client’s shoes so that you can guide them to make the best decision for themselves.
In order to accomplish this, we need you to work on yourself everyday. Anyone can fill out a purchase agreement and open a lockbox, we are learning to build a business and care for people and break down big projects into daily tasks so that we can accomplish our goals. This is a skill that no one can take away from us, so no matter what happens in life, we know we have the tools and skills to be successful in whatever comes next in our journey.
When you get your real estate license, you’re not only in the business of selling houses, you’re in the business of building relationships, prospecting, education–both for yourself and your clients, marketing and content creation. At times it will seem overwhelming, but remember, you don’t need to do everything right now, and you’re not alone. We’ve all been through it. If you’re having a rough day, try connecting with some of our other agents to see what has worked for them and realize that everyone struggles sometimes in real estate.
Your next three years…
The way I see it, if you want to create an amazing real estate business, you can look at the next three years with these themes:
First year: Build. This is your time to hustle, and say yes, and work a ton of hours, and try new things and learn stuff. This is not the time for balance, but it is a time to take good notes on what works and what doesn’t, and what things you’re ok with doing now but you’d love to hand off in the future. You are focusing on building relationships, making as many connections as possible, even if they won’t go somewhere in the next week or months. The better your network, the easier this job will be. Hustle and Grind for your first year a la Gary Vaynerchuck and you’ll be able to put systems in place to create some balance in year two.
Second year: Get Organized. Now that you know how to find clients, how to close deals, and have a great network started, it’s time to refine your systems. By now you know which people (locations, property type, etc.) are your favorite to work with so you can start to tailor your prospecting to find more of your favorite types of people. You can put together some systems and checklists to make sure you’re doing everything you want to do to provide your clients with the best possible service and experience ever so they will be excited to refer their friends and family to you. This is also the time when you want to start thinking about how you can help others, whether it’s a newer agent who needs a hand or some perspective, or your clients or community. You’ll be amazed at how your business grows when you can find a way to help other people.
Third year: Get help. What’s that thing? If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, bring your friends? Something like that. No one can do it all forever. And we don’t want you hustle and grind your whole life away. You need some time to relax and refresh so that you can continue to do the best job for your people, and so your family and friends don’t start to hate your real estate success. What are the things you spend the most time and energy on that give you least result? Can you find someone to do those things for you? Examples: hire someone to do your bookkeeping, pick up groceries, clean your house, handle your paperwork, emails, schedule, etc. While there may be an initial period where this actually feels harder, once your new hires are trained in and a good fit, they should make your life so much easier so you can focus on what you do best!
Successful agents do this stuff:
- You are a business, treat yourself as one. Ultimately, you are responsible for building and growing your personal business. While we are happy to help and excited to share leads, referrals, and resources to help you on your way, you are the only one who can actually do the work. Anyone can spend money to buy leads that may or may not be that great. It takes a dedicated and resourceful person to develop a prospecting system and practice that will continue to bring you business for months and years to come.
- Get out of the closet! No one can buy or sell a house with you if they do not know you are in real estate. Make sure you are telling people frequently that you do indeed sell houses. Sometimes this can feel weird to say. “I’m a Realtor” because you’re not totally sold on yourself, or “I sell houses” because maybe you haven’t sold any yet. So try to find something that you can 100% stand behind like “I just got into real estate and I’m so excited and totally loving it!” When someone asks how you are, don’t say “fine.” Tell them what’s going on with you and ask what’s going on with them. CONNECT with humans and they will connect back with you.
- Get organized. You are the boss. No one is going to tell you what to do each day. We are here to support you if you need help with specific things, but it’s no one’s job but your own to decide what needs to get done in a day, what you need to work on, what takes priority, where you go, what time you show up, etc. Find a system that works for you. Always keep a notebook on hand for writing down ideas and things that need to get done. Add things to your calendar with reminders so you make sure you’re on track.
- Prioritize. Each morning, write down the 1-3 MOST IMPORTANT things for you to accomplish that day. Even though we are trying to do big stuff, it all starts with tiny tasks. If you can accomplish those 1-3 things you are already getting more done than most people. In the beginning, it could be simple things like make it through this training program, take a lender out to coffee, take yourself to see a house. Once you get working with clients it could be booking showings for a client, looking up comps for a client, or following up on a lead. When you’re ready to start growing your business it might be spend 10 minutes writing about plans, goals, dreams so you can start to give yourself some direction, attend a conference or seminar or class to expand your knowledge, connect with other industry professionals to learn from them, etc. The point is, you need to work to be clear each day on what you need to get done. And it doesn’t have to be huge, because in a day, what is small will become something huge in a month or a year.
- Learn! The best way that I have found to continue to be motivated to do this work is to always be learning. I personally love audiobooks and podcasts, but I also love meeting with other people in real life who have done something that I want to do, whether it’s coffee or a class. I am not in the car if I do not have an audiobook or podcast on. To me, driving is a waste of time if I’m not learning something. Even if my kiddos are in the car, I feel like most of the stuff I listen to is probably good for them to hear as well. I also find that re-listening to my favorite books and episodes a few months later gives me a completely new experience and I pull something different from them each time. Some things to remember: you don’t have to love everything about it, if you don’t like something someone is saying, forget it! Only take the stuff that works for you. But hearing what others are doing and working on is a great way to expand your ideas of what is possible.
- Get dressed. We all love running to Target in our workout gear, or working from home in some comfy sweats. But part of the deal is being open and ready to bump into your next client at anytime. And even if you’re just at home, working on some content for your blog or writing up a purchase agreement, you’ll find that you feel better and more confident if you’re dressed like a boss. Keep in mind the days events when you’re getting ready, you probably don’t need to be in full business attire if you’re showing foreclosed houses and might be climbing into a scary basement hole. And you also don’t want your clients to feel like you’re trying too hard in your suit and tie. As a general rule, I try to dress about one step nicer than what I think my clients will be wearing. I usually step it up a notch for open houses, first meetings, and closings.
- Take care of yourself. It’s really hard to get motivated when you feel like a turd. And taking good care of yourself is tough when you’re focused on your business and your family and reaching your goals and all of that. But I promise, if you don’t take care of your body everyday, it won’t be there for you when you need it in the future. Eat good food, get some exercise, get enough sleep, take breaks, have fun, love yourself, and work hard.
- Be prepared! You never know when it might be time to do a deal, so make sure your mobile office is packed and ready to go at all times. Have some printed contracts, a fully charged phone with a backup battery, a mobile hotspot, a full tank of gas, a flashlight, lockbox, sign riders, zip ties and a cutter, dust mask and anything you can anticipate needing when you’re out and about. Some of this stuff should be in your work bag, some can be in your trunk, but make sure you’re ready.
- Who are you hanging out with? If you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, are your people lifting you up or bringing you down? Do the people you spend the most time with support your goals and decisions? Or constantly talk down to you about trying new things? Are your friends ‘settled’ into a comfortable life or striving to do something bigger or more? Have the people around you done something big and cool that you’d love to do too? Or are they still reliving their glory days? This is not to say that you can’t spend time with your friends and family and that their choices aren’t totally ok for them, but just to point out that if you want to do big things, you need to spend more time with likeminded people. Spending more time with the action takers will naturally leave you with less time for the people who aren’t going places.
- Celebrate the wins, big or small. In this business you’ll go from flying high on contracts and closings to riding low and wondering why the prospects aren’t calling you back, why you can’t get a listing, and why your buyer’s deals never get signed. It’s an up and down business and it seems like when it rains, it pours; everything and nothing and all of that. So each day, make sure to reflect on the wins. Connecting with other agents is really helpful to remind you that you’re not alone in this world. We are all going through the same thing as you are, but maybe not all at the same time. Sometimes seeing other’s successes can make you feel like you’re not doing something right or missing out, but as long as you know that you’re doing what you need to do every single day, your deals will come! Keep up the good work and appreciate what you’ve got!
- Ask for help! No one can do everything. The more experience you get, the more you’ll realize which activities you do procure you the most business, and which are a time suck that someone else might be better suited for. Ask our other agents for help covering your showings if you need to make your kiddo’s soccer game, and be available to do the same in return. If you’re terrible at bookkeeping, hire it out or have someone who knows how to do it help you setup a system to make it easier. While you do need to know enough about the particular task you want to delegate to give good instruction to whomever is taking it on, you do not need to be an expert in all things and probably shouldn’t strive to be one. Try delegating a few tasks and see what you like and can reasonably afford. Then do the activities that build your business with your newly freed up time!
“Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” -Jim Rohn
A perfect day
You wake up early, before the rest of your house, and spend some time writing out your three most important things, you might even tackle the biggest of them for an hour or so before everyone else is starting their day. Then you’ll get up, get dressed, have a healthy breakfast, schlep the kiddos off to school, and begin your work day. You check your email to make sure nothing important is happening, then head off to meet a potential new buyer for coffee. After your meeting, you spend about 30 minutes getting your inbox under control, returning phone calls, etc. For lunch you meet an acquaintance from your gym, you know you’ve got mutual interests, but you’ve never really chatted more than ‘hey’ and ‘see ya’. Over lunch, you listen to the cool stuff they have going on in their life, share stories, and relate to them. You tell them about how you’ve recently made the transition to real estate and you’re totally loving it, you let them know other things in your life that are exciting and then wrap up lunch to head out to a coffee shop to send email, write up a quick blog post, check your social media and then head home to get the kiddos off the bus. You spend a few hours hanging with them, then head out to show a few houses after dinner. Your buyers liked one of the houses so you hurry home to write up an offer. By 9pm you’ve got it submitted and you get to unwind for an hour before bed.
What do you think? Does that sound crazy? Glorious? Realistic? Well, it’s not terribly unrealistic, because I have many days that look like that. But I also have Saturdays where I show houses from sun up to sun down. And hopefully you will too.
When you first get started, it’s important to get out and connect with as many people as possible. It’s also important to be as responsive as you can, getting out on appointments and returning calls/texts/emails ASAP. As you’re learning make note of things that you’re cool with doing now, but someday in the future you’d rather not do, for me, working on evenings and weekends is one, for you it might be something else. As you get better at this and your client load increases, think about how you manage your schedule and make sure you block off some down time for yourself so you do not get burnt out. We can talk about this in your Quarterly Goals Meetings if you need help!
- Sell or Be Sold, Grant Cardone
- Prospect with Soul, Jennifer Allen-Hagedorn
- The Go Giver, Bob Burg, John David Mann
- Start With Why, Simon Sinek
- The Obstacle Is The Way, Ryan Holiday
- Be Obsessed or Be Average, Grant Cardone
- The Millionaire Booklet, Grant Cardone
- Loop Holes Of Real Estate, Garrett Sutton, Robert Kiyosaki
- The 4 Hour Work Week, Timothy Ferriss
- #GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso
- You are a Badass, Jen Sincero
- Big Magic, Liz Gilbert
- Anything You Want, Derek Sivers
- Tax Free Wealth, Tom Wheelwright
- The Book On Investing In Real Estate with No and Low Money Down, Brandon Turner
- Crushing It, Gary Vaynerchuk
- Own the Day, Aubrey Marcus
- The Morning Miracle, Hal Elrod
- Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
- Wealth Can’t Wait, David Osborne
- Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant, Robert Kiyosaki
- Ego Is the Enemy, Ryan Holiday
- Set For Life, Scott Trench
- Take a minute a write down you three greatest strengths and your three greatest weaknesses.
- Make a list of the things you feel like you need to learn more about about to become a better agent. Then find a resource for learning those things.
- Write down the five people you spend the most time with. Put a star next to the people who are action takers. If you’ve got openings for more awesome people, start thinking about who you can connect with to fill the opening.
- Write down what you’d like to accomplish this year, then think about the things you’ll need to do to get there.
- Block off a few 1-2 hour chunks of time per day to dedicate to building your skills. You can use it to work, read, meet people, write, interact, etc.
- Subscribe to a few podcasts mentioned above and pick out your next audiobook to listen to.
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Properties are provided courtesy of the Regional MLS of Minnesota, Inc., Broker Reciprocity Database.
Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed. ©2018 Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc. All rights reserved.