One of my favorite things to teach is “Work smarter, not harder.” I start out by asking “what are the 3 ways in which you can work smarter, not harder?” People always get “leverage!” Yes, by leveraging out the low dollar-productive activities and saving your valuable time for the things with a higher return on investment, you are certainly working smarter, not harder.
If someone in the class has hung around me a bit, they’ll probably next say “Systems!” Absolutely, having a system makes you both more efficient and more effective. Having a way to get things done in the same way every time is one of the best ways to work smarter not harder. However the number one, biggest return on investment thing you can do to work smarter not harder is….. improve your skills.
Feeling a little let down? I know, “skills” doesn’t sound sexy at all, does it? Despite the fact that I have taught business planning for a couple of decades, it was just in the past year or two I had a huge AHA. In the book Millionaire Real Estate Agent, Gary Keller introduces what he calls the Economic Model. He breaks down annual income goals to weekly activities. That’s pretty handy! I know I can’t go make $250,000 in real estate today. However, I CAN make sure I hold the number of appointments with new buyers or new sellers required to keep me on track to my goals.
Since the hardest, most costly part of real estate is getting leads, shouldn’t we do everything in our power to ensure we competently move those leads to appointments, those appointments to representation agreements and those representation agreements to closings? If we’ve already taken all the time and spent all the money, let’s get some return on that investment.
Where to start?
I personally recommend building these three skills:
- Appointment setting scripts. How do you close for the appointment? I love the “alternative close.” There are several others. This works best when you have pre-planned your calendar and known which time slots you need to fill.
- Value Proposition. What’s the benefit the consumer gets from spending their valuable time with you? Please don’t say “I’ll help you find a house.” They think they can do that on their own. Our job really starts once they identify the property they want. Negotiating, managing all the details, getting the people all on the same page. There are many analogies for this – the conductor of a symphony is a good one. You keep everyone on the same page so it looks and sounds good all the way to moving in.
- Needs Analysis. If you’ve ever shown a buyer more than 12 houses before they make an offer (this isn’t if they’re getting beat out in a crazy-competitive market), you may want to beef up your needs analysis skills. I had my average down to 5.6 houses per buyer before they bought one. This actually makes both them and you happier in the long run.
Do yourself and your business a huge favor. Block out four (yes! FOUR) hours every week for practice time. Start with the 3 above. If you need help with those, Real Estate on Purpose helps you build those step by step in a solid, 1-year plan. And there’s a free, 2-week trial. Ready to check it out?