How to Make 2019 Your Best Real Estate Year Yet: Five Unexpected Ways To Grow Your Business
According to figures provided by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, there are 44,000 licensed real estate agents in the state – and 37,000 homes listed on the MLS – meaning agents greatly outnumber the homes they’re trying to sell. What’s more, 87 percent of real estate agents leave the business in their first several years.
Couple that with rising interest rates, a volatile stock market, and a general softening of buying and selling activities, and yes, ladies and gentlemen, the real estate market may be entering a year of transition.
The silver lining? Several Colorado cities, including Denver, Aurora and Colorado Springs, are still recognized as the top markets for real estate agents and some markets are experiencing a hotbed of activity. And regardless of a potential economic dip or slowing pool of buyers, 2019 can still be an amazing year for either growing or building a successful business.
We did some serious digging — interviewing top producing agents, brokerage owners and satisfied customers — to bring you five proven ways to make 2019 your best year yet.
BELIEVE GREAT THINGS WILL HAPPEN.
A positive mindset is crucial is to success. What famed psychologist and author of “Mindset” Dr. Carol Dweck – along with several other renowned scientists and studies – have proved, is that folks who believe positive things will happen (and view setbacks an opportunity to learn) are less likely to suffer from major illnesses, depression and even live longer. They’re also more likely to succeed compared to their “glass-half-empty” counterparts. The reason? Positive expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies, because it motivates you to persist in the face of failure. It also enables you to seek out opportunities you might otherwise avoid when you have a negative outlook.
Main takeaway: Thinking things will work out — and if they don’t, you’ll still learn from it — will serve you immensely better, than thinking the alternative.
BE A LASER, NOT A LIGHTBULB.
Roughly 80 percent of wealthy individuals — including REALTORS® and real estate agency owners – are laser focused on achieving one large goal. Not multiple goals, but one (hence the laser, not a lightbulb analogy). They create an idea and break off smaller attainable chunks until they achieve extraordinary results.
For instance, their goal might be to increase revenue by 30 percent, so they may spend one hour each day following-up with leads. Or they may network with at least four industry professionals a month. The point is, their daily, weekly and monthly tasks center around this one objective.
Here’s what’s really interesting, though, and separates the achievers from the quitters: writing down goals – with actionable steps — makes you 1.4 times more likely to accomplish them. In fact, research shows that the majority of the people that set goals at the beginning of the year – and don’t write it down/create an action plan — quit 17 days later (or what’s referred to as “Quitters Day” – no joke). Just remember successful goals should be actionable, obtainable and deliberate.
Main takeaway: Have one main objective and write down daily/weekly/monthly tasks as stepping stones to help you accomplish it.
Fun fact: an estimated 80 percent of your company’s revenue will come from 20 percent of your existing clients. This means that your customers are literally your best source of income and referrals. Not to mention, when they work with you, they’re often making the biggest decision or investment of their life. So your actions – no matter how small — can carry a profound effect.
Putting your clients first and more importantly, putting yourself in their shoes, can go a long way in developing lifelong client-agent relationships with a steady stream of referrals and sales, to boot. According to the most recent Empathy Index, companies that exercised empathy were able to nearly double their earnings compared to competitors who didn’t. And many successful salesmen and women believe demonstrating an understanding of client frustrations, wants and needs gave them a substantial advantage.
A key to becoming more empathetic and transforming clients into your biggest advocate and income source is actually pretty simple: ask questions, listen more, talk less. One study found that the majority of self-made millionaires spend roughly five minutes listening for every minute they talk. Active listening enables you to pick up communication styles or important values that can deepen your rapport and better demonstrate you’re representing their best interest.
Main takeaway: Ask questions, listen more, talk less, and watch referrals grow.
AIM FOR FIVE MINUTES OR LESS.
In addition to being a good empathizer, being quick and responsive is crucial to converting leads and transforming customers from feeling lukewarm about you into thinking you’re Colorado’s no. 1 REALTOR®.
Did you know responding to an online lead within five minutes – as opposed to within 30 minutes — increases your chances of converting them by 2,100 percent? Responding after five minutes decreases your odds by a whopping 400 percent. Yet, very few brokers actually respond within that timeframe. After all, you’re jugging clients, showings, closings, etc. You’re busy.
But here’s the thing: that’s the wrong mindset to have with both existing clients and new leads, especially when REALTORS® greatly outpace listings and buyers/sellers can choose anyone to represent them.
We live in a digital world where most Americans are on their smart phones incessantly. Pair that with the anxiety of making a major investment, and an instantaneous response isn’t just appreciated, it’s expected. Excusing yourself for two seconds and sending a simple acknowledgement text (e.g. “Saw your email. I’ll call you in an hour to discuss”) can go a long way in keeping customers happy (just make sure you follow-up). There’s also several low cost CRM services you can subscribe to help create auto-generated communications and ensure your services are top of mind.
Main takeaway: Aim for faster responses, even if it’s just a quick text or email acknowledgement.
INVEST IN ONLINE REAL ESTATE.
The largest growing pool of buyers in the market – millennials — start their home buying process online. In fact, over 90 percent almost exclusively use online channels to sift through real estate agents, houses, loan options, and so on. So boosting your presence can often be key in getting that next client.
First step (if you don’t already have one); start your own website or blog. There are several easy-to-use platforms that allow you to design a site and create content to help effectively market yourself, your services and your listings. Remember: your site should operate like a “house,” where all important items are stored, and your social channels — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. — should be the “vehicles” driving out this information to the public.
If you work for a brokerage that’s conveniently running your ads online, that’s great. But don’t forget having your own “online real estate” can go a long way in building your business. How? It won’t only enable you to feature your own properties and drive traffic back to your site, but can also help generate leads or gather important insight and analytics on what descriptions or photos perform better. That’s like gold in the selling world. It’s also provides a nice segue if one day you decide to go out on your own.
Main takeaway: Create a marketable online presence and share, share, share.
Daisy Perez is the Director of Mortgage Originations for FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks and Colorado’s largest locally owned bank, responsible for producing nearly $5.8 billion in real estate loans in 2018. If you have any questions about this article or would like to contact Daisy (NMLS # 1049914), she can be reached at Daisy.Perez@efirstbank.com or 303-239-5135.