An Honest Question
By America’s Six Figure Real Estate Coach Roberta Ross
As a professional, you probably have high standards when it comes to hiring people to work for you-right? Are you insistent on top service levels and the highest quality products? How often in your career have you taken a step back and given yourself a performance review? I ask because too often we get in a groove of doing things the same old way, and stop looking for ways we can improve our performance, raise our own bar for service and excellence, and allow the rationale that we are “busy” be the reason we cut corners or drop the ball.
So this month’s challenge is this: Give yourself a review. If you were a home buyer or seller – would you be compelled to work with you? Maybe that’s a resounding, “YES!” But can you do better? Can you comfortably and confidently say there’s no room for improvement? What can you do starting this week that will tighten up the systems you have in place, sharpen your skills, and improve the customer experience? They don’t have to be big ticket changes, unless those are warranted. The top agents in our business are in a constant state of tweaking their skills, their business plans, and the tools and techniques they use to communicate with their clients and customers.
Here are 5 things to look at when evaluating your performance:
- Your customer reviews. Are you getting positive reviews from your current and past clients? Are they referring new business to you? Do you provide your customers with a survey asking for a review (and provide an opportunity to share their comments)? If not, you’re missing a chance to capture great feedback that you can use in your marketing when it’s good and use to learn where you need improvement when it’s not as high a rating as you’d like.
- Your interaction with other agents. Are the agents you work with, co-broke with, and interact with sending referrals your way? Are they singing your praises or questioning your professionalism? There will always be professional rivals of course, but there shouldn’t ever be enough room for someone to question your integrity, commitment to service, and capabilities. There will always be professional rivals of course, but there shouldn’t ever be enough room for someone to question your integrity, commitment to service, and capabilities.
- Your numbers. What is your list to close ratio? Your call to appointment ratio? Your results in relation to your goals? Everything else in this otherwise “people” business can get emotional at times, but the bottom line numbers tell the truth. If you’re not on mark to hit your goals with solid lead conversion and solid listing/sale numbers then something’s off. Get with your broker or integrity partner and don’t stop until you figure it out.
- Your credentials. Are your credentials on pace with your career goals? In other words are you taking the extra training and skill sharpening needed to become certified in the areas of our industry that interest you the most? Top agents are passionate about constant improvement and their credentials reflect that. Do yours?
- Your inner truth. We can sometimes slip some things by the rest of the world, but in our heart and mind, we know when we are not giving our all. We all have an internal compass that lets us know when we are on track or off. What is yours telling you? That you are giving 110% or that you have much room for improvement, or maybe, like most –there are areas where you can strengthen your game. Listen to that inner truth and adjust your actions and mindsets accordingly.
In all that we do, it’s good to take a few steps back now and then to assess whether you are bringing your best self to the table each day – and when you are not, to shift your daily action steps to do better That’s not to say that you need to work 24/7. Find your balance. Bring your best to both your personal and professional life and don’t be shy about asking for help managing that process. Some of the best of the best in our business don’t fly solo. They have a mentor, coach, mastermind group – or all three to help keep them on track.
By Roberta Ross,
America's Six Figure Real Estate Coach
In today’s robust age of social media, “following” and “un-following” people in the cyber world is just a matter of a click. In under a minute you get to choose what you allow into your feed, your sphere, and your daily dose of social media. Especially now, during heated election climates – turning people’s opinions off or on has become even more of a chore. It’s interesting though, when you start to think about how we can do that out here in the physical world of colleagues, friends, family, and neighbors. It takes more than click to disconnect ourselves from influences that don’t meet our expectations, wreak havoc on our sensibilities, or stray far from our core beliefs.
A friend of mine who tends to get pulled into a lot of events and activities (which she often grows to resent) often remarks about how I don't, and that she's a bit envious. I tend to partake only in the gatherings that I feel a sincere interest in. This has kept my mind and time clear of a bunch of busyness and having to think about things, people, and drama that would only distract me from what I really want to experience. People say it is tough to say no. While it can be a challenge at times, when you consider how draining or toxic the wrong-fit people can be on your life, career, and family - in reality it's much easier. Not just because they have opinions that differ from yours. The world would certainly be a boring place indeed if we were all of the same opinion, right? Diversity is good. Questioning of opinions is good. Provoking new thoughts, ideas, even ideologies is healthy stuff. But those folks that cross the line by berating or belittling, or seemingly aren’t capable of a positive impact on your life? Those folks may be just the ones you need to not only filter out of your social media feed, but also out of your daily life.
Why? Because toxic people and influences inhibit your ability to grow to your full potential. Their negative expression often holds you back, challenges your strength, and maybe even your self-worth. Thankfully, no one really has or should be given that kind of control or power over your life and dreams. You are in the driver’s seat. The question is, are your hands on the wheel?
I encourage you to recognize the truth – that you are the one who determines who influences your days, your goals, your success – and even how you handle or manage failures. There’s a great quote by Hans Hasen that says, “People inspire you, or they drain you. PICK THEM WISELY.” The cool thing is that we do get to pick. Every day is a matter of choice in terms of who you let into your sphere. Will you look to mentors who can lift you up? Friends who are always there? Teachers or trainers or coaches who inspire you to shake off limitations and create substantial growth? It’s up to you.
Whether you’re scrolling through a social media feed or connecting with people out here in the real world, choose wisely the “friends” you follow and “un-follow”. Will that always be easy? Of course not. But here’s the thing – it’s not only all right to set boundaries, it’s really a well-being must. Figure out what your personal boundaries are and don’t be afraid to hold firm to them. Go to where you are lovingly drawn, to those who are of sincere interest, or those who share a similar passion for life. You are each other's path to more of what each of you want! Hanging out with the wrong-fit people inhibits your growth and theirs, so you're not doing each other any favors.
Say yes to what's "it" for you and no to what is "not it" for you. You need not sacrifice. And, remember, this is not about judgment. Judgment serves no one, especially you. Everyone is on their path at their pace. This is about choice. This one important shift is a huge step that can be the difference between success and failure, positive and negative relationships, and healthy versus an unhealthy life. Be a your own best friend and choose wisely!
Consistency is More Vital Now Than Ever Before
By Six Figure Real Estate Coach Roberta Ross
There was a program on the radio the other day that featured a lot of what people would call, “one-shot-wonders”. Those artists that knocked it out of the park with one song, then were rarely, if ever heard from again. It makes you think, “what happened?” These people were clearly talented, had what it took to reach the top, so why just the one hit? It reminded me a little of some real estate agents I’ve met. Eager, talented, and full of action – ONCE. They showed up strong once and got a listing. Awesome-right? Absolutely. But every day is a new day in this business. There’s no resting on your laurels, ask any top producers out there. They’ll tell you that no one, not even the heavy hitters have the luxury of not showing up day after day, year after year.
“But Roberta, it’s hard!” I know, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as some make it. Not when you put the right systems in place and treat your business like the business that it is. And those same top producers I just mentioned will tell you that it gets easier the longer you stay at it. Why? Because you will develop that brand name awareness that will help drive referrals month after month. They will tell you that they no longer have to wonder where their next commission is coming from or IF they have another commission coming in. They can count on referrals and business from their sphere of influence and farm because they are actively engaged in reaching out to those VIPs on a consistent basis.
Step one: Get your database of friends, family, past clients, and in a manageable system so you can market to them. This is where most agents break down. They feel as if they have to start with a giant, end-total number. To which I like to pull out this gem from Arthur Ashe, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” If your goal is to have 1,000 people in your database but you currently only have 120 in, don’t wait for the 1,000 to be inputted. At least get SOMETHING out to the 120! Then make it a goal to add people in manageable numbers and start the process to them as well. Once you have your database filled, then your next goal can be to add a person for every day of the year. It’s really not hard when you get the hang of it.
Step two: Decide what to send. There are so many great services out there for sending personalized direct mail affordably and easily. There are also some terrific and fun email services that provide content for agents to send via email as well.
Some recommendations would be:
Step three: Commit to sending out something once a month for a whole year and do it. When you do you will be creating a habit that will grow your business in such a powerful way.
Step four: Follow up. You should be reaching out to every member of your sphere of influence at least twice per year. The direct mail or email you send will warm that call and make it easy for you to connect – not to SELL them on anything or pressure them to list, but to build that relationship with them and let them know you are a resource that is there for them WHENEVER they might need assistance.
Step five: Get out there! Meet fresh faces, make new contacts, and start building relationships with those new people so that they will soon know you, like you, and trust you enough to do business with them – that moves them from “prospect” to sphere of influence. Remember – you’re adding one per day – or 365 new people per year to your base!
Statistics tell us one in every twelve will refer business or do business with you themselves each year. That sounds like great motivation to me to build and maintain that list!
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave them here or find me on Facebook! Happy listing!
Choosing the Right People to Surround Yourself With
By Six Figure Real Estate Coach Roberta Ross
I’m not sure who said it first, but I love the quote, “People can be a fountain or a drain – choose wisely.” It’s one of those phrases that stays with you. It makes you think about the relationships in your life – and also about the person you choose to be each day. Since none of us are really climbing the ladders to our successes solo, who we choose to surround ourselves with can either enhance the journey or hold us back. So it’s important to pick those people wisely.
Jim Rohn famously said, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” Well that could be an eye opener for a lot of folks. Take a look around you. Are the people that you are consistently connecting with and who have the greatest influence on you fountains or drains? Are they caught up in the “doom and gloom” news being broadcast in the media or subscribe to that Chicken Little, “sky is falling” mentality? I’m not talking about those who share a legitimate issue who need support during a trying time. I’m talking about those whose goal it seems is to make sure everyone they can find is invited to the pity party or drama play they’ve created because that is their comfort zone. The “I hate my job”, “No one likes me”, “Nothing ever goes right” kind of folks who might not even mind having the tagline, “Misery Loves Company” printed on their business cards. Those are the “drains” that top performers and mentally strong people bid a polite “No, thank you” to and steer clear.
Then there are the fountains. Those people who willingly share what they know. They make it their priority to lift those around them up, while pointing out the positives. The ones who believe in you and celebrate your success. These folks are usually always looking to learn something new, find the next opportunity, and are amazing about embracing change. They are truth seekers who aren’t fooled by the flash of a negative headline, or brought down by the naysayers. These are the people to spend time with, learn from, and adopt their habits as your own.
Look at these areas of your life and determine where you can replace drains with fountains:
Align yourself with people who can bring you closer to where you want to be and who you want to be.
Look to the successful and emulate their behavior. If someone is telling you “it can’t be done”, then be done with her. Perception is a mirror. Limiting advice is most often an indication of the limits the advisor puts on himself. Even just the whisper of “that’s not possible” or “that’s too hard of a goal” can shut people down in their tracks. Don’t let that be you. Dwell in possibility. Surround yourself with greatness. Great people. Great training. Great resources. Great inspirations. Then keep in motion.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave them here, or find me on Facebook and share your experience!
The Power of Living in the Present
By Six Figure Real Estate Coach Roberta Ross
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” It’s good advice, of course, but so is don’t MISS the small stuff. Too often we’re so mired in all the big decisions, the worry, the ‘what if’s’ and the daily routine that we forget, (or don’t allow ourselves) to live in the present moment and appreciate it for what it gives. Don’t get me wrong, it’s EASY to do. For most of us, life often feels like it’s racing by at lightning speed. Who has time to stop and smell the roses-right? The truth is that you make time. Because that whole all work and no play thing doesn’t just make Jack or Jill a dull person, it robs them of so many opportunities for joy, growth, happiness, and reflection. It makes for a life lived unbalanced, and that’s not a sustainable model for a healthy, fulfilled life.
So let’s take a look at a few ways you can appreciate the small stuff and live more in the present:
- Keep a journal. Whether pen to paper or a digital version, folks that keep a gratitude journal in which they write 3-5 things they are thankful about each day are more likely to appreciate the moments, see the opportunities, and live in the present.
- Holding grudges, disappointment, fear, and anger over past missteps or wrong doing is an anchor that can mire people in negative emotions that can be truly toxic to their lives. Forgive others – and yourself and let it go. It is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself and an incredible path to healing and re-energizing your life.
- Perform random acts of kindness. Because these acts are meant to be spontaneous, committing to at least one per day or say five per week forces you to live more in the present as you will be on the lookout for opportunities to perform a kindness in your everyday life. For many, this one change alone shifts the way they approach their days. Instead of “I have to go to work today” or “I have SO much to do today” – they take the path of “I can’t wait to see what act of kindness I can do today!” How’s that for a positive perspective?
- Kick worry to the curb. Worry is a time and energy thief that offers nothing of value to your life. It accomplishes nothing but cements your mindset on stressful things that may or may not every happen. Let go of worry. Control what you can, and leave the rest because the bottom line is that nothing is permanent. Not the good or the bad. If something in your day goes south on you, so be it. Learn from it and move on. Worry never solved a single thing but it sure does create a lot of chaos that you don’t need.
- While sleeping may seem counter-intuitive to ‘living in the present’ – without enough of it, we’re not awake and aware enough to truly appreciate our waking hours and all those opportune minutes in each day. In today’s 24/7, phones always in our hands world, the majority of us don’t unplug often or early enough to give our brains time to disconnect from the constant barrage of messaging and media to get a really restful night’s sleep. Sleep is vital to health and wellbeing as well as a positive state of mind.
Making time for the small stuff, and living in a more mindful state may not start off as an easy transition in our hustle-and-bustle world. It is so worth it though. It’s like giving yourself a gift every day. Practice these five steps for a week or two or even a month and see how it changes your own life. I know it’s changed mine.
Here’s to the challenge! Remember, I’m here if you need anything! Connect with me on Facebook to share your thoughts!
And the Energy You Allow
By America’s Six Figure Real Estate Coach
There’s a powerful quote by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor that says, “Please be responsible for the energy you bring to this space.” Hers is an amazing story and how she came to share that message is inspiring. Dr. Taylor was a renowned brain scientist at Harvard. In 1996, she had a massive stroke that damaged the left hemisphere of her brain, but left the right hemisphere unscathed. The way she explains it is that the right hemisphere controls the right here and right now. The left (the side damaged for her) is in charge of the past and the future. In essence, she had no memory, no identity and no language skills. Can you even imagine that experience and having to start all over again?
Because what she DID have was the here and now, the absolute present, she was acutely aware of the energy people would bring to the hospital room where she recovered. When her mother showed up to the hospital, she didn’t know who she was, but she knew the energy she brought with her as she was completely present. She came straight into the room, and laid down next to her daughter and held her, rocked her, and looked her in the eye. This was a striking comparison to many of the healthcare providers who would talk around her, over her, or to others – or simply go about their tests and checks without acknowledging her at all. All she could perceive from that was that those people didn’t value her enough to make that connection, and because of that – she didn’t value a connection with them either.
To make her healing possible, she had to own the energy around her and set high expectations for those who brought their energy into her space. Makes you think doesn’t it? How do we show up for the people in our lives, like our friends, family, customers, and colleagues? What energy do you bring to the space of others each day? Whether you’re picking up the phone, speaking with your children, negotiating a contract, meeting a customer, or across the table from friends – are you fully present? Are you bringing to others the very stuff that you want more of in life such as joy, service, and peace? Or are you bringing tension, negativity, and yesterday’s bad news? It also makes you think about the energy that people bring to your space. Are there people in your life whose toxic energy is draining your positive energy? It might be time to set some high expectations of your own so that you can continuously move forward.
As a success coach, I’m a big believer in being totally present and living in the moment – and minding the energy you bring and that which you allow into your life. If you get a chance, pick up a copy of Dr. Taylor’s book, A Stroke of Insight. It’s worth the read. And for many of you busy building your business plans and managing holiday schedules, remember to bring your best energy to whatever space you find yourself in. Your life changes exponentially when you do. Be well!
First, Second, and Every Impression
By Six Figure Real Estate Coach Roberta Ross
Every day you have an opportunity to make not just a good impression but a great one. From your attitude to your branding, your business acumen to your intention – every interaction you have with others affects your reputation and the integrity level you show to the world. At this time of year, many entrepreneurs are already looking at their business planning to design the path to help them reach and even exceed their goals in the coming year. Be sure to take the time to examine what message you are sending in all that you do.
Here are some questions to ask yourself and things to keep on your radar:
- Business relationships. Are you known as someone easy to work with? A competitor – but one who is respectful, professional, and fair? Do you treat referrals (and the people doing the referring) like VIPs? Are all of your transactions honest and above board? Developing and nurturing strong, respectful relationships with your fellow agents and entrepreneurs will mean the difference between continued referrals, respect amongst peers, and a solid reputation in your market.
- Customer/Client relationships. Are you staying in touch with your sphere of influence in some way every month? When was the last time you reached out to your past customers either by phone or in person? Do you have a solid database that includes all your past and current customers and when was the last time you updated it? Staying top of mind with the folks that already have liked and trusted you enough to do business with you is one of the best things you can do to earn repeat business and referrals. Instead of always chasing NEW customers – consider taking excellent care of the ones you already have.
- Manners matter. In a world where everyone seems to be staring at their smartphones 24/7 – do you put yours away when engaged in a conversation with someone? Are you present in that conversation, actively listening and engaging in what is being said? Are you making eye contact and making the other person feel as if they are important? Do you remember to say please and thank you? Both personally and professionally, presenting yourself as someone who is well-mannered and personable is NOT old fashioned, it’s a smart and powerful way to cultivate great relationships.
- Timeliness vs. tardiness. Not to get old school again, but being late in today’s world still stings of unprofessionalism and lack of respect for the other parties concerned. Do you make it a point to always be on time or even a few minutes early for appointments? Do you honor a time commitment when you make it? Show you care enough to be on time.
Whether you are meeting someone for the first time, or the 101st time, be sure when you step into your day that you are putting your best self forward. It is the mark of a good salesperson, and a common denominator amongst top producers.
And You’ll Figure Out Your How
By America’s Six Figure Real Estate Coach Roberta Ross
There’s something about people who are absolutely passionate about what they do. Business, success, joy, creativity – it all seems to come easy to them. It’s as if they innately know how to move forward and stay on the front edge of what they want. I believe it is because they have their WHY all figured out, so the HOW is a natural progression from that. German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said, ‘He who has a why can endure any how.’ He was on to something. When you have your WHY – whatever that is – it fuels the rest of your life with purpose.
That “why” is a very personal thing however, and at first glance it may appear obvious, especially to a salesperson. You might think, “My why is to make $100,000 a year.” But the real question is what’s behind that particular why? What would $100,000 or $500,000 a year do for you? And why is that important to you? Maybe your why isn’t really monetary at all – but that the funds would provide the REAL why. Perhaps it is to give your kids an amazing life filled with security and comfort. Maybe it’s to travel the world and have the means to check off your personal bucket list or to have the means to give back philanthropically? How would it change your life in a way that’s so intense that you’d be willing to work harder, smarter, and longer just to achieve and maintain that level of production?
Here are four ways to start to find your why and then your how:
- Set aside some time. Your why is important enough to spend a little time wrapping your head around it. For many people it takes a weekend away or at least a few hours reflection with a notebook and a pen and an open mind to start the process.
- Write down what you’re passionate about. We all have things that make us light up with excitement and that we feel compelled to do or achieve. Anything with that much fire is usually a pretty good foundation for a why. Is it an achievement such as being the best in your field, or your market or your organization? Is it security and never having to worry again where the next commission is? Is it about family and friends? Make a solid list then narrow it down to the top two or three that you feel strongest about.
- Determine what it would take in a broad stroke sense to make your why a reality. This is the foundation for the how. Would it take a certain dollar volume? Production level An assistant? A collaboration with others? Brainstorm your how on paper or with a trusted mentor to come up with a starting trajectory.
- Find ways to weave your why into your business. I love to see agents who bring their passion for their why into what they do every day. Those that love bringing life into their communities for example, may participate or lead charity drives and meet and greets. Others who are passionate about boating, golf or horses, may seek out local clubs and organizations to find like-minded people. Business offers many springboard opportunities to for you to engage in the things your naturally desire. There is always, always a way to integrate your passions and your business acumen.
I love helping people find their why and turn it into an action plan that makes them excited to get up every day and do what they do. It’s the kind of foundation that keeps agents from burning out, or living out of balance, because to them, there is a higher purpose to the work they do. When you have that – one deal going south, an unreasonable seller, or a fickle buyer isn’t such a big deal. You’re on a path for a bigger cause. The funny thing about it is, when buyers and sellers work with someone that is fueled by that kind of why, they feel it, and want to do everything in their power to help you achieve it. How’s that for a win-win?
Go find your why, and if you need help, let me know. Find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/6FigureRealEstateCoach and share your story!
It Might Be Worth the Try
By America’s Six Figure Real Estate Coach Roberta Ross
Here’s a powerful thought shared by Seth Godin recently, “If something scares you, it might be a good thing to try.” I love this. Not that I want to promote fear in any way – quite the opposite in fact. But what I do want my coaching and audience members to do is to S-T-R-E-T-C-H themselves. To toss aside all those ‘that’s the way it’s always been’ mindsets and practices and try some new things on for size. New ideas. New technology. New strategies. Practices. Tools. Dialogues. Mindsets.
Comfort zones can be dangerous places because they don’t allow us to grow. And let’s face it – if you’re not growing, you’re actually going backwards, because the world we live in is spinning faster and faster it seems, and getting smaller and smaller as well thanks to the availability of learning and connecting 24/7.
What can you do to break out without TOO much additional stress?
- Pick a new niche. Something you’re passionate about. Something that you can’t wait to fuel each day.
- Commit to adding one new person to your sphere each day. In a year’s time you’ll have added 365 new people!
- Join a networking group. There’s SO much opportunity in these groups. Opportunity to learn from and connect with a lot of people. Sometimes the toughest thing is to take that first step and join in. After that, there will be no stopping you.
- Up the ante. Take your current goals and stretch them a little. Make them attainable – but with a stretch. Stop going for the slam dunks. Step it up! Expect more and you will attract more!
- Take your skills to the next level. Register for a training course or coaching or a combination and take those skills to the next level. The best agents aren’t the best because they are resting on their laurels – they are constantly improving their knowledge and skills.
Our lives expand in direct proportion to the work and energy we put into it. So stop sitting on the sidelines, resting on past successes or sitting in comfort zones that foster complacency. Get up. Get out there. Bring your best self to the table each day and exercise your ability to grow in new and exciting ways.
I’d love to hear your thoughts – and what ‘scary’ thing you want to try in the New Year. Share them with me here or on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/6FigureRealEstateCoach! To your success!
Seth Godin, one of my favorite bloggers, reminded me of something in his latest blog. That is, an agent's real estate business is a living, breathing thing. Developing an intimate relationship with it, like one would with their garden, is what makes it grow, makes it sustainable, and a truly meaningful for all involved. While it's important to have systems in place to run it like a business, it doesn't mean that it needs to be treated like a machine. In today's hectic world, people complain of being treated like "prospects" or "contacts" rather than human beings. In an effort to build your business, have you (like so many) forgotten that you sphere of influence is not really a list, but rather an living, breathing, ever-changing entity comprised of people that prefer individualized care and attention to yield the greatest results?
I'll share Seth's blog below.
Gardens, not buildings
It works or it doesn't.
Build something that doesn't fall down. On time.
But in fact, great projects, like great careers and relationships that last, are gardens. They are tended, they shift, they grow. They endure over time, gaining a personality and reflecting their environment. When something dies or fades away, we prune, replant and grow again.
Perfection and polish aren't nearly as important as good light, good drainage and a passionate gardener.
By all means, build. But don't finish. Don't walk away.
Here we grow.
Posted by Seth Godin on July 29, 2013