Has the time come to shake up your real estate career? Here are eight tips that will help create a habit of success.
Most of us begin a new year with a whole lot of vigour, determined to improve our performance, make millions and show our colleagues a thing or two – until the monotony of the daily grind kicks in. Being creatures of habit, many humans tend to repeat the same pattern year after year and to resort to bemoaning their lot in life when nothing changes. Estate agents are no different: while the go-getters consistently throw themselves into their work, the average Joe sits back and waits, hoping that his ship will come in sooner rather than later.
Trainers and motivational speakers have made it their life’s work to help agents up their game, but talk is cheap. Unless people commit to modifying how they think, work and play, nothing is going to change.
Very often, it’s the small things that we don’t do that affect us the most. Entrepreneur magazine has highlighted eight daily habits that could, if you stick with the programme, lead the way to phenomenal success.
Rise and shine
There’s a great deal of truth in the adage, ‘the quietest time is just before dawn’. Set your alarm a little earlier and use the quiet time to go thought your emails, sort out your diary for the day and plan for what’s ahead. Many people find that they are able to come up with the best ideas when their brains are refreshed by sleep, so use this time to focus on challenging issues that cropped up the day before. It’s difficult to make rational decisions when we are emotionally charged, and it’s amazing how a good night’s sleep can bring problems into perspective.
We’re not going to bore you with a whole lot of scientific data about endorphins and how these positively affect the body, except to note that there really is such a thing as runner’s high. There is a very good reason why some people are addicted to exercise: it makes them feel tremendously good and those who feel great about themselves achieve more in every area of their lives. Go for a walk/run, attend a yoga class, get on the golf course. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it for at least 30 minutes a day.
Let’s be honest: it’s often far easier to focus on the negative instead of being grateful for what we have and yet those who acknowledge the good things in their life on a daily basis tend to enjoy far more success than those who don’t.
In his book titled Great – A Guide To Surviving Under Pressure, former Manchester United goalkeeper Gary Bailey highlights the importance of being grateful. “When pressure hits you, you need to focus your mind. The simple truth is you cannot be unhappy and grateful at the same time. If things are going badly in business or at home, you will not be successful and one of the easiest ways in which to become happy is to think of something to be grateful about.” He says that it’s not good enough to merely think about everything you are grateful for; you actually have to show appreciation for what you have in order for it to have an effect.
He notes that studies showed that people who keep weekly gratitude journals exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives and were more optimistic about the upcoming week, as compared with those who recorded hassles or neutral life events.
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book,” wrote Groucho Marx.
It doesn’t matter what you read, as long as you are taking the time to broaden your horizons by picking up a book, clicking on an interesting article on the internet or reading a magazine. Not everything has to be about work, and the advantages of reading a good novel cannot be overstated. Reading helps stimulate thought processes and new ideas. It’s also a valuable tool for lifting the mood. Doctors have been recognising the benefits of reading since the Second World War, when it was discovered that it helped cure the depression of injured soldiers. So, find a quiet spot, kick back and relax, and try to read for at least half an hour every day.
Set up, and stick to, a schedule
People who work to a schedule are far more productive than those who simply adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Agents do have to be flexible, to a certain degree – after all, you never know when a new buyer is going to walk through the door or when a hot new listing is going to come onto the books. However, this doesn’t mean that you should sit back and haphazardly try and get around to all that needs to be done. Sellers need feedback on their properties, buyers need to be contacted to ensure they are still in the market, emails need to be responded to and telephone calls need to be returned. Schedule all of these things into your day, and if for some reason you are unable to do what needs to be done on a specific day, reschedule it for another time.
Focus on high-priority tasks first
This is an obvious tip and you have to wonder why Entrepreneur magazine even bothered with bringing it up. Of course we concentrate on the most important things first! Right? Actually, many of us don’t, and we end up putting high-priority tasks on the back burner until the last possible minute, either because the task is daunting, or because we assume we will have more time to dedicate to the endeavour.
Whatever the reason, challenge yourself by tackling the most important things first, regardless of how uncomfortable they make you feel. We all tend to worry far more than is necessary and very often spend more time overthinking a problem than actually dealing with the issue at hand. However, once the “problem” is resolved, we are able to concentrate far better on the less demanding tasks and become far more effective.
Go the extra mile every day
Challenge yourself to do that little bit extra every day. Push yourself, and if you’re pounding the streets looking for listings, go and knock on a few more doors before calling it quits. Stay in the office a little later and concentrate on finishing all of the tasks you have scheduled for the day. It has often been noted that successful agents go way beyond the call of duty when they sell a home. Loyal buyers and sellers deal with the same agents for a reason – they are receiving an above-average service. Helping a buyer (particularly those who are new to the area) by directing them to the municipal offices or doing a bit of research and finding out which schools have the best reputation in the area will set you above the competition.
Improve in one area every day
It doesn’t matter what you do and it doesn’t necessarily always have to be work related. Set yourself a goal to improve in one area of your life every day. Slowly but surely you will start to see a major difference in your life. You will be happier and – guess what – happy estate agents are successful estate agents.
Words: Lea Jacobs