I changed my hair cut a while back and I’m reminded I am not normal.
When I was a kid and I decided to let my hair grow out from the buzz cut (I think I was about 6 or 7) my hair parted on the right side, naturally. My mom was not happy about it because most of the kids hair parted on the left side and she wanted mine to part on the left side like everyone else. She wanted me to be normal.
She decided she was going to fix it and that involved Dep hair gel, a nylon stocking pulled tight over my head to sleep and lots of frustration. It didn’t work by the way. My hair still parts on the right today and I’m OK with it. I think my mom is too.
Why am I telling you this? I wanted to share the thought that being ‘normal’ may not be for you. We are all created differently (yes, you are unique, just like everyone else) and that reflects in everything we do. Where we work, what job or business we have, how we communicate with people, how we relax and recharge. Everything.
Let me talk to my fellow real estate agents for a minute. (You can listen in if you’re not an agent).
We get told a lot of things in this business. Things are changing and I think it’s positive. When I started I was told I had to make cold calls, call expired listings and knock on doors. That was the normal thing to do. We still tell people that but it’s changed a lot since 2003 and it will continue to change. We are moving into a connection economy and that changes how we do a lot of things.
Here’s a clip from Seth Godin about the connection economy. It will make you think a bit.
The old ways are going to go away because they don’t connect us to someone who cares.
Google’s new phone, the Pixel 3 (and all the other android phones that will soon support it) has a new feature called call screening. When a number pops up you don’t already have in your phone, you can screen it by letting the ‘assistant’ answer and it will transcribe in real time the conversation. She will ask who is calling and what’s the purpose of the call. You get typed out on the screen, the response and you can decide to answer, send to voicemail or send to spam.
Poof, no more cold calls. No more unknown calls, no more wasted time dealing with the folks who do that. Not even robo calls from politicians 🙂
Technology helps us in lots of ways. Have you ever used Google Maps and have it tell you to exit now and bypass a big traffic jam on the freeway? Waze will do it too and it’s owned by Google. It’s saved me literally hours of sitting in traffic. That happens because all the people using Google maps send back real time data as to speed and location so Google can figure out there is a traffic jam and can tell you about it. It’s pretty cool.
Marking the cold call as spam will do the same thing. As the spammer calls more Google users who mark it spam, the system will automatically divert the call and future users will never even get the call, saving all of us lots of time. That can change the math of cold calling from 1 in 100 to 1 in 200. It’s not going to stop all cold calling but they won’t be getting to me anymore with the silly offers to separate this real estate agent from him money.
Take that cold caller, time waster, script regurgitating drone.
So what does that mean for the real estate agent who has a business to run? We need to connect with new folks all the time to stay in business and the cold call route is going to die. Door knocking can work but most folks hate being interrupted at home as much as they hate spam. No soliciting signs on the door fixes some of that so that won’t be a good long term answer. It just gets harder to do business that way.
I would suggest it’s best to build relationships. Build trust by providing a valuable service or information so you are the one folks think of when they are asked who they would recommend. It’s called a referral and it works in any business or even jobs if you’re in sales.
But it starts with trust. You have to earn it and that is the work part.
Being normal or following the crowd will get you to ‘average’ and that is a bad place in most businesses. Especially if you are the business owner. 85% of all new real estate agents are out of business inside of 3 years. Most new businesses fail inside of 5.
Don’t follow the crowd, they don’t know where they’re going.
Building relationships and connecting with people on a deeper level will always be better than other methods. You can’t fake it though. It has to be real or the folks you connect to will know it. It’s about caring and doing. It’s about making promises and keeping them.
That’s enough for now. I wanted to get that off my heart and mind as it came up to me this morning. I’d love to hear your feedback on this too. Comment below or email me. Conversation and connection is a good thing.
Thanks for listening,