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Antecrastination

Antecrastination is the opposite of procrastination.

From ante (Latin: before, in front of, prior to, forward; used as a prefix) + crastinus (Latin: of tomorrow, from cras, tomorrow).

So, simply it means “before tomorrow” and it’s my word for the year. I just finished The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (again). I’ve read it maybe 10 times and got it this time in audio format to listen to in the car. It is a book about Resistance and procrastination is a form of resistance.

Resistance is defined in this case as the only thing that stands between where you are and where you want to be. As we begin this new year (it’s the 9th of January already!) I am aware of what I need to do to get things done and more aware of the things I am not doing. Procrastination is a big thing for me but I’m working on it.

What is your thing? What are you working on? As I think about antecrastination I just say to myself ‘before tomorrow’ and it seems to help.

Another thing I am doing is filling out my Daily Focus Schedule.

Click that link and you’ll get back to the article I wrote about it. I find I use it a bit differently that I used to. I used fill it out and put it in a 3 ring binder but then seldom looked at it during the day. It helped to fill it out but my focus would wander and most times I was not getting done the things I said were important.

Now I pull out a blank form, fill it out and leave it on my desk for the day. If I’ve done all I planned on I can put it in the drawer on the stack of ones I’ve completed and fill out a new one on the next work day. If I did not get it done, leaving it on the desk makes it easier to carry over the things not done and then file it.

Anyway, it seems to help me stay focused on the tasks I said were important.

So, what is your word for the year? I’d love to hear your perspective and how you plan to achieve your goals. Maybe we can help each other.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

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PS – if this was helpful to you, please share it with your friends and agents you know that would benefit from being a part of this gang. We’d love to connect with more folks. If you sign up we’ll send you a checklist to get you started on the right path and then send you a few more things that will be helpful. It’s all free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Give it a try and see if we can help.

You had 1 job!

I just read a story headline that read
“Someone left a human heart on a Southwest Airlines flight”.  

My first thought was to think about the person responsible for that heart. They had one job and it was a really important job and something went really awry. 

I read the story and the details are still fuzzy but the pilot found out about the mistake and turned the flight around. I think the heart got to where it needed to in time but as I marinated on it most of the day I kept coming back to that thought.

You had 1 job.

What’s your one job? Do you have 1 job that is really important to care for? 

In our business the most important thing is lead generation but what does that mean when you work by referral. Like the details of that story, it can be a bit fuzzy. 

We would likely say our business is built on relationships, wouldn’t we? We connect with people every day and some come into our sphere of influence and some don’t. What makes the difference? Our energy level can make the difference or the attitude of the person we meet. Things just don’t click and we pass on them or we find we like them and it allows them to enter our stream of relationships. 

A stream is an interesting metaphor. People come and they go. I just had a closing with a couple I met just a few weeks ago. They listed their house with me and moved to Utah. That’s a long way from Atlanta and chances are I will never see them again. It was a great relationship and we had several hurdles to overcome but it closed and we all said ‘Thanks’, but now they are gone. Outside my sphere. That’s not a bad thing but it is a true thing. People come and people go. 

So back to that one job. I love that our business can be built on relationships and a great quote from Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) said it best. “If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business.”

I would propose that is your 1 job. Build relationships every day. It requires time, energy and maybe a bit of your money but it will be worth so much more than the time, energy and money you might spend on online leads or cold calling. So much more. 

Have a great weekend if I don’t get anything posted before then. I’m working on videos and it’s going to be a packed time to get some work done. 

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

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PS – if this was helpful to you, please share it with your friends and agents you know that would benefit from being a part of this gang. We’d love to connect with more folks. If you sign up we’ll send you a checklist to get you started on the right path and then send you a few more things that will be helpful. It’s all free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Give it a try and see if we can help.

Get In Line

Imagine standing in a line of 100 people. They are nice enough but you don’t know any of them. Your job is to get one of them to say ‘Yes’ to you and most if not all of them only know how to say ‘No’. 

As you work to get them to say ‘Yes’ they get a bit less pleasant. As you approach them they realize you are hoping for a ‘Yes’ but they don’t know you and they certainly don’t trust you. They are nice on the surface but you can feel their frustration of being interrupted. They don’t have time for you or need what you offer right now and you don’t have time while in this line today to build any trust and the best tool you have is fear (what happens if they say ‘No’) or deception, to tell them what they want to hear in hopes of getting a ‘Yes’ so you can build trust later. 

The line keeps getting longer so you know you can keep working as long as you want to so you can perhaps find a ‘Yes’ but it becomes obvious most of them will say ‘No’. You keep working, hoping, expecting but it’s getting harder to stay positive and most of us will quit doing this stuff. It works but it’s exhausting and then we feel guilt for quitting.

So what’s the alternative?

Contrast that with a party. You know almost everyone and they like you and most even trust you. There aren’t as many folks there but almost all of them know how to say ‘Yes’. The few folks you don’t know are friends of the ones you do and they are happy to introduce you to their friends and to tell a bit about you, how they know you and the trust they have in you.

This was the picture I had in my head of the difference between working by referral and cold calling. It captures how it feels to me. Friends vs strangers, trust vs deception, building relationships vs using relationships. 

I saw a question in a Facebook group about how hard it is to lead generate this holiday season. For me it’s the easiest thing in the world. Go to the parties, make friends, build relationships and trust. Relax and don’t worry about getting to the end of the line or you can sit on the phone, dialing for dollars and getting through the 100 ‘No’ hoping to find the ‘Yes’. 

As the year winds down, spend time with family and friends, invest in others and listen for ways to help, to encourage, to build up and the referrals will come. Maybe not today but they will come and it’s a lot better way to live this life. 

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson 
678-616-1578 Direct

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PS – if this was helpful to you, please share it with your friends and agents you know that would benefit from being a part of this gang. We’d love to connect with more folks. If you sign up we’ll send you a checklist to get you started on the right path and then send you a few more things that will be helpful. It’s all free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Give it a try and see if we can help.

Now What?

Things are slowing down in this business. I still have a couple of listings and more coming but my buyers are settling in for a long winter’s night it seems. It happens every year and I’ve learned to roll with it but I don’t stop working just because the buyers are quiet.

Quiet times are made for planning and I wanted to share some thoughts about planning for a new year. You need to set some goals and put some systems in place to make them happen. No one else is going to tell you what to do, are they?

Average in this business will kill you. Average is about 5 transactions and while that might get you into the Million Dollar Club (selling a million) it won’t pay many bills if this is your only income. A million in sales will get you a gross commission of about $25,000 to $30,000. Split that with your broker and pay your expenses and taxes and you’re looking at less than minimum wage for the work you did. That is what the average agent earns in this business.

Not to be depressing I want to make sure you don’t end up average. Remember we are working toward a vibrant database of at least 100 people and you can get 20-30 transactions out of that. That is not average but it is achievable, for sure.

So, how many transactions do you want? If it’s 5 that is fine but you need to write down how many. 5? 10? 50? It’s a goal to strive for so you can set up systems to get you there. 

Remember how folks say this business is a numbers game? It usually refers to cold calling as in 1 our of 100 will say ‘yes’ but it’s true when you work by referral too. We count different things however.  

As a new agent, if you make 20 contacts it will produce a referral. It will take 2 or 3 referrals to turn into a closing and referrals are a lot easier to work with. The numbers get better over time as your database feels cared for. So let’s say you’re looking for 12 transactions this year. That means you need to make 60 contacts a month and if you work 20 days a month you’ll make 3 calls per day. Follow up with notes and make a few lunch dates and you’ll get where you want to be. 1 deal a month and in my market that is about $90,000 GCI. Not your average agent, for sure. 

Remember, this is ultimately about systems to get you to your goals. Goals are good but it takes systems to achieve them. Systems are simple if you do them right. It’s a pattern that’s achievable each and every day. A habit that can get you what you want. To make those calls everyday means to sit down in the chair, open your CRM software and dial the phone to 3 people. Have a conversation about them and remind them you work by referral and that’s it. Simple system and it produces the sort of business you wanted when you started out. You can do all that in about an hour and then off to the day and meeting your commitments. 

 This is a great business and all it takes is a bit of focus and daily activity to make it work. If this sounds good to you then stick around to learn how.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

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PS – if this was helpful to you, please share it with your friends and agents you know that would benefit from being a part of this gang. We’d love to connect with more folks. If you sign up we’ll send you a checklist to get you started on the right path and then send you a few more things that will be helpful. It’s all free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Give it a try and see if we can help.

It’s Lonely Here

lone photo

It can feel lonely here. I remember when I started in real estate I was the only one who believed I could do it by referral. There were lots of folks on the cold call, door knocking path and it was well worn by the folks that had gone before (and failed) but the working by referral path was wide open.

There was one other agent who became my team leader in a new office (same company) who believed in this method, attended some events with me structured around the referral mindset but it was still lonely. There were no meetings to encourage me because there was no one else doing this.

If you feel like you’re the only one, that’s normal. Numbers show that about 10% of the agents exposed to this method actually pursue it. If you’re reading this then I suspect you’re in the 10%. We’re not for everyone so I’m focusing on the folks who want to do business this way.

My encouragement to you is to find others in your office or agents you’re working with (even other offices or brands) who want to do this too. When you work by referral there is little to no competition so you can focus on helping each other instead of trying to compete. There is a lot of freedom in that.

Encourage the ones  you find to join us by signing up below and then form a group of 3-7 people to hold yourselves accountable.  3 is really a minimum number because it’s unlikely everyone in the trio will give each other a pass. When 2 do it then it’s tough to stay consistent but 3 works well. More than 7 gets to be a bit much to organize meetings and track each others progress and frankly finding 7 will be a challenge.

I’m part of a group of 12 but that covers an area that is about half the agent population in Atlanta. We meet monthly but it’s mostly about encouragement and not accountability. I have a coach for that. It’s possible to find partners to help you without the coach thing and if you’re just starting out you might not have the funds to commit to coaching. That is OK. Small steps will get you there if you keep going.

We’ll be talking more about accountability groups and how that works but the first thing is to find those you want to gather with.

Share this post with them and ask them to sign up. We’ll get them on the same path pretty quickly and see if they will travel with us.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578

Success

success people photo

Results through people. You can only do so much yourself. There is a limit to your time, energy and other resources. Finding the people to connect to seems like a puzzle sometimes but the rewards are enormous.

One of the first folks I hired was a house cleaner. The second was a lawn service. I suspect that is not what you were thinking but those two hires freed up enormous amounts of time and removed a lot of stress in my life for a very reasonable cost. I also have an assistant and with those three hires I got my mornings back, a clean house and a well manicured lawn.

This idea of out sourcing labor is called leverage where I work. The belief is we can do more by finding folks to do the things we are not good at, dislike doing or can be done for a reasonable cost. It allows us to focus on the things that only we can do and that is the best use of your time.

There is a lot more involved if you are creating a team and I’m not going to address that in this post but know there are great resources to help you define  positions and job descriptions.

For one good resource, check out the Millionaire Real Estate Agent book for more details on building real estate teams or just to have a model for information on being successful regardless of the type of business you want to have. This book is good to help define budgets, job descriptions and multiple levels from a sole practitioner to a full company where the principle creator is not involved in the day to day business.

This completes the Culture posts and I am happy to answer questions. You are welcome to call me and if I don’t answer I promise to call you back.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

PS: For more info now and to make sure you don’t miss anything in the future, sign up below for the free eBook I wrote. We’ll show you how to work by referral from day one. No cold calling. Ever and we’ll never spam you or sell your info. It’s just so we can stay in touch. You can unsubscribe anytime.

10 or 30? How many do you want?

30 photo

Photo by Mingo.nl

The difference between a typical data base and relationship base is the number of referrals. Referrals come from people who know you, like you and trust you. Those 3 things require time and effort to cultivate. You won’t be a match for everyone and you shouldn’t try. Find the ones you resonate with and you’ll enjoy your work time a lot more.

A database is more like a mailing list you send stuff too. Stuff that tells them you are a real estate agent or tells them about the market or tells them about other stuff they don’t care about. Unless your target (gotta love that idea) is ready to do something in real estate at the moment they open your email, they delete it and likely don’t think about you again until the next drip in the campaign. You’ve spend some of the credibility or good will you have for nothing. Nothing.

A relationship base is more about them. What do they want or need? If you don’t know then you have work to do. Invest sometime finding out about them. Facebook and other social sources can tell you a lot about them. A phone call is good or drop by with a small gift that celebrates something important to them. Does that sound hard? Well, opportunity most often shows up looking like work but the payoff is worth it.

If you have a relationship base of 100 folks you can expect up to 30 transactions from it. A database you drip on is likely to produce about 10.  Remember everyone know 2 people who are going to do a real estate transaction in the next 12 months. That’s 200 deals or 400 sides. That is the real potential and your goal better be building relationships so you help more folks when the opportunity comes.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
jerry@WorkRDO.com

 

Photo by Mingo.nl 

Silence

moving photo

That has been my life for the last couple of weeks. We moved. Not far but it doesn’t matter how far it is, it matters how much stuff you have.  We have a lot of stuff and all the details consumed all my time and that’s the explanation for the recent silence. I promise to get back on the task of teaching, mentoring and helping starting now.

I had a thought as I was listening to some podcast during the move. There is a misconception about how I work and what I teach. I see 4 major ways to do this business (or any business really) and I thought a definition would be helpful.

First, I am defining ‘business’ as the task of finding more people to help. The helping part is how you get paid and I define that as your ‘job’. You don’t have to be a real estate agent to have a business and a job. We all have both if we’re self employed in any endeavor.

So here are the 4 ways I see to get more ‘business’.

  1. Prospecting – This is a direct connection to another human being in real time. It usually involves interrupting them to share your agenda and need. It is seldom about the person being contacted. It’s about you. There are exceptions to this of course but cold calling, calling expired listings, for sale by owners all fall into this category. The ROI on this is about 1%. You have to hear 99 ‘NO’ to get to 1 ‘YES’.
  2. Traditional Marketing – I see billboards, bus stop benches, bus ads, online ads, farming,  and those methods that push you and your brand in front of the market in general. This works on people who are looking for a real estate agent at the moment by cutting though their reticular activating system and can be effective if a call to action is included with a simple way to connect back to you. It’s still about you but they are interested in connecting because they have a need in the moment. The ROI here is hard to measure because as the saying goes; “Half the money you spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is you don’t know which half”. It’s easier to measure what works and what doesn’t today but it’s still true that much of the money spent is wasted because tracking it is time consuming and we tend to just throw money at advertising. Zillow ads are a good example of this as most agents see a 1.5% conversion rate on the leads they get from Zillow. Some have figured out a way to increase that with ISA staff and better scripts but it’s still a pretty low ROI and it tethers you to a phone because the response time is critical. Not a great way to live a life or spend your money.
  3. Database Marketing – This is how I started my business in 2003 and I pursued it (an still do) to develop my business. It starts to be more about them but much of the stuff out there is taught in a way that makes it look more like traditional marketing (think ‘drip campaigns’). It’s easy to focus  on your needs (mortgage payments, food with your meals, etc) instead of what they need. Done right this can be a source for word of mouth and it’s almost the end goal but not quite. I still do this in the form of lower intensity connections, mostly passive and informative communication on a consistent basis. Everyone in my database has given me permission to contact them on a regular basis but I don’t spend much time doing it. It’s mostly email and online stuff with some physical mail in the mix. There will be some face to face interaction too if I see these folks at church or in the community someplace.
  4. Relationship Marketing – Now this is all about them. It’s more about how you can help them and not about you at all. If they know you are an agent (it’s OK to tell them that) and that you work by referral (it’s OK to tell them that too) then you have to find ways to connect, communicate and help them with their needs and they will naturally help you with yours because  you’re top of mind when that referral opportunity comes along. These are the best relationships you have and it’s where you spend most time in your pursuit of business. If you have only 1 hour a day to spend then this is where  you get the most out of that hour. If you understand that everyone knows 2 people who will need a real estate agent in the next 12 months and you have 100 people in your relationship list, your potential business is 200 transactions or 400 sides. Keep in mind, need does not equal ability and most of the need will go unnoticed by your folks but if you can get 20-30 solid referrals out of this group, it’s a great year for most agents.

So that is a lot of info to digest and I want to stop here for now but we’ll come back to this and dig deeper into how and what to do. Stay tuned for that.

I’m still unpacking and my coach says it will take 6 months to get to a new normal but we’re moved in and working toward that goal. Thanks for your patience in the silence. Comment below or email me if you want to share a thought.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
jerry@WorkRDO.com

Journaling – how to

 

Let me tell you a story.

It’s early 2004 and I’d been in business almost a year. I was struggling to get my referral business off the ground and I had found some things that worked but a lot more that didn’t.

I spent money on stuff that promised business but I really just got an education. I bought a ‘system’ that focused on running ads in newspapers (that didn’t work), a newsletter that I printed and mailed every month (that did work, sort of) and I learned about a company and presenter who promised he could teach us to work by referral.

I went to a seminar in Orlando and at the end I signed up for my first round of coaching. It cost me $3000 and I paid for the whole year up front. What I am about to teach you is the one valuable thing I got from all that time and money spent.

Spoiler alert, I fired that company about 6 months into the contract, didn’t get any money back and the negative lesson I learned was, to paraphrase an old proverb “A Realtor and his money are soon parted”. I felt foolish but was determined to learn a lesson since I had just paid the tuition.

The primary presenter used manipulation in his presentation and at the end of the day was willing to teach us how to manipulate others. He even showed us what he was doing at the end of the seminar but it took me a while to figure out what was happening.

I struggled with it until I saw the contrast with an authentic person teaching us how to work by referral in an authentic way and once I did, I quit that coaching. I quit that day and signed up for something much better but that’s a story for another time.

Today I will share with you the lesson of Journaling.

At the beginning of the infamous seminar the presenter held up a journal and he said “this is for storage” and pointing to his head he said “this is for processing”. It’s simple really but he was right and I learned he took that idea from the work of David Allen along with the 2 minute rule and shared it with us.

It was a positive thing he taught me. Let’s get to it.

Journaling is not something most people do anymore. It used to be a common practice and I teach my mentees to do it. It is necessary for processing ideas, clearing your mind so you can focus and to help you slow down long enough to think.

Clearing the mind is the part I got from the seminar. The presenter asked us to write down 50 things we were trying to remember. 50 things? “That can’t be right”, I thought but I started writing things down.

  1. Get the oil changed in the car
  2. Change the furnace filter
  3. Don’t forget to get milk
  4. Get new wiper blades
  5. Pick up present for mom
  6. You get the idea….

Once you start writing I promise it won’t stop at 50. The homework assignment that first night was to go back to the hotel and write down 200 things.

I got to 187.

The idea is to get that stuff out of your head and put it in a place you can refer to later so it won’t interrupt you while you’re working. Your “less than conscious mind” will constantly bring that stuff up if it thinks you might forget it but it’s not helpful to remember to get milk in the middle of a listing presentation! Write that stuff down and then get David Allen’s book to help you see what to do with it.

I recommend you journal using a bound book with ruled pages and a pen. Personally I use a fountain pen so I have to slow down just a little bit more. Writing is the doing part of thinking.

[bctt tweet=”Writing is the doing part of thinking.” username=”RealtyCaffeine”]

I can give you a jumpstart if you’ve never journaled and don’t know what to write.

Try this:

  1. Write down what you did
  2. Write down what you thought
  3. Write down how you felt
  4. Write down what you learned

If you will do that most days it really helps clear up what is important. If you do it most days you’ll also have a record you can refer to if the need arises and it’s instructive to just pick up a journal that’s a year or two old and read about where you were back then. I can tell you that one thing was a big eye opener for me. I realized a couple of years in I kept writing things like “Don’t’ quit” or ‘hang in there’ and realized I was focused on quitting instead of succeeding. My journal reflects success today and I’m really glad for it.

Lastly, when you’re struggling with life and not sure what to do next, write down 10 things you’re grateful for. Gratitude will overcome many things we struggle with in life and it can change your perspective and changing your perspective can change everything without changing any of the facts. Try it and see for yourself.

If you want to talk about this some more you are welcome to give me a call. That is why I put my phone number down here. It’s for you to use.

This blog is for you as a new or newer agent and to help you get on the path of working by referral. It’s possible and I’m proof. You can have a solid, thriving business that is almost 100% referral and you get to choose who you work with.

You just have to decide that’s what you want to then do the work.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578