Category Archives for "Coaching & Training"

How Deliberate Practice Helped the New York Giants Win the NFC Championship

Last Sunday, the Giants win over San Francisco came down to a field goal in overtime…a field goal that occurred in wet sloppy conditions…the worst possible condition to kick a field goal.

But that’s exactly how the place holder and long snapper practised it. The New York Times article that describes how they did it is aptly named: Giants Field-Goal Unit, Needing Its Best, Prepared for the Worst.

The field-goal unit knew that the game could come down to a 3-point kick. They also knew that conditions in San Francisco would be wet and muddy. So all week Steve Weatherford, the Giant’s place holder, and Zac DeOssie, the Giant’s long snapper, simulated the worst possible conditions they could. They only practiced with balls kept in water buckets and even smeared the balls with mud.

Why is this important to real estate training? This is a perfect example of what Geoff Colvin calls deliberate practice, a topic I’ve written about in the past.

Preparing for the Worst in the Real Estate Market

For the most part, what you do in real estate doesn’t come down to a field goal on a muddy field in overtime to win a championship game. Fortunately, real estate in the U.S. is a little more forgiving. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice for the worst possible scenario.

Let’s work through three scenarios to show you what I mean.

Handling Objections

In a perfect world prospects, agents and clients would all do what we say and never throw up an obstacle. But that’s not the case, which is okay, because we all make objections from time to time. And if you think about it, an objection is a worst-case scenario.

Now, it’s not horrible, but it’s kind of like putting a ball in the bunker if you are golfing. You need to be good at getting the ball out even if sending it to the bunker doesn’t happen all the time. So, when it comes to objections, you practice overcoming them ruthlessly.

Closing the Deal

While closing a deal is not a worst-case scenario, I’ve been in the real estate business long enough to realize that most agents don’t know how to close the deal. They are really good at attracting a prospect, getting them interested in a home…but actually getting them to commit to buy it is a totally different story.

And if you can’t close the deal…you don’t get a commission. That’s not a good scenario at all. So, I would suggest you practice closing the deal, too.

Cold Calling

This is probably the least worst-case scenario, but ask a lot of real estate agents and they’ll tell you: they hate cold calling. In fact, they’ll avoid it like the plague. The only time they will even consider it is if they do not have any business coming in.

That’s a bad deal.

So you better learn to love it…and the best way to do that is simply to practice, practice and practice. And I don’t mean by that “pretending” like you are cold calling. What I mean by practice is you actually get on the phone and dial. And dial. And dial.

In no time you’ll love it.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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How to Rapidly Lower Your Real Estate Learning Curve

Some of the most successful real estate agents I know have one thing in common–they love to learn. They have a drive to not only chase a high learning curve, but to lower it as soon as possible.

This is real estate training at it’s best.

Naturally, if you look at what these super-achiever agents get done, you have to scratch your head and wonder where they get all the time. But it’s not magic and it’s not really about how much time they have.

It’s really just some things they do to maximize their time that you can do, too.

Eliminate Distractions

The number one rule to lowering your real estate learning curve is to eliminate distractions. Put the iPhone away, shut down the laptop, turn off the social media and focus. It could be on a book you are reading or a seminar you are attending. You’re focus should be 100% on what you are doing. Resist the temptation to multi-task.

Block Time

One of the best methods to focusing is to have an unflinching dedication to doing just one thing until you are done. This means ignoring the phone, email inbox and your colleagues. Schedule an hour a day to learn something new about real estate or practice a certain skill, and do nothing else during that hour.

Get Feedback

You can’t really learn successfully unless you have some sort of feedback system in place. For a lot of high-achieving agents this means a coach or mentor.

If you can’t afford a coach or mentor at this point in your business, then find ways to evaluate what you are doing. Record sales calls or listing presentations. Go back through the tape and listen to what you said. Figure out what you did well and what you didn’t do so well. Then go back out and practice on those things that you didn’t do so well on.

Multiply Practice

If you look at the high-achieving real estate agents who’ve climbed the ladder of success faster than what you think is normal, what you will probably see if you explore their background is that they poured in a lot of time on perfecting their craft.

In other words, these agents understand that the more they perform a certain task–and in real estate their are just four areas you must master, negotiations, marketing, selling and listing–the better they got. That means they knew they needed to figure out ways to perform that task more.

Perhaps it was triple the number of phone calls they made in one day. It could’ve of been getting in front of anyone who will listen and going through their listing presentation as much as they could. Perhaps it was looking at every single encounter they had every day as a negotiation and applying the principles behind that discipline to that situation.

Stimulate the Unexpected

High-achieving agents also figure out how to plan for the unexpected and then prepare for that unexpected event.

This is similar to Tiger Woods dropping a bucket of balls into a sand pit and hitting that shot until he gets it right. In a single season he might be in that situation once or twice, but either way he’ll be prepared for it.


Mastering the real estate learning curve quickly is an art that anyone can learn. It takes discipline and self-motivation, but if you have just a little of those qualities you can easily start to work like a superstar agent well before your time.

Can you think of other techniques that can lower the real estate learning curve?

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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6 No-Fail Ways to Increase Your Annual Income

Would you like to make more money this year than you did last year…and continue that trend for the next ten years? Want to be the top sales professional in your field or find your way on to the Wall Street Journals list of top 400 agents in the nation someday?

You can—but it’s not easy. And it takes a lot more than sitting open houses on Saturday in spring with visions of sales awards dancing in  your head.

How do I know? Some of our clients are truly accomplished real estate agents. I’ve seen what they’ve done to set themselves apart. In a few cases I’ve helped, but mostly I’ve marveled at their approach, energy, and most importantly persistence.

If you want to increase your annual income this year, then here are six principles you must embrace.

Understand Your Value Per Hour

Most of us will take any work that comes our way. That’s problematic. Working with just about anybody will drain you of time and energy and, most importantly, of money. So your first step towards earning more income this year is to figure out how much you are worth.

This is easy to figure out: just take your last commission and divide that by the amount of hours you worked. That figure is what you are worth per hour. More than likely it’s on the low side. Now, determine how much you want to make.

If you’re not tracking your time, you need to start doing that today. What separates the superstars from the average agent is a metric mindset.  They measure everything. They keep track of the number of hours they work a day. Number of inbound leads they respond to. People they convert.

Tracking your time is just one part of understanding your value and will help you reach that preferred value per hour.

Understand Your Average Commission Check

Your next step toward increasing your annual income is to understand what your average commission check is. This is a simple task, too: Just add up all the commissions you’ve earned over the last fiscal year and then divide that by the number of commissions.

That average commission check will give you an idea of what each transaction is worth to you. But the value of this simple exercise is to see how working with just about anyone is hurting you. You’re not going to make more money each year if you don’t start controlling what you make by selecting who you want to work with and when.

Disqualify Rapidly

This will hurt because you’ll be turning down leads. But hopefully by now you realize that unloanable, unmotivated and high-maintenance people don’t make you money. (Here are four questions you can use to disqualify potentially problematic seller leads.)

In fact, the whole point behind this exercise is so that you can cherry pick your clients, choosing to work with those who agree with your business philosophy and can actually pay you for your time. Do not be afraid to stand by your VPH.

Prospect Daily

Disqualifying rapidly will not be so troublesome when you are prospecting daily. In fact, you can not really expect to gain real momentum unless you are. This means you need to be picking up the phone, responding to buyer ads and hanging out places where you have an opportunity to network.

Here’s a bit of a warning: Do not quit prospecting when you are busy. That is the last thing you want to do.

If you do, you’ll quickly find yourself out of leads and out of work and back to square one. That’s an emotional roller coaster ride you don’t want to get on.

Instead, spend time prospecting by phone, in person, on social media, at apartments or with investors. You can not create a steady stream of income that grows each year without a consistent stream of leads you can cherry pick.

Understand Your Most Profitable Activities–Eliminate the Rest

Delegation is the key to making more money. See, if you’re spending your time copying flyers or hanging signs, then you are not making your VPH. You are making much, much less. You are making minimum wage…and there are easier ways to do that.

What are your most profitable activities? More than likely it’s prospecting, marketing, negotiations, listing presentations and selling. It’s those activities that you actually make money, so you should focus on those and delegate everything else.

Create a Schedule

Finally, you need to prioritize your activities. Perhaps you are a morning person. Then reserve all your high profit activities during that time when you are sharpest. That means don’t schedule a negotiation call for 8 in the evening.

This also means you need to avoid overworking. Be fierce about controlling your time and protecting your life outside of your business. And if your life IS your business, then you need to step back and re-evaluate what you are tyring to accomplish, especially if you have a family.

Sacrificing time with family and friends to make a ten or twenty thousand more dollars a year is a worthless pursuit.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Want fresh, new ideas on making your phone ring with prospects? Then grab this free 7-part online video training series.

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How to Be a Killer Salesperson the Lazy Way

If you’re like me and don’t want to work really hard at something you don’t particularly enjoy…and sales is something you don’t particularly enjoy…then this post is for you.

However, don’t get me wrong here: I’m not giving you an excuse not to work hard. What I’m actually going to do is show you an approach to selling that will allow you to train better and actually enjoy it.

See, the main reason most people don’t like to sell is they feel uncomfortable “pressuring” people. And most people don’t like salespeople, whether they are selling used cars or real estate, because they can be “pushy.”

Well, with the following approach I’m about to share with you, you will never pressure another person again. In fact, people will enjoy talking to you and you’ll enjoy engaging them and you’ll walk away with more clients, homes and money.

It will be a game you can master with appropriate amounts of training, and it will be a game you’ll come to love. Sound hard to believe? Well, once you see how it works, you won’t think so any more.

See, the bottom line is this: you have to take the responsibility of driving the “sales” off of you and put it on the other person. You do this by asking questions. But not just any questions. These questions have to be engineered to do several things: spark curiosity, build credibility, build relationships, uncover needs and create commitments.

Let’s get started.

What makes asking questions so important

The best conversationalists are those who ask questions. Legend has it that Dale Carnegie spent the evening talking to a young, famous woman who at the end of the night told the hostess of the party, who was equally famous, that Carnegie was the best conversationalists she’d ever met.

Funny thing is, Carnegie admits in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, that she dominated the conversation. He simply asked questions about her life the whole night.

Part of the magic of asking questions is that the focus is off of you and on them…and people love to talk about themselves. But it’s never enough just to get them talking. You don’t want to get stuck with someone who blabbers for hours on end. Asking questions will allow you to control the conversation. Of course, you have to be bold enough to interrupt occasionally.

Ask questions that spark curiosity

When it comes to getting somebody interested in what you have to say…namely, buying and selling real estate through you…you have to make it look like it was their idea to talk about the topic in the first place. So you have to get them curious.

How do you do that? Talk about something interesting. How do you know what’s interesting to that person? Ask them. “So, what it is it you like to do? Got any hobbies? What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?”

Let’s say you learn they like to run on trails. Then you could say this: “Ever been out to Simi Valley? They’ve got this really great trail system in the hills that runs for miles behind all of the subdivisions. I have two houses out there for sale that back up to the trails.”

Naturally all you are doing at this point is introducing them to the fact that you are a real estate agent. If you’re lucky, they’ll say, “So, you are a real estate agent, eh?” Be prepared, however, for them not to bite. You’ve got to take it to the next level.

Ask questions that build credibility

Your next step is to demonstrate that you know what you are talking about, and the way to do that is to ask questions that show you understand your business or their needs. For example, you could ask prospects:

  • Do you know that there is not a light rail stop near that area?
  • Are you aware of the maintenance and ongoing cost of owning a pool? Costs like chemicals and winterizing it? [The more specific you can be, the better.]
  • Did you know those homes are built over a mine shaft?

By asking questions that demonstrate you understand your market, buyer’s needs, etc., you are slowly persuading people you talk to that you are a knowledgable, trustworthy guy or gal.

But not all questions need to be about real estate to build credibility and likeability. If you land on a topic that you both love, drill down into that topic. It could be on sail boats, fiction books or cage fighting. Ask them questions about that topic and they’ll begin to like you.

Ask questions that build relationships

Your next step is to get a little personal. You must be further along in the discussion, possibly two or more contacts before you ask questions that build relationships, but in reality, it’s really more about common sense. I’m not sure I’d do it, for example, on inbound lead calls from a classified ad, but if you feel like the first time you talk to someone you could ask these questions, go for it. Sizing up the person you are talking to is critical to successful question asking.

So what exactly are relationship-building questions? These can be questions about family or work or just about anything personal. However, the way it works in the real estate world is these questions are more about “feelings.” For example, “How do you feel about this?” “Are you as concerned about this as I am?” “Do you really want to wait that long for an offer?”

In a subtle way these questions are establishing you as someone who cares about their friend, prospect or client. It also  helps to ask these questions when you are not certain about a particular decision to make.

Ask questions to uncover needs

One of the best uses of questions is to uncover needs. These are probing questions. Questions like this:

  • What’s more important to you…being close to your family or your job?
  • Can you afford to drop your price ten percent if the need arises?
  • How many children in your family? Your wife home schools? Does she need dedicated space to do that?

If you have a hard time coming up with questions on the fly, then try using the 5 Ws method: Who, What, When, Where, Why. For example, “Why would you and your family decide to live there if you work an hour away?” “When did you install the sump pump?” “Who is responsible for designing the house?”

Ask questions that secure a commitment

Finally, all your nice work with questions should lead to a commitment of some kind. It doesn’t have to be a monumental commitment. It could be a small gesture like, “Would you like a business card?” Or “Do you mind if I look that information up for you and call you on Monday?”

The beauty of getting a commitment this way is that you are lowering your chances of getting rejected. Small commitments allow you to take baby steps through the sales process. You will have to be patient, so start the training now. You won’t regret it.

Your Turn

Do you use questions like the above approach? What other methods do you use when it comes to asking questions? Please share.

Did you find this article useful? If so, leave a comment. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

And if you want fresh, new ideas on making your phone ring with prospects, then grab this free 7-part online video training series.

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Geoff Colvin on High Achievement in Real Estate

Talent is meaningless.

When I say that, do you believe me or do you think I’m crazy? If you think I’m crazy, then you also think that experts and researchers in high acheivement are also crazy…because they are coming to the very same conclusion!

In his 2009 book Talent Is Overrated Geoff Colvin explains what these experts and researchers are finding and learning. It’s a book I highly recommend you read. Why is this important to you? As I’ve mentioned before, how you think exceptional performances are achieved, whether in business or sports, will affect how you behave.

I’ve seen it in real estate so often. Agents throwing in the towel or dragging their feet because they feel they aren’t talented or the deck is stacked against them. Why bother trying if all your going to do is lose? If that describes how you feel, then you need to stop it…right now!

See, no matter who you are, exceptional performance is within your reach. Colvin explains there are about 8 aspects behind it. Let me show you.

1. Deliberate practice designed to improve performance

When looking at the early careers of greats like Immelt at GE and Ballmer at Microsoft what you will find is no indication of their future greatness. In fact, you’ll find a notable aimlessness.

The same was true with Jack Welch even into his mid-twenties.

But at some point these men decided that they wanted to become great in business. So they hunkered down and worked hard. They made their work a place they could practice to get better. How did they do that?

Well, deliberate practice doesn’t resemble what we normally do at the driving range where we drop a bucket of balls and swing away. Deliberate practice with an eye toward improved performance is practice that wants to work on a specific weakness.

Let’s take this to the real estate world to show you what I mean.

Let’s say for example you want to get more comfortable speaking in front of people. Well, most people will just start looking for opportunities to speak in front of strangers. While there is something to repetition (I’ll explain below), somebody who wants to improve their performance, however, will identify a weakness and then practice to improve upon that weakness.

Maybe more than one person has pointed out to you that you speak too fast. Well, you might find opportunities to speak to strangers and think to yourself, “Slow down. Slow down.” That, in essence, is deliberate practice with an eye toward improved performance.

2. Relentless repetition

Great performers and high achievers will not only look for specific aspects of their performance to work on, but they’ll look for a lot of those opportunities. It’s that repetition that will expose you to better and better opportunities of practice to get better.

And it’s important to work on all aspects of what you do, even on those areas that you think you’ll encounter maybe two or three times a year. For example, Tiger Woods would dump a bucket of balls into the sand trap and hit hundreds of shots even though he might be in that situation just two or three times a year.

So, the moral of this section is to practice a lot on all aspects of your real estate game.

3. Feedback

Critical to high acheivers success is deliberate feedback that is continuously available. Typically this comes through a teacher, coach or mentor, somebody who can watch their performance and then critique them on how well they did and what areas they need to improve upon.

You and I might walk into a listing presentation and think that it went pretty well. Unfortunately our opinion doesn’t count. If you could get feedback from your listeners, that would be superb.

A coach can listen to how you negotiate and critique way before you ever get into the real situation. When thinking about professional feedback, make sure it is someone well-respected. It won’t be cheap, but it will be worth it.

4. Relentless focus and concentration

Another trait of high achievers is an ability not to get distracted. Rather they keep their head down and work very hard when they are in the process of work or practice. This is not the mindless, trying-to-get-through-the-motions that typifies most of our work or practice habits. This is an attitude of paying heavy attention to what you are doing with the intention of improving that skill set.

This means being totally aware when you pick up the phone, dial it and talk to prospects. This means you have a goal you want to achieve, and you are not going to be satisfied until you achieve it.

5. Deliberate practice is hard

Listen, there is a reason why achievers are in the minority: it’s not easy putting in the hours that deliberate practice with an intention to improvement demands. Not very many people are willing to put in the time.

In a sense that’s good news…if all that distinguishes high achievers from mediocre performers is hard work, then you know that if you are willing to put in the years, you’ll one day be one of those high-achievers. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you are ‘talented.” Great success can be yours, too.

This could mean putting in an extra hour and a half every night before you go to bed to practice your negotiation skills or read a book on persuasion. High achievers have a work ethic that never stops, which is totally available to you, too.

6. Determine your goals before the work

Colvin points out that high achievers will focus on an aspect of their work BEFORE they go into it to determine a goal. It’s important to distinguish that their goals are not about the outcome but about the process.

For example, you would set as a goal to hear and understand objections when prospecting. But you would then focus on a specific part of that conversation, say, like listening for words that cue you into when they are raising an objection. You might even go as far as to make a list of possible words to listen for.

7. Observe yourself during the work

High achievers, Colvin also points out, will tend to practice metacognition when they are in the middle of their work. What he means by that is they observe themselves during their activities. They think about thinking.

In other words, they are being self aware, constantly evaluating inside their head how a conversation is going. Because they are observing themselves, they are able to adjust to improve their performance.

8. Evaluate their performance after it is over

High achievers have a chronic tendency to stop shortly after a particular performance to reflect on how well they did or didn’t do. This process will allow them, for one thing, to determine if they reached their pre-determined goal.

Once they make that evaluation, they’ll be able to figure out if they set the goal too high or too low.

This is important, because a goal that is too high will be discouraging but a goal that is too low will not produce exceptional performance nor be very instructive.

Conclusion (answer these two tough questions)

Do not be afraid to stretch yourself. In fact, if you feel a little uncomfortable reaching for a particular goal, then you know it’s a stretch…and that’s good. You are going to grow when you are stretched.

In the end, however, it comes down to two things: what you believe and what you want.

If you don’t want to succeed in real estate, then deliberate practice is going to churn out mediocre performances that burn you out. In that sort of environment your competition is bound to win. You have to love what you are doing to put in the years of hard labor that high achievement demands.

The other part of the equation is what you believe. If you’ve been brainwashed in believing people are born with talent and high achievers are in a class you can never reach because of your genes, then you are doomed to mediocre performance.

So, do you believe that years of hard work can put you at the top of the real estate success world? And do you have the love for real estate that kind of commitment takes?

I hope you do, because my desire is to see you as a real estate agent succeed. I’m there for you if you decide to do it. Let me know how I can help.

Did you find this article useful? If so, leave a comment. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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The 7 Proven Rules to Real Estate Training Excellence

Why did you get into real estate?

I meet agents all the time and am always really interested to know more about them and that’s one of the questions I like to ask.

The answers vary.

Some say they got into the business because they wanted to work for themselves. Others say they liked the dynamics of real estate–the negotiations and prospecting and marketing. No doubt these are people persons!

Others liked the idea of the money that could be made buying and selling real estate. Still others chose it because they were having a tough time finding another job.

Although the reasons may vary, one thing that hasn’t changed is the training to become successful. Buying or selling real estate, just like football or chess, is something that you have to train at to get really good.

Success will never fall from your lap. And there is a lot of truth to the saying, “It took me 20 years to become an overnight sensation.” Let’s camp on that idea for a minute.

In most spectacular displays of achievement, whether in the business world, sport world or creative world, all we really see is the tip of the iceberg. We might see an agent and his team clear 700 transactions in a year.

Or we might see the chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov defeat a huge IBM machine.

Or we might listen to a spectacular concerto by a world famous violinist.

What’s your first reaction? If you’re like me, you probably would say, “Man, are they talented.” There is no doubt that they did something exceptionally well. But what we don’t see are the years of relentless practice that went into building up to the moment.

It’s like all their hard work is paying off right at that moment. How does that apply to real estate? Well, just like professional athletes have to train to reach a superior performance, so do real estate agents. Here are seven rules you can follow.

Real Estate Training Rule #1: Hard Work Is Essential

I wish I could tell you that being successful in real estate was easy. But I can’t. Nobody can tell you that. And if you happen to run into someone who does tell you that, don’t trust them.

It takes time to find leads, to perfect your listing presentation and to learn how to negotiate. And you won’t always get it right. You want that to happen, which brings me to my next point.

Real Estate Training Rule #2: Mistakes Are Opportunities to Learn

You are going to fall down a lot in your business, especially in the early years. There is no way around that.

But instead of being frustrated by that, change your mindset to one of growth orientation and realize that you can grow from each mistake.

Real Estate Training Rule #3: Multiply the Mistakes

This may sound strange, “multiplying mistakes,” but once you see the math, it will make sense. The more mistakes you make the better you will get, only however, if you are learning from your mistakes.

If you’re not learning from your mistakes and you keep making the same ones over and over, then you might just end up looking silly. You don’t want that.

For every mistake you make you want to evaluate what you did, correct what you see as the mistake and then try again. What you are doing is refining your technique one micro-mistake at a time.

So the point is to try and practice as much as you can. The more reps you can get in the better.

Real Estate Training Rule #4: Study the Masters

The giants in real estate–both the past and the present–are also great teachers who spend time creating resources to help real estate agents. Resources like books or seminars.

Get your hands on as many of these resources as possible and study them. Stay up late reading. Spend money you might blow on a football game and attend a conference where a bunch of these masters are teaching.

But the masters of real estate aren’t the only people you should listen to.

Real Estate Training Rule #5: Listen to Different Ideas

Early in my career I made the mistake of thinking that no other industry or subject matter or genre could have anything to teach me. Boy was I wrong!

I think it was Stephen Covey in his leadership program that taught me that looking into different industries of business–like automotive, computers or legal–I could learn from the things they were teaching and apply it to real estate. When I started doing that I was amazed at all the great and profitable ideas I started to have.

This is also true with subjects like fiction or biographies. You can learn a lot from reading a history of the Civil War or working through all of Ernest Hemingway’s books.

Real Estate Training Rule #6: Teach

Like I said above, the great real estate agents almost always start to teach, coach or mentor in some capacity. Here’s the trick: they don’t wait until they’re on top of their game to start doing it.

In fact, they start teaching early on, realizing that giving their time, experience and knowledge to others just below them in the ranks helps them to become more successful. Why is that?

For one thing, it’s an opportunity to tell others about the mistakes they made and how to avoid them. In other words, it reinforces the lessons they learn.

Another thing is that by teaching they are pouring into someone else, which builds relationships and reputations, which is the cornerstone to good real estate training.

Real Estate Training Rule #7: Build Relationships

From the clients you represent to your co-workers, real estate is full of relationships. And you need to learn how to manage these relationships so that everyone walks away with a win-win feeling.

You never know how many people just one client can bring to you. Or how many people a colleague might send your way.

Train hard to build the right kind of relationships and people will be happy to send other people your way. Getting things done profitably and on time is so much about who you know.


I hope it’s become clear to you that real estate training is your ticket to becoming a successful agent. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it if you love real estate and love the excitement of selling and buying houses.

So tell me, what real estate training rules do you live by?

Did you find this article useful? If so, leave a comment. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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10 Steps to Ruthlessly Accomplish All Your Goals in One Day

It’s no secret: real estate is a hectic job. Paper work. Showings. Buyer drives. Presentations. Your tasks in one day can pull you in many different directions–and make your to-do list seem endless.

Furthermore, like Tony said the other day,  “it’s really tough to focus sometimes.”

Is productivity one of your biggest challenges?

If so, let me introduce you to ten ideas that might help you tackle your to-do list in record time–and even leave time to spare so you can do the things you truly love.

1. Create a List

This is a no-brainer. But you’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t do it. They either keep it in their head or simply don’t think they have time to sit down.

If that’s you, you need to know this: starting your day without a list is the main reason you are so busy. Stop now and empty your brain of everything you need to do. Then go to the next idea.

2. Make it short.

Write down no more than 20 items on your daily to-do list. If you really want to challenge yourself, make it less than 10.

Why? When you focus on less you are pouring your energy into the tasks that are most important to your life goals. This is what it means to be ruthless. You’re going to have to make some tough calls. So just do it.

3. Time block.

Roping off certain hours in the day to do a certain task is a popular and successful trick to ruthlessly getting things done.

Imagine from 9 to 11 A.M. you prospect. 12 to 1 visit possible clients. And 2 to 4 P.M. you fill out paperwork. The key is to hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign while you are getting these things done.

4. Eliminate happy talk.

Shun the water cooler. Visit the bathroom at odd hours. Keep your door closed (if you have one). Shut off your email. The point is to avoid falling into idle, unproductive conversation.

5. Lump like tasks.

This is brilliant–and my favorite idea. If you have 3 large tasks and 7 small ones, after you finish your first large task, spend the next hour knocking out two or three of the smaller tasks.

For instance, small tasks could be checking email, walking to the mail box and asking your manager a question. Check out Leo’s fav procrastination hack for help.

Ruthlessly knocking out these small tasks has a secondary reward: they serve as small victories that may encourage you to keep pouring it on.

6.  Get up early.

Not an early bird? I know how you feel. I felt the same way for a long time. What I’ve found is that I can regulate my sleeping patterns with a little work. Here’s how.

Let’s say you get out of bed at 8 A. M. But your goal is to be out of bed by 6 A.M. What you need to do is start slowly.

Each week set your alarm clock back 15 minutes. This allows your body to slowly adapt. And in just two months you’ll be an early riser.

And why even get up early you ask? Remember that old Army commercial: “We do more work before 8:30 A.M. than most people do all day.” Now that’s ruthless.

7. Rely less on technology.

Some of you claim that you can do more now than you could ever before because of technology. Agreed.

But let me ask you this? Are those things you are doing important? Do they add to the bottom line? Who maintains it? Upgrades it? Tinkers with it?

All I’m saying is this: simplify. If you can do something with paper and pen, go that route. Avoid feature creep.

8. Plan.

This bears repeating: Map out your days, weeks, months and years. Start from where you want to be in the next ten years. Then work backwards, describing the steps you need to get there.

9. Get your affairs in order.

No, don’t line up your mistresses. Simply schedule certain days or half days where you do nothing but maintenance.

Clean hard and soft files. Add gadgets to your software. Dust your office. Get your car’s oil changed. Anything that you’ve been putting off but needs to get done because it could break down the road.

10. Demand a stop time.

If you really want to be ruthless, you need to clearly define when you will stop.

Why? Imagine a football game that started at 8 A.M. and didn’t finish until midnight when the last player collapsed in exhaustion.

Football players on the gridiron are ruthless because they know this: the game is over in sixty minutes. That time restraint keeps them fiercely focused on their goals.

The same holds true for you. If you know you’ve got a fly fishing or shopping trip planned at 4 P.M., don’t you think you’d be ruthless? I do.


Here’s the deal: being ruthless is all about attitude. It’s a mindset. A determination to get things done.

But if you like flailing about your day, losing your hair, grinding your teeth, fighting ulcers, losing money and breaking up your family–then fine, ignore my advice.

My gut feeling is you’d rather not lose hair, money or family. So make the decision today to be ruthless. And then teach someone else to be ruthless. You’ll reap great rewards.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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