Category Archives for "Strategy"

5 Signs That It’s Time to Quit Your Job and Become a Real Estate Agent

In this shaky economy very few people would consider it a good career move to change their job–let alone quit to become a real estate agent.

But there are a number of people who are doing just that. Why? What’s in it for them? Here are five reasons.

1. Lifeless Job

From the honeymoon period to burn-out, every job goes through a series of steps. Early on everything is exciting with the change of position, new location and learning the ropes. But once you’ve met goals and achieved objectives you start to lose interest. Eventually you dread coming to the office and may even be irritable. If that describes you, then it may be time to quit.

2. Lifeless Career

Have you been at the same company for sixteen years? In the same industry for twenty? You are overdue for a serious change. Stagnating in a position or even company can also stagnate your own personal and professional improvement. Quitting your job to become a real estate agent will help you gain new skills and improve upon your old ones.

3. Lifeless Boss

The dead-beat boss is not good for anybody with at least a little bit of ambition. He or she might take your assertiveness as an actual attempt at their position–and do everything to squash you. More than likely you won’t have a psychotic boss–just not a very good supporter. He doesn’t back your plans or ignores your please for progressive. Life under such a manager is no fun.

4. Lifeless Industry

Sure, in 2008, and for the next four years, real estate became a lifeless industry as it self-imploded and purged the bloat. But even back in those bad days average agents were able to make a living. They just had to adjust. And now that the market is slowly improving, life is getting better. Well, your industry might just be getting ready to crack. Does that threaten your company? Will there be lay offs soon? If so, it might be a good time to change careers.

6. You Are Lifeless

There are many reasons you may not be motivated in your current job. Your job, position and company may not contribute to your mid- to long-term professional goals. In fact, they be an obstacles. You may simply not have the passion or gratification of a job well done any more.


You may have know for over a year that is was time to move on. Sometimes it could be longer. I know I stayed in a position I hated for 18 months because of the pay, benefits and the people. It took a near-firing to kick me in the butt to leave that position and move on in my career.

Don’t be afraid to cut the cord for the sake of your career. Make sure you do it respectively, though. Burning bridges can come back to haunt you down the road. Treat everyone with respect and loyalty when you leave. You won’t regret 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.

Related Articles

6 Ways to Increase Your Annual Income

How to Use Your MLS System for Growing Profits Every Year, Month and Day

7-Step Checklist for Growing Your Real Estate Business

7-Step Checklist for Growing Your Real Estate Business

You’ve been in real estate for a number of years. You’ve managed to stitch together a successful little one-man or -woman shop where you make one-and-a-half times more than you made when you worked for someone else. You’ve even hired an assistant or two. And the growth bug starts to bite.

What should you do to grow your real estate business? How do you go about it? This 7-step checklist is a great place to start.

Know Your Mission

It all starts with what you are trying to accomplish. And it’s not just about buying and selling houses. Provide high-quality service in a market trained to believe that real estate agents are snake-oil salesmen? Help families get out from bank-breaking mortgages fast? Bringing joy to low-income families?

Get the Infrastructure

A good business is built on a good foundation. That foundation includes basics like contact management systems to the office space you rent. Look for partnerships that will fill your weaknesses and leverage your strengths.

Get the Right Team

Hire and fire fast. The best interviewers admit that they make bad hires–even after they’ve filtered candidates through a rigorous process. My opinion is to find the right people and get them on the bus. If after three months they are not working out, fire and re-hire.

Create Strong Purpose and Ethics

Why do you exist? How are you going to put a dent in the universe? Are you hoping to turn your city into the best place to live in the U.S.? Do you want to make a difference for families with disabled children? That purpose and ethic will energize you and your team.

Pay Attention to the Details

Some people tell you NOT to sweat the small stuff. That’s rubbish. You need to obsesses about every word you say and speak, every move you make with body language. Be meticulous with what you say on your business card, real estate listings and website. Make sure you smile every time you meet someone, and ALWAYS compliment them.

Listen to Your Prospects and Clients

Ask for feedback from people you meet on the street and talk to on the phone. Monitor the social web to see what people are saying on Twitter or Facebook. Send out an email survey two or three times a year to past clients.

Act on Feedback

Pull all that feedback into a central database. It could be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet. Create columns for good and positive feedback and bad and negative feedback. How can you use that information to grow and improve? Are there opportunities you could jump on? Are there threats you need to avoid? Do you see your strengths? What are your weaknesses?

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.

Related Articles

10 Critical Strategies for New Real Estate Agents in Any Market

6 Ways to Increase Your Annual Income

How to Use Your MLS System for Growing Profits Every Year, Month and Day

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.

Related Articles

10 Critical Strategies for New Real Estate Agents in Any Market

Michael Masterson’s Productivity Secrets

How to Use Your MLS System for Growing Profits Every Year, Month and Day


How to Become a Leader: Tax Reform Advocate Norquist’s Advice

In a recent interview with U.S. News, tax reform advocate Grover Norquist shared three keys to becoming a leader in any high-pace environment: Work hard, do not whine and know where you are going.

Let’s explore those three keys.

Work Hard

This is no secret. Succeeding in real estate [really, in any endeavor] depends on working hard. It’s the prinicple of critical mass: 90 percent of a plane’s fuel is spent getting it up to altitude. But once it’s in the air, it pretty much coasts.

This doesn’t mean you won’t work hard AFTER you become a leader in your market. You may work just as hard. But you won’t feel like you’re swimming up stream. You’ll feel like you’re floating down it.

Now, one of the biggest obstacles is overcoming procrastination. It’s usually that initial push over inertia. If that’s you, try this 10-step method.

No Whining

Whether you simply don’t have any leads coming in or you are frustrated with home owners or can’t stand the thought of cold calling, do not complain. Just shut up and do it.

All of these components of buying and selling real estate are things you must do. So grow that thick hide so rejection can bounce right off you. Criticism can easily deflect away from you.

Where Are You Going

As I’ve said before, happy endings are product of hard work. And good plans. Where you confront the brutal facts. Doing this can be the difference between a good ending and a bad one.

See the ending. And tolerate no deviation.

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.

Related Articles

10 Critical Strategies for New Real Estate Agents in Any Market

Michael Masterson’s Productivity Secrets

Guarantee Your Success With This Strategic Planning Tool

Your Real Estate Career: How to Create a Happy Ending

The ending is everything.

That’s why Greek heroes like Odysseus–who were able to look beyond the present and plan several steps ahead–seemed to defy fate. In fact, men like Odysseus mimicked the Greek gods in their ability to tell the future.

The comparison, today, is still valid.

If you can think further ahead and patiently bring your plans to fruition, you’ll seem godlike. And naturally be more successful.

Most people are imprisoned in the moment. Imprisoned by their emotions. They can’t plan with any kind of foresight. Neither can they ignore immediate dangers or instant pleasures…traps that ultimately strip them of their future success.

The Mistake Successful Real Estate Agents Avoid

Successful real estate agents, on the other hand, like those profiled in the Baylor study I wrote about last week, have the power of being able to overcome the natural human tendency to react to things as they happen. Instead they train themselves to step back and think about the larger things taking shape beyond the horizon.

Most agents believe that they are in fact aware of the future, that they are planning and thinking ahead.

They are usually wrong.

What they’re really doing is succumbing to their desires, to what they want the future to be. Their plans are vague, based on their fantasies rather than reality.

They’re not thinking to the end. Only focusing on the happy ending, which is nothing more than a figment of their imagination.

“The most ordinary cause of people’s mistakes,” Cardinal de Retz wrote, “is their being too much frightened at the present dangers, and not enough at that which is remote.”

Dangers that loom in the distance cause the most chaos. You only need to reflect on the housing bubble to see what I mean.

But if you can see those dangers before they take shape…how many mistakes do you think you could avoid? How many plans would you abort if you realized you were avoiding a small danger only to step into a larger one?

So much of success is not what you do but what you don’t do. The rash and foolish actions that you restrain from contribute a lot to the outcome of your future–whether it’s fortunate or unfortunate.

The Moral of This Post

Plan in detail before you act. Train yourself to step back and evaluate your future–in detail. Compare it to reality. Ask questions: What consequences could this have? Will I lose prospects if I do this? Will someone else be able to take advantage of me? Can I actually sell this house?

Don’t be swayed by the happy ending in your head. Unhappy endings are more common than happy ones. And the happy ones usually come at great cost–hours, days and months of planning, refraining, adjusting and executing.

Happy endings are product of hard work. And good plans. Where you confront the brutal facts. Doing this can be the difference between a good ending and a bad one.

See the ending. And tolerate no deviation.

8 Solutions to Keep 2009 from Going Down in Flames

First, thanks for reading. And responding. This blog would be nothing without you.

Second, thanks for your leadership. Your courage. Your honesty. Credibility. Tough love. Thanks for being a real estate agent who upholds the standard. Who excels at winning. And winning right. You inspire me.

Third, you’ve got a rough road ahead of you. But you don’t need me to point that out to you. I only want to give you solutions. My main motivation in writing this post is to give you an early Christmas present. An idea…a direction…that will hopefully guide you to success in 2009.

So, here’s a list of 8 solutions to your current economic, real estate woes. Hopefully these will keep you from pumping a ton of money into something that returns little to nothing. When you’re finished, let me know what you think.

1. Start from scratch.

Halt the progress, purge all your current baggage and re-evaluate what you are trying to accomplish. You need a clean slate for 2009.

Andy Grove said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” You’ve got to get the fundamentals down. But once you do that…tackle new opportunities.

2. Think like a king.

You probably haven’t been doing enough of this lately. But you need to think like a king. Or queen. Someone who is in charge. Who’s sovereign. Someone who’s responsible for results. Someone who won’t let the vision go dormant or accumulate complicated layers. Who rolls heads when there’s trouble. [Go ahead. You can do it.]

3. Create a dedicated team passionate about real estate.

Your career is so important that you dedicate your life to it. You depend upon it. Your family depends upon it. Charities depend upon it. All of your resources should place it at the same high priority. Otherwise, you dish out a half-baked product.

4. Create a unique selling proposition (USP).

The book Made to Stick demonstrated that an idea spreads when it is simple, unexpected, credible, concrete, emotional or a story. Or a combination of all the above. Southwest Airlines “exists to provide the lowest airfare.”

Why do you exist? What makes your business better than the other ones out there? Let’s spell it out: USP.

5. Filter and test every idea through the USP.

Every idea you come across must live or die based on how it sizes up to your USP. R&D suggested Southwest offer chicken Caesar salads on the flight. The CEO asked, “Will that help us provide the lowest airfare?” The answer was no.

6. Define metrics.

What will determine success or failure: Sales? Houses sold? Listed? Buzz? Penetration? Recall? Website visits? All of the above?

7. Determine an economic engine.

Low maintenance ideas require little to no funding. High maintenance ideas require more funding. You need to decide if you want any idea to be a low or high maintenance idea…and then build strategies and creative to match the revenue required.

8. Meet a new person everyday.

Via social sites like Twitter or LinkedIn or flesh and blood events, get to know more people this year. At a minimum, make a goal to meet 365 new people in 2009.

Deep and wide relationships cultivates success. Especially if you get to a point in 2009 that you feel like you can’t make it, somebody will be there to lift you up.

Merry Christmas.

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.

Related Articles

10 Critical Strategies for New Real Estate Agents in Any Market

Michael Masterson’s Productivity Secrets

Guarantee Your Success With This Strategic Planning Tool

10 Critical Strategies for New Real Estate Agents in Any Market

The President of the United States gets 100 days to prove himself. You get less. A lot less.

But like the President, what you do in the early days of your new career will largely determine whether you sink or swim.

This is a time of opportunity for you. A chance to start fresh. A new beginning. But it’s also a time of vulnerability. You’re a stranger in a strange land–with just a few dollars in your pocket.

The stakes are obviously high.

Failure in the early days of your career can spell the end of a promising business. So this post is not just about exploiting opportunities and advancing your career. It’s also about preventing failure.

Therefore, your goal should be to arrive at critical mass as rapidly as possible. If you succeed in this, you’ll free up precious time to focus on business development.

Follow these 10 critical strategies and you will inevitably exploit opportunities, prevent failures and advance your career.

1. Promote Yourself

First and foremost, make a clear break with your last job. Quit it if at all possible. Part-timers are crummy real estate agents.

Then, hit the ground running. Announce to everyone you know–including your old boss and co-workers–that you are a real estate agent. What you want is immediate traction. This means reworking your network.

Furthermore, learn everything you can about real estate. And start sharing that information. On a blog. In a newsletter. At networking events.

And most importantly: watch out for people who want to hold you back.

2. Accelerate Your Learning

If you aren’t a reader–become one. Fast. If you aren’t a learner–get over it. You’ll need to become one if you want to succeed in real estate.

Now, if you have trouble learning or find reading boring, do this: view it as an investment. Imagine every hour spent learning is a possible $100 down the road.

Furthermore, to be systematic about learning, you’ll need to define your learning agenda. You’ll need to find the best sources of insight (this could be designations, coaching, conferences or mentors. Or all of them). What’s always helped me when I want to learn something is to adopt a learning plan. This will work for you, too.

3. Match Strategy to Situation

Always diagnose the business situation you are entering before you create a strategy. Is it a hot market or a sluggish market? Urban or rural?  What are the challenges and opportunities? Should you play offense or defense? What are the right skills needed to lead?

Also, understand the history, the people and the culture of your market. This can be some of your best clues on how to succeed in your market.

4. Nail Down Early Wins

While there are a lot of ways to build credibility, early wins is certainly one of the best.

What is an early win? Great thing about early wins in real estate is that you get to define them. An early win could be getting a buyer for a piece of property your company’s best salesperson has been having trouble selling. Or it could be as small as meeting key leaders in your city.

Early wins involve rewards not just for your clients or co-workers–but for you, too. But whatever the win, make sure it’s a tangible result. Something you can measure.

5. Negotiate Success

How do you build a productive relationship with the people you work with–whether clients or co-workers? There are several do’s and don’ts.

First, the do’s. Take responsibility for making every relationship work. Clarify expectations ealry and often. Negotiate times for action. Aim for early wins important to your clients and co-workers. Pursue relationships with people your clients and co-workers respect.

Second, the don’ts. Never trash the past. Don’t avoid communicating with your clients or co-workers. Never surprise them. Never approach them with problems only. Never run down a checklist. Never try to change the people you work with.

6. Get Alignment from Key People

Think of yourself as an architect for your business. You’re the one who’s responsible for making sure your business is productive, effective and efficient. And that the important people in your business–the one’s who are going to help you succeed–are behind your strategy.

This includes all the obvious people: your boss, partner, manager and co-workers. But believe it or not, this also includes your spouse. He or she needs to be on board with you are doing. Otherwise, expect grief.

7.  Build Your Team

I can honestly say that the number one way to grow a business is to build a team. In other words, delegate work. Rock star agents probably not so much, but other successful agents move rapidly to add people to their team because they realize they can accomplish more when they have a group of people working as one on a compelling vision.

8. Create Coalitions

Sooner or later, you will need the support of peers–whether you like them or not. That’s why it’s so important to identify supporters and opponents, and then figure out how you can influence them.

This might mean you’ll have to humble yourself and act kindly toward someone you can’t stand. If that makes you want to hurl, think about this: one act of kindness now could lead to a strategic advantage in the future. One act of defiance now could lead to a stonewall–and a critical failure.

9. Keep Your Balance

This is the real estate killer–unending work. Seven day work weeks. Midnight closing times. Going into the office on holidays. Allow this to happen and you will burnout, or worse, lose your family.

Take stock, set limits on your business and be disciplined. For example, you could have a goal for a four-day work week. Or a four hour work week. Whatever your plan, stick to it.

10. Develop Everyone

If you follow the previous strategies you should be well on your way to reaping a rewarding real estate career. However, you’re not done.

Don’t forget about the people around you. Make it a plan to develop every member on your team into a leader. Help those in your peer or mastermind group to grow. Help client’s achieve success outside of buying or selling a home. Ask yourself: whose life can I accelerate?

If you want more help on making that transition between jobs, read Michael Watkins The First 90 Days.

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.

Related Articles

The Introvert: Networking Tips and Habits for a Little Understood Group

11 Ways to Be the Most Irresistable Person at the Party

Brittney Spears Reputation Management Mistakes You Should Avoid



Michael Masterson’s Personal Productivity Secrets

Raise your hand if you know who Michael Masterson is.

Okay, for those of you with non-raised arms, Micheal Masterson is founder of health, wealth and success e-newsletter Early to Rise. In less than 7 years, Masterson built a loyal following of over 250,000 people–whom he mentors to help them acheive their financial goals–through his success at productivity, selling and marketing.

Masterson is also the author of several Wall Street Journal, New York Times and best sellers, including Ready, Fire, Aim, and Automatic Wealth: The Six Steps to Financial Independence.

So here’s the deal. In a short book called Personal Productivity Secrets, Masterson shared his personal blueprint for productivity success.

It’s called the Master Plan.

Jack Welch used a Master Plan to turn GE into a lean, market-dominating company. NFL Coach John Fox used a Master Plan to go from a 2-14 season to a run at the Super Bowl the following.

The same process can help you achieve your goals. Here’s how it works.

Simplify Your Goals

A master plan works by simplifying your interests and acting upon them in a simple way. Start by figuring out your life goals.

1. List all the things you want to accomplish on a sheet of paper.
2. Choose the top interest.
3. Decide if that is what you want to spend your life doing.
4. Create a five year plan to reach your number one goal.
5. Create a one year plan to reach your number one goal.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for every major goal you want to accomplish.

How Does Rising Early Make You Rich?

The morning time is the best time to collect your thoughts. Better yet, if you get up at 4:30 A. M., and work 2 hours, you’re that much ahead of your competition.

During these hours of solitude, make your to do list, then prioritize it and finally start on one of the most important tasks immediately.

This Little Tool Will Be Enormously Valuable to You

Masterson carries 3-by-5 index cards everywhere he goes and writes down every idea that comes to him. This way, nothing escapes him.

Each morning, he reviews his cards and consults them whenever you have a spare moment. I sometimes use the voice memo feature on my phone. This is especially helpful when you are driving.

Whether electronic or paper, once you start doing this, you’ll be surprised at how much more “on top of things” you’ll be in a few days.

Don’t Let Your Email Ruin Your Schedule

If you are on email more than twice a day–stop it. Checking email is not the most important thing you should be doing.

Also, Masterson recommends you train people who email you to keep it short. And when they pose a problem, teach them to map out multiple choices.

Group Like Tasks Together

Tackle similar tasks at the same time: That means, create time blocks when you check voice mail, send emails and write memos.

Or, group similar tasks by time duration. Lump all tasks under fifteen minutes for the end of the day. And group your more time intensive tasks in the morning when you are fresh.

Choose a Daily Planner That Works for You

Electronic planners tend to be the least effective. Daily paper planners the most. I use a makeshift notebook. Whatever you choose, stick with it.

Pencil in Appointments First–Ink Later

When you make an appointment, pencil it in first. When it is confirmed, then ink it in. This lets you know at a glance appointments that are concrete and those that are not.

Measure and Improve Your Personal Productivity

It’s always a good idea to review every two weeks your planner to see how many tasks you aren’t getting done. If you find yourself with more incomplete tasks than you like, do one of three things:

1. Work more hours and be happy with it.
2. Learn how to be more efficient.
3. Schedule fewer tasks.

Two is probably your best option. But, highly-motivated people often try to bite off more than they can choose, so the third option might work for you instead. You decide.


In How to Become CEO, Jeffrey J. Fox recommends spending an hour a day “planning, dreaming, scheming, thinking, calculating. Review your goals. Consider options. Ponder problems. Write down ideas.
Mentally practice your sales call or big presentation. Figure out how to get things done.”

Good advice.

Follow Masterson’s simple steps to get a jumpstart on your day, your career and your income. And to change your life you’ve got to stick to this basic program.

The bottom line is: stop focusing on anything that is keeping you from your most important goals.

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.

Related Articles

Kick the Procrastination Habit Once and For All

Monday Link Mashup: Productivity, Listings and Eeyore

One of an Agent’s Nastiest Jobs

Guarantee Your Success with This Strategic Planning Tool

Here’s a little piece of business wisdom that may or may not surprise you:

The freedom, lifestyle and income you’ve always dreamed about depend upon you. It depends upon your patience and it depends upon your planning.

In his 2001 book The 7 Keys to Marketing Genius marketing consultant Michael Daehn, writes:

Many marketing books jump right into the promotion process where instructions on how to broadcast the marketing message are described in detail. The problem with that approach is that if you are sending out the wrong message, it will not only be ineffective but counterproductive.

That’s why it’s so important to create a sound strategy before you start the promotion process. Whether you employ new social media or stick to flagging classified ads or build a sales letter campaign from the ground up…

You need to analyze. You need to plan first.

A SWOT analysis will help you do that.

A SWOT Analysis, is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a business venture.

A SWOT is about defining your advantage over the competition. The questions you have to ask yourself are:

  • What do I do better than anyone else in my market?
  • What can I do that my competition can’t do?
  • What will separate me from my pack?

A simple SWOT analysis will help you find out what you do best. And it will give you the road map to a predictable and profitable business that will last for decades.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Gather all stakeholders.

Since you are an individual contractor you are in a way defining your individual strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

But it may be helpful to you involve your spouse or a business partner or your broker. Someone who can help you see the things you can’t see.

This is especially helpful when speaking of weaknesses and threats, but sometimes people are so low on themselves they need help to see what they are really good at.

2. Focus on the strengths.

Hammer out all of the positive elements you can think of : education, experience, connections, knowledge.

This is important: Devote enough quiet time. Clear a day or a weekend. Get alone and discover what it is you are really good at. This is important that you get this right.

3. Dig deep and consider your weaknesses.

Even the brightest, most educated, highly successful individual has weaknesses. Find them.

But remember this about weaknesses: when it comes time to work on your weaknesses, only work on those that can damage your life or career.

Habitual drinking or a fear of confronting people are two weakness that could quickly destroy your hopes of success.

Work on these but ignore the benign weaknesses…otherwise you spend all your time on your weaknesses and not your strengths.

4. Evaluate the opportunities in your market.

Unlike strengths and weaknesses, opportunities are outside your influence. You merely exploit them.

For example, perhaps you identify a segment of your market that is not being serviced appropriately AND you have some well-connected people who can help you reach this segment.

This is a huge opportunity for you. Seize it.

5. Discover the threats in your market.

Threats can kill you. That’s why you must pay attention to them.

A threat could be monster brokerage house that systematically mows down competition. You need to realize this and figure out what to do about it. Otherwise you’ll be bankrupt and blue in less than a year.

Or a threat could be a cooling market. You need to identify this and ask yourself the question: is this the best time to go into real estate?

And remember: Be honest during this entire process. The freedom, lifestyle and income you’ve always dreamed about depend upon it.

Related Articles

The Top 10 Miracles of Real Estate Research

Competing with Proctor & Gamble

6 Unorthodox Ways to Become a Market Shaker

SEO as a Marketing Strategy for Real Estate

Developing Your Real Estate Marketing Plan

Black Friday Link Mashup: Blog Strategy Happy

Outside the obligatory first link on Black Friday by Seth Godin, this post is about all the nice links that will help you with your real estate blog strategy.

[And by the way, happy shopping!]

Seth Godin: Create panic by making your customers uncomfortable.

Are you using the right content development strategy for your blog?

I’ve previously talked how content needs to capture attention, a scarce asset in the today’s accelerated information economy. [via doshdosh]

Value Blogging In: Less Writing, Higher Quality

How I Built 10,000 Links in 3 Weeks

Do You Have a Blog Commenting Strategy?

40 Observations about My 2 Year Old Blog by Teresa Boardman

6.5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Blog

Writing Good Headlines for Regular Readers, Search Engines and Social Media

What Is the Future of the Real Estate Blog?

Do you have any links about blog strategy you’d like to share? If so, pop them in the comments below. Thanks and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!