The most common complaint I hear from brokers is the lack of time. We never seem to have enough of it and we always want more. I myself found this to be a major problem and today I would like to share with you my profound and effective habits that helped me close more deals and work smarter, not harder. It is important to note that everyone is different, and the ultimate goal is to find what works best for you and then stick with it. Sticking with it is the most difficult part! Here are 7 profound lessons I have learned that help me to be a better marketing and cre sales professional.
1. Slow Down Process to Speed Up Sales
Choose a few steps for accomplishing your sales process and break it down into smaller parts. Do it again and again until you can do it in your sleep. Do not move to the next step until you feel comfortable and proficient. Each time you become proficient, add more to your sales process workflow. The goal is to add a small amount with each step so it becomes much easier to remember the tasks and improve your skill levels. Investing this time now will have exponential impact on the effectiveness of your sales process.
2. Information Overload
More information is not always better and here is why. Do you really need 5,000 contacts, 3,000 building owners and every property in the world to market to? A good rule of thumb is only have as much data as you can manage. It is not a race to fill your contact list. Ask yourself, how many people can I touch a year ? If I make 20 calls a day, which includes prospecting for new business, and I can only touch 2,000 of those contacts then I would stick with 2,000 contacts. Add only as many contacts as you can touch at least 3 times a year. Make sure you segment your contacts and companies. Using the “cast a wide net” approach, does not seem to work as well these days with so many people doing commercial real estate. For those of you using a contact management database program, you will have a touch or verify button, so you better make sure you use it! Anyone who has not been touched or verified, put into a group and make one extra call a day so you can verify them, update their needs, property ownership, or leasing info. These days your relationships with your contacts is one of the best and easiest ways to make sure you stand out.
3. Analysis Paralysis
The term “analysis paralysis” or “paralysis of analysis” refers to over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation. Keep it simple. I know it sounds basic, and it really is. For example: Start by choosing 2 or 3 key facts you want to track for properties, buyers, and sellers. I might track Investors for multi-family 25-50 units with a minimum and maximum investment amount and have properties that would fit those needs attached to the owners of those buildings. For leasing, I would track the business type, their space requirements and business type, lease expiration and square feet. Since most of us have access to the same data, only take what you need as that is the difference that will help you close more deals.
4. Time Savers
Everyone says they never have enough time and we all know we can find time, especially if it is going to make us money. Just like a pro baseball, hockey or tennis player would do, you need to remember to improve your game by practicing. It is very simple to walk in the office and while your coffee is brewing, look at a tutorial and pick up a shortcut or learn a new technique that will save you time. It really is that simple. After you get that shortcut or technique down pat, move on to the next technological shortcut or feature that can save you time. Automation and the digital world are here to stay. You must learn how to use these tools and time saving methods as technology is expanding, not shrinking.
I say this all too much. T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More!) In the last year alone, I have made it a point to spend more time thinking ahead and discussing my ideas with my cre colleagues and I have definitely noticed a marked improvement in the way I spend my time. I have learned about some great tools I never would have heard of and, hopefully, I have had that same impact on others by collaborating and brainstorming. When I do not know something, I ask others and I am finding that others are asking me in return! We all need to realize we are not alone, even though in sales we are often alone or independent professionals. Sales people need to network, not just with clients, but with colleagues as well. If you are trying to build a business, you need to realize that sometimes you need resources and a team to help you succeed. Today more than ever that is possible as a result of our ability to connect with so many!
6. Play Your Strengths
In today’s world, there are probably aren’t any more vast undiscovered sources of riches. Everyone is out there competing for the same business, and it is our job to stand out. I have found that the more successful agents play to their strengths as much as possible. Use what you already know and lean on others for what you do not. Do it yourself is a great approach for many things, but when your business and livelihood depends on it, you want to make sure everything is done right. Often times this can be by hiring a professional to get it done. Think about what your time is worth. If it will take you 4 hours to prepare a document or import data into spreadsheets and possibly more if you hit some roadblocks along the way, you can pay to have that done for you. The amount of time needed is going to be significantly less, so you can spend your time focusing on what you are good at. Yes, you need to learn techniques and shortcuts, but you also have to realize what your limits are and be prepared to outsource some time draining busy work so you have more time for what you are really good at doing.
7. Power of Consistency
“It’s easier to be “great” than to be “consistent.” Being consistent with what we do in life is, at times, tough. However, with its mastery, success is always at hand”. ~Kent Julian
Delivering service to your clients does in fact require consistency. Even in our business, our clients expect accuracy, precision and a predictable outcome. Set your standards and formats and systems and stick with it. Create forms, processes and procedures for yourself. If you refer to something or use a term, be consistent with that in all of your documents or information. In the end it all will save you time and provide a concise and uniform outcome.
I hope one of these 7 profound insights can help you. It is my goal to encourage all of the cre professionals we do business with to remember that it is important to do one thing well today rather than doing 10 things poorly yesterday. Now, of course, it always depends on how you interpret this concept. For example, when you are in a small geographic market, you have to know or master many segments and specialties, however, deep down, it is the geography and the community that is your expertise. We have to realize that although we have many segments, geographies and property types, there is something that is the common thread we know and do so very well. An outsider may be an expert in a segment, but if that outsider does not know the geography, they are out of their league. It is very simple, choose one thing you want to work on and stick with it until you are the expert, no matter what it may come to be for you and do it well. If you are reading this blog post, I believe you are already on the road to your developing your habits to becoming a highly effective cre professional.