By Leon d’Ancona
By the time you read this, you will have had plenty of time to have abrogated those well-meant New Year’s resolutions. It is human nature to avoid radical change when complacency takes so little effort.
I have never understood why January 1 should be the only monumental time of purification leading to a temporary catharsis of behaviour. Unfortunately, many of us languish in the comfort of acquired and entrenched habits the rest of the year, waiting for the next January for more introspection.
The sad fact that I have pointed out several times in these articles is that in North America, well over 50 per cent of professional real estate participants do not make enough income to sustain their career.
Self-satisfaction about your real estate career does not bode well for your future income. That is because real estate is arguably North America’s most over-populated profession. Simply put, if you don’t get it listed or sold, someone else will. Unless you work with investors, your income is totally dictated by the buyers and sellers you act for.
No matter what income plateau you have (or have not) reached, here are six basic things you should implement to reach that next plateau just in time for the spring market. Call them your February resolutions.
These six points have been proven by thousands and thousands of men and women I have worked with for over two decades. Those who implemented them dramatically increased income and became lifetime successes.
1) Know the area you are working in. After all, common sense dictates that the area you choose is the wellspring that provides you with your income. Does it contain the elements to satisfy the needs of a wide range of clients? What are the best streets with the highest turnover? What are the demographics? Can you relate to the customs of its dominant inhabitants?
2) Have more specific product knowledge. Think about calling a stockbroker and imagine your surprise if he does not know where the Dow Jones is at. Would you deal with him? Would you deal with a bank that does not allow you to write cheques? It is perfectly reasonable for a prospective client to expect you to know precise market conditions for the specific area they have in mind, and not to have to go back to the office to get the information.
Make sure you have current details for the precise market area you will be dealing with, in your briefcase or on your iPhone ready to demonstrate. We live in an age where consumers are able to educate themselves in minutes. The currency of the Internet is information. Remember the seminal rule that when a client perceives he knows more than you, no commerce will take place. In the first 10 minutes, clients must perceive you to be the most knowledgeable real estate professional they have met.
3) Know who your competitors are. The competitor your client may want to work with might be a great professional, but has not done anything in the area where you are the proven expert. You can certainly use that argument to show that you are the superior person to deal with, regardless of how many homes your competitor sold elsewhere.
4) Your company’s rank and average sale. Try this the next time you are told your client is thinking of working with a competitor: “Yes, I agree Oilenshpiegel Realty is a great company. But my research shows that the average price they sell in this area is $294,660. The average price we sell is $484,350, which is what we are hoping to get for your home. Don’t you think we are more qualified?”
5) Focus on the right merchandise in your area. Your area of choice is likely to have at least three different categories of homes relative to price. The formula to use is 60 per cent, 25 per cent, 15 per cent. Here is how. Determine the average price of the first 60 per cent of homes that sold as “starters”, then the next 25 per cent as “move-up” and then the last 15 per cent as luxury. The chart shows what it might look like.
By allocating your time and efforts in the right proportions, you are bound to increase your income.
6) Pinpoint the streets of your area. It is usual that 30 per cent of all sales are in fewer than nine per cent of all streets. Once you appreciate that, you can re-focus your career and determine how you should allocate your time, energy and resources by directing mail to the streets with the highest turnover.
Your broker should be able to help you with detailed information. Before spending money on other peripherals, invest money in furthering your career through the acquisition of information that will keep you on top of your real estate market on a monthly basis. Let others provide you with the knowledge and information you need for success, while you do what you do best! I have found most brokers and team leaders are anxious to share information with those who seek it to further their careers. This is a great time to be in real estate, so make the most of it.
Posted: 2010-02-24 07:39:55
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