There’s a myth often perpetrated in the media that agents earn easy money by just putting properties on the MLS and sit around collecting commissions.
In my experience, the truth is very different. Most agents work long hours, dedicated to helping their clients.
Yet most earn less than they would like. And many struggle to survive.
It’s not for want of talent or hard work.
Most usually it’s because they’re not good at marketing and selling their services.
And often, that stems from “crippling beliefs” they have about marketing and sales that undermine their attempts to get new clients and transactions.
I’ve seen four particularly damaging beliefs that are commonly held by real estate agent agents and other professionals. Beliefs you must eradicate if you want to succeed at winning clients.
Crippling Belief #1: “If I do good work, people will hear about me”.
Painful truth: no they won’t.
Sadly, good news doesn’t travel. When researchers looked at word of mouth, they found that if you have a bad experience with a business then on average you’ll tell 12 people, and those 12 people will tell 6 others each. You’ve probably heard this or a similar statistic before.
However, a much less reported finding is that they also found that if you have a good experience with a business then on average you’ll tell just a couple of friends. And those friends won’t remember much, and won’t tell anyone else at all.
And the problem with relying on word of mouth is that as most people practice it, it’s a passive strategy. You’re reliant on the goodwill of others to generate leads for you.
If you want more clients? Well, you just have to hope you get more recommendations.
So while word of mouth is great – relying on it alone is not a reliable indicator of future success.
Crippling Belief #2: “I can copy what’s working for others”.
Painful truth: it might be working for them, but that doesn’t mean it will work for you.
These days we’re overwhelmed with opportunities and information. Every day we see others “crushing it” with seminars, sponsorships, direct mail, networking, social media…
It’s incredibly easy to become distracted – to try copy all the things other people are doing.
But if we do this we’ll have a tendency to hop from tactic to tactic. Always following the latest technique we’ve heard about and never mastering any of them.
And worse still, just because networking or social media or direct mail worked for someone you saw speaking at an event doesn’t mean it will work for you. Your clients are different. Your skills are different.
You have to tread your own path. Learn from others, but find the things that work for you. Then focus on them and become a master at them.
Crippling Belief #3: “I can’t find the time for marketing”.
Painful truth: if you don’t market, you’ll soon have plenty of time on your hands.
Not having the time for marketing sounds ludicrous when you say it – but I hear it or something similar again and again.
You don’t find the time for marketing – you make the time.
Most agents and teams should be spending between 10 – 20% of their time on marketing and business development. And even more in the early stages of their business. That’s one full day a week!
If you can’t make that time, then you’ve either got your priorities wrong, or you’ve got your business model wrong.
More usually, the problem is that people avoid marketing because they don’t feel competent or comfortable with it, and unlike the area where they’re an expert, it holds out the terrible potential for failure and rejection.
If you want to be successful you’ve got to get over this, and you’ve got to get over yourself. You’ve got to knuckle down, book the time, and get your marketing done.
Crippling Belief #4: “I’m not a (natural) salesperson”.
Painful truth: almost no one is a natural salesperson. It doesn’t stop them, and it shouldn’t stop you.
For some reason, many of us seem to have acquired this belief that “natural salespeople” kind of pop out of the womb that way. So we look at people who are good at selling and we assume we could never be like that and feel overwhelmed.
But the truth is that when we look at people who are good at selling, we’re seeing the finished article. The product of years of experience and training. They didn’t start off that way.
Sure, there are some skills like listening, empathizing, making friends and being sociable that some people seem to be naturally good at or pick up at an early age. But those are perfectly learnable skills for us too. Along with the more structured skills involved in selling.
And we don’t need to have perfected our skills to still have success with them. Most people see significant improvements in their success rate winning clients just by learning and following a simple, structured sales process.