Are you stepping on the field without your playbook?

By Kathleen Black

This is the moment. The game is down to the wire with both teams tied for the win.

You look to the left for a signal of the play that will take your team to the top. You look to the left again, then to the right.

You start to come to the frantic realization that you have no clue what play will save the day, no clue what the plays are and no clue that you even needed them.

Finally, you come to the realization that a win will be fate or luck at best. You ease your stance to assess the opposition; they must be in the same predicament, right?

Wrong. They are standing tall and confident. They look to the sidelines and are signaled to play. Not only do they have a play, but they have a full book of the best strategies to win in the quickest amount of time.

They have someone overseeing the game and signaling only after assessing the bigger picture of everyone in play … They have the playbook. You don’t. It doesn’t matter that you made the finals. You just lost the game and your top players for next season.

When was the last time you saw a pro sports team allow any athlete on the field without learning the playbook? Exactly! Welcome to real estate.

We create our business before we start DOING business: We start our business or teams before we meet our first client and before we hire our first assistant, buyer’s agent or partner.

The business does not evolve from an action. It evolves from a thought, a plan and then your perception of that plan put into action.

Perspectives are an endless sea: Trust me … I’m a coach … green isn’t green when only I see it. Until then you may argue it is black, and for you it is. At least until I am successful in adjusting the lighting.

This is why some companies give away their playbooks for free. They know the likelihood of you reading them in the spirit intended is pretty slim. The perspective dictates the way you view the content. The way you view the content dictates your results. This is true with a script, a presentation, interview questions or how you present a contract. The content gives you structure, but the delivery gives you results.

Broken plan = broken business: Most people stick with their plans for a while even when they are broken.

Most of us seem to have a natural strength in criticizing new opportunities even though they have tried, tested and true track records; but we promptly pick up our trusty rose-colored glasses when assessing our own methods. I know they are comfortable, but how comfortable is a kitchen table without dinner?

You can create reasons OR you can focus on results: A great playbook considers several things, including predictability, odds, averages and costs. This is all for one reason: to create an environment with the highest likelihood of success!

Don’t get me wrong; great results with predictability always have reasons. That is what makes them valuable and predictable. However, reasons do not always have results. In fact, without results, reasons are the enemy of progress. The best reasons get us results.

The myth: All lessons lead to great feats: Have you ever heard a story about all the lessons someone learned on the way to the top?

Sure, we all have. It goes sideways because you can choose to learn how to create a wheel, and I am sure we would all learn something from that, and even do it better the next time, or you could learn to create the most aerodynamic high-performance wheel the world has ever seen — a wheel best in class and worthy of duplication.

The myth is that all lessons lead to large feats. Mastery requires us to go beyond our mentors and idols by building upon the work they devoted their lives to. We all have the choice to bend time by learning and investing in what already works.
This is why salespeople join the industry. They have talent. They have ambition.  They seek growth. They need a system to achieve their potential, in a tenth of the time, compared to the average agent.

Average is VERY average, in a growing industry where many are throwing dirt against the wall and hoping something will stick. We wonder why there is a muddy mess of our industry’s reputation.

Kathleen Black is one of the world’s leading holistic performance coaches. She was given the Iconic Leaders Creating a Better World for All award. She is a two-time bestselling author and lives in Oshawa, Canada, with her two independent, free-spirited children, Ethan and Ella.

The real estate market has changed, the fundamentals of a successful business haven’t

By Dirk Zeller

There has been a lot of change that we all have experienced in the last few years. While change is a constant, the depth and breadth of the change has been historic. With all the change and challenge, foundational truths still apply in the real estate business.

Sales is an odds-based business

I realize that many agents don’t view themselves as a salesperson. If you want to replace service or professional representation service for the word sales, OK. There are odds in any business. The odds for some buyers has become extremely low in today’s market. Buyers who need closing costs from the seller, who have low money down or who have zero dollars they can allocate for appraisal gap coverage are having a tough time. You are investing your time, effort, energy and expertise in a buyer client whereby presently, the odds might be heavily stacked against them. I am not advocating to not work with them. I am advocating monitoring your buyer pool to make sure all your clients don’t occupy this category.

Wants and needs don’t change the odds

Just because your client wants it or needs it doesn’t change the odds of them securing it. There are untold buyers currently struggling to move to the new market realities. They want to buy their home at the pricing of 6 to 12 months ago. They think if they just wait, diligently look and are patient, they will find the “proverbial” needle-in-the-haystack home.

We need to select our clients with a heart of service, as well as a head for business. We are in a service-based business. The purpose of a service-based business is to provide outstanding service for compensation. The second part at times is omitted. The “for compensation” is important. The two are linked together and occur in proportionality to the odds of the marketplace and the buyer. With a buyer that has low odds due to marketplace conditions and their individual buyer conditions (low down, type of loan, no appraisal gap funds, etc.), your earning compensation is equal to or worse than their individual odds. The odds must be evaluated logically with our head while we serve them with our heart.

Client selection plays a more important role in achieving success in today’s marketplace. It does pain me to write that, because I wish for all that want to become homeowners to become so. Due to the nature of the present real estate marketplace, low inventory conditions, escalating prices and, now, interest rate increases, the field of successful homebuyers has narrowed. As we all know, our income is attached to their successful outcome. As a businessperson, I have to use my head and my heart at all times with prospects and clients.

Murphy’s law will always get a portion of your output

Murphy’s law — whatever can go wrong will go wrong — is alive and well in the world today. Plan for Murphy to take a portion of your business. Not to think of that as fact is to be naïve. The sales ratios in the real estate business have changed. Historically, if you wanted three buyer-pending transactions each month, you would need to be working with about six active, motivated, ready-to-buy clients. About 50% of your buyers would find what they wanted in 30 to 45 days in a normal inventory market.

In today’s market that timeframe for some is longer. That has caused the ratios of 2:1 to increase to 3:1, maybe even 4:1 or 5:1 in most markets. That requires us to alter our formulas. You might need nine buyers or even 12 active buyers to secure three pended deals a month. The sales ratios have changed, so we must adapt to the new ones if we are to achieve successful outcomes for our clients and ourselves.

The more challenging the market conditions, the more truth is revealed if we are observant

Market difficulties shrink the allowable margins to success, narrowing the lane of opportunity. Disruptions in the market don’t remove opportunity; they just narrow the variables and tighten the shoulders of the road. For example, if you are inconsistent or non-existent in lead generation activities in your business, today’s more challenging market conditions will reveal that a lot sooner. We must be observant and strategic to marketplace changes, conditions and prospects’ and clients’ odds of success. The market demands improvement of our business, skills and strategies and habits.

Dirk Zeller is the CEO of Real Estate Champions.