Desire + Tools + Training = Success
In the previous installment, I discussed how agents are beginning to take their offices wherever they go — well, maybe not the entire office environment, but at least the advantages of the office. Left behind are the endless interruptions, the noise, the mess, the well meaning colleagues “helping” or asking for help. Still very much available, yet remotely, are an array of technologies from telecommunications, to software, to IVR and LCM customer acquisition technologies, to websites, and CRM solutions. Virtually all the tools of a typical office (only often better) all available remotely.
What a great time to be in real estate! Gone are the days of having to spend years building a sphere of influence, of endless farming, of days and days of walking the city drumming up the next deal. Gone are the days of sitting mind-numbing hours on floor duty being a free secretary to the broker while seeing business happen all around you and yet never enjoying any of it.
Last year, when it seemed that the country couldn’t get enough reality TV, our company discussed producing a new reality TV show and pitching it to the networks. We thought at a minimum it would make compelling training for new agents to learn from, and possibly it would become a huge hit and make us all a fortune. We put it off in favor of some other video production for now, but we may take it up again in the future. Here was the idea:
Take a brand new agent (or an agent that was brand new to an area), give him or her the technology tools to be successful, a step-by-step plan, and some coaching, and then watch him become extremely successful in a single year of real estate practice. I even thought about personally moving to a market I’d never been to, getting my license, and starting fresh. My team all told me it would be useless, because everyone watching would assume that it was me and not the method. I contend that I could take any agent who had reasonable intelligence and a desire to achieve and make them a top producer in a brand new market in a year’s time.
Why am I so sure? Because I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes. In my own company we have an agent we recruited two short years ago. He was driving a truck full-time. He was a single father and had very limited financial resources– but he had desire. We gave him the tools and a little training, showed him the way, and watched while he turned his entire life around.
Two short years later he’s averaging a dozen deals a month, has bought a new 8,000 square foot home with an Olympic-sized pool in the back yard, a four car garage, with a detached office and apartment, a brand new truck, a new sports car and put away money for the future. He will earn well over half a million dollars this year, he’s found a wonderful new fiance (my personal assistant) and is living the American dream during the worst season of real estate in recent history.
But it’s not just Kevin. I’ve seen it happen again and again. The same pattern happens every time.
Desire + Tools + Training = Success
I’ve never seen it happen without those three ingredients. Give an agent desire and tools, but no training, and he will fail almost every time. Give him tools and training but no desire and you have nothing. I’ve seen hundreds of agents with desire and training and yet no tools and they struggle to make it in this business. I can’t give you the desire, but I will try to help you with the other two.
In this installment, I’m going to lay out very clearly what basic tools every agent needs to be very successful. Nothing else is needed. I realize (after all, I’m an agent and I get the same emails and phone calls you do every day) that there are thousands of ideas out there and nearly all of them cost money. And the very people who should be showing us the way are, for the most part, just as lost as we are. So I am going to give you a very simple methodology that will make you successful if you do it.
You need to understand going in, that this will sound like an infomercial but it’s not. Sure, I have a financial interest in you using our technology, but frankly, it doesn’t matter to me where you get your technology, so long as you get it. I just know from having trained thousands of agents, what works and what doesn’t.
OK. So if I had to start from scratch, with a limited budget, what would I get to run my business? What do I think are non-optional technologies if you want to be successful in this new age of real estate? Get out a pencil or pen. Here they are:
- A real estate specific Client Management application,
- An LCM® Web Gateway,
- An LCM® Phone Gateway,
- A website,
- A laptop computer,
- An auto attendant and call routing application,
- An e-fax application, and
- A hand-held device or smart phone.
That’s it. These tools would allow me to run my entire business from wherever I happen to be, whether that’s at a home I’m viewing with a client, whether it’s at a coffee shop, or at my own home. This small technology arsenal would allow me to become a mega-producer regardless of the company I was with, the market I worked, or the experience I had.
Did you notice what was missing from the list? Post cards. Business cards. Magazine ads. Car signs. Refrigerator magnets. Personalized ball-point pens. Fliers. Newsletters. Personal brochures. Open houses. Farming. Sphere of influence marketing. Designations. Sitting model homes. Floor duty.
Not that I am against any of these things — many of them have great value used in the right setting. But, if I had to start from scratch in a new market with no experience, I would start with the most important things: the things I just outlined for you.
Well, that’s it for this installment. Next, I’ll talk about the specific technologies I recommend in running a virtual office real estate practice. I’ll share the actual tools I use and how much you’ll need to spend to have the same setup. You won’t want to miss the next installment.