What Do All Top Agents Have in Common? (Part 1)
Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a top producing agent? What a great question! If you’ve ever asked yourself that question, you’re already on your way. What if I told you that the difference between a struggling agent and a mega-producing agent is tiny? What if I told you that most agents I’ve met have within them the potential to become top agents?
“Okay, Matt,” you’re probably thinking, “if it’s so easy, then why are most agents struggling today?” I believe they struggle because of fear. Fear of believing that they can be great agents. Fear of trying something that they’ve never tried before. Fear of investing in their own businesses. Fear of what other agents or their broker might think of them. Fear of going for it.
But that can stop today. As you begin to read this article, I want you to allow yourself to believe that, in all likelihood, you already have the ability to become a mega-producing agent. You simply need to do the very same things that other top producing agents do. Well, that and you need to face your own fears.
How do I know? Because I nearly failed in real estate — and I nearly quit the business because I was working extremely hard and making nearly no money. Thankfully, I didn’t quit. Instead, I went on to sell dozens of properties my first year. In fact, that first year I took 119 listings and closed over $6.4 million in volume in a market where the average sale price was $101,000. That’s over 60 sides! Not bad for a rookie!
What started as a desperate agent with a good idea has grown to become a very large real estate team with agents across the country. If you’d have told me when I started in real estate seven years ago, that our company would be changing real estate, I’d have laughed. If you’d have told me that over 20,000 agents worldwide would use virtual office technology that we invented, I’d have said, “You’re crazy.”
If you’d have told me that over 100,000 agents would invest their time to take one of my online e-Courses just to learn this new way of doing real estate, I would never have believed you. And if you’d have told me that my little company would be featured on CNN’s Pulse on America as “changing the way real estate is done” I would have said, “You have lost your mind.”
But you know what? That’s what happened. And I promise you, I’m just a regular guy. If I can do it, I know that most of you who are reading this can do it too. No kidding. Success in this business is not a result of being in the right place at the right time. It’s not luck. Success comes by doing a small number of specific things, and doing them consistently, and then allowing the results to take care of themselves. It is predictable, and it is repeatable.
In this article I’m going to tell you exactly what I’ve learned to do — the step-by-step process. If you follow it and follow it step-by-step, I know it will work for you as well. Before I get into the actual steps, however, I want to share with you the true story of one of our agents. His name is Dave Hurt. Dave was a part-time agent and a full-time soldier at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and earlier this year he gave the ultimate sacrifice, when he was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Dave came to us one day looking for a way to make a few extra dollars and take the pressure off the family budget. We discussed the income possibilities of his doing real estate part-time, and I strongly encouraged him to give it a try. Well, to make a long story short, Dave signed up for the pre-license training, got his real estate license, and began working as a part-time agent with our company.
Unlike many agents, however, Dave actually did what we taught him to do. And you know what happened? He followed our plan, step-by-step, and by the end of his first year we’d paid him over $300,000 in commissions. I remember one month when I paid him over $50,000. I will always remember Dave. He was a great guy. He loved serving his country in the military, and he loved doing real estate. And Dave was a perfect example of what a regular guy can do given the right direction, the right tools, and the will to succeed.
Let me ask you a couple of questions. Do you think Dave was a genius? A one in a million freak of nature? Dave would have told you, “Absolutely not!” He’d have been the first to say that he was just an ordinary guy, much like I am. But he did two simple things. First and most importantly, he realized he could do it!
Then he took the same exact formula I used, and he implemented it step-by-step. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. And if you ask me, I say that is genius. Why would Dave want to re-invent the wheel when he could plug into an already successful methodology?
So let me ask you another question: could this be you in a few short months? I think it could be. In fact, I know it could be. If you truly want it to be you, if you’re reading this and dreaming “What if it could be me?” let’s make that dream come true. Somebody has to sell those houses in your market. Why shouldn’t it be you? I say it should be you! So here’s what we’re going to do.
I’m going to challenge you to take action to become that mega-producing agent. You too can sell one or two houses every week, maybe even more. You really can. My father used to say, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” The same is true here: I can lead you to the information, but I can’t make you become a mega-producer. That’s completely up to you. I urge you to take responsibility for your own success. So let’s agree right now that you’re going to give this approach a try. What have you got to lose?
“Our compliments to Matt Jones for his program and expertise, and our thanks to his staff for their devoted and unselfish help. We’ve tried just about every program and gimmick on the market, at some great expense, and Favorite Agent, unquestionably, provides us with the greatest results.”
— Jerry and Judy Ryan
You can become the dominant real estate agent in your market if you do what I did, and I’ll show you how. It’s exactly what top agents around the world are doing. It’s not magic, and it’s not an illusion. It is very real, and it could be real for you as well. I know because I have agents doing it in markets from Florida to Washington. From New York to California. Small markets and large markets. Buyers’ markets and sellers’ markets. This simple approach works virtually everywhere that the agent has the courage to apply it.
In 2004 our company surveyed more than 481,000 REALTORS® with an average of 12.1 years in the business. You know what their number-one need was? To get more customers. Then in 2008 we surveyed nearly a million agents and asked them what their number one concern was, going forward. Again, overwhelmingly, it was finding enough business. It’s so bad that agents are leaving the business today like never before.
Of course, the National Association of REALTORS® won’t give us an official number, but I have a very reliable source that tells me we’ve lost over 30% of the agents last year alone, from a high of around 1.3 million, now down to about 900,000! If that’s true, that’s a drop of over 30% in a little over a year! Wow!
But the real question is why is it so bad? I’ll tell you what I think: I believe that real estate has lost its “middle class”. There are just no average producers any more. Today, agents are either doing 10 plus deals a month or they’re struggling just to do a deal a quarter. They’re either killing it, or getting killed… one or the other. There’s just no middle ground. That’s how bad it is.
Now let’s think about that a minute. Even with the recent mortgage meltdown and the economic downturn, the actual number of home sales is only off by about 10%. But… the number of agents is down by 30%! So every agent really ought to be busier than he was a year ago.
But if you spend any time around agents, you’ll realize pretty quickly that most of them are really struggling just to make it. So what’s the deal? Well, I’ll tell you what the deal is: the REALTOR® “middle class” is gone.
As an active broker, I personally manage about 70 agents locally, as well as coaching hundreds more from all over the world. In other words, I’m involved in real estate, at ground zero, every single day. I’m not locked away in some corporate ivory tower. So I see it first hand even in my own brokerage.
I personally write and sign commission checks, so I can tell you that I have some agents that make more in a month than others do in a year. I have new agents actually making more money than 20-year veterans. Here’s why: Because real estate’s changed, and those who change with it are making tons of money, and those that don’t are barely scraping by or they’re quitting the business altogether. It’s really that simple.
I didn’t tell you all that to depress you. In fact, if you’re wondering about your career in real estate, or if you’re wondering about getting into real estate, there’s never been a better time to be an agent than right now! I have agents around the world that are having their best years ever. Because they’ve adapted. Sure real estate’s changed, but they just changed with it. Now many of them are dominating their local markets because they don’t have the number one problem facing most agents today: not enough customers.
And what’s the best way to get customers? The best way — actually the only way that today’s mega-producing agents get customers — is to put in place a system to continually attract your own inbound customers. You need to build a virtual lead-generating machine so that you don’t spend most of your productive time out “beating the bushes” for the next transaction.
To be a top producing agent you need to have a continual source of business. A source that sends you business every single day, day in and day out. And a source that doesn’t take half of your productive time to work. Customer generation needs to be on auto-pilot. That’s the one thing every top producing agent has in common. Think about it. In the next part we’ll begin to look at exactly how today’s mega-producers are doing so well. You might be surprised at how simple it really is.