Though 2021, and 2020 before it, have been interesting years, and the property space has certainly been on the receiving end of some drastic and sudden changes, one thing that hasn’t changed, is that ours can be a very competitive industry.
As the end of the year draws closer, despite ongoing lockdowns and other restrictions, some agents will start to think about annual awards, and if their record might still be strong enough to land them a ‘top’ ranking in their location or specialty.
These awards have two points of value – not only do they often come with a prize or bonus, they also acknowledge the performance of the winners, and build their profiles as one to be watched in a company or industry.
But what does it take to actually be at the top of your game in real estate? And does the top of your game have to mean at the top of the company or industry?
Measuring your success
While, like any industry, those of us working in real estate should always strive to perform at the highest level we can, it’s important to note, before we dive into performance-enhancement, that not everyone measures success the same way. And that’s ok!
For some of us, our sales tallies, our listing volumes, the revenue we generate – and how this compares to agents around us – is how we keep ourselves on our toes; how we benchmark our success.
For others, this measurement is a little more personal. Though awards are great, there are still many agents who evaluate their performance on how satisfied they are with what they are able to take home, to fund their lives, and also on the service they provide, or relationships they build.
They celebrate the opportunity to help someone sell a property, or land their dream home.
Measurement is a motivator in and of itself, so it’s important you find a way to evaluate your performance that keeps you interested and engaged in what you’re doing, and passionate about doing it well.
Improving your performance
Regardless of how you measure your success, agents who are either generating the strongest results or who are most respected and appreciated by their clients, often have a lot in common.
They focus on honing their craft, understanding their industry and its opportunities and limitations, and connecting with their clients.
Lean into learning
In any industry, the people who succeed least often, are those who are no longer open to learning. Sometimes this comes through arrogance or laziness, and sometimes it just isn’t a priority because there is too much else to do.
Top performers – measured in any way – embrace continued learning, and in real estate, there are so many opportunities to learn.
In addition to ensuring they select the right CPD training facility – one focused on quality education, rather than the cheapest and fastest route – top performers actively pursue other opportunities to expand what they know.
In speaking to our members, some of the best suggestions for continued learning include:
- Taking online courses that aren’t just CPD courses
- Taking business courses (not specifically real estate)
- Reading – read everything you can on people, psychology, selling, marketing, property
- Attending free educational events (for example, there are a lot on personal branding and digital marketing)
- Experiencing more – many people learn by doing, so whether it’s a new software platform or blog that explains a new approach to ad writing, try it out, put it in practice and start to perfect it for yourself
- Get a mentor – find someone, inside or outside the industry, who is full of knowledge and happy to share it
- Get a cross-field buddy – find someone who doesn’t do what you do, but wants to learn to, and who does something you want to learn about, and teach each other
In our field, it is so easy to put the items on our to-do list that need to be done, but won’t deliver as immediate results, to the bottom of the list.
Many of us have to-do lists with items that have been moved down so many times, they have actually been there for years.
Make yourself accountable for EVERYTHING you have to do. Top performers – regardless of measurement – don’t do a job by half, they don’t put things off, they don’t only do the things they enjoy.
If you feel you can’t be accountable to yourself, rest assured, there are others in the same boat.
Reach out to a colleague, find someone experiencing the same, and work as buddies, to ensure you both stay accountable to completing ALL you need to deliver.
Put really simply, top performers are not sharks, they are not dodgy.
The reason for this is because they have pride in what they do, and also, they know a seller and buyer can spot a dodgy agent a mile off.
Sometimes, though, doing something wrong isn’t a deliberate act, it comes from not knowing any better.
In real estate, everything we need to know to be compliant is laid out for us in legislation, clearly described by fair trading, and taught over-and-over in registration, licence and CPD courses.
To be a top performer, make it your goal to understand the legislation that drives and governs this industry.
Create relationships, not transactions
Real estate is not a transactional field – the asset being bought and sold is way too important for that to be the case.
Emotions run high in property sales, and top performers are often those that recognise the value buyers and sellers place in agents who build genuine relationships with them, and provide the help and support they need, because they truly want the best outcome for their client.
These kind of buyers and sellers come back over and over again, they recommend their friends and family, and when their kids start buying houses, they track you down!
One way real estate is no different than any other field right now, is that it is full of change, at the hands of new technology.
This kind of change can be intimidating, and it can be tempting to just say, ‘It’s not broken, so why fix it?’ or ‘This is how we’ve always done it and this is how we’ll always do it’.
Agents with those philosophies are agents who get left behind.
Not all new technology will be right for you, your agency and your clients – but some will!
Keep your finger on the pulse as to what is being launched and released, sign up for free trials, demos and showcases, and consider any new technology that may make your life, your job your business easier and more effective.