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$33K to $150K in One Year: How Ella Jones Got Un-Stuck and Started Thriving!

Sometimes it’s easy to feel stuck where you are in life.

Ella Jones can relate.

Rewind a little over a decade, and she was a single mom of two growing kids. She had a government job that provided a steady income but no path to financial freedom. If there was any light at the end of that tunnel, it certainly wasn’t the brightly shining future she envisioned for herself and her family.

She felt down, especially so when her kids left for the weekend to visit their dad.

So one day, she ventured out in her Orange County, CA neighborhood and started visiting Open Houses simply for something to do.

“It was free and I loved looking at houses,” she recalls.

Perhaps fatefully, later that evening she happened to catch an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, where one of the featured “housewives” worked in real estate.

It sparked an idea in Ella… and the beginning of an inspiring journey that, while very much still a work in progress, has arrived on the cusp of greatness over the last 13 months.

Come with us to discover her story.

 

Becoming a Secret Agent

Without telling anyone, Ella enrolled in real estate classes and earned her license. She found a supportive local broker who was willing to work around her full-time government job, and she started devoting any free time to real estate.

She quickly fell in love with it, sold a few homes and was content to maintain this “secret side job” as just that – a side project for some extra income. Which she did for many years, plugging along selling anywhere from four to 10 homes a year.

Then, over the course of three days in early 2018, everything changed.

 

Discovering Her New Path Forward

It was January 2018 when Ella attended Tom Ferry’s Sales Edge event in Los Angeles.

Inspired by what she learned, the people she met and success she saw possible, Ella became determined to transition out of her full-time job and become a full-time REALTOR®.

But she knew she’d be more effective with someone in her corner.

So shortly thereafter, on Valentine’s Day in fact… she signed up for Core+ coaching with Tom Ferry.

“I knew I had a short window of going from doing 7-10 deals to my goal of retiring and being financially set,” Ella recalls. “It was like an epiphany went off… it was do or die.”

Ella chose to go for it, and her bold decision was quickly rewarded.

 

 

Eek… Time for Ella’s First Coaching Session!

Ella nervously approached her first coaching session with her coach, Paul. However, she had a powerful proposal for him: She promised to do whatever he advised as long as he committed to helping her reach a place in her real estate business where she felt comfortable retiring from her job with the city on January 10, 2020. (That’s when her pension and benefits kick in from her current employer.)

Paul’s guidance helped Ella set goals, build her self-confidence and identify action items to help her reach the next level. To her credit, Ella was very coachable and open to Paul’s suggestions.

“I was so thankful for every single nugget of advice,” she says. “He guided me on how to do things that were life changing. I went from $33K to $150K while still working full time!”

Together, they worked on everything from affirmations and gratitudes to time management and number tracking. Ella admits she “never did any of that stuff” previously. The end result was extremely impactful:

“He got me thinking more as a business, not just a hobby,” Ella says.

 

After 10 Years, an Overnight Success

One of the first tasks Paul assigned to Ella was to start calling her database.

After their first coaching session, Ella picked up the phone and did just that. But she didn’t stop there. She actually got a listing right away and sold it within a week of putting it on the market!

She says what helped her get over the fear of prospecting was a simple mindset shift that made making her phone calls so much easier. “There are people out there getting horrible advice. They need me,” she says.

Does your outlook align with Ella’s? When you come from a place of genuinely wanting to help people on the other end of the phone, you win.

These days, Ella typically does three 30-minute phone prospecting sessions every week. She says the majority of her business comes from referrals, followed by social media, door knocking and geographic farming. (Mailing postcards was a suggestion from Paul that Ella initially questioned its effectiveness, but has proven successful.)

Another interesting strategy she uses is delivering handwritten notes to households in her farm. Ella says these especially resonate with the older crowd, who have told her, “You stood out because of your note.”

 

Huge Leaps in Year One. Looking Even Bigger for Year Two.

Having significantly transformed her business and income in one year of Core+ coaching (24 coaching sessions annually), Ella upgraded to Elite+ coaching for the increased accountability of 48 annual sessions plus access to exclusive events such as Elite+ Retreat. She says the quicker turnaround time makes her even more diligent to create her desired results.

“That week comes fast! It’s like, ‘It’s Wednesday, I better have a win!” she says.

In addition to advice she receives from her coach, Ella is active in the private Facebook mastermind groups exclusively for coaching members. When she’s not sharing marketing hacks and tips she’s discovered, she’s learning from top producers and reveling in the endless resource that is the coaching ecosystem.

“If something I contribute can help another single mom get out of debt, I’m gonna do it,” Ella says.

 

How She Makes It All Work

Ella deserves huge credit for making her difficult schedule work for her real estate business. She gets up at 4:30 every day. By 7:30, she’s done more than most do all day.

She often makes real estate calls on her lunch hour and once held a listing presentation at 6:00 a.m.!

Her 9/80 work schedule allows her every other Friday to spend time prospecting and door knocking.

While her co-workers at the city are often listening to music in their headphones, Ella listens to episodes of the #TomFerryShow or the podcast.

As you can see, her complete and total focus is on doing everything possible to set herself up for even greater success when she can retire from her city job and focus full time on real estate.

Along her journey, Ella remarried and her husband, Darren, has been another constant source of support in her life. He helps her with Open Houses and lock boxes and has been one of the biggest proponents for her eventual move to full-time real estate. (Darren even mailed Paul a Christmas gift last year to show his appreciation for everything Paul has done to impact Ella’s life.)

Looking further down the road, Ella wants to build a small team and keep growing her business. Her success has already helped her set herself up financially, with all of her debts eliminated and her kids’ college tuition paid for.

“When you don’t have to worry about it, you can just do what you love and everything else will fall into place,” she says.

 

Ella’s Best Advice for Other Agents

For anyone in a similar situation trying to replicate Ella’s success of working a full-time job and doing real estate as well, she has some sage advice: “If you’re going to be part-time, you must have the right broker.” She says she feels very fortunate to work in such a supportive environment, and she’s repaying her broker’s loyalty with her production. Out of her company’s 300 agents, Ella ranked No. 8 in units sold for March 2019. Congratulations Ella!

Looking back on her real estate career since 2008 and especially her coaching journey over the last 13 months, Ella has just one thing to say:

“I wish I would have done it sooner. I wish I had known about coaching earlier,” she says. “It’s so fun to set a goal and think, ‘Okay, yeah.’ And then you get there and you have to raise those goals!”

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3 Simple Ways to Start Running Plays That Work – #TomFerryShow

I typically try to avoid sports analogies here, but humor me for a second:

Have you ever seen a lopsided football game or a basketball game where one team keeps doing the same thing over and over and the other team just can’t seem to stop them?

There’s a good reason why that happens:

The one team has discovered a play that works, and they’re going to keep running it over and over and over again until their opponent proves they can stop it.

Now think about your business in those terms…

Are you consistently running plays that work?

Or are you doing dumb stuff that doesn’t produce the results you desire?

Here’s the thing: Running “plays that work” can mean anything from big-picture routines to using the perfect objection handler that gets people to agree to an appointment every time.

On today’s #TomFerryShow, we’re talking about three “big-picture” areas of your business where you can start running the right plays…

 

Play No. 1: A Successful Day Begins the Night Before

Waking up ready to attack the day is key to successful entrepreneurship.

If you’re tired, groggy, unprepared, distracted, frantic… Any of those things can kill your productivity.

And do you know what dictates those feelings? How well you prepare the night before and how much rest you get!

That’s why creating a strong nighttime routine is the first “play” to increased productivity!

A positive nighttime routine might look like this:

  • Thinking about your schedule the next day so you’re clear on your objectives when you wake up
  • Unplugging and getting off your devices
  • Reading something to improve yourself and your mindset
  • Spending quality time with loved ones
  • Feeding yourself something soothing and healthy like a Chamomile tea

Flash back to that sports analogy I opened this blog with… The reason that football team is successful is due to all 11 players doing their part, knowing where to go, making their blocks, and executing the plan. Those are all the individual components of creating a play that works. For you, it might be these things above or whatever you’ve identified as the things you need to do to get in the right state of mind to wake up refreshed and ready to make the most of your day.

 

 

Play No. 2: Kick-Start Your Day with a Powerful Morning Routine

Having a morning routine has been a game-changer for me. It’s a play that works, and I run it every single day.

There’s a good chance it would do the same for you.

The key is finding what components work best for you to start your day. For me, it’s

  • Gym
  • Gratitudes
  • Meditation
  • Review my schedule
  • Getting clear on my objectives and outcomes needed from the day ahead

Are you doing those things? Do you have your own morning routine? Or are you “winging it”?

What’s really important when starting  your day is to avoid the “dumb stuff” that can distract you mentally and physically… getting wrapped up in national or world news that has no bearing on your day, procrastinating because you don’t feel like working, etc. Create your winning plays and execute on them!

 

Play No. 3: Maximizing Your Prospecting/Hour of Power

It’s really easy to get inside your head when you’re about to begin a prospecting session.

Or maybe that’s when you often tend to find a convenient excuse: “Oh, I better do that research for this other client first.”

Whether you like it or not, prospecting is a daily necessity in the line of work you’ve chosen.

Your Hour of Power requires you to be present, prepared, and in the right mindset.

So… you should know where I’m going next…

What play can you run every day to maximize your Hour of Power?

For me, it entails:

  • Getting my leads out in front of me… who I’m gonna call, phone numbers and a checklist
  • Consciously thinking about what I want to communicate
  • Role playing/practicing my script
  • Standing up and smiling
  • Repeating my affirmation aloud: “They’re home, they’re happy and they’re waiting for my call”

Then start smiling and dialing! That’s five easy steps that add up to one winning play!

 

Don’t Be a Mindless Robot

I’ve given you the outline for three plays that work above. But don’t limit yourself to those three. Pay attention to your business and start building that magical “playbook” full of plays that you can count on to work again and again.

That means when you experience a win, you take note and you analyze what made you successful. The more time you spend breaking it down to learn those valuable lessons, the more your growth will accelerate.

Think about it in terms of “If/Then” statements: If ____________ happens, then we do ___________.

Do that for every aspect of your business you can imagine: Your listing presentations, Open Houses, conversations you have, team meetings, buyer presentations, etc.

Think as if you’re creating a manual for your entire business that you’ll one day sell off to someone to show them exactly how to create the positive results you generate.

Not only will this make you more effective, it will also make you more action-oriented. It will eliminate the need to figure out how to approach a situation and allow you to get right to work.

Why? Because you know the plays and you’re running plays that work!

 

Are you running plays that work? Or are you doing dumb stuff? Open up and let me know in the comments below. I’d love to help.

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Why You’re in Danger of Being Too “Transaction” Focused

When you first get into the real estate business, you see these people who are selling tons of properties and you can’t help but think they’re just swimming in commission cash.

Then, the more seasoned you become, you realize that might not actually be the case.

In fact – don’t take this the wrong way – I see lots of agents, team leaders and brokers who seem ultra-successful on the surface, but they’re still cash poor.

And that’s a problem.

I sense some – not all – people in our industry have become too focused on closing transactions and have lost sight of the ultimate goal of profitability.

Sound familiar? Hit home?

Whether you’re an owner, a broker, a team leader or a solo agent, profitability should always be our objective.

Let me flash back a few years to tell you a personal story. Not because I want to brag about what I’ve done, but to help you maintain focus on what’s truly important.

 

Creating My 20-Year Vision

Back in 2015 I sat down with my wife and together we created a 20-year vision of where we want to go.

What kind of lifestyle do we want? When do we want to retire? What actions are necessary to make those goals reality? You know… big questions like those.

Part of that process was getting extremely specific about goals and mapping out our path of how we’d arrive at our desired destination two decades later.

I actually created quarter-by-quarter goals for our net worth 20 years into the future. (Yes, all 80 quarters!)

You might think that sounds over the top, but for me it all went back to the first step of the four disciplines of execution: Set a wildly important goal. I now know exactly where I want to be not only in 2035, but if I’m on track here in Q2 of 2019 or anytime throughout the journey.

 

Not All Transactions Result in the Same Outcome

Without that document to keep me focused on the big long-term goal, it would be much easier to fall into a “transactional” mindset.

And the problem there is that not all transactions are equally profitable.

Think about that listing that took months and months of marketing to get sold, versus the one that was priced right from the start and sold within days. You got a commission check for both, but one of them had exorbitant, profit-killing costs associated with it.

It’s real easy to fool yourself into thinking you’re successful because you’re busy and you’re closing deals. But if you’ve lost sight of the bottom line, it’s all for naught.

 

You Work Too Hard to Not Address This Issue

Look, I’m not writing this to bring you down. If it stings a bit, it’s because it might be hitting home.

I know this – You work way too hard to just break even. It’s time to take a step back, analyze how you run your business, and make sure you set yourself up for the financial future you desire.

It’s time to declare your intent to become wealthy and align your behaviors with that objective.

It’s time to look beyond the transaction and instead focus on the future. What’s your plan in 2020? 2025? 2030?

 

5 Crucial Questions You Must Answer to Maximize Profitability

Here are five key questions that will help keep you focused on the bottom line:

  1. What is your budget for this year?
  2. What is your most profitable transaction? (How can you get more in this “sweet spot”?)
  3. What is your least profitable transaction? (How much time, money and effort are going toward that?)
  4. What are your most profitable lead sources? (How much time are you spending there?)
  5. What’s your budget vs. your costs… and are you adhering to those numbers?

 

So… Where’s Your Focus?

Is your focus on racking up transactions, regardless of costs? Or is it on building a profitable business that sets you up to achieve your own long-term vision?

Ultimately, are you spending enough time on wealth creation?

If your answer is no, you should really consider joining me May 14-15 at Shift!

It’s a brand-new event we created to deal with today’s new market realities and it’s about operationalizing your business, mastering your marketing and accelerating your sales.

Specific to your balance sheet and building wealth, Bank of America Sr. Executive Ann Thompson will be speaking on managing your money instead of letting your money manage you.

That’s in addition to an all-star speaker lineup including Jay Abraham, Mark Roberge, Matthew Ferrara, Tiffani Bova, Treasure Davis, Bill Pipes and myself. I’m so excited and I guarantee it’s going to be a fantastic experience for anyone interested in taking their business and their life to new heights.

Check out more details here.

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3 More Strategies to Beat the Disruptors at their Own Game – #TomFerryShow

A couple months back, I did a show about three positioning strategies to overcome the disruptors eating away at traditional market share.

Today, I’m continuing that conversation with three MORE positioning strategies to help you do some disrupting of your own and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Let’s get right to it…

 

Positioning Strategy No. 1: Tell the Truth About Moving

Think about a necessary evil – something that is a pain in the ass to do, but you gotta do it… Taking your car in for service, for example. Now what would you think of a repair shop that acknowledged that fact in their marketing and showed you how they simplify the whole process as much as possible to turn that PITA experience into something positive?

Would it resonate with you? Of course!

So… how refreshing would it be if you got real and raw with people and actually acknowledged that moving can really suck? Show that you understand where people are coming from, and then show them how it sucks less when they work with you. What do you do differently? What makes you unique? How do you make that experience painless?

Let them know… and then deliver on those promises!

 

 

Positioning Strategy No. 2: Offer More Services for the Same Fee

When you’re in a listing presentation sitting across from the homeowners, chances are you explain all the things you do to help them get their home sold. Right?

But why wait until the listing presentation?

It should be screamed from the rooftops way earlier to ensure you get a seat at that listing presentation. It should be in your marketing.

Professional staging.

Photography.

Painters.

Handyman/minor renovations.

House cleaners.

Landscapers.

Then, use language like this to “stack the cool”:

“The average agent does three things: They put it on the MLS, they upload three photos and they hold an open house. We do X, Y and Z, and we do it all for the same fee everybody else charges.”

 

Positioning Strategy No. 3: Create Buzz and/or Become a Story Brand

When you go out on a limb, people take notice.

Likewise, when you put meaning behind your work, people take notice.

Do ‘em both and you’re really doing something special.

Creating buzz requires taking a position.

Some people might not like you for it. That’s okay. Ruffling some feathers is a good thing.

When it comes to creating a story brand, think about TOMS brand shoes…

What set them apart when they burst on the scene? Every pair of shoes you purchased meant they’d send a pair to people in need. You weren’t just buying shoes… you were doing something noble.

How can you do the same with your business? What causes are you involved with? What organizations could you donate a portion of every commission to? Make a commitment, broadcast it out and differentiate yourself from the competition!

 

I’d love to know what you think… Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have in the comments below.

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Simple Solutions to 5 Common Real Estate Marketing Mistakes

Do you ever find yourself writing your blog or a social media post and wondering, “Am I doing this whole ‘content’ thing right?”

You’re making the effort to create valuable content, yet maybe you’re not seeing the results you desire.

It’s a common issue, even for some heavy hitters in the industry.

Doing it “right” requires planning, a strategic vision, time and effort. And you already have your hands full with attracting and serving customers. I know… it’s a grind. But it’s also really important in today’s marketing world.

Here’s why I bring it up…

I recently had a special guest in my office. While he was here, I asked my marketing team to assess and critique his online presence – particularly his social media platforms and his blog – and to come up with some suggestions on how he can “level up” his efforts.

What we discovered is that many of the mistakes he was making are actually common problems I frequently see committed throughout the industry. So I decided to share that advice here in today’s blog.

 

Common Marketing Mistake #1: Not Doing Enough!

Some of the content this guy had posted across his channels was really great information. I’m sure you have some valuable content on your website, blog or social media pages as well.

Here was the big problem, though: The last time he posted was almost a year ago!

I know the same dilemma exists on far too many agent sites and social media accounts.

Do you know what a devastating message that sends to potential buyers and sellers in your market? A consumer who sees you haven’t updated anything for a long period of time will assume that you are no longer in business. Even if they give you the benefit of the doubt, they won’t view you as a serious player.

I’d contend a neglected blog or social media account is potentially more detrimental than having no presence at all.

What’s the Solution?

Here are two tips to overcome this pitfall: One, bring consistency to your posts by establishing a set publishing schedule – and sticking to it. For instance, in my case, you know every Tuesday will bring you a new #TomFerryShow and every Thursday a new blog article. Don’t get too ambitious! Set a reasonable schedule that won’t eat up all of your time, which brings me to…

Two, if necessary, hire a copywriter or a freelancer to pitch in to ensure you establish and maintain consistent content creation.

Bonus tip: If you fear not having enough to say, calm down. You have a lot of valuable knowledge to share. Use a “notes” app on your phone to jot down any potential topic ideas as you conduct your daily business. Anytime a client asks a good question or you resolve a dilemma, that’s potential content that can help other people out there! Add it to the list and execute on it, or share that list with your copywriter.

 

Common Marketing Mistake #2: Headlines That Don’t Get Clicked

Consumers are inundated with content every day. Never forget that. So when you’re writing a blog or a social media post, you’re fighting for their attention for just a few precious minutes.

And that takes some convincing!

That’s why your headlines on blog articles and titles on social posts need to be more than a straightforward synopsis of the topic.

As long as you’re taking time to create content, make sure it actually gets read by making it compelling for the reader!

What’s the Solution?

That means when titling a post or writing your headlines, always opt for the specific over the generic.

Now, you don’t want to create click-bait headlines, but you want to achieve a level of intrigue that makes it almost impossible for someone to resist clicking on it. You can key on one vital piece of information revealed in the article or use words like “Why…” or “How…” to begin your headlines. Tap into the consumer’s thought process and see if what you write would cause you to click on the article.

 

Common Marketing Mistake #3: Stopping Short of “Wow”

This one isn’t so much of an actual mistake as it is a missed opportunity.

So often we want to finish that next blog or write that social post and hit “publish” that we fail to think about how a little extra effort could turn an ordinary post into a “wow” experience for the reader.

What’s the Solution?

When creating content, always ask yourself what you could offer that’s relevant to your topic and could add value for the consumer. If you’re writing a blog on home improvements, give them a list of recommended contractors in your area. If you’re telling people how to prepare their home for a showing, give them a checklist they can download. Those extra little touches will go a long way!

 

Common Marketing Mistake #4: Failure to Encourage Engagement

As social media algorithms evolve, this one has taken on greater and greater importance.

When communicating a message, you’re making a costly mistake if you stop with the information alone.

That’s not enough anymore. The “magic sauce” that makes your posts effective is eliciting engagement.

What’s the Solution?

Whenever applicable, be sure to ask for feedback at the end of a post. Better yet, ask an interesting question that compels people to reply and sparks a conversation, not just short answers. Then, jump back in to keep that conversation flowing. On social media, those conversations go a long way toward getting your post in front of more people.

 

Common Marketing Mistake #5: Misuse of Social Media Platforms

You don’t wear shorts and a t-shirt to a holiday gala…

And likewise, you wouldn’t post a joke video on LinkedIn.

Understanding where your content will work best is one of the keys to maximizing your social media presence.

Many agents plaster everything everywhere or tend to focus too much on one platform.

What’s the Solution?

Overall, you should strive for a balance of business and personal in your social media to give people a well-rounded view of who you are. (Remember, people prefer to do business with people they feel like they know.) Use Instagram primarily for insights into your personal life and avoid any direct “sales pitch” type posts on the platform. YouTube is best for educational content, market updates, highlighting local people and events, etc. Facebook has become more utilitarian where everything from business posts to cat videos are appropriate. Tailor your Twitter content to real-time updates, thoughts, article and retweets blending a mix of business and personal. LinkedIn should be solely business focused with an emphasis on sharing your knowledge to build your brand as an industry authority.

To help you make sense of your social media and map out a strategy (and to avoid making mistake #3 above), we created a resource guide of social media scheduling and management tools that might interest you. Download it free here.

 

I hope you’ve found this information useful. Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have in the comments below.

Also, for more on effective content creation – specifically video – make sure to catch this week’s #TomFerryShow with special guest Iris Chen.

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3 Truths to Learn from the Millennial Mindset – #TomFerryShow

My guest on today’s #TomFerryShow grew up in the YouTube era. Iris Chen watched videos about topics she liked in her youth and eventually began creating them herself, which led to an opportunity to become Gary Vaynerchuk’s videographer.

She’s since gone on to create Iris Rose & Co., a company geared toward helping entrepreneurs build their brands online.

My interview with her begged the question: Are you adapting enough to the millennial mindset to run your business or are you stuck in a rut of traditional, tried-and-true methodologies?

Here are three takeaways I think we can all learn from Iris:

 

Takeaway No. 1: YouTube is a Brand-Building Platform

Iris grew up watching her favorite YouTubers pave the way for building a brand and a business simply through content creation. She has since gone on to do the same exact thing.

Channeling your passions into videos and putting those videos out on YouTube is a viable path toward becoming a go-to resource in your marketplace.

So here’s the question for you: Are you doing enough video?

It’s an extremely powerful way to become an authority at a very low cost, and there are virtually no barriers to entry.

Let’s put it this way… What happens to you if you’re not creating video content and someone like Iris gets her license and starts targeting the same area you work? Even if she doesn’t have as much experience in the industry, she’s going to get noticed through her videos… and her phone will ring as a result.

 

 

Takeaway No. 2: Don’t Settle for Traditional; Seek the Cutting Edge

Iris dreamt of getting into USC’s film program, and then promptly quit within one week of starting her classes.

Why?

Because she quickly recognized it was dealing in traditional methodologies that didn’t fit today’s social media-driven landscape.

The lesson to be learned here is that to excel in today’s marketplace, you need to seek out progressive partners who are dialed in and on the leading edge of innovation.

That’s not to say traditional methods don’t still work, but true growth comes from thinking differently and doing things differently.

Is the training you seek out constantly evolving, or is it stale and stuck in another era?

 

Takeaway No. 3: Stick to Your Truth

For those forging ahead uncertain of their self-worth or still seeking their “place” in the world, Iris has a simple message:

Be you.

She encourages you to trust that your true purpose will emerge through your life experiences.

She says don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Share your story, share your struggles and be yourself.

By doing so, you’ll attract people like you!

Great advice!

What can you learn from Iris? What will you implement as a result of this episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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The “Psychologist” is In: Examining Today’s Market & Your Personal Narrative

Do you remember the old TV commercial where the guy said, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.”

Similarly, I’m not a psychologist. But I’ve sometimes played one on my coaching sessions.

I often joke that as a business coach for so many years, part of my role is acting as a therapist for some of the most successful real estate professionals on the planet.

So today, I’m asking you to play along. Let’s run with that “therapist” angle for a minute.

Why? Because for you to achieve your full potential, you need to be in the right state of mind.

And I suspect lots of people might be struggling a bit in that regard.

So please… Come into my office and have a seat, or lie down on the couch if you prefer.

I want you to stop and take a minute to get in touch with your feelings – about ONE specific and very important topic…

Today’s market conditions.

 

Here’s Why I’m Concerned About You

When you’re going 150 mph, slowing down to 75 feels like you hit a wall.

But in reality, 75 is totally normal.

That’s where we’re at with today’s market conditions.

Some people – maybe you? – have never experienced a “normal” market before, and suddenly everything’s harder than it was a couple years ago.

It’s natural for you to wish things could revert back to “Old Market” conditions.

But it’s not productive. Accepting the reality of today’s market is crucial to your success.

 

10 Questions You Must “Get Real” About

On our new How’s the Market? monthly video series and on recent episodes of the #TomFerryShow, I’ve shared lots of messages you should be communicating to homeowners and potential buyers in a changing market. All of those messages are geared toward overcoming consumer fears and uncertainty.

(If you missed ‘em, check out this and this and this and this.)

But today, I’m not talking about their feelings. I’m talking about yours!

How are YOU dealing with this new reality? What’s it doing to your outlook on the business?

I encourage you to get introspective, get real with yourself and answer these questions:

  • How is your business going?
  • How is your market?
  • What are you telling yourself about the market?
  • How does your personal narrative compare to the reality of the market?
  • Are you using a changing market as an excuse to not succeed to your full potential?
  • Are you doing too much wishing that things would revert to the “old way” instead of getting real about dealing with today’s market realities?
  • What new challenges are you facing in today’s market?
  • What’s your plan to overcome them? (Or are you hoping they’ll just go away?)
  • What new opportunities exist due to a changing market?
  • How will you capitalize on those opportunities?

 

Here’s the Thing…

What you tell yourself about the market plays a huge role in your success… or failure.

If you’re convinced the market has shifted against you, you’re only hurting yourself.

I’ve talked so much about the negative media narrative which leads to a negative narrative among consumers… But YOUR personal narrative is just as important, if not more!

Some way, somehow, you must accept the market for what it is and start taking action accordingly.

Keep reading if you don’t know where to start…

 

Your Homework Assignment

Remember those last two questions up above? Here they are again:

What new opportunities exist due to a changing market?

How will you capitalize on those opportunities?

As a homework assignment, I want you to really dig in and think about those two questions. Then I want you to put a plan in place to operationalize around whatever idea or ideas you come up with.

Not only will this get you into action, but hopefully it will demonstrate to you that with the right outlook and mindset, there’s always opportunity regardless of market conditions.

Let me know what you came up with in the comments below.

 

It Could Be Worse. Which Means You Need to Get Better.

One final note: If you’re having trouble dealing with today’s “normal” market, I worry for your future. Seriously. Real estate is a cyclical business, and if you find it difficult to adapt in a changing market, you might not be in the right line of work.

But it all boils down to your outlook and personal narrative.

As soon as you adopt a mindset that continually looks for opportunity where others see challenges, you’re in exactly the right line of work.

 

If you found this “therapy session” helpful, you might really like discussing your business challenges and opportunities with one of my expert consultants. Everybody needs a strategic partner in business, and that’s a role we love to play for entrepreneurs like you.

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“How’s the Market?” Episode 3 – March 2019

In this month’s “How’s the Market?” we take a look into good news expected later this year… and talk about how to control the narrative until the media narrative catches up with what’s actually happening.

PS: If you’d like to get more insights into what Steve Harney and his team at KCM can do for you, click here.

So this month, we’re picking up where we left off last month with the negative media headlines that aren’t exactly accurately representing the state of the real estate market. Now think about it, when most people hear that word ‘recession’ today, they think that means a housing crisis and a huge financial meltdown. But why wouldn’t they? That’s simply their experience from just a decade ago. You and I both know it’s not the case though when you actually look at the historical data.

What we know is that only one of the last six ‘recessions’ had negatively impacted the housing market. So the first dilemma that we need to address with all of our prospects, our past clients sphere and more, is that most people, and certainly not the media, don’t recognize this. And in the case of the media, we both know that they’re knowingly misrepresenting the facts in those headlines in the name of clicks and ad revenue. Let’s just call it for what it is.

The second problem is that the so called negative headlines are likely going to continue trickling out throughout late Q2 and even Q3 and all the way through Q4 of 2019. Now think about that. So if it’s going to be out there, we have to know what to say to combat it.

Here’s a fun tip, according to Ivy Zelman, the early 2019 indicators are actually very strong. The key is avoiding the consumer panic in the marketplace until the media cycle catches up with the actual data. Remember, they’re just looking at lagging numbers. That’s why it’s up to you to control the narrative.

Finance blogger Morgan Housel says there’s a widespread assumption that a recession could be as bad as 2008. It’s a natural conclusion based upon people’s recent memory, but he goes on to say it’s statistically highly unlikely. He even goes as far to say any upcoming ‘recession’ could be over before you even realize that it happened.

So for more proof, let’s compare where we are today to 2008. Ralph McLaughlin, the Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, points out that inventory was at crazy high levels in 2008 when demand dropped off. You and I both know that’s not what’s happening now. There isn’t an overabundance of homes on the market today. Even though inventory is rising, we’re still facing an inventory challenge in the vast majority of the mid to low end price ranges. So there’s no way to create that same ‘crash’ as 2008.

I strongly encourage you to go back to KCM’s messaging on their blog page to really read and then ultimately spread the word to your marketplace and continue to be the calming force and the knowledge broker helping your buyers and sellers. So your clients can avoid the panic that many will experience without this information.

Just in the last few articles they put up, you’re going to find, number one, Three Reasons Why We Are Not Heading Towards Another Housing Crash. That’d be a good one for you read. Number two, Why An Economic Slowdown Will NOT Crush Real Estate This Time. That’s an important one. And the third one is No Worries … Home Prices Coming In For SOFT Landing. You can use these three articles to your advantage by controlling your own narrative and helping the market understand what’s really going on.

I hope you’re getting value from these conversations. I want to say thank you so much for watching, and I look forward to seeing you next month.

Related articles:

3 Reasons Why We Are Not Heading Toward Another Housing Crash

Why An Economic Slowdown Will Not Crush Real Estate This Time

No Worries… Home Prices Coming In for a Soft Landing

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Gauging Your Q1 Results: 4 Things You Should be Focused On – #TomFerryShow

Here we are in the last week of Q1 2019 already…

You’ve spent three full months putting your business plan into action.

Or did your plan fly out the window sometime in January and you’ve been scrambling ever since? (Or, for some of you, was there ever a plan?)

That’s what today’s #TomFerryShow is all about…

Gauging your Q1 progress and making sure you’re on the right track for the remainder of 2019.

I’ve got four key areas of your business you need to examine, and I’ll walk you through the entire process below. Let’s go!

 

Q1 Review Step 1: Review Your 7 Most Important Goals

Never forget, business is math. As long as you’re tracking your numbers effectively, this review should be both fairly simple and extremely instructive. Reviewing your numbers and gauging your process will tell you what’s working, what’s not, what you need to do more of and so on.

The first step is evaluating your progress on seven key goals:

  • Conversations – How many times you talk to people is one of the most informative leading indicators of your success. What was your conversations goal for Q1? What was your actual result?
  • Appointments – The more consistently you’re creating conversations, the more consistently you’ll be setting appointments. Did you hit your Q1 appointments goal? Why or why not?
  • Units closed – Are your efforts leading to closed transactions and happy customers who have successfully transitioned to a new phase of their lives in their new home? Compare your actual results to your Q1 goal. How’d you do? What needs to change moving forward?
  • GCI – All of the above will dictate how much income you’ve generated so far in 2019. Where are you in terms of closed transactions? What about pending? How do those numbers reflect against your goal?
  • Sales Volume – What’s the dollar amount of real estate you closed in Q1? Have you surpassed your goal?
  • Expenses – How much did it cost you to do business in Q1? Where can you cut the waste for the rest of the year? An important wrinkle in this is tracking and measuring your marketing efforts to ensure you know what’s working and you can eliminate what’s NOT working. (Keep reading to step 2 below.)
  • Net Income – This is the big one, right? How much did you actually clear in Q1? How does that number compare to your goal?

 

 

Q1 Review Step 2: Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your Marketing

Building a successful business is all about running plays that work. How many marketing “plays” are you utilizing as part of your 2019 business plan? (For example, geographic farming, online leads, Open Houses, etc.)

The next step in your quarterly review is to quantitatively analyze each of those approaches so you can answer these important questions:

  • What worked?
  • What did I do differently this quarter compared to last quarter?
  • What approaches are new or “in process”? Have I been consistent? What are the early results?
  • What needs to improve?

 

Q1 Review Step 3: Gauging Your Commitment Level

Unless this is the first show of mine you’ve ever watched, you know what I’m talking about when I compare being “interested” to being fully “committed.”

Are you interested in success or are you fully committed to it?

Because there’s a huge difference between the two.

That differentiation can also be used to assess your progress on a more macro level as well. Here are four areas of your business that it’s essential you’re committed to. But are you?

  • Tracking and measuring all your numbers – Are you doing it? (If not, this review exercise should point out to you how much better you’ll know your business when you start.)
  • Revising and acting on your business plan – Are you taking time every week to review your plan and fine tune it based on new developments? If you’re truly committed, digging in and working “on” your business needs to be a regular, recurring activity on your schedule.
  • Driving results in marketing/lead gen/conversion – Take a look at all the ways you bring in business and ask yourself if you’re interested in mastering them or committed to it? What have you learned in Q1? How have you grown? What new strategy have you introduced? What have you refined to make it better?
  • Upgrading/improving/adding systems and business processes – If you want more control of growing your business, you need to systematize the things you do as much as possible. Have you devoted sufficient time to that effort in Q1? What new checklists have you created? How have you improved your schedule?

Q1 Review Step 4: Plan for the Next 90 Days

The final step in this process is deciding what you’re committed to in the second quarter of 2019.

Where do you want to be on your numbers by the end of June?

What do you need to do to get there?

Look at what worked in Q1, build on it and look for areas of improvement…

…And then put the pedal to the metal to make the most of Q2 and the remainder of 2019!

 

I’d love to know where you stand. Let me know and post any questions in the comments below.

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6 Steps to Prioritize Tasks & Avoid Overwhelm After an Event

Why do you go to an event?

Seriously, think about it for a second.

If you’re like me, you can come up with lots of great, valid reasons.

  • To learn
  • To network
  • To find out what’s working for other people in your industry
  • To renew your enthusiasm for what you do

When you break it down, all those outcomes have one common end result…

To come back a changed person from who you were before.

Right?

If you come back and resume doing everything the exact same afterward, what’s the point of going?

That’s why today’s blog is designed to help you make the most of your event-going experiences. I’m sharing 6 Steps to Prioritize Tasks & Avoid Overwhelm After an Event.

Whether you’re headed to WiRE, Shift!, Summit, Sales Edge, Marketing Edge or another event, make sure to put these steps into practice.

Let’s get started!

 

Post-Event Step 1: Solidify Your Networking Efforts

When you were at the event, there’s a good chance you accumulated a big stack of business cards from people you met.

Instead of just sticking them in a drawer (like most people), try this:

Send each of those people a private, personalized BombBomb video to cement your relationship.

Relationships matter, and taking an hour or two to create a bunch of quick videos will do wonders for your referrals and connections you forged.

 

Post-Event Step 2: Review Your Business Plan

Immediately after attending an event, it’s time to take stock of your business plan within the new context of what you just learned.

This DOESN’T mean you need to blow up your existing plan entirely and start over from scratch.

It DOES mean…

  • Identifying holes where little adjustments can create a big result
  • Making sure you have a Wildly Important Goal (WIG) and that your efforts are working toward it
  • Revisiting your KPIs and how you’re tracking and scoreboarding them

 

Post-Event Step 3: Categorize Your Ideas

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for people after attending an event (well, a good event, anyway) is that they have so much new information swirling around their head, they don’t know how or where to start implementing it. They’re overwhelmed.

Here’s what will help… Slot all the ideas you returned home with into these five categories:

  • Moneymakers – Immediately implementable strategies that will impact your bottom line
  • Organizers – Things to help you streamline your processes and work more efficiently
  • People – Personnel you need on your team (Whether contract, freelance, part-time, full-time, etc.)
  • Tech – Technology that can make your life and business easier
  • Big Ideas – Long-term visions for where you want to take your business

Once you’ve categorized the ideas, work with your coach or an advisor based on those ideas that match your HBUT (highest and best use of time).

If you get stuck, ask yourself questions like “Which idea will give me the greatest leverage?” or “Which of these ideas is likely to create the best ROI?” Then do that one.

 

Post-Event Step 4: Adjust Schedule & Checklists

Based on which ideas you choose to implement first, adjust your daily and weekly schedule and checklists to include action items geared toward achieving the new objective. Make sure the actions you build into your schedule are daily disciplines that will create the results you desire.

 

Post-Event Step 5: Create Your Idea “Waiting List”

The next step is designed to make sure you don’t forget about all the ideas that you chose NOT to implement immediately.

Are you willing to rely on your memory to get to these ideas “one day”?

I hope not. The most productive people on the planet take all of their ideas and put them into a centralized system so they can execute on them. So that’s what I want you to do next.

Slot all of your ideas into a DO / DOING / DONE board like the one in The HUB or one you create yourself. To start, many of them will go into the “Do” category and a few into “Doing.” As you begin to make progress, move projects from “Do” into “Doing” and so on!

 

Post-Event Step 6: Create Dedicated “Project Time”

The only way new initiatives take hold and become effective is if you put in the work to make them successful.

That’s why it’s critical that you devote sufficient time to seeing them through and evaluating their progress.

How do you do that? You need to put it in your schedule.

I suggest reserving 2-3 hours every week for dedicated “project time” (or a more creative name you come up with).

This is time where you can clear away all the other distractions and – together with your assistant – really focus on your projects. This is time spent working “on” your business as opposed to “in” it.

Personally, I schedule blocks on my calendar called “Level 10 Coaching” where I can work on putting new ideas into action, adding to our offerings and generally living up to the standard of “constant and never-ending improvement.”

Choose your “project time” carefully. You don’t want it to interfere with important daily disciplines, but you also want to be sharp and fully engaged when implementing new ideas. Look for a time of the week that is traditionally “slower” for you when you know you can bring energy and enthusiasm to these important projects.

 

Now that your post-event strategy is ironed out, what’s your 2019 event plan? Here’s our up-to-the-minute 2019 Events Checklist you can download to help you determine when and where you’ll take your business to new heights in 2019.

Be sure to bookmark this page and revisit it before your next event! Also, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.