September 15, 2011

Hope, Hamburgers and The Half Blood Prince – What’s Your Business Strategy?

There are lots of different ways to run your real estate business and it’s pretty safe to say that there is no “best” way. Success depends on many factors such as the market you’re practicing in, your financial ability to dedicate funds towards personal and property marketing, your discipline and frankly, a little luck just to name a few.


While there may be no “best” way to succeed, there is strategy that almost certainly won’t work…at least not consistently; Hope.

“I hope my buyer finds the right house today”

“I hope I get a call today from someone who wants to sell”

“I hope my friends and family members remember that I am a Realtor and will call me if they need any help buying or selling a home.”

When you are leaving your chances for success in someone else’s hands, it doesn’t tend to work out well. As we’ve talked about before in The Realtor’s Toolbox, you have two things to focus on every day - business development and business support. You must actively make enough contacts each day or week to schedule enough appointments that might lead to buyers or sellers who are motivated to act in the immediate or very near future. Hoping that happens just isn’t a good strategy.


How consistent are you in your business? Do you utilize systems and protocols that are repeatable day in and day out? If there’s something in your daily or weekly routine that you do more than once, there should be a system in place for it. Everyone should have a thorough and detailed checklist for Buyers and Sellers from the very first call or meeting all the way through the closing. These checklists should even have a detailed plan for what happens after the deal is done.

Do you know what’s in a Big Mac? I do.

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.

It doesn’t matter whether you order a Big Mac in Nebraska at noon or in Detroit at dinnertime. You can grab the signature sandwich at McDonald’s on a Saturday in San Diego or a Monday in Montana and you’re always going to get two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. The folks at Mickey D’s have figured out that the system works and when people can count on getting what they expect, both parties win.

What might happen to your business if you were able to do the business support activities with a systematic approach? How about if your business development activities followed a similar, repeatable routine and you stayed disciplined to it, regardless of the outcomes each day?

The Half Blood Prince

Are you a Harry Potter fan like my 9-year-old son Ryan turned me into? We spent the last few years reading the series of books by J.K. Rowling about a young boy who is a wizard in England. The 6th book in the series is called Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and it is a thrilling adventure with intrigue and mystery…much like a career in real estate these days.

In the story, Harry takes a class at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that he wasn’t originally scheduled to take. As he enters the class the first day he tells the teacher that he doesn’t have the necessary text book to use. The teacher directs him to the bookshelf to use one of the school's copies. It is inside this copy of the book that Harry finds mysterious writings and notes from someone known as “the Half Blood Prince” who had scribbled this nickname inside the book’s cover.

These scribbles seem to give Harry an edge over the rest of his classmates because it turns out that this “Half Blood Prince” figured out some short cuts, tricks and sure fire ways to conjure up the right potions and spells and Harry quickly learned to use them effectively for classroom assignments, frolic and fun and even personal protection.

Who is your “Half Blood Prince” in the real estate business? Is there a mentor, coach or manager who has “been there and done that” before you who could provide some much needed tips and techniques to get more deals to the closing table? It could be a fellow Realtor in your office or company. Perhaps lenders, title agents, home inspectors or anyone who might have something to share that could lead to more success. Would it be worth it for you to reach out to the veteran agent who recently retired? That could be the most valuable lunch or dinner you ever eat.

How often are you looking for the "writing on the wall" or "reading between the lines" so you're ready to find the magic potion that leads to success?

How’s Business?

If you are not on pace to achieve or surpass your goals for 2011 then it might be a good time to look at your business strategy. Don’t get discouraged if you’re falling short of your expectations this year. You certainly aren’t alone, so just pick yourself up and get re-focused on what you can control these next 3+ months. Other agents begin to “slow it down” or “wait ‘til next year” around this time of year which creates some wonderful opportunity for you to find some clients who need help.

It's time to Super Size your attitude, shake off the invisibility cloak you’ve been wearing lately and get out in front of people. don’t have to be a Wizard to start building relationships, solve problems and have fun.