Ask any real estate agent why they decided to get into real estate and this is the answer you will get:
“I got into real estate because I wanted to help people realize the dream of home ownership.”
“I got into real estate because I love the idea of helping people buy and sell real estate.”
Two bold faced lies right there. Now before I make you mad give me a second to explain.
Do I think real estate agents get into the business for those two reasons? I do. But no I don’t think those are the only reasons people get into real estate.
I think people also get into real estate to have freedom in their jobs and to make money.
Money and Freedom
There is nothing wrong with getting into real estate to make money. Suzanne Sommers said it best on those 80’s infomercials. “Don’t you want to make more money? Of course! We all do!” Aren’t you always out there looking for a new way to bring in leads and close more deals? Of course you are and you should or you will be out of business pretty quick.
Then there’s the freedom piece. You get into real estate because you don’t want to be stuck behind a desk from 9-5 every day. You want the freedom to set your own schedule. You want to be able to drop your kids off at school and pick them up. You want to have lunch with your mom in the middle of the day if the idea strikes you.
You chose real estate because you want to be in charge of your own destiny. You want to man the ship and steer the wheel. You don’t want to leave it up to some company or some boss to tell you where to be or worse how much money you can make. Controlling your own destiny; this is why you got into the real estate business.
Yet how many times do you feel like you have less freedom in real estate than you did your 9-5 job? How many times do you feel like you are making less money in real estate career than you did in your 9-5 job? Frustrating isn’t it?
The ups and the downs are a vicious cycle in real estate and can be enough to put any sane person in a funk.
So how do you get off the roller coaster ride? How do you guarantee that you have leads coming in all the time?
Two Words: Planning and Consistency.
Ah not exciting words are they? And I am sure they are words you have heard many times. Yet let me share with you something that I just went through.
Last week I went on vacation with my family. It was amazing to spend time together as a family. What amazed me even more? That my business and my blog grew while I was on vacation.
I had two choices when I went on vacation. I could take the week off from blogging, from social media and from sending emails. I knew that if I did I ran the risk of missing my goals for the month. Or I could plan ahead and make sure the blog was running even if I was taking time off. I chose to go with the second option and I am so glad that I did.
The blog did run on all cylinders last week, but what you didn’t see was the planning that made it happen. The week before vacation I had these tasks to do:
- Guest blog post for Inman
- Guest blog post for Katie Lance
- Free report for landing page for Inman and Katie Lance
- Blog post for Thursday and the following Monday and Thursday
- Email Newsletter for Thursday
- Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts to plan, design and schedule
Oh and on top of that I had to get a family of five ready to leave on vacation. When looking at this list keep in mind that a blog post takes at least 3-4 hours to research, write, proof and rewrite. A landing page report is closer to 5-6 hours. Social media planning and scheduling takes about 2-3 hours. I got all this accomplished but one thing, my email newsletter. I still feel bad about that.
How did I do it all? I planned my week and made those six items my main priority. I also had a lot of sacrifices that I had to make that week. I stayed up working way later than I should, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. I also missed spending some quality time with my kids and my husband.
Why did I do it all? I wanted to stay consistent in my blogging and my marketing. I knew that if I did, I would reap the rewards even while on vacation. I also did it because I knew I wouldn’t fully enjoy my downtime with my family if I let my business slide for a week.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, “Okay Jen, that’s great. You write a blog. You only do consulting calls. This kind of strategy won’t work for me as an agent. This doesn’t work when I need to show houses or write offers.”
I beg to differ my friend.
Did I have emails I had to respond to and consulting calls to schedule while I was on vacation? I sure did. So no work didn’t completely stop for me. But the marketing I did before I left continued to promote my business even while I was gone.
I think you have the opportunity to do the same thing in your real estate practice. All too often the first thing we do every morning is respond to the fire that needs to be put out. We feel like if we don’t respond to that client or that lead right away we will lose them. Or we will look bad. I get it, those people are money in your pocket when they buy or sell.
But if you want to get off the roller coaster ride of a fluctuating income and have the freedom you wanted when you started in real estate you must do two things. You must plan ahead and you must be consistent. Then you must have the discipline to follow through.
The key to getting off the roller coaster is to implement consistent marketing every single day. The key to implementing consistent marketing is to plan ahead.
Here are my seven keys to getting off that roller coaster:
1. Be Driven
To get more freedom in your life you must have motivation to do it. You must want to get off that roller coaster. You must want to do things differently. You must want to have a business that grows even while you are working with clients. You must have the motivation to change the status quo. Until you feel that burn to do something different you will stay stuck on the roller coaster.
2. Marketing Plan
“Fail to plan, plan to fail.” The old saying is true. If you don’t have a marketing plan you are more than likely running around with your head cut off. You are throwing marketing ideas at the wall to see what sticks. You hear about a marketing idea that is generating business for another agent. You then stop your current marketing idea and throw yourself into this new idea.
To jump off the roller coaster you must have a marketing plan. You must have the discipline not to get swayed by every new idea that comes your way. You must also try not to do everything in your marketing plan. Pick a few items that you want to do and then do them really well. If you follow that plan consistently I promise you, you will get business.
3. Get Systems
After you have a marketing plan you have to set up systems. Do you want to be a regular poster on Facebook? Then create a daily editorial calendar for one month and add posts to it. Then use a scheduler like BufferApp or HootSuite to schedule your posts. Now you have one marketing idea done and scheduled for the entire month. Do you want to send out postcards to your farming area? Work with a company like ExpressCopy. Upload your postcards for the next six weeks and put ExpressCopy in charge of sending out your mailings.
The goal in getting systems is to look for any tool or service that can make your life easier. By having systems in place you are taking the next step to make sure that your marketing gets done every single day.
4. Set Weekly Goals
I have done a big shift in my goal setting this year. I used to write my goals down for the year and then rarely look back at them. Now I am holding myself publicly accountable for my goals every month. To meet those monthly goals I am also creating weekly goals to meet.
Ever since I can remember I suffer from insomnia especially on Sunday nights. I lay there and plan my week out in my head and then I get all stirred up about what I need to do for the week. This year I spend time on Sunday nights planning out my week. I have a spreadsheet that I use to keep me on track. It also helps me to not over plan my week too. I think if you set weekly goals that match your annual goals, you are more motivated to stay on track during the week. These weekly goals also make it easier to not be blown about by your business. Or by every new marketing idea you will hear about in the upcoming week.
5. Own Your First Hour
When you wake up everyday make the first hour yours and yours alone. Do this even if you have to wake up extra early to do it. I have small kids so if I want my first hour to be my own I have to get up around 4:30am. The days that I do this are by far my most productive days. But it’s not just about getting up early. It’s about taking that hour to get focused on my day.
I believe in Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning and what he says to do every morning. On the days I am up early I take my first 90 minutes to meditate, pray, do affirmations, write, read and exercise. I do not check my email. I do not check social media. I do not read texts and I do not check the news. I focus my first 90 minutes on getting my mind and body straight for the day. Taking this time has changed my relationships with my husband and my kids. It has also transformed my business. I challenge you to own your first hour for the next 21 days. See if you notice a difference in how you feel and what you get accomplished during the day.
6. Own Your First Work Hour
Now I am going to challenge you to take it one step further. I challenge you to own your first work hour. If you start working at 8:00am take that first hour to work ON your business instead of in it. Make sure that you schedule your social media for the day. Spend 30 minutes working on an email opt-in offer you want to put on your landing page. Write that farming letter that you have wanted to send to your neighbors for years. When marketing gets moved to the end of the work day it rarely gets done. By owning your first work hour you have the opportunity to make a change in your business. You have the opportunity to get off that roller coaster. Try it for two days a week to start and see what happens to your business and your motivation.
7. Set Expectations
Many agents will say “I can’t do any of this. I have to be there for my clients right away or they will leave. Or they won’t refer me business. Or they will get mad at me.” Yes these things could happen. One way to make it not happen is to set expectations with your clients right from the get go. Let them know their emails, calls and texts are important to you. Let them know you reserve the first hour of your workday to working on your business so that you can be a better real estate agent. Let them know you will return their message at 9:00am every day. If they tell you your competitor is willing to return phone calls at 5am then let them go! Do you want to be on that kind of schedule? The biggest problem people have with communication is not setting the right expectations. Let your clients know how you operate up front and you will never let them down.
Real estate is a fun and rewarding career! The freedom it provides to be your own boss and set your own income is amazing. Yet many times I think agents get stuck in the doing and the details. This moves them farther away from the freedom. To experience real estate at it’s best take the time to plan your marketing and do it consistently. Only then will you be able to jump of the roller coaster and really enjoy your business!
What does your business look like when you are consistent in your marketing? What throws you off track? Please share with me in the comments below!