Updated: Sep 5
Over the past 13 years training and leading top real estate agents, a few commonalities surface among the top consistent agents which are valuable lessons we can all apply to our own lives.
They are not always the best at sales talk or the smartest in room but time and again, these serial achievers defy market trends and continually produce results regardless of the drop in volume or negative sentiments in the market and media.
And these are some of my findings:
1. Top property agents possess a MIGHTY TINY VOICE in their heads.
We all have this tiny voice; making up stories as we go along the day and encounter different people or events.
These voices control many of us unknowingly. They tell us something is not worth doing, tell us to give up, tell us we are not good enough, tell us to cancel/postpone viewings and appointments etc.
They affect every area of our lives, our confidence, self-esteem and many battles we fight in our hearts & heads which ultimately affects how we behave and function in everyday life.
The ones who do well, recognise this and do not allow the tiny voice to control their lives. Instead, recognising them as they are – stories told by no one and with no authority to bind them.
These elite group are hence, individuals who in their quietest and most testing moments, able to bounce back from failures very fast, have minimum down time, thrive in competition and continually maintain a healthy, confident and undefeated mental & emotional state of being.
They are competitive but do not pin their sense of self-worth on their success.
2. They are Selective Action Takers
Many property agents appear for trainings, stay long hours in the office, talk about what they want, spend weeks thinking about areas they want to work on, lay out a plan of action and then stop short of doing what ultimately brings them results – Taking Action
In our business, there are too many traps we can possibly fall into.
From not having a plan of action, trying to do and learn everything, not investing money into marketing, being cynical about new methods, pretending to be working but doing admin and research stuff all day (It’s not work unless you’re spending face time with a client), waiting (and hoping) for referrals to come, giving up too easily, being too “light on the ears” and getting distracted from original plans easily etc.
However, only 20% of the activities we do are genuinely productive and gives us the results we want.
Yet, for the majority of realtors, they choose to focus on the 80% of menial tasks and hope for the best outcome.
We have to be selective. We have limited time and energy for work. 80% of your returns will come from 20% of key activities. Focus on those and take consistent action!
Kid yourself no further about how you’re spending your time.
A day passed is a day less in our short lifespan of 30,000 days.
3. They Do Not Run Rackets
What are rackets?
They are consistent complaints and whining about people, things and incidents.
Understandably, everyone has unpleasant incidents every now and then. It is important to be able to air your feelings and let them go. Fast.
Running rackets over and over makes you feel good, justifying yourself and invalidating others; giving you a mental victory and a good feeling about yourself.
You always win in this game. That’s why it is addictive.
BUT it is not productive! Neither does it endear you to your colleagues, friends and family if you’re in a persistent mode of whining.
The elite ones simply have moved on to accomplish more tasks and take on new challenges while others persist in running rackets while doing nothing to solve their problems.
4. Done is Better Than Perfect
I have seen too many people who are unable to execute simple and required actions for their business. For example: Preparing and sending out mailers every month.
They take weeks and months to design their templates, write up their sales copy, decide on which projects to target etc when all these can be done in a day or two.
Many of them cite being a perfectionist as the reason when in fact it is an excuse for refusing to buckle down, set and meet their deadlines.
Once again, I have observed that the elite realtors never wait for perfection. They know that Done is always better than Perfect.
That if it’s perfect, they have probably started too late.
Not that they stop improving once they start executing but they know that by spending the additional hours improving minor items, their results will not commensurate with their time/effort spent.
Better spend it on real work.
5. Sense of Urgency
Surprisingly, some agents do not answer phone calls, messages or respond promptly. Some do and yet take many hours or days to reply with details or to confirm an appointment.
Some of these could be due to a lack of discipline to be available during work hours or due to their tiny voice telling them a client/agent isn’t serious, the property isn’t sellable or other stories their mind makes up.
Top agents work otherwise.
They respond quickly and do not leave what can be done and confirmed now to later. They know that clearing it at once saves them more time than coming back to it a 2nd and 3rd time and having to recap what was needed.
Within the same number of hours, they are able to accomplish many times more than what the average agent can.
Through training and self development, many of these habits can become natural to us. It just requires us being open to improvements and cognisant of how we operate and benchmark ourselves against how this elite group operates.
Gradually, as we consciously remind ourselves to raise our standards, we can only become better versions of ourselves and perform at our peak potential.
Perhaps, these habits might even help us cope better in other aspects of our lives and not only in business.
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Stuart Chng, Senior Associate Executive Director of OrangeTee & Tie, is a renowned leader and personality in the real estate industry.
He adores music and can play a few instruments decently without upsetting his neighbours. When not doing so, he enjoys pillow fighting with his son and coming up with silly puns which barely amuses his wife.
Professionally, he is a licensed real estate agent, investor, team leader, speaker and columnist for several property newsletters and blogs and is often quoted in media interviews on 938FM, Channel 8, PropertyReport, PropertyGuru and other publications.
Throughout his career, he has helped many clients grow their wealth through selecting great property investments and managing their portfolios actively. Read his clients' reviews here.