No matter where you live and work, most real estate professionals share similar business challenges and can brainstorm solutions and best practices. That’s what dozens of agents did during roundtable discussions at the Coldwell Banker Gen Blue conference in Las Vegas. “We have a lot of wisdom in the room, and we’re smarter as a group than we are individually,” said Cathy Livingstone, regional education and delivery manager at NRT.
She added that there is no “magic potion” to fix all the issues agents may face. It comes down to “doing the activities you need to do in order to be successful,” Livingstone said. “It’s about the fundamentals of having the best system, practices, and habits in place.”
Creating urgency between buyers and sellers, overcoming commission objections, developing a consistent schedule, lead generation, and budgeting were a few of the topics agents discussed at the Gen Blue session. “When we do these sessions, people typically bring up lead generation,” said Brandon Hines, regional manager of sales and education at NRT. “There’s a lot of the commission conversation that comes up and how you combat competitors in the market who offer a cheaper commission structure. Time management comes up a lot as well, and how do you time-block and balance between working your transactions and prospecting?”
Here’s a look at some of the topics that were discussed:
- Master one tool at a time. Agents talked about the importance of learning one lead generation tool at a time and using weekly sales meetings to be accountable for individual success and discuss prospecting tactics that are working. “Agents need to understand the difference between prospecting and marketing,” Hines said. “Prospecting is for the now, and marketing is for the future. You need to do a combination of both—an infinite loop. And as you are going to each lead generation source, such as your sphere of influence, it’s about having that loop and what gives you business now and keeps it coming.”
- Explain your value to consumers. Attendees also discussed the importance of explaining to buyers and sellers what they bring to the table that other agents don’t. For example, you should always tell clients about the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and how it ensures that you will protect their interests. “Agents need to understand their value proposition and be able to articulate to the [client] what services they are providing,” Livingstone said.
- Hold yourself accountable. Agents said it’s important to hold themselves accountable, especially when it comes to time management. They suggested using Sunday nights to plan out the coming week in detail. Trust in a friend or coach to check in with and make sure you’re following systems and keeping transactions on track, agents said. It’s vital to attend networking events and follow up with contacts.
- Stick to a schedule. For time management, agents should have a calendar that’s consistent every morning, Livingstone said. That will help you establish regular intervals for lead generation activity. Hines said agents like to do things that make them feel good but neglect some necessary business-generating tasks because they’re not particularly enjoyable. “You have to do some of those uncomfortable activities if you want to grow your business,” Hines said. “Sometimes that’s cold-calling. Sometimes that’s meeting people at a networking event. You have to do more than just the things that make you feel like you did something that day.”
- Get involved in advocacy. Some agents discussed how to get involved with the legislative process and donate to political action committees to support candidates that champion real estate issues. Local REALTOR® associations track the issues in their state and municipality, while the National Association of REALTORS® takes the pulse of what’s happening on Capitol Hill. “Many offices don’t focus on that and are not aware of that,” Livingstone said. “We need to preserve this industry and protect the sellers’ and buyers’ interests. Being part of the legislative process is really important.”