By Alex Cavelli
—Henry David Thorough
Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken lessons I’ve learned from the work of willpower scientist Colin Robertson and revealed techniques to help you develop the keystone habit of lead generation. Hopefully by now you’ve experimented and found success. Here’s a review:
Part 1: “Do Not Fail” – Choosing your daily contact goal.
Part 2: “The Seinfeld Method” – Forming consistency.
Part 3: “Definite Purpose” – Envisioning your purpose.
Based on the emails I’ve received, it seems that all three parts have made an impact. A recurring question has been, “How do I find time for lead generation when I have all this other stuff going on?” The answer: simplify.
One of my favorite recent stories is about young man named Ryan Nicodemus. Nicodemus, along with his friend Joshua Fields Millburn, are two 20-something Ohioans who once believed they had it all.
“A few years ago, while approaching age 30, we had achieved everything that was supposed to make us happy: great six-figure jobs, nice cars, big houses with more bedrooms than inhabitants, pointless masses of toys, scads of superfluous stuff…The truth is we weren’t successful at all. Maybe we looked successful…but we weren’t truly successful. Because even with all our stuff, we weren’t satisfied with our lives—we weren’t happy.”
Nicodemus needed to make a change to find happiness. To begin their journey, the two friends got together and started evaluating their material possessions. “Where do we start?” asked Nicodemus. Millburn then suggested an idea that changed both their lives forever: “The Packing Party.”
Nicodemus packed all of his possessions into boxes, labeled them, and stuffed them in a spare bedroom. Now these items didn’t just consist of their expensive gadgets. They packed clothes, shoes, cleaning supplies, kitchen utensils, bedding, plates, paintings, toothpaste, food – everything. It almost looked as if they were getting ready to load a moving truck. The main idea was this: over the next 21 days, Nicodemus would unpack nothing except for what he actually used. Whatever remained would then be sold, donated, or trashed.
The results may surprise you at first. Nicodemus unpacked only about 20 percent of his possessions over three weeks! In other words, nearly 80 percent of his possessions were deemed useless or non-essential. He donated clothes he didn’t wear, sold some of his electronics, and even got rid of those unopened cleaning supplies.
The aftereffects from this packing party were an even bigger surprise. Suddenly they found more time, energy and money to focus on what actually did bring them value. Life became “rich” again as they packed (and unpacked) other parts of their lives – relationships, careers, spending habits, and dieting. Today they travel the country encouraging audiences to pare down their lives and create space for things of real value.
So how did such a simple experiment reveal the root of their discontent? And what’s the relevance to your business? Let’s ask Colin Robertson, our willpower scientist.
When we come up with tasks for ourselves, our brain creates an internal reminder that will nag us until we give those tasks attention. Think about that nagging feeling you get when you’re overdue to check your social media accounts. This mental nagging actually drains our willpower and diminishes our ability to focus on essential actives.
Or think about that sense of accomplishment you get when you cross something off your to-do list. Yes, that feeling can lead to other small successes. But the opposite is also true. If we fail to complete a task, feelings of discontent take form. This experience is known as the Zeigarnik Effect. To avoid this effect, we just need a packing party.
As real estate business people, we’re only as effective as the quality of our schedule and our ability to follow it. If you’re ready to have a “packing party” for your schedule to make room for the essentials, they read on and follow these steps:
- Pull up your 2015 schedule and completely clear it.
- Black out your non-working days first (these are planned days off, holidays, family commitments, vacations, etc.). Now your workdays remain.
- Next, take January 5th and consider it the template for your “ideal workday”.
- Decide the start time to your ideal workday.
- Decide the end time to your ideal workday.
- In between your start and end times, time block these essential activities:
- Hitting your “do not fail” daily contact goal
- Listing appointments
- Apply this schedule to the remainder of your 2015 workdays.
Use your judgment for important activities like attending team meetings, following up with sellers, preparing for appointments, and completing essential paperwork. For example, I call my sellers every Friday between noon and 1:00pm. Some agents choose Wednesdays. I also time block time for daily administrative work between 1:00pm and 2:00pm. If I have no appointments or essential admin work, I can always work on generating leads. When planning, it’ll be helpful to keep these averages in mind:
- 8 contacts = 1 hour
- Top agents prospect 3 to 4 hours per day, between 8:00am and noon, 5 days per week.
- 1 listing appointment = 1 hour
- Top agents spend 30 minutes or less on listing appointment, schedule them between 3:00pm and 7:00pm, 5 days per week.
- Negotiation = 30 minutes
- Top agents will typically negotiate before 7:30am, between 1:00pm and 2:00pm, and/or after evening appointments.
You still have eight working days left in 2014 to start building momentum for the new year. Just as Nicodemus and Millburn started their journey to happiness by paring down their possessions, you can also pare down your business by starting with your schedule. Not only will free up willpower to hit your daily “do not fail” goal, you’ll discover the time and energy to surpass it and list more real estate.
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Alex Cavelli is a REALTOR® with Keller Williams Greater Cleveland Northeast. Connect with Alex via linkedin.com/in/cavelli or Alexcavelli@kw.com.
Provided by the National Safety Council
By Charlie Allred
What if every time you posted something online, you thought about providing the most value to the person looking for that information? How would your online presence change? My guess is that it would become more focused.
You have an area of expertise, right? The Internet and your potential clients online don’t know that unless you tell them. Your website and/or blog should be your way of telling these potential clients what you are doing in real life.
For example, instead of writing about Mesa, Ariz., write about a specific neighborhood in Mesa. Or you can talk about upcoming events in that specific neighborhood. If you are very specific, your content is much more likely to show up in organic search results.
When planning your blog posts, think about the buying cycle for your area and try to publish content based on readers’ needs. Ask yourself what community information you can provide your potential client to add real value.
Real estate is all about the community. Find out what community or neighborhood information a potential buyer might seek, then provide it in an easy-to-read, and digestible format on your blog.
A couple of examples from my blog:
- Area information for people who are thinking about moving to Arizona
- Community information about the districts of Old Town Scottsdale
- Real estate information about Old Town Scottsdale homes
The myth in real estate is that you might miss out on sales if you specialize in one neighborhood. But I suggest that you find a niche, dominate it, and then move on to another niche. Writing an article about one specific neighborhood doesn’t mean that next week you can’t write about the adjacent neighborhood. Eventually, you can write an article on each of the neighborhoods in which you specialize. And that’s the real value for your readers (and potential clients).
Charlie Allred is a Phoenix-based designated broker for Secure Real Estate and author of the book “Pinnable Real Estate: Pinterest for Real Estate Agents.” She is a Pinterest expert coaching agents on how to gain more leads, followers, and clients by using Pinterest. Learn more at her blog: www.PinnableRealEstate.com.
In 2012, consumers purchased 24.5 million real and 10.9 million fake Christmas trees, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
Which are more environmentally friendly? Help homeowners answer that question by tweeting a free article, “Real Christmas Trees vs. Fake Christmas Trees: Which are Greener”, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the December “Deck-orate the Halls!” article package. Share all five today.
Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.
Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
By Anand Patel
As we close out the year, you may be looking for opportunities and new avenues to success in 2015. I’m here to tell you that you’re doing it all wrong.
The last few months, while speaking at REALTOR® associations as well as with my own agents, I have been sharing three specific thoughts that have been weighing on my mind as we wrap up 2014. I think that together, they can open up your life to success more than any attempt to hunt down “opportunity.”
“Opportunities? They are all around us…There is power lying latent everywhere waiting for the observant eye to discover it.”
–Orison Swett Marden, inspirational author and founder of Success Magazine
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “hindsight is 20/20.” With that in mind, take a moment and look back at past events in your life that you may have initially perceived as negative and reevaluate them with the notion that everything happens for a reason. Perhaps it’s a negative comment someone said to you when you were young that stuck with you instead of a positive quality a teacher or parent saw in you. Maybe it was an event where you failed at something and instead of focusing on the lessons learned, you held onto the failure itself. Looking back at these memories in this light will open you up to a totally new perspective. My father shared this notion with me over ten years ago that everything, EVERYTHING happens for a reason and nothing happens by chance. It took me a while to fully understand what he meant, but once I did interesting things began to happen for me.
2. Be present in the moment.
Being present in the moment means being aware of what is going on around us. It means starting up a conversation with the person behind you in line at the grocery store. It means saying hello to the person sitting next to you in an educational class at your local association. It means putting your cell phone away when having dinner with your family (I get in trouble for this one a lot). It means picking up the phone and calling someone instead of texting them. Being present in the moment means bringing real conversations back into your life. It means asking those around you “how can I help?”
To a certain degree, this will happen automatically when you truly believe everything happens for a reason. By understanding there’s a reason behind the people you encounter, events that happen, and conversations you engage in, you will inevitably begin to make the conscious effort to be present.
3. Opportunity surrounds us.
Understanding that everything happens for a reason and grasping the importance of being present in the moment now leaves you open to the opportunity that surrounds you. Remember that conversation in the grocery store? It turns out they are looking to buy a new home. The real estate professional you chatted with at the association event? She happens to have the perfect buyer for the unique listing you’ve had a tough time selling. When you put your cell phone away at the restaurant? You just had the most interesting conversation with your daughter who had been craving your attention all evening. That time you picked up the phone instead of texting? The conversation led you to finding the business partner of the new brokerage you just opened.
Sound crazy? I promise you, try it and you will be astounded by the number of opportunities that will come to you. If you spend your days looking for opportunity, in essence you are telling yourself opportunity is elusive and you have to seek it out. That is far from the truth.
By believing that everything happens for a reason, and by being present in the moment, we will begin to see that opportunity surrounds us everywhere. So as you prepare for 2015, don’t waste your time looking for opportunity, as it has been waiting for you all along.
Anand Patel is broker and president of Pangea Realty Group based in Tampa, Fla. You can connect with Anand on Twitter: @anand_tampa, Facebook: www.facebook.com/prgtampa, or LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anandpatel1.