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Get a Firm Grip on Slippery Minutes

Aug 26, 2020

Posted by

Tom Hopkins

My life's work has been to change the image of the stereotypical salesperson into that of sales "professional." Selling real estate is an honorable profession in which you get to help people make Read more

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Other than mathematical errors, nothing else will put a damper on your clients’ confidence in your abilities faster than your being slow in getting back to them when they have honest concerns.

Perhaps you have wondered if there is a professional way to handle the inevitable challenges that arise in a real estate career.  With all the details that are involved with every listing, every client contact and every sale, there are bound to be challenges.  If listing and selling real estate were simple and easy, you wouldn’t need a license to do it, right?  So, your number one job is to make the complicated simple—for the client.

Based on my own years of experience in real estate with 1,553 closed transactions, there surely is a right way of handling challenges in my opinion.  And one word says it all: “Quickly.”  Contact the client ... quickly.  Get the details ... quickly.  Provide expert answers ... quickly … thereby resolving the challenge ... quickly. 

Handling the Unforeseen

Always keep in mind that this real estate transaction generally is the biggest investment your clients will likely ever make.  It’s perfectly normal for them to have genuine concerns and fears about it.  Your job is to allay those fears and address their concerns as quickly as humanly possible.

When challenges do arise, your clients must be made aware and believe that you are doing everything a skilled professional can do to resolve it.  And they won’t know it unless you get back to them fast.  Sometimes the solution may not be within your power. That’s okay, as long as you stay on top of it and keep your client informed.  There may very well be times when you get in touch with them just to tell them that you don’t have an answer yet.  That’s perfectly fine, too.  In fact, it’s much better than leaving them hanging—wondering if you’re earning your fee.

Time:  an Unstable Attribute

If you want to operate at peak performance, managing your time is crucial.  The single most important commodity we all have in life is time.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.  So, if you truly want to achieve a high level of success in real estate and in life, you have to get a handle on your time.

The first basic for time saving in real estate is:  Do “it” now if it can be done now.

Otherwise, fear and guilt will grow in the shade of the challenge you are trying to avoid.  These fears are on both sides of every transaction.  You may be fearful about facing an unhappy client and feel guilty about something you did or didn’t do that caused the challenge.  By not acting quickly, you instill fear and regret in them.  They’ll wonder what’s happening.  Their fears get out of control.  Then, they start to feel guilty about choosing an incompetent real estate agent.  Deal with challenges immediately.  Unattended challenges in real estate don’t fade away ... they flourish.

When a struggling salesperson gets several voice mail messages, what do they do?  They call the easiest one, and hit “save” for the rest, believing they’ll handle them later.  When “later” comes around, there are second and maybe even third messages about “saved” challenges.  This is a growing disaster.

Let Champions receive the same challenging messages, and they’ll call the toughest one first.  They’ll get the details and get started on the solution immediately.  By handling the tough tasks today, the Champion makes tomorrow easier, happier, and more profitable.  This doesn’t just apply to problem solving.  This concept should be your guide to everything you know you should do in order to live a happy, successful and healthy life.

The second principle for time saving is: Take time every day to think.

People don’t realize that they are shutting their brains off by keeping them filled with trivial thoughts all day long.  Reinforcing your fears, reliving conversations, daydreaming and excusing your evasions do not involve real thinking.

Take time every day to look honestly at who you are, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there.  Once you have a clear vision of where you want to be, you’ll be more motivated to perform the immediate tasks that get you there.

The third principle for time saving is short and sweet:  Be organized.

Think of all the things you won’t have time to do if you ignore this advice, this admonition:

1.)  You won’t make big money.

In real estate, it takes a large volume to create a large income.  Details left unattended can ruin more transactions than the fastest tongue can create.

2.)  You won’t make efficient use of your time.

A large number of real estate transactions come from a large volume of meaningful contacts with people.  This is something that only a time-efficient agent can achieve.

3.)  You won’t build a referral business.

Even if you finally sell a house that was on the market for years, if you failed to give effective service, they won’t remember anything except the calls you didn’t return, the promises you didn’t keep, and the frustrations they felt. Thus, you’ll receive no referral business from them.

4.)  You won’t enjoy any time off.

As any veteran of the business will tell you, it takes a tremendous amount of effort and organization before a successful real estate person can take time off.  To be successful in real estate, you have to find ways to gain firm traction on life’s slippery highway.  If you can plan your time and organize your actions, you’ll get so much time-traction that the results—in terms of money in your pocket and freedom to enjoy that money—will amaze you.  Acting on challenges quickly is one of the best ways to take charge of your time.