A Challenge for Professional Realtors – Accepting Responsibility

In my role as a FocalPoint Business Coach I often work with business owners who have become frustrated by the lack of responsibility their employees are willing to accept; in essence, taking responsibility for their own performance. The problem is so common among businesses of all sizes that an entire industry has grown around finding solutions for businesses large and small. In a highly structured corporate environment, where training can be implemented fairly easily and regularly, what is known as “Accountability Training” can be implemented rather easily, and with surprising results.

Ultimately, you are accountable only to yourself

As realtors however, we have our own niche. We are, essentially, caught between a rock and a hard place, in that we may work out of an office that is run by a broker, The Boss, but we are also independent contractors; ultimately responsible to no one but ourselves. This independent mindset can be problematic in a shared-office environment. What is the solution?

First, you should know that you are not alone. Ongoing research recently published at TheOzPrinciple.com, a highly respected Accountability Training Company in California, shows that the majority of workers are frustrated in the roles they play in their companies. According to the research …

  • 83% feel they would do things differently if it were their own company
  • 63% found themselves waiting to see if a situation would resolve itself
  • 85% have felt powerless, that they had no control over their situation
  • Almost 60% admitted that they saw a problem developing, but did nothing about it
  • 76% have fallen into the “just tell me what to do” trap

If this describes your situation, and your frustration, there are basically two things you can do: 1) bring your concerns to the attention of the Broker/Manager of your office in a respectful, professional manner and, 2) perform your function as a Professional Realtor to the best of your abilities, while accepting that you are not The Boss.

No matter the quality of the office in which you have chosen to work, the responsibility for your performance lies with you – and you alone. If your Broker/Manager is willing to listen to you and your peers, and is also willing work with you to improve the situation for everyone in the office, good for them. If you have already tried to speak with him or her and have seen no improvement, simply focus on your own performance and accept that things will never change. Or, if the level of your frustration exceeds your limits, you can always look for a new office.

These are, essentially, the three choices you have when working in a frustrating environment. What you do about it is – always – up to you.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…
John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty

Do Your Goals Match the Goals of Your Broker?

Has the Broker of Record in your office established goals for the New Year? If so, have you responded by establishing your own personal goals for 2013? As realtors, we are all responsible for reaching the goals which have been established for our office but, to do so, we must set our own goals and take responsibility for meeting them.

Use a progressive method of goal setting

If you are affiliated with a real estate office where the Broker of Record establishes sales goals for each agent, it goes without saying – or should – that you are responsible for meeting your individual sales goals. It is hoped that your broker has set realistic goals for each agent and, in a well-managed office this will be the case. However, whatever your individual goals may be, another set of progressively structured goals should be used to help you meet the final goal your broker has set for you.

  • Establish monthly goals for yourself which will bring you to the final goal your broker has established.
  • Be realistic in the goals you set for yourself.
  • Build your monthly sales goals gradually with your highest goals conforming to the selling season.
  • Review your progress regularly and adjust your goals as needed.

A progressive method of goal setting is by far the most effective way to achieve your year-end goal as established by the broker who runs your office. In other words, if your year-end goal is X, then your monthly goals should be X ÷ 12, taking into account seasonal variations in the buying cycle. For example, January and February might be represented by this formula: (X ÷ 12) – 40%, and the months of June and July would reflect the opposite: (X ÷ 12) + 40%. In this way, the months when buyers are more inclined to purchase will make up for the slower months. Of course, there may be variations in your marketplace which would cause these numbers to vary, but the idea is clear.

As Broker of Record and Managing Partner of my own offices in Newmarket, Royal LePage York North Realty, it is my responsibility to ensure that my teams are productive and profitable. The Broker of Record for your office has a similar responsibility. He or she must review the production of every agent on the team of agents and find ways to ensure their productivity. To not do this would be to abdicate the responsibility they accepted when becoming the Broker of Record. Similarly, for you, as an individual agent or sales rep were you to fail to meet your sales goal for the year, you too would be failing to accept responsibility for your own performance.

Under those circumstances, there is not a real estate office in the world that could survive.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…
John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty

Being a Better Realtor Means Putting the Client First

Did you recently sell a home that went for less than you anticipated? Did your commission suffer for it? Did you do all that you could to ensure that the property was valued as highly as you thought it should be? Obviously, if a home sells for less than you anticipated it would – or should – there was more that you could have done to make sure that the buyer valued the property as highly as you thought they should.

Demand more from yourself – and from your client

After spending nearly 30 years in the Canadian real estate market I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced a more competitive period in the home selling sector for realtors. Being in a true “buyer’s market” makes it even more difficult for the selling agent to ask for, and receive, the client’s price. Even so, it seems that there are more agents to compete with every day. So, what must a realtor do to survive, let alone to prosper? It’s time to work smarter – not harder.

For more Tips for Realtors, go here: John Lusink – What are the Keys to a Successful Career as a Realtor?

First, you must always remember that your client, the seller, is your employer. You work for them, and it is your job to get for them the highest value possible. Keeping this in mind, the smart realtor will enlist the help of the seller in building value and making the property as attractive as possible. Tour the home with the seller and make an in-depth, objective evaluation of the property, inside and out. You are the expert they have hired to help them sell their home, so behave like one and evaluate their property professionally.

Next, explain to the client everything you’ve found during your inspection which will affect the valuation of the home – to the prospective buyer. A cluttered home will be unattractive to the buyer. A home that smells like the family pet will frighten many buyers away. Dirty carpeting and chipped tiles will require work on the part of the buyer, which means they are not looking at their dream home. Even an unattractive yard will have the prospect thinking of the amount of work to be done, rather than how pleasant it would be to live in their new home. While it should go without saying that these simple tasks should be taken care of before the home is offered for sale, it is often such details as these that are overlooked by the homeowner and realtor alike under the pressure of making a sale.

Finally, since you are the professional in this relationship, it is your responsibility to make sure the client understands the importance of presentation and valuation. You know the marketplace, your client does not; else they’d never need you. If you do not take your responsibilities seriously, the client will not take theirs seriously either. To be the best realtor you can possibly be, it is in your own best interest to put the client first, and that includes teaching them to help you sell their home, thereby helping themselves.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…
John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty

Learn to Be a Peak Producer

While every realtor I know wants to make more money, I also know that not all of them possess the talent, knowledge, or abilities to become Peak Producers. However, I also know this, the Peak Producer training program can make every realtor a better producer, which means every one of you should participate in this training program at least once in your career.

Peak Producers Real Estate Training Program Begins February 25th

Sponsored by John Lusink and Royal LePage York North Realty, the training sessions take place over 12 weeks, and will feature Brian Buffini, a recognized expert in our industry, as well as Joe Niego, a recognized Peak Producer, both from Buffini & Company. Training sessions will be held at the Newmarket office of Royal LePage York North Realty at 17360 Yonge St., Newmarket.

The Peak Producer Program is based upon the “HAS” principle; the recognition that every Peak Producer has Habits, Attitudes, and Skills that make them successful.

  • Habits – the actions we take on a daily basis which make us more, or less, successful.
  • Attitude – the mindset we bring to everything we do.
  • Skills – the knowledge and abilities we possess which determine our success.

Once you fully understand the “HAS” principle, you will learn to:

  • Generate leads & close more transactions
  • Overcome peaks & valleys in your income
  • Identify the 7 types of negotiators & how to win
  • Get every buyer off the fence
  • Navigate price reductions like a pro
  • Conquer the chaos of this business
  • Be a professional, profitable business

Brian Buffini brings more than 25 years of sales, coaching, and sales training experience in the highly competitive real estate marketplace to bear in these training sessions. His wit and knowledge of what it takes to become a Peak Producer will make you happy to have invested your time and energy in these training sessions. You will learn practical steps to generating more effective dialogues, real-world tips on effective sales techniques, and much more.

The program includes a comprehensive student kit, as well as a robust Online Resource Center; in short, all the marketing materials and resources you’ll need to become a Peak Producer.

If you are interested in participating in this session of the Peak Producer Program, please contact John Lusink here.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…
John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty

How to Be a Better Realtor in 2013

Last week I asked the question, Were You The Best Realtor You Could Be in 2012? In this post, I suggested that there is no better time than right now, as we head into a new year and a new selling season, to make an objective assessment of your performance during the past year, emphasizing that this was the first step to becoming a better, more professional realtor. Now that you have made that assessment of your performance, as I’m sure all of us have done, it’s time to take the next step.

How do you become a better realtor?

Beyond my career as a realtor and Broker of Record for my own Royal LePage Offices in Newmarket, I am also a FocalPoint Business Coach, certified by Brian Tracy International to help other business owners become more successful in both their professional and personal lives. Since good business practices cross all boundaries and all niches, regardless of the specifics of your individual business, I would like to offer seven principles for good business practices borrowed directly from the teachings of Brian Tracy.

The 7 Good Habits of Successful People

  1. Be Goal Oriented. I’ve mentioned it before, an I’ll keep on mentioning it; when you make a habit of setting goals, you will become more successful
  2. Be Result Oriented. Focus and time management are critical to success. Without a focus on results, we simply founder. Without effective time management, we waste energy, money, and effort.
  3. Be Action Oriented. Laser focus and effective time management lead to purposeful action; which leads to better results. It is a complimentary circle of effective effort.
  4. Be People Oriented. By focusing on relationships you place people at the center of your world. Develop the habits of patience, kindness, compassion and understanding and you will become happier in your personal life – and in your business life.
  5. Be Health Oriented. The most important tool you possesses for living and enjoying your life is your body. It goes without saying – almost – that caring for your physical health is critical to happiness and success. Don’t forget this.
  6. Stay Honest. With yourself and with others. The previously mentioned objective assessment of your performance during the past year is merely the first step; next you must evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses – objectively – and work hard to enhance and/or improve them.
  7. Be Self-Disciplined. By doing what needs to be done – when it must be done – you build the habit of self-discipline. Perform the least attractive tasks first, and leave the easier more attractive tasks for later and you will soon discover that the discipline this enforces has made those distasteful tasks much easier.

Multiple studies into human behavior have proven two things: developing a habit takes about 21 days of conscious effort, and 95% of your habits will determine you behavior on a daily basis. This means that it takes only three weeks for you to change bad habits into good ones, which have nearly a 100% chance of improving your life.

Dude, what are you waiting for?

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…
John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty

What are the Keys to a Successful Career as a Realtor?

Key to Success #4: Find a Mentor

As we work our way through this series about building a successful career as a realtor, it occurs to me that one of the most important keys is to associate with other successful realtors. In fact, finding another successful realtor who is willing to act as your mentor, to teach, support, and encourage you regularly, may be the most important key to success you will find.

A professional mentor will provide support and direction

It is a truism of human nature that we tend to surround ourselves with others with similar beliefs and who behave similarly. It’s a comfort thing, because that which is familiar is comfortable to us. This makes sense, when you think about it, for what would be the point of surrounding ourselves with people who constantly make us uneasy? That is no way to live, and it is certainly no way to become successful in business, whatever your chosen career may be.

However, there comes a time in every person’s life when challenges must be accepted – and met; times when we must leave our comfort zone and find new ways to take action for success. A mentor is the perfect foil for this time, being there for you to help you choose your new direction and to support you on the road to success, no matter how uncomfortable you may at first be. This type of direction and support from another successful realtor can be invaluable.

Your mentor will be there for you when you find yourself at your least comfortable, when the world seems completely out of balance and your professional life seems out of your control. As your guide through these uncharted waters, he or she will be there to ensure that you don’t lose your way and to offer support and assistance in reaching your ultimate destination. For the struggling realtor, a professional mentor can be the most valuable tool you will ever find to help you reach the goals you have set for yourself.

Once you’ve reached that success, it is time to offer yourself as a mentor to the next generation of realtors, returning the help you received when you were struggling.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…
John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty

John Lusink – Were You The Best Realtor You Could Be in 2012?

Are you happy with the results of your efforts in 2012? Did you reach your sales goals, and the income level you were shooting for? Did you become a Peak Performer, or did you simply have a “good year?” Finally, are you making plans for an even better year in 2013?

Make an objective assessment of your performance last year

There is no better time than right now for a realtor to take a look back at his or her performance in the previous year to assess their performance and find ways to improve. It’s a brand new year; it’s the dead of winter; business is slow as we leave the Holidays behind us; what better time could there be to make an objective assessment of your performance in 2012?

But, that is the tricky party – that objective assessment thing. For so many of us our egos and our view of the world around us interfere with our ability to look at ourselves objectively; whether as an individual or as a professional realtor. Frankly, it is a skill which must be learned and practiced, and many of us have never been trained to do it. In fact, many of us simply do not have the motivation to even try. I implore you to do so, if you truly wish to improve your performance, your income, and your sense of well being.

The first step in making an objective assessment of yourself is to list your strengths and weaknesses as a realtor; to literally write them down. Do you excel at qualifying clients? Are you a particularly strong closer? Do you have trouble making appointments on time? Have you somehow lost track of the best properties in your region? Are you a team player, or a rugged individualist?

The answers to these questions, and many more, are just the beginning of evaluating your talents, skills, and knowledge. On the flip side, you will want to clearly understand your failings as a sales agent, or you will never be able to improve them. If you happen to excel at listening to your clients for example, use that skill in your office and listen to your broker and team members when you ask them for their opinion of your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t judge; don’t’ become defensive; simply listen and learn. If what they have to say is wrong, you can ignore it but – if what they have to tell you will make you a better, more effective sales professional, then you owe it to yourself to listen and use the knowledge to improve your performance.

I believe a yearly, or even twice yearly, self-assessment is key to the continued success of any professional realtor. While it can sometimes bruise our egos to make this type of self-evaluation, in the long run, it can only make us better professionals – and better people.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…
John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty