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The Successful Realtor’s Mindset

By Sarah Layton

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These days there is a ton of buzz out there about mindset and programming yourself to be happier, healthier, and more purposeful in your life. However, just as your mindset can play a powerful role in your personal life, it can completely transform your real estate business.

In fact, there are a number of studies, including one done a few years ago by the Harvard Business Review that displays that when you set your mind in one direction or another you’re more likely to take actions that lead you there. For example, if you are regularly telling yourself that you have things holding you back from achieving your goals in real estate, you’re far more likely to fail.

Of course, the last thing I want for you is to fail in your real estate career if it is truly the right career for you. I want to empower you to take control back in your business, discover the joy that exists in the industry, and ultimately have fun while you help people and succeed. With that in mind, I have prepared a list of mindsets that will:

  • Give you more confidence as a real estate agent

  • Dramatically improve your marketing ROI

  • Help you avoid the major pitfalls that bankrupt most agents

Whether you have been a real estate agent for two hours or twenty years, today’s post will help you positively reframe the way you see your business and the industry. If you have been feeling stressed, nervous, burnt out, or extremely confident, this post will be gold for you.

Before we dive in, please pay it forward and share or pin this post to help out those across the country that are feeling the same way.

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“I Am A Small Business Owner”

If you are anything like most real estate agents, you were an employee before you became a real estate agent. As an employee for the majority of your working life, you were conditioned to both act and think like an employee.

That mindset can be downright cancerous to your new identity as a real estate agent.

You are NOT an employee anymore. You are a small business owner and you need to both think and act accordingly.

If you have never owned a business, you may not understand what that looks like. One of the biggest factors for the majority of real estate agents is accountability. Just because you don’t have a 9-5 anymore doesn’t mean you get to slack off and work when you feel like it. If anything, it means you need to work two or three times as hard when you’re building the first five years.

Take me for example. When I started this real estate content business I spent the first few years consistently working a minimum of 100 hours per week to build it. Now I get to enjoy the benefits of that work by having a steady stream of people eager to hire me so I never have to chase after leads. Not only did I work a lot, but I also cut spending in a big way! I looked at every single penny I spent on myself as a penny stolen from my company’s future and potential.

When you are an employee you have a lot of luxuries that you never think about. For example, if your boss has a bad month financially, you still get paid so you don’t go home with the same level of stress and worry that they do. Trust me when I tell you when you go nine months without a single commission you will be sweating bullets.

You have to stop thinking like you are an employee because anything and everything that goes right or wrong in your business is 100% your responsibility. Not the market’s, not your spouse’s, not your kids’, not your broker’s, not your coach’s, yours and yours alone.

So from here on out, I want you to take a moment every single day and remind yourself that you are a small business owner.

“I Don’t Have To List To Last”

I am all too aware that you are bombarded with messaging about how all of the money is in the listings and that you won’t last as a real estate agent if you aren’t getting listings.

That simply isn’t true.

Listings are more expensive, require a ton of time, and often mean being treated like the seller’s bitch.

You know how we are always telling sellers how they are crazy to try and go FSBO because they will have to do a ton of work and it will cost them a ton? That is true for you too! A 2019 Bank Rate article revealed that the average cost to sell a property is about 4% of the sales price. That includes things like renovations, staging, inspections, marketing materials, etc. In other words, you can expect to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to earn your commission on a listing.

However, when you work with buyers, your expenses plummet! It used to be that finding the right home for your buyers took up a ton of time. However, now that that is basically automated, the only drain on your time that differs from listings is showings. Your only real expense is that gas money between showings. Since the odds are that you will make 3% on either side, which sounds better now?

Oh, and as for the argument that listings bring buyers...buyers turn into sellers one day so that is a ridiculously null and void point.

A lot of real estate veterans claim that most of their business comes from referrals and those come from focusing on listings. I have a few problems with this. One, only 20% of agents reported that they received a referral from a past client last year. Two, if you’re primarily getting referrals it tells me that you’re not properly generating quality new leads on your own which is a big problem. It may not affect you that bad now but when the market crashes again you’re going to be in deeeeeep shit.

So if you love working with buyers and you enjoy the way they appreciate your work, you don’t ever have to take a single listing to be successful in this business. For that reason, I want you to remind yourself daily that you don’t need to list to last.

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“I Know Who I Am & What I Want”

You get one shot at this life and I want you to fucking own it.

The single most impactful thing that you will do on your path to success as a real estate agent is to identify your ideal client. I am desperate for you to understand that this is your life and your business and you DO get to call the shots.

That means you get to choose who you want to work with and what types of people you most want to attract to your business based on your own personality and preferences. In fact, when you do you will notice that you:

  • Enjoy your work life more

  • Have more motivation to work

  • Get more referrals from your clients

  • Achieve a higher ROI on your marketing

  • Increase your brand awareness

For example, let’s say that you were a teacher in your last career, you thrive off helping to educate others and you consider yourself to be patient. These traits tell me that first-time homebuyers would likely be a smart real estate niche for you to pursue because it will allow you to leverage your biggest talents in a way that forms valuable connections.

I know it can be challenging to choose a profitable, sustainable real estate niche that makes sense for you in the longterm can be very challenging which is why I will work with you one-on-one to help you if you need it. Through a one-hour coaching call I will help you establish the perfect niche, identify your unique value, and strategize your real estate brand.

Although you and your business will evolve through time, I don’t want you to lost sight of who you are and what you want out of this. If you do or you already have, please reach out to me.

“I Have A Lot Of Unique Value To Offer”

Once you have selected a target audience by choosing your real estate niche, you can begin to formulate a better idea of what unique value you have to offer as a real estate agent. I don’t care who you are you do have something valuable to offer, it’s just a matter of figuring out what that value is and why it is valuable.

This is not about saying things like “I’m uniquely valuable because I care and I’ll go above and beyond.” Every real estate agent says shit like that and as far as buyers and sellers are concerned there is nothing unique, trustworthy, or valuable about that.

This is about exploiting what unique talents you have and clearly communicating how those talents translate into the solutions to all of your ideal client’s unique problems. Obviously, that can’t be done until you have a niche which is why agents without a clear niche never have a real, viable, or profitable brand.

I strongly encourage you to make a list of all of your unique talents (be VERY specific) along with explanations of how those talents solve your niche’s most common problems. Review that list every day and remind yourself that you have a lot of unique value to offer.

“I Will Be Ready To Strike When The Time Is Right”

Remember before when I talked about how as a small business owner I felt immense guilt about every penny that I spent rather than investing it back into the business or savings? You should too if you want to build a fortune you can retire on in real estate!

It should come as no surprise that there are people who make a fortune or lose a fortune in times when the markets crash. Unless you are constantly building your wealth by investing revenue into growth and saving as much of the rest as possible, you probably won’t be on that fortune-making side.

For example, imagine that you had the money to scoop up a bunch of properties at prices that were well below rock bottom and leverage them in 2019. Think about how dramatically your life and business would be right now if you had an extra six, seven, or eight figures in the bank now because you had the resources to strike back then.

Those opportunities will come back around and if you haven’t set yourself up to take advantage of them, you will regret it in so many ways. Especially, if your business goes under because you can’t afford to sustain it.

At the time as you scrimp, invest and save every last penny you can, it might feel like you’re depriving yourself and your family. The truth is that you are actually taking excellent care of yourself and setting up for far greater luxuries later.

So if you’re like me and would rather eat a lot of ramen now to be able to make millions later, frequently remind yourself that you are going to be ready to strike when the time is right.

“I Don’t Know Enough About Real Estate But I’m Learning More Every Day”

A dear friend that I used to work with in the nightclub industry always used to say “The moment you think you know all there is to know about your business is the moment you bankrupt it.” To this day, I think that is my favorite business quote.

I don’t care if you have been doing this for 50 years, the real estate industry is changing on a daily basis because the needs, tools, and strategies are all evolving at the same rate as technology.

There is nothing wrong with not being the most knowledgeable agent in your market. However, there is everything wrong with believing that you are the most knowledgeable because it will cause complacency, diminish your quality of service, and suffocate your selling potential.

It’s great to be confident as an agent but the moment you think too highly of yourself is the moment that all of your efforts will begin working against you. It is just as much your job as an agent to be an enthusiastic student as it is to show homes. For that reason I want you to remind yourself every day that you don’t know enough about the real estate industry but that you are happy to keep learning.

And you know what? The easiest way for you to do that is to subscribe and keep coming back every week or even reach out for more personalized guidance.