Viewing by month: May 2011
As a successful real estate agent with a portfolio full of a large number of listings at any one time, it can often prove challenging to manage multiple clients simultaneously, while communicating to each that they are your number one priority.
However even though it can be difficult, such customer focus is one of the most important parts of your job as a real estate agent. For many people selling a property can be one of the most stressful and emotionally draining processes they will ever go through and they are paying a real estate agent a not-inconsiderable sum to make this journey as easy and successful as possible.
It is thus important for you as a real estate agent to guide your client through the selling process, focusing on their requirements and keeping them as updated as they wish to be.
So how can you, a busy real estate agent, make this process as easy as possible for yourself? Achieving this feat requires a great deal of skill in time management and ensuring you are incredibly organised.
You may find one good method of being able to concentrate on particular clients as and when you need to is to develop a work in progress template, outlining every stage in the selling process. Establish and regularly update one of these for each of your clients, so that you will have an easily accessible document that can be quickly reviewed if a client needs information instantaneously.
It is also a good idea to refresh yourself with this document prior to a meeting with a client, so that you have the information new to mind and will be able to answer any questions readily, confirming to your client that you are very much on top of their sale.
The prompt returning of phone calls and emails also sends an important message to your clients – they can rely on you to provide them with information as and when they need it and will not have to wait for it. Even if you know that you will be particularly busy for a certain period – e.g. you have a day where you know that you have back to back meetings, use the time in-between meetings to send a courteous message informing your client that you have received their phone call or email, and provide a reasonable time that they can expect to hear from you. Even if your client has not received an answer to their problem, they will appreciate that you took the time to respond when busy and will usually patiently wait to hear back from you.
In many situations, the making of an incredibly successful real estate agent is their ability to provide excellent customer service, ensuring that each client feels as though they are the most important listing to the agent. Make sure your clients feel that their business is valued to you – this can be achieved by getting back to them quickly and always being up to date with the particulars of their situation. Such customer service should ensure repeat business as well as excellent word of mouth publicity.
The ability to communicate in more than one language and understand some of the finer points of foreign cultures are skills that will put you ahead in the real estate game.
When selling property, you will have far greater success in engaging with people from different backgrounds and cultures if you can converse with them and understand they way they think, their cultures and beliefs and how they conduct business transactions. As a result of this understanding, you should be able to convert interest from foreign buyers into property sales more easily.
With globalisation and advances in technology, Australia has seen an influx of international investors enter the Australian property market. To build upon this movement of foreign investment, the possession of a second language is invaluable for a real estate agent.
So which languages should you learn? From the looks of current conditions, Chinese and Russian seem to represent good starting points.
The Australian real estate market is not only seeing wealthy Chinese investors, but also from buyers from Dubai and Russia. According to a report on Property Wire in March last year, in 2009 on the Gold Coast alone Chinese buyers finalised deals for $22.76 million of houses and apartments, while buyers from the Russian Federation purchased $22.7m of Gold Coast homes.
With such an influx of foreign residential investment, the ability to speak and write another language, even at a basic level, is a valuable skill for a real estate agent to possess. Additionally, learning a second language can help to strengthen your social and cultural skills, potentially leading to improved networking and business opportunities.
If you feel that learning a new language will help you to succeed further in your career, take the first step. Find a local community centre or language college and sign yourself up for beginner classes.
Learning a second language (as well as developing an understanding about foreign cultures) has the potential to hugely benefit your career as a real estate agent, allowing you to expand your clientele and maximise your sales.
There is a misconceived formula in life that if we work hard to achieve career success we will be happy, hence the reason why we stay back at work and forego social pleasures. However, to realise true success as a CENTURY 21 real estate agent follow this secret tip – be happy first and let good things happen from there.
According to Alexander Kjerulf, a leading expert on happiness in the workplace, global speaker, consultant and author of the international best seller Happiness at Work, happy people are more likely to be successful. He purports that “people are not happy because they are successful but rather are successful because they are happy”.
As a CENTURY 21 agent, you may find it useful to take heed of Kjerulf’s advice and strive to become a better real estate agent simply by being happier. This includes achieving contentment in both your home and work life through means such as improving your relationships, health and workplace satisfaction.
Do you recall your parents’ advice when referring to your job choice after graduation? ‘You must love what you do’. In other words make sure you are happy at work, and the success will follow.
According to Shawn Achor, a consultant on human potential, we need to invert the way we think happiness and success. Cited in a recent article in the Australian Financial Review, ‘Happiness the key to life’s success’, Achor says “happiness is the best predictor of success in any area of life; career, marriage, health, creativity and energy.” He continues to affirm the importance of happiness in the workplace by commenting that “happy people have higher levels of productivity, produce higher sales, perform better in leadership positions, and receive better performance ratings and pay”.
Thus, for real estate agents, striving towards sales success in order to achieve a state of happiness may be a fruitless endeavour. Instead it may be that the happier you are the more successful you are likely to be.
It is true that hard work and career success can result in a sense of personal achievement and satisfaction. However if your overall levels of general happiness are low with regards to both your work and home life, it is possible that you are not living up to your full potential in either arena. Heed the advice of Kjerulf and Achor and take the time to reflect on how happy you really are, and how this can be improved upon. You may find that by doing so, your work as a CENTURY 21 agent improves and you can achieve even greater successes.
In life – at work or at play – humans are constantly learning new skills and acquiring tools that help us achieve success and overcome the challenges that arise. Irrespective of career, background or lifestyle, the more abilities we can master, the more accomplished we become. It is this simple concept that can help you to achieve success in your career as a CENTURY 21 real estate agent.
For many agents in the property arena, the most important skills to master will be how to effectively research, perfecting your sales technique and efficient time management. Without being able to do all three well, agents may find it difficult to successfully execute high-quality real estate transactions.
Furthermore, there are three important tools that real estate agents can use to develop these skills, achieving personal growth and career success. Such tools tend to be knowledge, ratios, and the Internet.
To develop your career as a prominent and professional CENTURY 21 real estate agent it is necessary for you to understand the basic fundamentals of business and property including areas such as contract law, rental agreements and land values, among others.
Technical knowledge is also an important tool that can be used to improve your career prospects – by improving your skill set you will further your ability to add value to and improve the businesses you are involved in. Take the time to investigate the highly paid roles in your agency and determine what further training/knowledge is needed for you to specialise in this area. If it is of interest, undergo the appropriate training and then reap the benefits of your improved success.
Ratios are tools that when incorporated into your daily routine can give you a blue print to build on your success as an agent. Essentially, you cannot improve unless you are able to measure your level of current leads and inquiries, closed transactions, etc. You should use ratios to understand your current level of achievement, then setting yourself new challenges and goals to improve your performance.
The internet is a tremendous tool that benefits most businesses. As a real estate agent, it allows you to market properties and communicate instantaneously, giving you the potential to find leads where you may not have even looked before. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of your personal sales techniques, but use the internet as a complement – this should yield powerful results.
The effectiveness of the tools and skills at your disposal lies in their correct usage. Improving your skill set by expanding your knowledge, understanding how to use ratios to measure and compare your levels of success, and using the internet to complement your personal sales techniques, are three important ways to develop your real estate career.
It is probable that most people have been guilty of some form of procrastination at various points during their lives. As real estate agents, we are generally fairly busy most of the time, but sometimes there are just those tasks that seem particularly hard to tackle and unfortunately keep getting pushed to the side. For many people procrastination is a minor glitch that may disturb some working days, however for others the tendency to procrastinate has the potential to be incredibly damaging to their careers.
What is procrastination? Essentially, a procrastinator delays completing pressing tasks, instead turning to options that are more likeable, or less of a challenge to complete.
If you can see that you are in fact a procrastinator, you should find that your career as a real estate agent will benefit from you moving to reduce the amount of time you waste during working hours. According to the management and leadership training website, Mind Tools, the best way to approach and control time spent procrastinating is to understand why you are doing so in the first place.
People procrastinate for different reasons, which according to Mind Tools can include:
• The unpleasant nature of a task
• A feeling of being overwhelmed by a task and that the skills required to complete it are lacking
• A lack of time to complete a task perfectly
• The fact that you can’t decide what to do about a task and so don’t do anything at all.
As a real estate agent you may find yourself putting off tasks like calling a client to deliver unwelcome news, or completing paper work in the office when you would prefer to be on the road selling properties. Unfortunately at every real estate agency, even at high executive levels, there will be tasks that we would rather not do. The most successful real estate agents understand that the more quickly the unpleasant undertaking is completed, the faster they can move on to the more enjoyable aspects of the job.
So what can you do to reduce the amount of time you spend procrastinating? Mind Tools offers the following suggestions:
• Set rewards to incentivise yourself.
• Understand the negative consequences that will occur if the task is not completed.
• Keep a to-do list
• Set yourself time goals
• For seemingly unmanageable tasks – break them up into smaller goals
• Improve your ability to make decisions
In essence, your success as a real estate agent will depend on how much you are able to achieve in a given time frame. By cutting the time spent procrastinating, you may find that you are more productive which will be evident in the results that you attain.