Sure, the title of this article is not profound, it’s actually rather obvious.  Yet, suprisingly, few agents have changed with the times.  They haven’t changed their attitude, their focus, or the way they do business.  Many are simply lamenting about how hard real estate has become.

At a certain point, in order to move powerfully forward and be successful in any endeavor, one needs to assess what is, as opposed to what was.

Experts agree that focusing on the present moment and what you want in the future will get you to your goals.  Conversely, focusing on the past will keep you stagnant, or ultimately contribute to your failure.

How this relates to real estate is that we have to realize that “this” is how real estate is, and probably will be for some time.

By “this”, I mean the business of real estate is currently: lots of inventory, short sales, foreclosures, upside down sellers, finicky buyers who can’t make a decision, buyers who look for any excuse to pull out of a deal, tougher mortgage criteria, deals falling apart – even right up at or near the closing date, deals not closing on time, etc.

Now more than ever it is harder to find people who are ready, willing and able to buy or sell, and harder to keep the deals together when you do find those people.

Again, that’s an obvious statement.  So then the question becomes, “Yeah, so what?”

Well, you’re a professional real estate salesperson, who, hopefully, either has, or is starting, a career.  You didn’t get into this business thinking you’ll hang around for 6 months, or so, until your big break comes in show business, did you?  This is what you do for living:  find people who want to buy and/or sell real estate and help them buy and/or sell real estate.

I know, in this market, some agents have had to take 9-5 weekly paycheck jobs in order to stay afloat, but their goal is to still be a successful real estate agent.

The point is, regardless of how things used to be, the landscape of real estate is what it is today.  So, we in the industry need to change our reference to the present moment and powerfully move forward.

If it used to take you calling ten prospects for every listing you took, the game is likely different.  Now, you probably have to call fifteen or twenty just to get a good, qualified listing appointment with a seller who’s not upside down, etc.

Or if you did ten buyer side deals, typically maybe one or two would fall apart, and maybe one or two wouldn’t close on time.  Now, it seems like buyers are looking for and excuse to get out of deals.

Therefore, you probably have to talk to at least double the amount of people you used to have to call a few years ago, just to get the same amount of business you used to get.

Okay, Scott, enough with the obvious statements.  Again, so what?

What is so is that this is how real estate is, here in the present,and for the foreseeable future.  And many agents haven’t been able to change their attitude, focus and way of doing business to reflect how things are today.  They’re rooted in the past, and that becomes their frame of reference.  They say and think thinks like, “Real Estate is so hard these days,” and “Nobody has any equity to sell,” and “Buyers don’t want to buy anymore.”

CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE:

So you have to talk to more people, and throw more deals up on the wall to see if they stick.  Real estate isn’t hard.  It’s not like the business became one of physical labor.  Last I checked, real estate agents weren’t required to dig ditches in order to sell real estate.  They still just have to talk to people, send some emails, fire off a couple of faxes, visit some listing prospects’ houses and take people around to see homes they want to buy.

They just have to do more than they used to have to in order to succeed.

Feel good about what you do for a living.  It will show, and it will help you succeed.

CHANGE YOUR FOCUS:

Forget how real estate used to be.  Forget what people tell you about the industry.  Do yourself a favor and look at your multi-list daily hotsheet.  I’m willing to bet you will find at least one house was listed, at least one went under contract/pending, and at least one closed.  People are buying and selling real estate virtually every day.  Sure, not as many properties are selling as once were, but if you did the math you’d find that there’s more than enough business for
you to get, regardless of how high your goals are.

Focus on what you need to do today to get homes sold.  That means think about who and how many people you need to talk to today to find out if they will buy, sell, or give you a referral.

Focus on what you want to do with the money you make from helping all these people.  Pay off debt, buy a car, send your kids to college, etc.  More so than your goals, focus on why you want to achieve them.

CHANGE THE WAY YOU DO YOUR BUSINESS:

You simply cannot wait for business if you want to succeed in real estate.  You need to talk to as many people as possible on a daily basis.  That’s your job:  talking to people. You need to talk to the people you know, and the people you don’t know (like expired listings).   And you need to talk to more people than ever before.

If you change your attitude and appreciate the business, change your focus and start looking from the present forward, and the way you do your business by getting front of more people than ever before, you will succeed at a level you never knew you could.