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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Do You Run Your Business, Or Does It Run You?

Do You Run Your Business, Or Does It Run You?

It's time to get more systematic about your success. Here are some steps that will help you bring order to your business.
By Rich Levin | October 2010

Real estate is not just any old job. It is an entrepreneurial business. You have to start out with a vision of what you want to create and then put the pieces together to make it work. You need goals, and you need to track your goals constantly. If you try to do it any other way, you run the risk of losing control of your success. Here are six ways to create a business that you control, rather than having a business that runs you.

1. Respect that real estate is an actual business.

To start and grow a successful business, you need to embrace the ideas of strategic planning and implementation. Those two ideas are the cornerstones of a successful, purposeful real estate career. The good news is that with deliberate decisions, conscious effort, and persistence, you can make these your most valuable business skills.

2. Determine what you really want.

Strategic planning and implementation require you to set some big goals. Choose what you want from your business. You might want to pay your bills, own a nice car, buy a house, take vacations, fund your retirement, all of these things, or something else entirely. Regardless of what you want, you must continually ask yourself: "Why do I want these things?" Get excited about your goals. This “why” is the emotional driving force behind your success.

3. Determine your measures.

Pick a reasonable amount of income. How do you know what's "reasonable"? If you earned this amount over the next 12 months, it would indicate that you’re well on your way to getting what you want. There are two parts to this. First, determine the sales volume you need to achieve that income based on your commission split and the average price in your area. Then, identify the activities needed to generate the leads and turn them into those sales.

4. Analyze your progress all the time.

Look at those measures weekly. Take at least a half hour to look at your results and decide what is working and what isn’t. What do you need to adjust to make it work better? One note of caution here: Don’t base these judgments on activities but rather on results. For example, don’t assess your prospecting based on how many people you contact. Center it on how many listing presentations and buyer presentations those contacts turn into.

5. Make time for the people and activities you love.

Too many real estate pros burn out and leave the industry because they fail to meet their goals and are overcome by the stresses of the job. There are two keys to preventing burnout. The first is to schedule time to enjoy the people and things you love.You have to schedule time for yourself and honor that time, or the business will leak over into your whole life.

6. Create a schedule of your daily habits, and stick to it.

Your daily habits will directly determine whether you meet your goals. Set aside one hour a week dedicated to each of the following seven priorities: Contact people to make appointments, advance your use of technology, implement a mix of traditional and new marketing methods, contact your pending clients and listed sellers to update them, rehearse your presentations until you are completely confident in them, preview homes for sale in your primary markets, think and strategize about your business.

Successful real estate pros have one of the most envied careers on the planet. They earn exceptional incomes with levels of self-satisfaction and personal freedom that most working people can only dream of. It’s attractive not because it’s easy, but because it’s possible for regular people to be extremely successful when they take deliberate actions and apply conscious effort with tremendous persistence. It’s possible for you.

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