I recently read a blog that compared ducks begging for food at a waterside restaurant to real estate agents prospecting for business. I thought it a good analogy, as we often see agents waiting around the office (pond) for a suspect buyer or seller to drop in, just like the ducks on the pond, not doing anything on their own to actively generate business.
I also see agents begging and complaining to management for business like the ducks for crumbs. “I don’t get any leads.” “How come she gets all the referrals.” “I’m signed up with ?.com and pay $60 a month for all the leads.” “I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I spend at least 8 hours a day working it. And not one lead yet.” “I wish we were back in the good old days of floor duty! I used to make a living off floor.”
Or, they have the same pool of nine friends that they call over and over again chit chatting about everything and anything and then just before hanging up… “Oh, if you know someone who wants real estate, have them give me a call.” Bobbing like the ducks in a pond.
Now let’s talk about the duck that waited until the food was delivered and then paddled over begging for a first bite. I don’t really see the difference for the exception, that duck paid stronger attention to the training. But prospecting?
Here is my two cents, 90% of agents look at prospecting as a failure-reinforcing chore. That is, they are told to knock doors, talk to for sale by owners, solicit people at the grocery store, and/or call everyone they know, everyone they’ve worked with, everyone they go to church with, anyone they’ve ever met that can fog a mirror, and tell them they want their real estate business. For people who have not done this before, this becomes a daunting task.
So one sunny morning, after a night of self talk and writing prospecting goals, they go into the office, well dressed with their best positive attitude face and announce, “I’m going prospecting today and get a buyer or a listing before I come back.” With great intentions they get three immediate no’s and go home to watch Ellen or Pawn Stars and retreat into darkness. Henceforth, the word ‘Prospect’ bubbles up in their stomachs like greasy chili and failure is reinforced.
Knowing that neither Extroverts nor Introverts make good real estate salespeople; one is too pushy and the other doesn’t belong in the people business. The BEST real estate salesperson is the Ambivert. If 100 on a scale is the Extrovert and 0 is dead, the Ambivert falls between 30 and 80 (my perception). But still, even Ambiverts will succumb to prospecting fear and reluctance.
In my studies I learned that if a ‘word’ or ‘thought’ affects you negatively, reframe it. For example: after dinner, with a group of students at a Chinese restaurant, we were opening our fortune cookies and reading them aloud. I was the last one to open and it was empty. In unison, the group said, “Oh no!” Now, I don’t know about you, but I hate pity. So I reframed it, “How blessed I am to already have all the fortune I can hold!” and everyone went “Ahhhh!” Now I like “Ahhhh!” So why not reframe the word “Prospect”?
I simply call it ‘Lead Generation Activity”\’, just like Gary Keller did in his book, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent. Lead Generation is not a task or a chore, it’s a way of life. A WAY OF LIFE of the real estate agent!
Lead Generation Activity is everything you do, every place you go, and like The Police sang, “Every Breath You Take” is a lead generation activity.
Lead Generation Activity is as simple as asking someone into the real estate conversation. Everyone wants to talk about real estate. Look at the TV show dedicated to real estate. Even primetime news devotes regularly scheduled time to home values and mortgage interest rates. So finding people open to the conversation is a piece of cake.
Now that you understand that Lead Generation Activity is easy, Do It. Remember, chapter one of Dog Eat Dog and Vice Versa is titled Do It Now!
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Rossi is a licensed Real Estate Broker (since 1971) lives and sells real estate in Raleigh, NC where he lists and sells with is wife, “The Bishop” (licensed since 1975) with Northside Realty.
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