It’s time for the last two habits in our series of “five habits of highly-successful agents.” As a quick recap, highly-successful agents:
Though habits #4 and #5 may seem relatively unimportant and even easy to dismiss, do not be fooled! Developing and practicing these two habits are an essential part of achieving top producer status!
Top Producer Habit #4: They are humble.
If you recall, in top producer habit #3 (on the importance of effective communication), we stated that 70% of purchases are based on how a customer feels they are being treated. If your clients feel like you’re strong-arming your way into every conversation, making it all about what you think rather than listening to what they want, they’ll quickly start to feel undervalued. If a client feels undervalued, they’ll walk the other way, and they’ll likely encourage their friends and associates to do the same.
This isn’t just our theory. In a study performed by the University of Washington Foster School of Business, humility was found to be an essential (and consistent) trait of high performers. Contrary to what we might think, humility is not a weakness, but requires an inner strength and a willingness to be honest about potential shortcomings. How do we feel about someone we believe is being honest? We tend to trust them more. What does trust bring? More business.
Top producers understand this, which is why they err on the side of humility and always make time to express sincere gratitude for referrals, direct business, gifts — for everything.
The Power Thank You
In entrepreneur.com’s “Run a Better Business” section, Dan Picket suggests taking the simple “thank you” a step further by expressing gratitude through a “Power Thank You.” This involves not just saying the words “thank you,” but making it situationally-specific and personal. How did your client’s or business associate’s actions specifically help you? Letting a person know exactly how their actions affected you (in concrete, bottom-line terms, if appropriate) is a powerful way to increase their sense of worth and instill gratitude within the good deed-doer. Don’t forget to make eye contact and use positive body language to reinforce your message if you’re giving your “Power Thank You” in person.
Know What You Know and What You Don’t Know
An important aspect of humility is knowing that you don’t know everything. A Harvard Business School study on successful business people found that top performers all shared one quality in common: reflectiveness, or the ability to possess an accurate view of themselves. Clients can spot it way before we can. Rather than put on airs, you’ll be better served to practice listening and accurately assessing yourself.
What’s something actionable you can do today? Highly successful agents are constantly learning through online resources, mentorships, formal delegations, or even through discussions with business associates and clients. Keep the mindset that there is always something to learn, and your business will grow along with your brain!
Top Producer Habit #5: They take time for themselves.
A big part of any success story is knowing when to say “no thank you” to the deals and opportunities that aren’t right for your business or that might cause you to over-extend yourself. Successful entrepreneur and TED talk speaker Derek Sivers says that, if you’re over-committed or too scattered, the best thing you can do is learn to say “no.” According to Sivers, when adding “to dos” to your schedule or looking toward new business ventures, if your answer isn’t a “H*LL, yeah!” it should be a “no.” Another great way to keep yourself in check is to revisit your business plan (refer to habit #1 on setting goals). Does everything on your plate fully support your long- or short-term strategies? If not, perhaps it’s time to do a little delegating or gracefully bow out.
2, 4, 6, 8: Be Sure to Regenerate
While there are always certain essentials to running a business, top real estate agents know that taking time to regroup, regenerate, and recover is essential to boosting productivity.
When we work too much without rest, our body and mind start to fail. As the leader of your business, the vitality of your own leadership qualities is of paramount importance. Great leaders have vision, they’re apt communicators, they’re creative, they’re good at delegating, and they know how to motivate others. If you’re failing in too many of these categories too often, it’s probably time to regenerate.
What can you do right now? Make a list of non-negotiables. What do you need to do so that you can be at your best? Once you have your list, dedicate a portion of your day to refueling your engine in whatever way you need to — whether it is exercising, meditating, reading a good book, or just eating a meal with your family. Have fun with apps like 30/30 that help you schedule breaks and fun activities among your daily tasks. When you are well-fueled and at your best, you bring more energy and purpose to what you do.
Whether it’s a free hour, a free day, or a free week (depending what makes the most sense for you), make it clear to friends and associates that you will be unavailable during that time for calls, messages, or anything that is not directly related to self-care. You don’t have to share the details of your activities, but let those close to you know that this is your “unavailable” time. Call it what you want: your “me” time, “free” time, a “planned unplug,” a “required recharge” – or just plain “unavailable,” if you don’t want to disclose that you’re off the clock. Your clients, business associates, friends, and family will respect your commitment. Once they see what a difference it makes for you, they will probably seek your advice in helping them do the same.
Being a top performer is not always quick and easy, but it can be reached on a much faster track by practicing the five habits in this series: Set Goals, Communicate, Delegate, Be Humble, and Take Time for Yourself. Whether you keep this simple list in your Evernote, One Note, or write them on good ole’ sticky notes, keep it handy for when you need a little motivation. Your inner “top producer” is waiting!