Where do you start when making a weekly resource for agents and team leaders? I’ve been wrestling with this all week and the answer is, just like everything else, is to simply put one foot in front of the other and go.
You don’t have to have everything figured out first. You don’t have to have all the answers. You just have to begin. There’s no finish line, simply get started, do the best with what you’ve got, and improve your system and process as you go.
A mentor of mine says regularly, “You’re never going to be finished, it always gets better, and keep going – continuity is the secret to success.” And he’s absolutely right. So let’s get started, shall we? Take a read and then I’ll see you next week…and the week after that…and we will get better together!
The Makeup of a Successful Agent
Barbara Corcoran says, “Handling rejection is 90% of what sales is all about, and the better you are at getting up quickly, and not spending too much time feeling sorry for yourself, THAT’S what determines who are the superstars.”
What she’s talking about is resilience: the ability to bounce back after a failure and come back even stronger than you were before.
Like most things, resilience isn’t something that you were born with, it’s a learned behavior or skill. If you bring your focus to this and actively work on it, your resilience can grow and strengthen like any other activity that you practice often.
So what do we do to work on our resilience so that we can become very successful, not only in real estate but in our lives as a whole?
Understand yourself and your unique personality. This isn’t about being someone that you’re not. This is about understanding who you are and figuring out how to get THAT person to be as successful as possible.
To have the ability to truly be yourself is a form of freedom and, unfortunately, there are a lot of folks out there that are unable to do that. If you can actively practice being authentic, genuine, and cultivating who YOU are it will put other people at ease and allow them to feel like they can be their true selves when they are interacting with you. This is going to naturally attract more people – and clients! – to you.
Recognize cognitive distortions and confront them head-on.
A cognitive distortion is a story that we tell ourselves that isn’t reality. Our emotions are created by language so the distorted things that we tell ourselves on a regular basis actually become true. This can be really exciting…or terrifying depending on the types of stories that you’re telling yourself.
Our brains have no way to differentiate these stories that we tell ourselves from reality. So if you’re saying to yourself, “I can’t do anything right!” then that becomes true. Your brain believes this and it will “help” you by collect evidence to support this belief of yours.
Instead, why not tell yourself, “I am really good at this. Opportunities are always coming my way. I am a confident, successful person.” Then your brain will collect evidence to support THAT reality instead.
Have you ever had someone not call or text you back and then you make up some crazy story about why? And then you get yourself wound up and then they finally respond and all of that stress and worry was for no reason? THAT was a cognitive distortion.
For example: “This agent isn’t calling me back because they have bad news…or they hate me…or I did something wrong! They are going to reject this offer which means I advised my clients wrong and I’m a bad agent…”
STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP.
Stop telling yourselves things that aren’t true and that you have no evidence for. Who told you that? No one.
Now, we all do this to some degree, and if it’s something that you struggle with, unfortunately, there’s not one magic thing that I can say to get you to change the way you speak to yourself or about yourself to others. It’s going to take some inner exploration, some work, and YOU have to be the one to do it.
You have to do the work to get it to stop, and that may mean sitting with some pretty uncomfortable feelings until you figure it out. You cannot ignore negative thinking and it goes away. You have to dig deep: Why is it that I am telling myself these things?
Giving yourself some grace and some gray area to operate in is one step towards edging this out. It’s not: I’m either perfect or I am a failure. Give yourself some middle ground. Give yourself a break – less than perfect can still be pretty damn good.
When you find yourself having one of these cognitive distortions or, said another way, spiraling negative thoughts here are some easy ways to quickly get out of that frame of mind.
1. Recognize that you’re doing it. The more you practice this, the faster you can recognize the path you’re about to go down and you can turn things around faster and faster.
2. Take three to ten deeeeeeeep breaths, depending on how upset you are. This will reset your amygdala, which is the fear center of your brain.
3. Acknowledge how you are feeling. Name it, think directly about it. I am feeling _______. Write it down on a scrap of paper and get it out of your head and body.
4. Ask yourself, “Is this true? Is there evidence for this? Or is this a narrative that I have created?”
5. Throw that piece of paper away and go do something that serves your best interest.
Another way to strengthen your resiliency is to learn how to re-frame setbacks to your advantage.
Things aren’t happening TO you, they are happening FOR you.
Often we can look back on something seemingly negative that turned out to be the best possible thing that could have happened once some time has passed and we are looking at it through a more clear lens.
With practice, you will be able to see events through that clear lens in the moment, so you don’t have to wait years to see the positive in events that are happening.
Tony Robbins suggests considering: What is funny about this situation? Is it going to matter in a week? Is this going to matter to me in five years?
Think clearly about why you think this is “bad” in the first place. What is it that you think will happen? Is there something to uncover there that you need to explore or work on?
Great questions to ask yourself as you build a practice of this: Is there a way that this could turn out to be a positive event someday? What can I do to make this positive scenario happen? How do I turn this into a good thing so that I can celebrate this one day?
Once you’re out of your head, move back to your checklist of priorities that you’ve made for your day. Having a plan for your day or a prioritized list will give you a place to return to if you find yourself off-track, allowing you to bounce back faster.
Don’t laugh when I say this, but a healthy prospecting habit will also help you build resiliency.
It’s easier to bounce back from a client looking to go in a different direction when your pipeline is full and there are others to channel your energy towards.
Build a healthy prospecting practice so that you always have plenty of potential clients to reach out to and existing clients to love on and you will view your work from a place of abundance instead of scarcity and you won’t take it so hard, or personally, that someone decided to move on or that a deal fell through.
Find motivation for your work outside of money.
Having a driver for your work that isn’t money will also help you be resilient during tough times. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What pushes you to operate in this chaotic, stressful, ever-changing industry?
A friend of mine views his work as Helper First, Realtor Second. He has it in his email signature, he says it regularly…and this motivating core belief pushes him and also seeps through into everything that he does. It’s there in the way he talks to his clients, the way he handles his transactions, the way he writes about his work on social media…everything.
Having a good handle on your motivator will help keep you going and, if that driver is strong enough, the money will happen as you put in the work!
The last suggestion I have for you to build resiliency could be the most important.
Take care of yourself.
It’s hard to be resilient when you don’t feel well. Are you getting a good night’s sleep? Are you drinking enough water? Are you eating real food, or are you eating food-like products? Are you getting enough exercise? Are you stepping away from your work and devices to take breaks and live your life? Be honest with yourself and start adjusting where you need it the most.
Don’t try to implement all of this at once. Pick one or two strategies that speak to you and just. get. started. Then, keep going. Continuity is the secret to success.