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6 Words Agents Can Use to Close More Deals in 2015

December 03 2014

trulia 6 words 2015When it comes to business, sometimes the smallest details can make the biggest difference—and sometimes, that detail can be as small as a simple word.

As the end of the year quickly approaches, we've been focusing on big-picture things that real estate professionals should be learning or doing right now to get ready to have a bigger, better 2015. But while you're in the throes of planning your 2015, don't forget that the little things matter.

Here are six simple words that can change the way you do business in 2015 and help you close more deals all year long.

1. "Fantastic"

When people ask me how I am doing, I reply, "Fantastic!" And it often gets comments. As an agent, your everyday conversations are actually powerful advertisements of what the experience of working with you—while driving to see properties or working on staging or dealing with complicated paperwork—will be like.

No one—not even the grumpiest people you know—wants to spend dozens of hours with someone who always has a complaint. Unhappy, difficult clients drain your time, energy and sanityUnhappy, difficult clients drain your time, energy and sanity – avoid doing the same to your clients by nourishing a positive attitude.

Don't believe me? Try it. It's free, after all. Give it a month. You'll be surprised at how many new people you meet and opportunities to talk about your market and your business it creates. And if you get the occasional eye roll or side-eye, consider it a bonus. You probably don't want to know or work with that person anyway!

2. "Delight"

Delight should be the ultimate objective of our business relationships. We so often think our job is to get people into homes or out of them, and that simply sets too low a standard for our life's work. Ask yourself on a daily basis, "How could I leave this encounter with delight in my wake?

This applies to clients past, present and future, as well as the vendors and partners we work with. It's even possible to delight online buyers and sellersdelight online buyers and sellers, people you may never actually meet, with the messaging you use on your website. One single above-and-beyond word or action from you now can turn into an annuity that pays off in repeat and referral business for a lifetime.

Now, you know the deal—every real estate meeting you have to have or message you have to deliver is not 100% fun. But you have the power to change the entire tone of a transaction or interaction with how you approach it.

What lighter energy can you bring to the table during a tough conversation with your sellers? How can you help a disappointed buyer leave the experience of being outbid with a feeling of personal empowerment? Look at every interaction as a blank canvas you will leave painted with your own personal brand of delight.

Even super simple moments—like the way you introduce your home inspector to your client or the way you engage with your past clients around the holidays—can turn into a powerful, joyful and even profitable experience for everyone involved.

3. "Mission"

A few years back, it was en vogue for businesses to draft a mission statement. But because the mission of most agents' businesses is to sell homes, it seems like a conversation that needn't be repeated.

But I say that the opposite is true: Your mission is probably more nuanced than you think, and you should take a few moments to really drill down into it, incorporate it into your real estate business planreal estate business plan, get excited about it, and then revisit it on the regular so you can course-correct your priorities accordingly.

To be powerful, a mission statement needn't have flowery language or be riddled with real estate jargon. But it does need to paint an image of what your overarching objective for your work is in a way that helps you know what to do and what not to do as you go about your business.

Your mission should be similarly simple:

  • To help lifelong renters become home owners.
  • To eliminate panic and poor decision-making from the home buying process.
  • To be the lifelong, trusted real estate advisor to high net-worth families in X neighborhoods.
  • To collaborate with home owning-families to craft and execute a lifelong real estate plan and sustainable, prosperous lifestyle.

What do you want to be about? Make it big and exciting, and your mission will start to work for you in everything from your own time and energy management to your marketing and client-facing messages.

4. "Quarter"

Doesn't it seem like every year you set big goals around January then you put your head down, tackle the whirlwind of work, look up and it's nearly November? Everyone experiences this. But if you are trying to tackle a whole year's goals at a time, it's easy to get off track and not even realize it until it's really too late to course correct.

Big, profitable businesses work action plans, goals and target numbers in quarterly compartments. If you have big goals for big profits in 2015, it's much easier to span a quarter's goals than a whole year's. It also gives you a perfect occasion to take three month look-backs and see where you might need to ease up on spending or go harder on marketing to get to your year's targets.

5. "Ship"

Most agents I know are not procrastinators. They like to act, especially when it's time to prospect for new clientsprospect for new clients or do the work to get a deal closed. But we can tend to drag our feet when it comes time to ship (read: turn live, publish, mail, etc.) our own marketing materials, websites and ad campaigns. This is partially out of perfectionism—when you are your brand, it's hard to feel like any marketing materials are perfect enough to capture the essence of you.

If you have big goals for 2015, reaching them will require a shift from spending hours belaboring every post to your Trulia Voices blogyour Trulia Voices blog or every letter in your four-word tagline to shipping your marketing much more quickly and decisively.

The sooner you ship your marketing materials, the sooner they can get out into the marketplace and start working for you. You'll always have time to evolve and optimize them as the year goes on and you continue to aggressively market your business.

6. "No"

The power of focus is almost impossible to overstate. And there are only a few levers you can pull to optimize your ability to focus on what's important for building your business. You can hire, outsource and delegate more. You can work more hours. Or you can minimize the number of obligations, tasks and clients that you attempt to allot your time to.

Delegating more is smart, if it's done well, but doing it well can actually take more time than you think. Most agents I know already work plenty of hours, and would actually find their focus enhanced if they rested more, and more regularly, versus working more hours. But almost everyone who wants to level-up their focus could stand to pare down their 'lists'—to do lists, client lists, extracurricular activity lists. To do this requires that you have a mission, that you have some quarterly goals and that you know what's essential to ship.

But once you know these things, a well-qualified client will undoubtedly show up whose target properties are just a tiny bit too far away or whose expectations are just a tiny bit too unrealistic. Your soon-to-close buyer client will call asking if you can help move right at the time you were supposed to be working on your market update report for your blog.

Take my advice: If you get into (or stay in) the habit of neglecting the things that will ultimately build your business for the long term, all you're doing is trading the discomfort of saying no now for the inevitable, greater discomfort of regrets five or ten years from now.

So, do the reverse. Start now building the habit of doing your own business-building work and projects at the very beginning of your workday, before you even check email, voicemail or social media. Then, come up with a few scripts for nicely saying no when you're asked to do things that would infringe upon your ability to live a sane, productive life. Better yet, learn how to say no to yourself when you start magically thinking about how you can do 30 hours of work in a 24-hour day.

This article was originally published on the Trulia Pro blog. You can find the original version of this article and more tips about working with sellers herehere.