Don’t expect — seek.
We’ve discussed the importance of hustle in becoming a successful agent. But no matter how hard you work, if you don’t measure your performance, you won’t know whether that labor is yielding results. This is not just a fact of real estate: it’s a fact of life.
When I first started studying martial arts, I was interested in being as strong as possible. Like any seven-year-old, I figured strength equated to ability. As time passed, however, I began to observe moments where my movements were effortless and had nothing to do with strength.
To a certain extent, we improve subconsciously. Through repetition, we learn how to perform a function more swiftly and more efficiently; through observation, we internalize better practices and adopt them, often without even realizing it. Through sheer muscle memory, I was able to make some strides as a martial artist. But it wasn’t until I took the time to perform the same move over and over in front of a mirror that I showed real improvement.
The most significant gains come from consciously reflecting on the way we do things and actively questioning whether that’s what works best. The top quarterbacks spend hours watching film, examining their throw and looking for missed opportunities. The best teachers don’t wait for their annual evaluation to determine if they’re doing all they can for their students. Instead, they ask themselves that question after every lesson.
Similarly, as a real estate agent, you should constantly be examining and measuring your performance. You can do this in a number of ways. First and foremost, consider keeping a daily journal to record your impressions of that day’s work. Keep count of how many prospects you talked to and how those conversations went.
At the end of the day, determine what you accomplished. Did you get enough done? If not, why might that be? No need to get incredibly detailed: just get into the habit of jotting down a few ideas. You’ll have time to organize them into something more coherent later.
You can also learn a lot about your performance by taking a long view on your prospects. Track them from beginning to end and figure out what your pipeline looks like. Are some parts of your sales strategy working better than others? Do you tend to lose prospects at a particular stage? If so, you might need to change your approach.
Finally, crunch the numbers to see the results your work is really getting you in black and white. Check your prospects against the numbers you have and the numbers you need. Getting a lot of leads, but not making a lot of sales? You may be better off devoting more time to fewer clients. How many closings do you need to make a living? Compare your stats to that number and set goals accordingly.
Take the next step.
I’d like to say that after my brute strength revelation, I spent the next few years overhauling my martial arts technique. Alas, I still have the tendency to rely on my strength and size. This brings us to the last step in the self-evaluation process: implementation. If you’re not going to try to correct the mistakes and inefficiencies you’ve worked hard to uncover in your business practices, what’s the point of seeking them out?
Start making a weekly list of skills you plan to work on or solutions you plan to try out. At the end of the week, evaluate your progress. Did you practice what you set out to practice? Did the corrections you made lead to more prospects, more sales, more success? If not, why do you think that is, and what else could you try next week?
Make no mistake, self-evaluation is usually not fun, and it can add a lot of work to an already hectic schedule. But if you’re really committed to being a successful real estate agent, you’ll find the time—and pretty soon, you’ll see the results.
Show off your success: tell us about your experiences with self-evaluation and measurement in the comments.