Are you motivated by what you see? 

In today’s social world we are exposed to so much content it’s hard to keep up.  We know more about our friends, family and neighbors than anyone ever cared to know.  Information is at our fingertips in seconds.  I can find out information on just about anyone or business, on any social media platform right now, because the world is telling us in real time.

In many cases, I love the information highway and the fact that I can learn so quickly.  Learning when I want to learn, is how I want to learn.  Not when you tell me.  I often wonder how I made it out of high school not having a smart phone.  Good thing we had the library and read encyclopedias.

So, what do you really look at on social media? When I look at Instagram, I have access to real estate agents all over the United States and all over the world to see how they work.  Many agents are famous on Instagram. Some of us are famous on Instagram and sell real estate. Some of us are famous on Instagram and when we look up their numbers, they’re just famous on Instagram. I’m not knocking those that aren’t selling real estate but are famous on Instagram, However, if you’re famous on Instagram, hopefully you are using that platform to talk to the consumer and educate the consumer, so you can sell real estate.  We had to start somewhere!

If the truth be told, and you look up my numbers I’m not selling real estate. Do i have an answer? Of course, I am now a real estate broker owner of a company in Illinois. I’ve been selling real estate since 2001 and transitioned to an owner in 2017. What I learned from my previous brokerage, is that the managing broker really needed to be available to train and educate the agents in the office. Otherwise, the owner/managing broker, if they are selling real estate, they become the competition for the agents in the office. I am not saying that the owner shouldn’t sell, however if you are going to own a company, you may want to look at the model you want for your company. You may want to be the leader of your company and become the lead generator.  Then all the business goes under your multiple listing service ID.  Then the agents work for you and they go out and work with your clients or the business that you build with lead generation.  This model is where you’re the person that talks to the clients and manages the business.

Before opening my brokerage, CarMarc Realty Group, I encouraged my husband to get his license so I could run the company and he could work with our clients. As I’m writing this blog post, I currently have 26 agents including myself. I found that I need to be able to answer questions via phone, text and email.

Ask yourself this question, are you driven or motivated by what you see on social media? If you decide to be like other agents on social media, make sure they comply with your license law and the code of ethics. Just because someone has an awesome Instagram account, doesn’t mean they’re ethical.  Agents will often challenge me and say, Carrie, “this agent is doing it, why can’t I?” My response is “If that agent jumped off a building are you going to follow along?”  Or do you want to be your authentic you? Agents aren’t always successful online first.

Agents that generate leads or have a huge following on social media, might already have a huge network, allowing for lead generation to come easy.  Remember, you can’t beat what you copy. Emulating what other agents do on social media, may or may not be a great idea.   It doesn’t mean that you’re going to beat the other agent business, but you need to think about what you want out of your social media for real estate. You could be the most popular agent on Instagram and the most broke agent on Instagram. When I started selling real estate in 2001, I had an 11-year-old, an almost 3 1/2-year-old and I became pregnant.  My goal was to make a living not a killing.  Learn from other agents, can you emulate what they do, however, you won’t be your authentic you.  We didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, dig, delicious, stumbled upon, reddit, Instagram and Snapchat. We had to generate business, via the mailbox, networking, newspaper ads, and maybe a billboard.  For me making a living included, going to the swimming pool as often as I could with my kids every summer.  Therefore, I planned my day so I could be a parent that would spend time with my kids while they were young.

As of today, my youngest, who knows what a commission check is, is in his last year of high school. Now I can run a company, educate the agents in my office, help my agents close deals, train agents all over the United States, train office staff, and write a blog post and create videos and a podcast.  “I love what I do.”

Ask yourself this question, “what do you really want?”  Do you want to be like me, the agent on Instagram or do you want to be like you? I challenge you to sit down and write down your goals. I challenge you to come up with what you want out of real estate. That might change in 5 years.

You don’t have to do what everyone else does on social media. Remember, you can’t beat what you copy.  Your goal is to grow every year in business, not copy other agents, but a successful business while building your own brand.  If you’re motivated by what you see then you can’t be your authentic you!  Trust when I say, everyone knows when you are trying to be someone else.  So, Be your authentic you!

Is Having a Paycheck Hindering Your business?

Real estate agents don’t earn a paycheck.  We get paid based on our efforts and when our transactions close.  We work, in many cases, five to seven days a week to produce leads that generate buyer and seller transactions that turn into a commission check, not a paycheck.  A paycheck is what some gets after completing a job for their employer.  And usually after working a 40-hour work week.  Full-time agents work 60+ hours a week and many of those hours happen when our client’s workdays end.  Therefore, we are often out until 8’clock at night.

Real estate agents are independent contractors not employees, this means we work for ourselves under the sponsorship of a brokerage.  We get paid by our sponsoring brokers after we close on a real estate transaction.  I was recently at a convention where I had the opportunity to network with Dr. Danette O’Neal, a REALTOR University professor.  We talked about the power of need vs. want.  When you need a paycheck it’s hard to focus.  When you don’t need a paycheck it’s easier to focus on the goals for your business. Dr. O’Neal Said, “There is a difference between people that want money and the people need money.  If you focus on the want, you’ll forget about the need.”  Even then it’s hard to focus on wanting income when you need an income to pay your bills.  This can often be hard to overcome, that’s why we have agents with part-time and full-time jobs.  The idea of working for hours or days without a paycheck is difficult to handle.  Therefore, the power of having a paycheck can hinder or hurt an agent looking to become a full-time in the business.  So how can someone go from need to want and become successful in real estate?

  1. If you are working a regular or part-time job, learn the business of real estate. Take as many classes as you can to master the real estate business.
  2. Practice the steps to home ownership with your friends and family.
  3. Show homes every weekend to a friend or family member. Tip: try to show vacant homes.  This way you don’t inconvenience someone living in the home.    Please make appointments.  Note: You can never show a home without permission.
  4. Learn the lending industry. No, I don’t mean take classes to become a loan officer, I mean meet a lender for coffee and have them explain a specific program to you.  Attend a lunch and learn with your local mortgage company. Learn the difference between, FHA, VA and conventional and why a buyer may need to use one loan over the other.  You are not replacing the loan officer but understanding the process so you can better serve your client.
  5. Practice listing a home. Do you know how long it takes to process a new listing or how long it takes to prepare for a market analysis?
  6. Go on broker tour. The benefit of touring a neighborhood helps you understand, how to use the lockbox, what the homes look like in the area and networking with other agents.
  7. Set goals, how many buyers will you work with this year? How many sellers will your work with this year? Write down your goals and put them in a place where you see them daily.
  8. How many people do you need to speak to daily to reach your goals? How much engagement do you need to generate leads from social media?
  9. When you start closing transactions, make sure you save money to eventually go from a part-time agent to a full-time agent. 

The power of a paycheck will either keep you from selling real estate or help you sell real estate.  If you currently receive a paycheck, live beneath your means, save money, and master real estate.  If you focus on what you want with your goals in front of you, you will be come a successful agent.  Nothing comes easy, remember you must get up, get dressed and work the real estate business.  Don’t wait for real estate to happen to you, make real estate happen for you.

Follow me on  instagram – Carrie Jo Little, BS,MS profile and download your first 6 weeks in real estate found in my profile.  Check out my IGTV videos as well.

 

The Hardest Thing for a Real Estate Agent to do is…….

It’s not a secret.  The hardest thing for a real estate agent is running their business like a business.  Trust me when I say, “I get it”.   Running a business, generating leads and managing clients is a lot of work for one agent.  So why is it so hard?

  1. It’s hard because we don’t plan or create a business plan.
  2. Being your own boss means you have to choose what to do every single day.  Should I work, play, shop or clean house.
  3. Getting up and getting out the door can be hard when you don’t have structure.
  4. Managing people is just plain old HARD.
  5. Staying organized and keeping up with the mundane tasks can become overwhelming.

So how do we overcome these obstacles?    Some of us might need a coach, an accountability partner, or an actual assistant.  A few ways to overcome a few obstacles include:

  1. We hear it every year, but do you actually create a business plan? A business plan will change the way you do business.  If For Sale By Owners are not a part of your business plan then you won’t go after For Sale By Owner opportunities.  When you build a business plan and stick to it, you’ll find out that your business will run like a business.
  2. Start with a budget. How much money will you spend on marketing, advertisement, bookkeeping, office supplies, lead generation,  etc?  When you know how much you want to spend then you know how much business you’ll need to pay for those expenses.
  3. Why are you in the real estate business? If you know why it’s much easier to “START” each day.  Your “WHY” will motivate you.  Not sure what your “WHY” might be?  Start simple.  I am selling real estate because………….  Now complete the statement.

Yes, I have a why!  I am in Real Estate so I am available for my kids.   Watch below to learn more.

This year I am running my training business and real estate business like a business.  So what’s new:

  • We hired an accountant.
  • We are working with Quickbooks and using Microsoft Excel to manage commission statements until we find an awesome program.
  • We are using a new program that has a true CRM integration with transaction management and a drip campaign.  The tools also has video marketing included for only $25/month.
  • I have an awesome new website with my own IDX feed.  It’s not live yet, so watch for updates!
  • We are also working with a true budget and business plan
  • Wait for it!  I should have a buyer’s agent soon.

Now tell me how you run your business like a business.