We are knee deep in the holiday season and as I travel around real estate offices I see fewer of you around. My assumption is that you are out showing houses, looking at the inventory, meeting new clients and otherwise working on your business in order to be ready for 2009.
One of the things that you must do in preparation for next year is to have a clear plan for what you are going to do and when you are going to do it. This is called a business plan by some and a pain in the neck by others! Regardless of what you call it, you need one. In years past before the market correction, it was difficult to follow your plan because you were so busy keeping up with the escrows that seemed to magically appear. That sure isn’t the case now. Now you have to have a plan to find and produce those escrows and you have to work the plan.
Once you find clients, it’s absolutely necessary for you to be at the peak of your game. You have to have excellent presentation skills. You need excellent negotiation skills. You need to learn to listen and interpret what your clients are saying so that you can counsel them appropriately.
We all know that we have a traditional slow down at this time of the year. For some of us this is our busiest time of the year but for most of us it’s not. (I have my own thoughts about why some are busy at this time of year but most are not) Why not take the time to work on your business if you are not actually working in it right now. I have looked through my library of books that I have found helpful and come up with five that I think that you can read between now and New Years Day. If you will do that, and if you implement just one idea from each of the books, you’ll have 5 great ideas for your 2009 business, and that can’t be a bad thing.
First up, why not review the basics? After all, Vince Lombardi is reported to have started every summer training camp for the Green Bay Packers with “Gentlemen, this is a football.” If starting with the basics was good enough for Vince, it’s good enough for me! Pick up a copy of:
Gary does a good job of detailing the basics of what you need to know to be successful in listing and selling real estate, but goes further to show you how design your career so that you build a nest egg. I don’t subscribe to all of his tenets, but the basics are spot on.
Let’s face it, if you aren’t prospecting you are going to fail. For a fresh look at an old topic go get a copy of:
The prospecting methodologies at the heart of this system have been at the root of sales success for years but this book incorporates much more! Russell has integrated the fundamental elements of sales success into an efficient leads generation and CRM system. You’ll learn how to systematize the most hated aspect of real estate sales – prospecting!
No discussion of real estate sales would be complete with out something by Brian Buffini. Go get a copy of his book:
A leader is someone who has a vision, a plan and leads by example. Brian and Joe have experienced great success and they share their plans with you in a well written, entertaining and informative book. The only things that will change you from where you are to where you’ll be in five years are the books you read, the people you meet and the dreams you dream. Read this book and it will change your life positivity. –Coach Lou Holtz, former Head Coach, University of Notre Dame, inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame
You’ve got prospecting and planning down cold, now it’s time to work on your presentations. Check out this one next:
Ok, you’ve made the great presentation, now it’s time for negotiations. Always a tough one for many of us, but this book helps you learn good negotiation skills and ways to build a loyal client base:
Negotiation is a key skill for all salespeople. Great sales professionals need to be able to counter clients who are naturally trying to get rock-bottom prices, but at the same time maintain a good relationship, so the client will want to do business with them again. Negotiation is more than just closing a sale. It’s the art of continuing a partnership that is successful for both parties.
So there you have it. Five books that will help your business in 2009. But wait you say, where is the technology angle to all of this? I have to admit that this is a bit of a stretch, but most of these books are available on Amazon’s new wireless reading device, the Kindle.
I do not own one of these, nor have I ever used one, so I am not recommending this to you. But, it sure seems like a great idea to have your business books with you while sitting at an open house or flying in a plane…any where that you have reading time and didn’t want to lug a stack of books would be the place for the Kindle. And, if Oprah says it’s good, who am I to argue?
Go read a book and then go sell a house!