Why Am I Not Selling?

Reviewing various agent’s sales performance over the last year shows unsurprisingly that the best agents still rise to the top like cream no matter what the market conditions throw at them. The last 12 months are no exception to this observation!

These are 10 fundamental questions I have prepared based on my 25 years plus experience in real estate and talking to agents who are winning or losing in the business of real estate. Each should be answered accurately and with much consideration if you are to change the course of your real estate career. Then be honest enough to yourself to answer Question 11, the last and most important question of all!

1) Is the area I am working viable?

Do you really know what is really going on sales wise in your area

Fact! No matter how hard you work in your area, research has shown that (with few exceptions in our industry) you cannot make a living in an area where 20% of sales (if yours) will not give you the income you expect!

2) Knowing that real estate requires more than a 9 to 5 commitment am I putting in the required base work hours?

You might be able to fool yourself into believing you are but keep a note in your diary about what you actually DO for one week and you may realise what your problem really is! Real estate career's offer flexible hours that's true but I have observed that for many this means their work time can fit into their play time!

3) Of the time I put into real estate how much is spent on productive activities rather than non productive activities and unproductive activities

Fact! Top performers are very aware of this difference! Productive time is time spent with buyers and sellers, not on office admin and statistics and putting up boards – these are non productive (totally necessary but can be delegated or need to be done at times that you CAN’T spend on productive activities.

4) How many distractions do you have during these work hours and how do you manage them?

Sure! Some distractions are unavoidable. What support systems do you have to manage and contain those that are unavoidable?

5) Are you producing your own leads or depending on ‘the company’ for your business success sources?

Check your last 10 sales for the answer. Are you paying or earning referrals? Are you relying on info about buyers and sellers from other agents or from the company (i.e. advertising and internet responses) or are you finding your own buyers and sellers through your circle of influence and farming and generating a good regular referral income stream?

Fact! Top agents earn 30% of their annual income from referrals they give.

6) Are you suffering from SNIOP syndrome?

Are you susceptible to the negative influence of other people? They are in your office – be warned – you must identify them! They are usually in the office TOO MUCH and are the one’s consuming all the coffee and complaining about everything and achieving nothing! They focus on the petty irritations in life and dwell on what’s wrong never seeing what’s right. Do yourself a favour and tell these people to keep their channel of negativity to themselves or take it to another – you can only help them as well as yourself!

Fact! Real motivation is not something that others do to you it is what you are able to do to and for yourself! Every day of your life is an enormous gift and start the day with an attitude of gratitude and don't let others take that gift from you!

7) Are you looking developing your skills through experience or through training?

Only a fool learns by his own mistakes a wise man learns by the mistakes of others. Real estate is full of Know-it-All’s and “I can’t afford it right now” apologists! A great deal of potential income is and will continue to flow right through your fingers because of your lack of skill development.

Fact! Knowledge is important for confidence but skills development is vital to increase your income and to keep the money you earn. Look for and attend every skill’s development opportunity you can that is offered inside and outside your company!

8) Should you be selling property?

Sooner rather than later the time comes to ask this question and while some discover after two months this is not for them some discover it after 2 years! What a waste of valuable time in one’s life to discover after two years that this is not the career for you? If you are uncomfortable with more than three of the above questions then you should reappraise your decision to sell real estate.

If you answer is yes to question 10 and you are uncomfortable with some of the questions above that’s great- make a plan to do something about your required skill or focus or knowledge or all three and become the success you know you can be!

9) Are you REALLY using technology to develop your business and to sell property?

There’s no escaping it so embrace it! It’s no longer a discussion but for many the ‘head in the sand’ attitude towards the power of social networking on the internet is not just a missed opportunity for an estate agent but utter irresponsibility and sheer foolishness. Having your property on a website is not the point here it is your proactive use of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, My Space, community websites, sms marketing and direct email marketing. If you are still waiting for the office to produce ‘that flyer’ – you are losing the plot.

10) Are you still getting your mail on your PC instead of your cell phone?

Ag shame – you are so behind your competition you don’t know it! You don’t have to change to a BlackBerry (as much as I recommend you should) but while many cell phones allow access to email most users have not set it up!

Fact: Numerous surveys show that people who get a response to their email immediately than with a salesperson that responds more than one hour later.

So here is Question 11 - Should you be selling property?

Sooner rather than later the time comes to ask this question and while some discover after two months this is not for them some discover it after 2 years! What a waste of valuable time in one’s life to discover after two or more years that this is not the career for you? If you are uncomfortable with more than three of the above questions then you should sincerely reappraise your decision to sell real estate as a career.

If you answer is yes to question 11 and you are uncomfortable with some of the questions above, that’s a great opportunity if you are going to commit to making a plan to do something about your required skill or focus or knowledge or all three and become the success you know you can be!

Prepared by Andre de Villiers - Cape Town real estate personality and trainer