How would you describe a successful entrepreneur? How many of those traits do you embody and how many of those traits can you adopt? What if you were to look at your real estate practice more from the mindset of an entrepreneur and less with the REALTOR® mindset?
You might be surprised to see what the writers and researchers at Entrepreneur Magazine have to say about it. You may find that you’re more of an entrepreneur at heart than in reality. We’ll present their findings and then translate what you can do to take ACTION and become the successful, profitable entrepreneur you’re meant to be.
1. You take action.
Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and co-star of TV’s Shark Tank, says people who have a concept but not necessarily a detailed strategy are more likely to have that entrepreneurial je ne sais quoi.
Corcoran’s recommendation? “Invent as [you] go,”
(We call this EARN as you LEARN!)
In fact, Corcoran believes that those who study business may be prone to overanalyzing situations rather than taking action.
Solution? Follow your Real Estate Treasure Map, your 90 Day Massive Action plan, or your Survival Plan. FOLLOW it, don’t just write it. The result of any of these plans is the Daily Schedule which reflects your goals. 90% of your time should be in action during the day, versus the typical agent who spends 90% of their time getting ready to get started.
2. You’re scared.
That’s right…the research reveals that Entrepreneurs, by and large, are actually scared.
But this isn’t a negative attribute. In fact, having a level of fear is what makes many entrepreneurs ‘frosty’. Fear keeps you alive, it creates focus and drive to succeed no matter what.
Susan Jeffers wrote the book, ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’. Here’s a quote from her:
Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness!
This is the one truth that some people have difficulty understanding. When you push through the fear, you will feel such a sense of relief as your feeling of helplessness subsides. You will wonder why you did not take action sooner. You will become more and more aware that you can truly handle anything that life hands you.
3. You’re resourceful.
“One of my favorite TV shows growing up was MacGyver,” confides Tony Hsieh, lifelong entrepreneur and CEO of Las Vegas-based Zappos, “because he never had exactly the resources he needed but would somehow figure out how to make everything work out. Ultimately, I think that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about.” It’s not about having enough resources, he explains, but being resourceful with what you do have.
In real estate, this means letting go of the excuse that you don’t have what it takes. This comes up in many ways:
- I don’t have the experience. –I don’t have the right computer/phone/system.
- I can’t prospect until I have the scripts perfect. –I’m with the wrong broker.
Taking action is more important than being perfect, having the right tools, systems, etc. Earn while you Learn. That’s what entrepreneurs do. Be the MacGyver of real estate.
4. You obsess over cash flow.
Prior to founding Brainshark, a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of sales productivity software, Joe Gustafson bootstrapped a venture called Relational Courseware. “All I ever thought about was cash flow and liquidity,” he admits. “There were seven times in [the company’s] eight-year history when I was days or hours away from payroll and didn’t have enough cash to make it.”
What is the product of your real estate practice? PROFIT. Tracking where your income is NOW versus where you need it to be is a sign of business maturity and an entrepreneurial mindset. How many agents can’t define what it is they want, what they’ve made year to date and what they need to do to close that gap? That’s what the Treasure Map is for.
Action step: Be sure you know the following at all times:
- Cashflow required to fuel your basic monthly expenses.
- Cashflow required to keep your taxes paid on time.
- Cashflow required to fuel the lifestyle of your dreams. This includes things like paying off debt, building up your cash reserves and paying cash for all expenses going forward.
- How many transactions based on your average net commission must you create to meet or exceed your goals?
- How many listings does it take to create that number of transactions?
- All of our business plans focus on the above PROFIT-driven tracking.
5. You don’t ask for permission.
Stephane Bourque, founder and CEO of Vancouver, British Columbia-based Incognito Software, says true entrepreneurial types are more likely to ask for forgiveness than permission, forging ahead to address the opportunities or issues they recognize.
This does not mean ignoring the do not call list. What it does mean is having the fortitude to do what other agents don’t do, and to do it at the highest level possible.
- Do use a PreListing Package that has killer Unique Selling Propositions, even if no one else you know is doing that. ESPECIALLY when no one else you know is doing it.
- Do use a proven Listing Presentation every time on every listing opportunity.
- Do use a Buyer Presentation which results in a signed buyer agency agreement.
Stop using your market, your broker, your habits as an excuse not to be aggressive. Listing and buyer clients WANT you to lead the way.
6. You’re fearless.
Where most avoid risk, entrepreneurs see potential, says Robert Irvine, chef and host of Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible.
According to Susan Jeffers, all fear stems from the fear of not being able to handle something. The fear of the unknown doesn’t scare true entrepreneurs.
In your practice, what are you NOT taking action on because you’re afraid of the What If’s? What if you actually made contact with your expired list today? What if you set an appointment? Or two or three or five? What if you discovered that FSBOs don’t actually eat their young? Could they be nice folks who just need your help? What would that do to your outlook?
Using fear to avoid taking action in real estate is costing you money. Make a list of the things you’re not doing that you know are profitable. How can you overcome your fear and be more entrepreneurial, less fearful?
7. You welcome change.
“If you have only one acceptable outcome in mind, your chances of making it are slim,” cautions Rosemary Camposano, president and CEO of Silicon Valley chain Halo Blow Dry Bars. She says that if you are willing to listen, your clients will show you which of your products or services provide the most value.
In real estate, welcoming change means being flexible. Flexibility and versatility are some of the leading hallmarks of our most successful coaching members. When things don’t go as planned, they don’t give up, they simply find another way.
8. You love a challenge.
When confronted by problems, many employees try to pass the buck. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, rise to the occasion. “Challenges motivate them to work harder,” says Jeff Platt, CEO of the Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park franchise. “An entrepreneur doesn’t think anything is insurmountable … He looks adversity in the eye and keeps going.”
Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, agrees. Despite naysayers who questioned her idea for a bakery in the midst of the carb-fearing early-2000s, she persevered and now has locations in eight states. In fact, she was one of the first entrepreneurs in a business that became an ongoing craze, sparking numerous copycats.
Do you feel energized by challenges in real estate, or drained by them? How do you face a changing market? What do you do when what you’ve always done stops working? Do you hit the panic button or rise to the occasion?
9. You consider yourself an outsider.
Entrepreneurs aren’t always accepted, says Vincent Petryk, founder of J.P. Licks, a Boston chain of ice-cream shops. They may be seen as opinionated, quirky and demanding—but that is not necessarily a bad thing. “They are often rejected for being different in some way, and that just makes them work harder,” Petryk says.
Many agents are in real estate precisely because they felt like an outsider in their previous field. You probably got into real estate so you could make your own way. Be careful to embrace the blessing of this move and to avoid the curse! What’s the curse? Not having anyone to tell you what to do, when to do it, how to do it or how to do it at the highest level.
What’s the blessing? You can make as much money as you wish, through helping as many people as it takes. There’s no income cap, no location requirement, a low barrier to entry, and you don’t have to pay for your own inventory. Take action to honor the freedom you have as an outsider!
10. You recover quickly.
It’s a popular notion that successful entrepreneurs fail fast and fail often. For Corcoran, the trick is in the speed of recovery: If you fail, resist the urge to mope or feel sorry for yourself. Don’t wallow; move on to the next big thing immediately.
Next!!! Don’t make random real estate failures into your ‘story’ for the next week, month, quarter or year! Just say NEXT! Move on to the next person, couple or family who truly needs your help.
11. You listen.
Actress Jessica Alba, co-founder and president of Santa Monica, Calif.-based The Honest Company, which sells baby, home and personal-care products, notes that “it’s important to surround yourself with people smarter than you and to listen to ideas that aren’t yours. I’m open to ideas that aren’t mine and people that know what I don’t, because I think success takes communication, collaboration and, sometimes, failure.”
Always be upgrading, learning and implementing. Once you think you already know it all, on that day your income is already starting to degrade. Listen to our interviews…if you can pick up just one actionable item, phrase or script from these top producers, integrate it into your practice, you’ll soon accelerate to the next level. Don’t keep trying to reinvent the wheel!
12. You focus on what matters (when you figure out what matters).
“Entrepreneurs fall down and pick themselves up until they get it right,” says Micha Kaufman, co-founder and CEO of the fast-growth online freelance marketplace Fiverr. During Fiverr’s launch, instead of trying to deal with “an endless number of potential challenges,” Kaufman and his team focused on “the single biggest challenge every marketplace has: building liquidity. Without liquidity, there is no marketplace.”
What is your product? PROFIT. That’s what matters.
Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future. William Wordsworth
Book recommendation: Profits Aren’t Everything, They’re the Only Thing: No-Nonsense Rules from the Ultimate Contrarian and Small Business Guru