Secrets of Top Selling Agents-Review

Secrets of Top Selling Agents-The keys to real estate success revealed-by Joe Sesso

This book is a quick and easy read and contains some useful information.

The book is geared entirely to residential real estate…and there is nothing wrong with that if that is your core business. I learned many years ago never to “poo-poo” information even it is derived from a completely unrelated field.

This book is full of good common-sense material that applies equally well to commercial real estate as well as for a residential practitioner. The book is series of “abstracts” from a series of webinars and interviews conducted by the author over a period of years.

Some of the stories are inspirational like Dave Liniger’s recovery from a near death experience to Barbara Corcoran surviving a messy break-up. Others are vignettes and real life tips that you can implement in your business right now.

I found Jimmy Mackin’s “Inbox Zero” strategies useful (I get about 400 emails a day). In his article he suggests that you treat all your emails to the following screening process;

1. Delete it (my personal favorite)
2. Delegate it
3. Respond to it
4. Defer it
5. Complete the task required

I’ll admit that some days I get into the office and get on a “delete-fest” and delete hundreds of emails at a time. I figure that the important ones will inevitably reappear while all the junk is gone. Mackin also makes suggestions about software and apps that will help tame your inbox. He suggests using to get rid of computer-generated broadcasts. Mackin also talks about Yesware to track your opens and to time a “targeted” prospecting call. He also suggested Boomerang to have emails returned to sender if it is not opened for additional follow up.

Tom Ferry’s section was a case study in what makes a real estate agent successful. In my opinion this section alone was worth picking up the book. Ferry begins by talking about the percentages of real estate agents who succeed and their respective income levels. He then examines the habits or best practices of those top selling agents. He goes on to reveals that they are creatures of habit.

Ferry tells us those habits include having an organized database, they contact those people on a regular basis, they practice in a specific area (geography) and a specific niche (product) they stay current on trends. Ferry goes on to say they systematize their work, hire competent staff, and have a success mindset.

Mr. Ferry goes into marketing campaigns and talks about Direct Mail, Door Knocking, Mega Open houses, Google ads, Expired listings, Community Functions, and Notices of Default. In my office we start each new agent with the “Secret Weapon Letter” and then graduate to postcards and warn calls with great success. His implication is that if an agent is not succeeding, it’s a pretty good guess they are not prospecting.

Bob Corcoran’s section was particularly informative as well. My favorite piece of wisdom was his “Big Rocks’ theory. Prioritizing your work based on the “Big Rocks” the tasks that have the most impact or importance and then work from the biggest rocks to the smallest.
Corcoran also goes on to say to prioritize…” Ruthlessly”. I know in my experience that if I am not ruthless in prioritizing and scheduling my day gets “blown” and I get nothing done. By scheduling, compartmentalizing, and sticking to “it” I manage to get business done and help my agents.

Another favorite is Corcoran’s “tranching” of clients into A, B, and C clients based on their proposed time to market. He goes into how to contact them and when. By separating the clients based on their likely transaction windows, an agent can concentrate more effort on the most likely buyers and sellers…in other words the “low hanging fruit”.

There are ton of good suggestions in this book and I would suggest that it would make a good read for new agents to suggest some best practices. For more experienced agents it will remind you of things you might already be doing but need the occasional reminder. Or as is my case…suggested tools to help me clean out my inbox.

Why a commercial real estate agent needs to be like a bungee cord!

Don’t lose it just yet…stick with me for a minute and it will all make sense.

Wednesday I was getting ready for my regular sales meeting, I was thinking about what “wisdom” I wanted to impart to my salespeople, and there it was…a bungee cord! Yes, a bungee cord!

I picked up the bungee cord and stretched it, bent it, watched it snap back into shape, and I thought what useful purpose does it serve?
I decided to play a game of “Table Topics” (if you’re a Toastmaster you know what I mean). I asked everyone to tell me about the bungee cord. One agent volunteered that it was flexible, one said stretchy, one said resilient, one said strong, and one said it was used to secure things.

Eureka…I had my ideas!

I told them that like a bungee cord a good commercial real estate agent is flexible. Why flexible? Because the one and only constant in commercial real estate is change. Frequently, the best-laid plans blow up, implode, or cease to be relevant to the task at hand. A good commercial agent assesses the situation and modifies their approach…they flex and bend to the new situation.

A good commercial agent is always stretching…pushing the boundaries of their skills, knowledge, and expertise. Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s is quoted as saying “Are you green and growing or ripe and rotting?” Tony Robbins talks about people having “30 years of experience…or 30 one-year experiences”. Commercial real estate is constantly changing, evolving, and shifting…are you keeping up with it or are you having another “1-year” experience?

A bungee is resilient…you can stretch it, bend it, tie it, and yet it always snaps back to its original shape. In commercial real estate, you are going to take some hits. There will be setbacks, there will be upsets, there will be problems. It’s not possible to avoid them, in fact, you should welcome them. If there is not a problem in a commercial real estate deal…that’s a problem. No problems…no deal. Problems are how you know the transaction is moving forward. You will get knocked down…it’s how you get back up that is the hallmark of success in our business.

I had an agent working for me that seemed to only come to life and work on a transaction when it was on “death’s door”. In fact, I told her I was going to buy her a crash cart (like the use in the Emergency Room) because it seemed that she only worked on a deal when it was on life support. She probably lost as many as she saved, but she was right back at it the next day and onto the next deal.

One characteristic that was mentioned was being strong or tough. This ties in well with resilience and is part of the same process. You must be strong to prospect every day, you must be strong to face the rejection, you must be strong to maintain the discipline required to succeed. If you can’t bring yourself to hear the word “No” you career will be short lived. Hundreds of agents leave the business every year because they are not strong enough to take the actions necessary to succeed in the business.

If you have the strength to face the challenges, the rejection, the problems, the rewards can be great…even massive! Think of the challenges, rejection, problems as the price you pay…your capital outlay to get into this business. There is no business that doesn’t have a cost of entry…either in monetary terms or “sweat equity”.

Finally, security. A bungee cord provides a measure of security, whether in keeping something from shifting and breaking, falling off, or getting lost. One of my agents is a professional firefighter and Toastmaster. He described how the fire department uses bungee cords in rescue operations that routinely save lives.

Just like a bungee cord, a commercial agent who practices from a position of strength, flexibility, and resilience will provide a level of security. If you are in possession of those qualities…good market, bad market, sideways market you will be able to succeed in the business and prosper. You will be able to secure a lifestyle that many agents never achieve, and your skills are portable. Your skills and attitude go with you, so if you change markets you take your “business” with you. And unlike the corporate myth of “cradle-to-grave” employment, you take your “business” where ever you go.

If you fully inculcate those attributes, you carry your security with you. You can provide for yourself, your family, and make a real difference. I say be a commercial real estate “bungee cord” be flexible, strong, resilient, and strive to stretch yourself expand your boundaries, learn new skills, and watch your “security” increase and explode.