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Smart Agent, Foolish Agent

Feb 13, 2017 3:46:15 PM

Many people think the key to success is working harder and working more hours. But we don’t agree.

At Smart Agents, we agree with Abraham Lincoln when he said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend four sharpening the axe." 

Marketing yourself (and your listings) is a never ending challenge.

This is Smart Agents.

There’s a classic story of a lumberjack that illustrates the smart agent’s thinking.

A young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job. He asked the young man to cut the tree down.

He did so and did it well.

Impressed, the foreman said, “You can start Monday.”

By the time Thursday afternoon arrived, the worker’s boss told him to pick up his check when he left for the day.

The young man said, “I thought you paid on Friday.”

“Normally we do,” said his boss. “But we’re letting you go today because you’ve fallen behind. Our charts show that you’ve dropped from first place on Monday to last place today.”

The new worker was confused. He was the first one there and the last one to leave. He took the shortest amount of breaks.

The foreman thought for a minute and then asked, “Have you been sharpening your axe?”

The young man replied, “No sir, I’ve been working too hard to take time for that!”

The moral of the story is simple.

Working harder can't replace or overcome working smarter.

Our goal is to share the techniques and strategies we have worked to perfect with our team of Realtors. There’s so many different opportunities and niches that are overlooked frequently.

I remember a foolish agent that was like the young lumberjack.

This agent was convinced that working hard and long was the was the way to go. This agent worked 60-75 hours a week. Constantly prospecting and doing what he thought was working the right way.

This agent thought his commitment to good service and his visual efforts in marketing were enough to separate himself from his competition.

What he didn't realize was that every agent says the same thing. He may have worked harder than other agents, but since every agent claims they do that, owners didn't see a difference.

The smart agent is relaxed and doesn't work more than 40 to 50 hours a week. The difference between these two is obvious and noticeable even outside of work.

A smart agent has systems in place to bring him listings. Plus, he actually stands out.

So, that begs the question?

What can you do to stand out.

How can you prove yourself as an expert in your field and earn the automatic respect from customers and potential customers?

You have to become an authority. Really stand out, with your knowledge and experience. There are ways to automatically position yourself as that.

Think about when you give away a business card, or even if you mail out letters. Most mail is opened right over the trash can, there’s a high chance it’s going to be thrown away. People get business cards ALL THE TIME. They’re nice to give out, but it’s not like business cards really help you stand out that much.

They’re something you have to have, but it won’t create a point of difference that’s going to really stick in someone’s mind, especially since they all say somewhat of the same thing.

Take about 20 minutes and ask yourself these 2 things.

What unique benefit can I bring to a client?

Why do I deserve to be in this market?


Sell Yourself First!  LOVE the product or lose the sale.

If you are not excited about the product you have to sell, how could you possibly expect anyone else to be?

In the case of Real Estate, the ‘product’ is YOU. Sure, there’s a lot more to it than you, but ultimately, every person wants you to answer the age old question: “What’s in it for me?”

Trying to convince an owner you are the best agent to list their home is nearly impossible if you don’t believe it is true. Before trying to sell one single person, be sure you’ve sold yourself. You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and people WILL like you when you bring a positive, confident attitude to everything you do.

Have an answer to “What’s in it for me?” questions. It is not likely you will get that exact question, but it will be the reason behind many things an owner asks.

Be prepared with a solid, real-life reason why they should list with you, versus another agent. This is not the place for meaningless, buzzword-filled proclamations. Bring something unique to the table. Something that sets you apart from other agents in your market.

Of course, you must be able to prove your confidence through action. Be ready to DO what you said you would! Give an honest, straightforward answer, and you’ll win their trust. Back it up with actions, and you’ll win their business.

The smart agent determines needs first.  Then present a solution.

It is incredibly arrogant to walk in, solution in hand, without first taking time to learn the needs a person has.

Not only are you coming across as pushy, you are setting yourself up for failure.

If you walked into a store asking for a specific item, and got a pitch on how great the store is at meeting their customer’s needs, would that help?

What value does a pitch have to a person in need?

So determine needs up front, and then deliver a solution specific to the need. One-size-fits-all is great for hats and oversized t-shirts, not sales presentations.

Now, just to be clear, you should not be “winging it” when you meet people. Proven scripts are just that, proven. Words, phrases, and key points that cause people to act or respond in a certain way. Smart agents know this, and constantly fine tune their presentations.

However, a good presenter will not come across as a presenter, because he or she has allowed room to be flexible within the script. Get so comfortable with your presentation it doesn’t require a pitch. You should naturally be able to flow through it in your own words. Tailor your delivery and style such that they blend with your personality. Above all, be genuine in your approach. In this way, you can speak to needs, while staying on track and highlighting the benefits and value you bring as a solution to those needs.

You are the expert.  Act like one…

People turn to experts for help. Become the expert in what you do. Take time to do your homework. Know your market inside and out. Stay abreast of trends within the industry. Keep up with what is going on in your town.

You can find an incredible amount of information with a little digging. Take staging for example.

It takes a lot of work, can be a huge hassle, and frankly, most owners don’t want to deal with it. Many agents will tell owners they should stage the home, but few have specific numbers to back it up. They wind up arguing a bit on the merits of staging, and then giving up.

As an expert, you should lay out the facts, and help the owners make an educated decision.

One report on staging has these stats to share: Owners who turned to staging as a last resort spent almost 200 days waiting for their home to sell. Homes that were staged from day one?

Averaged a sale in 42 days! A 72% faster sale. Not only do staged homes sell faster, the report definitively showed they sell for more money, too. The average staged home sold for 6% above the asking price. This is not an opinion or hearsay. These are facts that clearly support the value of staging.

Don’t build a presentation that buries people under mountains of stats and data. But do use statistics to make a clear point. You will find you have a lot fewer arguments and fights with owners when you can take opinions and emotions out of the equation. Show stats, and let the numbers do the fighting for you instead.

One of the best methods we use at Smart Agents to separate yourself is books. Books have a huge perceived value. They don’t get thrown away.

They can get tucked away somewhere, but most people aren’t going to toss them in the trash. They’re worth something, and they’re worth something to the author’s name.

Do this and you will position yourself as the authority in your market. When you give away your book, it will separate you from your competition. That’s how a smart agent thinks!

Want to get a free sample of the book that will get you more listings? Click the link below.


avatar_joe Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here

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