Updated: Sep 30
It’s no secret.
The majority of people who get their real estate license in North America fail to renew their license when they hit the 2-year mark. Most boards have a number of courses and fees due at this point, and a staggering 80% of new licensees fail to renew and continue in the business.
Today, our topic is the first variable in my success formula: Taking Action (go back a few posts for context, trust me).
Failing to take action isn’t just the reason why new licenses fall off. It’s also why so many Realtors who make it past their first few years live paycheck to paycheck. It's why so many people don't have a plan for retirement and why people are overweight, unhealthy, and generally frustrated with their circumstances.
Taking action is the single variable that makes everything start to move. It’s what stems your initial inertia, it’s what moves you into momentum and continues your acceleration. Taking action is essential if you want to get started, it’s essential for continuing to move, and if you continually take action over long periods of time, the results will amaze you.
So, why do so many people struggle to take action?
One truth I learned a long time ago: if you are comfortable, you aren't growing.
Many of us got into this business expecting to drive around looking at cool houses, but the harsh reality is that most of our time is spent searching for people to buy houses. Real estate is a face-to-face industry. It typically involves spending a lot of time calling random strangers, posting on social media, canvassing, or calling friends and family to ask for business.
It requires a lot of action and, truthfully, most of it isn’t what most people call "fun".
But you have to do it, so...
Here are 3 strategies to get the ball rolling and gain momentum:
Get The Ball Rolling Strategy #1: The Fade Up
Ideally, you are speaking with HUNDREDS of people every week, but many people just aren't comfortable jumping in at full speed.
If that’s you, it’s okay. Sometimes it takes a while to build up your endurance. Here’s what you do:
Make a small daily commitment and live up to it for 2 weeks. Typically this would be 3-5 conversations per day. (conversations refers to a two way conversation with someone about their plans involving real estate)
After 2 weeks, start growing your commitment on a weekly basis. Typically I recommend doubling it until you hit 20 contacts a day
Find a pace which you can commit to doing EVERY WEEK.
The goal is to finding a pace you can continue indefinitely. Don’t fall off when you get busy, it needs to be a commitment you can live with indefinitely.
Get The Ball Rolling Strategy #2: Go full blast till you hit cruising altitude
I’m an aviation geek, so please forgive me… but the analogy works.
When you're sitting on the runway (starting your career) the first priority is to get away from the ground as quickly as you can. The ground (running out of money) is what can kill you. So the solution is to go full power until you are at a safe altitude and then reduce power to between 65-75% which gets you almost the same results but saves a LOT of energy.
This is is a great strategy in real estate. If you jump in without another source of income, go HARD at it for the first 6-12 months and get as much momentum going as you can. Once you start getting clients, and you feel the strain, it might make sense to dial it back to 75% of your previous commitment to keep consistency up.
The beauty of this approach is that you get off to a quick start and make a smart decision to pull back to something you can maintain once you get things moving. You will end up going a lot further if you build a pace which you maintain at all costs, as opposed to having high in the sky accountability goals which you only live up to occasionally.
Get The Ball Rolling Strategy #3: Go all out, all the time
Some people are just absolute machines. They love to wake up at 4am, crush a workout, spend some time with their families for breakfast before heading to the office for 8am and do 4hrs of focused lead generation and conversion before spending their afternoons doing appointments.
The trick is that its difficult to keep this momentum up if you don’t have administrative support. There are 2 main ways people get here: #1 is on a team with amazing systems and #2 is the absolute rockstar who gets in and hires a solid admin in their first 6 months.
These are by far the most exciting careers to sit back and watch. The blunt force of spending this much of your energy on the tasks which bring in clients is a recipe for unavoidable success. Their focus and dedication is hard not to admire!
Five tips to keep your momentum up once you’re started
Once you get moving, the most important thing to do is keep moving. Staying diligent burns a lot of people out, but it really doesn’t need to do that. Here are some strategies I use to make the grind a lot more enjoyable!
Grind Strategy #1: Hit your goals in 4 days instead of 5
So many people divide their weekly goals by 5 and go at it a little bit each day. This is such a grind! I found it a lot more pleasant to break my goals down so they were always easily achievable in 4 day blocks. Rather than 20 calls per day I would do 60 on Monday, 30 on Tuesday and I’d use the last few days to touch up on projects while using my last 10 calls to track down key conversations. Even if you just broke your 100 calls into 4 sets of 25 you would still be primed to catch up on Friday if you didn’t get to them before you quit on Thursday.
Doing this makes your schedule easy to maintain and ensures you always hit your goals.
Usually, I found Friday rolled around and I was done after a few emails and a check in with my team.
Grind strategy #2: Take four day weekends
A wise friend of mine once told me - you will always lose a deal if you take a 2 week vacation. But, you can go on as many 4 day weekends as you want and nobody will ever notice.
You know what? It’s pretty damn true. I’m not saying you should only work 3 days per week in perpetuity, but you can get away with a LOT of these.
The trick is to work hard when you are on, and always be planning little opportunities for yourself to get away from things and recharge. The balance works really well. When you get back into the grind you'll be ready to give it your best.
Grind Strategy #3: Book vacations far in advance
When you get busy you will have the money to take a trip, but you won’t have time. If you aren’t busy you will have time, but no money. Book a vacation 6 months in advance and work hard to earn it! The commitment will ensure that you push hard for your goals and when the time comes, you will have the money.
Bonus tip: In every market there are a few times per year when the market is slower, take advantage of these! Even if your vacation isn’t as affordable during that season, you will enjoy it more without worrying about your clients and you won’t risk losing deals.
Slow and steady doesn't look cool, but it sure as hell works.
Real estate isn’t a sprint race, This is a marathon! I think most things in business and life are best approached as a marathon. Here are three final tips to keep you on track while you grind your way to the finish line:
Three Tips To Keep Your Business On Track Long-Term
Marathon tip #1: don’t quit early
I often see people who get 2-3 years in and feel like they don’t need to continue doing calls “because they have referrals coming in”.
You can shift your focus from cold prospecting to referral prospecting, but you need to stay active and keep generating business. Nobody escapes this, even the most well established and successful realtors still obsess over lead generation after decades in the buesiness.
Marathon tip #2: Layer in opportunities for rejuvenation
I like to approach this from both the micro and macro. Protect one day every week for just you and your family. Take a 4 day weekend once per month. Plan a larger vacation every 3-6 months. You’ll show up with such energy the rest of the time that the sum of your efforts overall will be incomparable to what you would achieve if you never recharge.
Marathon tip # 3: Add in Times of Extra Intensity to Vary Your Pace
Every once in a while, it's good to push a bit harder after taking a breather.
If you finish up your summer vacation and your pipeline isn't what it should be, go on a 4-week sprint and really push yourself. This benefits you on two levels: first, it puts you back on track, and second, the comparatively low-intensity period that follows will feel like a vacation.
A consistent pace will not only help your business become consistent, but it will also create an ongoing accumulation of growth over time. Over the months and years, with your happy customers accumulating behind you and your systems continually improving, you’ll be amazed at how far you have come.
The real beauty of it all is that it won't feel like a herculean feat. You'll sustain growth without burning out, constantly feeling frustrated, or stalling momentum. Doesn't that sound like the business you wanted?
As always, thanks for your time. See you next week!