Burn Out

Business Heart Attack Stress  - geralt / Pixabay

“If you are using outcomes that are out of your control as fuel for your work, it’s inevitable that you will burn out. Because it’s not fuel you can replenish, and it’s not fuel that burns without a residue.” – Seth Godin, The Practice.

When I started in the real estate business I was ending a 25 year career as an engineer. I was running my own business, writing software and designing control systems for automotive painting. I did lots of work for GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota and many others. I was in control of almost everything in that business and I was moving into a business where it seems you have almost no control.

Actually, that’s not really true. You have control over your habits, actions and thoughts. You just don’t have control over the outcome. In the real estate business, if you try to control the outcome, it smells like commission breath. It begins to feel desperate, focused on what you need instead of what your client needs.

There are lots of ways to have a profitable real estate business.

I’ve seen agents start out cold calling, calling expired listings and FSBO sellers and make a lot of money. Those methods work if you do them consistently, every day and it can lead to a great business. I didn’t do that.

My recovering engineer looked at how I’d seen sales done in my previous career. Salespeople building relationships and connections, consistently calling and checking to see how they could help solve problems. Invitations to come to the plant and talk about new systems. It came out of trust. That was the business I wanted but most agents and brokers taught the ‘cold call’ systems.

The outcome is clear on both systems. Cold calling results in appointments. Just keep calling until you get the appointments you need to fill your day. It might take 50 or 100 or 200 calls to get your calendar full but you just do it until you get that outcome. It works but so does a slot machine. It’s random and exhausting.

Relationships are harder to measure but it’s the same task. Making calls but the scale and purpose are different. Making 5 or perhaps 10 calls a day to build relationships, writing handwritten notes, and having lunch or coffee with the best connections produces the same result as the cold calling but it doesn’t feel the same.

Relationships results in referrals and those result in appointments but you can’t control the frequency like you can if you cold call. It takes faith and trust in the systems but the systems work.

Since you can’t control the outcome, what can you control?

  • Attitude – You have to start the day with a good attitude and for me, that comes from gratitude. Make a list of 3 things you’re grateful for.
  • Schedule – I get to choose what I work on and when I work on it. Some are early risers, I’m not. I’ve been told I’m not fit for human companionship before 10 am. That might be true but if I focus on my goals and do the things that advance them, I win, regardless of my start time.
  • Activities – What is it that moves my business forward?
    • Phone calls to my sphere of influence, calls to check on them, calls just to see how they’re doing. It builds trust, relationships, and reminds them that I’m here if they need me. To be clear, I’m not constantly asking for referrals, as in ‘who do you know?’ but I remind them of what I do, how I work, and how they can introduce me.
    • Handwritten notes to the people I meet, talk to, and in general, cross paths with. They are always opened, they build connections and trust if you do them with the right motive. They touch people in ways that no other method does. It’s personal.
    • Face to face with the best in my database. These are the folks who refer business to me. Everyone knows 2 people who are going to need help in real estate in the next 12 months. My goal is to be top of mind, trusted as a resource, and available to help when called upon. I teach my top referrers how to introduce me and it matters.
    • Sending out items of value monthly, emails monthly and maybe a special mailing like a birthday card or anniversary call to remind them of when they bought the house with you.
    • It’s all important, valuable, and must be done CONSISTENTLY for it to work. Consistency if really the key to any path.
  • A don’t do list – This is the opposite of a to-do list. As soon as you can you need to find leverage to help you. This will buy you time. The first thing that went on my don’t do list was cleaning the house. I hired someone to do the heavy lifting so I could focus on the important things. The second hire was a lawn service. I hate cutting grass and those guys save me 3 hours every time they show up. It matters. Hire an assistant, a transaction coordinator, and even a showing assistant as soon as you can. Those are your 1st 3 hires in a great business.
  • Getting a coach – I hired a coach when I was 6 months into the business. It was the wrong coach but I didn’t know that until 6 months later when I found the right coach. It’s ok to hire the wrong one as long as you see it quickly and make adjustments. Some companies have coaches and training and I believe KW has some of the best for a new agent. They teach you how to run a business and how to grow a business to the level you want to reach. Anyone can teach you how to fill out a contract or give you scripts to handle objections. We have that but what is most valuable is how to run a business, especially if you’re coming from a job. You don’t know how and worse, you don’t know what you don’t know.

I’ll stop there. I wanted to share this with you as we get into the new year. If you need some help with daily tasks, how to plan your day or just staying on track, I have something for you.

Go to www.JerryWRobertson.com/DailyPlanner and download the white paper and planner. You’ll find a link where you can schedule a call with me too. I’m happy to talk, listen, and help any way I can. No pitch, no charge. Just someone to listen if you need it.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson