Note: This post isn’t aimed at the (IMHO) 10-20% of the real estate agent population who, day in and day out, work hard, effectively, and with massive purpose.
Dad, ‘FDB’ to some of his friends and family, said those exact words to me a few months after I’d gone from part time agent/student, to real estate full time. He wasn’t one to sugarcoat his words. Silly me, I not only protested like a stuck pig, I gave examples of how hard I’d been workin’.
22 year olds can be exceptionally clueless at times.
Mind you, in 90 days of hard 40 hour weeks I’d produced exactly one damning goose egg on the listing/sales board. I now know what Dad was talkin’ about, cuz a 14 year old C- student could put something on the listing/sales board after 12 hard working 40 hour weeks. It’s seriously not possible to get shut out workin’ that many rigorous hours week in and week out for a full quarter.
The trick is to be honest about how you’re defining hard, effective, work.
It’s not what you tell everyone else either. Imagine your husband/wife is in the room with you. Now how hard are ya workin’?
I’ve never understood this, even though I was guilty of it myself. Dad busted me for constantly gettin’ ready to get ready, to do something really lame, that wouldn’t produce squat anyway. Why do people get licensed only to pretend to work, then complain about how bad the market is, or the rest of the litany we’ve all heard — or uttered ourselves.
Lord knows I’ve put in my share of overtime over the years. But I’m hear to tell ya, with rare exception, those who work at doing what gets them in front of serious buyers/sellers and/or doing what gets those buyers/sellers where they wanna go, don’t hafta work wicked long hours to make an exceptionally good living. If you like working longer hours for whatever reason, good for you — and your bank account. But you can earn six figures workin’ 40 hours.
It’s like diggin’ 4′ X 6′ holes, 6′ feet deep, for sump pumps. If you’re gettin’ paid $1,000 a hole, you’ll press hard to learn just how many you can dig in 40 hours of real work. You won’t be spendin’ time cleanin’ your pick and shovel, or takin’ an hour to lay out the hole’s dimensions. You won’t spend hours upon hours searchin’ the internet and bookstore for books on how picks ‘n shovels are made.
You’d be creating holes as fast as you possibly could. You’d be figuring out ways to dig more efficiently, without wasting energy. You’d learn about what tools might work better.
All of which begs the central question.
Why are you consistently screwin’ the pooch when it comes to diggin’ all the holes you can as a real estate agent? What is it that stops you from swingin’ that pick high in the air, bringin’ it down hard, and repeating that ’till yet another hole is dug — and another $1,000 earned?
Once and for all, ask yourself: Whom do you really think you’re kidding?
After I’d flailed and stuttered my way into a corner, Dad laid down what I’ve since called the FDB Challenge. If this post even pretty much describes you, consider growin’ a pair and take the same challenge.
Get a notebook, create a spreadsheet, grab a legal pad — anything on which you can document every single hour of your 40 hour workweek. Keep this journal for the next 12 weeks. If a task takes less than an hour — note how long it took. Leave no minute unrecorded. Don’t make a big deal about it. Each entry should take a few seconds. There’s no whining in real estate.
1. At least six hours a day must be spent prospecting. Not marketing — prospecting. Pick a method(s), but do it. All prospecting must include direct contact — phone, email, custom written letters, FSBOs, expireds, etc. You know the drill, so don’t pretend you don’t.
2. You must stand in front of a mirror repeatedly callin’ yourself a wuss if you don’t strictly adhere to rule #1.
The over/under for most agents is lasting ’till around 2ish on the first day. See, it’s not that we don’t know how/what to do, we just don’t wanna do it. So stop with the excuses, you sound like a 10 year old girl who’s skinned her knee at recess.
I promise you’ll be a completely difference agent if you take the FDB Challenge to heart. There’s no way you won’t generate tremendous new business working 40 hours a week for a dozen weeks with this much prospecting. You’ve got nothing to lose since you’re not producing much now anyway, right? Keep your eye on the ball. Don’t let up for the entire 12 weeks. Become driven.
Here’s what happened when I took the FDB Challenge
I’m goin’ from memory here, but I remember the numbers fairly well.
90 days later I’d listed eight properties. Four were already in escrow by the 90th day. I’d put five buyer sides into escrow. Two had closed by the last day. I had numerous potential listings in the pipeline, along with many who were referring to me.
Using today’s values, (in San Diego) those 90 days would’ve fattened my bank account by roughly $120,000 or so.
I was 22 years old, and couldn’t find my ass with a map, two guides, and a GPS. Yet those 90 days of seriously hard work, almost all of it prospecting, changed by life forever. It stripped me of ever having an excuse, regardless of market conditions, for not making a decent to magnificent living. It also caused me some acute embarrassment for a few days. I almost couldn’t be in the same room with Dad, I was so ashamed of how I’d been such a pathetic, excuse making slacker.
All that vanished in an instant when he allowed one day that I might have a future in the business after all — a huge AttaBoy comin’ from him.
Are you flailing around, wondering if you’ll be in the business next year?
Is theFDB Challenge for you?18 comments