If you can be secure enough with yourself to do an honest assessment of where you are at in your career, where you want to be, and what the most successful agent/brokers around you are doing, then you’ll have an idea of your potential success in the long term.
Forget about sales numbers. How do the most successful agents think and believe?
Visualize a pyramid with the six distinct levels represented below. Level one represents the first part of the journey to success in real estate, and level six represents the pinnacle. This pyramid is useful as an assessment tool to see where you operate on a daily basis and whether you need to make adjustments.
No one is locked into a level, and you can absolutely aspire to consistent improvement from one level to the next. It’s easy to get hung up on what successful agent/brokers do, but focusing on what they believe and how they think provides better insight.
Level 1—Playing to Not Lose
This is the level at which bottom-of-the-barrel agents operate. These are people who may “do real estate” on the side to earn a few extra bucks. They aren’t hungry; they’re just existing and operating well enough to stay in the game. If takes more than just words to be successful in real estate. It also takes guts... Agents here have to decide if they are willing to put for the effort and to put themselves out there!
Level 2—Playing to Cruise
Agents at this level are camped out within their “safe zone.” These are the individuals who consistently hit their minimum transaction numbers, but never blow away their top-end targets. They won’t land on the “naughty” list, but also don’t want to do so much that expectations rise.
Level 3—Playing to Compete
On the surface, agent/brokers here seem promising because real estate professionals at this level will engage in competition and are motivated by contests and other external factors. The trouble is their presiding belief that the only way to make themselves look better is by making others look worse. When they don’t win, they’re quick to place blame on the competition or the quality of their listings and leads. When they hit a plateau, they look for conditions to change to get them “unstuck.”
I like to say people at these first three levels are operating “below the line.” They’re the folks who—when there is a market downturn or they perceive the situation to be too tough—will find a field with easier conditions to improve their success rate. They view themselves as victims of their circumstances.... But they don’t have to stay that way.
Level 4—Playing for Improvement
At this level, there’s a distinct shift. Agents at and above this level have achieved intrinsic motivation (that is, they no longer need an external stimulus to improve), and they never see themselves as victims. They say, “I’m in control of my destiny. If I’m going to get better at this, I need to adopt the right beliefs and skill sets.”
Level 5—Playing for the Challenge
Agents at this level are self-aware, but also have gained the capacity to see clearly the challenges presented by their circumstances, both within the company and more broadly in the housing market. They can survey the field, understand their competition and where they fit in, and welcome the challenge of overcoming adversity. They want to earn recognition as the best agent in the company, or in the whole market — and not just when there’s a sales contest running. They might say, “I can tackle this obstacle, and here’s how.”
Level 6—Playing for Mastery
This level represents the pinnacle for your fellow team members. It’s where, in the best way possible, they don’t give a damn about what anyone else is doing. They’ve achieved a Zen-like state where their work just flows and they don’t even see challenges as challenges. They focus on their craft and are immersed in their belief system to the point that they don’t even acknowledge the impact of outside factors. These broker/agents can succeed in any field and in any housing market.
Now that you understand these different levels, work to encourage yourself to play for mastery. As you move up in levels and in confidence you'll quickly become one of the Zen warriors of home selling, and your sales, confidence, and sense of pride in a job well done will go through the roof.
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