Sep. 14, 2005
Extraordinary Agents Distinguish Opportunity From Distraction
Kenny Rogers reminded us in his classic song that you need to know when to hold em and know when to fold em. In running a successful real estate practice, translate this to knowing what is a true opportunity and what is a distraction. Just being busy does NOT translate into productivity! Many distracted agents are simply trying too hard to chase each and every lead or idea that is put in front of them. This futile chase dissipates their energy and leaves them unfocused, frantic and crisis-driven.
The distracted agent wastes money and time on things that are not the highest and best use of their talents and time. Some examples include:
Ø Buying technology because everyone else is buying it, not because they have determined it is a fit for their technology plan.
Ø Working with buyers that dont buy because they are scared to ask for an Exclusive Buyers Agreement that will most certainly weed out the unserious lookey-loos!
Ø Choosing passive marketing and costly advertising to try to generate leads instead of calling people who know and love them.
Ø Sitting at the computer fine-tuning their website without a strategy to drive traffic there.
On the other hand, the extraordinary agent knows his strengths and what he takes action that will produce results. Youll see these agents:
Ø Delegating items that are not dollar productive.
Ø Levering their time by being obvious, but not obnoxious when living their lives. Signs on their cars, wearing their nametags, sponsoring events in their farm or social circles are some of the things youll notice.
Ø Sharing leads generously with a big network of other professionals who in turn send them referrals.
Ø Looking for new ideas and ways of raising their standards, so that their systems and their service are constantly being upgraded.
Ø Planning regularly with both short and long term visions to guide and motivate them.
Ø Hiring coaches to help them stay focused and accountable.
Ø Listening to tapes, reading books and soaking up ideas from other successful people, in and outside of the real estate industry. They are life long learners
Extraordinary agents focus their daily activities on the actions that will be most effective in the achievement of their goals. They prioritize, not by the most urgent, but rather by the most important. They know what the highest and best use of their time is and they are not apt to waste time with non-dollar productive stuff.
In the coming week, at the end of each day, review where you spent your time and determine where the distractions are. There may be some tasks you should stop doing altogether. There may be some that should be delegated. Are there some boundaries you need to set with others who distract you? You can become extraordinary…zap your distractions!
Article : Opportunities Knock… Or Do They?
When we think of opportunities, we often think of chance occasions that cross our path, or are presented to us. We dont think of opportunities as something we have to actively go in search for… because opportunity knocks on our door – not vice versa. Right? Wrong.
Lets not discount those very real opportunities that do fall in our lap from time to time, because this does happen and we notice it when we are alert. Sometimes we dont notice and the opportunity slips right by.
There is another type of opportunity, the shy type. The type that you have to go in search for, BUT because you are actively seeking it and being very alert, they are easily found. The thing about these shy opportunities is that many people dont go looking for them, believing that all opportunities will come knocking on their door… So were going to tell you how to hunt these opportunities down, how to recognize them and catch them before they slip away.
# 1 Always be on the look-out… you never know when and where shy opportunities will be lurking. Sometimes, they are so well camouflaged, that even Sherlock Holmes would have a hard time finding them. Examine everything you come across, everything you hear and see and ask yourself if there is an opportunity lurking there. Think creatively. Be imaginative. If an opportunity IS there and it could make you a fortune, then it is worth investigating. Millionaires are made from improbable opportunities taken at the right time. Nothing is too wacky or unrealistic to consider. Consider everything, not just the obvious.
#2 As with marketing, you do have to put the word out there among your circle of friends, acquaintances, co-workers and customers that you ARE always open to new ideas and invite them to feel free to send any and all opportunities your way. Remember to always be thankful and dont laugh at anyones strange ideas, otherwise they may not send you anymore – and you might miss out on the big one. Be willing to discuss opportunities with your contacts, even if the idea is not for you, it leaves the door open for them to approach you next time.
#3 Again, as with marketing, if you want to increase your possibilities, you will have to spread your net wider. Increase your network of contacts so you have more people to bring opportunities your way. Dont just think of networking in general for this exercise… sometimes the very best opportunities come from sources completely different to what you are accustomed, people in other industries with different experiences, different businesses who dont think anything like you. Make a point of making friends with different people and exchange ideas with them… you may be pleasantly surprised!
#4 Be flexible. Sometimes, we unconsciously dismiss wonderful opportunities, because we are so focused on our own particular goals in life. Its great to have a goal, but dont be so inflexible that youd pass up a golden opportunity in order to keep on schedule with your own goals. Make room for new ideas. Incorporate them into your goals. Know that its okay to pause and make new discoveries along the way… you never know, you may come across an opportunity that would present an even better goal, but youd never know if you dont stop and look!
#5 Read! Keep abreast of not only whats happening in your field of endeavor, but check out other areas too. You may read something in a magazine or on a website that is in a totally different line of business to yourself – pig breeding, perhaps! And you may find something there that triggers some great ideas for you, or presents you with opportunities youd never have considered before… which brings me to the next point…
#6 Be creative! Be imaginative! Many wonderful opportunities are disguised, so that at first glance youd not notice them, but with some imagination, you can find some value in nearly every idea you come across. This is an area where you say a lot of What ifs… – and imagine how you might take advantage of an idea or opportunity youve found, or think youve found, and imagine how you might adapt it for your needs, your business. Okay, some will turn out to be daft ideas with little or no practical use for you, but some will turn out to be very useful!
#7 Be prepared! Some windows of opportunity are only open fleetingly and you need to be ready to respond quickly to take advantage of them. Make room in your life for these eventualities. Use some more what ifs… to help you be prepared. What if such and such did happen or come my way… what would I do about such and such? How would I manage that and still be able to work on the new opportunity? Know in advance how you could incorporate something new at little notice so you wont waste time when the occasion arises!
#8 Know how to recognize a shy opportunity… theyre everywhere! They arent always brought to your attention by business acquaintances and friends. They are hidden in ideas that you can find everywhere you look, in everything you read. The thing to remember is with each new and exciting opportunity you come across, you must always be balanced in your creative thinking! Think of ways of making it work for you, making it a success. Ask yourself what youd need to do to make the most of that opportunity. What are the likely benefits? What are the likely pitfalls? Are there any real risks attached? Then think how your business would be affected it you dont take advantage of that opportunity. And think, if you do take advantage of it, how will that affect your present goals and projects. Do you have the time/money/experience etc. to take advantage of that opportunity just now and make it work without detriment to your existing affairs?
#9 A good opportunity is one in which you are in a position to take advantage of it because the risks are slight or you have plenty of support behind you in case it doesnt turn out the way youd hoped. A good opportunity is one in which you feel a great excitement about and know you have the drive and determination to make it work. A good opportunity will help you in your continued growth and will not throw a spanner in the works of all youve worked so hard to achieve so far. A good opportunity is one in which there is support and assistance provided to help you get going with it. A good opportunity is one that is presented by well known people who know their stuff and who walk their talk – you know you can trust them. Do check everything out – you dont want to confuse golden opportunities with scams! Be intuitive – trust your gut instincts!
#10 Finally, having talked about being ready and prepared to pounce on opportunities when they arise, use caution and common sense. You will have time to seek expert opinions and second opinions. Not all opportunities will be right for you – to take advantage of some may not be in your best interests. You need to weigh up the benefits with the effects/results it is likely to have on your existing business and goals. How much time and/or money will the new opportunity require? Sometimes, you may have to bow to common sense and let an opportunity pass you by – particularly if it carries with it an unacceptable element of risk. If you can afford that risk, fine, but if you cant…
If you do find yourself turning down an opportunity (youre in the right place at the wrong time), make a note of it, perhaps add it to your goals. Just because you cant do something with it now doesnt mean you can't in the future.