Friday, January 28, 2011

Rick DeLuca's "Avoid the 20 Biggest Agent Mistakes"

National speaker Rick DeLuca spoke to a group of about 100 real estate yesterday in Ocean Pines, MD. The subject was "Avoid the 20 Biggest Agent Mistakes." Thought-provoking yet simple in nature, Rick's 3-hour talk gave each agent a handful of takeaways to produce more business in 2011. Rather than list the 20 mistakes (Rick would probably prefer that he do that), here is the CliffsNotes version:

Accountability/Partnership: Treat your real estate practice like a business. Set hours, deadlines, etc., and partner with someone on goals. Some agents come and go as they please with no one to report to. Change that. Go outside of real estate to find people to partner with. Great quote: "a hot market creates horrible work habits." Be disciplined about what you're doing every day.

Be "student of the industry." Know your market like the back of your hand. Know the actual numbers! You'll have much more credibility when you can recite the average sales price is, days on market, etc. for your town, neighborhood or project.

Don't have unrealistic expectations. Do fewer things, but do those things well and consistently. Right now agents do lots and lots of different things. Narrow that down and nail a few things.

Understand your contacts are not all created equal. You have some that bear more fruit than others - treat them specially. Rick copied his father's "shoe box" approach. Go through your old contacts - those who have given you business - and call them. Regularly. Who is your target? Is it the entire community? It shouldn't be. Target less. Aim for the "bulls eye" people, not the whole target. A waitress at Denny's referred 4-5 deals per year to Rick, including a$7.2M commercial deal. "Bulls eye" people are very special. Rick only had 17 of them.

Write handwritten notes!

Listen to your clients. "Don't be the answer to a person's prayers until you know what they're praying for!" While being interviewed for a listing, ask, "What are the 3 or 4 most important things you want from your listing agent?" Don't just give them what you think they want to know.

Understand social networking and technology are not fads. If you make a conscious decision not to do it, know you're going to miss on a certain segment. There does, however, need to be a balance. There are many new sites and programs out there to make your life easier. Even if you're not going to use them, maybe the folks in your database would be interested? Send an email with links to them.

Interested in more? Check out