Why are some real estate agents successful while others fail? This is a question that all agents ask themselves at some point. It’s especially relevant for new agents, as well as those who aren’t meeting the goals they’d hoped for at this point in their career.
However, being successful in real estate usually boils down to the agent’s habits. Not just work habits, but personal habits as well. Good habits lead to success, while bad habits push you further away from success.
What are some ways that you can establish new, constructive habits that will help you reach your real estate goals?
How can you make habits work for you?
And why are bad habits SO DIFFICULT to change?
Why Do Your Habits Matter So Much?
A habit is something that you do often and regularly, sometimes without knowing that you are doing it.
Whether we are aware of it or not, we all have habits. Some people’s mornings begin with making a strong cup of coffee. Others start their workdays by checking their email and social media accounts.
We do all of these behaviors automatically and without having to think about them very much (or at all).
The state of your relationships is a result of the quality of communication habits. All of our habits have a profound effect on our lives. For example, the amount of money you have in the bank is the result of your financial habits. Your physical fitness is a result of your exercise and eating habits. The state of your relationships is a result of the quality of communication habits.
Habits can have a drastic effect in your life if you do them for long enough.
Good habits can result in amazing outcomes, while bad habits can have negative consequences.
If you improve by just 1% each day, your real estate career would be 365% more productive in a year.
Try a massive 3,778% improvement!
We are all aware that we need to replace negative habits with positive ones, however it can be hard to make these changes last, as many people’s new year’s resolutions can attest to.
To improve our chances of making permanent changes to our habits, it is helpful to understand how habits work and how they are established.
How Do Habits Work?
Every action we take is to solve a problem, whether it’s wanting something that will make us feel good, or trying to ease a pain point.
Our habits are the solutions our brain has come up with to solve common problems, without us having to think about it. That’s why some of our habits are as natural as breathing or sleeping.
Not all habits are good for you. For example, watching Netflix all day instead of studying or working is not healthy in the long run. However, in the short run, it can help you unwind from a stressful day at work, and make you feel entertained and relaxed. Because you can enjoy these benefits NOW, instead of the delayed gratification and benefits that studying and working out will bring later, it’s much easier to be a couch potato.
There are 4 stages of every habit: cue, craving, response, and reward.
How To Create Good Habits In Real Estate, And Make Them Stick
We can use the 4 stages of a habit to create a practical framework designed to help us develop good habits and eliminate bad ones.
James Clear created a framework called the Four Laws of Behavior Change. This framework helps you understand how habits are formed and how you can change them. The four laws are: cue, routine, reward, and belief. By understanding and manipulating these four stages, you can create new, beneficial habits.
How to create a good habit
- 1st stage (Cue) -> Make your new habit the logical thing to do
- 2nd stage (Craving) -> Make it something you look forward to
- 3rd stage (Response) -> Make it easy and accessible
- 4th stage (Reward) -> Make it satisfying and rewarding
If your goal is to make it a habit to prospect regularly in order to have a more consistent income, an example of how you could do that is by setting a reminder on your phone to contact a certain number of potential clients each day.
How can you do that?
Cue yourself to start prospecting by setting an alarm on your phone, printing out a list of contacts you want to reach out to, and taping it to your laptop. Ask a co-worker to remind you and keep you accountable.
After that, you should work on developing a craving for prospecting. To do that, you can pair prospecting with another activity you enjoy. For example, you could make a cup of your favorite coffee, prepare your favorite snack, light a good candle, etc. By making it attractive, you will look forward to prospecting.
After you’ve taken in the situation, it’s time to respond. Try to make the next steps as easy as possible for the person you’re trying to help. Make some time in your schedule ahead of time, and clear out any distractions from your environment that could get in the way. This includes things like gadgets, toys, phones, chores, and even other people.
Friction is the main obstacle to taking action. To make it as easy as possible, start by prospecting a small number of people. Spend 10 minutes prospecting twice a week to start. Slowly increase the amount of time and how often you do it.
It’s not a lot at first, but it’s easier to improve a habit once it starts than to try to start a habit from scratch.
Your goal is to be more financially productive after all, so a good way to make your new habit satisfying is by using a habit tracker.
Habit-forming apps, like Habitica and Epic To-Do List, make completing tasks feel like a game, with the added bonus of helping you form good habits in real life.
If you’re not interested in playing video games, you can try using Habitify instead.
For those who prefer the physical experience of pen and paper, get a planner or good old-fashioned calendar. Every time you do prospecting, mark it with a class red X.
The more frequently you engage in your new habit, the more pressure you will feel to maintain your success.
In summary, whenever you want to establish a new habit behavior, ask yourself:
- How can I make it obvious?
- How can I make it attractive?
- How can I make it easy?
- How can I make it satisfying?
How Do You Get Rid Of Bad Habits?
The steps of a habit can be changed to get rid of a bad habit, and it will be easier to stay away from it in the future.
How to break a bad habit
- 1st stage inversion (Cue) -> Remove anything that may cue your bad habit
- 2nd stage inversion (Craving) -> Make it a chore to do your bad habit
- 3rd stage inversion (Response) -> Add hurdles you need to overcome in order to do your bad habit
- 4th stage inversion (Reward) -> Make giving into your bad habit unsatisfying and mind-numbingly dull
If, for example, you want to stop making compulsive Amazon purchases, you can set up a system where you have to wait 24 hours before buying anything.
First, remove any cues that may take you to the website, or make you think of it. Block the website on all your devices, and remove all your saved passwords.
To stop receiving Amazon newsletters and purchase updates, unsubscribe from them and have them sent to a different email address. This way, you won’t be reminded of them every time you check your work email.
You can stop seeing ads related to Amazon by installing an Ad blocker.
A trusted family member or friend can help you avoid impulsive shopping on Amazon by being an accountability partner. Once they are added to your account, they will be able to see your purchases and confront you if they feel you are making too many impulsive buys.
Make it more difficult to buy things on Amazon by calling your bank to lower your credit and debit card spending limits. Leave your credit cards at home so you have to use cash.
If you want to get rid of your Amazon Prime account, see if that is possible. If not, change the delivery address to your accountability partner’s address or a PO box that is not convenient.
The app uses green to mark days you avoided impulsive purchases and red to mark days you gave in.
If you’re accountable for your purchase, you may have to confront the item when it’s outside its nice packaging. If you’re not satisfied with the experience, you’re less likely to repeat it.
4 simple habits that can make or break your success as an agent
These are the seven most popular habits seen among super-successful agents. If your business needs a leg-up, one or more may be worth adopting:
1. Get a routine you can stick to.
Creating a daily routine is one of the first steps to success. You don’t have to plan every moment, but you need to be consistent in when and what you do.
In other words, writing down a plan for your day can help you stay focused and achieve your goals.
If you want to be a successful real estate agent, you need to set aside time for things like checking your email, going to showings, exercising, and taking breaks. If you want to read every morning, put it in your calendar like it’s an appointment.
When you set goals for yourself and achieve them, you’ll feel a sense of personal satisfaction. This can lead to increased self-confidence, which is an important characteristic for successful people. Having bad habits will only bring your self-esteem down.
This approach suggests taking small steps and then increasing them gradually until you find a routine that works best for you. Don’t get discouraged if you need to make some adjustments to your schedule before it feels right.
2. Get great at technology.
Realtors who are looking to be successful should always be on the lookout for ways to increase their business. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Technology Survey, brokers and agents spend from $251 to $1,000 a year on average on technology.
It is important to be able to problem solve in this business. Many successful real estate agents use websites, apps, and internet marketing in order to be more productive. This saves them time and is a great bonus. If an agent hits a wall and does not know what to do next, they should seek out a technology or service that can provide them with a solution.
An example of this would be if you partnered with a lender that was very technologically advanced and had a lot of content that would be newsworthy, as well as co-branded marketing materials. This would eliminate the need to guess and make your job much easier. Being successful in any industry requires the ability to be resourceful and to learn.
One effective way to connect with your audience is by having a blog that you can share easily. With shareable content being a must for social media, this can also bring traffic back to your site. If you’re worried about not knowing where to start or not having enough time to commit, don’t be. Find a local loan office who can give you plenty of recent resources, like market videos, social images, infographics, and e-books.
A Cornerstone loan officer can help you close on your home in just ten days. This way, you’ll have more time to celebrate becoming a homeowner.
3. Get your priorities straight.
You’re not alone if you’re feeling like you’re being pulled in a lot of different directions. This is something that a lot of entrepreneurs feel when they haven’t hired a manager to help them plan and schedule their tasks.
The most productive agents have the remarkable ability to prioritize. Developing this skill is critical. Those who are dominating their field don’t just work hard — they know how to manage their time efficiently.
It is crucial to comprehend your priorities and to be aware of how long you should spend on everything you have to do.
LiquidPlanner’s process provides a helpful guideline to eliminate confusion:
- Mark the tasks that are important or urgent.
- Estimate your commitment in time.
- Expect for the unexpected to arise.
- Cut commitments out as necessary.
To create a prioritized plan for the week, first make a list of everything that needs to be done and estimate the time needed for each task. Then, add this information into your schedule, allowing extra time for unexpected needs. Finally, identify which items can be removed without affecting your business.
4. Get focused on exercise and eating.
Carson Daly once said, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.” This is so true! A lot of us think that we can function just fine on unhealthy foods and no exercise, but that’s not the case. A healthy mind comes from a healthy body. If we have low energy because of a lack of exercise or a poor diet, we’re going to gas out before the day is through. So, let’s make a change! A healthy lifestyle change. Let’s start eating better and exercising more. We’ll feel so much better when we do!
You can improve your brain’s performance by thinking of it as a car and filling it with high-quality fuel.
I start my morning by drinking a full bottle of water, doing a 5-10 minute workout, and then either meditating or journaling for a brief period of time.
– Brigitte Pays, Triplemint
There are a lot of studies that say if you exercise and eat healthy, you will have more energy, be able to focus more, and have a better mood. Also, you will have less anxiety.
Consider several healthy habits to incorporate:
- Eat smaller amounts more frequently.
- Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, three times a week.
- Keep healthy snacks on hand.
- Steer clear of fried, fast, and processed foods.
- Up your healthy carb intake to maintain mood.
- Whip up a daily smoothie.
Use this system for 30 days and you will see an improvement in your energy levels.