Kelle Sparta is the author ofThe Consultative Real Estate Agent: Building Relationships that Create Loyal Clients, Get More Referrals, and Increase Your Sales(AMACOM, 2005). She is also the founder of Sparta Success Systems , a real estate training company.
Turn Your Passion Into Profits
Your personal passions can fuel your prospecting efforts, and consequently, your real estate business.
August 3, 2011
When I talk to real estate professionals these days, a subject that comes up often is how to get more business. Whether it’s new practitioners just getting started or experienced ones looking to take their business to the next level, it’s all about the number of deals on the table and how to make more money. And that’s the way it should be, since several real estate pros are earning what amounts to minimum wage, if that. (Don’t believe me? Ask the associates in your office to take their total income for the year divided by the number of weeks worked and then divided by the number of hours worked per week, and see what they end up with. It’s often a sobering number.)
Related to this lack of business and desire to have more is the fact that many practitioners hate to prospect. But more prospecting, done right, equals more business. And I have a little secret that will help you get excited about prospecting.
What Are You Passionate About?
People won’t do what they hate. That’s just a fact of life. Sure, they may do it for a while — during a coaching program or while they are on a “kick” to do more deals. But in the long haul, the activities that they don’t like get pushed to the side.
The key is to understand your own internal motivation buttons. What gets you excited? What makes you get out of bed in the morning, raring to go for the day? What are those things which, if you never had to work again for the rest of your life, you’d still do daily? These are your passion points.
Turn Your Passion Into Business
My passion was helping people take a step into a new way of life, so real estate was a natural fit. Excepting investors, people typically don’t buy or sell real estate without having some major life change take place. So for me, it was easy. But for some people, it’s a little more challenging. Perhaps you love model airplanes, or you’re fascinated by sailing, or you love negotiating, or you live for designing marketing pieces. Whatever your passion is, find a way to build that into your real estate business. We’re lucky to be in one of the most flexible, broad-reaching fields in the world. It’s simply a matter of finding the right marriage between the profession and your interests.
Translating Your Passion
At this point, you might be thinking, “Well, this is great, but how do I translate my love of model airplanes (or whatever your passion is) into my real estate business? They have nothing to do with one another, and there are only so many model plane enthusiasts I can sell to.” This is true, but you’re missing the bigger picture.
There’s something about model airplanes that appeals to you besides the planes themselves. Perhaps it’s the attention to detail it takes to make one look really right, or having a slice of history sitting on your shelf, or the creative process of making something and painting it. Or perhaps it’s just having something you can look at and have a sense of accomplishment. There is something about the process that engages you.
When you discover this aspect of your passion, then you can begin to work with it. If it’s the history that appeals to you, consider specializing in historic homes — do the research and provide a detailed portfolio on each of your homes. If it’s the attention to detail, then bring that passion to how you handle your transactions and advertise this fact. If it’s the creative process, then work with fixer-uppers and draw out plans for how people might approach renovating it — or do the fix-and-flips yourself. If it’s having a sense of accomplishment, then feed that need to have something to look at by taking a picture of all of your clients at the closing table and putting those pictures up in your office.
The key here is to know yourself. Everyone has things that bring them up and things that bring them down. If you focus on the stuff that brings you down, you’ll be unhappy. If you engage the stuff that brings you up, you’ll not only be happier, you’ll get more business because you’ll really be doing what you love.
So make sure that what you’re engaging is the parts of your life and business that truly get you excited. When you’re excited, it’s contagious and everyone wants to be near you. And, when you’re excited, it’s not prospecting anymore — it’s sharing your excitement!
Passion Makes Perfect
When you can marry your passion to your business, you’ll find that the prospecting comes easier, the sales happen automatically, and your bottom line improves dramatically. Why? Because you’re now doing joyfully what you once considered drudgery.