Creating the habit of prospecting every day as a real estate agent is one of the most powerful actions you can take for your business and success. Successful people are not successful because they are smarter or more disciplined than everyone else. It is because they have developed a better set of habits.
Here are the 7 steps to hardwire the daily habit of prospecting into your business:
1. WHY it.
Start with WHY you want to prospect every day. Clear goals that you are excited about will keep you motivated to take the daily action. Otherwise you get sucked into the grind of prospecting and can lose the drive to keep going.
2. Commit to it.
As Yoda says, “Do or do not…there is no try.” Commit to do it every (work) day for at least 30 days, and 66 days is better.
3. Post it.
Create a visual tracking board to keep you on track.
4. Schedule it.
Put it in your daily calendar and set up a reminder alert or alarms. Use a timer to keep you on your schedule.
5. Leverage it.
Get leverage on yourself with accountability and with penalties and/or rewards.
6. Do it.
Ultimately you have to exercise the discipline to actually put in the miles Habits are only created by consistent action. Period.
7. Automate it.
When you do the work every day, automaticity will be reached automatically. That is breakthrough. At this point the “fight” to get your prospecting done every day is over. The internal resistance fades and you are on your way to massive success.
Hi There! It’s Kevin Ward, the founder of Yes Master’s Real Estate Success Training. And, one of the hardest and yet one of the most important habits that real estate agents can create is the habit of prospecting. How do you create the prospecting habit? If you can do that, you are going to make money. One of the biggest challenges that real estate agents run into when they’re getting started and really building their business, and that is inconsistency. We start, we stop. We start prospecting, we get a couple of leads, we get an appointment, we get a deal or two pending, and then we’re so busy chasing that deal down, and working with those buyers, or working with that transaction, that we stop prospecting. We start and we stop, we start and we stop.
When you do that, what you end up with is what I call, “Yo-yo real estate.” Yo-yo real estate is really yo-yo income. That your income starts down here, and then you start prospecting, you get business. Everything goes great, you got deals going, you got money in the pipelines, and then you quit prospecting to convert that money, then your income drops again. You have a closing, and then you look around and go, “Oh I’ve been so busy getting this deal or two to close, that I quit prospecting.” If you want to create success for yourself, and sustain success for yourself, the greatest key is to create habits that will consistently support your business, and support your success. One of those, probably the initial one, is the habit of prospecting.
Masters in any field of endeavor, those who are the best, the elite performers, the highest achievers, they operate their success on the basis of having a great set of habits. In this video I want to just break down how you create the habit of prospecting. How do you get yourself going, and get yourself to a habit? When you do that, what will it do for you? That’s what we’re going to talk about on this video today. How do you do it, and how do you sustain it? I’m going to give you seven steps to create an amazing, powerful, profitable, successful prospecting habit.
Number one, the very first step to creating a prospecting habit is what I call, “You have to why it.” Why am I going to prospect? You’ve got to create, start with the big why. Simon Sinek wrote a book called, “Start With Why.” Why are you doing this? What I mean by that, when I say, “Why it,” is you’ve got to attach the action of prospecting to something that is bigger than just the goal of prospecting. “My goal is to prospect three hours a day.” Well that’s a great goal, but it’s not very exciting. It’s not very sexy, it’s not very fun. You get prospecting, and you get going and like, “Ugh, I don’t feel like prospecting today. Ugh, three hours is such a long time.” If your goal is prospecting, it’s not compelling enough for most agents to keep them going.
What helps is attaching your action goal, your action commitment of prospecting, to a big why goal. Here’s what is this going to do for me if I prospect every single day, two hours, three hours, whatever your commitment is. Let’s say three hours a day, five days a week. Why would I do that? Well, because if I do that, I’m going to get listings. If I get listings, I’m going to get sales. If I get sales, I’m going to get income. What’s the benefit of that? Well, now I can do stuff, now I can have a lifestyle, now I can actually pay off bills, I can pay off debt, I can now have vacations, I can get a new car, I can get a new house, I can create financial freedom. I can do all of the things that really you want to do, that are the reasons you got into real estate.
It’s not why am I prospecting? It’s what will that do for me? What’s the benefit of prospecting? The benefit when you get right down to it, when you boil it all down of, “Well the benefit of prospecting is to get appointments.” What’s the benefit of that? I get listings. What’s the benefit of that? I get sales. What’s the benefit of that? I make money. What’s the benefit of that? I get to have a lifestyle. Now I know why I’m doing this, so I recommend that if you want to create really a sustainable habit of prospecting, I train agents to create a vision board. Create your goals of not the means goals. Prospecting is a means to an end, which is the why goals. Get pictures of those, and create a vision board that you post in your prospecting station so everyday when I’m prospecting, and when I don’t feel like it, I don’t feel like prospecting, but I do feel like having a new boat, or a new car, or whatever your dream is. A vacation, or paying my kids way through college, or being able to give more to church or Synagogue.
The ability to do the things that you really want in your life, are directly tied to prospecting. Start with the big why that will motivate you on the days that you don’t feel like prospecting. Frankly, all of us are going to struggle at times, we’re feeling motivated to do the grind stuff, which is the things that I have to do everyday that are required to be successful in your business. Number one, you got to why it.
2. COMMIT to It.
Number two, is once you’ve got the big why now, you’ve got to commit. You’ve got to commit to it. That is, “I’ve got to now make the commitment, what am I going to do? I’m going to prospect three hours a day, five days a week. One hour a day, five days a week. Two hours.” Whatever it is, the key is you’ve got to make a commitment. It’s not a like, “I’m trying. I’m going to try prospecting. I’m going to try to do it three hours a day.” As Yoda, one of my favorite mentors of all time, Yoda the Jedi master said, “Do or do not, there is no try.” When you try to do something, you automatically set the … You give yourself an exit, and that is, “Well I tried.” You give yourself permission to fail.
There is no try. You either do it, or you don’t do it, and you commit to it. Which means you have to make the permanent commitment I’m going to do this. Now, my suggestion is that you commit to a certain period of time. Now, how long does it take to create a habit? Two ways you could do it. A minimum, this is not the best, but a minimum of 30 days would be the minimum commitment. I’m going to prospect every week day, or whatever your schedule is, for 30 days. Better is, the best is 66 days, that’s the best. In the latest research, all the latest research on how you create and hard wire a habit, they’re saying, “66 days on average is what it takes to make a habit so ingrained into your psyche. So ingrained into your mind, that it becomes automatic. That it’s easier to do it than it is not to do it.” That’s 66 days, which would basically be a little over a two month commitment.
You have to make a commitment, “I’m going to prospect every single day.” Now, when I say every single day, I’m talking about everyday you’re working. If you’re working five days a week Monday through Friday, commit, “I’m going to prospect everyday Monday through Friday for the next two months and a week.” Make that commitment. You have to, it won’t happen if you don’t commit.
For example, let’s say you went and got a job at Starbucks. When you get a job at Starbucks, are you committed to showing up every single day, and when you show up at the store, actually working, doing exactly what you’re supposed to do. Whether you’re a barista, making drinks, or being the cashier, whatever it is. You’re commitment is you’re going to do exactly what you’re supposed to do every single day. It’s not like, “Well I’m only going to show up for work, I’m going to show up for work 80% of the time.” That wouldn’t work at Starbucks, they would fire you. Or at McDonald’s, or at a Home Depot, or anywhere else. If you’re working for American Airlines, it doesn’t matter. Apple, Google, wherever you’re working. If you had a real job and you didn’t commit to show up everyday and do what you’re supposed to do everyday, you would be fired.
Challenge is in real estate, you’re self employed. You’re your own boss. You either have to do the work, or fire yourself. Most agents don’t fire themselves, they just go out of business because they’re not willing to do the work. You have to commit to this action because it’s critical. It is essential to your businesses success. Make the commitment.
3. COMMIT to It.
Number three, the third thing. Once you commit to it, now you’ve got to go public with it, and that is you’ve gotta post it. When I say, “Post it,” what I want you to do is … Let’s say you commit to 66 days. I want you to create your poster board, or a sheet of paper but the bigger the better. You literally create the calendar of the 66 days. Every single day, it’s posted there so when you show up, it is your 66 day commitment. You post, “I’ve got a 66 day commitment. Here it is, it’s posted,” and everyday you check off, boom, boom, boom. What that does to someone is it gives you the feeling of accomplishment as you check them off. Two, everyday when you walk in your office you don’t forget the commitment.
The hardest part is during the creation of the habit. This is the most critical phase, is while you’re creating the habit. Once the habit is created after 66 days, it’s automatic. You don’t have to think about it anymore, you just show up and do the work. Until it becomes an automatic, until you reach what we call, “Automaticity,” which means it’s automatic in your brain, everyday, it’s just an action you do everyday. Until you reach automaticity, it requires some willpower, it requires some discipline. It requires attention, it requires that you don’t forget about it, or get distracted. Post it, make a big deal about it.
4. SCHEDULE It.
Number four, is not only do you have to put it up in your office, you actually have to put it in your schedule. You schedule it. Which means it’s not like, “Okay I’m going to prospect three hours a day.” Well, when are you going to prospect today? “Well, I’ve got this, this, and this. I’m going to do it after that.” You can’t do that. If it’s not in a daily schedule, in your calendar, you won’t do it. Life comes at you from too many different angles. There’s too many distractions, there’s too many things pulling at our time, that if you don’t block the time, if you don’t time block, that two or three hours a day, it’s not going to happen.
You’ve got to put it in your schedule where that it’s thereeveryday. Schedule it. If you’re prospecting, I recommend that you prospect, for example, from eight to 11 AM. A great time to prospect. If you want to do it later, 8:30 to 11:30 AM. Right after that, I recommend lead follow up because you’re going to be generating leads, you want to make sure you have time schedule to follow up. The key here is it has to be locked into a schedule, and the next thing is, with the schedule then you probably need to set a reminder. That is, I like alarms. You can do it with a timer, get a kitchen timer, and you set it so that when you show up at the office in the morning you’re like, “Okay, I got 45 minutes until my prospecting time starts.” Boom, set the timer so that five minutes before prospecting starts, the alarm goes off and you’re like, “Oh, I gotta get ready. I’ve got five minutes to go.”
It all just goes into a routine. Preparing to prospect, getting the numbers, who you’re going to call, or if you’re going to door knock, who you’re going to go door knock. All that’s gotta be prepared, that’s preparation for this time right here so that when this time hits, eight AM starts, I am either out the door knocking on doors, or I am on the phone calling people. You have to have it in your schedule. I need a calendar, I need an alarm, and/or a timer, all that so that you’re having … You’ve got structure. You’ve got things in place to make sure you don’t get distracted, you don’t forget, you don’t dodge it. All of this is happening to give you the support that you need until the habit is created.
5. LEVERAGE It.
Number five, number is to get it into a habit, is once you make the commitment, now you have to leverage. You have to leverage your commitment to prospect. Now, what does that mean? That means you gotta get leverage on yourself. Which means I gotta have the push, something with leverage on me that forces me to do it. No excuses, no exit, no way out from the commitment. How do you get leverage on yourself? Well, two ways you can get leverage on yourself. Pain, or reward.
The pain would be the penalty. The penalty would be having accountability partners that say, “Okay if I don’t prospect, I owe you five bucks today. If I don’t start at eight and prospect all the way straight through to 11, then I owe you X.” You may write a check to somebody that you don’t want to write a check to, that if … You give it to somebody you trust, that will hold you accountable. If you don’t do it, they’re going to give that check to the person you don’t want it to go to. That would be pain, so that if you don’t do it, there’s a penalty.
Another leverage that you can put on yourself is a reward, and that is what is the reward I get after I do it? After I’ve completed the 66 days, or the 30 days, or whatever it is, after I’ve completed it how do I celebrate? What’s the victory, what’s the reward? You gotta reward yourself. Another thing you can do is you can reward yourself everyday. Just little things after your day to celebrate, “Yes, everyday that I prospect my three hours, I get to do this.” It may be going to get a Starbucks. Whatever it is, you pick some reward that makes you feel great. You can use the penalty of, “When I don’t do it,” and/or, “The reward of when I do, do it.”
What motivates you the most, what’s most likely to force you to do it? Having a coach, having accountability partners, having other agents that you role play that also keep you on track, and just make a commitment. Say, “I’ve got to text you everyday at 7:59. You’re going to get a text from me say, I’m starting now. At 11 AM when I’m done and get off my last call, boom, I’m going to text you and say, done.” I’m going to report my numbers to my accountability partner, or role play partners, or your coach, or whoever it is. Having that in place gives you the support until the habit is totally completely formed.
Now the beauty of this, is once it’s complete, the habits completely formed, you don’t have to focus on all the … This is the hard stuff, this is the ugly stuff. It’s not sexy. When you go create a habit that is powerful, you gotta understand at the beginning there’s going to come points where it’s hard. There’s going to become points where you mess up, and it’s going to be ugly, and you’re probably going to fall down. You’re going to have to get back up, and keep going forward. When you get to the end and that habit is formed, it is so beautiful. It is so powerful, and you’re powerful because you don’t have to use willpower anymore. You don’t have to use discipline anymore, because it’s a habit. It’s automatic. Leverage it. Get people around you, go public with it. Let them know, “Here’s my commitment. If I don’t do this, I owe you. If I don’t do this, this.” Whatever you setup, you have to honor it. You have to keep your word.
6. DO It.
Then once you do that, number six, is very simple. You have to do it. You just have to show up everyday, and do the work. You gotta run the miles. Once you’ve made the commitment, the trajectory to greatness is set. Your success is already, the trajectory to your success is set. You just gotta run the miles. You’ve got to put in the work of actually showing up, and actually doing it.
7. AUTOMATE It.
Then the seventh step happens without any effort, that’s this. That you, number seven is you automate it. You automate the habit. What I mean by that, it’s not a technology thing, is that the habit just becomes the automatic response. Every morning I get to the office on time, I get prepared, I get out with who I’m going to call, who I’m going to visit that day. It’s all setup, I do my role play, I get there, I get fired up. I do whatever warm up ritual you’ve got, and then boom, when the timer goes off at eight AM, boom, I’m dialing. Boom, I’m out the door, and I don’t have to make myself do it anymore, because it has become a habit.
When you get to that point that it’s automatic, that you just do it over, and over, and over everyday, no longer are you like, “Ugh, I know I try so hard, I just, it’s hard.” All this stuff about hard, right here, this is hard. Everything right here that I’m talking about, the commit to it, posting it, scheduling it, leveraging it, and doing it, that’s hard. It’s only hard until the habits created. Once the habits created, it will never be hard again. If you do the work, once you maintain the consistency. I’m not saying you’re not going to work hard, but I’m saying emotionally it’s not going to be like having to torture yourself, and drag yourself into the office, and pick your phone up, and it weighs 100 pounds, and put the headset on, or whatever it is.
It’s not going to be hard, it’s going to be effortless because the power of automaticity has now taken over. The greatest achievers in the world, in any area, in any industry. Whether it’s business, whether it’s performing arts, whether it is athletics, whatever it is. The greatest achievers in the world run their life by having powerful habits. One of the most powerful that you will ever create in your life as a real estate agent, is the prospecting habit. Once you create that one, you can stack other habits on top of it that would just make you more, and more, and more powerful. You’ll always be able to expect yes. You’re going to have great success. Do the work. Commit to do it today.