Make Mistakes, Practice Scripts and Other Practical Advice for Rookies

This is the eleventh piece in our twelve-month Rookie Series. Don’t miss:

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Five Do’s to Build Your Career

  1. Spend some time creating a written business plan. This should include both short-term and long-term goals. Decide whether you are more driven by a specific number of sales or a desired income. Don’t worry that you don’t have all the skills yet to achieve your goals. You will learn as you go. Like the old saying goes, “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’re there?”
  2. Make mistakes! That’s right; you are encouraged to make mistakes. That is how you will learn. Agents who are too afraid to make mistakes rarely get anything accomplished. The key to making mistakes is to use them as a learning experience. Remember what Winston Churchill said, “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm.”
  3. Add everyone you know to your database – and then contact them. Having names in your database doesn’t mean a thing if they don’t hear from you on a consistent basis. The key is having a reason to contact them. Birthdays, anniversaries, sales in their neighborhood, community activities and charity events can all be a motive to touch base. They may not need your services now. You just want them to think of you when they, or someone they know, does.
  4. Practice your scripts and dialogues. It might not sound glamorous, but the sooner you know what to say, the sooner you will be comfortable in a sales situation. Tiger Woods still goes to the driving range before he tees off in a tournament, and major league baseball players still spend February and March in spring training. The more they can rehearse their “scripts,” the more they will be able to rely on them when they are “in action.”4a. Role play. Not many people like to role play, but even fewer people enjoy messing up a great opportunity because they didn’t know what to say or how to say it. You can practice all day long in front of a mirror, but until you try it with a real live person, it’s not the same. Pair up with a fellow new agent or a manager and have fun.
  1. Take time for personal and family enjoyment. It will be hard to take time off because you won’t want to miss any opportunities. But think about this: If you don’t learn to take time off now, when you’re not busy, how will you ever make time when you actually have business? Besides, when you are relaxed and doing the things you enjoy most, you’ll be surprised how much business will come to you when you’re not even looking for it. That’s what is called a “win-win” situation.

 Five Don’t’s to Build Your Career

  1. Don’t fear negotiation, welcome it. If people are willing to negotiate, that usually means they have some interest in what it is you are offering. Take a negotiation class, read books on negotiation and study your own habits and styles of negotiation. Why do you seem to “give in” or “give up” when you are negotiating for something? Remember, nobody likes to feel like they have lost, so seek common ground and work towards it.
  2. Don’t forget this is a “no” business. Welcome to the world of sales. This job isn’t about houses; it’s about people and their wants, needs and dreams. We can’t help everyone, and we can’t expect everyone to want to work with us. Don’t take it personally if people tell you no. Thank them and move on to the next person.
  3. Don’t expect to have all the answers right away.This job is always changing, so even the top agents are learning something new every day. The fact that you have your license means that you know more than the average person. If you don’t know the answer to someone’s question, admit it, tell them you will find the answer out and get back to them in a timely manner. They will appreciate your honesty.3a. Don’t act like you know everything already. People don’t like know-it-alls or name droppers. You probably don’t either. There is a fine line between being confident and being cocky.
  1. Don’t think the leads are going to come to you. You must actively pursue any and all leads you may get. That means adding them to a database and scheduling follow-up consistently. Some may come to fruition quickly, some in due time and some not at all. You just want to position yourself for the moment when the prospect is ready, willing and able to proceed.
  2. Don’t skip steps. You cannot get to a paycheck until you have had a closing. You cannot have a closing until you have made a sale. You can’t make a sale before you have a seller or buyer. You cannot get a seller or buyer without an appointment. You cannot schedule appointments if you are not talking to people. If your long-term goal is earning a comfortable income, your short-term goals must be to talk to people and schedule appointments.

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About the Author

Michelle Lind

K. Michelle Lind, CEO of Arizona REALTORS®, is also an attorney, State Bar of Arizona board certified real estate specialist, and the author of Arizona Real Estate: A Professional’s Guide to Law and Practice. Please note that this article is of a general nature and may not be up-to-date or revised for accuracy as statutory or case law changes following the date of first publication. Further, this article reflects only the opinion of the author, is not intended as definitive legal advice and you should not act upon it without seeking independent legal counsel.