Real Estate

The Cheat Sheet: 9 Essential Real Estate Reads You Need Right Now

There are a lot of sales, self-help and business books out there that veterans swear changed their business, and new real estate books come out every year. It can be overwhelming trying to get caught up with 100 years of reading materials.

Maybe you don’t have the time. Maybe you’re not much of a reader. Maybe you just want to quickly catch up so you can contribute to the conversation when other agents bring up these bestsellers.

Good news! I’ve done the legwork for you. Below, you’ll find a brief description of nine real estate must-reads (in video format), paired with some of my favorite tips. Click through the whole post for a full rundown of the takeaways each book has to offer.

What do you think is possible in your real estate business? Whatever you just thought, you’re thinking too small. Here are seven principles from The Magic of Thinking Big that can lead to a fundamental change in the trajectory of growth for your business.

Top tip: Use small goals for momentum

Momentum is a powerful, unseen force. Once it begins, it gains strength with every win. The key to gaining momentum is to set yourself up for small wins.

Develop small goals like having five real estate-related conversations by 10 a.m. or emailing properties that meet their search criteria to four prospective buyers by 9 a.m. each morning. Maybe yours could be writing one handwritten thank you note before 9 a.m. or calling one past client by 10 a.m.

What are some goals you could set each morning to give you a small win? Whatever they are, set yourself up for success with small goals to build your positive momentum.

Moving a business from good to great sounds like a massive undertaking, but it often comes down to a handful of best practices. Here are insights and strategies for making the transition from the Jim Collins book From Good to Great.

Top tip: Be built to last

If you are going to build a business that is built to last, decisions should be calculated and made based on the long term instead of being reactive and focused on the short term. Do you have a 5-, 10- or 20-year plan for your life and your business? What are the things you can do today that your future self will thank you for?

Identify where you want your business to be in the future and backfill your schedule with the activities needed to achieve those goals. Save more, market more and grow yourself into the leader who is built to last. These are the activities that lead to long-term success.

Time spent reading one of John Maxwell’s books or watching one of his speeches on YouTube is time well spent. Maxwell’s insights are actionable and his wisdom is timeless.

Top tip: The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda

Do you show up to your office in the morning and try to figure out what you will do that day? Or do you plan your day the night before with time blocks for prospecting, following up with past clients and managing current transactions? Your daily calendar is the rudder that controls the direction of your business. When you control your agenda, you control your future.

Daily disciplines, seizing opportunities and embracing change are among Jim Rohn’s most effective messages. Here’s how you can use these gems to revolutionize the way you do business.

Top tip: It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind, that determines which way we will go

Market cycles will come, and they will go. Every day creates obstacles and opportunities. The question is not whether the market will change, but rather how you will turn what others see as obstacles into opportunities.

We can all agree that in every market environment there are agents who struggle and agents who thrive. What makes successful agents different? It is their ability to “adjust their sails when the winds change.”

OK, so this one is more of a roundup of critical insights from one of the most revered motivational speakers and trainers of all time, Zig Ziglar — some written, some spoken. His work has inspired, encouraged and instructed salespeople for more than 50 years. He was known for power quotes that have been the catalyst for dramatic personal and business growth in the lives of many.

Top tip: Remember that failure is an event and not a person.

Struggle, disappointment and failures are unfortunate realities of the real estate business. I don’t know a single top-producing agent that didn’t overcome failure before finding success. As a matter of fact, my experience has been that the agents who faced and overcame the most struggles are the highest producing agents I know.

If you’ve been facing struggles and failures in your business, understand that these are the very seeds that will lead to your future success.

The ability to understand the psychological influences buyers and sellers are facing helps you serve them better. Here are the lessons you can learn from Robert Cialdini’s must-read book on influence and persuasion — and how to apply them to real estate.

Top tip: The principle of social proof

The principle of social proof says when people aren’t sure what to do, they will do what they see others doing. According to Inc., 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as their friends’ recommendations. This speaks directly to the value of online real estate reviews and recommendations.

Utilizing your real estate reviews and recommendations on social media and advertising provides an opportunity for the principle of social proof to help your real estate business grow.

Posting them on social media, including them in your email signature, on your website or on any outbound direct mail marketing pieces will increase your potential for conversion. If you are looking to grow your business, increasing your social proof by compiling more online reviews should be a cornerstone strategy.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is one of the most popular self-help books of all time. Hill spent 20 years interviewing more than 500 millionaires and identifying the traits that he found common in this group of high achievers.

Top tip: Move past resistance

All success comes on the other side of resistance. Growth and comfort cannot coexist, so how can you come to a place where you are comfortable being uncomfortable? It starts with your understanding that struggle is a part of the process. It’s not a matter of if — but when — you will face the next level of resistance.

When struggle comes, embrace it with the knowledge that it’s a natural part of the process when moving to the next level of your success. Facing resistance is a sign that you are on the right track. Keep moving forward, and push past the resistance as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Stephen R. Covey’s time-tested self-help book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has been an empowering read for anyone looking to truly grow themselves personally and professionally. Here’s how you can harness the power of this book that has been a must-read for decades and apply it to your real estate career.

Top tip: Put first things first

The most successful agents prioritize their daily activities. They identify the activities that lead to a growing business, and they make sure those activities are their priority.

What are the most important activities in your business? Is it time-blocking each day to prioritize prospecting? Is it working on your sphere of influence? Whatever it is that moves your business forward, focus on those things first.

Ed Mylett recently released the book, The Power of One More: The Ultimate Guide to Happiness and Success. The book proposes you are closer to your goals than you think, and that by applying the principle of one more, you can achieve everything you’ve dreamed of having.

Top tip: One more CMA

The agent that adds the most value to homeowners is rewarded with the opportunity to list more homes. The best way to add value to homeowners is by providing them with an updated valuation of their home. Providing one more CMA made an amazing difference in my business.

In the last quarter of 2018, which was my last quarter in sales before transitioning to my current position, I recorded and delivered an unsolicited video CMA to a homeowner each of the 72 days I worked during those three months.

Directly from those 72 daily unsolicited CMAs, I generated more than  $11 million in listings. The power of one more CMA may be the most valuable daily discipline an agent can put into practice that will lead to more success.

You can read more about the unsolicited CMA strategy I used here.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in northwest Florida. You can connect with him on Instagram or YouTube.

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