Would you like to make more money this year than you did last year…and continue that trend for the next ten years? Want to be the top sales professional in your field or find your way on to the Wall Street Journals list of top 400 agents in the nation someday?
You can—but it’s not easy. And it takes a lot more than sitting open houses on Saturday in spring with visions of sales awards dancing in your head.
How do I know? Some of our clients are truly accomplished real estate agents. I’ve seen what they’ve done to set themselves apart. In a few cases I’ve helped, but mostly I’ve marveled at their approach, energy, and most importantly persistence.
If you want to increase your annual income this year, then here are six principles you must embrace.
Understand Your Value Per Hour
Most of us will take any work that comes our way. That’s problematic. Working with just about anybody will drain you of time and energy and, most importantly, of money. So your first step towards earning more income this year is to figure out how much you are worth.
This is easy to figure out: just take your last commission and divide that by the amount of hours you worked. That figure is what you are worth per hour. More than likely it’s on the low side. Now, determine how much you want to make.
If you’re not tracking your time, you need to start doing that today. What separates the superstars from the average agent is a metric mindset. They measure everything. They keep track of the number of hours they work a day. Number of inbound leads they respond to. People they convert.
Tracking your time is just one part of understanding your value and will help you reach that preferred value per hour.
Understand Your Average Commission Check
Your next step toward increasing your annual income is to understand what your average commission check is. This is a simple task, too: Just add up all the commissions you’ve earned over the last fiscal year and then divide that by the number of commissions.
That average commission check will give you an idea of what each transaction is worth to you. But the value of this simple exercise is to see how working with just about anyone is hurting you. You’re not going to make more money each year if you don’t start controlling what you make by selecting who you want to work with and when.
This will hurt because you’ll be turning down leads. But hopefully by now you realize that unloanable, unmotivated and high-maintenance people don’t make you money. (Here are four questions you can use to disqualify potentially problematic seller leads.)
In fact, the whole point behind this exercise is so that you can cherry pick your clients, choosing to work with those who agree with your business philosophy and can actually pay you for your time. Do not be afraid to stand by your VPH.
Disqualifying rapidly will not be so troublesome when you are prospecting daily. In fact, you can not really expect to gain real momentum unless you are. This means you need to be picking up the phone, responding to buyer ads and hanging out places where you have an opportunity to network.
Here’s a bit of a warning: Do not quit prospecting when you are busy. That is the last thing you want to do.
If you do, you’ll quickly find yourself out of leads and out of work and back to square one. That’s an emotional roller coaster ride you don’t want to get on.
Instead, spend time prospecting by phone, in person, on social media, at apartments or with investors. You can not create a steady stream of income that grows each year without a consistent stream of leads you can cherry pick.
Understand Your Most Profitable Activities–Eliminate the Rest
Delegation is the key to making more money. See, if you’re spending your time copying flyers or hanging signs, then you are not making your VPH. You are making much, much less. You are making minimum wage…and there are easier ways to do that.
What are your most profitable activities? More than likely it’s prospecting, marketing, negotiations, listing presentations and selling. It’s those activities that you actually make money, so you should focus on those and delegate everything else.
Create a Schedule
Finally, you need to prioritize your activities. Perhaps you are a morning person. Then reserve all your high profit activities during that time when you are sharpest. That means don’t schedule a negotiation call for 8 in the evening.
This also means you need to avoid overworking. Be fierce about controlling your time and protecting your life outside of your business. And if your life IS your business, then you need to step back and re-evaluate what you are tyring to accomplish, especially if you have a family.
Sacrificing time with family and friends to make a ten or twenty thousand more dollars a year is a worthless pursuit.
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