If there is anyone who knows how to work smarter, not harder, it’s Stef Shock. At the height of the recession and when she was on the verge of giving up, she tripled her income, had two consecutive $30M years and went on to sell luxury homes in the Bahamas. One of the keys to her success? Putting strategies into place that helped her work smart.
If you’ve been in the industry for any time at all, you’ve heard the phrase “work harder instead of smarter.” But what does that really mean? How can we take the phrase and put it into action in our businesses?
Don’t reinvent the wheel, figure out how it works.
In any industry in the world, there are people who are ahead of you in business. Real estate is no different. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you have to have the courage to seek the advice of others and ask them for their insight, especially those who have a business model you admire.
Push through your mindset and find the courage to ask.
We often play a head game and talk ourselves out of reaching out to someone we admire. We do it because either we think we’re not good enough or we’re too good to ask for help- our pride and ego gets in the way. .
Try to get some face to face time with people who are successful so that you can learn the very techniques that helped them become great in their business. A really simple way to this is is to invite them out for coffee and come prepared with questions you want to ask them.
When Stef tripled her income, it happened because of a specific phone call she made to an agent. That agent had taken her out to coffee two years earlier and she reached out to say her business wasn’t looking good. During their meeting, the agent said to her, “ let me make some phone calls and see what I can do.” Before she knew it, she was getting set up awesome appointments with developers.
“I got this great opportunity handed to me. I wasn’t really qualified to sell this big beautiful building in New York City, but I managed to get it because I knew I was going to work my tail off for it.”
If you want even more mindset tips, read Mind Over Matter- How To Create An Empire From Nothing.
Make bold and strategic moves in your business.
You have to decide what you want and make focused decisions. These strategic moves in your business are a lot like a chess game, you’re always thinking a few steps in advance.
Everyday we’re pulled in 100 different directions in our business, new CRMs pop up, there are new strategies to try and books to read. But if instead of chasing a new shiney object, Stef recommends you thoughtfully consider each business move and how that decision might affect other areas of your business. Don’t jump into something impulsively.
For example, here are the questions Stef would ask herself if she thought about building a new website.
● How much time and energy is that going to take?
● Do I need to outsource it?
● How much content do I want to build?
● What kind of content do I need to have ready for when the website launches?
● Am I going to commit to this?
Create a strategy dependant upon questions like that and how much you want to commit to it for the long term. That’s 100% working smarter, not harder.
Create content that serves the socks off of your buyers and sellers.
Marketing is a great opportunity to be creative. These days, everyone’s on their smartphones and Facebook, which means every agent out there is also using Facebook as a marketing tool.
The key to working smarter instead of harder is to produce content that actually matters to the prospect If you’re doing what every agent is doing, like giving marketing reports for neighborhoods, you’re just creating noise. And it’s noise the prospect is already receiving from someone else.
The ONLY thing that separates you from another agent (and their Facebook content) out there is YOU. You’re one of a kind and the strategic difference in your business. Think about it, the associate next door has access to the same tools and community as you do. But they don’t have you, your story or your personality!
You might have to think outside the box a little bit, examine your market and think about what kind of information is really needed.
● If you’re in a market where the home inventory is really low, you might create a post with a graphic that says “Are you tired of getting bid out in yet another bidding war?”
● If you’re in market where there are a lot of older homes you might create a post with a graphic that says “Do you have a hole in your roof? You can still sell your home.”
Both of these examples tap into the psychology of the prospect and serves them. This type of content is active and engaging.
Community related content will also serve your prospects. Stef thinks that real estate agents under estimate how much influence they have. They’re thought of to have the answer to everything from the best coffee shops, movers, cleaners, landscapers, schools, playgrounds, farmers markets and more. This influence can be used to make recommendations, educate prospects and form authentic relationships. So, go ahead and recommend your favorite coffee shop and tell everyone why you love it!
Video is also a great way to engage on social media. Everyone is a fan of behind the scenes, so why not ask a contractor if you can make a video of a bathroom remodel he’s working on? When you share it, you’ll put both of you into top of mind.
To really achieve success, you’ve got stop focusing on the results, but instead focus on making excellent content. If you stop chasing money and start thinking about how you can actually help people, you’ll be blessed with abundant relationships. Facebook might be the platform that started the relationship, but you’ve got to be the added value.
At the end of the day, all of these suggestions can be summed up in one word, tweak. You don’t need to overhaul your entire system or rearrange your business model. Ask your friends and mentors to go out to coffee with you and use that time to talk about what’s working for them. Take your time to think about your next move and if you’ve got the time and resources needed to execute it well. Show up differently on social media than the other agents in your market and serve your prospects with creativity. These are all small changes that will dramatically change your business in the long run.
To learn more about Stef Shock, connect with her on her website.