Find Your Freedom

Dramatically Change Your Business Results in 2018

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If you are an entrepreneur or are in a leadership position inside a larger organization, at some point in your career you will initiate a strategy that requires you and your team to change how you’re operating. Specifically, entrepreneurs can fall behind their competition because of a delayed response to change, or their ideas of what to change were faulty. Often a decision made on a course of change, is not properly addressed in terms of managing clients, partners or employee’s feelings or aversion to change. Not addressing those individuals’ real concerns can lead to resistance, which leads to non-action. Being unengaged with your work associates and clients’ feelings does not create better thinking, and it does not create better customer outcomes. If you want to better predict what your customers’ needs will be — spend more time getting to know their motivations and less time expanding the tabs in your company’s spreadsheets. To close the gap between your goals and potential client’s wants and needs requires you to further develop the skill set of empathy.

Empathy: the ability to identify with and understand another’s situation, feelings and motives. What challenges are others having and how is it affecting them personally and in their work habits? How would you feel or handle their situation? What is the best way to offer support and suggest actionable steps?

Using this definition of empathy, it is clear there is an unfortunate lack of empathy in the majority of our government and educational institutions, businesses and the personal interactions we have every day. Doctors, teachers and sales people who are more empathetic have all demonstrated greater success in their occupations. They have patients who recover faster, students who perform better on tests and receive more repeat business and referrals for their business. If you own a real estate company, you will perform better as a recruiter and coach to your agents if you are more empathetic to their needs.

Using data as opposed to connecting to an individual’s personal motivations and fears is nothing new. We have been bored by excessive charts and graphs for some time.  Yes, it is important to know your numbers and where your customer comes from, but if you want to successfully implement change, you are much better off working on showing empathy towards your team than showing them charts.

A prime example of overusing data to implement change was during the 1992 Presidential election. Ross Perot was the third party candidate who spent a great deal of money to gain an audience only to provide them with too much information at one point in time. You can relate his approach to the modern business meeting with PowerPoint presentations that have an overwhelming amount of data. I am not certain whether his charts and their predictions were right or wrong. What I am certain, is that the majority of people did not connect with the information and charts he was presenting. The election that year was won by a candidate with a slogan that was simple and to the point. Change in the economy was wanted and every candidate made this their primary focus, but only one message resonated with the majority of voters. What will your message be to your company on how to execute a new strategy of growth?

The idea of building empathy to properly implement change is not only for large corporations and government bureaucracies. If you are self-employed in a business, such as real estate, and you want to grow your income, the idea of implementing empathy will hold true for you. You are going to need to invest more time and money to develop a larger client list. Most real estate professionals have someone in their life who will want to know what will be spent in order to grow your business. How might your family feel about you working more hours each week or how the business change will affect their overall responsibilities to your household? Show them a chart about your potential income growth and you will probably receive reluctance. Show them a picture of a beach house you can own together and how they would feel about making sacrifices to obtain that, and you will most likely have a partner on your side.

Next time you are faced with implementing change in your business, with your customers or in your personal life, try to empathize with your employees, clients or family members on how they feel.  After you do this, then you can demonstrate your proficiency in Excel and PowerPoint.

Want to learn more about how to discover what truly drives your motivation to succeed and positon yourself for abundant success in 2018? Please contact your broker about joining us at one of United’s national business planning sessions that will be held on November 9, 16 and 28.  Together, we will build a plan that is more than a spreadsheet, and one that takes into account the changing consumer preferences. If you can get to the “heart” of what matters to you and your clients, you can enter 2018 with a plan that will inspire you to take the steps needed every day to be successful in effectively helping more clients and reaching your annual income goal.

A dream is a goal with a deadline.  I look forward to helping each of you create the lifestyle you desire from the entrepreneurial opportunity that exists in working for United Real Estate.

Peter Giese

President

United Real Estate

United Real Estate Lands on Inc. 5000 List Third Year in a Row!

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To be included once again on the Inc. 5000 list is an incredible accomplishment for United Real Estate. What began as a single real estate office in July of 2011 in Dallas, Texas, has become a testament to how seeing things differently in business can allow you to reap big rewards. The real estate market looked vastly different in 2011 and 2012 when we were preparing the company to grow nationwide. And let’s not forget that in 2012, 43 percent of all home sales were either a short sale or a foreclosure. From having a difficult time selling a home to now having a difficult time finding a home for sale, we have seen dramatic shifts in the real estate market in a short period of time. As a company, United Real Estate continues to move forward full force with commitment to invest and innovate, making certain that we remain a modern, relevant brokerage that is the preferred choice for productive real estate agents and their customers.

While the market continues to change, what has remained constant is the vision we had when we first launched United Real Estate. The vision to build a market-leading full-service 100 percent commission real estate company is thriving and becoming a reality through our ever growing franchise network. No longer do agents have to choose between paying high fees for the support they need to grow their business or working for 100 percent commission with very limited support. At United, our agents are provided the focused support they need with very low fees, all while receiving 100 percent of their commission. Behind our growth is a commitment from all of our employees, brokers, managers and franchise owners aligning with three success principals.

Our first success principal passion.  Our company as a whole is really passionate about our business and works to keep that passion at the forefront of our decisions every day. We are passionate about helping agents achieve personal financial freedom in their real estate careers. United Real Estate operates on the belief that agents are entrepreneurs and if we develop our agents and assist them in creating the business and lifestyle they desire, they will transform United Real Estate into the market leader.

The second success principle is an understanding of what drives our economics. Transaction volume from our agents drives our economics. The company makes money when our agents make money. This aligns everyone in the organization with the same end goal to make certain our agents have the support they need to sell more real estate. We see the success of this principal in our established offices where over 90 percent of their agents are productive.

Lastly, the third principle is an understanding of where we excel in our business and industry. At United Real Estate, we excel at recruiting productive real estate agents. Our rising recruitment of quality agents is the combination of our passion to help agents succeed with the economics of our business model. We warmly welcome the 100+ agents that join our offices each month.

The combined commitments of many people have allowed us to help our agents not only make more money, but create a better lifestyle for themselves and their families. I fondly remember speaking with an agent who joined United during our first year and stating to me, “Thanks Peter, you and United have made it worthwhile for me to sell more real estate.” This statement encompasses the United vision and our culture. It tells the story behind our mission and core belief that our agents are entrepreneurs. Simply put when our agents succeed, United succeeds.

To find out more about our rapidly expanding network and our protected franchise territory model, visit GrowWithUnited.com

Thanks,

Peter

Are You Asking Great Sales Questions?

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It is with certainty I can state that the top sales professionals in any industry all have learned to become excellent at asking questions.  There is both an art and a science to asking questions.  The art of asking questions comes in the timing, delivery and all around presence the sales person has in communicating with their potential client. The science is about the type of questions they ask that are known to stimulate a different type of thinking in the person they are communicating with. Done correctly, a potential client can go from feeling satisfied with their current service or product to being curious about a new product or service to feeling that change is a must or they will be missing out on a new level of satisfaction.

When the product or new service delivers on the promise to the client, a true win/win scenario is experienced. The client gains something they were missing, and the company and sales person benefit by increasing their revenue and earnings. What many people fail to realize is that we are all in sales. It does not matter whether it is for a new job, a new business venture or dating that special someone; I have discovered that asking great questions will be the first step to place you on the right path to success. Asking yourself the right questions is a sales function that works equally as well for growing your business, building your career and achieving personal goals.

A vision of success is personal in nature and not everyone’s will look the same. The underlying truth is we were created to grow, and if we don’t grow then we are missing a basic human need.  The need for growth is built in us as much as our need for companionship and community.  We were never made to live on an island alone. We need relationships to survive and thrive and we also need to grow or we become stagnant. People will often become complacent because they claim they are satisfied when what they really are is uncomfortable with change. The world is always going to change and as we press forward with new technology and adapt to demographic shifts, the change will become more rapid. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are states of mind that are influenced by the types of questions we are willing to open ourselves up to.

Are you asking great questions about your own business or life to reach your true potential and new levels of success? Top sales people don’t use any gimmicks or sales tactics to achieve success. They ask quality questions because they care about the businesses and individuals they seek to help. They enjoy selling because what they sell and how they sell is congruent with their values.

“If you ask quality questions, they will help you create a high-quality life” – John Maxwell

Where might you start with asking yourself quality questions? I like the question that sums up where you have been spending your dollars and time.

How much have you invested this year to grow your business and grow as an individual?

That investment is in both dollars and time.  Most people have already given up on their 2017 New Year’s resolutions. They did not invest the time and money to see them through. The most successful people significantly invest in themselves every year to grow their knowledge, grow their skills and grow their network. You are going to be around a long time, your success is worth more than an expensive watch, handbag or pair of shoes.

I am proud to announce that each year we have a wonderful opportunity for United Real Estate agents to make an investment in themselves that will pay for itself 10 times over. Early registration is now open to our agents for the 2018 United convention, Viva United!  For only $199, all United agents have the opportunity to be at an industry-leading event. The three day event will give our agents the knowledge they need for immediate growth and create a mindset that will motivate them to keep those growth commitments alive throughout the year.  Click here to register and learn more about United’s convention that will be held February 22-24, 2018, in Miami, Florida VivaUnitedRealEstate.com.

Viva United!

Peter

Light It Up Blue On April 2, 2017

  • Light It Up Blue - April 2, 2017

    Light It Up Blue - April 2, 2017

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One of the most difficult things to do in our modern connected world is find examples of an idea or a mission to unite individuals for a common purpose. It is much easier to find examples online and across traditional media outlets that highlight our differences as a society. In today’s world, we have the freedom to easily access more information than we have at any point in time. On a daily basis, we witness published ideas that match our own view of the world, but also ideas that might discount the opinions of others. There are very few social campaigns that people around the globe are willing to participate in while placing their differences aside to take action together to promote social awareness, tolerance, acceptance and hope.

One day a year through the work of Autism Speaks®, a charitable organization dedicated to autism advocacy, research, awareness and outreach programs, people across the world come together for a common goal. Nations, individuals and businesses across the globe unite to Light It Up Blue on April 2 to help raise awareness of the support to the cause that Autism Speaks provides, while providing a platform to contribute funding for future research. Last year over 11,000 buildings* across the globe participated in Light It Up Blue to show support for the tens of millions of people worldwide affected by autism.

The Light It Up Blue campaign kicks off April’s National Autism Awareness Month. This month represents the opportunity to promote autism awareness, acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year. The Light It Up Blue campaign is a commitment to help raise funds for research and support to aid families throughout a child’s life after being diagnosed with autism.

  • According to the CDC, around 1 in 68 American children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum.*
  • Studies have shown that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.*
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 per year on average*
  • There is no medical test to diagnose autism or cure for autism*

When a child is diagnosed with autism, it means not only life-long challenges for them but also challenges for the parents and other family members to provide the care, therapies, educational needs and requirements that can assist with reducing symptoms and increasing skills and abilities. I am proud United® Real Estate has chosen Autism Speaks as its charity and contributes not only as a corporate sponsor but on an individual agent level as well. I have personally seen the life-changing difference that early intervention can make for someone diagnosed with autism. I am also proud of our offices and the thousands of United agents who donate a portion of each commission they earn to Autism Speaks. The voluntary donation from our agents makes an enormous difference and we are united in helping individuals in the autism community reach their full potential.

To find out how you can participate on April 2, visit AutismSpeaks.org/LIUB.  To learn more about United Real Estate’s ongoing support of Autism Speaks, contact your nearest United office by visiting UnitedRealEstate.com.

Let’s press on, united together, and Light It Up Blue!

Peter

*Source: AutismSpeaks.org

5-4-3-2-1…Go!

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Writing unique weekly blogs is not always an easy task. You need a compelling topic with enough content to be meaningful to your audience. Recapping the United Real Estate convention held in Austin last week is difficult – it was not just a conference, but an event built around the idea that we are all different, but have the same growth needs. We can all find information online and through education courses. What we can’t find online is a human connection. If you miss an event like our convention, you miss out on the stories that move us as people to be more and do more.

The convention was designed to have the energy of a rock concert, with the comradery of family alongside you to ensure that you not only have fun, but are open to learning. Most real estate brands speak about expertise in selling some definition of lifestyle real estate. At United Real Estate, we have agents that excel and specialize in selling all types of properties and represent all segments of buyers. Our guiding values ensure that we have the interest of our clients at the forefront, to make certain we are the trusted advisors they desire and need to have on their side.

However, as a company we want to do more than that. We want to help all agents stop viewing real estate as a job and start thinking of the lifestyle they can create for their family by focusing on being an entrepreneur instead. Real estate agents, on average, are already working over 40 hours a week. Those hours should be viewed as owning and building your own business, not having a job!  As an entrepreneur, your top task is to grow your revenue. In real estate, this means generating and following up with potential new clients.

While there is not a singular way to be successful in real estate, there is only one way to ensure success – that is to start taking action. United Real Estate and our partners can teach you to generate leads and be a market expert in real estate. You have to believe you deserve a new level of success and invest in yourself and your business!

If you missed the convention this year, you not only missed the valuable opportunity of connecting with peers, but also great educational opportunities. To quote Mel Robbins, a leading expert on personal development and one of our convention presenters this year – “There’s only one thing standing between you and the life you have always wanted – and that’s YOU.”

Take the next step to being a successful entrepreneur and buy her new bestselling book, “The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work and Confidence with Everyday Courage.” In doing so, you will be armed with the skills to live your life with courage as a true entrepreneur. You can accomplish things most people won’t try and spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.

5-4-3-2-1…Go! See you all at our next convention in Miami, Florida!

All the best,

Peter

How To Gain The Most From The United Real Estate Convention

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During my career, I have had the great privilege of attending and actively participating in many sales conferences and real estate conventions.  However, the greatest privilege of all has been being part of the team at United Real Estate that plans and executes on a continuous mission to raise the quality of our annual event.  The team and I do this with the goal of maintaining an intimate feel that displays the enthusiasm that our staff and fast growing network of franchise owners and agents have for our company and its culture.

United Real Estate was created to build a modern, sophisticated real estate brokerage that not only places the real estate agent in the forefront of the consumer, but equips them with the tools, compensation model and backing of a company to win more business. Our motto of Find Your Freedom® governs our philosophy to treat our agents as entrepreneurs. Being a successful entrepreneur in the real estate industry requires doing things most agents won’t do so you can build a lifestyle that most won’t ever achieve. Find Your Freedom® means doing what you are supposed to do, not just what you want to do.  During this year’s Convention, you will be given the insight into what investments you need to make in your business in order to do what you are supposed to do – grow the numbers of clients you serve.

As a company, we have a “come as you are” spirit. We welcome and are proud of our diverse population of agents, which truly reflects the population of our great country. Come as you are also means to let others see your cracks. At conventions and awards celebrations there is often a shortage of humility and hardly ever a shortage of overconfidence on display. We each have strengths and weaknesses. If you are open about your “cracks”, you will find the speakers, staff and other attendees that will be willing to help you.

My convention advice to you is to be open, be positive, extend your hand in kindness and offer help to those who need it. They just might extend their hand back to help you get where you want to go.

Look forward to seeing you in Austin!

Peter

My 7 Essential Personality Traits for Success in Selling Anything

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Companies and individuals spend a lot of money on sales training in order to increase revenue, or in the case of individuals, to grow their incomes.  Entry level sales training teaches sales people what to say or present. More advanced training teaches salespeople what to ask.  Learning to ask questions to potential clients is a better way to gain more sales than just learning what to present.  However, there is still a large gap between sales people’s incomes who participate and complete the exact same question based sales training program.  Some of this can be explained by work ethic, more successful sales people typically prepare more and work harder.  However, while you can learn how to effectively ask questions to prospective clients, there are also certain personality traits I have learned that you will need to develop in order to be in the top 1% of wage earners in your profession.

In sales, asking questions is critical to your success. You have to ask questions to identify and qualify potential clients and then ask more specific questions to help uncover their real needs. In order to provide more value to the potential client than your competitors, you must ask better questions. If you become better at asking questions and develop the following seven traits, you will outsell everyone!

Empathy – People do business with individuals they like, but they are more likely to buy from sales people who demonstrate empathy towards them.  Empathy is not sympathy.  Empathy is the ability to understand another’s situation, feelings, and motives. It is one thing to be liked, it is another to be seen as someone who can relates to a client’s specific situation and offer guidance.

Ego Drive – Top sales people learn to develop internal motivation which allows them to work hard and be seen as confident. They also know there is a line between having the ego drive necessary to succeed, and being seen as someone who is egotistical.  Egotistical is not a personality trait that is attractive. Being ego driven is a trait that lets clients know with certainty that you’re an individual who is determined to succeed and one who has enthusiasm and confidence in what they are selling. Ego drive is the motor inside every great sales person.

Customer Service Focused – No longer can a sales person take the attitude of ‘sell them and leave them’. The entire world is connected 24 hours a day, and this ease of access to information has given rise to an abundance of customer service ranking websites.  If you mishandle a client, there is a very good chance they won’t just tell their close friends, they may also tell everyone on the Internet.

Resilience – Sales is one of the top earning professions in the world.  The rewards are great, but many enter the sales profession with great hope, only to find out that you hear a lot of no’s. Resilience is the ability to overcome obstacles for a long period of time to achieve a big goal. The top performers have developed the grit necessary to keep going past the no’s and start again with the same enthusiasm on display for each client meeting.

Seek Knowledge – People fall into two different decision making styles. They either make decisions first, and then seek affirmations, or they seek knowledge and expertise and then make a decision. If you want to break out of the decision making that has led you to fall short of your sales goals, you have to be in the latter of these two decision making styles. The people who are thriving in sales are always seeking knowledge to become better.

Process Driven – Successful companies all have a process for maximizing business systems and capabilities. The same is true of top sales people. They are process driven and build a sales process for attracting new clients.  They take each candidate through the same process that mirrors their client’s decision making cycle. What can be repeated, can be improved.

Adaptable – Successful sales people are able to work in the present and have a plan to get better tomorrow. They have managed to navigate the ever-changing business climate by acquiring the skills that allow them to adapt and grow. It’s not good enough to say you had a decent sales meeting, the top sales people document what went well and what could be improved upon after each client meeting.

No one is born having all of these traits, great sales people work to create them. Which of these traits do you have to work on to reach the top of your profession?

All the best!

Peter

How to Own What Matters Most To Your Business

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Growing revenue should be the most important task for every business. If your business is not growing, a competitor’s will be and they are taking customers away from your company. If you are running a Fortune 100 company, the majority of your time should be spent creating products and sales channels to generate revenue.  If you are an individual entrepreneur, the majority of your time should be spent on income-producing activities.  The biggest key in growing your sales lies in first knowing who owns that responsibility and having the proper systems in place to hold the organization, or yourself, accountable for the growth goals.

Accountability. How did such a great concept get such a negative reputation? Inefficient leaders and poor managers have wrapped it in a veil of negativity and used it as the enforcer of responsibility. We complain about it at work, and in our personal lives; think about your family budget or weight loss goals. Usually, it is discussed as a virtue that is lacking in others. However, it is part of the planning process that will position you to reach your business goals. What turns the fun activity of goal setting into the not as much fun implementation of the business plan is facing the fact that someone has to be responsible for the outcome.  For all important business tasks, ownership and accountability have to be in place and individuals have to be willing to be held responsible for the outcomes assigned.

The most common misconception about accountability is the difference that exists between excuses and responsibility.  If you look at the companies and individuals who achieve great results over a long period of time, they all know the difference between having success and being effective. You can have short term success and then reach a very difficult obstacle and not be effective in growing past those difficult circumstances. In order for individual leaders to be effective in the long term, the most important factor is not how they place blame, but rather it is based on their ability to take responsibility for what they can own. In taking responsibility for the outcome, effective leaders are empowering themselves to develop new personal traits and skills needed to commit to take action and place their business’ growth back on track.

Nothing should stop your dream of building an incredibly successful business.  The growth of your business is what matters most. Here are four principles of accountability that need to be in place to ensure your company will reach its goals:

  • Designate the individuals who are responsible for growth in your company
  • Build precision in your budget and determine how each dollar spent will impact your growth
  • Create proper incentives and ramifications for the individuals who own your growth goals
  • Identify the right benchmarks to track the progress of reaching your growth goals

Feeling sorry for yourself or placing blame won’t correct your missteps. However, there is a great sense of self-empowerment when you realize that you have the ability each day to decide to hold yourself accountable.  No longer are other people’s actions and perspectives a deterrent to your achievement. No longer can we use work, relationships or others as an excuse to not achieve. It is all up to you and your actions. What a wonderful discovery! The decision is yours, the vision is yours, the actions are yours, and you are accountable for you.

Think of accountability not as a negative activity to be shunned, but rather as a valuable coaching tool to help you grow. Top executives, athletes and sales individuals all understand that to truly excel they need a confidante, a coach who cares about their success and helps them succeed. If you are looking to learn more about how coaching can help your real estate business, visit our website.

Best wishes!

Peter

Why Most Businesses and Individuals Don’t Reach Their New Year Goals

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As the New Year begins, there is never a shortage of newly developed business plans and individual resolutions that are built and created.  Each time I go online, a new social media post or article will pop up addressing the importance of goal setting, offering motivating tips and techniques on setting goals for your business, career or personal life.  In a recent google search I conducted for the term ‘goal setting’, the search produced 15.9 million results!  There is definitely not a shortage of information on how to set goals and build plans.  What there is a shortage of, is people and enterprises that actually reach their goals.

It’s not setting goals, building business plans or creating New Year’s resolutions that are the problem, it’s knowing what the real obstacles are that you are going to have to overcome that keeps people from achieving the results they desire.  Whether you are setting S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Based) or B.H.A.G. (Big Hairy Audacious Goals), if you do not know what hurdles you will be encountering you won’t know the proper steps  to take to leap over them. You can do a lot of things right with regards to staying positive, taking care of your health, visualizing your success, having an accountability partner and still end up short of reaching your goals. Without conducting the proper research of the obstacles you will encounter during your journey, you will become either discouraged or unprepared to reach your desired outcome or win against your competition when you reach the difficult part of executing your plan.

It’s not only important to know what to do to reach your goals, it is equally important to know what the real obstacles will be to reach your goals that far too often are overlooked.  Not understanding the difficulties of achieving a worthwhile goal leads people to underestimate what actions are required to accomplish their goals. Most people have no challenges with dreaming big, they are challenged with understanding how much work is needed to overcome the unidentified obstacles they will encounter along their journey. However, you can overcome this universal goal setting deficiency with proper research that identifies the obstacles ahead of you and gives you insight on actions to take to overcome those challenges.

Through research you find out who and what you are competing against. What is the result that matters and what relevant skills will you need to develop to achieve the goal. It does not matter whether it is for advancing your career, launching a new business, or losing weight; proper research is the first step to get you on the right path to success to reach your goal. Research also helps you identify the pitfalls to avoid. It allows you to know what has been done before, and what the needs, rewards, trends, and new developments are. You can also discern what to learn and what to avoid. Good planning is a component of research. Sounds simple enough, but how much time do we spend researching and planning versus just having a plan. A plan and planning are two distinctly different items. Research is a part of planning that educates and provides you an organized format for both the goals you want to achieve and identifies the obstacles you will encounter along the way.

Napoleon Hill, in his bestselling book, Think and Grow Rich, wrote, “Anybody can wish for riches, and most people do, but only a few know that a definite plan, plus a burning desire for wealth, are the only dependable means of accumulating wealth.” It is human nature to want better, but why do so many people get off track? Just because you wish it, just because you want it, just because you think it doesn’t mean you will get it. You need to have a definitive process to follow that allows you to get to where you want to go.  That process includes setting goals, developing action plans and properly identifying the real obstacles you will have to overcome during the course of the year.

It’s a new year, and instead of just following the advice and expert opinions on how to set goals, positon yourself for a breakthrough year and also take the time to learn what key obstacles you will have to overcome to reach your annual goal.  In order for you to accomplish something significant in 2017, it will require a lot of work.  In fact, it will most likely take more effort than you realize.

What strategies, resources, time commitment and skills will be required for you to have the transformational year you have outlined in your annual plan?

Peter

The Why, What and How of the Entrepreneur’s Business Plan

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Over the past three weeks, with the aid of technology, I had the privilege to kick off the annual United Real Estate business planning workshops with hundreds of real estate agents from across the U.S. in attendance.  It is very satisfying to aid so many entrepreneurial individuals in understanding that freedom in business and in life is having the ability to do what you are supposed to do.  The essence of a successful plan goes beyond spreadsheets and a mission statement.  Everyone is familiar with the celebrated success stories of the start-up entrepreneur’s technology business that quickly made them rich.  We are also aware that most businesses don’t succeed past 5 years and the odds are stacked against the individual start-up. A lot of factors make up the difference between succeeding and failing in business. However, all successful entrepreneurs have a common theme to their planning process. They recognize they are not just building a business, they are creating a lifestyle.

While the projected sales numbers and profits that make up the forecast and budget of a business plan are in everyone’s game plan for success, the individuals who breakout from their competition have more than just a strategy and spreadsheets.  What successful entrepreneurs recognize is that when you open a business, particularly a real estate business, you can’t easily separate the business from you, the individual. The Why, What and How of building a plan is not just about your business, it’s also about your life story and it all starts with answering with definitive knowledge and having very specific answers to these three questions. The answers combine passion with knowledge and precise action plans that justify the hours you work, and put to ease the initial uncertainty that is part of owning your own business.

The Why – To grow a business you have to do things that are at first uncomfortable. To build new success habits you must know what you have to look forward to in the future in order to stay motivated in the present.  You have to ask yourself not only why potential customers should do business with you, but why you are personally in business. If you are like most entrepreneurs you left the certainty of a paycheck for the freedom of being your own boss.  The freedom of working for yourself also brings with it uncertainty. Your Why to take on this risk and then insure your success has to be really big. You are not just looking at what your life is today but what it can be in 5 years and also in 20 years. Done correctly, answering your Why will set the goals for your business.

The What – After you understand your true Why, then, and only then, are you ready to move to the What. Following this path greatly increases the likelihood that you will succeed. You must have a rock solid reason as to why you are going to keep striving and pushing past the setbacks that are inherently part of building a business. Goals tell us what to get, not what to do. The best sales people set goals that are not just about the outcome, but the process to get to the outcome. It is here you answer the universal equation of success for all entrepreneurs. What is the market opportunity for your business?

Total number of potential clients * conversion rate + past customers + referrals = Income

The How – The dream is known, the goal is set. It’s time to lay out your strategy on what methods you are going to deploy to reach your potential clients. The key to executing this part of your plan is knowledge and commitment.  You need to know how to reach your customers, how to communicate with them, how to stay in touch with them, and how to sell to them. To be successful as an entrepreneur you will have to commit to performing these activities for a very long time.  This requires you to continually invest in building your potential client list and also developing your personal skills. The business environment will always be changing and you have to adapt to utilize new technologies and adapt to new trends to modernize your business. Becoming a market expert will not be enough, you will also have to learn how to develop the invisible traits of determination, persistence, grit and personal accountability.

Building a business that will support the lifestyle you desire is a skill to be mastered, not just pursued. A great question to ask yourself is, have you spent more money on Starbucks this year or on your personal development? After all, true freedom is reached when you realize you are empowered to do what you are supposed to do to create your ideal life, not just what you want to do. To learn more about how to implement a plan to raise your income in real estate and improve your lifestyle, join us at the 2017 United Real Estate Convention.

All the best!

Peter