When we think about tools and the people who use them, we tend to automatically think of mechanics and woodworkers. But the truth is, I can’t think of a profession where success isn’t dependent on having and using appropriate tools—and that includes real estate. You might not realize it, but if you’ve had any sort of success in this industry, it’s because you had access to and used tools. Obviously, we don’t tend to use many physical tools (apart from the occasional hammer or tape measure), but that doesn’t mean we don’t carry around our own toolboxes.
So, what’s in your toolbox?
When I ask this question, many times people aren’t quite sure what to say, because most of the time we just don’t think about our profession in those terms. Common responses I get are things like, “I’m a good salesman,” “I’m a people person,” or “I’m a hard worker.” And while these may be true, they are not really tools.
See, a tool is something you can utilize in a specific situation to achieve a specific goal. You use a hammer to drive in nails; you can’t use “being a good salesman” alone to sell a house. Tools are means, not ends. What is it that makes you a good salesman?
Think about the specific actions you perform on the way to a deal. Do you track the leads that come in and follow their progress? Do you have specific plans and strategies for helping those leads turn into lifetime clients? Or do you leave it up to chance and just hope you meet someone who happens to be receptive to your sales pitch?
We use tools to make changes in the world around us—the way a saw changes the shape of a piece of wood and a wrench loosens or tightens bolts and fasteners. If we didn’t have tools, we’d just have our intentions, and often that isn’t enough. What are the specific tools you use to generate new leads and listings? How do you retain those leads and turn them into repeat clients? Or do your clients simply appear and stick around because you want them to?
Thinking about the tools in your toolbox is vital because it allows you to be more intentional with your business. It will let you see where things are working well—where a tool is doing what it should—and where perhaps the tool needs to be replaced or you need practice in using it. Very often I find that people have more tools in their toolbox than they think, but many of them are rusty from neglect or misuse.
This week, I want you to lay out every single tool in your real estate toolbox to see what you have. Account for all the specific activities or strategies you can intentionally use to generate business. Then, go over each one to see whether it gives you the desired results and if you are as competent at using it as you need to be. By doing this, you’ll think of things to do that you might have forgotten about, tools that have lain too long at the bottom of the box. In a market as competitive as our current market, you’ll be glad you used every tool available to you. In the words of Benjamin Franklin: “The best investment is in the tools of one’s own trade.”
Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, a real estate consulting company that specializes in performance coaching and building highly effective teams. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and free downloadable resources.