There are many things needed to grow a successful real estate business. You need to have a firm grasp on the local real estate market, numbers and formulas. You need to build a reliable team that can help tackle anything that comes your way. It also helps to have capital behind you and the ability to dip into your reserves if you need to. Even if you have all these items in place, it still may not be enough to be successful. What many people overlook are the seemingly minor items that often have the biggest impact. How you treat people, the way you speak to your team and your attention to promptness can all have just as much, if not more, of an impact on your success. Regardless of where you are in your business the little things matter. Here are five everyday actions you can do that will help improve your business.
- Return calls. With all the various methods available for staying in touch there is no excuse not to promptly return calls. Not returning calls and keeping someone in the dark is one of the quickest ways to ruin your reputation. This doesn’t mean you should drop everything every time your phone rings, but it is not unreasonable to follow up within a few hours. If someone calls and leaves a long voicemail take the time to call them back. Sure, you can send a quick text and be done with it but consider the impact. The recipient will feel like they are not important enough for you to spend two minutes on the phone with them. This has a trickle-down effect the next time you want something from them. Always put yourself in the shoes of the people around you and think if this is how you would want to be treated.
- Keep appointments. Everybody is busy with something in their own way. Regardless if you have five other things going on you need to always keep your appointments. An appointment is like a personal promise made to someone in your network. You may not feel like the meeting is useful or particularly important, but the other person may feel completely different. If you break the appointment your reputation takes an immediate hit. You lose instant credibility that changes the way someone things about you. Changing one appointment or breaking it at the last minute may not be the end of the world but with the way people communicate in 2018 has a bigger impact than you think. Your mortgage broker may talk to you attorney who talks to their accountant who works with a local contactor you have worked with. With a bad reputation they may not be as quick to work with you the next time you have a deal. Most appointments don’t take more than half an hour. Everyone has 30 minutes they can spare to help grow their business.
- Listen more than you talk. There isn’t much worse than sitting down with someone and listening to them talk for 30 minutes straight. They tell you about all their accomplishments, deals they have closed and the people they work with. When they finally stop to catch their breath you have nothing to say. The reality is that in 2018 if you want to learn about someone you can do so easily online. In the matter of minutes you will have a good idea of what someone has done and who they have worked with. You don’t need to let the people around you know everything you have done. In fact, you should make it a point to listen more than you talk in meetings. Instead of controlling the conversation take a step back and listen. This allows the people around you to get whatever they want off their chest without listening to you all the time.
- Give referrals. There is nothing better in real estate than an unexpected deal. If you can give someone a referral, even if it doesn’t work out, they will remember it. Every potential deal you are a part of should be an opportunity. Obviously, the primary goal is to secure the property but even if you can’t you should find a way to profit. Passing along a referral to your attorney, mortgage broker or fellow investor will pay off at some point down the line. Always do whatever you can to get the people on your team involved, especially if they have done the same for you in the past.
- Be a straight shooter. It is always best to deliver bad news as directly as possible. Nothing good is accomplished by trying to wait for the perfect time or not giving the whole story as soon as you know. By skirting around the issue you instantly lose credibility and people will begin to question you. Whatever bad news you must give, lay it all out on the line regardless of consequence. Not only does this help to immediately start working on a solution but people around you will respect you. They know you are not afraid to deal with bad news and are honest to a fault. This is how relationships are built and trust is formed.
You can make a case that these five items are more important for business growth than anything you will read in a book or learn in a networking meeting. With so much competition in the market the little things often make all the difference.