—Set Godin, Marketing Authority, Author, Speaker at 2016 Inman Connect New York
Successful realtors understand that a vital part of their success as a real estate agent is focusing on the right things (e.g. being an effective real estate agent, adopting proven success strategies, etc.). And this, no doubt, makes up a substantial part of your effectiveness as a realtor. As Anthony Robbins often says, your success is controlled by what you focus on. “Shift your focus toward where you want to go,” he says, “and your actions will take you in that direction.”
But another part of your success comes down to your ability to focus your brain. In other words, you have to focus on the right things, but you also have to maintain your focus (i.e. concentration). That’s where the real power is. As one of America’s greatest inventors, Alexander Graham Bell, once put it, “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” This is the kind of burning focus that enables you to make a lasting mark.
There are all sorts of reasons that people find it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Sometimes our lack of ability to concentrate has deeper physiological, or psychological roots. For the vast majority of people, however, significant relief can be found from following a few practical guidelines.
Successful Realtors Adopt Physical and Biological Strategies for Increasing Focus.
Closely related to the topic of discipline, proper exercise, sleep, and nutrition all play a surprisingly powerful role in your ability to properly focus. If you’re not getting adequate sleep, or you’re eating lots of sugary, highly processed foods, you will likely have more trouble focusing than usual. Similarly, adequate exercise can help to improve focus. Taking periodic breaks throughout the day can also help to improve concentration (and, as research reveals, job satisfaction).
Successful Realtors Create Environmental Supports to Improve Concentration.
The core idea here is to eliminate obvious distractions. Unfortunately, our working environments are often full of hazards to focus. A messy work area, distracting noises, loud and obnoxious people, and, of course, the internet itself can all sap your focus and reduce your productivity. For noise, you may find relief with either noise cancelling earphones, or playing soft “white noise” on your computer. You may try, for example, searching YouTube with terms such as a “gentle river,” “nature sounds,” or “relaxing music.” There are also numerous apps and websites that can help with avoiding the urge to surf the web. If none of these tools or tactics work, you may find relief through learning to calm and focus your mind itself. Meditation can be tremendously helpful in this regard.
Successful Realtors Employ Work-Related Tactics to Strengthen Focus.
There are also a number of work-related tactics that you can use to increase your focus on your real estate business.
- Start with Your Purpose and Goals for Your Real Estate Business. Some realtors drag their feet because they’re not really sure they’re doing the right things. If you don’t see the point of what you’re doing, or how it will help you to generate leads, then it’s going to be hard to concentrate. The solution is to get confirmation that you are indeed doing the right things. If you can’t find the answers you need online, then find a trusted colleague or talk to your real estate broker about the issue (you can also email me if you’re interested in hearing my thoughts). Another potential problem here is that you have weak, uninspiring goals. If you’re not clear what your purpose is, or you’re not excited to reach your goals, that can also become an obstacle to focus. It’s easy to get distracted if you don’t have a clear, vivid and inspiring vision in your mind (or, better yet, on your wall) of what you are trying to accomplish. At the other end of the continuum, if you’re goals are so outrageous that you don’t genuinely believe they are achievable, that can also be an obstacle to focus. You may, for example, be thinking—without even realizing it—that the work you’re doing is pointless since it’s directed toward impossible goals. In this case, the solution is to dial the goal back some so that it’s still inspiring, but more realistic. An even better alternative to dialing back your goals, however, is to go out and find the evidence you need to convince yourself that it is in fact possible after all. Find someone, for example, that is in a situation similar to yours that achieved what it is that you want to accomplish in real estate, and use that person as a role model.
- Set Goals with Demanding Deadlines. The value of goals with timelines goes beyond the typical 6-month or 5-year plan—both of which I highly recommend. A simple task list with deadlines for the day can also be surprisingly useful in helping you to stay focused throughout the day. There’s a very real feeling of satisfaction about crossing tasks off your daily list. The flood of endorphins that are released when your brain has more evidence that you’re making progress toward your goals can, no doubt, subtly reinforce your efforts to focus. You can also go back to your task list at various points throughout the day as a way of reinforcing the progress you’re making and to encourage yourself to keep moving ahead.
- Break Down Goals into Smaller, More Manageable Tasks. Sometimes our inability to focus is based on feelings of being overwhelmed or stressed. You may have a sense that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, or that your goal is simply too big to achieve. If that’s the case, you will often find significant relief by simply breaking the goal down into smaller and smaller tasks. Achieving one million dollars in sales in your first year as a real estate agent may sound like an awesome goal, but the sheer magnitude of the ambition may be causing your brain to freeze up. It would be far more effective to break that goal down into a series of steps, including the first few steps such as the number of leads you would have to secure each week. Then you can further focus in on getting your first lead of the week.
Hopefully, you now have a number of ideas and resources that can help you to make your work as an agent more purposeful, productive, and focused. The lingering question is: Where should you now direct all this new firepower? Stay tuned…
If you have a specific question for me about becoming a realtor, I would love to hear from you.
And if I don’t know the answer, I will find a realtor who does. Click the “Ask John” button to ask now: