Posted by: Jack Sweet, ReferralGENIE™
Updated: September 25, 2018
Military tactics are often very applicable in business, especially in the real estate business. As a lifelong fan of tactical writing, I invite you to explore and consider the following advice tested in an environment where failure was not an option. There are many important lessons here that you can apply in the field as a real estate agent.
1. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Sun Tzu says many things, but it's clear that he understands the importance of being well-informed, prepared, confident, understanding, swift, and decisive. This quote is a good reminder that above all else, one-sided understanding is dangerous. Showing clients homes they can afford and features that suit their needs is the single most effective way to achieve success in real estate. Build a relationship that will foster a mutual understanding. Knowing what you can produce and what the client is actually interested in goes a long way in terms of solidifying viable expectations. For instance, if you try to force a one-sided deal, you run the risk of losing an otherwise perfectly good relationship with the client. On the other hand, if you find the client just what they were looking for and keep in touch afterwards, the benefits can last long after closing.
2. “There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.” ― Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
Miyamoto was always my favorite. Among his peers, he was considered very unconventional, and even offensive. The important thing to remember is that, of the more than 60 duels he entered, he never lost. Yes, tools are important—they make work possible. But in reference to success, look nowhere other than yourself. You build the relationship, find the homes, pitch the sale, and close the deal. When you realize this, you start to understand a simple fact. Everyone can tell you how to live or how to sell, but no one can do it for you.
3. “When one is writing a letter, he should think that the recipient will make it into a hanging scroll.” ― Tsunetomo Yamamoto, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
Hagakure has some amazing quotes, and this one stuck out to me. Writing skills are crucial in a world where digital connection dominates. Remember, the written word can separate you from the competition and form the impression others have of you. Can you recall the last time someone wrote you a personal thank you? You probably can, and you may have even kept it. A personal thank you for an agreement to work together, or as a part of a closing gift, can go a long way toward solidifying a long-term relationship between you and the client…and improving the likelihood of later referrals!
4. “As a rule, men worry more about what they can't see than about what they can.” - Julius Caesar
A perceptive Julius Caesar gives a quote that speaks to understanding insecurities in others. Ultimately, it was something he didn’t see coming that was his ruin. But it still bears remembering that clients and business partners are always going to have concerns of the unknown. Those concerns are often disguised as disinterest or unresponsiveness. Communication can go a long way in the constant effort to share an understanding. If you can clarify every aspect of a transaction, every feature of the home, and every outline in the deal, the home is sold every time. Remember that preparation is key. Know how to handle the issues as they arise and return to the sale.
5. “A good plan violently executed now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week.” - George S. Patton
Patton is one of those people who is a shining example of getting the job done no matter what it takes. More often than not, decisive action ends in results. In my experience, results are important because an immediate result is a form of success that can be molded into a desired effect.
If a client is curious, it’s because they are interested. Waste no time. Start the process and show them that you are consistent and capable. It is entirely probable that if you let a semi-interested client walk today, he will buy a home with the competition tomorrow. Do not let this happen. Bring them on board and make them your client! Also remember that “thank you” is not reserved for someone who has already made a purchase. Creating the relationship is the most important part. Thank them for working with you in a new and interesting way that sets you apart from other agents. You will increase the likelihood that they become a happy client for life.
Interested in Learning More?
Professional development education can help you accelerate your real estate career with military precision. Visit the Kaplan Real Estate Education page, select your state, and click Professional Development in the righthand navigation to explore our offerings.
Jack Sweet is with the ReferralGENIE™ Account Management Program at ReferralGENIE™. Jack helps real estate agents all over the country grow their business through effective and powerful marketing, presented consistently throughout the home ownership life-cycle. Have questions? Visit the ReferralGENIE™ website for more information and a free trial of their referral generation service.