Today, a week into the new year I wanted to recap 2016 for me.
I've seen so many people complaining about 2016 being the worst. And they can't wait for 2016 to be over.
From my perspective, to blame a year for something negates any positives that happened to you or by you. And to throw that much shade on a year, to not acknowledge the good, what you're proud of or grateful for, in my book... is setting yourself up to make next year even worse. You're going to get more of the same.
So in being some what hypocritical I'm going to say 2016 was the GREATEST YEAR OF MY ENTIRE LIFE.
4. In relation to my last email (the one below) I started running and ran my first 5K with Katherine on Thanksgiving day. She also started running this year. Neither of us were "runners" before this year.
In fact, when I committed to getting into shape in April/Mayish of this year, I could barely walk a mile at a brisk pace without getting shin-splits.
5. We paid off a mortgage and now own a property FREE & CLEAR. This is an incredible feeling. It was a huge goal. A huge accomplishment. And does so many things for us emotionally and financially.
I'd love to hear why 2016 was awesome for you. Contact me and let me know.
If however you hated 2016 and you can't find any good in it, don't bother emailing my back. Just put that up on Facebook. I think that's the appropriate place for it. ;)
Happy New Year! Darin Persinger
PS: By the way, you don't NEED to be negative or complain on Facebook. Look at my wall. You'd have to go back over 2 years probably to find anything negative.
The world doesn't need more negativity. And do you know the worst thing about posting or sharing something negative on Facebook?
It's permanent. It's like a tattoo. It's not just a thought or even something you said out loud.
That negativity is now documented and stays in the world forever.
My parents tried to put me at ease that Santa would know where we were for Christmas.
I was only 5 years old and the Persinger family was going to Hawaii for Christmas.
I didn’t know much about Hawaii... didn’t much care. I was only focused on one thing.
"How was Santa going to find us?"
The night before our flight was going to leave the entire Persinger family was in my bedroom, which also served as my parents home office. My brothers and I were playing Nerf basketball, while my parents, I assume were working out the details of the family vacation.
The vacation that I was convinced that was going to confuse Santa, leaving me to not get my Christmas presents. And that’s when I heard it...
I froze. ... More bells.
Where was it coming from?
It was coming from above me.
I looked up.
I could hear foot steps on our roof.
The sound of snow being packed down with each step.
Then... more bells.
I looked at my parents, “Do you hear that? What is that?”
I knew what it was in my mind. Santa had come early.
Santa wanted to make sure that he got me my Christmas presents. I was sure of it. He didn’t want to risk not finding me in Hawaii.
Besides, I saw some pictures of Hawaii and there was no snow. So I wasn’t even sure Santa would go there.
Yes. It had to be Santa. “Saaaaannnnntttttttaaaaaa!” I screamed.
Running to the door. My tiny five year old hands fumbling with the door knob, fighting to get it open.
By the time I ran down the hallway to the living room, there under the tree... presents.
Presents that had not be there 15 minutes earlier... Wrapped... Bows... Big boxes... Little boxes... My stocking was full.
And again I heard bells. ***jingle*** ***jingle***
Coming from outside. And then I heard... “Ho! Ho! Ho!”
It was Santa. Santa was here.
In my house. I didn’t see him, but I heard him.
There are the presents right there to prove he was here.
I ran to the giant sliding glass doors and threw back the curtains. My hands pressed against the cold winter glass, cupping my face, trying to block the light to get a glimpse into the outside darkness.
I was hoping for a glimpse of Santa or the reindeer or the sleigh.
That’s the magic of Christmas, the power of mystery and the joy of family. Still to this day my parents and brothers have never told me who or how Santa was there that night.
I grew up in Wisconsin. We lived in the country, miles away from the closest neighbor.
It’s still clear in my mind. That bit of magic. The memory of that moment. And now the appreciation for my family to create that for me and still to this day for not stealing the mystery from me, so that I still have the belief of Santa and the magic of Christmas.
Katherine, Morgan, Pearl and I wish you and yours a magical holiday and hope you create something memorable for you and yours.
"A Big Why is about having a purpose, a mission, or a need, that in turn gives you focus."
Or Micheal Gerber, the author of the book for business owners called " The E-Myth" calls it your Primary Aim.
When it came to losing weight and getting in better shape, the things that I stacked on the scale to tip motivation in the right direction was: having a healthy shoulder again, sleeping better, feeling better, being able to fit into my clothes again, increase in energy, being able to play with Morgan now, and later.
These and a few other things started my motivation. But, it's easy to get motivated. It's harder to stay motivated. That's why you need to keep stacking.
See, last October I finally went to a physical therapist for my shoulder that had been bothering me for over a year.
Long story short, she was concerned with the amount of scar tissue my shoulders, back and neck had (pretty sure it's via wakeboarding). Her second concern was my weight. She said we could try to relieve the pain, but if I don't lose some fat and add some muscle, this chronic pain will be forever and only get worse as I get older.
(Not Katherine's fault... I had gained about 40 lbs since we first met.)
My desire to lose some weight or get more fit is not for vanity.
58 is only 20 years away for me. Morgan will only be 21ish. If my body keeps falling apart at the same rate from 18 to 38 on my way to 58 - it will not be good.
After some half-committed effort I came home a few months ago after an AHA moment (another thing to stack on the scale) and told Kat that my health had to be the priority. Since then I'm down about 30 pounds. No specific, crazy diet that I can't stick too. Just eating healthier and really watching portions. Doing a bit of activity, not enough, but not too much to reinjure my shoulder and way more than I was.
The weight loss is slowing down a bit, but this video by Mike Vacanti, an online fitness coach, really re-inspires me. I hope it will inspire you or someone you know and that motivation is found.
It's called Why Fitness Actually Matters.
Finding and consuming content like this stacks the motivation scale for me to keep me motivated and moving in the right direction.
Politics in the USA is making some people on both the left and right threaten to leave if the other person gets elected. OK. Don't forget we can help you sell your house.
Also, things are a bit different in other countries. Just an FYI.
Wherever you may go around the world, it’s easy to conclude that if a home has four walls and a ceiling, everything else must be broadly the same. Well, even if that were true (and it’s not) there are still tiny differences between a house on the other side of the world and the house you normally live in that can be quite unsettling the first time you encounter them.
So, having conducted extensive research into American and British households (by comparing notes between the traveling experiences of Anglophenia writers) what are the things that are commonly recognizable to most British households that will come as a surprise to most American visitors?
To avoid getting stung by unexpected bills for gas and electricity, some British households use a system whereby they go to a local shop and have credit placed on an electronic tag called a PayPoint key. Just as a pay-as-you-go phone gives you a set amount of credit to make and receive calls, so the PayPoint key gives you a certain amount of gas, electricity or even water. This is just a modern update on the old system which relied upon putting coins in a meter.
Due to a healthy fear of electrocution, British bathrooms don’t tend to be wired up for electricity, as it does not play nicely with water. The noble exception to this rule is the two-pin electric shaver socket, which can either be wall-mounted or part of the light over a mirror. Some bathrooms don’t even have the light switch in the room: It’s out in the hall or landing, just by the door. It’s worth checking this before you find yourself feeling a wall in the middle of the night while busting for a pee.
This is worth getting right before you’re in too much of a hurry. Should you need to use the conveniences, ask for a bathroom and you may be directed to a room with a bath in it, but no toilet. The Brits are terribly literal like that. By all means, ask if you can use the toilet, or the lavatory, or the loo, and they will immediately direct you to the nearest room in which you can do your business.
For example, the producer for a podcast I did, Jonathan Rivera says,
"I think that you don't waste your time. I think you've got it down and I think you're tight with what you let you and what gets your focus."
The reality when it comes to me and managing my time, I'm better now than I use to be.
And I'm just speaking about since the boom of social media. Maybe you were wasting as much time as I was with social media. I think all of us were wasting a lot of time there for a while.
The Time Management Perfect Storm
The real estate market was tanking and the internet with social media was starting to make this big wave at the same time.
Many agents and trainers went All-In on the idea of technology, social media and Internet Marketing because it was free or very cheap. People weren't quite sure how to deal with the new real estate market that they were facing. Add to that all this technology and online stuff at the finger tips.
It's basically free to get started with a Wordpress website, Facebook and twitter, so why not? The only cost was your time.
Now what had to be decided was, is it worth it?
Was all this time online and using social media worth the time invested?
For me, I worked out what really works for me and what doesn't work through tracking and measuring. So, I was probably busier with activities four or five years ago than I am now, knowing what works and sticking with that. So that's part of it of being ruthless with your #time management.
This is what I work with my 1 to 1 clients on and Members of my programs also. Tracking and measuring their time and it's effectiveness.
How Time Management Became Important To Me
Let me give you some background here so you have some context of how and why I view time as I do.
Before I got into real estate full time, I was working at a water park where we were deep water certified and we had ridiculously dangerous water slides.
The owner of the resort wanted to be very innovative. He even commissioned new innovative slides to be designed that had never been built anywhere before.
I was running that water park and it scared the hell out of me actually, because we were basically making these really dangerous things and then saying, "Okay, stick your four-year-old in here."
It was so scary.
I was dealing with big things like spinal injuries. We're having to pull people out on backboards and sticking them into the back of ambulances. I had to defib someone that was having a heart attack and their heart had stopped. Dealing with maybe a little bit smaller things like concussions or shoulder dislocations or someone slipping in the bathroom and breaking their arm.
I was literally dealing with life and death situations there for a while and so when I got into real estate, I was like: it's just money. It's not someone's life or death.
Start Of My Real Estate Career
If you were to talk with my high school teachers they would not consider me the most focused person… the best at time management…or the most productive person in the world.
I would usually finish my homework just before class… IF I finished at all.
Caring about time… getting things done… focus… #productivity… I couldn’t care less!
Hanging out with friends and wakeboarding was all I cared about.
When I went off to college my habits didn’t change.
After a couple semesters I realized that giving my money to college didn’t make sense when I didn’t show up for the classes.
I was too busy to show up classes…
… too busy wakeboarding… too busy traveling… too busy sleeping in.
After dropping out of college, tired of dealing with life and death situations and getting my body beat up from all the wakeboarding, it was time to find a career.
Real estate it was.
I had swore I would never get into real estate.
See, my parents were Real Estate Brokers.
I grew up in real estate, around real estate, surrounded by real estate. Real estate drove me CRAZY!
Real estate was the last thing I wouldn’t to do.
But when push came to shove, I knew real estate was something I could do.
Plus, I wouldn’t be dealing with life and death (like I my previous job). And I wouldn’t have to do manual labor, which would have beat up my already Broke-Down-From-Wakeboarding-Body.
So… I started my real estate career. It was 1997.
And I did OK. But I still wasn’t focused… or that productive… or managing my time well.
I was just cruising… just coasting through my days and weeks.
…A phone call.
My best friend, since I was 5 years old, was in a car accident.
Tommy and I had grown up together. Tommy’s dad was my basketball coach. Later on we became neighbors. After Tommy got his drivers license he became my ride to school.
We traveled all over the country wakeboarding together.
Tommy and I were inseparable, until he moved to Biloxi, Mississippi.
I was starting my real estate career and he was trying to “find himself.”
It had been about 6 months since I had last seen Tommy before that call.
While living in Biloxi, Tommy’s car was hit by train.
His body survived but that’s about it. He was left in a comma.
Eventually, once his condition stabilized, Tommy’s parents moved him to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. So he was closer to their home.
Since Tommy was closer now, I would visit Tommy every night. I would finish up my appointments, pack up my paperwork and make the 2 hour road trip to Milwaukee. I would hang out with Tommy, telling him about my day and what paperwork I was working on.
While sitting with Tommy I would work on my files and paperwork. Once finished, I’d pack up the paperwork and drive the 2 hours back home again.
This became my schedule. My new routine. My day had become significantly shorter. With all the driving and time spent with Tommy I was forced to become more efficient, more productive, more focused and manage my time better.
It took this tragic accident to FORCE me to realize that time is precious. Time should not be wasted. Time should be maximized. Time should be cherished.
On July 4th 2005, after years of battle, Tommy passed on.
This event and time in my life was significant.
It gave me perspective.
Life is short.
I still have fun… I still fool around a lot… but now, rarely do I waste time.
To be candid… life hasn’t become much easier. There as been even more tragedy and loss since losing Tommy.
My nephew Chris, who was just 11 years younger than me, was killed in a car accident in 2007.
Perspective… Reality… Time is precious… Priorities… Clarity all in instant again.
Time management wasn't necessarily a switch that I threw or a book that I read or a system that I learned. It was things that were happening in my life that said time is precious, time is limited.
Moments are few.
Prioritize what's the most important.
Stop Wasting Time and Energy Being Dramatic About Everything
I see people that get so bent out of shape, so dramatic, so over the top about something and they're writing these little diatribes on Facebook or whatever it is. They get so worked up about the littlest thing and I just sit there and I think, "I really hope I am not around you when something seriously bad happens."
When some serious shit goes down, how are you going to respond to that if you're flipping out about this little thing?
It scares me to see people get so worked up about the littlest things. I just have to assume that nothing super tragic has ever happened in their life if they are treating some of the things that they treat with such seriousness.
When you start looking at the big picture like the time with your family, your friends, and you don't know how much of that time you have, it really all is small stuff.
This is an actual conversation I was having with my niece, my goddaughter who was 21 years old at the time. Her and I talked about this on the last vacation we had together. The last time I saw her before this was when I flew her and her little sister to visit Katherine, my wife, and I here in the Seattle area last year in January. So her and I were talking about that it's been a year since we've seen each other.
I said to her, "Courtney, if this is the pattern that we're on, then I most likely, best case scenario will get to see you 50 more times in my life. I just don't know if I'm okay with that if I only to get to create 50 more memories with you. We have to do something different about this."
How much time do you think you have left with the people you care about?
How many more memories are you going to be able to create with them?
3 Tips On How To Become Ruthless With Your Time Management
Tip Number One
To become ruthless with your time management you've got have Clarity.
You have to know what it is that you want for your life, for your business, for the world that you live in.
You have to know what it is that you want.
If you don't know what you want, start to think about what you don't want. You have to start somewhere.
Either way, you have to take time and make time to think.
One of the biggest problem with technology is we dive into technology as a break from reality, as a distraction from our own thoughts and feelings. But, you have to sit there with your own thoughts and your feelings and get a clear picture about what you want.
If you don't spend time thinking about these things, you're bound to give in to every little thing that comes along the way and wants to distract you and throw you off of your path.
Tip Number Two
Being ruthless with your time management means not giving into immediate gratification or the distractions that exist in today's world.
Look at the big picture of things. Like I did with my niece, we were talking about 50 years out from now. We're talking about me being on my deathbed. It might seem a little depressing, but what would really be depressing is if I'm laying on my deathbed and I've only hung out with her 50 more times in my life or even less.
That's even more depressing.
Tip Number Three
The third tip to becoming a ruthless time manager is start trying to make your schedule for two weeks out.
Stop living day to day.
It's like living paycheck to paycheck.
A lot of people are living day to day. They have no idea what they're going to do until they wake up in the morning and then their email tells them what they're going to do, whatever is sitting in their email inbox.
Start to make your schedule for two weeks out.
For example, if you know in order to meet your business goals, your objectives, you need to have three appointments per week, go and block those periods out so that you know where to fill those in.
For two weeks out from now, go, "Okay, I'm going to have appointments on Tuesday and Thursday night and one for Saturday morning so when I get a buyer lead or seller lead, I'll say, 'Here's my time available.'"
Schedule that out for two weeks at a time.
Start to see how that works for you just so that you can start to protect your time a little bit better.
Again, see a little bit further than what you're doing now. Maybe, you're living day by day or maybe it's week by week.
Two weeks out at least gets you to start thinking a little bit bigger and see a little further out.
If you want to go deeper with being Productive and you truly value your time...
Over the past couple of years, as the real estate market has started to uptick, I’ve noticed a crazy increase in the number of emails from Realtors that are looking to increase their #sales, production and commission dollars. Many real estate agents are feeling better about the market, their business and have some confidence that they can now grow their sales, not just maintain.
*Sidenote - there is nothing wrong with this, but the reality is that there is never a bad time to grow your business, if you have identified a great niche or market segment, are utilizing great marketing, taking calculated risks and using measurable control in your expenses.
Although I’ve spent the past eight years helping agents with increasing sales and productivity with online marketing and email marketing through , I was originally licensed in 1997 and started managing and leading agents and brokerages in 2001. The experience, time on task, sure volume of transactions I’ve been involved with, the number of Realtors I’ve personally worked with, I’ve seen the art and science of selling more homes and increasing your production. And with that, have developed the Persinger Real Estate Productivity Philosophy for this….
If you are a real estate agent and struggle to sell enough homes to make “ends meet”, this post is for you.
If you are a successful Realtor, but hit a plateau and are interested in taking your sales to the next level, a lot of the same advice will apply (and we even have an entire section for you that explains any differences).
If you are a rookie real estate agent and new to sales, keep reading. I guarantee you’ll learn something.
To me, increasing sales, productivity and profit is more than just the pursuit of making more money – though there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s about being better, the next best version of yourself (version 2.0 or perhaps Version 8.7), confidence in your ability and providing more clients with exceptional service, so they aren’t having to work with shitty, slimy real estate agents. And no matter how badly you want it be this way, simply being a “better agent” does not lead to an increase in sales and production.
Stop complaining that other agents need to raise the bar. Or that you are a "better agent". Or that those "guarantees" the jerk agents offer are a lie or bait and switch. Stop whining about how you know more about contracts or addenda. Posting in a Facebook group about how bad the realtors in your local market place won't help either, so stop that too.
"What would you do if, magically and suddenly, you woke up tomorrow and your business had doubled?
Hit reply and let me know.
I was shocked by the responses. But it gave me great insight to the mindset, limiting beliefs and personal constraints many agents put on themselves.
A word that was actually used a number of times in the responses was "Panic."
Now isn't that interesting?
And in reality about 50% of the responses involved similar responses that I would put in the category of "Panic, Freakout".
What this tells me: just as many real estate agents have a Fear of Success as those who have a Fear of Failure.
You have to get real with yourself here for a moment...
Are you the type of person that has a Fear of Success?
Are you afraid your business could be "too big?"
Which leads to one of the biggest, greatest, scariest myths when it comes to increasing your #sales production.
Myth: If I sold more homes I would be working harder and more hours.
This is a biggest myth about increasing sales production. Some people actually believe the more successful you become, the more time and effort it will take, and the less freedom you will have.
Think about it... if you are working 50 hours a week right now to make $100,000, do you really think you have to work 100 hours a week to increase your income to $200,000? And then would you have to work 200 hours a week to increase your income to $400,000?
That's obviously crazy. Any time you connect hours worked to your success you are setting up the wrong equation. The trick is not to try to apply more time or effort to the equation but to think of the equation differently. Like how effective direct response marketing is and how it adds a huge leverage piece.
The Reality: Everyone has the same amount of time, and hard work is simply hard work. As a result, what you do in the time worked determines how many homes you sell and if you can increase your sales production. (This right here sums up the secret to increasing your sales production. Time to deep dive into this.)
There are a bunch of related myths when it comes to time and "working harder".
Myth: I'm already too busy.
Reality: Being too busy and not having time is having a lack of priorities.
Myth: I use technology to be efficient and get more done.
Reality: You can be efficient without doing anything that is effective. Or as Peter Drucker said, "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all."
Myth: Everything is important and needs to get done.
Reality: The 80/20 Rule rules everything. Stop ignoring it. Stop forgetting about it.
Recently, some coaching clients shared with me they are not making more money.
They have been working with me for some time, but they have not started making a considerable amount of more money.
That's a problem, huh?
Well, not according to them, or to me.
(They are a husband and wife team)
When they first started working with me, they were working about 125 combined hours a week. They had all sorts of things going on in their business. They were doing social media, had even hired a social media manager. They were calling expireds, sometimes door knocking them. They worried about blog content and their Facebook updates. They had a distressed homeowners website they tried to upkeep.
They were bouncing all around like a jack-rabbit, on crack, on a hot stove.
But now they are working about 90 hours a week. They went from 125 hours a week combined, to 90 hours a week.
That is 35 hours less a week working.
That's like getting back an entire work week, every week.
An extra 4 weeks a month.
An extra 50 weeks a year.
They might not be making more money, but they created an extra year, every year for themselves.
Does business really need to be a 24/7 thing?
Do you really need to miss out on your kids events and time with them?
Do you really not have to have a social life with neighbors, friends and family and resort to "social media" as your actual "social life"?
Success comes in many shapes and forms.
You decide what you want it to be.
You have to be proactive in all of this though. Your business, your sales, your relationships, your production, etc. You have to be intentional and purposeful.
Or you suffer the consequences… I have no hard data to back this up, but I’ve heard a rumor that real estate agents suffer from double the divorce rate. And I’ve heard Jon Taffer from the TV show, Bar Rescue say that the divorce rate is 82% for married business owners.
Let’s try to make sense of those numbers for a moment.
(You might be wondering what divorce has to do with selling more homes, right? Everything. You can’t give focus to your work, when there is chaos at home. When you can’t give focus, you won’t be able to grow your business. Well, you could. But you would be doing it at the risk of your marriage, personal life and probably your health. That goes against what being a Productivity Junkie is about.)
To understand these numbers, it would help to know what causes divorce.
You hear money problems cause divorce right? So, if you are struggling in your business, that stress on you and your spouse, leads to further frustrations and arguments.
Being a business owner often leads to working odd hours. This holds doubly true for real estate agents. You are showing property at night, going out for listing appointments on Saturday and holding open houses on Sunday. Lack of personal time with and support from a spouse often leads to divorce. You gotta keep the romance alive. Hard to do if you are never together.
I’m a fan of dogged determination and 100% desire to succeed, but if you are doing it wrong, it could have a backlash on your home life, personal life and even your health.
Today’s article outlines the three most important things I’ve learned and observed about increasing sales over the past 17+ years in real estate, sales and business.
Your time is the most important thing
Neil A. Fiore said, “There’s a myth that time is money. In fact, time is more precious than money. It’s a nonrenewable resource. Once you’ve spent it, and if you’ve spent it badly, it’s gone forever.”
If you are trying to grow you business, how you use your time will account for 80-90% of your successes or failures.
What that means: you’d be better off working on less things, instead of trying to do more.
The reality is: Brute force only works so well, for so long. And if you are focused only on increasing your sales, chances are you're going to do it wrong. You are going work harder, work longer and try to do more. I’ve seen so many agents fail going this route.
They decide that they want to sell more and increase their production. They decide they just need to work harder, put in more hours and put more on their plate. This just leads you to overwhelm, frustration and burnout. Maybe you’ve been there? Or are currently there?
When I get emails from people who explain the fact that they can’t find any more time in the day, but the really want to know how to sell more or they ask me what apps, software or technology they should be using to be more productive, I always first ask about the person’s daily schedule. And more often than not, that person proudly tells me how hard they working, how busy they are, but undoubtedly their schedule is not consistent. It's usually very random. It’s not scheduled, structured or time blocked. It’s not proactive, it’s reactive. It’s not focused on the Impact Activities, Important Activities or High Dollar Producing Activities. It’s bouncing from what is currently urgent to the latest emergency.
Here’s the truth: If you are not growing your sales, you are not focused on the right activities and not managing your time effectively.
Some more truth: You are overwhelmed and struggle to get things done for the most simple of reasons…
… because today’s world is full of distractions, technology can be disorienting, your calendar and to-do list has become cluttered and you’re frustrated that you can’t take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.
And it’s not really your fault. Not 100% at least.
You are being bombarded with the idea that technology or some app is going to make you more productive or increase your sales. Your brokerage, or your local MLS board is bringing in speakers giving you a presentation like, "The 40 Must-Have Apps To Increase Your Productivity."
If there are 40 Must-Haves of anything, then none of them can be that amazing. And all the wasted time it takes to download, learn and use is just obscene. Think about it… how many apps do you have on your phone or tablet? Even if you spent just one minute a day using each, how much time are you spending using it?
If you are spending 40-60 minutes in technology and apps to try to become more productive... do you see the problem here?
Your business isn’t growing because of your lack of tech savviness, that’s another myth.
To grow your business you simply have to start doing the right things. This means doing less, not more.
Doing more of the right things.
The Productivity Junkies Philosophy of “Selling More, By Doing Less.”
I had a #real estate coaching client send me this video. They told me it reminds them of coaching with me.
“The less you do, the more you do.”
Think closely about what I’m about to tell you, since it’s going to change the way you think about getting things done, productivity, selling more homes and making more money.
FOCUS is more powerful than any technology or tool, because the things that you focus on can either make you successful or cause you to fail.
The elimination of things from your schedule or to-do list that aren’t truly important or impactful is more powerful than any technology or tool. This is true because there are only so many hours in day. Everyone is given the same amount of time , what you do with it is the difference between selling more or getting burnt out.
Working More Hours Does NOT Work
The reason you cannot #increase productivity by working more hours is because you will just fill up the hours with more activities, tasks and projects.
By working more hours… by sacrificing more time… you simply are working more and longer. Working more hours in a day or week doesn’t equate to success.
As Tim Ferriss says about productivity in his best-selling book, The 4-Hour Work Week…
“…our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity. Few people choose to measure the results of their actions and thus measure their contribution in time. More time equals more self-worth and more reinforcement from those above and around them.
Before you start trying to do more transactions, I want to you cut back the hours you are working.
Yes. You heard that right. Cut back. Do less.
What you are doing here is you are finding your pace. Once you find your pace and you get comfortable with it, you can start to increase it.
Business and sales is not the only place this works by the way. For example, when trying to lose weight, it makes the most sense to get your diet right first. Start with healthy eating habits BEFORE starting an exercise routine. Why? Well, diet makes up 80- 90% of the success in losing weight. And if you start exercising first, your body is going to go into shock, wondering what is going on and desire more calories, because of this new stress of exercising is putting on it.
It's about priorities.
Now, for every person, the number of hours you are going to cut back to is different:
For some people, you might be working 10 hours a week.
For others, it might be a 30 hour work week.
For a rookie, it still might be about working 60+ hours a week, because you need to develop sales skills, learn about the industry and get educated about your market.
Now, you might be thinking “there’s no way I can cut back on the hours I'm working, Darin! I have too much to do!”
You have a choice here... continue to let that reactive thinking control you, your actions, your results and your income. Or bust that personal constraint and realize the reality: NOT all activities have equal importance.
Depending on your background you are bringing some baggage with you into this career.
If you were an hourly employee before, you are most likely thinking about trading time for dollars. But that's not the way real estate works. You get paid for a result.
If you were a salaried employee, you might be thinking about tasks and projects. Again, the way you get paid in real estate is if you get a house sold, not if you complete a bunch of projects by doing a bunch of tasks really well and really efficiently.
What you must keep in mind is you are not punching a clock anymore. You don’t get paid time and a half for overtime. You don’t have to impress your boss anymore. You are not climbing a company ladder.
You are the boss!
Track It, Measure It, Increase It
I'm a big fan of tracking and measuring when it comes to your sales and marketing. You need to know your numbers. It should not come as a surprise to you then, I'm a big fan of tracking and measuring your time, since I feel time is even more important than money.
The reality is a lot of people UNDERestimate where and how they spend their time. I'm going to give you an exercise in a moment about how to track your time, because you have to do this in a very specific way. It's not just about writing down what you did. It's about knowing how you are spending your time is connected to your goal of increasing your business.
The PJ's Productivity Model has 6 different areas that your activities could fall in to. Let's start at the bottom and work our way up.
1. Useless Activities
These are activities that don't contribute in any way to you growing your business or making more money. You know things like Candy Crush, watching that cat video, going to yet another webinar on something you already know, but still have NOT implemented. If you are brutally honest, I know you will find a few of these in your day.
2. Urgent Activities
These are things that you are usually going to find in your email or voicemail. They are activities that is someone elses To-Do List for you, not the To-Do List you created for yourself. They are not planned or scheduled, but you do it NOW anyways.
3. Emergency Activities
Now, up to this point you might be thinking to yourself, "Damn, this Darin guy is cold. He must be a Time Robot, or Productivity Cyborg, or something. He's like a bulldozer through excuses." I wouldn't say that is 100% true, because I do live in hard cold truth of reality, this is why I share what I share and the way I do. Because of this, I understand that you can't always control your schedule, your day or your plan. No plan survives its collision with reality.
An Emergency Activity is something involves the threat of an immediate deadline tied to a decision or outcome involved in something large. This typically means "keeping a contract together".
I'll give you an example from my life...
It was Friday night and the Impractical Jokers where in Seattle. Katherine, my wife, and I love the Impractical Jokers and we had tickets. As we were driving downtown to the show, Katherine was on the phone with a buyer, a home inspector and a listing agent. The inspection contingency deadline was for 9 pm, only 3 hours away and the buyer had some doubts and questions. Now, some trainers and coaches say your 20% is all about lead generation and prospecting and scheduling that at the same time every day so it gets done, but here my wife is 3 hours away from helping her buyer make a very important decision. Is she really supposed to ignore the call and just enjoy her night with me?
You can't do that, can you?
But don't confuse Emergency Activities with Urgent Activities. Urgent Activities usually don't lead to much of a pay off, but the Emergency Activities do. Think of it like the difference between an emergency room and an urgent care center.
Treat severe and life-threatening conditions
Hospital emergency rooms have specially trained doctors, paramedics, nurses, and other support staff that can recognize, diagnose and make recommendations on a wide variety of medical issues
Emergency rooms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Urgent Care Centers:
Focus on diagnosing and treating conditions that aren’t life-threatening yet they need to be taken care of right away
Offer quality care on a walk-in basis
4. Low Dollar Producing Activities
These are the activities that you could hire, outsource or delegate for cost substantially lower than what your average dollar per hour income is.
5. High Dollar Producing Activities
The things that get you actually get paid for like getting referrals, buyers, sellers, lead conversion, appointments and contracts.
6. Impact Activities
This is taking time to truly work "On" your business. Creating strategies for your High Dollar Producing Activities. Creating systems for your business. Finding, training and developing the people who help you in the growth of your business.
Tracking Your Activities
So, track your time and activities over a few days, or a week to get a general idea of how you are truly spending your time.
The reason why the PJ's Productivity Model is colored is to make it simple to track on your calendar.
You're not going to write down every little exact thing you did. You are simply going to mark a chunk of time with a color. It's best to get some highlighters to do this easily and correctly.
If you are thinking you don't have the time to do this activity, immediately go back to the top of this blog and start reading again.
If you are thinking that you've done something like this before or this is too corny to do and it's beneath you, that's your problem. Good luck continuing to scramble around in your day to day and enjoy the roller coaster ride you call your income.
Once you have a few days of your activities tracked, you will start to get a clear reality check of how you are spending your time.
If you see any... I repeat any Useless Activities on your schedule, immediately eliminate them.
If you see a lot of Urgent Activities popping up over and over, work on controlling your environment and schedule. Make sure you are getting your High Dollar Producing Activities scheduled first and are following through on them.
If you see yourself doing a lot of Low Dollar Producing Activities, and you can't afford to outsource or hire, determine if they absolutely, completely 100% need to be done. For example, a Member of one of my programs identified that he was spending 4-5 hours a week on twitter, when he combined looking for articles to share, reading them and then actually being on twitter. He eliminated this activity and believe it or not, his business did not suffer from not being on twitter all that time. It actually improved.
Increasing your productivity = increasing your sales
If you want to grow your business, focus on being more productive.
Get great at marketing and conversion
Last but not least, the other important piece to this trifecta of business growth...
Get great at marketing and lead conversion.
The Persinger Business Development Philosophy is: Marketing for leads, prospecting for appointments.
In today's "internet - Do NOT Call List - social media - people seeking out 10.4 sources of information before deciding - world it seems crazy to try Cold Calling as a means of lead generation.
Instead of Cold Calling for leads, you should be getting really good at marketing, to bring the leads to you and then picking up the phone to prospect for appointments.
If you hate picking up the phone to call random people because you're expected to have "X" number of conversations a day, let me tell you a story about how I started my #real estate sales career.
I was the first in to the office in the morning.
I would look up expireds every day.
I would search through the phone book, later on whitepages.com to find phone numbers.
I made countless of calls.
Lots of no answers. Voice mails. And hangups.
It was gruelling.
It was humbling.
A nice way to say it would be that it was character building.
Don't get me wrong, I had success.
But I had to keep showing up. Day in. Day out.
I basically had a high paying telemarketing job.
Once I started to understand business and marketing at a higher level, I started to understand the power of Direct Response Marketing and #Copywriting.
When I say marketing, what I mean is Direct Response Marketing and Copywriting. Developing this skill is truly the first piece of leverage you can add and should add to your business.
You don't have to pick up the phone and call strangers that are on the Do NOT Call list every day. You don't have to deal with all that rejection. You really don't.
Stop being a glorified telemarketer.
Start being the advisor, consultant and Approachable Resource you are and bring the leads to you.
Save your will power for picking up the phone to call all these leads you generate from your marketing or capture on your website to schedule an appointment.
A word about offline marketing: if you think that direct mail is too expensive, it's because you are doing it wrong. You are most likely doing branding and not focused on Direct Response. Direct Response is about having a clear concise message with a compelling call to action. These are things that I worked with my coaching clients on and I do for the associates at Persinger Group.
A few words on LEAD CONVERSION: There are two ways to convert leads to appointments. Writing great emails (that comes back to your copywriting) and picking up the phone. That's it. Your lead conversion should be early and often. According to the NAR 2012 Buyer & Seller Report, we know that 66% of Buyers and 65% of Sellers will work with the first agent they talk to. So the objective in your lead conversion is simple. Be the first agent they talk to.
That’s it. It’s not hard. It just comes down to priorities, speed of implementation and taking action.
Common questions and objections
“But I just want to make more money, I don’t care if I have to work more hours.”
Good for you. I admire your gusto. The reality still exists, you only get 24 hours in day just like any of us. Do NOT worry about just making more money. Work on making the same amount of money, doing the same amount of transactions, generating as many leads, referrals appointments as you do now in a significantly shorter time. Once you are doing that, go ahead and put more time in on the High Dollar Producing Activities and increase your hours to the amount you are ok with. The money will follow.
“But I don’t want to do that time management crap or your direct marketing junk, so I’m gonna do _____ instead.”
Awesome, go for it. Give it a month, and see what your numbers do. If your leads are increasing, it looks like you are going to start making more money, it will be consistent and you are happy with the hours you are working, keep on trucking. If not, give the stuff above a shot for a month and see how things go.
“I’m a part-time agent, can I sell more?”
Absolutely. You just need to make sure you’re still time blocking the High Dollar Producing Activities as often as you can. Finding enough time in your week to prospect and lead generate is your biggest challenge. So the PJ's Business Development Philosophy of Marketing for Leads will work better for you anyways. You do face the problem of "#be first" with your lead conversion though. But candidly, I wouldn't sweat it too much. Your competition is almost certainly going to drop the ball or be incredibly slow in their follow-up. So go for it!
“Should I focus generating buyer leads or seller leads?"
If you want to make more money and control your time better, focus on seller leads. When you lead with listings, the listings lead to more leads anyways. For more on Seller Leads, let's talk.
“Do I need to prospect on the phone 3 hours a day?”
Nope. Remember the PG's Biz Dev Philosophy,"Marketing for leads, prospecting for appointments". The TOTAL hours you spend on the phone each day is going to be in direct correlation to how many leads your marketing is generating and the size of your sphere. Now, if your marketing is generating so many leads that you COULD spend 3 hours a day on the phone trying to schedule appointments with leads, that's a different story. Most of my coaching clients conduct their lead conversion calls and sphere calls in a segment of 96 minutes that I call Focus 96.
"I'm already a Top Producer - what's different for me to go to the next level?
Take a look at your time tracker exercise you did. I've yet to work with any agent, no matter the production level that is not doing some Useless and Urgent Activities. Eliminate those immediately. Next, take a look at how much time you are spending in your Impact zone. It's great that you are probably spending a huge majority of time in High Dollar Producing, but chances are, you're spending little, if any time working on Impact Activities. Make a shift to that so you can bring in agents, or marketing coordinators, or lead coordinators to do your High Dollar Producing Activities for you now.
This section is from Lisa Archer, a client who has had tremendous success with growing her business.
18 months ago I said the dumbest thing in the world to Darin. I said I have too many leads to handle. Now, I run a team of over 20 agents and we are still growing. We have written 164 offers in last 3 weeks. Where would I be without him? Likely still showing every night, every weekend and not enjoying my family. I thank God for my big mouth and for coaching with Darin.”
Darin is a KICK ASS coach, motivator and a genius.
Yes, he has a mind that is incredible.
I feel that Darin is vested in my success both personally and professionally. He is a dear friend and I am excited we are now partners.
- Lisa Archer
CEO/Broker at Team Ludlow Realty
Co-Founder of The Geeky Girls
No matter what you chose, to follow my Philosophy or another coach, the key is to get your mindset right by not fearing success, prioritize the right activities and develop and enhance your direct response marketing, copywriting and lead conversion skills. Stop worrying about the small details, the technology or the apps and just make sure you are making progress.
How Else I Can Help
This is a beast of an article, and your head probably hurts at this point, but I want to make one last point.
Most people would rather debate what they think they know instead of implementing what it is they do know. People also love to debate minutiae.
Ramit Sethi writes on his blog, Iwillteachyoutoberich.com:
If you’re below the age of 125, you have heard people saying one of more of these phrases about losing weight:
Don’t eat before you go to bed because fat doesn’t burn as efficiently
If you cut your carb intake and raise your protein level, you can lose lots of weight quickly
If you eat fruit in the morning, it’s easy on your digestive system and your metabolism will speed up
I always laugh at these things because they’re so absurd. Maybe they’re correct, or maybe not, but that’s not really the point.
The point is that we love to debate minutiae.
We love to debate details at the completely wrong level of analysis.
When it comes to weight loss, 99.99% of people only need to know 2 things: Eat healthier and exercise more. Only Olympic athletes need to know more.
I see this happening more and more with real estate when it comes to things like social media, lead generation, lead conversion, website platforms and ROI.
People want to debate the minutiae of it all. I don’t.
I want productivity.
I don’t want to hear opinions or guesses or theory.
I want to see people implement and get results.
Increase Productivity - Stop debating minutiae
As Ramit puts it,“…we feel like we really expressed ourselves, and it’s a good feeling. The problem is that the feeling is totally illusory when it comes to getting anything done.”
Sounds to me like the opposite of being a Productivity Junkie who wants to grow their business.
- Darin Persinger
PS: Yes, I cover a lot of stuff in this Beginners Guide To Selling More Homes, however, if you want more, if you want to go deeper with the PG's Philosophies or get accountability, let's grab a coffee or beer.
It inspires me to see people commit, fight past the #struggle... the desire to quit and give up, but keep at it and still achieve.
The other week I watched a show called Extreme Weight Loss. The host is named #Chris Powell. He specializes in extreme weight loss transformations. And this show was about the first husband and wife he ever worked with at the same time.
In the first 90 days, they did amazing. The had a goal to lose 150 lbs between the both of them.
At their 90-day weigh-in, the wife had lost 75 pounds, and her husband had lost 86 pounds. EPIC WIN!!!
But at their next 90 day weigh in, they didn't quite have the same results.
They were frustrated and complained to Chris...
"We are doing the exact same thing we did the first 90 days. We are still eating clean, we are following the same exercise routine."
Well there's the problem!
Chris explained to them that they no longer had the same body they had the first 90 days. In order to get better results now, they would have to pick up their intensity.
It reminded me so much of what I see in business.
Business owners, #sales people think there is this magically orbit. They just need to get to a comfortable level and coast.
This is what I call a "Death Valley" in business. The gap from one level to the next level in business.
What got you here, won't get you there.
You need to pick up the intensity, but also change your focus on what your priorities are at each level in #your business.
Check out the difference this makes: At the end of the day, when you don't get the things done that could have made an impact on your business and in your world, instead of saying, "Oh, I didn't manage my time well." you say, "Oh, I didn't manage my activities well."
The latter is a bit more painful to say, huh?
GOOD!!! It's supposed to be!
Or instead of saying, "I have a 'Time Management' problem," you now have to say, "I have an 'Activity Management' problem."
Stings a bit doesn't it?
Start being focused on 'Activity', not so much on 'Time'.
When the new Nike CEO was named, Steve Jobs called him to congratulate him.
The Nike CEO asked, "Do you have any advice for me Steve?"
Steve responded, "No. You will do great!"
There was a pause and Steve continued...
"Nike makes some of the best product in the world. Product that you lust after. Absolutely beautiful, stunning product. But you also make a lot of crap. Get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff."
Get Rid Of The Crappy Stuff
What do you need to edit out of your business and world?
What do you need to stop doing?
What do you need to quit?
What do you need to not even start?
It is easy to get sidetracked and distracted in this world of information and ideas, but remember, that those things don't pay the bills.
Implementation of the right things is what gets rewarded.
Implementation of the impactful things.
It's a simple marketing and productivity tip, it's just not easy. Get rid of the crappy stuff.
What would you do with advice like this from Steve Jobs, "Get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff."
-- Darin "helping you get rid of the crappy stuff"Persinger
In a little midwest town...
... a small crowd gathered...
To listen, to support, to cheer, to acknowledge... to say "thanks".
Retirement is the welcome end for many, but for a professional athlete it is the reality that an end has come... (for many, only in their mid to late 30's).
#Donald Driver, wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers (& Dancing With The Stars winner), gave a retirement speech this week, after turning 38.
I'm sure you didn't spend every Sunday with Donald as I did. So you might not know how incredible of player he was and also what an amazing human being he is.
There is something that Donald Driver can teach you about your work... your life... and your legacy.
Every first down that Donald made, he would get up from the ground, do a little shimmy and shake and point down the field, "First Down".
And he always had this infectious smile on his face.
He had FUN doing his job. He brought Joy to what he did.
During his retirement speech, looking at his wife he said,
"Life is what it is. Life is whatever it may be. But life without you in my life is nothing. I love you."
Later when asked why if he felt like he could still play, was he retiring...
"Someone's always going to tell my kids that their dad was a great football player, but no one will be able to tell my kids that their dad was a great dad and a great husband. I have to show them that."
He is putting family first.
Today, with so much online/#social media training being thrown at you... you hear the words like... "engage" and "#relationships" so often.
When running your business and trying to increase sales, it might feel like (if you are listening to the noise) you have to spend all this time on #twitter, #facebook and pinterest, engaging and building relationships.
That's great... if your clients give you great reviews on Yelp and Zillow...
It's great... if you get listed on some Top 99 list for being so social.
It's great... if you have a high Klout score.
It's great... if you engage and build relationships.
In the end... aren't the reviews from your significant other, children, family and friends what really counts?
How much "engaging" are you doing around the dining room table at night?
How well are you "building relationships" with your friends and family on the weekends?
How high would your Klout score be if you are ranked as a father, a mother, a son, a daughter, a friend, a brother, sister, a husband, a wife?