The Mindset of Successful Agents

“20 Minutes of Successful Niche Secrets – EPISODE 51,”

The Mindset of Successful Agents with Glenn McQueenie

Glenn: Hi there everybody! It’s Glenn McQueenie, and welcome to my 25-Minute Success Series Podcast. Today, we’re going to stay on the theme of “What are the mindsets or winning formulas for realtors in any market?” Not just today’s market – but a good market or bad market. The mindsets never change. Let’s get right to it, because this is the most important podcast I think I’ve ever done.

What I’ve learned is that your current mindset + your current thinking + your current habits = your current income. Let me say that again. Your current mindset + your current thinking + your current habits = your current income. So the only way that we can actually help you make even more money is to improve the existing mindset, thinking, and habits that you have. When your mindset goes up and your thinking improves and your habits change, automatically, your income will follow.

So let’s talk about some of the things that we could use to change our mindset about the way we think about the business. Number one is to treat every lead the same way you would your best friend. I’ve written about this in both my books. I talk about it all the time, but it’s a mindset shift that requires you to start thinking about every lead (and treating every lead) as if they were your best friend, until they prove otherwise. It’s like they’re innocent until proven guilty. I hate the current mindset in our industry that I hear a lot, which is “Buyers are liars, and sellers are even worse.” It’s just not true. And remember – your eyes only see and your ears only hear what your mind is looking for. So if you start to actually think that every client is going to rip you off, it’s just going to use you and lose you. I’ll guarantee you that every single client you find for the next year (and for the rest of your life), will do exactly that. If you can, start moving out of this scarcity mindset of real estate and more into the abundant mindset of real estate (which I truly believe in and am a huge advocate in) that there’s more than enough business to go around. It’s just, the way you get it is by changing your current mindset, thinking, and habits. So the first one is just treat every client the same way you would your best friend. What I mean by that is, if my best friend called me up and said, “Hey Glenn, I’m thinking about listing my house,” I’m not going into a script. I’m not going to go over and send a pre-listing package. I’m not going to go there with a 20 or 48-point PowerPoint presentation. I’m just going to probably go, “Hey, when do you want to meet?” We’ll meet up for a beer or a coffee or a soda or a pop, and probably for the first 15 minutes, we’re not even going to talk about real estate. We’re just going to say, “How are you? How are you doing? What’s going on?” You’re going to catch up. It’s no different with every lead that calls you. What if, with the next lead that called you, you just engaged a bit more in conversation with them instead of moving into some type of qualifying script? The buyers don’t expect us to qualify them. The sellers don’t expect us to. When you look at all the surveying that goes out there, qualifying usually ranks at about 4% of what buyers and sellers think our job is – so it has nothing to do with it.

So what about, for the next 90 days, you just tried to treat every client the same way you would your best friend? Just show up, be amazing, and be yourself. Come from contribution, without expectation, because what you realize is that every single lead you talk to knows at least 400 people, and they’re the gatekeepers to those 400 people. How you show up to those meetings will determine whether or not they open the gate and let you into their world and into their friends. It’s not unusual to go and meet somebody and talk to them and do such a great presentation and get a referral the next day because they were so impressed with what you do. So that’s number one – just treat every lead the same way as your best friend, until they prove otherwise.

Here’s the second mindset. You have a 70% chance of working with a buyer and a 70% chance of working with a seller by just showing up, because all of the research from the National Association of Realtors shows that 70% of buyers only worked with one agent, and 74% of sellers picked the first agent they met. I think the competition might just be a perception of our mind in this business. Are there times when you’re going to be competing? Of course – especially if you have a geographic farm area. You’re going to find yourself competing against the same people all the time. When you work and you get referrals or sphere of influence calls, they might tell you they’re interviewing other agents, but we know, statistically, you’re the only person who’s really in the game.

The next mindset is this: 85% of your success in real estate is really just based on your personality, your ability to connect with people, and your ability to negotiate and also lead your customers. Only 15% of it is actually on the skills and the technical knowledge of real estate. I’ve seen that all the time over the last 29 years, where some people get into the business and focus all their time on product knowledge and technical knowledge, and they don’t do anything until their business cards are ready. They’re just getting ready for the sake of getting ready. Then you see other agents come in, and they just “Fake it until you make it.” They just use their flat out hard work, their core character, and their belief in themselves to just go and meet as many people as possible. Their mindset is one of failing forward. Failing means you’re usually learning. You only ever lose in this business when you don’t learn anything out of that process. I’ll tell you, most of the top agents you know have lost more listings than they’ve ever gotten. They’ve lost more clients than they’ve ever closed. It’s just the way it is. But it’s not really what happens to them; it’s their reaction to what happens to them. When they find out that one of their customers has listed with someone else, yeah, it hurts, but they usually have some 24-hour mourning period, and then they just get over it and move forward. An irresponsible agent, or one with a poor mindset says, “Oh my God. I totally got used on that. Why’d they go with that other agent?” They start going into victimhood. A responsible agent sits there and says, “Okay, what did I do wrong? What could I have done better? What am I going to improve next time, so that the next person I meet like that, I’m going to get that listing? And from that, I’m just going to continue to grow my business.” So failing forward is actually winning as long as you learn something. You only lose when you don’t get something and you never learn anything.

The next mindset is: Don’t be in the selling business in real estate; be in the re-order business. Just do your job so well that your clients tell everyone they know, and that helps you create this tribe of raving fans. Let me say that again. Don’t be in the selling business; be in the re-order business. It costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than just to retain your existing customer. I love the stat from the National Association of Realtors that says 88% of buyers and sellers would use their agent again, yet only 22% do – 22%. And whose fault is that? It’s the agent’s fault for not keeping in touch, or for taking that customer for granted and expecting that, “Since I sold you your first house, you have a lifetime indebtedness to me that I must do every single one of your real estate transactions.” It’s not true. If you’re always keeping in contact with your past clients and serving them so well and coming from contribution, that’s the key to building a really, really big business.

The next mindset is one of being obsessively occupied with the needs of your customer. When you’re obsessively occupied with the needs of your customer, you will actually start to anticipate what they need next from you. Instead of being in reaction mode all the time, you’re actually going to go into proactivity. You’re going to go, “Okay. My clients are at this stage of the process now. What do they need next? What’s my next logical step?” Another way to look at this is if right now, you made a list of the 10 people you’re currently working with and ranked them on a scale of 1 to 10 on how urgent it is that they have to buy. What if you just focused and said, “Hmm. There’s my seven. What do they need from me right now in order to move them up to an eight?” If it’s a buyer who’s ready to go and you’ve been showing them a bunch of houses, maybe now’s a good time to send everything that’s sold in the last month so that they get a better idea of where the market’s actually moving. It’s called “allowing data to do the heavy lifting.” What if you could just send them that, because when people are in Prospect Matches, all they see are new listings all the time – “I like it/I don’t like it.” They rarely get to see the sold prices, so your job is to be giving them the sold prices of all the homes that have come to them so that they self-adjust their expectations, and you don’t have to go there and start having that expectation conversation.

The next mindset is proportionality. You’re always paid in direct proportion to the value (or the perceived value) of the service you offer. Let me say that again. You’re always paid in direct proportion of what the perceived value is of the service that you offer. So what if you were to do an exercise where you could sit there and go, “I’m going to actually break down everything that I do in a real estate transaction.” In the book The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, I think they said there are 149 tasks that have to get completed from when someone meets you until they finally close their house. So what if we could start packaging your value? What I mean by that is, what if we just broke down every single step and actually put a price on it? Here’s an example. If you’re working with a buyer, initial consultation over the phone could be 15 minutes, and you could put a price on that of $75. Then when you have a buyer consultation meeting, which is anywhere from probably half an hour to an hour and a half, you could put a value on that of $200-$250/hour, and just write it down on your sheet. A buyer consultation is worth $350 or $400. What about when you have to come back and set them up on MLS and start searching? What if you started pricing your time for searching? I’m going to be spending at least 8-10 hours on the MLS searching for you, and that’s going to be $2,000. We’re going to be going on an orientation tour that’s going to be three hours. That’s going to be probably anywhere around $700 just for the orientation tour. What about when we’re actually showing you the homes? It could take anywhere from 10-50 hours to work with the average buyer. What if you priced that at $10,000? That’s probably what it’s going to cost you if you look at your time. What I’m talking about here is pricing your time and showing it to your customer, so that when it comes time for them thinking about your commission, they actually think they’re getting value for it, because I don’t think our customers really know what we do behind the scenes. I think most sellers think that we list the property, we get the sign up, we do some staging, and then MLS sells the property. That’s, I think, what most sellers think about. They don’t realize, on the selling side, how much is involved – even the pre-work to get there before you do the listing consultation, to the listing consultation, to going back there and getting all the measurements, to doing a room-by-room review. You could easily charge $500-$1,000 just by going room to room and telling them what they need to do to stage their property. What about your time at the Open Houses? What’s two hours or four hours at an Open House worth to you? Is it $1,000? Is it $500? Is it $2,000? It’s your job to actually start pricing all of the different activities that you do. Imagine if, in your buyer guide or in your seller guide, you had a list of every single activity that gets done, and you just put a price next to it. That’s the way you can actually get paid more, because you’re increasing the perceived value of what your customer is willing to pay you. See, I think any commission objections, or any conversation about commission is really only about the money when you haven’t proven your value. I think they’re wrong, but I deeply believe most sellers believe it doesn’t matter which agent you use to list your property – that it’s going to sell for about the same price. In our industry, we know, as realtors, that the agent you pick could be a 5%-20% swing on the price of that house. You could have someone who’s from out of town or not around here who gives it away. You could have someone who’s been around and who’s got a lot of buyers, or who builds up auctions or whatever, and can get 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14% more or 50% more than market value. That’s our problem as an industry; it’s not the consumer’s problem. They think we all do the same thing. We know, inside, that who you list your property with really, really matters. So it’s really a game of listing every single thing you do. Let me just continue. Negotiating – that could be two hours. It could be three hours. It could be 10 hours. You could put a price on that. Talking to the lawyers, talking to the mortgage brokers, getting everything firmed up, going on a home inspection. If you start naming every single step of what you do (every contact point you have with the customers) and you write these down as deliverables and put them in a box and put a price next to it and then you actually get naming rights, this is the way that you actually build huge value in the perceived value (and actual value) in the eyes of your customer. So remember this mindset of proportionality – that you’re always paid in direct proportion to what the perceived value is of the service you offer.

Next is the reciprocity mindset. What I’ve learned is that your customers will give back to you at the level you gave back to them. I always believe that we should give first, and just watch how it flows back to you. What a great experience it is when you can actually create all these “Wow!” moments in your transactions, or these areas where you’re just absolutely giving, giving, giving, giving to your customers. You just give so much to them that you almost compel them to fall into the law of reciprocity. The law of reciprocity has been around for eons, and the easiest way to explain it is, if we’re at a bar and I buy you a drink, you’ll probably buy me a drink. It’s just because you understand the law of reciprocity. If I invite you over to my place for dinner and you have a great time, you’ll probably finish the evening by saying, “You know what? We should have you back at our place for dinner.” The moment you go first and you start giving without expectation, watch the magic of what happens. Over the next 90 days, just give, give, give, give, give. Great people, when they’re given something, feel compelled to give back. Terrible clients will just take, take, take, take, take. So this can be a measuring stick for you over the next 90 days. “I’m just going to give, and I’m going to watch.” The people who will take, take, take are not the people that you can build a great business around, but good and great people will go, “Wow! You’re helping me so much. I should probably help you back. I should refer somebody to you. How can I help you?” This is the kind of phrase that you’ll hear when you actually get into that world.

The next mindset is that of opportunities and problems. What I’ve learned is successful agents see problems as opportunities. I think a great real estate agent is just really great at solving problems. They don’t look at it as, “Oh, it’s a problem. Oh, it’s another thing that went wrong. Oh my God. How come everything’s going wrong?” – that whole victim mindset. They actually look at it as an opportunity. They’re almost going, “Hmm. Here’s the problem. What’s the opportunity that that problem is giving me?” And the moment you solve the selfish problem for your customer is the real primary way that you start adding value. We used to do this list we would send out to our clients when the offer went firm. We would send them this list of the 88 types of turbulence that you could endure. And we got this list from Joe Stumpf from “By Referral Only,” and it was this whole thing. It was the story about, if you’re getting on a plane, the pilot’s job is to get you from this destination to the next as safely as possible – the same as ours, as a realtor. The story goes that the pilot can’t guarantee a turbulence-free ride, because they really don’t know. But they’re so well trained that any type of turbulence – anything that happens on that flight – they’ll be able to guide you safely and land, and get you to your destination. So we’ve got this list of, “Here are the 88 things that could go wrong in a real estate transaction. We know about them. We’re watching them. And when one of them happens, we have the ability to solve that problem for you.” And when we do, we add value. The moment you take someone’s problem and you make it your own and solve it for them in a very creative way, you automatically add value to your customers.

The next mindset is that of being learning-based. What I’ve learned is successful agents are always learning-based, because what they’re trying to do is grow for the sake of growing. They’re getting better for the sake of getting better, and they’re learning-based in order to expand their skills over time. They look to fill in the gaps of their knowledge, because your skills are really your security in real estate; it’s not your money. You show me an agent who’s sold 40 homes a year for the last five years, and I will guarantee you that next year, they will not sell five homes. Their skills are their security – not the company they’re with, not their Broker of Record – nothing. It’s that selfish pursuit of you becoming learning-based, and just getting better for the sake of being better all the time. In any given year, I will have between three and five coaches who I work with all the time, because I’m looking for my blind spots. And I usually can’t find them – but my coaches can. When I have an opportunity to talk to my coach and we’re talking about things, and they’re asking me questions (because they’ve usually got the experience in the business background and they’ve seen it all before and they have the tools), they can usually just go, “Okay, this is the problem” or “Here’s the solution to this problem.” It’s like when someone says something and you’re like, “Oh my God. That’s so simple! Why didn’t I think of that myself?” You just whack yourself on the side of the head and you go, “Oh my God. That was so simple. Why couldn’t I think of it?” And it’s because you’re just caught in your own stuff. I think having a great coach and going to great training and learning from different people just really gets you out of your head, and gets you to where you need to be. You look at any person who’s at the top of their game, whether it be in hockey, golf, in sports, in fitness, CEOs – they usually will have anywhere between five and 15 coaches. I remember having breakfast with a guy named Harvey Mackay, who was 84 years old at the time. He’s been a prolific author. His famous book is Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. I remember asking him, “Do you have coaches?” And he said, “Yeah, Glenn. I’ve got 14 coaches.” And I’m like, “Wow! You’re 84 and you’ve got 14?” He said, “Yep. I’ve got this, I’ve got my fitness, I’ve got my nutrition, I’ve got this, I’ve got this, I’ve got this.” He just read them off, and he said, “I’m just learning-based, and I’m always trying to get better for the sake of getting better.” That’s probably why he looked so good and so healthy and fit at 84 – because he thinks his world’s still growing, while most people at that age think that it’s contracting.

The next mindset (and we’ve just got a few more before we wrap up), is never pre-judge a lead. Just look at them with intense curiosity and expect them to be incredibly awesome until they prove otherwise. Let me say that again. Never pre-judge your lead. It’s how I almost started off this whole podcast. Just look at them with intense curiosity. Expect them to be amazing. Expect them to be awesome, until they prove otherwise. It’s the same theme at the beginning: treat everyone the way you would treat your best friend. They’re innocent until proven guilty. I notice that when I show up to people and I just expect that they’re going to be amazing, they usually don’t let me down. They’ll never let me down, because most people are really great. That’s why 99.9% of every real estate contract written in Canada will close. It’s because people know what they want. They’re fair, they’re equitable, they understand it, they take ownership of what they’ve got to do. They’re actually just amazing people who are just looking to find a home to build a better life for themselves.

The last thought, really, for this, would just be gratitude. Just be grateful for these five things (at a minimum, I would say). Number one is just be grateful for your clients. Look how lucky we are in this business to do what we do. When I teach a class called “Double Your Income,” I always start the class by going, “How many of your clients right now have a path to double their income in the next 12 months?” I’ll tell you, 99% of the population doesn’t have that. Imagine them walking to their boss. “Listen. You need to double my income, or I’m out of here.” They would just be out of here. There’s no path for those people. Yet, we’re in an industry that if we do the right things and show up and work hard, we can actually make an unlimited income in this business. So be grateful for your clients, and just live in the gratitude of your clients. Number two is be grateful for your family. No one succeeds alone, and if it wasn’t for your family and your support network, you would not have the foundation to do what you do. If you think you’re doing this all by yourself, and that you’re solely responsible for your success – you’re wrong. There’s actually a foundation underneath you, and maybe this is the time to go back and thank those people. Number three, just be grateful for your health. You can still do this business. I’ve been in the business for 29 years. I’ve seen a lot of different realtors pass – some young, way before their time, some at their time, some way past their time – but be grateful. We’ve all got friends who we’ve lost and family members who would love to have your problem and still be walking around on the earth today, so be grateful for your health! Number four, be grateful for your finances. For some people, it’s a tough time. They’re thinking about money all the time. For other people, they’re more abundant about money, but just be grateful. Look at where you are in this city, or in this country, or in the country you live in or the city you live in, and just look around and look at how lucky you are. Think about how many other billions and billions of people would love to come and exchange their problems with your problems, and exchange their finances with your finances. And finally, just be grateful to your friends. Your friends are the glue that holds all of this together. They’re the sounding boards. They’re the people who pick you up when you’re down. They’re the wind beneath your wings, almost, in a way. Just live in the game, we say, of how great things are going. Start dreaming forward, as Dan Sullivan says. He says, “You dream forward your life, and you measure backwards.” Most people set a goal and then focus all of their efforts on when they didn’t hit the goal. That’s called “gapping,” and a lot of us are raised to be “gappers.” We have a bad mark on a report card, and the whole conversation is about that one bad mark. No one talks about the great marks. Why don’t you just look at it a little bit differently? Live in the gratitude of measuring back. Look at where you’ve actually come from in your life to where you are today, and just be excited for where you want to go in the future.

I hope this helps! Let’s go out and just nail it for the next 90 days. I hope that these mindsets will really help you make even more money, and get even more time for yourself and even more freedom, and even better relationships with everyone you know.

So that’s it! Have a great day! Bye bye!

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